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8 Sturton Street

A Couple from Scotland who lived in New York

Willow Cottage

1881 – 1901

The Birnie family are living at 8 Sturton Street between 1881 and 1901.  Head of household in 1881 is James Birnie a 38-year-old engine fitter from Scotland.  He lives there with his wife Jane (nee Hemingway), also Scottish and four children.

Jane, 8, Isabella, 7, Charlotte Fretter, 6, and Jessie, 5.  Interestingly, the eldest daughter, Jane, was born in Brooklyn, New York.  The other two were born in Cambridge.

By 1891 Jane is a widow living on her own means with her four girls.  Jane (or Jeannie) is 18, Isabella is 17, a dressmaker, Charlotte (Lottie on the 1891 census) is 16, a mantle machinist (‘dress’ is added on the census in pencil, to clarify that Lottie was a maker of mantles from fabric, a kind of cloak); and Jessie is 14, a dressmaker’s apprentice.  Youngest child is 5 year old James who goes to school.

In 1901 Jeannie, Charlotte and James (now a grocer’s apprentice) are still living with their mother.  However, Charlotte marries later in the year.

The family are living at 35 Bridge Street by the time the 1911 Census is taken.  Isabella, however, marries William Jeeves and they live here together from 1911.


William Jeeves, head, 37, married, joiner, b. Blunham, Bedfordshire
Isabella McWilliam Jeeves (nee Birnie), wife, 37, married, b. Cambridge
Eliza Jeeves, mother, 69, widow, b. Blunham, Bedfordshire
Louis Jeeves, son, 10, school, b. Cambridge
Stanley Jeeves, son, 9, b. Cambridge
Eric Jeeves, son, 1, b. Cambridge
Married 11 years, 3 children

Isabella and William are buried in Mill Road Cemetery.  William died here in 1940.

Sources: 1891, 1901 and 1911 UK Census, England & Wales Births 1837-2006, England & Wales Marriages 1837-2005


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