Our Spratt = Cruse Family History Website

Research on the Spratt side of the Family Tree
The Southcombe Family & / Veysey / Baker / Morgan

This is the photograph that started our family history quest; it shows the Southcombe family circa 1909, probably posed in a photographers studio in Cardiff when the family were living in Constellation Street, Roath.  Left to right are; Annie Angelina, Phyllis Jessie, Clifford Samuel, Emma Rachel Southcombe, nee Candy, [Clive's grandmother}, Hilda Irene, Cecil Horace, Arthur James, Ivy Irene (Clive's mother, sitting on fathers knee), and Samuel Southcombe who was born in 1856 in Lydiard St Lawrence, Somerset. 

Samuel was 13 years older than Emma; they married on 1st December 1889 in Cardiff, and had nine children, but two died young.  Samuel was a Boilermaker and the family set up home in Portskewett, Monmouthshire, where Samuel was involved with the Great Western Railway at the pumping station above the entrance to the Severn Tunnel under the Bristol Channel.  The Severn Tunnel was always plagued by water from a spring leaking into the working while the tunnel was being built and even today they are still pumping out water 24/7 to prevent the tunnel flooding. Originally the pumps were steam driven and six large 'Lancashire Boilers' raised the steam needed, but today the pumps are powered by electricity. In the 1891 Census they were at 6 Marine Terrace where their son Clifford and daughter Annie were born, before the 1901 Census they had moved to 6 Church Row where the next three children were born.  This move was to a larger house, but still wihin five minutes walk of Samuel's work. The 1901 Census shows them in Cardiff at 58 Constellation Street. Their last four children were born in Cardiff, including Clive's mother Ivy Irene Southcombe

Samuel Southcombe's father was James Southcombe, born in Rose Ash, Devon, the son of another James Southcombe born in 1774.  At this time in Rose Ash there were at least three separate Southcomb/Southcombe families and our family story was that we were related to the line of Rectors descended from the first of the Southcomb clergy to hold the living.   This Revd Southcomb built/rebuilt the church and started a line of Southcomb Rectors who held the living in succession until the last Southcomb died without issue during WWII.  The truth is a little bit different, as we are descended from another family who were farmers.   At this time there were three James Southcombe's, (note the spelling of Southcombe, with an 'e'), who married three Mary's, and it is a little difficult to establish which Mary was the wife of James born in 1774. 

Mary Veysey was the most likely candidate for the marriage to James Southcombe, but we will be happy to hear from anyone who knows for certain.  Anne Baker came from Kings Brompton in Somerset, (otherwise known as Brompton Regis).  Her parents were Francis & Betty Baker nee Morgan,.  Most of the records we have searched for this family are held on microfiche in the Devon Record Office in Castle Street, Exeter, which is conveniently close to the West Country Studies Library.

  Page updated 14 February 2018


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