Morse Family, Awre area.
"The ... photograph shows James and Annis Morse (nee Wyman) with three of their children; Daniel James, Faith Hope Charity and Albert Thomas. It was probably taken around 1884/5 before Elizabeth Tryphena was born".
"...my Paternal Grandmother, Edith. Her Father was James Morse(above) born Oct. 1853, baptised 16th Oct. 1853 in Blakeney and married Annis Wyman (or Weyman or Wayman) on 18th May 1874 at St. Mary’s Berkeley. Beside Edith Anice, they had 7 other children; - Daniel James (born 11th April 1875 – Died June 1958 in Gloucestershire, Age 83); Faith Hope Charity (born 7th July 1878 – died Dec 1967 in Maidstone, Kent, Age 89); Albert Thomas (born 22nd August 1880 – died 30th November 1957 in Essex); Elizabeth Tryphena (born about 1885 – died 3rd March 1960 in Viney Hill, Age 75); Charles (born 19th November 1888 – died 3rd November 1955 in Lydney, Age 67); Ethel Blanche (born 6th March 1890 – died 20th February 1979 in Manchester) and Rose Maria Ashur (born October 1892 – died December 1963 in the Forest of Dean, Age 71".
David wrote: "The ... photograph (above) is of a house with either 6 ladies or 5 ladies and a boy in front. I believe one of the ladies was my Grandmother, Edith Anice, when she was a girl. I believe the house is called ‘Milcombe Head’ and was the family home for many decades. In the various Census’s it is occasionally misspelt and the address given as either Awre, Etloe Road, Awre, Clure Road, Awre and in the following Newspaper articles, Gatcombe! The 1891 Census refers to Black Patch, Awre, but I don’t know if that is the same or whether the family moved".
James and Annis Morse (nee Wyman) - "... newspaper articles celebrate their 60th and 64th Wedding Anniversaries and describe his (James's) various jobs including Helping in the Construction of The Severn Railway Bridge and The Severn Tunnel, as well as on the Conversion of the Gloucester to South Wales railway line from Broad Gauge to Standard Gauge. It also mentions that he was an accomplished diver and had used a diving suit to inspect various boats which had sunk in the River Severn. (I would have thought that a diver in the late 19th Century/early 20th Century would have been a fairly unique occupation). It also states that for nearly 60 years he was a Salmon Fisherman. The latter agrees with most of the Census’s which describe him, variously, as a sailor, a dock labourer and a fisherman".
My ... Question is for information regarding the House and James’s occupation"
" Does Milcombe Head still exist and where is it? I would like to verify his links with the Severn Bridge, Severn Tunnel and the conversion from Broad Gauge. Is it likely there are employment records which might link him to Brunel or the GWR? If so where might those records be? Again is it possible to fill in the gaps?"
Above; Milkham head at Gatcombe - RH side of map (1884 OS Map), the black oblong is likely to be a building - possibly the house in question?..
Above; the same area from a Google Maps image in 2017.
"James Morse had one brother, Charles (born about 1849) and eight sisters; Elizabeth (born 12th Sept. 1837), Eliza (born October 1839), George (born 1841), Martha (born 18th December 1837), Harriet (born 1847), Mary (born 1851), Susan (born October 1856) and Rosanna (born 1858) [There is also evidence of a male George born October 1841 but died December 1842]. All were born in the Awre, Etloe, Blakeney Area. Their father (my Great Great Grandfather) was also called James (born 1814 in Lydney), he married Eliza Purnell on 29th June 1837 [she died on 12th July 1859, the year after her last child, Rosanna, was born][Eliza was born and died in Awre]. James married again on 10th February 1872 to Marianne Jones. Both his wives were born in 1816 in Awre, so the chances are that they knew each other. Marianne died on 6th November 1896 in Etloe. James died almost 5 months later on 31st March 1897 but in The Workhouse, Newnham, cause of death 'Senile decay'".
"... I was told many years ago that the young girl (left) was my Grandmother (Edith Anice Morse) with her Grandparents. But I have since realised that cannot be so, because it would be James with his second wife, Marianne (she did not have children by him, and he ended his days in the Workhouse). The girls’ clothes look more like the 1940’s era than the 1890’s, plus the building they are alongside, looks’ very much like ‘Milcombe Head’. Therefore the photograph must be James and Annis Morse with one of their grand-daughters. (According to the newspaper article they had 20 grandchildren [she could be any one of them] and 8 great grandchildren). James and Annis both died in the Blakeney area, on 14th February 1942 (age 88 years & 4 months) and July 1943 (age 88 years & 3 months) respectively. They never achieved their ambition to reach 100! My three times Great Grandfather was Richard Morse, born in Clearwell in 1771, married Ann Denton in Awre on 26th October 1797. Besides James, they had two other sons and two daughters. Richard and Ann died in 1849 and 1856 respectively. My four times Great Grandfather was John Morse born 1737 in Awre, married Margaret Jones born 1741. Beside Richard, they had three other sons and a daughter. All were born either in Clearwell or Awre. Margaret died in Clearwell in 1795 and John in 1797. (I could provide you with their names and dates and places of birth etc., but I am more interested in everyone as people and the lives they had. This is the end of my knowledge of the Morse line. Like the Powell’s they generally lived, worked and died in or around the Forest of Dean. There were a handful of exceptions, like Martha Morse who emigrated with her husband, Charles Goodman, to Quebec on 11th July 1881".
Karen Sessa added: "... Elizabeth Morse born 1837, the eldest of all the children, was my great grandmother. (Married Jonas Voice/Voyce in 1865), it has been so interesting to see these photos ..."
Helen Adair added: "... The photos are fascinating, thank you for sharing them. Tryphena Elizabeth Morse was my GG Grandmother, her daughter Hilda Anice was my grandmother! Nan's father was Woodman Adams. Their family lived at Furnace Valley (then known as Furnace Bottom) in Blakeney. Woodman and his older brother were born in Lostwithhiel but his father Robert Adams was born in Blakeney so the family returned to the Forest before Woodman married and they had seven children. I noticed that Frederick was listed as a son of Woodman and Tryphena in the family tree on this site. Frederick was their nephew who was staying with the Adams family at the time of the census which is where the confusion probably has arisen? Frederick was the eldest son of Albert Adams, Woodman's eldest brother who lived at Viney Hill".
Peter Kirby added (April 2015): "... Milcombe Head is still there. James Morse is my GG Grandfather I hope I can fill in some of your gaps".
Pamela Herron added (August 2016): "... Regarding Millcombe Head,I have my Goulding family living there around 1900. George Goulding fished with the Morse family for salmon and I have been to Gatcombe and seen the books kept of all the fish caught, how much they sold for etc. If interested I will look up my records and give dates when they lived in the house, delighted to see a photo of it! ... Tried to contact the sender of Milkham head photo but email coming up as not valid, My family ,the Gouldings lived there in 1891, my grandfather Oliver Goulding was born there! George Goulding,who lived in Milkham Head house was a salmon fisherman with the Morse family. Would be pleased to be in contact with him ...".
Janet Sweeney added (February 2017) "... My parents Dick and Mavis Pearce lived at Millcombe Head House from 1940 till 1948. It's on my Birth cert. dated 1946. My mother's maiden name was Hulbert. She was brought up in Blakeney ...".
Janet Rigby added (February 2017): "... How interesting are these photographs. I love the names like Tryphena and Faith Hope and Charity. Like many others my 4 times great grandfather was John Morse born 1797 and my 3 times great grandfather was George Morse born 1758 in Awre. I am descended from the female line, my great grandmother was Phoebe Morse born 1838 whose photograph is on this site. I am writing a book about the Morses of the Forest of Dean and am intrigued to find that we are all related in some way".
Paul Waite added (October 2018): "... I knew and know the Morse Family - I used to go with my dad salmon fishing with Mr Morse in the late sixties on the boats - Millcombe Head was a house lived in by a Wilfred VIrgo, his wife and daughter Joyce who has relayed many stories of her life there - they moved to Blakeney Hill in the forties ish - sadly all passed away now - but big salmon fisherman people - the photo of the little girl could easily be Joyce Virgo -,great to sea such interest".
Steven Barlow added (November 2018): "... Besides Richard, John Morse and Margaret Jones had three other children..." One of these these was John (bap. at Newland in 1763) who married (by license) Mary Lewis (bap. Awre 1765). Their son (another) John (bap 1794 in Awre) married Damaris Bailey (bap. Awre 1789) in 1817 (also in Awre). They had three children all born in Blakeney: Demaris (1818), Mary Ann (1820) & Thomas (1821). Thomas married twice: 1st Mary Ann Jenkins (bap 1830 Awre; died 1860) whom he took with him to Australia during the Gold Rush. They had one son, Samuel born in 1857 (in Australia?). 2nd wife was Ann Dickson (married 1862) and they had several children (Anne POTTER, Louisa May, Elizabeth Maud, Harold Thomas James & Annie) as well as William Morse (b. 1865), my great grandfather. William died in a mine explosion in Campbell's Creek (nr Castlemaine, Victoria), leaving a widow, Lily Regina MENZ (died 1956) and five children: Otto, Harold, Bertrum, Percival (1896-1988) and William. Percival served in the First World War, married Dorothea Isobel BENNETT (1902-1993) in 1923 and had two sons and a daughter, my mother".
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