Holesgrove * Ashforth * Hawley * Holmes * Kniveton *


A Crossley in-law journey from Wales to America! See Great great Uncle Wilson & Aunty Fanny (Josephs) Crossley in the Crossley Family History page. (Dec 2012)

Great great Grandmother Susan de Marchye - a surprising find! See the Kelland Family History page.

Recommended Blogs & Websites!

 A Little East - life in the countryside!

The Lives & Times of Bella, our Japanese Shiba Inu x Staffie

Letters Words & Lines - some short stories and poetry

Musings while in London 2007-2011

Photography by Megan

Kelland Photography Etc

Jenna-Lea's Bakes

August 2012: A little beyond the Street family-link boundary to a single mum in the 1840's, a 19 year olds fatal accident, and a young wife dies leaving a babe in arms. The Hitchcock connection under the Street Family History page.

June 2011:  Marriage, Birth & Death between the Census. Catherine Mary and her son John Joshua cannot be found as wife, mother or son on the census records. Read the story under the Street Family History!

June 2011: William Holesgrove's Will gives clarification on the family, and gives a bit of insight into his interests. See his story on the Holesgrove Family History page! 

April 2011 - New poems from Grandad Walter Ash: A Beautiful Princess (just in time for Royal Wedding weekend!); Verses on the Death of my Niece; and On the Sinking of the Titanic.

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FRANCIS ARTHUR - 1857 - 1898

   The South African KELLAND's all seem to be descended from FRANCIS ARTHUR KELLAND, who arrived in the late 1880's with his wife ANNIE JANE GILLARD and started their family in East London, then the Cape Province.

FRANCIS ARTHUR KELLAND, born on 2nd March 1857, was the second son (and sixth child) of ROBERT & SUSAN ELIZABETH KELLAND (nee Demarchye). ROBERT is noted on the UK Census records from 1841 - 1881 as always being a 'Waterman' of one sort or another. In 1841 he was recorded as a 'Waterman'; 1851 a shoemaker (?); 1861 a 'Pilot'; 1871 a 'Master of Steamship; and 1881 'Master River Steam Boat'.

In 1871 FRANCIS KELLAND is recorded as a 'Painter's Apprentice', which probably explains why, when he got to East London, his occupation was 'Painter & Decorator'.

On Friday 3rd November 1882, FRANCIS ARTHUR KELLAND married ANNIE JANE GILLARD at the picturesque St Petrox Church on the banks of the River Dart in Dartmouth, next to Dartmouth Castle. This was the same church where Francis had been christened 23 years previously.

It couldn't have been long after this that FRANCIS & ANNIE left the shores of Britain and sailed to a new life on the south coastal region of South Africa - East London.

Records show that their first son, FRANCIS ROBERT, was born in February 1884 in South Africa, which was just 14 months after their wedding in the UK. They had five other children, ANNIE ELIZABETH born May 1887; PHILIP EDMONDS KELLAND, born July 1889; ARTHUR born 1892; PERCY THOMAS born 9th January 1895, ARCHIBALD TURNER born on 30th December 1896, all born in East London, Cape Province, South Africa (now Eastern Cape)

From August 1889  FRANCIS ARTHUR became a Town Councillor in the East London Ward 1 district. In early 1895 or 1896 he resigned 'on account of business engagements', possibly the business Kelland and Booth - Coach Painters, Trimmers, sign-writers and general decorators. This firm was established in 1880, either before Francis arrived in South Africa, or perhaps previous to his marriage to Annie Jane in 1882. This theory is based on the fact that his name can't be found on the UK 1881 Census, and  South Africa doesn't keep it's Census records.  He was known for his work on the decoration of the Masonic Temple and was himself a Free Mason and became a Past Grand Master of the Buffalo Lodge. (

Recently I googled "F.A. Kelland" and found a 'Die Burger' (newspaper in South Africa) report about the refurbishing of the East London city hall about 1991. And yes, they mentioned the 'original painter,  Mr F.A. Kelland'. The article stated that in the refurbishing, the senior designer suddenly died before the completion of the project. And interesting that the original painter of the building, F.A. Kelland, also died during the construction of the city hall.

A distant cousin mentioned that his mum often spoke to me about Francis Arthur as the councillor who seconded the motion to install electric street lights in East London."

FRANCIS ARTHUR KELLAND died from Consumption or "Pulmonary Phtisis and Embolism on Monday 22nd August 1898 at the Frere Hospital, East London, at 41 years old. According to his doctor, he had had this disease for the last two years. All six of his children were minors when he died; the eldest being 14 years and the youngest, Archibald, just two years old. ANNIE JANE died ten years later on 12th July 1908 aged 52 years.

PHILIP EDMOND - 1889 - 1941

PHILIP EDMONDS was the third child of Francis Arthur and Annie Jane, born in East London in July 1889. He was only nine years old when his father died in 1898 and only nineteen when his mother died. He married JOSEPHINE ELIZABETH ROOS on 31st March 1916 in Johannesburg. Josephine had a child but she didn't bring the child into the marriage and according to Philip's military discharge 'on account of disability' papers under the question: "Christian names of Children:" the typed entry reads: "None. Has a step-child name unknown to him." The story of the step-child known as Coodie is another story! 

A short while after marrying Josephine, Philip joined the 2nd South African Infantry Brigade and very soon after was on his way to German East Africa. His military  records state that he had been with the Kaffrarian Rifles for four years previously but it's unsure at the moment whether there was a gap in his military career as his occupation is also listed as 'miner'.

www.samilitaryhistory.or/vol073et.html has diaries of a Pte E.S. Thompson, a machine gunner in the 7th South African Infantry, which gives a graphic idea of what these soldiers went through in German East Africa in 1916 and 1917. It makes sense of the letters Philip Edmond wrote when pleading for assistance having not received any compensation for a medical discharge from the military.  E.C. Thompson writes that the regiment landed at Kilindini (Mombasa) early in 1916 with over 1200 men, but by December 1916 there were only 100, and declared medically unfit. Dysentery, diarhhoea, fever, and lice seemed to be  more dangerous enemies than the German's bombs.

Philip Edmond was given recuperative leave for two months from 26th February 1917, but had it extended twice and eventually went to a Voluntary Aid Hospital on 26th June 1917. He was discharged on 23rd July 1917 - temporarily unfit for military service.

PHILIP EDMONDS FRANCIS, Philip and Josephine's only child was born on 17th December 1917 in Johannesburg. Unfortunately Philip senior's attempts to get compensation for the health legacy of his time with the 7th SAI, seemed to be in vain. From the letters written between the various departments, it seems that Philip's letters and claims didn't match up to what the military welfare departments were prepared to accept. At some time later he moved back to East London, probably to try and benefit from the healthier sea air. However, since his brother ARCHIBALD TURNER KELLAND, didn't seem to know Josephine, as he couldn't provide her name on Philip's death notice, she may have already left him and divorce proceedings were only completed in 1930. Philip junior finished school in East London in 1933, giving a clue as to the family's whereabouts at that time.

Philip Edmond senior made a will on 23rd August 1939, leaving everything to his second wife CHRISTINA MARY ANN KELLAND, formerly Norrish and Hawthorne born DOHERTY.  He married her on 25th October 1930 in East London, when his residence is noted as 4 Cedar Lane. His grandson, David Arthur, recalls his father vaguely mentioning a step-mother, (as well as stories of the two Philip's stripping and putting the Morris Car mentioned in the Estate, together again!)  Christina Mary Ann died a year before Philip, on 11th April 1940, so the sole heir of his estate became his son, Philip Edmonds Francis.

Philip senior worked for the East London Municipality, according to the funeral notice in the Daily Dispatch of 24th June 1941 announcing his funeral at Rogers' Funeral Chapel in Oxford Street,  and burial at West Cemetery, East London. According to the Death Notice, his brother, A.T. Kelland (Archibald Turner) identified the body and the date of death was 23rd June 1941. He was 51 years and 11 months old.  Philip junior was 24 years old and unmarried.

A little while ago I found the information which, I think, many researchers perhaps dread finding. If PHILIP EDMONDS KELLAND had lived to be 90 years old, I would have met him and he may have attended my wedding! But he died when he was 51 and this link tells me how. The 'official' Death Notice gives no indication of the circumstances of death, so although very sad to read, it was worthwhile to continue looking for as much information as possible. The person completing this form was probably under no obligation to give as much detail as he did at the top of the page; the cause of death would have been sufficient to have cleared up any question ("self administered"). Maybe we'll never know the reason why he took his own life, but it does shed a light on the reason his son never spoke of him.



I admit to avoiding Coodie as much as possible after mentioning him in the article about PHILIP EDMUND KELLAND.  Coodie is not really a Kelland, but I got hold of documents from the National Archives in South Africa which told a sad tale, so here it is, told I hope with compassion and respect.

 Coodie was the son of JOSEPHINE ELIZABETH ROOS, who married PHILIP EDMUND KELLAND on 31st March 1915 in Johannesburg. In a letter from Josephine to the Magistrate of the Cape Court on 27 August 1925, she mentions that her son is 15 years old, which means he was born 1910, and she also says that her son’s father died when he (Coodie) was 4 months old.

 Her letter goes on:  “So my parents took him and looked after him till just recently when my dad got killed in Cape Town.”  Josephine’s husband must have been the bread-winner and without him she could not provide for herself and her baby. Her parents took the baby and raised him for her. She also says in the letter that, “When I wanted the boy, because he was not brought up properly, my people refused to give him up.” This, of course, begs the question of why they wouldn’t give him up, and maybe there’s a lot we don’t know, and perhaps don’t want to know, about Josephine.

 Josephine’s father died when he was knocked over by a car; this is the newspaper report on the accident: 

 “Matthew Roos, an elderly European who recently retired on pension from the Kimberley Municipality, was knocked down by a motor car near the dock gates at Capetown yesterday afternoon. He was so severely injured that he died two hours after admission to hospital, wires our Capetown correspondent.”

 Unfortunately there is no date on the cutting which Josephine sent with her letter to the Magistrate but I assume that it was mid 1925 as her letter says “.. till just recently" regarding her father’s death, and in a police report in September 1925, it says that Josephine’s sister had taken Coodie in and he had been living with her for the past two months. We assume this was after their father’s fatal car accident.

 After 15 years Josephine is still unable to care for her son. “It is impossible for me to take him now as my husband deserted me 3 years and 6 months ago and does not support me. It’s impossible for me to take my boy.” Unfortunately the husband is the Kelland Grandfather Philip Edmund Kelland.  From the letters he wrote to the Governor General regarding his poverty in December 1921, we can see that he was desperate and Josephine’s precise “3 years and 6 months” would mean that Philip ‘deserted’ her in February 1922, just a few months later. Josephine tells the Magistrate that “… it is impossible for me to look after the boy or support him as I am working for people just for my own food and room.” 

 A few days before Josephine wrote the letter to the Magistrate, she had received one from her sister who had taken Coodie in when their father died.  It is crystal clear that the two sisters were not at all close.  She writes from Hamilton Street in Goodwood, Cape and addresses the letter to “Mrs Kelland”, no “Dear” or “Dear Josephine”, and signs the letter “Mrs A.F. Warner.”  What she says about Coodie is not complimentary, not compassionate and very angry; I’m not going to divulge the contents of the letter, but she does confirm that her parents had had Coodie for 15 years.

 Coodie had also written to his mother, addressing her in the traditional, courteous manner of “Dear Tannie”.  “Tannie” is Afrikaans for “Auntie”, and is the equivalent of an adult calling someone “sir” or “madam”. His signs himself as “Your outcast son, Coodie.”  In his letter he said he didn’t want to stay at his Aunt’s house, and much like his Aunt, said derogatory things about the way he had been treated and also not worthy of repeating in print.  However, in a police report just three weeks later, as the authorities had obviously followed up on Josephine’s request to look into the matter and help him, he admitted to lying about being homeless and starving in the letter to his mother, because “he thought they would impress his mother and she would send the money for him to go to her.”  Josephine’s letters came from an address in Johannesburg, and Coodie was staying with his Aunt in Cape Town, but in his letter to his mother he asks for money to go to Kimberley in the Eastern Cape, which was where his grandparents had been living. (See the newspaper report on his grandfather’s death.)

 In Josephine’s letter to the Magistrate, she was asking him to arrange for Coodie to be sent to an Industrial School in Graaf Reinet or George. The University of the Western Cape Faculty of Education has a paper online entitled “A History of the Ottery School of Industries in Cape Town: Issues of Race, Welfare and Social Order in the period 1937 to 1968 by Nur-Mohammed Azeem Badroodien (A thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Education, University of Western Cape March 2001).” 

 The writer quotes a secretary for the Union Education Department in 1925:

  “In the past the industrial school has been taken to imply an institution for juvenile(-type) offenders. (However) the industrial school is neither more or less than a trade school for boys/girls who have been committed under the Children’s Protection Act.”  (Page 220).

  This is the type of place Josephine was asking her son be sent to – a kind of reformatory.

 At the top of the letter from the archives to Josephine from her sister, someone has written in pencil: “George Ind-School”. This is where the trail runs cold. The CID in Cape Town forwarded their police report to the Magistrate in Cape Town, but the hand-written note on the covering letter reads:  “File. It does not appear necessary to interfere in this matter. W.H. 29/9/25.”  There seems to be no further trace of Coodie. He could of course have changed his name – Coodie seems to be an unusual name in South Africa; or he could have jumped on a ship, he could have gone anywhere ……..




Great Great grandfather ROBERT KELLAND born 1821, married SUSAN ELIZABETH DEMARCHYE, the daughter of an officer in the French army - according to their marriage certificate. Her father is listed as Anthony De Marchye, but apart from the fact that she was born in Guernsey nothing else was known about Great Great Grandmother Susan. Until December 2012! (For me anyway)

I found this paragraph on 

 "Susan De Marchye came from a noble family in France.  During the French Revolution, Susan and her family fled to England and settled there.

One evening, after the Revolution had settled down and it was safe for them to return to France, Susan's parents abandoned the children and returned to France.

Susan and her siblings, sister Nell and two brothers, were thrown upon the mercy of the community and her two brothers were sent to the Poorhouse.  

Susan married the village shoemaker, a Mr Kelland."

I'm unsure who posted this on, but it sure is quite an eye-opener! The search will continue, and this time I can look at poorhouse records in Devon for some help. Thank you to the person who posted it - you've made my year!


The French Lady's story - Susan Elizabeth DeMarshye Kelland


The story eventually gets told … and passed on.

 A descendent of Great Uncle Archibald Turner Kelland shared some letters he has, written by 2xGreat Aunt Ellen Jane Kelland (known as Nel). Nel was the second daughter of 2xGreat Grandfather Robert and Susan Kelland, nee DeMarshye, and in her two letters (recipient uncertain) she confirms that her mother’s French parents abandoned their young family to return to France!  Nel’s letter was written in 1927 when she was 81 years old.

 Anthony DeMarshye, the ‘officer in the French army’ according to Robert & Susan’s marriage certificate, fled France in about 1830, with his wife and three children, John age 9, Susan Elizabeth age 7 and Mary 1 year old. They settled in a ‘very nice house’ in Dartmouth and had two servants. They had three more children born in Dartmouth, Poirine born in 1831, Anthony born in1833 and Peter born in1835. But one morning, when Peter was only two months old, the children woke up to find their mother and father gone!

 ‘It would have been easy for them to arrange a passage from Dartmouth,’ writes Nel, but no-one seemed to know where they had gone.  Nel’s mother Susan, being then the eldest (her brother John died very young from consumption), was put as a servant at the butchers, her sister Mary became a nursemaid, and the two baby boys went to the workhouse. (Nel couldn’t remember what happened to the 4 year old).  When Susan married she did get to see her brothers and sisters again.

 Nel says in one of the letters that her maternal grandfather – Anthony De Marshye – was a very accomplished man who taught painting, music and languages to Sir Henry Seale’s children. One day Sir Henry showed Nel paintings in his home that her grandfather had done, one of which she remembered as a ‘Soldier Officer standing by a lovely white horse’. (Sir Henry was a landowner and well-known in the Devonshire political arena.)

 Susan told Nel the stories of her French mother; how when she heard she was marrying an English ‘tradesman’ begged her to go back to France and ‘marry in her own class’. Susan responded strongly that she would marry whoever she wanted to and that she did not want to hear from her mother again!  

 She said that after Nel was born in 1847 her mother wrote again and asked for one of her little girls! And in another letter asked if she was sent the money would she go back to France to see her mother as she said she ‘could never die happy unless she had her forgiveness.’ Susan’s response, via a French consulate as she could no longer correspond in French, was strong: ‘She had more love for her children than to cross the sea to satisfy a woman she would not know if she met her.’ She never forgot that her mother had abandoned her and her siblings. Nel says that her mother had kept the letters but after showing them to Nel , who was then about 15 years old, she burnt them - they were in French and neither of them could read them!

 The family assumed that Susan’s French mother had been killed as they knew that the letters had come from a house which their ‘map of the war’ showed troops had gone through as the Germans went through Belgium. (which war? When?)

 De Marshye sounds as if it should be an easy name to research and to find out what happened to the Susan’s siblings, but either the census enumerators did not know how to spell the name or the children changed their names, but the search will go on!


Great Uncle Archie. Grandfather Philip Edmond's brother.

Born 30th December 1896 in East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa (thanks to a descendent for a copy of his birth certificate!), the youngest son of Francis Arthur and Annie Jane Kelland. On 11 August 1898, just under two weeks before his father's death, Archibald Turner Kelland was baptised at St Peter's Church of the Province in East London. The "sponsors" at the baptism were his mother Annie Jane and someone called Elizabeth Sterling. They must have known Francis Arthur would not be around for long to raise their young son.

Archie married Bessie Hilda Wells, the daughter of William Alfred & Elizabeth Ann Wells. Although I don't have their marriage date yet, it was probably mid to late 1923. They had two children, both girls. Phyllis Enid who married into the Scott family, and Doris Rose who married into the Fotheringham family.

In December 1941 Archie bought No. 7 Essex Road, Cambridge, East London - the home he eventually died in - and in August 1951 he bought another property, 4 Lake Street, Vincent, East London, which he rented out.

Archie was the one who signed his brother Philip's death certificate as 'saw body after death', and had to go through the trauma of knowing his brother had taken his own life. 

Archie worked as a shipping clerk for Parry, Leon & Hayhoe Limited, but for six months before his death, on 26th October 1951, he had been having heart problems and the  cause of death, eventually quite sudden, was Coronary Thrombosis. He was 54 years old.

The same person who sent me a copy of his birth certificate sent me this beautiful picture:

What a lovely looking couple! His grandson Keith told me that although Archie died when he was a little boy, the memories he had of him were very endearing. He was a very nice man, gentle and soft spoken. He worked for Parry, Leon & Hayho, shipping agents..... Bessie was not very happy with the firm as she said they worked him to death!"

He died at his home at 7 Essex Road, East London, about 5km from Nahoon Beach. His wife, Bessie Hilda survived him by about 30 years, dying on 21 April 1981 in East London and was also buried at Cambridge Cemetery with her husband.