Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Old Homes and Homesteads – Part 5 – Torquay, Devon, England

My 2nd great-grandparents, John and Mary Crispin (Carpenter) Shepheard were married in Stoke Damerel Parish, Plymouth on April 15, 1855. John was a labourer at the time. Both were living in Stoke Damerel Parish, John on Garden Street and Mary on St. Aubyn Street. There is still a Garden Street in Plymouth, although almost entirely rebuilt. St. Aubyn Street is no longer in existence. Much of the city was bombed during World War II and the area may have been destroyed then. They lived in a number of different places, mainly around Cornwood Parish, prior to their move to Torquay, Devon, in the late 1870s.

Stoke Damerel, Plymouth, about 1860 showing streets on which John Shepheard and Mary Crispin Carpenter lived at the time of their marriage in 1855
(copied from map produced by John Tallis & Company, London & New York)
A younger brother of John’s, James Thomas Shepheard, together with his wife, Charlotte Crispin, had been running a dairy operation in Torquay for a number of years. James Thomas died in 1878, leaving his wife – with two young children – to carry on. I suspect that John was recruited by Charlotte, who was also a sister of John’s wife, Mary, to help out with the business following her husband’s death. They are both shown as dairy owner/operators on censuses through 1891, in the case of John, and 1901, in the case of Charlotte.

John’s eldest son, William John Shepheard, had taken over his father’s share of the business prior to 1901. He later expanded the business to Taunton, Somerset, and following his death in 1908, his wife, Jane, continued as the proprietor. My grandfather, James Pearson Shepheard, lived and worked with his aunt and uncle for many years after his mother’s early death, until he immigrated to Canada in 1907.

The family’s first home in Torquay was at number 14, Princes Road. That address was changed to 44 in the late 1940s when the local council adjusted street addresses. The row of terraced residences appears to have just been completed or under construction on the 1866 map of the Ellacombe area.

Map of Ellacombe area, Torquay, Devon in 1866 (left) and 1906 (right) – 
showing locations of Shepheard family residences
By 1906, the area was completely developed. On the 1891 census, the family is shown living up the street at number 28 Princes Road (now number 58). When William John took over the dairy, it was located at 42 Princes Road (now number 72). The old dairy is now the site of a tanning salon called Beauty & The Beach.

Number 44 (dark grey unit, previously number 14) Princes Road, Ellacombe, Torquay, Devon – 
former residence of John and Mary (Carpenter) Shepheard
Number 58 (light blue unit, previously number 28) Princes Road, Ellacombe, Torquay, Devon – 
former residence of John and Mary (Carpenter) Shepheard
Number 72 (tanning salon, previously number 42) Princes Road, Ellacombe, Torquay, Devon – 
former residence and dairy business of John and Mary (Carpenter) Shepheard
My great-grandparents, James and Mary Elizabeth (Pearson) Shepheard were living at 13 Megla Terrace (Pennsylvania Road) in 1891, located two streets south of Princes Road. That is where my grandfather, James Pearson was born. It, too, is multi-family complex, built in the late 19th century.

Number 13 Pennsylvania Road (unit with red door) – former residence of James and Mary Elizabeth (Pearson) Shepheard
These were the last homes in Devon, England in which my direct ancestors lived. My grandfather immigrated to Canada in 1907, followed by his father in 1913. A future post will deal with their homes in Canada.

Mary Crispin (Carpenter) Shepheard died on June 27, 1890 in Torquay. John died on January 17, 1901, also in Torquay. Both are buried in Cornwood Parish.

Gravestone Inscription:
In Loving Memory Of
MARY CRISPIN
THE BELOVED WIFE OF
JOHN SHEPHEARD
WHO DIED JUNE 27TH 1890
AGED 60 YEARS
HER END WAS PEACE
WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH
IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE
ALSO
JOHN SHEPHEARD
WHO DIED JANUARY 17TH 1901
AGED 70 YEARS

Mary Elizabeth (Pearson) Shepheard died on October 4, 1891, in Torquay, just seven months after the birth of my grandfather. She is buried in the Hele Road Cemetery there.

Gravestone Inscription:

In Loving Memory
MARY ELIZABETH
THE BELOVED WIFE OF
JAMES SHEPHEARD
WHO DIED OCTOBER 4TH 1891
AGED 24 YEARS
HER END WAS PEACE


Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He serves as the Editor of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Wayne also provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated.

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