BEFORE YOU GO FURTHER IN THE SITE PLEASE NOTE THAT ON THE ORIGINAL SITE ANYWHERE YOU SAW A WORD UNDERLINED AND IN A DIFFERENT COLOUR TYPEFACE IT MEANT YOU COULD HAVE CLICKED ON THE WORD OR NAME TO FIND MORE DETAIL.
HOWEVER THE SITE GOT TOO LARGE TO MANAGE SO NOT ALL THE LINKS WORK, IF YOU TRY THEM AND NOTHING HAPPENS THAT LINK IS NO LONGER VALID. I STILL HAVE THE DATA AND YOU CAN ASK ME FOR IT BUT NO LONGER ON LINE.
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Mostly I have viewed the relationships here from my perspective, Annie Georgina Walsh for instance is my nan and that is how I refer to her.
There has been quite a lot of work to get to where we are now, many people have been involved, who I would like to thank, family friends and people at various organisations, museums ETC.
A special thanks to Martin and Celia at the Welsh Regiment Museum Powys and Lt Col Conway Seymour Archivist Grenadier guards Museum for there significant help at the end of 2013 in not only solving the issue of why Captain David Webb was dismissed by the King but also the mystery as to why our father David Webb had his father down on his certificate as retired Captain in the Welsh regiment whilst his sister born 4 years later had “Private” on her birth certificate, see his page for more.
Also Major Ian Mattison without whose help I would not have found the last two photos of Sergeant (Captain) Webb in the Grenadier Guards, along with his service record and the most likely reason for David Webb being removed by the King by virtue of bankruptcy.
Thanks to Kim Faulkner who we met on holiday on Dartmoor, Kim gave me an early boost with info and guidance without which I may have given up very early on, due to incorrect starting information my research was deeply flawed and going nowhere.
Have also met a few new family members I did not know existed, it was good to catch up with them, a number who found the web site have also been in touch from various parts of the world including Australia.
The National Archives who I think do a fantastic job, how do you turn hundreds of thousands, millions of hand written census notes and documents into computer data, amazing. Since visiting the National Archives at Kew my respect for them has gone even higher, the staff are extremely helpful, go way beyond what I expected in terms of directing you to the correct areas and even the level of involvement in helping you search records, excellent.
We started out with a lot of in accurate information about our nan and grandfather Webb. This made the task initially very difficult as the basic assumptions took us nowhere.
For instance we were told our Grandfather Captain David Webb was a Captain in the Royal East Kent regiment (The Buffs) and he died of black flu about 1918. All of this was wrong, he died in 1940 married to someone else.
Me, I am David Webb, who with my four sisters was raised at 23, Bonser road, Twickenham, Middlesex by David J Webb or John as he was known by some and Dave by others and our mother Peggy Warwick Webb nee Hill.
Towards the end of 2009 my sisters, Anne, Geraldine and Julia persuaded me to do start family history research, they were especially keen to hear about our nan Annie Georgina Walsh and grandfather and the Irish connections. It turned out that our nan and her father Maurice John Walsh were born in Kent, her mother born in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland and our grandfather from English parents, in Cardiff.
It was on our nans paternal grandparents we found they were both from Arghada, Cork, Ireland. On her maternal grandparents her grandmother from the Shetland Isles, off Scotland and her grandfather born in Kent.
Never really understood why people had such an interest in their past, however once you start to find things out it does become quite absorbing, solving mysteries, uncovering interesting stories, realising the trials and tribulations they had to endure.
This first part of the introduction is mainly focused on Webb and Walsh as this is where I started my research, trying to hunt down the so called Captain David Webb husband of Annie Georgina Walsh.
On my mother’s side it was a bit more clear cut, my sisters knew the names of all her sisters, as did I, my cousin John Petch with the IT skills of his wife Maggie had already covered far more than I planned to do and she kindly handed over some of the research.
One reason I am pleased I undertook to do this research, apart from all the family, but especially my son and daughter, Jordan and Giselle. They had been given a lot of mis-information by me, about their family history, which of course they grew up believing was true, as no doubt did my father and his sister Joan. So it was good to be able, in my lifetime, to put these things to right and hopefully give them some factual and I hope interesting details to their ancestors, certainly some of it is very colourful.
The main challenge once I got started was knowing more about our grandfather, originally thought to be a Captain in the East Kent’s or the Buffs and according to my nan, Annie Georgina Webb nee Walsh, to have died after the end of the first world war, around 1918, from black or Spanish flu.
There had though been some discrepancies between my father and his sister Joan memories of not just events but recollections of their father and nans family.
Sadly my father is no longer with us to discuss what happened, it may be armed with this information he could have recalled more of his childhood, who knows. His sister Joan, moved to Alderney to be with her daughter and son and died there in July 2011 just short of her 94th birthday, despite her memory not being all that is had been she gave me some very useful information in the form of several letters where she wrote down what she could remember as well as letters and postcards sent to her mother, these helped to confirm we were following the correct family lines. To find say Gerald Walsh staying at the Xaverian Brothers boarding school is fine, dates match must be him, then to find a letter written by Gerald on Xaverian Brothers letter headed paper sent to his sister help give it that 100% certainty.
Dad and Aunty Joan were told their Father Captain David Webb disappeared in around 1918, all they really have is their mothers account of the events, this was he had died of a combination of Black Flu and war wounds and that because he was no longer in the army, when he died she did not get an army widows pension.
Overall I think to have undertaken this research whilst my father was still alive, would have been a great mistake and also taken a toll on my father. He spent his life regretting not having his father around and not knowing him, thinking he had died in 1918. Unknown to him he was still alive up until my father was 27 years old, I think he would have found this very difficult to cope with, that coupled with his mother not being married and being mentioned as the other woman in a divorce case.
The tragedy of it all is there was so much for him and all of us to be proud of, his grand father Maurice John Walsh, being so highly regarded and master at arms in the Navy, his great grandfather also being a sailor noted for his time at the battle of Navarino, his grand mother on that side being highly regarded on Sheppey judged by her glowing obituary and the floral tributes at her funeral all of which are part of this web site or information. When Maurice John Walsh died in Moosejaw Canada he has obituaries written in both Canadian and the British press, both reported high regards to a well respected citizen, who as reported on Kents, “His purse was always open for the poor.
Then on the Webb side one of his Uncles was a highly regarded naturalist, his grand father a Colonel in the army and his great grand mother Barbara Webb, having had a memorial plaque designed by her friend the architect Edwin Lutyens better known for his design of the Cenotaph in Whitehall, the plaque to her installed in Witley Church and finally a very large family mausoleum just near what was the family home, Milford House Witley has been located.
For my father I fear all this would have gone out the window and he would have had a great sadness with it all the other information that has been uncovered.
Bottom line though is there was a lot of poor and misleading information, it was to be an ominous and painful and time consuming start especially as we had the following incorrect basic information as a base :
It is very difficult not to make assumptions and also dangerous, you can spend hours researching something and find out it‘s different family, however assumptions can creep in but where possible I have tried to explain the reasoning.
Anyone using the site who knows different please let me know so I can update the information.
So first thing that comes out from the census is that from our Nan's side, Annie Georgina Walsh there are 2 generations born in England, herself all siblings and her father, Maurice, her mother Annie Dorrington Walsh was born in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland, died at only 37 years old when nan was about 7 years old.
Cause of death is not shown on death entry, this could only be found out by ordering a copy of the death certificate, having 8 children in 9 years may not have helped.
One thing I did learn from all this was never give up or be afraid to ask for help. At one point having sorted a line through Hills, Warwicks, Walshes I had almost given up tracing Captain David Webb. Then by pure luck I met a couple on holiday in Devon, the ladies name was Kim.
We started discussing ancestry and I mentioned the problems I was having tracking down our grandfather.
Kim asked for some details and said she would look into it, of course we all have things when we meet on holidays with the very best intentions, although they were a lovely couple and very helpful I did not set my hopes high.
Within a few days of getting home, Kim who worked in a government department, told me to wait for the 1911 census, due soon and told me the page to look for and a cut and pasted several lines from a hotel record showing Captain David Webb and our nan!
As we had hit a dead end I had no intention of paying out more money for the 1911 census.
Once the census came out I signed up and from that able to confirm nan and how she met her captain, sadly he was with his wife in the hotel.
When the divorce came about nan was named as the other woman.
Then another coincidence, I met a major Ian Mattison, again by chance.
Told him and within a week he had sent two photos of the Captain after he was removed from the army and re-enlisted as a private in the Grenadier Guards, he must get some credit for that.
He made his way to a sergeant, was injured and after the war stayed on for a while as an instructor in Wiltshire.
Sometimes helps come from the place you least expect it.
David John Webb