Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A.E. Smith - Open Archives

If you are researching your family history in Swindon, have you ever thought about contacting the local funeral directors? There is an amazing amount of information available in the funeral accounts and local funeral director A.E. Smith are more than happy to help, as you can see from the above notice.

A.E. Smith was founded around 1880 by Henry Smith a carpenter and joiner. The original premises were situated in Gordon Road, Swindon near the 1960s magistrates courts.

At the time of the 1911 census Henry lived at 1 Clifton Street, close to the cemetery where he had spent so many hours.  He died there on November 14, 1917.  He left £3,072 17s 6d to be administered by his three sons.  Albert Edward had taken over the funeral business while James Henry Smith was a railway official and Joseph William a railway storekeeper.

Henry was buried in Radnor Street Cemetery on November 17.  The service was conducted by Mr Spargo and naturally the funeral was performed by his son. Henry lies in plot D191.

In the mid 1960’s A.E. Smith & Son moved to their present site in Queens Drive, Swindon and these premises been expanded and refurbished as the business has continued to grow.

The business finally passed out of the Smith family in 1976 when it was acquired by Lodge Brothers, another family firm of funeral directors founded by James Lodge in 1780.

Manager Ian Hanks is interested in the history of the firm and is very happy to help family historians with their enquiries.

A E Smith premises at Gordon Road

A E Smith, Queens Drive

pages from Henry's account books

Henry's grave in Radnor Street Cemetery

Smith family photograph. Henry is seated at the centre, the son who took over the business, Albert Edward is standing far left.

And don't forget our next guided cemetery walk at Radnor Street Cemetery is on Sunday September 11 meet at the chapel at 2pm.

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