So to the area of mutual interest to us both. As I make some progress
in my genealogy searches I have found that my mother's family were well
rooted in the Tilty area.
Although I have yet to be sure I have pencilled in William Rolph's
first I can claim. Son Jesse Rolph, was Christened there on
19th.January 1755. and married Mary Moore on December 17th.1776. Next I
have another Jesse Rolph, born in 1778, but no date yet. His death I
have established as 23rd.February 1857. He married an Ann who was born
in 1792 but I have no other information about her - till her death on
All those happenings seem to have occurred while they were living in
Next in line is Charles Rolph, born in 1821 married to Ann Bridges born
some distance away (well 15 or 20 miles!) in 1835 on June 11th. 1854.
Having Jesse and Ann followed by another Jesse
and Ann complicates the search.
My grandfather William (Sonny) Rolph was born on July 6th. 1854 and he married
Eliza Parkin from Thaxted on February 10th.1876, in Gt.Easton Church.
Eliza died December 8th.1913 and William (Sonny) June 6th.1943 both are buried
in the churchyard there. My mother, one of 11 children, was born on
22nd.March 1886, married in Gt.Easton Church 5th.October 1910, and died
All my forebears were Agricultural Labourers as were 85%+ of the entire
population of Great Britain at that time though Grandfather William (Sonny) was
able to record himself as 'Horse Keeper' which probably placed him
slightly above the bottom rank!
As I have told you I knew Grandfather William (Sonny) quite well as he came to
visit us during the 30's and as well as making visits with my parents I
stayed with him at times during the summers in a little cottage, one of
two, immediately behind the 'Three Horseshoes' Public House in Duton
Hill. That cottage had one room and a kitchen downstairs and two
bedroms above. There was no plumbing and water was obtained from a
handpump in the front of the Three Horseshoes. As far as I know the
well never ran dry. Sanitation was very primitive and best related to
'The Specialist'. The cottage had disappeared completely when I made my
first post war visit in 1951 or thereabouts. It would certainly not have
passed any standards established during the War. At the other end of
the one street village - or perhaps hamlet is a better word, Great Aunt
Charlotte lived in a cottage adjacent to a farm, and with a duck pond
between her and the farmhouse and buildings though I cannot recall many
ducks but remember the horses being led into the water to drink and
perhaps cool off. In the middle of the houses there was a 'Mom and
Pop' type shop supplying most of what was needed for life and a Post
Office for contact with the wide world. Almost opposite the shop Great
Aunt Sarah lived on the first floor of what was, as I recall a more
substantial house; with her companion Miss Chapman - never known by
anything more familiar! Sarah Rolph never married but is described on
census data as a Self-employed seamstress so would count as being at
least one rung up the ladder - perhaps even two. Charlotte is
remembered for being completely deaf - offering an ear-trumpet to those
who wished to speak. She was a very unsophisticated soul who would not
believe aircraft flew above the clouds as they were too high. What
would she have made of Space Travel? Her family consisted of sons Jack,
Percy and Frederick who was a hunch-back cripple with a fierce temper,
but best remembered for his prowess with a sling shot projecting steel
ball bearings which were the end of many rabbits at harvest time that
found there way into the pot or pie. I was allowed to search for the
spent balls which had to be recovered for the next shot. There were two
daughters Edith and Daisy.
Sadly WWII which disrupted our lives from 1939 till at least 1945 - and
in many cases longer (I was in the Army from August 1942 until June
1947) resulted in family links becoming slack and after the war,
although my mother and later sister maintained some contact with cousins
etc. sadly I have knowledge of only one at this time.
I think this establishes my 'cast list' and I will send it now, and
follow with more narrative from my memories which I am slowly dragging
to the fore as soon as I can concentrate on the past rather than the
Regards and best wishes. We are promised very cold weather from Tuesday
this week with snow in the North. and maybe even as far South as
ourselves. Hope you are faring better Stanley ( Ron) ROLPH
Hello Evelyn, I will try to answer the various queries you have put, and first 'Photo's' I will send you one of myself before too long but just at the moment for some reason I do not understand I cannot access many that I have stored in the computer - and most of our 'stocks' have already been bundled up ready for the dreaded move. Son-in-law Keith is our most enthusiastic photographer and I will ask him to send some of his across so that I can get one to you. I did think to send a snapshot of Grandfather William and myself taken in about the early 1930's but that is really only for family eyes!
I can lead into Military service from here and say that William did not serve, but somewhere I have a studio portrait of one of his brothers taken in uniform in Nova Scotia at the time it was still garrisoned from the U.K. Unfortunately I cannot recognise the Regiment as only his collar badges are visible and without a lot more info. I cannot ask Army records to look for him. I don't think it was the Essex Regiment. He came back and took a job as Carman with very well known Carters in London but during the first week fell off his vehicle and was crushed to death beneath the wheels. In the 'genealogy' folders there is a postcard with William and three sons taken during WWI and a snapshot of Walter the youngest of the family as a groundcrew man with the Royal Flying Corps - forerunner of the Royal Air Force. Again I do not know enough to go for his details. All a bit irritating!
You friends Dad's memory is spot on with the shop-keeper in Duton Hill he was indeed Mr.Mann and I think Herbert, but I have no recollection of his son. The Three Horseshoes is still there, but must have been re-built recently as in the "Essex Villages" site I found a note thanking the Inn Keeper and his wife for allowing the Christmas Party of the Residents Association there, with a disc-jockey. There would have been no room for such in the Pub I knew with just two rooms and a single counter to collect drinks. The Landlord at that time and still in the 1950's was Frank Smith. It was very much the social centre for the males I knew and the other Inn - the Maypole I think - was never talked about - I wondered why but didn't feel I dare ask as a mere child. I remember the excitement when the Electricity was coming and the Three Horseshoes was due to be among the first buildings connected. I also remember words of wisdom from one of mother's cousins - "Never mix the grape and the grain" uttered I think after someone had been inebriated unwisely! More to come!