Tag Archives: Portsmouth

Smashing brick walls

I seem to have a few brick walls in my family and I love nothing better than smashing them down. I’m not sure if there are more female than male brick walls, I shall have to make a list someday, but I’ll tell you about my latest breakthrough.

Catherine Young was the wife of Mansel Young. For many years I only knew a couple of facts about her that were due to the birth records of her sons and the 1901 census.

These facts are:

Catherine Young, nee Carroll

Born in Macroom, Cork, Ireland around 1857 – need to find a birth certificate

Married between 1891 and 1895 (as she was not married at the time of the 1891 census and her first son was born in 1895) – need to find a wedding certificate

Her first son Alfred Mansel Young was born at 13 Broad Street, Southsea on 31 May 1895

Her second son Henry Harper Young was born at 37 Addison Road, Southsea on the 8 June 1897

At the time of the 1901 census she was living with her family at 2 Woodland Cott, Woodland St, Portsmouth

Her name didn’t appear in the 1911 census so I knew she had died between 1901 and 1911. It has literally taken me years but I’m pleased to say I finally found her death mentioned as she was listed on freebmd and I ordered the certificate online for £9.25.

She died on 24th February 1909 at the Royal Portsmouth Hospital. The cause of death was strangulated femoral hernia and exhaustion.

Portsmouth Dockyard employees

My great-grandfather worked at Portsmouth Dockyard around 1911 according to the 1911 census. I thought it would be interesting to see if I could find out more information about his occupation.

The Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust hold the original Dockyard Registers of Employment (Rate Books) which contain details of all employees who worked in the Dockyard itself, or in one of the other Admiralty Establishments in the Portsmouth area, during the period from the mid-19th century until the mid-20th century.

You can request a search of these records on your behalf. Here are the details I submitted:

  • Surname of Dockyard Employee that you are researching
  • First name of Employee Mansel
  • Relationship to Enquirer Great-grand father
  • Approximate year of birth 1854/1855
  • Occupation or Trade Dockyard Labourer, Naval Store
  • Approximate date or dates in Dockyard 1911 (from census
  • record)


Unfortunately they didn’t have a record of his service. The index is still in progress, so he may appear at some time. Currently there are about 120,000 names in this index so it is definitely worth an email.


A trip to Portsmouth

A trip to Portsmouth in 2005. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to blog about these photographs. I suppose with the advent of google maps you can look up addresses in the comfort of your own home but I think it’s better to get out and about if you can.

Bath Street, Southsea

121 Bath Road, Southsea was the home of George and Eleanor Benger when they registered the birth of their daughter Viola (my paternal grandmother) in 1905.


St Augustine Road, SouthseaThey later moved to 98 St Augustine’s Road, Southsea according to the 1911 census.

St Mary's Church, PortseaSt Mary’s Church, Portsea – where George Caswell married Louisa Leigh on 15th December 1834.

Woodland Street, Milton, PortsmouthAddress of Mansel and Kate Young and their two children Alfred and Henry (my paternal grandfather) at the time of the 1901 census – 2 Woodland Cottage, Woodland St, Portsmouth.

Benger, George 1838-1896

George Benger was born in 1838 in Portsmouth. Early details about his life come from census returns:

1841 Census Nobbs Lane, Portsmouth (age 2)

1851 Census, Mill Lane, Forton, Alverstoke (age 11) scholar

1861 Census – not found

1871 Census – not found

According to Army records he was on the Duke of Wellington between 1 January 1873 until 13 October 1873, then HMS Active On the Gold Coast from 14th November 1873 to the 5 March 1874. He was awarded a medal for his role in The Anglo-Ashanti Wars.

1881 Census, age 42, Retailer of Ale Beer and Porter, living at The Willow Tree, Alverstoke, Hampshire

1891 Census, age 52, Beer Retailer, the Willow Tree, Beer House

Probate record: George Benger of the ‘Willow Tree’ beerhouse Forton-Road Gosport, Alverstoke, Hants, beerhouse keeper died 15 February 1896. Probate London 2 April to Caroline Benger widow and James Smith Contractor; sagent. Effects £42 15s 3d.

Duncan, George (1837-1903?)

One of the interesting characters in my family was George Duncan, originally from Canada, born 24 October 1837. Between 1862(?)-1866 he attended McGill College, Montreal where he graduated in 1866 with a MD [Medicinae Doctor(Doctor of Medicine)].

At some point he moved to the UK as on the 05/02/1867 he received the College Licentiateship from The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh then had a career in the Army as 1/10/1867 Assistant Surgeon on the Staff of the Army Medical Department, 6/1/1877 Placed on half pay (temporary reserve) and 6/7/1878 reserve.

On the 1871 Census he can be found at 13 Alfred Place, St Giles, London, age 30, lodger, unmarried, Staff Assistant Surgeon Army Medical Department, Graduate McGill College, Canada, and Licentiate Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Edinburgh.

1871 The Medical Register
registered 1867 Feb 9
residence Montreal, Canada

1875 The Medical Register
registered 1867 Feb 9
residence Staff Assistant Surgeon, Army

Around 1878 or 1879 he got married to Ada Young and they went on to have three children.

1879 The Medical Register
registered 1867 Feb 9
residence Fareham, Hants

On the 1881 Census he is living at 4 Cleopatra Terrace, Portsea
age 38, born Montreal, Canada, occupation Licentiate Royal College Of P & L Edinburgh, Physician& Surgeon.

1883 The Medical Register
registered 1867 Feb 9
residence Landport, Portsmouth, Hants

1887 The Medical Register
registered 1867 Feb 9
residence Landport, Portsmouth, Hants

1891 The Medical Register
registered 1867 Feb 9
residence Landport, Portsmouth, Hants

On the 1891 Census he is at 153 Sultan Road, Portsea, age 49, occupation Physician and Surgeon, neither employed nor unemployed.

He is listed in the 1898 The Medical Directory at 104 Kingston Road, Portsmouth
M.D., C.M., McGill, 1866, LRCP Edin., LRCS Edin., 1867, late Surg. Army

1899 The Medical Register
registered 1867 Feb 9
residence Landport, Portsmouth, Hants.

On the 1901 Census he is at 9 Norham Avenue, Shirley, Southampton, age 62, widow, Physician and Surgeon, working on own account.

He is not listed in 1903 or later Register

Date or place of death not known