Raymond Sears and Jonathan Foster bring to life the history of Waltham abbey with their wide collection of publications.
Waltham Abbey Publications
are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing
is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"
is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers
some families, please is described as the magic word. In our
house, however, it was sorry.
all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors
dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling
chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies.
Nobody, who has not been in the interior
of a family, can say what the difficulties of any individual of
that family may be.
"The bond that links your true family
is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.
Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."
Lewis Family History
My Great Grandmother was Lily Isobella Lavinia Lewis and she was brought up in London and was belived to be one of twelve children to Robert William Thomas Lewis and Emily Abbott. I have been researching them now for about five years, in which now i have gathered quite a large amount of research on them.
My Research -The first thing i did when I started tracing back the Lewis Family was talk to any of the living family members that are left and who may of known anything about the Lewis family. I got the odd story,but nobody seemed to know much. My aunt Dolly told me what she remembered Lily telling her about her mum and dad (Robert and Emily) and her siblings. Lily was one of twelve girls and she had one brother, named after his father Robert Lewis and he was really tall. She told my aunt that one of her sisters married a German fellow, their may of been twins and the sister she was closest too the most was Edie known as Edith. So i took all this information and decided to see what i could find. My next step was going onto www.freebmd.org.uk and starting with what i know and finding the entry for Lilys birth. So i found it quite easily and ordered the certificate which took about three-four weeks coming in the post from the family records office in London. When I finally got my hands on the certificate I confirmed everything of Lily's birth, address at the time of birth, her parents and her fathers occupation. This Certificate was like a key that opened many doors and in this key it gave little clues on how to get to the next door.
After a few months I gained a few more certificates which included Robert William Thomas Lewis marriage to Emily Abbott in March 1980 Shorditch. From this led to Roberts parents. Joel Langdon Lewis and Hannah Highman Bailey who I found on the 1861 and 1871 census with Robert in Bristol area. Looking at these both census's they must of had about ten - twelve children and the sad thing was that a few of them from the 61 census never made the 71 census. It must of been really hard back then for families and yet Ii hate to imagine what it was like to loose a child and then another. But sadley this happened quite often due to disease or lack of nutrition. I suppose you could say although we have other problems today we have a better chance of survival and nutrition.
On the 1881 Census, Emily and Robert are living in 72 Butterland Street,Hoxton New Town, London, along with their first born child Emily named after her mother who was born in 1880. Also living with them were two logers Eliza Stanford born around 1808 in Halstead, Essex and Emily Armstrong born in London around 1858 and her occupation is a school teacher.
On the 1891 census (ten years later) i found Robert and Emily living in Walthamstow with new additions to the family. Their daughter Emily is on the census along with her sister Margaret Sarah Ellen Lewis born 1886 in London, then Edith Lewis who appears to be the only sibling given just one name. Edith was born in 1888 also in London. Then they have the last sibling on the census Alice Amelia Bailey Lewis born 1890 in Walthamstow Essex. "Bailey" being handed down from her grandmothers maiden name (Hannah Highman Bailey). The Lewis family are living at 24 Arkley Road in Walthamstow which I have looked up and I believe still remains to this day. On Alice's birth certificate in 1890 it shows that before they moved to Arkley Road they were living at 3 Gamuel Road. I believe today Gamuel Close is what used to once be Gamuel Road. Gamuel Close was also named after Thomas Gamuel, which now stands Thomas Gamuel Primary School in Walthamstow. Im not sure how long my Lewis family actually lived in Walthamstow all I can say is they had two children there what I have evidence for. The other was a son named after his father Robert Lewis and he was born after the 1891 census in 1892.
As for the 1901 census, I can't seem to find this family at all on there. I have tried doing searches using different spellings and areas and using larger year spans for their ages, but so far after all this time im just convienced that they are not on the 1901 census. I knew that they ended up moving back to Shoreditch because thats where my great granmother was born and the 1911 census confirmed this. In 1911 the mother Emily is not on the census, but it shows Robert their son, my great grandmother Lily, Nellie and youngest sister Rose on there. The 1911 census was wrote by the head of the house, so in this case it would of been the hand of the father Robert Lewis and he has put that he had twelve children in total, eight alive and four dead. Im yet to still find the names of the four other children.