Mary b.1864

Is this your family too?

If you want to share your photos and information, to make corrections, fill in omissions or just have a chat, e-mail me on


Web Design

Mary Ann Holbrough (1864 -1895)

Born in 1862, she married Albert Henry Grinnel. He was working as a  labourer in an iron foundry at the time of his son's birth in 1891 in Winchcombe.

By 1985 he had moved to Swindon. Then he was described as being a smith's striker in a railway factory.

Swindon, was a little market town until 1840's, when New Swindon was built down the hill from the old town as a locomotive works, making and repairing engines for the new railways. About 300 cottages were built for the workforce, plus a church and pubs.

Mary died in 1895 at 43 Medgbury Road, New Swindon, aged only 31 years of Acute Rheumatism (9 days) and Hyper pyrexia (7 hours) leaving her husband with two young children, George and Clara. Her husband was present at the death.

He died only three years later at the age of 33 years in Swindon Workhouse suffering from Emphysema Debility, leaving their two  children as orphans.

His son George was only seven years old. Albert’s death was registered by the master of the Stratton Workhouse,




 The children, George Henry and Clara Grinnel were placed together in an Orphanage by the family

From Lizzie Holbrough -

    'Mary Ann & her husband died and her children George and Clara were placed in Dr. Barnardo's by dad and Uncle Jack. There had been a big family conference about what to do with them - apparently quite a few were willing to have George but no one wanted Clara so they decided that was the best way to keep them together and apparently they paid to do so. “

On the 1901 Census they appear together in the Methodist National Children's Home, Princess Alice Orphanage, New Oscott, Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham.

The Wesleyan Methodist National Children's Homes were founded in 1869 by the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson, and other committed Methodists who wished to provide education, training, and most importantly, a good home for orphans and destitute children whom they had encountered on the streets of London. The Children's Home established itself in London and quickly expanded into other areas of Britain. The Home also started an emigration scheme, beginning to send children to Canada in 1872.  Dr. Stephenson purchased land and a home near Hamilton, Ontario. Children were placed in the Hamilton-Niagara area. Over the next seventy years NCH emigrated children to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The National Children's Home estimated that about 85% of the children remained in Canada. The other 15% they claimed either returned to England or went to the United States.

From George’s daughter Betty

    "He came to Hamilton Canada on 20th March 1908 on the ship Dominion. We have a copy of the ship manifest  we also have the papers where he came to the United States, to Stockton Illinois, 24 April 1914 as a cheese maker. H he moved to Derinda Center a small farming community in 1917. he married my mother Elizabeth Ehredt on April 26, 1920 they then moved to Savanna, Illinois where we were raised. My father ran a dairy in Savanna for years. In 1941 he went to work for the Government in an Army Depot.

    "We never got to meet Aunt Clara and only knew from a postcard that she came to Canada a few years after my father did. She died when I was seven years old which would have been in the year of 1930. My father went back to Canada for the funeral. My father had a photo album of hers from the orphanage.”

from Lizzie

    “They went to Canada and I can remember that Aunt 'Till, (Matilda) kept in touch with them, seeing photos of them on a large ranch, but that after a great flood, they never heard any more and the family assumed that they had been killed.”

From Albert Grinnall, George’s son

    “George and Clara were raised in a Dr. Barnardo's orphanage but we never knew who had placed them there. They both came to Canada but my father later moved to the United States where he was employed as a cheese maker. He met my mother who was a farmers daughter while he was working in a cheese factory near her parents farm.”


[Home] [Bonson Homepage] [Holbrough Homepage] [Jane Sollis b.1801] [George  b.1834] [Janes others] [Reunion 2002] [Midgley Homepage]