Telling family stories

I’ve been going through my family history stories, and her’s one I think I have shared here before… not about my family but my husband’s:

What a happy day it must have been in the spring of 1878, when twenty-five year old Catherine Colgate married William Thomas Dagnall! They were married in the parish of Godstone in Surrey, but they have been married in the church of St Mary the Virgin in Bletchingley, where Catherine’s family lived. William was a painter and decorator and had been born in London; Catherine does not appear on the 1871 census with her family so maybe she was working as a servant in London where she may have met him.
Three years after they were married they had moved to Doods Road in Reigate and had little one year old Catherine and newly born William Edward as well as William’s mother Margaret living with them. Little Catherine born in 1879 had the middle name of Colgate, obviously her mother was proud of her family name!
Names were important to the family, William got his middle name Thomas from his father who had died in 1873. As well as the family, there were two lodgers, brothers James and George Plowman from Worthing in Sussex. They were house painters too, so maybe worked with or for William. Maybe Margaret looked after the lodgers, or maybe she looked after the babies, but it was certainly a houseful!
In 1883 a new baby arrived in the Dagnall household, Margaret Cross and it is tempting to think Cross may have been grandma Margaret’s maiden name.
Little Margaret may have been greeted with even more joy because it is probable that William and Catherine lost a baby boy in 1882. Another new child arrived, Winifred Sarah in 1884; however her names seem to have no family connection. Another son may have been born in 1886, but little John Martin John died the following year, so the arrival of Henry Thomas, in 1889 may have salved some of the pain.  Henry was named for his Colgate grandfather and his uncle, and shared his father’s middle name.
The family were still living in Doods Road but Margaret was no longer with them, maybe she had died but there seems to be no record. The lodgers too have gone, which is just as well with a family of five children. There were other Dagnalls living in Reigate, so the little ones who died may have belonged to other families but knowing William and Catherine’s fondness for family names, they both had a brother called John and Catherine had a brother, Martin.
In 1901 the family do not appear in the census although young Catherine and Margaret do, they are now servants, Catherine in Redhill, Margaret in Wray Cross, Reigate. Maybe the rest of the family were away, is it possible they may have gone to Ireland? In 1911 they are at home still in Doods Road with their son William Junior who is a dairyman. Henry is living with his wife Esther in Redhill, he is now a coachman. Winifred is a parlour maid in Beulah Hill, Norwood, which has a connection with another Colgate, closer to home for me, my mother-in-law Dorothy, née Colgate gave birth to my husband there!

© Lois Elsden 2018

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