Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sorting out the various John VERNELLs

Ancestors who use the same name generation after generation are both a blessing and a curse.

A blessing because the repetition of the name sometimes helps you feel secure when guessing whether you have the right John SMITH (or in my case, John VERNELL).  A curse because after a few generations you have so many John VERNELLs that your eyes begin to cross.

Here's where I am with my own John VERNELLs today.

Starting with the most recent.

John VERNELL #1, born about 1866 in New Cross, Surrey, England, died some time after the 1901 census.  He was the first child of John VERNELL #2 and Eleanor Anne (Ann) CAMPBELL.  He married a lady named Mary Ann and in 1901 he was working as a solicitor's clerk.  John #1 probably lived in London and in Essex as far as I now know.

John VERNELL #2, father of John VERNELL #1, was born in 1844 in Whitechapel, a part of London most closely associated with Jack the Ripper these days.  This John was only 30 when he died, but he and Eleanor Anne had seven children.  John was a tea salesman.

John VERNELL #3, father of John VERNELL #2, was born in 1816 in Tower Hamlets (London).  He was a Silk Manufacturer, and died in 1845 in Whitechapel.  His wife, Maria SANDERS, was born SANDERS, married John VERNELL, then after his death, married William Lumley SANDERS.  This tendency of SANDERS and VERNELLs to intermarry is driving me crazy but it also makes the stories a little more intriguing.

John VERNELL #4, father of John VERNELL #3, 1789 (about) to 1873.  I think he and his wife, Hetty Mary TWINAM, sometimes called Hester or Esther, had about seven children.  (I'm still counting.)  If I understand correctly, John was a silk manufacturer who retired to Thames Ditton in the 1840s with his wife and several of the unmarried adult children.  This family lived in High House, Thames Ditton, through the 19th century and probably into the 20th.  If I am ever going to find a family fortune (!), this seems like the best place to start looking.

In my Ancestry.com family tree, I am still sorting out Johns #1 through #4 and at the moment I have some facts showing for the wrong individuals.

The story before this:

Family History Stories: Ancestors: The VERNELLs were silk manufacturers in Spitalfields in the early 1800s

and the story after:

Family History Stories: John VERNELL #1, of London and area, Solicitor's clerk, ~1866 to 1908


  1. Hello Jill,

    I've only recently unearthed the Vernell side of my family. John Oswell Vernell (d Thames Ditton 1873) was my 4xgreat grandfather. Hetty seems to have been a family name. My great aunt was Hetty Marguerite Edwards an she is the third I've found ranging back through a Twinam and, possibly, Nourse.

    My research on them is in 'Glanvill of Devon & London' on Ancestry, user I'd rickglanvill.



  2. Hello Rick,

    Excellent! I look forward to comparing notes. At the moment I'm more embroiled in the Charles Street people but I will get back to Vernells again.

    I was inspired by the Thames Ditton saga to write a fictitious family history. There is very little resemblance to the Vernells (none, other than living in a big house in a small village). adasophia.com for The Diary of Ada Sophia Flannell, in case you feel like it. I warn you, it's full of puns and there is nothing historically meritorious about it!

    Thanks so much for commenting here, Rick. Nice to meet you.



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