1900 - 1983 (83 years)
||Kimberley Susan Rose Ethel BECKWITH |
||23 Feb 1900
||Wheathampstead, Herts 
||13 Mar 1900
||Harpenden, Hertfordshire 
||St Albans RD 
- 1939 Register: at 104 Westfield Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire (by herself), BECKWITH, Kimberley born 23 Feb 1900, single, lingerie designer - cutter. None of Kimberley's 3 children can be found, possibly because they would all have been under the age at which 1939 Register records can be inspected.
September 2013: email from David Richardson, Kimberley's grandson:
"Kim had 3 children, a son Bob, now deceased, two daughters, Shirley, also deceased and Angela which is my mother, who is still alive. My son Jack has updated some of the details on Ancestry.com if you have access*.
Kim's three children were effectively brought up as Minters, as one big family, although I understand Shirley spent some time in a children's home, she was the youngest and I think the small home in Marquis Lane, Harpenden, would have been bursting at the seams.
What makes no sense is that Bob, Kim's first child, was born locally, however, Angela and Shirley was registered as being born in Paddington. My mother has no recollection of London and only remembers being brought up with the Minters. It seems strange there were no more link with the Beckwith family and I grew up thinking of the Minters as my family. All the Minters I knew as Aunts and Uncles, they were all of course Kim's half brothers and sisters. No one I have had any contact with knows who sired Kim's children, leaving a missing link."
* Richardson Family Tree at ancestry.com accessed August 2016 and some details copied.
In later emails David Richardson says:
"As a child I grew up with Minters all around me, as Kim had been raised with the Minter family being the step sister of the others. They were all treated as my aunts and uncles, (but in fact would have all be great) I remember as a child calling Kim aunt Kim at one point, which was confusing and then is was nanny Kim. (It was only a year before my mother's death, last July, my mother told me up to the age of about 11 she thought Kim was in fact her sister as she grew up with Bob and Shirley thinking that Grandma Minter was in fact her mother) It was always a mystery when young, only when I became a teenager along with my cousin Ann we thought, "who was our grandfather". It was a taboo subject in those days and we never ever got any information.
Kim, in spite of a difficult childhood & 3 children out of wedlock was a confident & bright lady with a love of opera, she was also a very talented dressmaker. She never ever married and in reality was what we now call a "single parent", in some ways she was a women of another age, who I suspect throughout her early life was scorned for having 3 children out of wedlock. I am sure she could have written a book about her experiences and the Minter family."
"It's strange that both my mother and Bob grew up thinking there grandmother and grandfather was in fact their mother, so they were part of the Minter family. Kim was the stepsister but they though until teens she was their sister! I knew all the Minters as my Aunts and Uncles, but they were in fact my great step ones I guess. I do remember well my Great Grandmother Minter. I have no idea how they all lived in that cottage, to include my mother and Bob! The Minters were a big part of Harpenden life for a good number of years.
It's great I have been in touch with Sally and Anna my cousin Bobs (Robert) daughter is over the moon about now finding out for sure who her grandfather is, has taken a lifetime. We now think it possible that my mother was in fact sired by the same man! but so far we can't be sure."
August 2016: email from Sally Stevenson containing the following:
"I have been searching for information concerning my paternal grandfather for a number of years and a few days ago I discovered his Army records, in which there was a copy of a letter from Kimberley.
In her letter she was trying to obtain my grandfather's address from the Army, claiming that he was the father of her child and was trying to contact him with regard to maintenance for her and the child.
My grandfather was Henry Arthur Stevenson and from your records I gather the child in question was Robert V Beckwith."
With a subsequent email of August 2016 Sally sent more information about Henry Arthur Stevenson. I have added a few more details:
11 March* 1892 at 12 Wilmington Square, London. Baptised 15 May 1892 at Holy Redeemer, Exmouth Market, Islington, son of Henry (caretaker) and Emily, 12 Wilmington Square.
* this date is taken from Henry's birth certificate: the parish register shows, wrongly, 11 April 1892.
Henry Stevenson from Whitton, Suffolk 1854 - Bef 1913
Emily Jane Burton from St Nicholas at Wade, Kent 1860 - 1900
Emily Gertrude Stevenson - born 15 May 1889, baptised 2 June 1889 at Holy Redeemer, Exmouth Market, Islington, daughter of Henry (caretaker) and Emily Jane, 12 Wilmington Square.
Alice Maud Stevenson - born 23 August 1890, baptised 19 September 1890 at Holy Redeemer, Exmouth Market, Islington, daughter of Henry (caretaker) and Emily Jane, 12 Wilmington Square.
Herbert Frederick Stevenson - born 2 December 1893, baptised 18 Februray 1894 at Holy Redeemer, Exmouth Market, Islington, son of Henry (school ---- (West Coll.)) and Emily, 12 Wilmington Square; buried aged 10 months, son of Henry (school beadle) of 12 Wilmington Square.
16 Dec 1915 to Ada Georgiana Blakey at St James, New Barnet, Hertford. 5 children between 1916 and 1928."
Sally writes as follows:
"Henry Arthur always lived in the London area and was a Gunner during the WWI. His other occupations were Cellarman (1911*) and Railway Engine Driver (1939).
The 1901 census shows that the family had been broken up - his sisters were living with relatives. Maud went to her Grandmother in St Nicholas at Wade and Gertrude to cousins in St Pancras. Henry Arthur and his father are missing, I did find an Arthur Stevenson living with a cousin in London and a Henry living in digs further down the road, but the details weren't accurate so that could be a red herring. So he didn't have a very good start in life.
By 1918 Henry and Ada were living in Bishops Stortford with their 2 children, where Kimberley tracked him down in 1920.
I gather that he was paying maintenance to her, but then defaulted and she took him to court in March 1925. This was in a newspaper article I found on FindMyPast, which has now disappeared off the system. He was sentenced to 1 day in jail for getting into arrears, which wiped the slate clean, but he was told to make future payments **."
* the 1911 census includes, with William Thomas Morant, licensed victualler at 25 Church St, Lissom Grove, London NW, Henry Arthur Stevenson, 20, single, barman, born Clerkenwell.
** Sally has now found both a newspaper report of the original 1920 court case, which is summarised below and the 1925 newspaper article, which is reproduced on the Minter Exchange website.
"Hertfordshire News of 31 August 1920 reported on the St Albans County Sessions, under the heading 'Wooed by a married man', that Henry Arthur Stevenson a cellarman of Bishops Stortford was summoned to show why he shouldn't contribute to the maintenance of Kimberley Beckwith's child (who wasn't named). It was said on Kimberley's behalf that she and Henry met in June 1919 and walked out together until Arthur went away in August of the same year. He had courted Kimberley and claimed to be single. But Kimberley found out he was married. The child was born on April 4 1920.
Henry denied these allegations and claimed he kept company with Kimberley for companionship. He said everybody in Wheathampstead knew he was married.
The case was adjourned for three weeks."
There seems no doubt that Henry Arthur Stevenson was the father of Robert Beckwith. Whether he was the father of Angela and Shirley Beckwith is uncertain.
||22 Sep 2016 |
||Albert Victor BECKWITH, b. Mar 1875, Greenwich RD , d. 6 Apr 1902, Colchester, Essex (Age ~ 27 years) |
||Elizabeth Janet SHARPE, b. 1872, Redbourn, Hertfordshire , d. Jun 1961, St Albans, Herts (Age 89 years) |
||2 Sep 1899
||Hertford, Herts [2, 4]
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||Henry Arthur STEVENSON, b. 11 Apr 1892, 12 Wilmington Square, London , d. 6 Apr 1959, Barnet General Hospital, London (Age 66 years) |
||22 Sep 2016 20:01:00 |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
|Christened - 13 Mar 1900 - Harpenden, Hertfordshire
- [S215] Minters of Harpenden tree at Ancestry.com, Sep 2013.
- [S240] Albert Beckwith's service record at findmypast, August 2016.
- [S3] BMD index, Q2 1983 St Albans 10/609. (Reliability: 3).
- [S3] BMD index, Q3 1899 St Albans 3a/1226. (Reliability: 4).