Tuesday, 7 February 2017

RootsTech 2017 - Live Streaming Schedule - GMT times

Live stream schedule


Missed a session - click on the relevant day below to access the RootsTech streaming archive


Wednesday GMT
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.  |  Innovator Summit General Session
Speakers: Steve Rockwood, Liz Wiseman
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
10:15 a.m.–11:15 a.m.  |  Industry Trends and Outlook
Speakers: Craig Bott and Guest Panel
5:15 pm – 6:15 pm
11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.  |  Innovation—Best Practices and Applications
Speaker: Cydni Tetro
6:30 pm – 7:00 pm
8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.  | RootsTech General Session
Speakers: Steve Rockwood, Jonathan and Drew Scott
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.  | Getting Started in Genealogy
Speaker: Kelli Bergheimer
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.  | DNA: The Glue That Holds Families Together
Speaker: Diahan Southard
7:15 pm – 8:15 pm
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.  | DNA Matching on MyHeritage
Speaker: Dana Drutman
8:30 pm – 9:30 pm
3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.  | Jewish Genealogy: Where to Look and What’s Available
Speaker: Lara Diamond
10:00 pm – 11:00 pm
4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.  | Family History Is Anything but Boring
Speakers: Crystal Farish and Rhonna Farrer
11:30 pm – 12:30 pm
8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.  | RootsTech General Session
Speakers: Levar Burton,  Special Guest Panel
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.  | RootsTech Innovator Showdown Finals 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.  | Mothers, Daughters, Wives: tracing Female Lines
Speaker: Judy Russell
7:15 pm – 8:15 pm
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.  | Censational Census Strategies
Speaker: Mary Kircher Roddy
8:30 pm – 9:30 pm
3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.  | Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, findmypast, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage
Speaker: Sunny Morton
10:00 pm – 11:00 pm
4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.  | Cross the Atlantic with Religious Records
Speaker: Jen Baldwin
11:30 pm – 12:30 pm
8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.  | RootsTech General Session
Speakers: Cece Moore, Buddy Valastro
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.  | Journaling Principles That Work
Speaker: Steve Reed
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.  | Don’t Just Be a Searcher, Be a Researcher
Speaker: Crista Cowan
8:30 pm – 9:30 pm
3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.  | Creating Google Alerts for Your Genealogy
Speaker: Katherine R. Wilson
10:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Sunday, 1 January 2017

My Fairbairn Family

This is an essay I did back in 2001 when I was doing an introduction to family history course via the University of Birmingham.  

The task was:

A 3,000 word-equivalent project with charts, pedigrees and diagrams as appropriate, producing an outline family history from the collection and management of relevant material.

This was in the days when you had to go to libraries and record offices to scroll through microfiche and microfilm until you found what you were looking for.  This, however, is just the narrative minus the charts, etc.

My Fairbairn Family

My Nan was born on New Year's Day 1920. She knew very little about her family. She knew her elder sister, Lucy, her younger sister, Winnie and her half sister, Irene. She knew about her sister, Ida, and her brother, Jimmy, both of whom had died young. Nan knew her father's name was James Southall but she had no recollection of him as he had died when she was only two and a half years old. She remembered her mother, Emily Fairbairn, and recalled that she had been known as Pem. Her mother had died when she was young and the family had been split up. She also mentioned an Aunt Kate and an Aunt Hannah. I had successfully traced the Southall line back to Nan's great grandfather, Joseph Southall in Tipton, Staffordshire. However, it was the Fairbairn line that was intriguing as nothing was known about them.

This is the limited information I had to start with. The marriage certificate for James and Emily had already been obtained in order to trace the Southall line. Emily Fairbairn had been 19 when she married James on 10 December 1906 at St Michael's & All Angels, Smethwick. (Emily must have been about six months pregnant when she got married as Lucy was born 21 March 1907). James and Emily were both shown as living at 84 Regent Street, Smethwick and Emily's father stated to be Alfred Fairbairn, Moulder. From this information, it was calculated that her date of birth would be c1887. A copy of her death certificate was obtained. She had died Emily Gittins (wife of Reginald Gittins, her second husband) on 4 August 1930 aged 41. This made her date of birth c1889. A search was made of the General Register Office (GRO) indexes for birth's from 1885-1890. The only reference to be found for an Emily Fairbairn was in June Quarter 1887. There was also a reference to a Kate Fairbairn in September Quarter 1885. Aunt Kate? Both had been registered in Sculocates. A request was sent off to Sculocates for the certificate for Emily Fairbairn to be sent ONLY if the father was listed as Alfred. A 'phone call was received from the Register Office to advise that the father's name was not Alfred but John.

The 1881 Census index had been checked for an Alfred Fairbairn. A 20 year old Alfred had been found to be living at Oldbury Road, Smethwick, with father, Robert, sister, Maria and a child, Herbert. No connection could yet be made between this Alfred and Emily.

Irene, Nan's half sister had managed to maintain contact with family members. Nan had not had this opportunity as she had been farmed out to distance relatives of her father's when her mother died. Contact was made with a cousin, Kate. Kate had been born to Kate Phipps nee Fairbairn, Emily's sister. Kate was interviewed and from the information she gave, a basic family tree was drawn up. Apart from her mother, Kate, she had Aunts Emily and Ethel, Uncles Samuel and Arthur. Another search was made of the GRO index for birth's in case something had been missed. This time the search covered 1881-1897 and a note was taken of all the Fairbairns (and name variants) registered in Kings Norton, West Bromwich, Aston and Birmingham. There was only 16 references. Included in these names were Kate, Samuel Alfred, Arthur Albert and Ethel May, all registered in Kings Norton. But no Emily. However, there was an Emma Fairbairn, Kings Norton. This had to be Emily! A request was sent off, again stating that the certificate should only be provided if the father's name was Alfred. At last a certificate arrived. Emily had been born Emma Fairbairn on 19 July 1888 at 193 Bearwood Road, Smethwick to Alfred Fairbairn and Selina Povey. Church records were checked to find the baptisms. All five baptism's took place at Holy Trinity, Smethwick between 15 April 1886 and 13 May 1897.

Although the census records for 1891 were fully indexed for this area my Fairbairn family could not be found. A search was made of the properties in Bearwood Road and the family were found at 193. Alfred FIRBIN was living with his wife, Selina, daughters, Kate and Emma and son, Alfred. The head of the household was Kate Povey. The census showed that Alfred was 30 years old and born in West Bromwich. The 1881 census mentioned earlier had shown a 20 year old Alfred who was also born in West Bromwich. Given the rarity of the Fairbairn name in this area, Alfred could be one in the same.

A search was made of local churches for the marriage of Alfred Fairbairn and Selina Povey. Kate had been registered in September Quarter 1885 but baptised Keziah on 15 April 1886 at Holy Trinity. The dates gave a starting point. The marriage certificate for Alfred and Selina was found in the church records for Old Church, Smethwick and showed that they were married on 1 November 1885. The birth certificate for Kate has been requested from both Sandwell Register Office and Birmingham Register Office but the correct certificate has not yet been located. This was requested in order to prove that she was born before her parents marriage. The marriage certificate stated that Alfred's father was Robert, glass maker. Again, cross referencing with different records confirmed that the 1881 census did indeed show Emily's father, Alfred.

The 1861 census index held by Sandwell Community History and Archives Services at Smethwick Library was checked for West Bromwich as this is where Alfred stated he had been born. The family were found living at Parliament Street in Holy Trinity Parish. The record showed Robert, 32, glass maker, his wife, Mary, also 32 and children, Eliza, Emma, Maria and Alfred.

A search was made of the GRO index for births for Alfred's Birth and a copy of his certificate was obtained from West Bromwich Register Office. Alfred Robert was born 23 August 1860 at Parliament Street to Robert Fairbairn and Mary Thompson.

The census indexes were checked for 1871, 1851 and 1841. The 1871 census shows Robert living with daughter, Elinor, 19 and son Alfred, 10 at 15 Oldbury Road, Smethwick. Since Eliza is 9 on the 1861 census and Elinor is 19 on the 1871 and with Emma/Emily and Kate/Kesiah name changes it makes one feel that Eliza and Elinor are the same person. There was no trace of Robert and Mary in the 1851 census index. The 1841 census shows a Robert Fairburn aged 11, glass maker, living with Robert, 65, glass maker, Mary, 45, James, 15 and Mary Ann, 8. Assumptions have to be made about family relationships as this is not recorded on the 1841 census and will need to be proved or disproved by the use of other records.

Researching my Fairbairn family has been a valuable lesson in name variants (Emma/Emily, Kate/Keziah, Elinor/Eliza) and variations in spelling (Fairbairn, Fairburn, Firbin, Fairbain, Fairbaine, etc). It is important to have an open mind and 'think outside the box' when it comes to researching ones family. What would they have done then, without the knowledge we now take for granted?

A search for the marriage certificate of Robert Fairbairn and Mary Thompson was made in the local church records. Assuming that Eliza/Elinor was the oldest child, the starting point for the search would be c1852. The marriage was found to have taken place at West Bromwich Parish Church, All Saints, on 4 September 1850. Robert had been a 20 year old glass maker whose father, Robert, was also a glass maker. One of the witnesses was Mary Ann Fairbairn. This tied up with the names on the 1841 census.

A check was made in the 1851 census index for Robert's father and the other members of his family as shown on the 1841 census. No trace could be found for Robert, snr, however, his widow Mary was living as a housekeeper with her daughter Mary Ann at Spon Lane. James was living with his wife, Hannah and his children James and Samuel at Bowater Street, West Bromwich. References to James and his family and descendants have been found for the 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 census and it shows that they lived for all those years at 21 Hawthorn Street.

The International Genealogical Index (IGI) was checked for references to the Fairbairns in Staffordshire. It showed the christening of Eleanor (14 May 1827) and James (24 September 1825) both to Robert and Mary at West Bromwich Mare's Green Independent. The original source was checked on a visit to the Public Record Office (PRO), Kew. A copy was taken which showed James had been born on 24 August 1825 and Eleanor on 18 April 1827. No references to the other children were found in these records. The visit to Kew was also an opportunity to check the non conformist records for the baptisms of Alfred and his siblings as these had not been found in the Church of England records in the area. The records for the Wesleyan-Methodist Chapel of West Bromwich showed that, on 26 September 1860, Alfred Robert had been christened along with Maria. The next entry was for 24 October 1860 and showed Eleanor Mary along with sister Emma. The address given for them all was Spon Lane.

The IGI also showed a reference to a marriage of a Robert Fairbairn to Ann Sadler at Smethwick on 22 May 1816. The original source was checked and a transcript taken for future reference. Interestingly, Robert was shown as a widower.

A reference to the marriage of a Robert FAIRBAIN to a Mary Parish was found. A transcription was taken from the original records which showed that they had married at St Mary, Handsworth on 5 September 1824. It is felt that this is Robert and Mary, parents of Robert and grandparents of Alfred. Unfortunately, the certificate did not indicate if Robert was a widower. Robert is c53 years old when he marries 27 year old Mary. An assumption could be made that this is not his first marriage. Is it possible that his previous wife was Ann Sadler as he would have been 45 years old at that marriage. It states on it that Robert was a widower. Was Ann Sadler the second wife and Mary Parish the third? This is to be investigated further using burial records as a starting point. An application was made to the Staffordshire Burial Index held by the Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry. A reply has been received but unfortunately, there are no Fairbairn's (and variants) shown in the index for the whole of Staffordshire! It had been hoped to be able to compare the signatures on the two marriage certificates but it looks as though the certificate for the marriage to Mary Parish has been written out by one person and the wedding party just put their X. This could mean that Robert who married Mary could not write but it could also be that the priest just didn't give them the opportunity to do so.

There were limited references to Fairbairns in the area. It was decide to collect every reference to be found and make family trees up even if they did not belong to the family being investigated. To get off to a good start the Will Indexes were checked for all Fairbairns (and variants) from 1858 to 1948. Wills can offer a fascinating insight into family and the relationships. Wills that have been proved in Birmingham during this period can be found in Archives at Birmingham Central Library. For Wills that have been proved at Lichfield a trip was necessary to Lichfield Record Office. Wills after this date are still held by the relevant Probate Office and the cost of viewing them is prohibitive for this kind of study. Basic family trees can often be drawn up and built upon later as other references come along. In conjunction with this, the GRO death indexes were also checked from the beginning of civil registration 1837 until 1950, so far. When a reference was found for a Fairbairn that had died in Smethwick, Smethwick Cemetery Records for that quarter were checked. When successful this gave the name of the person to be buried, age, address, date of burial, who did the service, place of burial and whether consecrated ground or not. For later burials the Electoral Rolls where checked to establish who had lived in that property and for how long. A letter has yet to be sent to Bereavement Services at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council to find out who else was buried in the graves and the exact location so that a visit can be made to the cemetery. The information on family relationships taken from the wills and added information from the GRO Death Index, cemetery records and electoral records have been used in conjunction with the census records to draw up basic (sometimes detailed) family trees. The results of this research showed that apart from my Staffordshire glass making family, there were four other families in the area. The most detailed of the families was the bakers of Birmingham which descend from Ralph Fairbairn who was born in Scotland c1810. There were the 'engineers' of Staffordshire who descended from Thomas Fairbairn born c1832. The family of Richard Fairbairns born c1819 in Poplar, Mid, a stock and share broker of Birmingham. And finally there was the Wesleyan Minister family of James Parkinson Fairbourn who went from Lancashire to Staffordshire to Cheshire. It has been useful to have a note of these families so that when a reference is found for someone new it is easier to eliminate them from my own family. It is also to be wondered if one or more of these families is in fact connected to the glass makers. Robert born c 1771 was, according to the 1841 Census, born outside the county. Could he be related in some way to the baker, Ralph Fairbairn born in Scotland in c1810. Robert had four children with Mary, his first when he is 54 years old! It has been suggested that Mary is his third wife. How many children could he have had with his first and second wives if this turns out to be the case? Is Ralph Fairbairn his son? These ideas are to be investigated further.

It has been shown that by 1851 Mary was a widow so Robert must have died between 1841 and 1851. The GRO death indexes had been searched and a certificate was obtained. Robert FAIRBAINE had died on 9 November 1846 at Spon Lane aged 75 years. The cause of death being Disease of the Heart. The informant was Robert Fairbaine who had been in attendance at the death. Being 'in attendance' usually meant that the person had been attending to the person during their illness but had not been present at the death.

Three other death certificates were obtain as a result of the search of the GRO death indexes. The first was Robert Fairbairn who had been in attendance at his own father's death 58 years earlier. Robert FAIRBURN had died on 20 July 1904. He too had been 75 years old when he died. The cause of death had been Senile Gangrene and he had died at 81 Corbett Street. The resident of 81 Corbett Street had been Sarah Maltilda Hall who was the informant and had been present at the death. It is not known what her connection is and this is to be investigated.

The other two death certificates were for Alfred and Selina. Selina had died some months before her father in law, Robert. Selina Fairbairn nee Povey had died on 25 October 1903 at the Workhouse Infirmary, Selly Oak. She was just 38 years old and the cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis. Although she is list as the wife of Alfred Fairbairn, a labourer of Smethwick the death was registered by the Steward of the Workhouse Infirmary. According to Smethwick Cemetery Records, Selina was buried on 31 October 1903. The address stated is Workhouse Infirmary but underneath is written 154 Gilbert Road. The electoral roll was checked for this address. The resident of 154 Gilbert Road was Emmanuel Thompson, her sister's husband.

Alfred's death certificate showed that he had died on 13 September 1937 at 1a Raddlebarn Road, Selly Oak, a euphemism for the hospital. He had lived slightly longer than his father and grandfather and had made it to 77 years. His occupation was given as 'of no fixed abode formally an iron moulder'. His son S(amuel) Fairbairn of 16 Lones Road, Smethwick had registered the death. Unlike his wife, Selina, he was buried in a paupers' grave at Lodge Hill Cemetery on 16 September 1937.

Nan would have been 17 years old when her grandfather died and yet she did not even know his name or that he existed.

Robert lost his father, Robert, when he was 16 years old. Emma had lost her mother, Selina, when she was 15 years old. Nan lost her father when she was 2 and half and her mother when she was 10. It is not surprising, then, that family information has not been preserved.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Mr Farr, Tamworth Carrier (c1649-1770)

Strange things you find when searching the newspapers on Find My Past.

February 13, 1770

DIED. At Birmingham, aged 121, Mr Farr, Tamworth Carrier, who had twenty-one children, nineteen of whom were married. He had in the whole, children, grand-children, and great grand children, to the amount of 144 ; but what is remarkable, he out-lived all his numerous posterity, and has left 10,000l. to charitable uses.

Monday, 28 March 2016

My Five Generation Birth Place Chart

It looks like the idea came from here originally. I decide to join in when I saw people Tweeting theirs.







Limerick, Ireland

Limerick, Ireland
Birmingham, England
Limerick, Ireland





London, England

Birmingham, England
Lancashire, England

London, England

Birmingham, England
Birmingham, England

West Bromwich, England

Tipton, England

Great Bridge, England

Smethwick, England
Caynham, England

West Bromwich, England

Smethwick, England

Smethwick, England

Nan of the Clod (c1674 - 1774)

Strange things you find when searching the newspapers on Find My Past.

Leeds Intelligencer 

July 12, 1774


A woman, at Hanworth-heath, near Birmingham, known in that part of the country for upwards of seventy years by the name of Nan of the Clod : She was near 100 years old, and left about 1300l. which she acquired by her extraordinary skill in the occult science of Fortune-telling.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Birth of the Rose - The Jennings family - Hereford

("The Birth of the Rose" engraved by T.W.Knight after a sculpture by B.Jennings, published in the Art Journal, 1850. Steel engraved antique print. Size 10 x 25 cms including title, plus margins. Ref F3428 - credited, with great appreciation, ancestryimages.com and antiqueprints.com)

Benjamin Jennings was born about 1788 in St Nicholas, Herefordshire, England. On 27 April 1815 when Benjamin was about 27 years old, he married Mary Pritchard, daughter of William Pritchard, in Hereford, Herefordshire, England. They went on to have four known children.
  • Ann was born between 1812–1817 in St Johns, Herefordshire, England. 
  • Benjamin was born about 1818 . He died on 26 May 1859 in Pimlico, Middlesex, England. 
  • Mary Anne was born about 1821 in Herefordshire, England. On 29 June 1848 Mary married Thomas Bean. 
  • William was born about 1822 in St Johns, Herefordshire, England. 

Here follows some snippets from the newspapers of the time touching on the life of the Jennings family and the Birth of the Rose.  (All can be found on Find My Past)

Hereford Times 08 January 1848

A memorial tablet, executed by Mr. Jennings, sculptor, Hereford, in fine Carrara and black marble, was last week erected in the Abbey Church, to the memory of the late lamented John James, Esq. The inscription was as follows : " In memory of John James, Esq., of Presteign, in the county of Radnor, who died 11th August, 1847, in the 45th year of his age, and was interred in the family burying ground, on the south-east side of this church."—" Into thine hand I commit my spirit ; thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of Truth.” Psalm xxxi., 5,— B. Jennings Sculptor, Hereford.

Hereford Journal 05 July 1848
June 29, at St. Nicholas church, by the Rev. Thos. Gretton, M.A., Mr. Thomas Bean, of Burghill, to Mary Anne, youngest daughter of Mr. Benjamin Jennings, of this city, statuary.

Hereford Journal 05 June 1850

MR. BENJAMIN JENNINGS. - It is with very sincere pleasure we copy the following remarks from the Art Journal of the present month, noticing the “Cupid” of our talented fellow townsman, in the Sculpture-room of the Royal Academy. Most heartily do we coincide in the concluding prediction, and we are sure our readers will hail with much delight that rapid ascent in public estimation which the taste and masterly execution of Mr. Jennings will doubtless ensure :- “No. 1340. 'Cupid – the Birth of the Rose, B. JENNINGS.' A small figure holding a rose in the left hand ; there is much spirit and classical feeling in the work, which is altogether charming ; it is, we believe, the production of a young sculptor who has been studying in Rome ; we may safely predict his future fame.”

Hereford Journal 19 March 1851

17, Lower Eaton-street, Grosvenor-place, London, March 15, 1851

SIR. - Though not residing in my native city, everything connected with it excites in me the deepest interest, and I have not been unmindful of the steps taken by many of my fellow-citizens to perpetuate the memory of that excellent man, the late J. Bailey, Esq., in testimony of this worth and their appreciation of his services as their representative. I flatter myself that my reputation as a sculptor is not altogether unknown in Hereford. During my long residence in Paris and Rome and hope that one day my talents might be honourably recognised in the place of my birth stimulated my zeal and cheered me on in my efforts to excel ; and I can refer to those specimens of art executed by myself which were placed in the last year's Exhibition at the Royal Academy ; and as proofs that my efforts have not been altogether unsuccessful, I may mention that in addition to testimonials from some of the first sculptors of the age, the proprietors of the Art Journal did me the honour of engraving one of my works for their beautiful periodical.

Should the subscribers decide upon erecting a statue of the late Mr. Bailey as the most appropriate form of memorial, I beg respectfully to make a tender of my services without any view of pecuniary emolument, but solely from a desire to execute a work of art which may not discredit Hereford as the production of one of her own sons, and which at the same time may connect my name with my native city in a manner most grateful to a young artist.

I may be allowed to observe that a statue would afford an opportunity not only of representing to his constituents and admirers the form and figure of their departed representative and friend as he stood before them, but also of recording, by action, emblematical representations, and inscriptions, the many claims which Mr. Bailey had to public gratitude by his zealous patronage of everything likely to promote the public prosperity. Should the subscribers accept my offer I shall most anxiously exert myself to produce a work worthy of the occasion.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Hereford Times 27 September 1851

25, after a long and severe affliction, Mary Ann, the beloved wife of Mr. Benjamin Jennings, sculptor, &c., King-street, second and last surviving daughter of the late Mr. William Pritchard, of Wye Bridge-street, in this city.

(also in the Hereford Journal 01 October 1851)

Hereford Times 18 September 1852

PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION PRIZE MEDALS, CERTIFICATES, &c. The presentation of the prize-medals, certificates, service medals, &c., awarded by the Royal Commissioners of the Great Exhibition of 1851 to the successful exhibitors and other persons connected with this county, took place yesterday (Friday) afternoon, in the Music-rooms of the Shire-hall, in the presence of a very large and fashionable company. Thomas Evans, Esq., of Sufton Court, who filled the office of Mayor of Hereford in 18S1, presided, and we also noticed present, the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, Mrs. Hampden and family ; Lady Emily Foley, Lord Wm. Graham, Sir Henry end Lady Lambert, the Misses Lambert, and family ; the Right Hon. Lord Bateman ; Lord Rodney ; the Right Hon. and Rev. Lord Saye and Sele, and family ; Sir Robert and Lady Price ; T. W. Booker, Esq., M.P.; H. M. Clifford, Esq., M.P. ; J. K. King, Esq., M.P., and lady ; the Hon. Arthur Hanbury ; the Ven. Archdeacon and Mrs. Lane Freer ; the Very Rev. the Dean of Hereford and Mrs. Dawes ; Rev. Canon Morgan ; Rev. Canon Musgrave ; Rev. J. Hopton ; J. Jay Esq., Mrs. and the Misses Jay ; J. C. Symons, Esq. ; Rev. E. Howells ; R. Johnson, Esq., Secretary to the Committee ; Rev. H. Morgan ; Rev. Napleton Penoyre and lady ; G. Croose, Esq., and Miss Croose ; the Mayor of Hereford, E. Weymss, Esq., and lady ; C. G. Jones, Esq. ; John Cleave, Esq. ; Rev. E. B. Hawkshaw ; Rev. J. Phillips, Ludlow ; Rev. W. Poole ; E Pritchard, Esq., Mrs. and Miss Pritchard ; Dr. E. Morris ; Dr. Lingen ; Dr. Bull ; Dr. Gilliland ; W. Bullock, Esq. ; M. J. Scobie, Esq. ; Rev. J Goss ; J. Gwillim, Esq. ; C. Spozzi, Esq., and Mrs. Spozzi ; Capt. Napleton, &c., &c. The President and the other speakers, several members of the Committee, and the recipients of the medals who were present – viz., Mr. B. Jennings, jun., Mr. B. Jennings, sen., Mr. Geo. Gill, and Mr. D. Jones, of Hay,- occupied the orchestra. The certificates, in plain gilded frame handsomely-bound volumes of the "Awards of the Jurors,” and the medals., enclosed in Morocco cases were placed upon a table ; and the beautiful statue, The Birth of the Rose," from the studio of our fellow-citizen, Mr Benjamin Jennings., jun., — which had been brought from London purposely for the occasion - formed a prominent object on the ground floor near the orchestra. This exquisite work of art - to which the Royal Commissioners awarded a prize medal — is so well-known as having formed one of the most attractive objects in statuary department of the Exhibition, that we need not now further allude to it, except to notice that its exhibition in the native city of the artist, when a covering was removed from it by Mr. Jennings at the commencement of the proceedings, was hailed with rapturous and prolonged applause. The CHAIRMAN rose and said that the object of the meeting was to present the medals and prizes awarded by the Royal Commissioners at the Great Exhibition of 1851 ; and in obedience to a suggestion of the Commissioners, they were assembled upon that occasion in order that the presentation should take place in this locality, instead of being sent by the ordinary mode of conveyance, viz., by railway packet, as had perhaps been done in some other localities. The Commissioners having expressed a wish that the proceedings in connexion with the Exhibition should be concluded, as far as possible, by the parties with whom they had been in communication throughout, he occupied the chair on that occasion instead of the present worthy Mayor of the city, who had honoured the meeting by attending in his robes. The Chairman went on to refer to the first meeting which was held in this city, in October, 1849 to receive the suggestion of his Royal Highness Prince Albert relative to the Exhibition. Upon that occasion the meeting was attended by the Bishop of Hereford, Sir Robert Price, George C. Lewis, Esq., Colonel Clifford, the Rev. Canon Musgrave, Rev. A. Clive, Rev. R. L. Freer, Rev. Dr. Symons, and many other gentlemen of this locality. He read from the Hereford Times an account of the proceedings which took place at that meeting, remarking that some might think the Great Exhibition was a thing gone by – but not so with Mr. Jennings, Lieut. Rhind, and other exhibitors of works of art and of usefulness ; to them it was a matter of no ordinary interest to know that their works had been appreciated by, and stamped with the approbation of, the Royal Commissioners. Among the extracts read by the Chairman, was the statement of Mr. Fuller – who attended the meeting of October 1849, to explain the object of Prince Albert – respecting his visit to the studio of Mr. Jennings jun., and his prediction, from having there seen a piece of sculpture of very great excellence, that, “if not before 1851, he felt certain that by means of the Exhibition then to be held, Mr. Jennings would attain deserved eminence ; that he would ultimately, if he lived, become a great artist – a man of whom Hereford would have reason to be proud.” The meeting, he (the Chairman)was sure, would be delighted with the fact that Mr. Fuller had been a true prophet. (Applause.) Mr. Fuller had further said “This city had also the honour of counting among its inhabitants Mr. Wright, the inventor of percussion powder, a gentleman to whom the world was deeply indebted.” (Hear.) He was glad to say that in this immediate locality all sects and classes most heartily concurred in forwarding the objects of the Prince. The local committee met, and amongst other exhibitors there were Mr. John Collins, of Leominster ; Mr. George Gill, of Ludlow, late of Hereford ; Mr. B. Griffin, a tailor ; Mr. B Jennings, Sen. ; Mr. B. Jennings, jun. ; Mr. D. Jones, of Hay ; and Mr. James Whitney, of Colver-hill. As might have been expected, all the exhibitors could not win prizes ; but it was very gratifying to know that, out of so small a number, two had had prize medals awarded to them. (Hear, hear.) He might say that Mr. Jennings was the youngest artist to whom a prize medal had been awarded by the Royal Commissioners. (Applause.) He next referred to the desire of the local committee to promote, as far as possible, pleasure trips to town during the Exhibition, and quoted an extract from a letter published by Dr. E. Morris, to the effect that the principle on which the Great Exhibition was conceived and founded was “Peace on earth, good-will towards men,” and that it was calculated to promote the best interests of man. There were three classes of persons to whom medals were to be awarded – first, prize medals and certificates to Mr. Jennings and Lieut. Rhind ; 2nd, medals to exhibitors who had not been quite so successful as these two gentlemen, but who he hoped would have an opportunity of trying again, and that they would be more successful ; 3rd and lastly, there were medals and certificates to be presented to those who were supposed to have rendered service to the Royal Commissioners of 1851. He made use of the word “supposed,” because he was told that one of the service medals was intended for him : in his own mind, however, he had done nothing at all to deserve it. After stating that Sir Robert Price would present the medal to Mr. Jennings, the Bishop that awarded to Lieut. Rhind, - whose invention, it was thought, was more suited for an address from a minister of the Gospel – the Chairman briefly stated the object and principles of Lieut. Rhind's invention, a safety-raft of simple and ready construction by desk-seats, &c. He next noticed a circular issued by the Hon. Sec. to the Local Committee respecting Mr. Jennings' statue, in which it is stated that Mr. Jennings is “the only provincial artist who obtained that honour (a prize medal), and ranking as one of ten so distinguished in the United Kingdom, and one of 27 from the whole world.” - It then proceeds :- “The honour conferred through him (the sculptor) upon this county of Hereford has excited a feeling that a work so beautiful ought not to be lost to the place where the sculptor was born. It is, therefore, proposed that it should be purchased by subscription, and placed in one of the public buildings of Hereford, to be preserved, not only as a work of art, but also as an incentive to other young men of Herefordshire to aim at distinction in the higher branches of art.” Now Mr. Jennings was not simply the “only provincial artist,” but as he had said, he was also the youngest artist to whom a medal had been presented. What, then, had they to hope for in so talented a fellow-citizen? (Applause.) To carry out the object alluded to in the circular, he was glad to say that the Hon. Secretary (R. Johnson, Esq.) had opened a subscription of Herefordshire ladies and gentlemen. He hoped that this intention would be carried out, and that the beautiful figure would be placed in that room as a lasting monument of what a Herefordshire man had done. (Applause.) After enumerating the names of the gentlemen who had served upon the Local Committee, and alluding to the circumstances of Mr. Jennings having at his (the Chairman's) request incurred the risk of bringing the statue to Hereford – for which all must feel much indebted – (hear, hear) – he complimented the modesty (a general characteristic of merit) which particularly distinguished Mr. Jennings, who had been reluctant to exhibit his “Cupid” at the Exhibition but, as his figure of “Caractacus” would not have been ready in time, Sir R. Price had urged him to try his luck with the “Cupid.” (Hear, hear.) The meeting knew the success which was the result. After some humorous remarks upon the difficulty which he felt in addressing a meeting graced by so large an assemblage of the rank and beauty of the county, the worthy Chairman called upon Sir Robt. Price to present the medal, &c., to Mr. Jennings. Sir ROBERT PRICE, after some introductory observations, said he did not quite agree with the worthy Chairman in all the reasons which had been assigned why he should first address the meeting in presenting these testimonials ; but he certainly could not resist the request which had been made to him to present a testimonial to a young man who had done great credit to himself and honour to his county. (Cheers.) One reason why the task was assigned to him was, that he was a Local Commissioner, and, unfortunately, the only one present—his hon. col-leagues, Mr. Wegg-Prosser and Mr. Chandos Wren Hoskyns, being both absent. As a local commissioner, his office had been a siuecure ; though he had attended a good deal locally, and had assisted as far as he could to bring the Great Exhibition to a satisfactory conclusion. ([Hear, hear.) From the very beginning, he thought well of this undertaking, There were many, however, who had the most absurd fears respecting it. Some gentleman in London had told him that the Metropolis would be inundated with foreigners of the worst description ; and that our people would imbibe bad notions, and become disloyal to the Queen. He did not agree in these anticipations, nor had they been realized. The success of the magnificent under-taking had been most perfect, and had clearly shown that in art-; and industry England can compete with the world. (Applause.) He confessed that he entertained doubts as to what an agricultural district like Hereford could send to the Exhibition that would gain distinction; but Mr. Jennings had removed all doubt and difficulty, for he had shown that, in the higher department of art, Herefordshire can take a rank equal to any county in England, or to any part of the world. The hon. Baronet went on to say that perhaps, as one of the representatives of the city, and at the Chief Steward — thus representing the feelings of the city generally and of the Corporation — he might be fitly selected to present this testimonial to Mr. Jennings —a son of a worthy citizen of Hereford, who had done honour to himself, in sparing no expense in sending his son to Italy for the improvement and development of his talent and genius. He thought that Mr. Jennings the father deserved great credit. (Applause.) After some further appropriate remarks upon this subject, which were warmly applauded, Sir Robert expressed his opinion that Mr. Jennings, jun., ought to have something more than a medal and a book presented to him : he ought to have a more substantial reward for his talent and labour. (Hear,hear.) He had been in hopes that some lover of the fine arts, who possessed plenty of money, would have purchased Mr. Jennings beautiful statue. With this view he had mentioned it to some noblemen and gentlemen, but in one case a recent purchase, and in others some other cause, prevented a compliance with his wishes. He (Sir Robt. Price) now, however, fully agreed in the suggestion that they should keep this monument in the county : this would be the best reward they could give Mr. Jennings, and the greatest honour they could do themselves. (Applause.) After noticing the work of Mr. Lucy, now on exhibition at Mr. Head's, bookseller, in this city, and remarking incidentally that pictures were not admitted to the Exhibition, or Hereford might have gained honour through this distinguished artist, Sir Robert concluded by saying that he was sure they would all agree that Mr. Jennings was eminently deserving of the rewards which were now to be presented to him. (Hear, hear.) He cordially wished him success in every future effort, and hoped the time would come when he would be able to distinguish himself above all his compeers both in this country and on the continent. The hon. Baronet then presented Mr. Jennings with a prize-medal, a certificate, and a copy of the Awards of the Jurors. Mr.JENNINGS essayed to return thanks, but his emotions were too powerful for him to struggle against, and his words fell almost soundless from his lips. We merely caught an expression of gratification at receiving the testimonial, and a hope that it might be an incentive to himself to persevere in his profession, as well as to other young men. 

See the rest of the article via the above  link and it is also reported here Hereford Journal 22 September 1852

Hereford Times 10 December 1853

An extract

...That Herefordshire is not deficient in intellectual capabilities, was evidenced at the Banquet by the noblest of the adornments of the hall. Mr. Jennings' beautiful figure of "Cupid, or the Birth of the Rose," which attracted all eyes, and which attained for its sculptor the high honour of being one of the sixteen British sculptors to whom medals were awarded at the Great Competition of the World, gave significant evidence that the sculptor's native county is capable of producing genius as well as material wealth. We were glad to perceive, among the company, the author of a work which has shed so much honour on Herefordshire, although we could not help, at the same time, feeling ashamed that the subscription to purchase that beautiful figure is still greatly deficient. Had any of the distinguished strangers, who on that day admired the figure, been only aware of this discreditable fact, Herefordshire would probably have come in for a sharp reproof amid the host of congratulatory kindnesses ; and perhaps the reproof would have done as much good as the gratulations... 



A beautiful monument, from the studio of Benjamin Jennings, Esq., sculptor, London, has just been erected in the Parish Church, Kirkby Lonsdale, to the memory of the late William Thompson, Esq., of Underley Hall. The design is purely Grecian, and the tablet is supported by two brackets richly carved in imitation of Acanthus leave The centre of the base contains the coat of arms, on each side of which is a massive pillar ornamented with an entwined Poppy, the emblem of Sleep. Over the base is an Abacus supported by a rich moulding. The centre consists of a large plain slab bearing the following inscription : — 


To the Memory of


Of Underley Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale, 
M.P. For the County of Westmorland,
Alderman of the City of London.
Died 10th March, 1854, 
Aged 61 Years.”

The entablature is ornamented with several mouldings, are the whole is surmounted by a rich scroll bearing an Acanthus leaf, over which a drapery is carelessly thrown, falling down the sides to the lower Abacus in massive folds, an urn being introduced by the artist among the folds of the drapery on the right. The whole is of the finest marble and bears a beautiful polish.

Hereford Times 19 July 1856

ASHPERTON. The parishioners of Ashperton, in this county, have just erected a marble tablet, executed by Mr. Benjamin Jennings, of Hereford, to record the names of four heroes, its sons, whose ashes are mingled with those of their brethren in arms, who died for the cause of liberty in the sanguinary struggles of the Crimea. The following is the inscription :— 

In Memory of 
MARTIN L WRENCE, aged 19, 
JOHN FIRKINS, aged 20. 

Of the Scotch Fusilie- Guards, who fell at the Siege of Sebastopol
Their bodies now lie—
Two on the heights above that city ;
One beneath the waters of the Black Sea: and 
One in the burial-ground at Scutari : 
Their names are engraved on this Tablet which is erected 
by the Parishioners of Ashperton, in remembrance of 
those who went from among them
to encounter the perils of warfare, and in their 
early prime, died for their country. 

" Turn Thee again, 0 Lord, at the last, and be gracious unto Thy servants."

Page 93
A fine piece of sculpture, representing "Cupid, or the Birth of the Rose," by Mr. Benjamin Jennings Junior, a native of this city, which obtained considerable notice in the Great Exhibition of 1851, was also exhibited here for some time ; but in consequence of the amount subscribed (£170) not having been considered sufficient by £80 to remunerate the sculptor, the figure has been removed until the latter sum shall be forthcoming.

Page 147

Established 1810.

Marble & Stone-Mason,

Monuments, Tombs, and Chimney-pieces carefully and expeditiously executed. A choice for inspection at both the above establishments. Plans of every description furnished at the shortest notice.

Proprietor of the THREE ELMS QUARRY, two miles from Hereford. Stone constantly on Sale. Particulars may be obtained of the Foreman at the Quarry, or of the Proprietor at his residence as above. 


Hereford Times 18 September 1858
Benjamin Jennings v. William Moxon.-This was an action brought by the plaintiff, Mr. Jennings, sculptor, of King-street, against Mr. William Moxon, the late contractor of the sewerage works just completed in this city, for £8 9s. 4d., for stone supplied during its progress from a quarry at the Three Elms.—Mr. Jennings, after stating the conditions of his claim, and the fact that defendant had hauled it himself, observed that Mr. Moxon did not, upon receiving the summons, deny that the money was due, for he promptly remitted a cheque for the full amount claimed, with costs ; but as he, (the plaintiff) did not think proper to accept the cheque, he preferred that the money should be paid into Court.—An order for payment forthwith was made. 

Hereford Times - 28 May 1859

JENNINGS. - May 26, at 17, Lower Eaton-street, Grosvenor-place, Pimlico, London, Mr. Benjamin Jennings, jun., sculptor, eldest son of Mr. Benjamin Jennings, of Kings street, in this city, aged 40.

Hereford Times 28 May 1859
THE LATE MR. JENNINGS, SCULPTOR. It is with a regret which will be shared by a great number of our readers, that we call attention to a notice in this day's obituary, of the death of a young artist, who had already shed honor upon this his native city, and whose talents promised to shed much more honor upon it in days to come. Mr. Benjamin Jennings was best known as the sculptor of " Cupid and the Rose," a figure which gained for him the high honour of a place among the 16 British sculptors, who were honoured with special notice by the judges in the Great Exhibition of 1851 ; but he had executed the matron Madonna—a new phase of the character, as far as sculpture is concerned—and other works worthy of praise. Up to his death, he was engaged upon a statue of Caratacus, the conception of which is very fine and spirited. Not many weeks ago, we had occasion to notice at length, in terms of deserved commendation, the rich and effective mural monument executed by Mr. Jennings to the memory of the late Sir Robert Price, Bart., M.P., an early friend and patron of the sculptor. As his last completed work, that monument will henceforth possess a still deeper interest in the eyes of all the many friends whom Mr. Jennings's sterling worth and unassuming manner had attracted to himself. Our deceased friend was a pupil of Gibson, and spent a number of years at Rome in the study and practice of his art. On one occasion, he caught the malaria fever, the prostration produced by which rendered it indispensable for him to return to this country. He did not for a long time, if ever, entirely recover from the effects of that disease—the scourge of the beautiful environs of Rome. His death, in his 41st year, is to be deplored as the sudden removal of an amiable man and a rising artist. 

Hereford Journal 01 June 1859

JENNINGS--May 24, at his residence, No. 17, Lower Eaton-street, Grosvenor Place, Pimlico, Mr. Benjamin Jennings, jun., sculptor, eldest son of Mr. Benj. Jennings, of King-steet, in this city, aged 41 years. 

Hereford Times – 27 May 1899



Wednesday last, May 24th, was the 40th anniversary of the death of a distinguished citizen of Hereford, the late Mr B. Jennings, jun. Mr Jennings was a sculptor of great skill, and took a prominent position in the work of Art in his day. At first he was admitted a student at the Royal Academy, London, and the following year entered the Royal Academy, Paris. Here is studied under the famous sculptor David D'Angers. A fellow student and close friend was the present President of the French Ecole de Beaux Arts, Paris, Mons. M Eugene Guilleaume, who, on the death of the Duc d'Aumale, was also appointed by the French Government Director of the National Art Institute, Rome, in which institution both had completed their studies.

It will be remembered by many now living that the crowning achievement in the late Mr Jennings' work was the statue “The Birth of the Rose.” The idea was founded on Sappho's poem, describing the dispute as to which should be the queen of flowers; and Cupid, standing with a rose in one hand, and pointing to it with the finger of the other, declares, in the presence of Jupiter, the rose to be victorious. This was the only work of art sent to the Great Exhibition in London, in 1851, to which the jury in class 30 unanimously awarded a prize medal. It also had the silver medal awarded to it at the Manchester Exhibition.

“The Birth of the Rose” is a graceful and poetic figure, original in design, and worked out with a spirit and a delicacy equally worthy of admiration. It attracted much attention from Herefordshire men and visitors generally to the Exhibition, Mr Jennings being the only provincial artist obtaining such a high honours, while he ranked as one of nine so distinguished in England and one out of 27 from the whole world. So great was the sense of honour conferred upon the county of Hereford that a feeling was excited that so beautiful a work ought not to be lost to the place where the sculptor was born. It was therefore proposed to purchase the figure by means of a subscription, and to place it in one of the public buildings of the city, there to be preserved, not only as a work of art, but also as an incentive to other young men in Herefordshire to distinguish themselves in the higher branches of art and science.

A certain amount of money was raised, and this was deposited in the old bank ; but unfortunately the bank failed, and the money was lost. Through the influence of Mr T. Evans, the then Mayor, and Chairman of the local Committee, the figure was sent down from London to the city, on the understanding that it was eventually to become the property of the citizens. Owing to the loss of the subscriptions, the deaths of one or two of the gentleman more prominently interested, the scheme, however lay in abeyance. The project was again revived by Mr Robert Keay, but was never carried out. The most lamentable part of the business was the wretched treatment which the figure itself received when standing in the birth-place of the author, for while in the Library some mischievous person or persons broke the rose from the hand holding it, and altogether damage was done to the amount of about £100.

It may be added that although “The Birth of the Rose” is at present at Bristol, it is the property of Mr W. Jennings, of Whitecross, Hereford, brother of the artist, and we believe there is yet a chance of securing this beautiful example of work for the city of Hereford. Otherwise it is probable that it will go to Paris or Rome.

We have seen the medal, the certificate signed by the late Prince Consort, an Italian art critique of the work, and also a translation of some sonnets which were presented to Mr Jennings on his leaving Rome. Mr Jennings intended remaining in Rome, but with others left in consequence of the Garibaldian movement, which, for a time, so much interfered with art work.

The sonnets given below are copied from the translation of the Italian by the late Mr Charles Bodenham, of Rotherwas ; and some remarks by the translator on the style of Italian composition may also be found interesting : -


“To the most illustrious Lord (1)
The Lord Jennings, Sculptor,
By Birth and by Talent
By his love for the Arts and for the Muses
Most Distinguished (2)
Adone Finandi
Presents this Tribute of his Respect.”

Sonnet I.

“These are your Acts, most distinguished Lord ! (3) To elevate the Arts to their highest perfection, and continually to create Sublime Ideas by converting Shapeless Marble into Statues of wondrous and most admired Workmanship. You are the support of Literature and Science. You manifest the greatest ability. The Fame of your Superhuman genius resounds in foreign nations. You pity, assist, and love the unfortunate, and endeavour to protect them from calamities. It may be said on the walls of Romalus that you are the support and aid of all, and that all are solicitous for your happiness, and Love you.”

Sonnet II.

“When I think of describing on paper the Honours you deserve, Tears fall from my eyes (4), my Pen divides itself into many parts (5) ; Time, that he may enjoy your merits, has, in his fierce and tryannical fury, cleverly stolen your merits from the happy Eternity to which they belong. I knew not what can be wanting to complete them ! If, by a fatal destiny, there were no other pens in the world, and mine disappeared with them, nevertheless, that your Glory might attain to Immortality, Fame herself would fly hither, and would pluck for me pens out of her own wings. The End.”

  1. The literal translation : A title given in almost all Italian dedications. 
  2. “Sagacissimo,” literally “most wise.” Translated according to the idiom of the English language. “Emile Giovane” (“Humble Youth”) scarcely admits of a literal translation. 
  3. Line 12 - “Sagace.” See Note 2. 
  4. The poet does not inform his readers why he sheds tears? 
  5. Why did he not use a “steel pen”? 
N.B. - The Bombast and the Poetry run mad of these compositions, are in the true Italian style, and show that Mr Jennings is thought by his friends in Rome to be – what he is in reality – a clever artist and a amiable young man. 


It was reported that Councillor Oatfield had presented a marble statue, "The Birth of the Rose," by the late Benjamin Jennings, to the Free Library, in memory of the late Mr. William Jennings, Hereford. The books in the library numbered 10,995, and the number borrowed last year showed an increase over that of the previous year of 915.