Rowland Leslie Abell aka Jack

A brief history by Phil Preen, 11 April 1999.

STOP PRESS : This page is now out-of-date. I now have quite a bit more information after a couple of visits to Gloucester Records Office, but I haven't had chance to write it all up. Please email me for more details.

Rowland Leslie Abell was my great-great grandfather, my motherís motherís motherís father. He came from a fairly well to do family, but was a bit of a rogue, and ended up in bad times. This history is pieced together mainly from recollections of family members. In particular from memories of the stories my great-grandmother, Nan Barradine (Blanche Lily Abell) used to tell of her father. This is supplemented with information from the 1881 census index and from the LDS Church IGI database. A special thanks goes to Josephine Jeremiah for looking up the census records.

For some reason Rowland Leslie was known as Jack. It has been commented that he was certainly a ĎJack The Ladí, but exactly where the nickname came from I donít know.

Rowland was born in Barnwood near Gloucester, probably at Leslie Court. His parents were George Mutlow Abell and Mary Ann Francis. He was the youngest of five children. His eldest sister was Frances Hameline Asgill, then came Blanche and Augusta Laura Mathilda, followed by his brother Harwood S.

The two brothers Harwood and Rowland both attended the Kingís School in Gloucester, and would be driven there in a carriage by a servant. On occasion, the driver would arrive at the school, only to find that the two boys were no longer in the carriage.

Rowland worked for his father who was a solicitor in Cheltenham, he also fought in the Boer war in Africa, in which he lost an eye.

Ada Mills was a servant in the Abell household at Leslie Court in Barnwood, probably the cook. She and Rowland were married in Salford, Lancashire. They had six children Blanche Lily, Ada, Lesley Rowland, Doris, Gladys and Jack. This marriage did not have his fatherís blessing. When Rowland and Ada were on the train to Manchester, they were surprised to discover his father on the train. He was asked if he was going away with Ada to marry, and was told that if he did so, he would get not one penny of inheritance.

Rowland was very good with horses, and had always ridden as a young man. When in Salford he took a job as a tramcar driver. Later when Rowland, Ada and their young children returned to Gloucester, his father kept to his word and refused them any financial assistance. However, Rowlandís mother gave him a bag of gold sovereigns, which they used to set themselves up in business as publicans. At different times they kept three different alehouses in Gloucester.

Rowland suffered from arthritis. Unfortunately, to relieve the pain he would drink. Despite Ada working very hard they remained very poor due to him spending much of the alehouse profits in the spirits house next door. This also led to his early death.

Rowland was a tall man with curly auburn hair, and wore a handlebar moustache.

 

Leslie Court

This was the Abellís family home in Barnwood near Gloucester. My Grampy Bircher remembers this being derelict when he was a child, as he used to play in the grounds. Nowadays, Leslie Court is known as Wotten Hall and is a sports and social club.

 

Dates

Birth

1863 or 1864

Barnwood, Gloucester

 

Baptism

     

Marriage

~1892

Salford, Lancs.

Ada Mills

Death

 

Gloucester

 

 

Family

Father

George Mutlow ABELL

Mother

Mary Ann FRANCIS

Elder Sister

Frances Hameline Asgill

Elder Sister

Blanche

Elder Sister

Augusta Laura Mathilda

Elder Brother

Harwood S.

Wife

Ada MILLS

Daughter

Blanche Lily

Daughter

Ada

Son

Leslie Rowland

Daughter

Doris

Daughter

Gladys

Son

Jack

Sources

 

Census 1881

Details provided by Josephine Jeremiah

2 Keynsham Pa+, Cheltenham

Name

Age

Occupation

Born

Geo. M ABELL

55

Solicitor

Mitcheldean

Mary A.

54

Wife

Westbury-on-Severn

Rowland L.

17

Clerk in Soli+

Barnwood

Harwood S.

20

Engineer Stu+

St Aldates

Annie Holton

15

General Servant

Pinnock

 

The Vicarage, Didbrook

Name

Age

Occupation

Born

Edward MOGRIDGE

 

Curate

Old Radnor, HEF

Frances

27

Wife

Gloucester

Blanche ABELL

 

Sister-in-law

Gloucester

Annie DUGGAN

18

Servant

Old Radnor, HEF

 

Dockham, Westbury on Severn

Name

Age

Occupation

Born

Richard MILLS

40

Coal Miner

East Dean

Sarah

32

Wife

GLS

James

17

Coal Miner

GLS

Ada

13

Scholar

GLS

Lilly

1

 

GLS

 

International Genealogical Index

Found using the FamilySearch internet website

George M ABELL

Mary Ann FRANCIS

married

8th October 1850

at Tardebigg, Saint Bartholomew, Worcester

Batch number: M045771.

 

Frances Hameline Asgill ABELL

Christened

25th July 1853

Westbury On Severn, Gloucester, England

Father: George Mutlow ABELL

Mother: Mary Ann

Batch number: C032751.

Birth Certificate

Registration District Salford, 1895 Birthh in the sub-district of Pendleton in the Counties of Salford and Lancs

No.

70

When and where born

Ninth December 1894

155 High Street Pendleton, Salford USD

Name

Blanche Lily

Sex

Girl

Father

Rowland Leslie ABELL

Mother

Ada ABELL formerly MILLS

Occupation of father

Tramcar driver

Informant

A Abell Mother 155 High Street Pendleton

Registered

Fourteenth January 1895

Registrar

John Jones

 

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