Chapter 9

John Jones Ponting

John Jones Ponting was born on 10 April 1843 at Hengaston Farm, Breadstone. He was the son of Henry Ponting, farmer and Jane Jones. His father Henry registered the birth. John Jones was baptised on 7 May 1843 at Stinchcombe, the son of Henry Ponting, farmer of Hengaston and his wife Jane (Chapter 4).

At the time that the 1851 census was taken John Jones Ponting, aged 8, scholar, was living with his widowed mother Jane and his siblings at Appleridge, Highfield, Gloucestershire (Chapter 4).

By 1861, John Ponting, aged 18, had moved to London and was living at 35 Stephenson Terrace, St Mary's, Islington. He is described as an assistant to the head of the household, Owen Evans, a 35 year old linen draper. Also at the address was Owen's wife Charlotte, 1 other drapers assistant and a general servant.

On 2 April 1871 John J Ponting, aged 26, was living at 123 Westbourne Grove with his widowed mother, Jane, brother Thomas and sister Mary. All the children state that their occupation as "draper employing 4 assistants" (Chapter 4). 

From at least 19 February 1875 John was in partnership with his brothers William, and Sydney as "court milliner and fancy draper" of 125 Kensington High Street (Chapter 5).

By then John had married for the first time. On 1 August 1872, John Jones Ponting married Fanny Osborn Jefferson at Kensington Parish Church.  John describes himself as a bachelor of full age, a draper, living in Kensington. His father is given as Henry Ponting, deceased. Fanny is described as a spinster of full age living at Foxley Road. Her father was Edward Jefferson, deceased. Both parties signed the marriage register. The witnesses were B Farrow and Ashfield Ann Ponting (Chapter 12). The certificate below is the original taken from the divorce papers.  

Fanny Osborn Jefferson was born on 28 July 1851 in Sherington, Bucks, the daughter of Edward Jefferson, farmer and Sarah Osborn. Fanny appears to be a late arrival for at the time the 1851 census was taken her father, Edward was 52 and her mother Sarah was 41 years old and it seems she was the product of both her parents second marriage. Edward is described as a farmer of 240 acres employing 14 labourers.

Edward Jefferson was born on 16 March 1778 and had been baptised on 21 March 1778 at Newport Pagnell (IGI). He had previously been married to Sarah Checkley. In 1841 they were living at Calves End, Sherington with nine children ranging in ages from 7 to 15. Sarah Jefferson died in 1849. By 1851 only three of their children remained at home, son Joseph, aged 20 and daughters Sarah, aged 16 and Ann aged 14. Sarah Osborn had been born on 13 November 1812 and baptised on 9 December 1812 at The Great Meeting Independent in Newport Pagnell. Her first husband had been John Pancoust Swannell. He had died in 1841. At the time the census was taken, Sarah is described as a farmer living at the same address in Tyringham is Thomas Osborn, also a farmer who I take to be her brother. Edward and Sarah had married on 12 December 1850 at Newport Pagnell.

Edward Jefferson died on 8 April 1854. In his will he instructs that all his assets are sold and his debts paid. £1,000 is to be invested and the interest and annual profits to be paid to his wife. The residue of his estate is to be divided equally between all his children (or if a child has died with issue their portion to be divided between their children). If any of his children (or their children if appropriate) are under 21 years old then their portion of the residue is invested and the interest and annual profits to be distributed for their benefit. No value of the estate is given. "The National Archives: Kew, England: Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers: Class: PROB 11:Piece: 2194" But as a result of Edwards death several auctions were held. The following items are just some listed

  • 17 May 1854 at Sherington - 472 sheep, 38 fat & store oxen, 30 acres of grass keeping which consisted of 15 acres of Griggs Meadow and 15 acres of Cow Pasture.
  • 19 May 1854 at Roxhill Farm, Marston, Nr Ampthill - 350 sheep & lambs, 57 store hogs, 28 acres of grass keeping which included Richardsons Field of 15 acres.
  • 7 June 1854 at Newport Pagnell
  • Dwelling house that includes a butchers shop at Tickford End, tenant John Bull, Fellers Yard, Nr Tickford Bridge
  • Private house at Tickford End, tenant Joseph Webb
  • Grocers shop at Tickford End, George Moore, yearly rent of £15.00
  • Pasture land at Tickford End, George Bull, yearly rent of £15.00
  • Stable building at Tickford End, Mrs Ayers, yearly rent of £5.00
  • School House at Tickford End, Mrs Van Hagen, yearly rent of £5.10s
  • Pastureland of 6 acres at North Crawley
  • 12 October 1854 at Sherrington - 10 draught house, 4 Herefords, 47 sheep, 7 broad-wheeled dung carts, 3 turnip machines, oil cake breakers and other implements.
  • Details taken from

In 1861 Fanny is living with her mother in High Street, Newport Pagnell. Her mother is described as a "proprietor of houses". Also at the address is domestic, Catherine Byway and a boarder George Hitchin, a bankers clerk. Sarah Jefferson died on 15 February 1870 aged 60 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1870 Newport Pagnell 3a 414).

In 1871 Fanny aged 19 was a pupil at Townley House, Ramsgate, a "young ladies boarding school". Less than 16 months later she was in Kensington and getting married to John Jones Ponting. How did that happen?

John and Fanny were married for seven years and had four children

  • Henry Edward Ponting,
  • Patty Partridge Sarah Ponting,
  • Frank Osborne Ponting,
  • Frederick Hewett Ponting,

Henry Edward Ponting was born on 8 June 1873. Edward Henry Ponting was baptised on 13 July 1873 at St Stephens, Hammersmith.

Patty Partridge Sarah Ponting was born on 26 August 1874 at 24 Caves Terrace, Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith. John's occupation is given as a draper and he was the informant. Patty was baptised on 20 September 1874 at St Stephens, Hammersmith.

Frank Osborne Ponting was born on 8 February 1876 at 24 Caves Terrace, Shepherds Bush.  The address had originally been written as Hammersmith but this had been crossed out and Shepherds Bush written in it's place. John's occupation is given as a draper and it was he who registered the birth. Frank was baptised on 5 March 1876 at St Stephens, Hammersmith.

Frederick Hewett Ponting was born on 28 October 1877 at Shakespeare Road, Acton.  Again John is described as a draper and it was he who registered the birth. Frederick Hewitt Ponting was baptised on 9 December 1877 at St Mary's, Acton.

According to his brother Sydney's will (Chapter 11) John Jones Ponting was (still) living a Hyde House, Shakespeare Road, Acton on 8 August 1879. It is not clear whether his wife Fanny would have been there at the time, for on 11 September 1879, Messrs Tippetts and Co filed a petition for divorce on behalf of John Jones Ponting before the High Court of Justice, Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division (Divorce) (National Archives 77/230/6448).

John Jones Ponting's petition reads

  1. "That I was on 1 of August 1872 lawfully married to Fanny Osborn Ponting then Fanny Osborn Jefferson , spinster at the parish church of Kensington in the county of Middlesex
  2. That after the said marriage I lived and cohabitated with my said wife at Hereford Road, Westbourne Grove, at Caves Terrace, Shepherds Bush and at Hyde House, Acton, Middlesex and that there has been issue of the said marriage, four children, with Henry Edward born 8 June 1873, Pattie Partridge born 26 August 1874, Frank Osborn, born 8 February 1876 and Frederick Hewett born 28 October 1877
  3. That I am informed and verify believe that on or about 26 and 27 June 1879 the said Fanny Osborn Ponting in the neighbourhood of Broad Street Station in the city of London committed adultery with some man whose name to me is unknown.
  4. That I am informed and verily believe that on diverse other days during the years 1878 and 1879 the said Fanny Osborn Ponting committed adultery at my house at Acton aforesaid and at diverse other places with diverse other men whose names are unknown.
  5. That I am informed and verily believe that on 1 August 1879 Fanny Osborn Ponting committed adultery at 70 St Georges Road in the borough of Southwark with a certain man whose name to me is unknown
  6. That no collusion or conveyance exists between me and my said wife"

When it is put before courts by Tippetts and Co the following is added:

" Your Petitioner humbly prays that your lordship will be pleased to decree

  1. A dissolution of the marriage
  2. That the petitioner may have the custody of the said children of the marriage
  3. And that the petitioner may have such further and other relief in the premises as your Lordship may seem meet" 

On 19 September 1879 Tippetts and Co file affidavits from E S Player and K Gray along with a case for motion. These affidavits are not held. On 22 September 1879 Tippetts and Co file the joint affidavit of the petitioner and of Jane Ponting, widow, sworn on 11 September 1879. Again this is not held.

On 4 November 1879 having read these affidavits the court decided that John Jones Ponting could proceed with his action without "making the alleged adulterers or either of them co-respondents"

At a further hearing on 25 November 1879, at which Fanny is not present, the courts decide that the evidence needed to be put before the court. Various other legal manoeuvrings follow, including the issue of two subpoena's by Tippetts on 30 December 1879.

The case of "Ponting against Ponting" finally comes before the High Court in March 1880. The Right Honourable James Hannen dissolves the marriage by reason of Fanny's adultery.

He further orders that custody of the children is given to John Jones Ponting but he directs that "such children should not be removed out of the jurisdiction of the court without its leave" 

The decree absolute was issued on 16 November 1880.

Seven years and four children and the marriage is over, seemingly because of Fanny's adultery. This was not the circumstances I had expected when I first discovered that John Jones and Fanny had divorced. What had tempted Fanny to stray? Who were the potential co-respondents? Did John Jones Ponting know and not want them named, or didn't he know? 

Since publishing this website I have been in contact with Peter Norton, his brother Richard (and wife Jill) Norton who are John Jones Ponting grandsons through his third wife (see below). They have kindly agreed to share much of the information and photos which follow, including a journal written by John's daughter from his second marriage, Gladys Merryweather Ponting - seemingly for Frederick Hewett Ponting's daughters - ("Aunt Sissie's Journal") - see below. The journal provides some fantastic insight into the family's life, quotes from the journal are in italic, beginning with this about her father and his first marriage. I have tried to keep the quotes in this and other chapters to the facts, but it has been impossible not to include some of the writers opinion.  

"And now we come to Father who hated business and loved horses, dogs, shooting, hunting and a country life. I don't know at all when, how or where he met your grandmother only that when your father was still very small, the four children were "put out to nurses" to a woman who shamefully neglected them and that Grandma and Aunt Mary did what they could for them. Harry was very good looking - Patty was very plain and not very bright - Frank had opthalmia and Father used to carry him to hospital for treatment. Later he went to the Coulsdon Street School in Bristol. Fred - he was good looking". Sissie goes on to suggest that Fred was the cleverest of the four, but she was writing this for his daughters. 

On 27 January 1881, John Jones Ponting of 125-127 High Street, Kensington was admitted to the Guildhall and given the Freedom of the City of London. The photo below was provided by Susan Oldfield, the granddaughter of the sister of John Jones Ponting's third wife Florence Mabel Hastings (see below). It is understood that he was admitted because of his philanthropic work providing clothing and footwear to children in need in the poorer parts of London. 

When the census was taken on 3 April 1881, 40 year old John Jones Ponting was living at 92 Talbot Road, Paddington. He is described as a retired draper. He was boarding with Robert Hewett and Ann Cox. Robert is a retired farmer and he was John Jones's second cousin (Appendix F). Both John Jones and Robert were great grandson's of William Ponting and Mary Pearce. Also boarding with them was farmers daughter 20 year old Nellie Wetmore, a farmer daughter born in Hill and 20 year old Charles Wiles who gives his occupation as a "gentleman (private secretary)". Could Nellie have been Ellen, the daughter of Robert Hewett Wetmore and Ellen Hewett and Robert and Ann's niece? (Appendix F). I also wonder whether Charles was employed by John Jones?

No trace has been found of John Jones's by then ex-wife Fanny in the 1881 census. Their son Henry (Harry E per census) was a 9 year old scholar boarding with Margaret Gregson at 8 Burlington Road, Kensington. Their daughter, Patty, aged 7, was living with her uncle William (Chapter 10). Their sons Frank, aged 5, and Frederick aged 3 are "visiting" at 3 St James Terrace, Kensington, the home of Edwin Barnes, aged 38, square keeper and his son Les. Also visiting were John and Elizabeth Burridge, born Somerset. The connection between the Barnes', the Burridges' and the Pontings' is unknown.

Fanny Osborn Ponting died on 27 November 1885 aged just 35 years old. She died at 6 Brook Green Place, Hammersmith which I assume was her address at the time. The cause of death was "sudden rupture of blood vessel" . In place of informant it states "certificate received from Thomas Bramah Diplock. Coroner for Middlesex". Inquest heard December 1st 1885" (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1885 Fulham 1a 156). I have been told that she died of a tuberculosis lesion which haemorrhaged. I am unlikely to find any papers relating to the inquest and I have been unable to find a will for Fanny. 

At the time of Fanny's death, John Jones Ponting had not long remarried. He married Elizabeth Merryweather on 15 January 1885 at St Stephens Church, Paddington. He is described as a 41 year old draper, 'divorced by law', the son of Henry Ponting, farmer. He was still living at 92 Talbot Road. Elizabeth was a 23 year old spinster. Her residence at the time is given as 'Parish of All Saints', Upper Norwood. No occupation is shown. Her father is shown as Frederick Fitz Henry....... but this is then crossed out.  The witnesses were Thomas Dale and Sarah Kate Moffatt, neither of whom were family members. 

Elizabeth Merryweather was born on 1 February 1861 at 9 Union Street, Union Square, Islington.  Her birth certificate names her father as Frederick Fitz Henry Fisher, independent. Her mother, Elizabeth Merryweather registered the birth.

The 1861 census was taken on 7 April 1861. As yet I cannot trace either Elizabeth or her mother in that census. It looks like her father Frederick F Fisher, a 36 year old widower could have been residing at 25, St Paul's Grove, Islington. He is described as a "proprietor of houses" born Pentonville. Living with him at the time was his son Edmund, aged 6, brother-in law Benjamin H Cokman, aged 42, compositor and 2 servants, Caroline Reynolds and Hannah Canham. Frederick Fitz Henry Fisher remarried in 1862, not to Elizabeth Merryweather, but to Margaret Hephzibah Pickering.

Again I have been unable to trace Elizabeth Merryweather in the 1871 census, but her father, Frederick F H Fisher, aged 47, income derived from property and foreign stock was living at Wedmore House, Holloway Road, Islington with his wife Margaret, aged 28, sons William, aged 19, an undergraduate and Edmund, aged 16 "engaged in warehouse", and daughters, Margaret, aged 7, scholar and Ada aged 1 along with Emma Smith, domestic servant, Sarah Gibson, nursemaid and Marion Bullen, cook. This seems to be a story in its own right.

Later records suggest that Elizabeth was known as "Ethel" and at the time of the 1881 census, an "Ethel Merryworth" a 20 year old drapers assistant was working for Ponting Brothers and living at 125-127 High Street, Kensington. Ethel had been born in Islington and was around the right age to be John's second wife.

John and Elizabeth had two surviving children,

  • Arthur Gilbert Ponting "Bert", born on 13 June 1886 and baptised on 1 August 1886 at St Andrews. Kensington. At the time the family were living at 17 Perham Road and John Jones is described as a draper.
  • Gladys Merryweather Ponting "Sissie", born on 25 February 1888. Baptised 27 May 1888 at St Andrews, Kensington. The family were living at Talgarth Road and John Jones is described as a draper.

"In 1884 father married my mother who was tall, elegant, always dressed very well and was an excellent needlewoman - I don't think she carried much for four children except Frank. Gilbert was born in 1886 and me in 1888. 

Father was usually about the shop and many royal ladies were escorted by him, among them the Duchess of Teck and her little daughter, later to be Queen Mary. She used to take his hand and they would wander off together while her mother did her shopping. In those days it was all incandescent light and, of course, a much smaller shop than it is now and balls took the money to the desk"

During December when the Bazaar was open any child was allowed in to see toys until 9am when the shop "opened"............ and "Duncan" the Commissionaire had to see they were all out. One of his jobs was to walk behind Father daily as he took the cash to the bank - he was there for years.

Every year Father gave an entertainment to the children and old people in the Kensington Workhouse. Each child had a toy, sweets and orange, the old women tea and men tobacco. The firms Dramatic Club gave the entertainment. They also had a good tea.

I was born in Talgarth Road and Gilbert in Pirnam Road, but I don't remember the house and we must have moved to Lonsdale Road, Barnes very soon because I can remember at 3 years having a photo taken..........

By the time of the 1891 census the family were living at The Hollies, Barnes, Surrey. The entry reads

  • John J Ponting, head, aged 47, draper, born Berkeley
  • Elizabeth Ponting, wife, aged 29, born Islington, Middx
  • Henry E Ponting, son , aged 17, drapers assistant, born Shepherds Bush
  • Arthur G Ponting, son, aged 4, born West Kensington
  • Gladys M Ponting, daughter, aged 3, born West Kensington
  • Amy Machin, aged 21, nurse
  • Sarah Barker, aged 21, general servant

Frank Osborne Ponting and Frederick Hewett Ponting were both at boarding school at the time. Frank, aged 14, was a scholar at Nelson College, 21 and 23 Newstead Road, Lee, London and Frederick, aged 13 was a scholar boarding at Emanuel School, West Battersea. The only child who cannot be located is Patty, who would have been around 16 at the time.

John and Elizabeth had another son John Stuart Ponting who had been born in 1890.  He was baptised on 1 October 1890 at the Holy Trinity, Barnes. Tragically he died at 7 months and was buried on 14 March 1891 at West of London and Westminster Cemetery, Earls Court, Old Brompton. it is noted that the grave was 7ft long by 3ft wide, to an extra depth of 13 ft. Presumably with a view to accommodating others. 

It is believed that John and Elizabeth also had another son who was stillborn. 

John Jones Ponting and Elizabeth Merryweather are pictured below. This photograph was sent to me by Richard and Jill Norton. 

In 1898 John Jones Ponting disposed of the majority of his interest in the business Pontings. At the time he was living at 'Appleridge'. St John's Road, Putney, the property seemingly named after the former family home in Berkeley. The family had lived there since about 1893 

"At 5, we moved to Putney which was a new house in St John's Road and called Appleridge after the old farm. In that house I remember your father being fitted for oilskins and other sailors gear before joining his ship in Antwerp. Also Frank was an apprentice to a draper in Chertsey.......One day the horse bolted which he was driving and threw him on his head. He had bad concussion and I remember Father and Mother being sent for to his bed. Later he came home to convalesce. Harry was in India, Fred had gone to sea, Pattie was in a convent in Brussels and later Frank went to another shop and was there 11 years".  

"Uncle and Father retired, Appleridge was given up and the furniture stored. For about 2 years or 18 months the parents were in rooms or a furnished house. Bert was at  boarding school in Eastbourne then to Tonbridge School, while I had the 4 happiest years of my life at boarding school at Hove. Next home was a lovely house and garden in Tonbridge"  

So at the time the 1901 census was taken the family were living at 'Fairview', London Road, Tunbridge in Kent. The entry reads

  • John J Ponting, head, aged 58, living on own means, born Berkeley, Gloucestershire
  • Ethel Ponting, wife, aged 38, born Islington, London
  • Gilbert Ponting, son, aged 14, born West Kensington
  • George Burt, visitor, aged 36, Billiard Ball Manufacturer, born Massachusetts, USA
  • Etta Burt, visitor, aged 39 (George's wife), born Massachusetts, USA
  • Maud Wright, aged 26, domestic cook
  • Florence Law, aged 28, house servant.

As suggested above Elizabeth does seem to have been known as Ethel. Gilbert is obviously Arthur Gilbert.

George Henry Burt was the inventor of Crystalate, an early plastic, a formulation of nitrocellulose, camphor, and alcohol which he patented in the late 19th century. In August 1901 the Crystalate Company was founded at Golden Green (not Golders Green), Haddow, near Tunbridge in Kent, by a partnership of a London and an American firm. The British firm had begun by introducing colours into minerals and making imitation ivory. The American firm which had made billiard balls and poker chips started making gramophone records from shellac. There is no evidence that John Jones Ponting was involved with the Crystalate Company, but he appears to have been acquainted with one of its owners.

In 1901 Gladys M Ponting, aged 13, was a boarder at school at 1 Walsingham Mansions, Aldrington, Sussex.

After Tonbridge the family moved to South Norwood. 

John Jones Ponting was widowed in 1903. Elizabeth Ponting died on 22 May 1903 aged 42 at 11 Warminster Road, South Norwood. On the death certificate the cause of death was "phthisis" which describes any progressive wasting disease especially pulmonary tuberculosis. Elizabeth is described as the wife of John Jones Ponting of independent means. She was buried in a private grave on 26 May 1903 at West of London & Westminster cemetery, Earls Court, Old Brompton, in what was described as a "2nd interment", presumably alongside her son John Stuart Ponting.  

John remained a shareholder in Pontings Brothers (albeit significantly reducing his holding) until the company went into liquidation in 1906. The records of the company also confirm that in 1903 he was still living in Warminster Road, South Norwood and he is described as a gentleman.

"I had left school in the summer term and in the autumn went to study at the Royal College of Music. Bert had gone to the Crystal Palace School of Engineering, both lived at home and in the May mother died, TB. Apparently for some time the business had been going down and so it was decreed that we couldn't both have training. Bert was the more important so I had to leave. We  also gave up the house and moved to a smaller one which we all hated, but father still kept his horse and rode most days". 

"Shortly before mother died we had a cook - Florrie - who went with us to the smaller house and after a year we moved to Hutton".

So by 1906 John and family had moved again and were living at 'Engadine', Hutton. 

On 29 January 1906 John Jones Ponting married Florence Mabel Hastings at Hutton Parish Church.  Florence was a 23 year old spinster from Hutton, daughter of George Hastings, grocer. John is described a 63 year old widower from Hutton, son of Henry Ponting deceased. The witnesses included Gladys Merryweather Ponting, John's daughter from his second marriage and Amy Blanch Hastings, Florence's sister.

Florence Mabel Hastings had been born in 1883 in Croydon. In 1891, then aged 7, Florence was living with her parents George John Hastings, aged 38, a masons labourer and Ellen Sophie Hastings (nee Pink), aged 31, a laundress, her sisters Nelly Hastings, aged 11, Lydia Hastings, 9 and Amy Hastings, aged 4 and her brother Thomas Hastings, 11 at 8 Love Lane, Croydon. 

By 1901 Florence M Hastings was a 19 year old cook, a servant to Alex C Air, a 55 year old medical practitioner working from home at 223 Selhurst Road, Croydon, his wife, Mary and their three sons and three daughters. Her parents, George and Ellen had moved to 183 Harrington Cottages and a further son has been born. George is now described as a bricklayers labourer.   

Susan tells me that her great grandfather George John Hastings was a bricklayer and mason, and it was his wife Ellen Sophia, nee Pink, who was the grocer and confectioner, running her own shop on the corner of Love Lane and Harrington Road.  When they lived in Love Lane, Ellen's widowed father, Alfred Pink, also a brick maker lived next door. The family moved on to a new shop at 84, Churchfields Road, Beckenham (not far as the crow flies) by the 1911 census. George died in 1912 and Ellen Sophia in 1918 and it was Susan's grandmother who kept the shop going until she had to give it up to care for a younger brother who died of TB in about 1924Florence had been in service for a surgeon and met John Jones Ponting when she went to nurse his second wife. She has kindly provided me with the photograph of Florence Mabel Hastings, below.  

John and Florence had two children:

  • Sidney John Frederick Ponting "Sid" was born on 9 September 1906 at 'Engadine', Hutton, the son of John Jones Ponting, of 'independent means', and Florence Mabel Ponting formerly Hastings. John registered the birth. 
  • Ida Mary Jane Ponting "Mary" was born on 8 December 1908 at Great Garlands, Stanford Le Hope. The certificate indicates that she was the daughter of John Jones Ponting. 'master draper' and Florence Mabel Ponting formerly Hastings. It was Florence who registered the birth. This makes John Jones around 65 when he fathered his last child. Ida was baptised on 24 January 1909 at St Margaret of Antioch, Stanford Le Hope. 

Not long after "Florrie caught a cold and before long developed TB". Gladys who had been "for 2 years an apprentice in the show rooms at Kensington" "had to leave my job & go home to help, but  before long we went bankrupt and the Ordinary shares were paid out at 1s in the £1. This was not a pleasant time for anyone".  

"We moved again and a few months later went to Great Garlands, Stanford Le Hope. As we went in the door my father said "I'm not going to leave this house till I'm carried out."

"When Sid was 2 years 3 months, Mary arrived on December 8th on a snowy night. Father had to ride out Old Tom to get the doctor at 3am in the snow. The monthly nurse stayed 6 weeks then I was left with an almost dying woman, an elderly man and 2 babies and all the house and cooking. Frank and Jane came one weekend and Jane offered to stay and look after Mary...............Two months later Florrie was dead leaving Mary, 5 months and Sid, 2 and 1/2". 

Florence Mabel Ponting died on 31 May 1909 aged 26. The cause of death is given as pulmonary consumption (tuberculosis) and cardiac failure. The informant was J J Ponting, widower of the deceased who was present at the death at Great Garlands, Stanford Le Hope. She was buried on 4 June 1909 at St Margaret of Antioch, Stanford Le Hope. 

Great Garlands, Stanford Le Hope is pictured below:

"Jane stayed with me and the following spring she and Frank were married. He came home at weekends. During the summer Father became ill and in September he died of cancer".  

John Jones Ponting died on 20 September 1910, aged 68 at Great Garlands, Stanford Le Hope, Essex. The cause of death was carcinoma (cancer) of the stomach and cardiac failure. The informant was J Ponting, daughter in law who was present at the death.

John Jones Ponting was buried at St Margaret's of Antioch, Stanford Le Hope. He shares a burial plot with his third wife Florence Mabel Ponting.

In his will made on 15 March 1906 he

  • Appoints William James Berriman Tippetts and Percy William Berriman Tippetts, solicitors of 11 Maiden Lane, City of London as executors
  • Leaves all his household effects, including plates, linen, china, glass, books, pictures, prints, wines, liquors, etc to his present wife Florence Mabel Ponting, along with a life assurance policy for £500.00
  • Leaves the remainder of his estate to be divided equally between the children of his second marriage, Arthur Gilbert Ponting and Gladys Merryweather Ponting
  • Appoints his executors as guardians of his infant children

However there is a codicil to the will dated 14 August 1910 which states

  • His wife Florence Mabel Ponting has died
  • His two children by her, Sidney John Frederick Ponting and Ida Mary Ponting shall inherit the legacies he received from her and those he had previously left to her equally. The proceeds are to be invested by the executors and both the income and capital to be employed for the maintenance and education of the children through their infancy.

The total value of the estate is stated at £1,425 17s 2d (the equivalent of about £99K in 2006)

John Jones fails to make any provision for the children of his first marriage. Thomas excludes them from a possible legacy under his will on the basis that they had 'already been provided for' (Chapter 6) . Sydney had left the residue of his estate to all John Jones Ponting children following the death of his wife (Chapter 11). Mary Jane Finemore makes provision Frank Osbourne Ponting and Patty Partridge Sarah Ponting (Chapter 7).

Richard and Jill tell me that John Jones Ponting's first wife, Florence Osborn Jefferson had bought considerable wealth to the marriage (as indicated by her late fathers estate) and that this remained with John Jones Ponting's after their divorce. This was later distributed to her children, which accounts for John Jones Ponting, and other's failure to make provision for them in their wills.   

"I never heard him say a swear word nor would he allow it in his house and only twice did I ever see him angry - one with Florrie for speaking ill of someone who had died and once with me for smacking Sid - "Peace at any price, let one bide"....................... Every night at 9pm he would have a glass of whisky and every night at 11pm he knocked out his pipe and went to bed and whatever the weather, he had a fire lit to warm his feet. R.I.P."

Henry Edward Ponting

Henry Edward Ponting, son of John Jones Ponting married Fanny Louisa Gerrish on 14 June 1895 at The Free Church of Scotland, Wellesley Square, Calcutta, Bengal (Bengal marriage index Vol. 243 Folio 33). Fanny had been born in 1876, the daughter of Isaac Gerrish.

Ethel Ada Ponting daughter of Harry Edward Ponting and Fanny Louisa Ponting was born on 8 November 1896 and was baptised on 16 December 1896 at St Thomas's Cathedral, Bombay. Harry's occupation is given as assistant to Messrs Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co.

Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co was founded by Robert Laidlaw (Born 10 January 1856) whose early career was in wholesale textile in London. In 1877 he went to India and began a long residence in Calcutta (about 20 years). In 1882 in Calcutta he started Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co. Soon he opened branches in about 20 cities, in India and the Strait Settlements including Singapore, Penang, Kuala Lampur, Ipoh, Tajping, etc. The business were tailors, but also imported and sold household goods. Robert was also the proprietor of tea estates in Darjeeling and of rubber estates in the Federated Malay States.

Ethel Ada Pointing, daughter of Henry Pointing died on 17 July 1897 aged O and was buried on the same day at Sawree, Bombay, India,

Henry Edward Ponting may have been back in England and was able to attend his uncle William's funeral in 1898 (Chapter 10).

Henry and Fanny's eldest son Edward Alick Ponting was born on 8 September 1900 and was baptised on 9 November 1900 at St John's Church, Calcutta. Henry's occupation is a tailor.

Sidney John Ponting, son of Henry Edward Ponting and Fanny Louisa Ponting was born on 2 November 1902 and baptised on 30 January 1903 at St Johns, Calcutta.

Henry Edward Ponting, aged 38 years 8 months and 8 days, an out of employ salesman died on 16 January 1912 of heart disease and was buried on 17 January 1912 at the Lower Circular Road Cemetery, Calcutta, Bengal, India (India death and burials FHS 463380) .

Fannie Louisa Ponting, a widow aged 37 remarried on 5 March 1913 at Calcutta. Her father is recorded as I Ponting (clearly incorrect, but her father's name was Isaac). Her new husband was Arthur Henry Rebello, aged 27, the son of Ch E Rebello (India marriages 1792-1948 FHS 528146).

It is possible that Arthur and Fannie returned to the UK at some point, for on 5 June 1923 Mr and Mrs A H Rebello sailed from Liverpool to Calcutta on 'The City of London". Arthur is a "riveting foreman" and both state the country of their last permanent residence to be "British ". They give their address in England as 60 Par Green, Par, Cornwall. Arthur's age is correct at 37, Fanny appears to have understated her age at 42, as she would have been closer to 48.

Nothing more is known about Arthur and Fanny Rebello.

I have been told that Henry and Fanny's son Edward Alick Ponting first married Eileen Lorna Lawrence in Madras on 10 April 1928. Eileen had been born on 5 February 1909 and was baptised on 4 April 1909 in Calcutta. It is not clear what happened between them. Edward later married Marguerite Kathleen McHugh in Calcutta in 1940. Edward was 40 years old and Marguerite was 28 years old (Parish Register transcripts from Presidency of Bengal 1713 - 1948 20 14). Marguerite had been born on 10 January 1905 and baptised on 30 January 1905 at Bangalore, India. The following records may relate to Edward's second wife

  • On 19 April 1950 Mrs Marguerite Kathleen Ponting, aged 45 arrived in Southampton from India on the "Astunas". Her proposed address was Claremont, 9 Dale Street, Batley Carr, Dewsbury. The record shows she had been born in India and her place of intended residence was the UK. her mother Daisy Isabelle Lilian McHugh was travelling on the same ship. 
  • On 14 April 1951 Mrs Marguerite Kathleen Ponting, a 46 year housewife sailed from Southampton to Bombay on the "Chusan". She gave her address in the UK as 19, Warner Avenue, North Cheam and states she had previously been resident in the UK, but was intending to reside in India. Her mother Daisy was again travelling on the same ship, also returning to Bombay.  

Edward is not listed. If this is Edward's wife then clearly her age is incorrect on some records. Edward is listed on the electoral rolls at 23 Wallace Street, Ponsoby, Auckland, New Zealand in 1954. He is shown by himself and his marital status is not mentioned. He was a 'clerk'. In 1957 he and his wife Kathleen are listed at 23 Wallace Street, Ponsoby. Edward is a clerk. In 1963 and 1969 they are both again listed at 23 Wallace Street. Edward is still a clerk. Kathleen is a stenographer. Edward Alick Ponting of 23 Wallace Street, Herne Bay, Auckland died and was cremated on 23 December 1971. In 1972 and 1981 Kathleen is still at 23, Wallace Street. It's possible that Kathleen died on 18 December 1982 and was buried at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium. 

Nothing more is known about Henry and Fanny's son Sidney John Ponting.

Patty Partridge Sarah Ponting

In 1881, Pattie P L Ponting, a 7 year old scholar was living with her Uncle William (Chapter 10) at 123 Kensington High Street, Kensington.  

No trace has been found of Pattie Ponting in 1891 or 1901 census. In her teens, Pattie was sent to a convent in Brussels which would account for why I cannot find her, in at least the 1891 census. 

In 1911 Pattie, aged 38, was living with her brother Frank Osborn Ponting at 1 Bengal Road, Ilford, Essex. She is described as ''living on private means".

In 1921 Patty was living with her brother Frank and his wife at 4 Queens Grove Road, Chingford, E4. She was a 48 year old dressmaker working at home on her own account. 

In 1923 and 1924 electoral register Pattie Partridge Sarah Ponting is listed at Standon in Hertfordshire.

In 1939 she was back living with her brother Frank and his wife Jane at 41, Mill Lane, Blyth, Suffolk.

Pattie Ponting may have died on 13 August 1946 at Red House, Bulchamp-Cum-Blythburgh, Suffolk, although her death certificate suggests she was 66 years old, some 7 years younger than our Pattie. Pattie, of Well Lane, Brumsford, Blyth, is described as a "drapers assistant, daughter of ______ Ponting, occupation unknown". The informant was E J H Brunning, occupant of The Red House. Her brother Frank had died is Suffolk some 6 months previously (see below). She was buried at Bruisyard Church. 

The Red House, originally a workhouse, had become a hospital for the chronically ill, possibly the reason why the informant knew little about Pattie.  

Frank Osborne Ponting

In 1901 Frank Osborne Ponting, aged 24 was a hosier living at 607-609 Old Kent Road with 8 other employees. Frank appears to have been employed by either William Defeur, a hosier/ haberdasher who lived with his wife, two daughters and two sons at 603-605 Old Kent Road, or William and Charles Farrish, partners in a drapers, who lived at 611 to 613 Old Kent Road.

By 1901 Frank had been a minority shareholder in Pontings Brothers Ltd for about three years. When he first appears as a shareholder on 11 August 1898 (aged 22) he was living at 18 Crondace Road, Parsons Green, but from at least 1901 to 1905 when he sold his shares, he was living at 607-609 Old Kent Road.

Frank Osborne Ponting was married on 28 March 1910 to Jane Johnson Chapman at the parish church of Stanford Le Hope. Frank is described as a 34 year old bachelor, a hosier. His father is given as John Jones Ponting, gentleman. Jane Johnson Chapman was a 38 year old spinster, the daughter of Stephen Chapman, a deceased cashier. Both are shown as being from Stanford Le Hope and were staying with Frank's father at Great Garlands (see above). The witnesses were Urbane Chapman and Louisa Chapman.

Frank Osborne Ponting and his wife took responsibility for John Jones Ponting's youngest children, following his father's death. In 1911 the family were living at 1 Bengal Road, Ilford, Essex and the family were listed as follows:

  • Frank Osborn Ponting, head, aged 36, Hosier shop assistant, born Acton Middlesex
  • Jane Johnson Ponting, wife, aged 39, born Norfolk
  • Pattie Ponting, sister, aged 38, living on private means, born Acton, Middlesex
  • Sidney Ponting, brother, aged 4, born Hutton, Essex
  • Mary Ponting (Ida Mary), sister, aged 2, born Stanford Le Hope, Essex

Both Sidney and Mary are described as orphans on the census.

In the 1914 and 1915 Electoral Register Frank Osborne Ponting is listed at High Road, Wormley, Herts. In 1919 and 1920 he and Jane are listed at Grange Farm, Hoe Lane, Ware, Herts. From 1920 through to 1926 they are listed at 4, Queens Grove Road, Chingford, Essex. 

In 1921 Frank is 48 years old and described as an unemployed draper. His wife Jane was 49 years old. Frank's sibling's Patty, aged 48 and a dressmaker, Sidney, aged 14, and "Mary", aged 12, both scholars, were living with them.  

In 1930, Frank witnessed his sister Ida's wedding in Brightlingsea (see below). They are pictured below at the wedding.  

In 1939 Frank was a draper living with his wife Jane and sister Pattie at 41 Mill Lane, Blyth, Suffolk.

Jane Ponting died on 2 January 1946 approx one month before her husband.  She was buried at Bruisyard Church. 

Frank Osborne Ponting died on 2 February 1946 in Blyth, Suffolk aged 69 years old.  Probate shows that he was living at Butler Cottage, Mill Lane, Bruisyard, Saxmundham, Suffolk at the time of his death. Probate was granted to Robert Gordon Thorp, solicitor. His effects were worth £30.00. He was also buried at Bruisyard Church

Frederick Hewett Ponting

There is no trace of Frederick Hewett Ponting in the 1901 census, possibly he was overseas for in 1902 he gained a certificate of competency as a "second mate" on a foreign going ship. He would have been around 25 at the time. 

It is not clear when Frederick first went to sea. His sisters journal refers to him being "re-fitted with oil skins and other sailors gear before joining his ship in Antwerp" whilst the family were living at Appleridge (roughly between 1893 and 1897).   

On 29 May 1907, aged 29, he married Hermine Hanning at Bedwelty Parish Church in Monmouth. At the time he is described as a "second mate" and his father as a gentleman. Hermine was a 25 year old spinster, daughter of Herman Hanning, an army officer. 

Hermine Hanning had been born on 17 August 1881 and was baptised on 4 September 1881 at Hanover. She was the daughter of Carl Herman Wilhelm Hanning and Rosine Juliane Pinne. It is possible that Carl Herman Wilhelm Hanning (born 28 October 1853 in Schonhagen, bei Uslar, Germany) had married Rosine Juliane Pinne (born 15 June 1854 in Buren- Hannover, Germany) on 23 October 1880 in Hanover.  

Hermine was the eldest of six siblings. Rosine Juliane Pinne died on 24 August 1929 in Charlottenburg, Berlin, and her husband Herman Hanning on 4 June 1936. The photograph of their grave below has been posted on

Although there is no trace of Frederick Hewett Ponting in the 1911 census, his wife Hermine was boarding with Emily Trenchard at 57 Lansdowne Road, Cardiff. The census confirms that Hermine had been born in Germany. It is assumed that Frederick was away at sea. The couple had a daughter named Hermine who was 2 ½ years old when the census was taken.

Hermine Gladys Ponting had been born on 3 June 1908 at 35 Forrest Road, West Cardiff. Her father is described as a "mate merchant service". She was baptised on 5 September 1910 in Hanover.   

On 28 December 1910 Frederick Hewett Ponting gained his certificate of competency as a "First mate" on a "foreign going steamship".

Fred and Hermine's second daughter, Iris Lillian Ponting who was born on 27 June 1911 at 13 Anglesea Street, West Cardiff. Frederick is again described as a "mate merchant service". Hermine registered the birth and gave her full name as "Hermine Elise Charlotte Dora Ponting formerly Hanning". Iris Lillian Ponting was baptised on 31 July 1912 in Hanover. 

On 25 September 1912 Frederick Hewitt Ponting gains his certificate of competency as a master for foreign going steamships in the merchant service. 

On 15 December 1916 Fred writes to Hermine from overseas. On headed notepaper from "Universal  Steam Navigation Company Ltd - P Samuel & Co Ltd" he writes to "My own darling wife" and says that they are on their way "round" but it is likely to take a long time. In case they do not arrive home by Saturday 23rd, he instructs her to go to the bank on Friday afternoon and withdraw £30.00. He finishes "Hope you and the little ones are well, kiss them for me, also hope you arrived  safe home. I am in a whole lot of trouble alright but don't worry and wait patiently for me to come. Millions of kisses for you and the little ones and heaps of love".

Also enclosed is a letter from Fred to the bank requesting £30.00 be made available to his wife. 

These letters (which were kindly sent to me by Jerry Smith) were written at the height of the 1st World War (, a war which would ultimately claim Fred's life. 

Peter Norton has a large collection of letters between Fred and his wife Hermine sent from all over the world to Hermine at addresses in Cardiff, Sunderland and Hanover, some 377 letters over a period from October 1906 to April 1917 which he has catalogued as follows. Letters are written from the following ships (in chronological order) S.S. Casilda, S.S. Gem, S.S. Llandudno, S.S. Lanberis, S.S. Paddington (serving 6 days only), S.S. Llangollen, S.S. Clarissa Radcliffe and S.S. Kathleen. These letters which start before their marriage are written from all over the world including Buenos Aires, Venice, Genoa, Rouen, Barcelona, Alexandria, Constantinople, Spezia, Odessa , Baltimore, etc. 

Letters were sent to Hermine at a number of different addresses 

  • Rosenburg Street, Hanover (October 1906)
  • 11 Mobay Street, Sunderland (March 1907 to March 1908), 
  • 122 Jubilee Road, Cardiff (March 1908 to May 1908)
  • 21 Plasburton Place, Cardiff (June 1907 to 24 July 1907)
  • 112 Penarth Road, Cardiff 
  • 35 Forest Road, Cardiff (November 1907 to August 1908- Hermine's birthplace)
  • 86 Wyndham Gardens, Cardiff (March 1909 to September 1909)
  • 82, Bede Road, Cardiff (August 1908 to March 1909)
  • 86 Wyndham Crescent, Cardiff (March 1909 to September 1909)
  • 101 Clive Street, Cardiff (October 1909 to April 1910)
  • Rosenburg Street, Hanover (July 1910 to August 1910)
  • 57, Lansdowne Crescent (November 1910 to January 1913 - address at time of 1911 census) 
  • Herrenhauser Strasse, Hanover (February 1914 to August 1914)
  • Purbeck Street, Cardiff (January 1913 to April 1917). Captain F H Ponting purchased 3 Purbeck Street for £320 plus £3. 10s for gas fittings, stove, etc, with costs a total of £330. 7s. 11d, the receipt is undated. 

Hermine was in Hanover between 22 February 1914 and August 1914 but she must have been there about a year before. Fred's first letter to Hermine from S.S. Kathleen sent to Purbeck Street, Cardiff from Messina on 28 January 1913 but the second letter was not written until nearly six months later on 6 July 1913 when he was at sea. So between those dates Hermine must have gone "home" to Hanover for a while and Fred must have been in England. He wrote at least two letters from Purbeck Street to Hermine in Hanover on 14 April 1913 and 16 April 1913.   

The 1st World War started with Germany invading Poland on  4 August 1914. Hermine was in Germany at the time and on 25 August 1914 was granted permission to return to England with her two children via Holland (using an emergency passport issued by the USA  - see recent auction lot here). She was probably very lucky to get back home. 

Fred and Hermine's third daughter Freda Alice Ponting was born on 14 October 1917 at 3 Purbeck Street, Cardiff (Reg Gen December 1917 Cardiff 11a 71). Tragically she was born 2 months after her father's death. 

Master Frederick Hewitt Ponting died on 5 August 1917 at sea. He was the master of "Kathleen" and drowned as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine. He was just 39 years old. The Cargo Ship was torpedoed and sank in the Atlantic Ocean, 90 nautical miles (170 km) west of the Skellig Islands, County Kerry by SM U-100 (Degenhart Van Loe, Imperial German Navy) with the loss on one crew member, the master.  

At the time of the loss the "Kathleen", a British steamer of 3,915 tonnes, was owned by the Universal Steam Navigation Ltd (R Samuel & Co Ltd) and was on a voyage from Norfolk to Limerick with a Cargo of wheat and maize. 

The remaining crew survived in two lifeboats and were picked up by the 0.85 President Stevens. 



Frederick is commemorated in the Tower Hill Memorial which remembers men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died in both World Wars and who have no known grave. It is on the south side of the garden of Trinity Square, London, close to The Tower of London.

In the First World War, the civilian navy's duty was to be the supply service of the Royal Navy, to transport troops and supplies to the armies, to transport raw materials to overseas munitions factories and munitions from those factories, to maintain, on a reduced scale, the ordinary import and export trade, to supply food to the home country and - in spite of greatly enlarged risks and responsibilities - to provide both personnel and ships to supplement the existing resources of the Royal Navy. Losses of vessels were high from the outset, but had peaked in 1917 when in January the German government announced the adoption of "unrestricted submarine warfare". The subsequent preventative measures introduced by the Ministry of Shipping - including the setting up of the convoy system where warships were used to escort merchant vessels - led to a decrease in losses but by the end of the war, 3,305 merchant ships had been lost with a total of 17,000 lives 

Probate was granted to his wife Hermine Ponting. 

In his will made 26 September 1910, where he describes himself as "at present in the employment of  Messrs Evan Thomas and Radcliffe of Cardiff (see here), he leaves all his estate to his widow Hermine. The will is witnessed by W J B Tippetts and W J Barney, a clerk at W J Tippet, 11 Maiden Lane, solicitors.  

In 1921 Hermine was still at 3, Purbeck Road, Cardiff. Aged 39, she is described as on home duties. Her daughter Hermine was 13 years old, Iris was 9 and Freda was 3 years old. The eldest two girls were at school. 

Captain Fred Hewitt Ponting was post humorously awarded the Mercantile Medal and the British Medal on 3 April 1922. These were given to his widow Mrs H Ponting who was still living at 3 Purbeck Street, Cardiff.

On 18 September 1924 Hermine Ponting, aged 43, travelling alone left Hamburg arriving back in Southampton on the "Arabic". 

In 1939 Hermine E Ponting, widow, born 17 August 1881 is living with her daughter Gladys H Ponting at 33 St Michaels Road, Llandaff. Gladys is described as a "comptometer operator, A R P Service".

Hermine Eloise Charlotte Dora Ponting of Trewartha, 33 St Michaels Road, Llandaff, widow, died on 1 March 1949 at Middlesex Hospital, St Marylebone. Probate was granted to Roydon Dickinson Lean, solicitor. Her effects were worth £2,832. 1s. 2d.  

As indicated above on 20 April 1957, Freda and Iris write to their sister "Miss G H Ponting" from Tunbridge Wells. The card is sent to Trewartha, 33 St Michaels Road, Llandaff. The card reads

"My dear Mina. Hope you enjoy Easter. This morning we had a lovely tramp over Surrey Crest, picked a nice mixed bunch of flowers. The bluebells were a lovely sight. Billy is out for the count. Hope Macs better. Have a nice time. Freda. 

And then Iris writes:

"Dear Mina. Hope you manage to get all your chores done. We are trying to make the most of the four days. How does the statue look in Llanduff Cathedral? How's Mum's grave looking? Hope ..............Cheerio Iris"

This postcard has kindly been sent to me by Aoife Sherwin and has now been passed on to more immediate family members.  

Hermina Ponting is listed at 33 St Michaels Road, Llandaff, Cardiff in both the 1958 and 1978 phone directories.  Gladys Hermina Ponting died on 5 May 1999 aged 90 at 33 St Michaels Road, Llandaff, Cardiff. The informant was Iris Lillian Ponting who would have been 88 years old at the time of her sisters death. (Reg Gen May 1999 Cardiff B17B 8901B 131).

The nurses register shows Iris Lillian Ponting registered as a mental nurse on 24 June 1938. Her address was 33 St Michaels Road and her qualification "Brentwood Mental Hospital 1935 - 1938. By examination". In 1951 Iris was living with her sister Freda at 76 Fordwych Road, Kilburn. In 1958 Iris and Freda were both at 92 Croydon Road, Caterham. In 1967 she was living at The White Cottage, Furzes Hill, Kingswood, Tadworth, Surrey. Iris died at Pelham House Residential Home, 5-6 Pelham Gardens, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2LF on 15 June 2008. She was buried on 30 June 2008 at Hawkringe Cemetery.  The death was listed in the London Gazette on Tuesday 14 October 2008. Lillian is described as a nursing officer (retired). 

Like her sister, Freda Alice Ponting was also a nurse qualifying at Oldchurch County Hospital, Romford on 28 June 1940 by examination.  In 1939 Alice F Ponting (born 14 October 1917) was a hospital nurse at Old Church Hospital, Old Church Road, Romford and this would appear to be Freda. On 21 June 1943 Freda Alice Ponting of Pen-y-lan Nursing Home, Pen-y-lan Road Cardiff was enrolled in "The Midwives Roll". In 1951 and 1958 she was living with her sister Iris. Freda Alice Ponting died on 8 August 1966 at The White Cottage, Furze Hill, Kingswood, Surrey. Probate was granted to her sister Iris Lilian Ponting, spinster. 

The sisters are pictured below at Freda's last birthday

Arthur Gilbert Ponting

 The picture below shows Arthur Gilbert Ponting "Bert" aged 13 years old (taken approx. 1899). 

In 1911, John Jones Ponting's son Arthur Gilbert was living at 30 Grosvenor Gardens, Newcastle Upon Tyne. The 24 year old was an electrical engineer. He had married Mary Morton Wilson who was 8 years his senior in 1910 (Reg Gen June 1910 Newcastle Upon Tyne 10b 23) and their eldest son had been born. 

They are believed to have had three children

  • Arthur John Ponting.  Born 29 July 1910 .
  • Muriel "Merryweather" Ponting. Born 2 March 1912

Arthur Gilbert Ponting died on 2 May 1914 at 12 Victoria Street, Elswick, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He is described as a 28 year old electric engineer.  Probate was granted to his widow, Mary Ponting.

In 1921 Mary was living at 194, Westmoreland Road, Newcastle. She was a 43 year old widow, a boarding house keeper. Her son Arthur was 10 years old and her daughter who is described as "Muriel Merryweather Ponting" was 9 years old. Mary's mother, Mary Wilson, a 75 year old widow was living with them, as well as six boarders including a couple from Chile.

In 1939 Mary Ponting was living at 27, Guelder Road, Newcastle. Living with her is "Sidney Ponting", born 5 November 1916 who was a "fitter and turner". Was he Mary's son? If so where was he in 1921?

A Mary M Wilson died in 1942 and it is possible that this was Arthur's wife?

Arthur and Mary's son Arthur John Ponting married Jane W Harmer in 1934 in Newcastle. In 1939 they were living at 18 Northfleet Avenue, Fleetwood. Arthur is listed as "John A", a grocery provision dealer, his wife Jane W was a housewife. The next two entries are closed suggesting that they are their children, followed by Jane W Harmer, believed to be Jane's mother. It is understood that Arthur and Jane had three children. It is possible that Arthur later married Marion Stephenson. Arthur died in 1981.

Arthur and Mary's daughter Muriel Ponting married Frederick Edward Bell in 1939. At the time the register was taken that year they were living at 24 Teviotdale Gardens, Newcastle and Frederick was a "mechanical examiner in Naval Ordnance Inspection". Frederick died in March 2007. Muriel Bell died on 4 August 2007.

Gladys Merryweather Ponting

Gladys Merryweather Ponting, known as "Sissie", aged 11 (taken approx. 1899) is pictured below:

Much of her early years are covered in the quotes from her journal set out above. 

In 1911 Gladys Merryweather Ponting, aged 23 was a nurse employed by Henry Horton, agricultural valuer and farmer and his wife May for their 3 year old son Ronald. She was living with them at Stanton Lacy, Broomfield, Salop, Shropshire.

In 1921 Gladys Merryweather Ponting was a "lady's help" working for Edward Harmer Hunt, a bank manager for Barclays Bank and his wife Mora at 38, Trivethan Road, Falmouth. 

According to electoral registers, in 1929 Gladys M Ponting was living at Pondside, Abbey Road, Chertsey with Lloyd Heber Chase, Grace Chase and Jocelyn Leathley Heber Chase. In 1930 and 1939 she is still living with the same family, but now at Southwood, Chertsey. Lloyd Heber Chase was a Civil Engineer M. Inst. C.E. (retired). She is still there in 1945 although it appears Lloyd Heber Chase had died and I assume she is now employed by his widow Grace.

Gladys died on 10 February 1970 at 43 The Broadway, Knaphill, Woking aged 81 years. She is described as a retired housekeeper. 

Sidney John Frederick Ponting

After their parents death Sidney "Sid" and his sister Ida Mary Jane Ponting "Mary" were brought up by their brother Frank and his wife Jane (see above).  

In 1911 they were living at 1 Bengal Road, Ilford, Essex. 

In 1921 they were living at 4, Queens Grove Road, Chingford, Essex. 

Sidney is pictured below:

Sidney John F Ponting married Kathleen Rose Blake in October 1928 in Suffolk.

They had two children.

  • Frederick John Morris Ponting "John" who was born on 25 April 1929and baptised on 22 December 1929 in Woodford, Wiltshire. He died in August 1991. 
  • Anthony Jones Ponting "Tony" who was born 28 May 1931 and baptised 21 June 1931 at Woodford. He died on 3 June 1979 in Dover, Kent.

In December 1949 Sidney married Joan Edna Norah Bliss (nee Southam) in 1949.  They had a daughter Mary Ponting

Joan died in 1970. Sidney John Frederick Ponting died in 13 September 1977. 

I have been in contact with Adrian Jones Ponting, a descendent of Sidney John Frederick Ponting. 

Ida Mary Jane Norton nee Ponting

On 6 August 1930 Ida Mary Jane Ponting, aged 21 married Douglas Harry Norton, aged 24 at All Saints Church, Brightlingsea. Douglas was a certified school teacher, son of Harry Norton, provision merchant. No occupation is given for Ida, the daughter of John Jones Ponting (deceased), gentleman. Both parties gave 49 Chapel Road, Brightlingsea as their address. The witnesses were Frank Osborne Ponting and Harry Norton. 

Douglas and "Mary" are pictured below on their wedding day. Mary's brother Frank and his wife Jane Ponting are on the far left of the picture.  

At the time that the 1939 register was taken Douglas and "Mary" were living at 49 John Street, Brightlingsea. Douglas was a schoolmaster and Plotting clerk for Brightlingsea at the Report and Central Centre.

The couple had two children

  • Peter Norton
  • Richard Norton

The picture above (again kindly provided by Peter Norton) was taken around 1959/60 and shows

Standing left to right

Richard Norton, Douglas Norton, John Ponting (son of Sidney Ponting), Iris and Hermine Ponting (daughters of Fred Ponting), Tony Ponting (son of Sidney Ponting), Ida "Mary" Norton, Freda Ponting (daughter of Fred Ponting), Geraldine Ponting (wife of Tony). 

Seated (left to right)

Mary Ponting on the lap of Joan Ponting (Sidney's second wife), Gladys Merryweather Ponting ("Aunt Sissie"), Sidney Ponting. 

Douglas Harry Norton of 49 John Street, Brightlingsea died on 10 April 1993 in Colchester, Essex.

Ida "Mary" Norton died in 2009 aged 100. 

Click here to go to "Chapter 10 -  William Ponting and Emily Maria Snell"

To find out more about the Pontings store click here to go to "Chapter 5 - Ponting Brothers Ltd"

Click here to go back to "Chapter 4 - Henry Ponting and Jane Jones"