Friday, 10 November 2017


If you have got this far then you are interested in
RIGDEN Genealogy and you may even find that we are connected genetically. I apologise to those of you who are colour-blind - I have highlighted my direct line in RED together with thereferences to the folders on the Network where you can look at the originals of various certificates. If you can spot an ancestor of your own then I'd like to hear from you and this is probably best done as a comment on the blogsite. For a full idea of how busy my life is you may also like to follow the links to the ‘Piano’ blogsite. Let me also apologise
for not replying to comments promptly. If we are on the high seas we may not have Internet access so please be patient.>
Before you read further my present quest is to find the next generation back. Most research is on ‘simmer’ while we sell the house and prepare for our great adventure. I have managed to get back as far as my 5X Great Grandfather
John RIGDEN and his wife Rebecca as yet I have no confirmation but I suspect they may have married about 1747 and Johns’ birth would have been 20 years prior to this around 1720. There is no trace in Dover St Mary’s nor Saints Peter & Paul Charlton which bordered Dover Town Parishes.Next triedFolkestone butno luck there either with BTs St Martins Cheriton. Need to check St Martins pre 1760 for birth of son John /or this Johns Marriage. However they certainly had 5 children all baptised at St Mary The Virgin Dover.
George 19th July 1747
Ann 21st October 1750
John 29th April 1753

William 30th March 1760.
I found the marriage at St Martins Folkestone : John RIGDENSilvester LOWES July 13th 1778 question could be 1776 or other so unclear this would make him 25 ish when he married.  (Record office ref:Dcb/BT/64/143) John and Sylvester's first child was William who was born on the 15th of April and christened on the 24th of April 1780 at St Mary the Virgin, Dover.
  The next child my 3x Great Grandfather John RIGDEN, was born on the 14th of August, 1875 and christened on the 27th of September at St Mary The Virgin, Dover.  The family must have moved to Sandwich since the story now moves to St Peter the Apostle. John grows up and becomes a cabinetmaker probably following his fathers’ profession. He meets and marries Elizabeth FORREST of St Clements whose father is a butcher (and this has implications later on)
Canterbury Marriage Licences 1781-1809 vol 34 (on CD) says John RIGDEN
of St Peters Sandwich cabinetmaker Bachelor and Elizabeth FORREST of St Clements Sandwich Father Augustine FORREST (butcher), at St Clements 20th (22nd in Parish Register) May 1808

Married to Elizabeth FORREST on 22nd May 1808. St Clements Sandwich. She was a spinster and a minor but had the consent of her father who was a witness, as was George TEMPLE.  She was probably 20 when she married and this would fit with her birth year and entry. The vicar was William BUNCE (who I reckon is around 50 years old by now)
IGI Batch number 9017837 M 1808 cert 256.
Incidentally Elizabeth’s parents Mary Valder married Augustine FORREST on 20th Oct 1785 at St Clements Church, Sandwich where he was also a churchwarden. Augustine FORREST was a butcher. There are Banns (number 134) St Clement’s, which are for Augustine and Mary VALDER in 1785. They were married on August 8th 1785. I suspect his wife, Mary must have died, since he was called a widow and remarried a widow Mary Hickman of St John Thanet at St John Thanet on 18 Oct 1808.??? This is yet to be researched Augustine died in 1840 at St Bartholomew's
Hospital Sandwich; aged 82 years certificate number 793. His death was registered at St Clement’s Church by BROCKMAN.

Elizabeth FORREST was born 20th October 1788 to Augustine & Mary FORREST. Descended from the FORREST's and WARMAN’s whose tombs can be seen close to St Mary's Church.  One of the FORREST's is described on the stone as a riding officer of St Margaret's at Cliffe (an 18th Century customs officer). One of the WARMAN’s was the town Beadle. 
HO 107 1631 Fol 130-143 Sandwich St Peter,  

John and Elizabeth had their first son on August the 17th 1808.Augustine was christened on the 11th of September 1808.  He was named after her father Augustine. I suspect that Augustine died on the 16th of January 1818; I have yet to check this. I found the above entry while at Deal Library, who have the film of the Parish Register. I remember the day well, the 17th of July 2004, there was torrential rain outside and the Librarians were running about like headless chickens because the rain was coming into the library.  John and Elizabeth had their second son my Great Great Grandfather 
John RIGDEN  who was named after his father John on the 16th of January 1811; he was christened at St Clements Church. During 1811-1830 he grew up…..meeting and marrying Eliza Frances LANGLEY about 1835 since their first daughter Eliza was born 1836. No records of her baptism found yet. 1838 their first son John Henry was born and christened on the first of July 1838 by H. PREMBLE, the vicar. 1839  Piggots Directory has him living in Market Street, St Peter, Sandwich, as a Butcher. He would be 28 by now. This is the year that Alfred William is born 28th November. He is not christened until January of the following year.  John is still a butcher at this point, I suggest here that on Augustine's death (1840) the butchery passed to his daughter Elizabeth, which maybe why John her husband became a butcher! The next milestone is the Census of 1841.
  The following was found by Ken and Pauline Holmes, who are distant relatives of my partner Malcolm. “As we had not found Alfred William RIGDEN, or his parents, we looked elsewhere. A street atlas of Kent showed that there was both a Market Street and a St Peter's district in Sandwich, so we looked there and found:

PRO Ref.         Borough    Parish       Place           Name         Age        Trade      Born in Kent?
HO/107/494/16/? Sandwich St Peter    Galliard St.   John Rigden         25         Butcher            Y
HO/107/494/16/? Sandwich  St Peter   Galliard St.   Eliza Rigden        30                                  Y
HO/107/494/16/? Sandwich  St Peter    Galliard St.   John Rigden         3                                  Y
HO/107/494/16/? Sandwich  St Peter    Galliard St.   Alfred William RIGDEN      1                   Y

? indicates illegibility.
Market Street, St Peter's Street, King Street and Galliard Street are all close together in the centre of Sandwich.  As we seemed to have found Alfred we stopped searching at this point. The 1841 census was taken on 6 June 1841 so Alfred would not have had his second birthday when the census included him.”
1841 census places them (John, Eliza, John and Alfred) at Galliard Street. John is still the butcher.
1842 brings Augustine Longley – easily confirmed birth by sending for certificate! Birth April 23rd 1942, Galliard Street, Sandwich (St Peter's). March 2005 found birth in old PR for St Peters while it was being repaired, untidy but true! States he was born 23rd April 1842 son of John and Eliza Frances, John was a butcher.  Living at Galliard Street and the Rector was H (Horace) PEMBLE. Also same year as Sarah Ann who I have found little for yet. The fourth child born to John and Eliza Frances, is named Augustine after his grandfathers' wife's father and Longley after his mother’s father James LONGLEY.
My Great Grandfather John RIGDEN has now given up being a butcher and become a postman.
1851 (HO 107) folio 130-143 Has him living in High Street aged 40 with his wife Eliza (45), his son John (13) Alfred (11), and Augustine (9) a scholar. 
1861 RG9/540. has him living in High Street working as a Postman (51). His wife Eliza Frances now 55 years old.
1871 John appears in the Guildhall records as being buried at Boatman's Hill aged 60.

Alfred William RIGDEN and Family

Alfred William RIGDEN born 28th November 1839 to John and Eliza Frances RIGDEN (nee Langley) While living at Market Street St Peter.  Found in Parish records after much searching certificate number 950 says he was baptised January 12th 1840 by Horace Pemble, this was copied out from the old book which they had been using while the church was being repaired and is much neater and more easily read. Alfred William married Sarah Ann Hancock on the 29th of July 1861. Also mentioned in the 1835 Register and Freeman's Rolls. Found at the Guildhall Sandwich. 1863 Eliza Ann their first child was born -  I haven’t found any Parish register entry for her yet... 1865 Edith Susan was born and the certificate states that Alfred was a painter living in High Street Sandwich.
1867 Walter RIGDEN my great Grandfather was born. And Alfred now states he is a Plumber! Great Aunt Jim (Edith Susan) her birth Certificate says she was born on the second of January 1865 to Alfred William and Sarah Ann RIGDEN (nee Hancock) March 2005 eventually found Parish records for St Peters while it was being repaired, the certificate actually states that this is the case! 28th October certificate number 1534 Horace Gilder Rector ? 1881 census has her aged 16, living at home with Father Alfred William RIGDEN and Mother Ann,(? or was she born to Sarah Anne who has died April 20th 1875 just before the census?)brother Walter and sister Louisa. If her age was correct in 1881 then she was born about 1865 ish. Found in the 1901 Census as living in Kew Surrey V;se ???? I need to transcribe it   Known as 'Aunt Jim' her married name was Mrs Wilf (William) Reynolds.  They lived in Orchard Leigh, Shere, Surrey,( where this picture was taken) which is now a major road so nothing to be seen! After Wilf died she came to live at 50 High Street with Eliza ( Aunt Lie).
1868 Alfred Hancock was born but died as an infant. He was christened by C.E.B. WATSON the curate and was buried in the family grave at St Clement’s Church by A.M. CHICHESTER ( the vicar) on April 25th  1869.
1870 Ellen Longley was born but she too died an infant after 3 months.  She was also buried in the family grave with her brother on May the 15th 1870 by C.E.B. Watson.
      Uncle Chump says Alfred William had a workshop in the Chain.  There still survives one of his manhole covers in High Street.

He also had a workshop between the Barbican and the Bell Hotel, which was a warehouse in 1906 and a yard at what is now Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant, he converted it from a coal yard to a builders yard. Uncle Chump remembers playing on the sand heaps. He also built shops backing from it onto Strand Street. In old days Coal was collected at the Barns (now Barnsend old peoples housing) they were then sent for export down through Fisher Street to the Quay.
1871 Alfred became a member of the Lord Warden, Walmer, Lodge of the Freemasons and soon became a churchwarden at St Clement's Church.  He was also active in the Cinque Ports Volunteers, becoming a sergeant gunner. Crack shot winning a silver cup and a special badge dated 1874 for the performance of his gun team.
   1875 Mary Louise was born and I suspect sometime soon after Sarah Ann his wife died. (26th Aril 1875) aged 43 years and buried by A.C. HILTON.
1876 The Banns were read for Alfred William and Ann Jane KERMODE on February 13th, 20th and 27th, page 89-certificate number 177. They married in March 1876 and probably in the Isle of Man.  She was supposed to have been in service in the area.  I have only one picture of her, it shows her to be a severe old maid but was born in 1852 so was only 26 when they married. In 1880 Alfred became a counsellor as this newspaper clipping shows.

He got the most number of votes and –interestingly was accompanied by C. WATSON -the curate! Alfred William was such a fine figure that he was provided with a uniform and carried a mace before the judge in the 1880 disenfranchisement hearings. He was accompanied by 2 trumpeters who heralded the judge's approach in his coach. On December
19th 1908 Ann Jane died at 73 years of age. Certificate number 510 and the vicar was A.M. CHICHESTER again.

In 1909 he had already met Charlotte COLEGATE and married her that year in Elham     [ PRO :2a/2277].  Charlotte was known as Aunt Lottie. Her brother Dick had a music hall act in London.  Next is a Bill to Mr Hicks of Mill Wall Place for repairing a dripping tap with a washer, cost 1s 3d on January 14th 1911.

Charlotte survived Alfred William who died in 1918. She seems to have taken her share and moved away although she is known to have visited Sandwich at least once afterwards.  Alfred was actually 77 when he died and is buried at St Clement's Church with his first wife Sarah Ann and two infant children who died young, Alfred Hancock, and Ellen Longley. I recently cleared it of weeds and later took my partner Malcolm down to clean the iron work with a wire brush
in preparation to painting it with Hammerite to deter the rust.

In loving memory of Sarah Ann wife of Alfred W. RIGDEN who died Apr 20th 1875 / Lord, remember me when thou comest into Thy Kingdom / Also of Alfred W. Rigden who died Jany 22nd 1918. / Also of Alfred Hancock and Ellen Longley children of the above who died in their infancy .( On tablet now in garden of Remembrance) In / loving memory of / Stella A.L.TWYMAN / nee Rigden / 1903-1995.

Here is more background on :

John Henry Rigden & Family

John Henry was the brother of Alfred William. I found a John Henry son of John and Eliza Frances RIGDEN of Market Street, born 5th of June 1838. His father, John, was a butcher, which confirms all!  After marrying Jane who was born in Ash they moved to Woolwich, which is where their first two children Ada and Anna were born. By 1871 they had moved again to 2, Keppel Street , Stoke Damerel, Devon, since this is where their third daughter Valentina was born according to the 1881 census.
In the 1881 Census [RG11 2214/66 p46] John RIGDON (42) a shipwright is dwelling at 2, Keppel Street, Stoke Damerel, Devon,  (change in Spelling or Census typo?) living with his wife Jane (43) Ada (17) their daughter
who is a school teacher, she was born in Woolwich, Anna (15) also born Woolwich is a dressmaker and Valentina (10) who was born in Devonport, Devon, is a scholar.

The 1891 census [RG12/1747 Folio 73 p 9 schedule 82] has John and his family living at 2, Keppel Street, Stoke Damerel, Devon, only able to find him when I put a sounds like tab on RIGDEN and sure enough the name REGDEN came up.  I suppose this is understandable since the West Country have a different dialect to us Kentish folk! Anyway John is now 52, and a Shipwright employee so he is probably working at the docks in Plymouth? (Yet to confirm.) His wife is an unemployed schoolmistress and so too is Anne who is now 25 years old. The youngest daughter Valentina however, is employed... as a Schoolmistress! By the 1901 Census RG13/2114 p 32 John RIGDEN (62) is now a retired shipwright living with wife June 62 years old and their youngest daughter Valentina, (28) who is working
at home. The RIGDEN line dies out here. And background on the other brother:

Augustine Longley Rigden & Family 
Augustine Longley RIGDEN was the fourth and last child of John and Eliza Frances RIGDEN, born on April 23rd 1842, he was named Augustine after his grandfathers' wife's father and LONGLEY after his mothers, father James LONGLEY.
In March 2005 I found his birth in an old Parish Register for St Peters while it was being repaired, untidy but true!
This was confirmed by sending for certificate from the GRO, The birth certificate states that he was born 23rd April 1842 son of John and Eliza Frances, John was a butcher living at Galliard Street and the Rector was H (Horace)
Pemble. Not too much is known about his early life but with three elder siblings he was probably kept busy.  He followed his father into the family business and became a carpenter / joiner.  He must have met Georgina KYLE (I’m guessing here) at church, or maybe a pub. The Banns were read on January the 12, 19 and 26th, 1868 to be married to Georgina KYLE of this Parish Banns no 107. Banns read in St Mary's Church 1868 by A.M.CHICHESTER who was around in St Mary's in 1872! Their first son Ernest A (Augustine?) was born in December 1868, next came John S (Sydney) called Jack, born 1871. Although I knew he existed I could find no evidence from Parish Registers or any other source until 2006 when another researcher happened to find his marriage using I was then able to send for the marriage certificate and prove that he was the same person and then follow up the search with a birth certificate.  Found! At Deal March 2006 but no camera so will have to wait for picture.

Born June 29th 1870, baptised August 28th 1870 certificate number 1590 John Sydney son of Augustine Longley. Anyway Uncle Bardy knew of him and showed me his (Jacks) photograph album that is how I have a picture of him.
He must have played at William BOYERs’ workshop in the Chain and probably learnt all there was to know about photography from him. Most pictures taken around Sandwich have him in them, since the old cameras took so long to expose the image there was sufficient time for him to whip round and be in the shot! Next born is Georgina 1872.

Then Frederick Edward 1875, and Sarah Louisa 16th Nov 1876, Gertrude May 30th September 1878.
In the 1881 census living with their 6 children in the Chain St Clements, Sandwich .He is a carpenter who helps his brother Alfred William with work. Also with them, their son Ernest A RIGDEN (12), John S,(10) scholar, Georgina (8) scholar, Frederick (6) scholar, Sarah L. (4) scholar and Gertrude Mary (2).
1891 census RG12/734 p21 has new edition of Henrietta Selina, born 1884, certificate 332, they are still at the Chain and A.M. CHICHESTER is still the vicar but Ernest, John S. & Georgina have left home. I have, however, found a birth which would fit for Georgina if she married and stayed in Sandwich, but it has the surname RIGDEN so I wonder what happened? 
     Now back to my RIGDEN line
In 1867 my Great Grandfather Walter RIGDEN was born and I have the GRO entry for Walter. The Parish Register entry was illusive – it turned out that while restoration had been going on in St Peters they had used another! So I now have certificate number 1575, which shows him to have been christened on the 29th of September 1867 by Henry MAUGHAM the curate. Walter also joins the family trade and begins work helping his father as a plumber For the 1881 census his father must have answered the enumerator since when asked occupation Alfred William must have said “Master Plumber 1 man and 1 boy”.
     By 1891 Walter is 23 years old and a ‘House Decorator’. The family have developed
into an all round business. Walter met Mary BAKER sometime prior to 1894, since this was when the banns were read for their marriage. (On May 5th, 12th and 19th by George  S ?nners and A. M. CHICHESTER. ) A certificate was sent to Worth so the banns must have been read in Mary’s church too.  
The Teddy Bear  is still around. Aunty Marys’ family have it.
They were married on 3rd, June 1895, in Worth Parish Church. It was witnessed by Mary’s father Ebenezer BAKER and either her brother or her uncle since they were both alive and called George! Walter was a painter aged 29 at the time, Mary did not work. It is difficult to surmise whether Alfred William was present or not since he has not been written as deceased in the fathers place on the certificate so he may have been there.  The quandary lies in his profession; he has called himself a plumber all these years and now calls himself a ‘Painter’! Mary’s father Ebeneeza BAKER was a Market Gardener in Worth and the family farm is still there. They lived in ‘Prospect House’ and possibly brought produce into the Town on Market Day  -then on a Wednesday.
 I emailed this photo to Uncle Chump and Bardy to chew over and here is their reply

“A little late with this but not much to offer anyway. That is Charlotte (Aunt Lotte) sitting but that is the only thing that is certain. Walter RIGDEN there looks-say 50 which puts it roughly about the time of AWR`s demise then such guesswork makes Lotte in her 40`s but then they looked old when young in those days if you get what I mean.”

The next page has a postcard from Walters’ wife Mary to her sister Louisa who appears to be coming to stay with them.

Their first daughter Dorothy Mary was born 17th March 1896, she was my Aunt Pat. She was christened at St Clement's Church on the 23rd May 1896, Whitsun eve by A.M. CHICHESTER. Certificate number 602.
She worked at Minster as a Master Tailor / seamstress. She walked to work every day (7-10 miles). She was married briefly as Mrs LONG.She lived in Church Street St Clements, while working for Lady Broshane as a tailor. Sometime around 1910 she placed a new weather vane on St Peters Church as recorded by the local Newspaper.
She also lived in Upper Deal during her retirement and still did real patchwork using scraps of fabric and using an embroidery stitch to join them.
This is Aunt Pat having a jar over at the Blazing Donkey, Nr Eastry. It was taken sometime around 1978. Next came my paternal grandmother Kathleen Edith RIGDEN, born on the 25th September 1898, and finally my Aunt Stella Amelia Louise born 2nd August, 1903. She was probably named after Amelia BAKER, Mary’s mother. All three ‘gels’ were born at 45, High Street This is Nan @ Sandwich (‘Kath’) with her two sisters; they must have been about 16 years old?
Walter inherited the family business when his father died but Uncle Chump and Uncle Bardy reckon that it went downhill fast (what reasons ??) Grave inscription says born 1869, Died 1955.
This is Nan @ Sandwich with me on her knee when I was 2 or 3 years old. (Much more to write of Nan’s life.) Kathleen married Edwin Gordon CUMMINGS. This was after the war when he was probably working down at port Richborough. Married Kath on 19th March 1924, Solemnized in the Parish of St Clement in the County Of Kent.  He was a bachelor aged 25, and had been living at 13, New Street, Sandwich.  She was a spinster aged 25 years, and had been living at Strand Street Sandwich.  The witnesses were Walter RIGDEN and A. POWELL.
They then had three children June, Edwin and Malcolm John CUMMINGS. This is my father. 
Edwin Gordon worked for the East Kent Bus Company. Soon after the last child was born he left home. All traces of him were expunged and I only have 2 pictures of him and a few certificates.

He returned to Sandwich soon after Mum and dad were married and I was a little girl although I don't remember, he came to the Garden gate when we lived at "Estonore" Stonar, Ramsgate Road Sandwich, Kent. He wanted to see his Grandchildren. When he died, dad (Malcolm James) went to Ashford to make arrangements for the burial. He came back with very little as memories, a few Driving licenses and a book by M.E.Cumming - Bruce called The Bruce's and the Cummings this is what originally set me on the Family History trail. For the CUMMINGS Blog ready to read

Sue Cummings
April 2009

1 comment:

  1. Your family trail is utterly fascinating... three of your surnames crop up in my lines as well, Mortimer, of course, Cumming, often Cummings, Cummin or Commen, and Greenwood.. My Cummings were from Scotland... I should add these names are on husband Stanley Mortimers side of the tree, but I love and research them as keenly as though they were mine. A marvelous effort Sue.