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16 Sturton Street

History of 16 Sturton Street

1871 – 1919

John Duce (born 1832 Barkay All Saints, Hertfordshire) and Mary Ann Purkis married 22nd June 1858. He was a fireman on the railway.  In 1861 the couple lived at 32 Coronation Road with his widowed mother and their children Mary Ellen and Henry.

In 1871 the houses on Sturton Street are unnumbered, but the family is now living there, possibly at number 16.  The couple have six children, Mary Ellen, Harry, Frances Annie (known as Annie), Arthur John, Margaret and Frederick.

The 1881 Census is when we can be sure that the family are living at number 16.

John is now 49 and a railway driver on the Great Eastern Railway.  Daughter Mary Ellen is 22 is a dressmaker, Arthur is 15 and a stationer’s assistant. Margaret is 12, Frederick is 10 and George Edward is 7.  All the younger children are Scholars.

Harry has left home to join the Royal Navy. He serves until 1901, marries, has two children and spends the rest of his life living in Portsmouth.

Frances Annie has left home and is a Servant in Kensington.  In 1911 she is a cook at a School in Teddington.

By 1891 William and Mary have four grown up children still living at home.  Ellen is 32, Arthur is a railway clerk, Margaret is a domestic nurse and George is also a railway clerk.

Frederick has left home and is boarding in West Ham.  He starts as a steam engine fitter and becomes a mechanical engineer.

On 6th June 1892 Margaret marries ‘Ernest Handley Chapple, of Peckham, London, third son of Stephen Henry Chapple of York Street’ at St Matthew’s.

Arthur marries Amanda Maud, moves to Walsall and remains a railway clerk.

John dies on 10th Jan 1894 and on the 15th, he is buried.

Mary stays at number 16 with her daughter Ellen.  In 1901 they are joined by “Joseph” who is 27 and an electrician. It looks as though this is an enumerator error and it is actually George.  George is still with them in 1911, he is still working as an electrician on the Great Eastern Railway.

Mary’s probate record shows that she was at 16 Sturton Street at the time of her death on 26th September 1918.

The probate record for George records that he died at 20 Sturton Street in 1928. He had lived there from at least 1922.

Sources: 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 UK Census, 1939 Register, England & Wales Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915, National Burial Index For England & Wales, Cambridgeshire Marriages, Cambridge Independent Press 10 June 1892, England & Wales, National Probate Calendar, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1848-1939, Cambridgeshire Electoral Registers


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