Friday, May 20, 2016

Finding Harry (part IV)

Here is the only picture of I know that exists of Harry Chinery.  It is unknown what year this picture was taken.  Given he was 11 when he was writing his letters, I can’t imagine this picture is far off.

Harry Augustus Chinery
c 1915
Harry writes his letters to “Dear Mother”.  Mother was Lydia Matilda (Boreham) Chinery, the 2nd wife of his father William Henry Chinery. 

Harry was born on the 7th of December 1903 in Walthamstow, Essex. [1] According to “Google Maps” the house still stands.  It appears someone has made it into multiple units and put a garage in what may have been a living room. (If anyone knows how to get a snip from Google Maps, I appreciate the lesson)  A stone plaque on the house calls this row of homes “Ebenezer Villas” with a date of 1880. 

According to British Law, his parents had 6 weeks to register his birth.   His father registered his birth on 11 January 1904.  

Little Harry was the 5th child born to William Henry Chinery and his 1st wife.  Harry’s mother, Ellen Augusta Belsham was born in 1871.   Records indicate she was from Bury St. Edmunds. 

In-between Harry’s birth and registration, Harry’s mother Ellen died.  She passed away 14 days after his birth, just 4 days before Christmas. [2]

One of the details I have left out regarding Harry is his middle name.  This Chinery line seemed very tied to middle names, thank goodness, as it has helped me sort them out in records.  Middle names were not entirely common in late 19th century, but all of Harry Sr.’s siblings had them. 

I find it fitting, that days after the death of his wife, William Henry Chinery registered the birth name of his son as Harry Augustus Chinery.  

Harry carried the legacy of his mother’s middle name in his own.  And, I know from other documents such as quotes from flowers sent to funerals Henry, Harry’s father, went by "Harry" himself. 

Harry Sr’s second wife, Lydia, is actually my great grandmother.  Little Harry was my grandfather’s big brother.   I am not certain when my great grandparents met, but they all showed up in the 1911 census together.[3] At the time my grandfather had already been born, but his parents did not marry for couple more years.   Lydia was named as the “Housekeeper”.

It haunts me a bit, that Harry stated in his first letter to his mother “I know you like me.”  She would have been the only mother he knew.  I hope for his sake he knew is heart she loved him and she treated him as her own.



[1] England, General Register, Birth Registrations, birth certificate, (certified copy) for Harry Augustus Chinery, born 7 Dec 1903; registered 11 Jan 1904, West Ham District 04a, [p 435, Walthamstow Sub-district, County Essex; General Registry Office, Southport, England.
[2] England, General Register, Death Registrations, death certificate, (certified copy) for Ellen Augusta [Belsham] Chinery, death 21 Dec 1903; registered 28 Dec 1903, West Ham District, v 04a p 186, North Leyton Sub-district, County Essex;, General Register Office, Southport, England.
[3] 1911 England Census, Ancestry.com, referencing household of W. H. Chinery, Kirby le Soken, Tendring district,  Essex; citing Census returns of England and Wales 1911.

1 comment:

  1. That is a "haunting" statement - "I know you like me" - for a child to write to his mother. I agree... I hope he knew he was loved!

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