Tracing the Groves Genealogy

Last updated 16th May, 2006

 

My grandfather, Edward Groves, was born in Wateringbury, near Maidstone, Kent, England, on the 8th September 1875, the birth registered in East Peckham, Kent.  The birth certificate entry confirms the parents of of Edward Groves as Thomas and Margaret Groves (formerly Curley, as in Edward's marriage certificate to Janet Lawson Wyllie). The address of 9 Wild Court, Great Queen's Street, St. Giles in the Fields, confirms the 1881 census record, the latter though poorly transcribed!
 

The Birth Certificate of Edward Groves (entry 218).

 

My father, Edward Archibald Groves, the youngest of the eight children of Edward and Janet Lawson Groves (M.S. Wyllie), was born in the village of Lesbury, about 4 miles from Alnwick on the 24th March 1917. 

The others were Thomas (born 20th June 1902, Ayr), George Hugh (born 21st July 1903, Ayr), Margaret (1904), Jessie (1906),  Joan (1911), Sheila (1912) and Mary (1915).

     

The only known photograph of "ma" Groves, possibly taken outside the greengrocer owned by her in London, either in or in the vicinity of Cornwall Street, near Waterloo Station. Here she is flanked by Louie, wife of Bill Groves and one of her sons, Tom Groves, brother to Ed Groves, my grandfather. Also in the photograph is Sue, daughter of Bill and Louie.

Edward's sister Margaret Groves.

The eldest offspring of Edward and Janet Lawson Groves - Tom, Margaret Joan and George Hugh.

Janet Lawson Wyllie

     

Details of my grandfather's travels and anecdotes are contained in a set of memoirs written after his retirement. In 1988, during a 4-month European sojourn, I made an attempt to trace the birthplace of my father in Lesbury. At the time, with the assistance of local folk and archival information, I was also able to verify and embroider on important detail contained within the memoirs. 

Discovery of the marriage certificate of Edward Groves and Janet Lawson Wyllie from Scottish records reveals that the marriage was registered in the County of Ayr, Scotland, dated 11th September, 1901.  This document yields the names of the parents of Edward Groves as Thomas Groves, artificial florist, deceased and Margaret Groves (maiden surname not decipherable).  The parents of Janet Lawson Wyllie are stated as George and Joan Wyllie (maiden surname Gebbie). One of the marriage witnesses is Andrew Groves, brother of Edward Groves.  According  to the memoirs, sister Margaret was also present at the wedding.

     

The 1901 marriage certificate of Edward Groves and Janet Lawson Wyllie (entry 164).

     
     
Discovery of a 1901 census record for the London civil parish of St. Giles in the Fields reveals the family resident at 39 Neal Street, St. Giles in the Fields:
   
  Margaret Groves Head Married 48 Artificial Florist
  William Groves Son Single 25 Masons Labourer
  Margaret Groves Daughter Single 21 Theatrical dresser
  Andrew Groves Son Single 18 Errand Boy
  Mary Groves Daughter Single 15 Errand Girl
 

The 1901 census record for 39 Neal Street, St. Giles -in-the-Field, London (entry 159).

     
This sets Margaret Groves's year of birth at 1853. All of those listed appear to have been born in St. Giles in the Fields, London.  It is interesting to note that at the time of the census (conducted in April, 1901), Margaret is recorded as "married" is widowed by the time of Edward's wedding (in September, 1901).
     
 
An 1891 census record for the London civil parish of St. Giles in the Fields reveals the family resident at 62 Neal Street, St. Giles in the Fields:
 

Thomas Groves abt 1842 St Giles, London, England Head  (Flower maker-artificial) 45
Margaret Groves abt 1853 St Giles, London, England Wife  38
William Groves abt 1875 St Giles, London, England Son (Flower maker-artificial) 16
Edward Groves abt 1877 St Giles, London, England Son (Flower maker-artificial) 14
Alfred Groves abt 1878 St Giles, London, England Son (scholar) 13
Margaret Groves abt 1879 St Giles, London, England Daughter (scholar) 12
Andrew Groves abt 1884 St Giles, London, England Son (scholar) 7
Mary Groves abt 1886 St Giles, London, England Daughter   (scholar) 5

 

The 1891 census record for 62 Neal Street, St. Giles -in-the-Field, London (entry 911).

     
 
A badly transcribed 1881 census record for the London civil parish of St. Giles in the Fields reveals the family resident at 9 Wild Court, St. Giles in the Fields:
 

Thos. Graves abt 1849  St Giles Head (Florist) 32
Magt. Graves abt 1853  St Giles Wife 28
Thos. Graves abt 1870  St Giles Son (scholar) 11
John Graves abt 1871  St Giles Son (scholar) 10
Hugh Graves abt 1873  St Giles Son (scholar) 8
Wm. Graves abt 1874  St Giles Son (scholar) 7
Ed. Graves abt 1876  Kent, England Son (scholar) 5
Alfred Groves abt 1878  St Giles Son   3
Magt. Groves abt 1879  St Giles Daughter 2
Anna Groves abt 1880  St Giles Daughter  6 months

 

The 1881 census record for Wild Court, St. Giles -in-the-Field, London (entry 176).

 
The inclusion of John, Hugh and Anna Groves are somewhat of a mystery, as they are not referred to in the 1891 census record nor in the memoirs of Edward Groves.
     
 
One generation back, an 1861 census record for the London civil parish of St. Giles in the Fields reveals a Groves family resident at 6 Little Whitesand Street, St. Giles in the Fields:
 

Deborah Groves abt 1850  London, England Daughter  St Giles  Middlesex
Emma Groves abt 1852  London, England Daughter  St Giles  Middlesex
Jno Groves abt 1860  London, England Son  St Giles  Middlesex
Mary Groves abt 1855  London, England Daughter  St Giles  Middlesex
Susan Groves abt 1829  London, England Wife  St Giles  Middlesex
Thos Groves abt 1816  London, England Head  St Giles  Middlesex
Thos Groves abt 1846  London, England Son  St Giles  Middlesex
William Groves abt 1857  London, England Son  St Giles  Middlesex

 

The 1861 census record for 6 Little Whitesand Street, St. Giles -in-the-Field, London (entry 388).

 
  • Is Thomas Groves, chimney sweep, born about 1816 and husband of Susan Groves,
  • the father of Thomas Groves, artificial florist,
  • grandfather of Edward Groves and
  • therefore possibly my great, great grandfather?
The marriage record for 1868 hopefully sheds more light on the 1861 census record:
 

THOMAS GROVES
  Male   Family

Marriages:
  Spouse:  MARGARET CURLEY  Family
  Marriage:  27 OCT 1868   Saint Martin In The Fields, Westminster, London,
England

 

The Marriage Certificate of Thomas Groves and Margaret Curley at the Parish Church of St. Martins in the Fields in the County of Middlesex, 1868.

 
I wish to express my gratitude to Gill Joye and Karen Nichols for  their assistance in tracing some of the above records.
 

 

 

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