Saturday, July 9, 2016

Tell us your story

On a beautiful summer's day in 1884 George Brooks stood at the graveside as his fourteen year old daughter Adelaide was laid to rest. He was one of few mourners at his daughter's funeral.

It was a different story when, more than 20 years later, he stood at the same grave in Radnor Street Cemetery at the interment of his 96 year old mother.

George was born in Bristol in 1846 the son of stonemason Joseph Brooks and his wife Anne. At the time of the 1861 census 15 year old George was working as a Pupil Teacher and living in a house in Berkley Square, Bedminster with his parents and his two younger sisters Elizabeth and Charlotte.

George married Elizabeth Smith on March 29, 1869 and two years later they were living at 20 Fleet Street, Swindon with their baby daughter Adelaide. George was employed in the railway factory as a railway clerk.

During the following ten years the couple would have three more children but Elizabeth died shortly after the birth of a son Frederick. At the time of the 1881 census George was living at 33 Carfax Street with his sister Charlotte and his four children, Adelaide 10, Albert H. 9, Mary 6 and three year old Frederick. The following year he married Harriett Dean.

Sadly young Adelaide didn't have the strong constitution of her paternal grandmother who died at the age of 96. When Anne Brooks died in 1907 the following account of her life was published in the Gloucester Citizen.

There were laid to rest in Swindon Cemetery this week the mortal remains of the late Mrs Anne Brooks, mother of Mr George Brooks, a Great Western Railway Official, of Park Lane Swindon who passed away at her son's residence at the ripe age of 96 years. It is interesting to recall the fact that the deceased old lady's mother died at the advanced age of 98 years, that that lady's mother, Mrs Brooks's grandmother, lived to be 105 years old, so that the united ages of mother, daughter and granddaughter totalled 298 years.

There are 33,000 burials in Radnor Street Cemetery - 33,000 stories waiting to be told. Come and visit the Swindon Heritage History Day tomorrow and tell us your story.

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