William Veness and Sarah Martin

William Veness, son of Joseph and Francis was baptised on 11 July 1824 at Wartling Parish Church (Chapter 4).

On 21 September 1845, at the age of 21 and whilst residing in Windmill Hill, William Veness married Sarah Martin, aged 23, a fellow servant, daughter of Spencer Martin at Herstmonceux Parish Church. Both parties signed the marriage register. 

William and Sarah's first daughter Mary Veness was born on 6 July 1846 at Herstmonceux. The birth certificate shows her father was employed as a groom. Mother Sarah registered the birth (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1846 Hailsham 7 368). Mary was baptised on 9 August 1846 at Herstmonceux Parish Church .

William and Sarah appear to have moved  to London and had two more daughters

  • Sarah Ann Veness. Baptised 23 July 1854 at St Brides, Fleet Street (Reg Gen June 1854 City of London 1c 74)
  • Ada Frances Veness. Baptised 18 May 1862 at St Brides, Fleet Street (Reg Gen June 1862 London City 1c 63). 

In 1861 William and Sarah were living at St Dunstan's, Middx. William Veness, aged 36, is a police officer. His wife Sarah was 38 years old. Their daughter Sarah Ann Veness, is 6 years old and a scholar, born Whitefriars. Daughter Mary is not listed, but see below.

In 1871 William and Sarah are living at St Anne's, Blackfriars, London. William is now a City Constable. Daughters Sarah and Ada are both listed.

The Metropolitan Police Act had came into force on 19 June 1829 after Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel had eventually persuaded Parliament of the importance of a new police force for London. The system replaced the watchmen that had been paid to guard the streets at night since the 1660's.

However the City of London was excluded, partly because they already had an early form of organised uniform patrol. Prior to 1839, the responsibility for policing in the City was divided between day and night, primarily under the two Sheriffs. However in 1838, the Day Police and Night Watch were merged into a single organisation and the passing of the City of London Police Act 1839 gave statutory approval to the City of London force as an independent police body, heading off attempts made to merge it with the Metropolitan Police. This seems to have been the force that William and his brother Thomas joined.

The City of London police remains a separate force to this day responsible for law enforcement within the City of London including the Middle and Inner Temple. Today it has around 1,200 employees, including 900 police officers and three police stations (located in Snow Hill, Wood Street and Bishopsgate), the City of London Police is the smallest Home Office territorial police force in England and Wales, both in terms of geographic area - the square mile centre of London - and the number of police officers. Today the City of London area has a resident population of 8,043 with 4,421 households. These numbers are increased by the daily influx of approximately 300,000 commuters working in the City, with an additional 300,000 cars passing through the square mile a day, along with a number of tourists.

By 1881 William, aged 56, was a "retired police officer" and the family moved back to Sussex and were living at Plenties Farm, Hellingly. Both daughters Sarah Ann and Ada Francis are described as "born precincts of Whitechapel, Middx"

The family were still at Plenties Farm, Herstmonceux in 1891 although Sarah Ann had married by then and was living next door.

Sarah Veness, wife of William Veness died aged 78 on 11 February 1901 at Cold Harbour Road, Hellingly. The cause of death was heart disease, 2 years certified (Reg Gen March Qtr 1901 Hailsham 2b 67). 

At the time that the 1901 census was taken, William, now aged 76 and a widower was living with his daughter Ada, aged 39 at 4 Hatched Cottages, Hellingly.

In 1911 William Veness, a 86 year old police pensioner was boarding with Edwin and Martha Turner at the Old Pottery, Upper Dicker.

William Veness of Old Pottery Farm, Hellingly died on 10 December 1914, aged 90 (Reg. Gen. Dec. Qtr. 1914 Hailsham 2b 131 ). Probate was granted to Ada Frances Veness, spinster. His estate was valued at £64.

The following is known about William and Sarah's children:

Mary Vernon nee Veness

Mary Veness was born on 6 July 1846 at Herstmonceux and baptised on 9 August 1846 at Herstmonceux Parish Church.

Although Mary was no longer at home in 1861, she was still in London. Mary Veness, aged 14 year old is a house servant living at 5 Queens Road West, St Pancreas. Her place of birth was given as Hastings, but this may be an error.

Other researchers have suggested that Mary Veness married Charles Frederick Vernon in London, although I have been unable to trace their marriage. 

I have been told that Charles and Mary had four sons:

  • Charles William Vernon, born 16 June 1871 at Camberwell, Surrey. 
  • Ernest Daniel Vernon, born 19 Feb 1872 at Camberwell, Surrey. 
  • Gilbert Hugh Vernon, born 11 January 1876 (twin) at Hastings, Sussex. Baptised 13 February 1876 at Emmanuel Church, Hastings.
  • Arthur Frederick Vernon, born 11 January 1876 (twin) at Hastings, Sussex. Baptised 13 February 1876 at Emmanuel Church, Hastings.

When their two youngest sons were baptised, they give their address as St George's Road, West Hill, Hastings, but under occupation for Charles is written "dead", so it looks like Charles died before or soon after the birth of his twin sons.  

Mary is listed as a widow on the 1881 Census. She was living at 7 St Georges Road, St. Mary In the Castle, Hastings and aged 34 is described as an 'annuitant', born in Herstmonceux. Her four sons were all scholars. 

Arthur Frederick Vernon, aged 12 died in Hastings, Sussex in 1888 (Reg Gen April 1888 Hastings 2b 23).

Around 1889 Mary moved from England, with three sons, and emigrated to Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. 

Her eldest sons biography (see below) confirms

"Charles Vernon's father died when he was a boy. His mother then moved with her three sons to Sussex, where Charles attended Hastings Grammar School and worked in agriculture. In 1889 or 1890 his mother immigrated with her sons to Nova Scotia and bought a farm in Colchester County". 

The 1901 census shows Mary, a widow and her son Ernest living at Truro, Colchester, Nova Scotia. The census confirms that Mary was born on 6 July 1846 and aged 54 was 'retired'. The census also suggests that she arrived in 1879, but that doesn't appear to be correct and other documents suggest that the family arrived in 1889.

 Mary Lavinia Vernon died 7 April 1936 in Truro, NS and is buried at the Terrace Hill Cemetery. It's not clear where the Lavinia came from?  (https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=79099367).

  • Charles William Vernon & Bessie Campbell McNeail 

Charles and Mary's son Charles William Vernon became an Anglican Minister. He married Bessie Campbell McNeail on 13 June 1899 at Windsor Forks, Nova Scotia. They had two sons and two daughters:

  • Arthur Vernon. Born 29 November 1900 in North Sydney, Nova Scotia. 
  • Harold Vernon. Born 1902
  • Alice Mary Vernon. Born 13 February 1904 in North Sydney, Nova Scotia. 
  • Dorothy Margaret Vernon. Born 1906

On 9 May 1924 Charles William Vernon returned to Canada from a business trip abroad. The arrivals form shows he is a clergyman returning home to 72 Howland Avenue, Toronto.  The form confirms that he first arrived in Canada in 1889.

Bessie Vernon died on 13 December 1929

Charles William Vernon of 72 Howland Avenue, Toronto died on 30 January 1934 at Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The death certificate confirms that he was the son of Charles Vernon and Mary Veness.  

To read more about Charles' life click here.

Charles and Bessie's son Arthur Vernon married to Helen Catherine Burford at St Albans Cathedral, Toronto on 12 October 1926. Arthur was 25 years old and an electrical engineer. Helen was 23 years old, the daughter of James Burford and Elizabeth McClung of 280 Rushton Road, Toronto. They were married by Arthur's father. 

They had at two sons.

  • Charles Peter Vernon. Born 27 January 1929 in Toronto. He became an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Charles married Gwen Miller. They had three children. He died 16 January 1987 in Toronto., aged just 58 years old. He was buried with his parents at Prospect Cemetary, 
  • Arthur Thomas Vernon

Arthur died in 1961. Helen died in 1982. Both are buried in Prospect Cemetary. 

Charles and Bessie's son Harold Vernon married Marion Harris on 9 March 1937

They had two sons. Harold Vernon died on 4 February 1979. Marion Vernon died in 27 March 1995.

Charles and Bessie's daughter Alice Mary Vernon married Gerald Merrick Singleton on 9 August 1934 in Toronto. Gerald was 40 years old, a dentist of 26 Pembroke Street, Toronto. He was the son of Thomas Singleton and Florence Maude Merrick. Alice was 30 years old, a public health nurse from 23 Howland Avenue, Toronto.  

Interestingly Gerald Merrick Singleton and Alice Mary Vernon are both listed as passengers on the S S Majestic which sailed from Southampton to New York on 10 August 1932 and arriving on 16 August 1932. They do not appear to have had any children. Alice Mary Vernon died on 29 March 1961 and was buried in Hillcrest Cemetary, Smith Falls, Lanark, Ontario. Gerald remarried. His second wife was Gertrude Elizabeth Banting. Gerald died on 10 March 1973.  He shares a grave with his first wife. Gertrude died on 7 February 1975 and was buried in Christ Church-Saint Judes Anglican Cemetery, Ivy, Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada, apparently with her parents. 

Charles and Bessie's daughter Dorothy Margaret Vernon of 72 Howland Avenue, Toronto died on 26 March 1930, aged 24 years. She died of Hodgkinsons disease and was buried at Prospect Cemetary. Her father was the informant.  

  • Ernest Daniel Vernon & Ella Miriam Thomas/Annie Thirza Dodson/Myra Christine Barnes 

Charles and Mary's son Ernest Daniel Vernon became an Architect and Merchant. He married three times. He firstly married Ella Miriam Thomas on 7 July 1904 in Truro, NS and had three children:

  • David Charles Vernon. Born on 14 April 1905 in Truro. 
  • John Frederick Vernon. Born 20 April 1907 in Truro. 
  • Richard Ernest Vernon. Born 19 October 1908 in Truro. Died 4 November 1908. Buried in Terrace Hill Cemetary, Truro.  

Ella M Vernon died on 10 July 1912 and was buried at Terrace Hill Cemetary, Truro. 

Ernest remarried on 16 September 1913 in Halifax, NS. His second wife was Annie Thirza Dodson. Ernest and Annie appear to have visited the USA sailing on S.S. Florizel on 16 September 1913. Was this their honeymoon? Ernest and Annie had two children:

  • Dorothy Vernon. Born 1914 in Nova Scotia.
  • Russell Ernest Vernon. Born 25 April 1918 in Truro. 

Annie T Vernon died of pneumonia on 31 December 1918 in Truro. 

Ernest remarried again and his third wife was Myra Christine Barnes. They married on 30 June 1920 in Pictou, NS.  In 1921 they were living in Truro and children David, "Jack", Dorothy and Russell are all listed. also listed is Edward Dodson, brother-in-law, presumably Annie's brother and Jennie Chapman, housekeeper. Ernest is described as a "retail merchant". In 1940 the family were living at 153 Dominion Street, Colchester, Nova Scotia and Ernest was described as an architect.  

Ernest Daniel Vernon died on 21 December 1941 at Colchester County, Nova Scotia, Canada. His wife Myra died in 1973. Further details of Ernest's life can be found here

Ernest and Ella's son David Charles Vernon married Thelma Adel Rath on 8 October 1932. David died on 8 October 1981 in Truro. Thelma died on 19 August 2000.

Ernest and Ella's son John Frederick Vernon married Florence Agnes Livingston on 22 February 1941 at Windsor, Essex. John was Catherine White's grandfather. Catherine provided much of the information about Charles and Mary's sons. John F Vernon died on 7 October 1957 and was buried at Windsor Grove Cemetary. Florence Vernon died in 1984.

The last we know about Ernest and Annie daughter Dorothy Vernon was in 1940 when she was living with her father and stepmother at 153 Dominion Street, Colchester, Nova Scotia and is described as a school teacher.

In 1940 Ernest and Annie son Russell Ernest Vernon was still living with his father and stepmother and is described as a clerk. He married Catherine Mildred McPhee on 4 July 1942 in Schubenacadie, Hants, Nova Scotia. Russell died on 30 January 1958 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Catherine died on 14 July 1995 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

  • Gilbert Hugh Vernon & Katie Louise Craig

Charles and Mary's son Gilbert Hugh Vernon married Katie Louise Craig in 1899 at Erskine Presbyterian Church.  

In 1901 they were living in Truro, boarding with E E McNutt, a grocer and his family. Gilbert was a lawyer. 

They had two children:

  • Irene M Vernon. Born 1904. 
  • Reginald Vernon. Born 1912.

In 1911 and 1921 they were living at Truro, Colchester, Nova Scotia where Gilbert was a lawyer. 

Gilbert died on 27 September 1936 at Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada and was buried at Terrace Hill Cemetery.

Sarah Ann Mitchell nee Veness

Sarah Ann Veness was born in Whitefriars in 1854 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1854 City of London 1c 74) and was baptised on 23 July 1854 at St Bride, Fleet Street. 

She was living with her parents in both 1861 and 1871.

Sarah Ann married Johnson Mitchell on 28 May 1881 at the "Holy Trinity", Upper Dicker. Johnson was  24 year old gardener, son of Richard Mitchell. huckster. Sarah was 26 years old, the son of William Veness, farmer

Johnson Mitchell, the son of Richard Mitchell had been born in 1857 in Beckingham, Lincolnshire. Prior to his marriage he had been living at Mount Pleasant, Hellingley with his widowed father, and siblings where they were farming 120 acres. 

In 1891 Johnson and Sarah Ann Mitchell and their family were living next door to her father, William Veness at Plenties Farm, Herstmonceux. Johnson Mitchell was 34 years old and a "poultry keeper and firewood maker". Sarah Mitchell was now 36 years old.

Johnson and Sarah had at least three children

  • William Johnson Mitchell. Born 6 March 1882 at The Nursery, Polegate. Baptised 16 April 1882 at St John's, Polegate.
  • Evelyn Annie Mitchell. Born 1886 in Dicker. Baptised 23 May 1886 at Upper Dicker.
  • Eliza Rosina Mitchell. Born 24 April 1892 in Hellingly. Baptised 10 July 1892 in Hellingly.

At the time his eldest daughter Evelyn was baptised Johnson is described as "Richard Johnson Mitchell". 

Johnson Mitchell died in 1895 aged 39 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1895 Eastbourne 2b 53)

In 1901 Sarah was living at 512 Cobden Road, Brighton. Sarah, a 42 year old widow was employed as a dressmaker. Her son William J Mitchell, aged 19 was a grocers shop assistant. Eliza, aged 8, was also at the address but Evelyn is not listed. Also at the address is Alice Dilloway, aged 32, dressmaker, born London. She is described as Sarah's sister but is also single so presumably Dilloway is her family name. It is not at all clear how she fits in.

In 1911 Sarah Ann Mitchell was living at 97, Ewart Street, Brighton with her daughter Eliza Rosina, aged 18, a ladies tailor and a (now described as a cousin) "Alice Dilloway", aged 42. 

In 1921 Sarah Ann Mitchell, a 67 year old widow was living with her daughter Eliza Rosina Mitchell at 5, Parkinmore Terrace, Steyning, Sussex.   

Sarah Ann Mitchell may have died in 1927, aged 73 years old (Reg Gen Dec 1927 Brighton 2b 270).

The following is known about their children: 

  • William Johnson Mitchell and Helena Jane Upton

William Johnson Mitchell married Helena Jane Upton in 1904 (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1904 Brighton 2b 405).

In the 1911 census (taken 2 April 1911) William and Helena were living at 2 Brunswick Row, Brighton. William, 29, was a "car man" for a provision dealer. There are four children listed

  • Victor Charles Mitchell. Born 22 October 1906 in Brighton
  • Leslie Richard Mitchell. Born 14 September 1908 in Brighton. Baptised 8 November 1908 at St Paul's, Brighton. this was a private baptism and he was received into the church on 27 December 1908.
  • Thurza Helena Evelyn Mitchell. Born 24 February 1910 in Brighton. Baptised 24 April 1910 at St Peter's, Brighton. 
  • William James Mitchell. Born 1911 in Brighton (Reg Gen June 1905 Brighton 2b 194) and in the census, aged 'under 1 month'. William died later in 1911 (Reg Gen June 1905 Brighton 2b 130). He was buried at Brighton and Preston Cemetary. 

The entry for William is then crossed out and the census records that the couple had 4 children of whom 1 had died.

William and Helena had a further daughter, born the next year

  • Maud Theresa May Mitchell. Born 1912 in Brighton. Baptised 30 October 1912 at St Peter's, Brighton.  

Another son followed

  • Ronald Ernest Mitchell. Born 28 May 1915. Baptised 11 July 1915 at St Peter's, Brighton. Died 1917 aged 2 years and was buried at Brighton and Preston Cemetary.  

William Johnson Mitchell signed up to the Royal Engineers in 1915. His service number was 536115 (Pension record cards 11/M/4433). 

In 1921 William and Helena Jane Mitchell were living at 36, Carlyle Street, Brighton. They were both 39 years old. William was a carpenter working for I D L Piper at 10, Bond Street, Brighton. Their eldest son Victor was 14 years old and working as a boat repairer for A Cullen at 32, Trafalgar Street, Brighton. Leslie, aged 12, Thurza, aged 11 and Maud, aged 9 were all still at school. 

In 1939 William and Helena were still living at 36 Carlyle Street, Brighton where William was a painter.

This photo pf William Johnson Mitchell was posted on Ancestry.co.uk by Tracey Fournier

William Johnson Mitchell (otherwise William John Mitchell) of 36 Carlyle Street, Elm Grove, Brighton died on 27 June 1958 at The General Hospital, Brighton. Administration was granted to Helena Jane Mitchell, widow. 

Helena Jane Mitchell died in 1967. 

William and Helena's son Victor Charles Mitchell married Minnie Elizabeth Phillps in Brighton Christ Church on 2 December 1935. Victor was a 29 year old relayer, son of William Johnson Mitchell, painter. Annie was 26 years old, the daughter of George Phillps, engineer. 

In 1939 they were living at 14, Dominion Close, Worthing where Victor was a "lengthman"? on the Southern Railway. They had two children. Minnie E Mitchell died on 6 May 1964 in Worthing aged 55 years. She was buried at Durrington Cemetary. Victor remarried that same year, in 1964, his second wife was Louise Brooke. Victor C Mitchell died in 1967 in Worthing. I have been in contact with Wendy Darby who is Victor and Minnie's granddaughter through their son John Charles Mitchell (1936 to 2009). 

William and Helena's son Leslie Richard Mitchell married Lily Edith Measor in St Luke's, Brighton on 30 July 1932

In 1939 Lily was living at 46 Kimberley Road, Brighton with their 3 year old daughter. It is not clear where Leslie would have been. Lily Edith Mitchell died in 1980 in Brighton. Leslie died in 1983 in Brighton. 

William and Helena's daughter Thurza Helena Evelyn Mitchell married Arthur Henry Gibbs on 17 July 1937 in Brighton.

In 1939 Thurza was living at 36, Carlyle Street, Brighton, the same address, but in a separate household to Thurza's parents.  Her husband is not listed, but they had a son born in 1938. Arthur Henry Gibbs died on 2 November 1989. Thurza Helena Evelyn Gibbs died on 18 December 1993.  They were both buried at Brighton and Preston Cemetary.

William and Helena's daughter Maud Theresa May Mitchell died in 1935 in Brighton, aged just 23 years old. She too was buried at Brighton and Preston Cemetary. All three of the children's burials are described as "near the Hartington Road entrance"

  • Evelyn Annie Mitchell

In 1901, an Evelyn A Mitchell is listed at Hailsham Union Workhouse, Hellingly. Aged 15, she is shown as having been born in Arlington, Sussex (about 4 miles from Lower Dicker). If this was "our" Evelyn, how did she find herself in the workhouse rather than living with her parents? 

Other researchers suggest Evelyn Annie Mitchell married Ernest Gilbert in 1920 in Storrington, although the 1939 register shows that Gilbert's wife was  thirteen years younger than "our" Evelyn, so I don't think this is her.  

That being the case nothing more is known about Evelyn Annie Mitchell after either 1891 or 1901. 

  • Eliza Rosina Mitchell

In 1921 Johnson and Sarah Ann's daughter Eliza Rosina Mitchell was living with her widowed mother at 5, Parkinmore Terrace, Steyning, Sussex. Aged 29 she was a domestic servant in private service working in Beaconsfield Villa's.  

It appears likely that she never married.  

Eliza Rosina Mitchell died in 1969 in Brighton, aged 77 years old.

Ada Frances Veness

Ada Frances Veness was born in Whitefrairs in 1862 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1862 City of London 1c 63) and baptised on 18 May 1862 at St Brides, Fleet Street. Her parents were William and Sarah Veness of 17, White Friars Street, St Bride, London. Her father was a police constable. 

Ada was living initially with her parents in London and then with her widowed father back in Sussex up to and including 1901. In 1901 she was 39 years old, still single and gives her occupation as housekeeper, presumably to her father.

In 1911 she was still single and aged 49 was lodging with Mary Harriett Goad, at 7 Elmsdown Place, Hailsham. Emily, aged 41 who gives her occupation as "laundry and housework". Ada gives her as "plain needlework".

In 1921 Ada was living at "Hailsham Poor Law Institution", Hellingly. She was 59 years old and described as a "retired needlewoman".  There were 12 "inmates" in all at that time. 

Ada Veness may have died in 1929 (Reg Gen March 1929 Hailsham 2b 234), aged 67 years old.

Click here to go to "Chapter 10 -  Thomas Veness and Sarah Fairburn"

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