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George CAYLESS

Male 1879 - 1938  (59 years)


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  • Name George CAYLESS 
    Born 4 Feb 1879  Paddington, London Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Christened 20 Nov 1879  St Mary Magdalene, Paddington, London Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    _UID 60B8F6F5F71C484BB077DA0C774B98BACAA8 
    Died Mar 1938  Watford RD Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Notes 
    • At the age of 37 and said to be a bachelor, George married Marye Ernestine SOMNER, a 39 year-old widow, in 1915. Marye (aka Mary and Miriam) was previously the wife of Hedley William Percival SOMNER. The following attempts to explain the relationship between George, Hedley and Mary.

      GEORGE CAYLESS
      George was born on 4 Feb 1879 in Paddington, the son of James Whitby Cayless and Emma Whitehouse. On the 25th of April 1882 at the age of only 3 George was admitted to Bell Street School; at the time his family were living at 10 Iron Gate Wharf, very close to the Regents Canal Basin in Paddington. [I mention the school only because I wondered whether that was where George met Hedley Somner, who I'll come to in a minute. It turns out they went to different schools, at lease when they were young].

      In 1891 George was 13, at school, and living with his parents and their many other children at 38 Iron Gate Road, Paddington.

      The story starts to get interesting at the time of the 1901 census: at that time George, 24 a dustman, was living at 8 North Wharf Road (still near the canal basin) with a "wife" Miriam (23, born Marylebone) and a daughter Maud (2, born Paddington). I've put "wife" in quotes because there's no sign that I can see of a marriage involving a George Cayless around the time the daughter was born, 1899-ish.

      Even more interesting is the 1911 census, at which George and his family were living in 2 rooms at 4a Woodchester St, Paddington. The family comprised George (head, 35, out of work bricklayer's labourer, born Paddington), Mary (wife, 34, married 15 years, 5 children all living, born Marylebone), Maude (daughter, 12, born Paddington), George (son, 1, born Paddington), Arthur (son, 3, born Paddington), Ethel (daughter, 5, born Paddington) and Charles (7, born Paddington). The children are listed in this unconventional order.

      HEDLEY WILLIAM PERCIVAL SOMNER

      We now need to look at the life and times of this character.

      Hedley's birth was registered in Derby in 1876. He was the son of Josiah Chivers Somner and Eliza Harriet Luxton who married in London in 1876 and by 1881 were living in Paddington with two children including Hedley. They lived in Goldney Road which was about a mile and a half from where the Caylesses lived. Hedley and his older brother Walter were admitted to Harrow Road school on 24 August 1886.

      When Hedley was a couple of months short of his 18th birthday he married Mary Ernestine Everitt at St Pauls Church, Paddington. The marriage register shows his age as 20. Confusingly, Mary was sometimes referred to as Miriam.

      Then follows a series of events which show Hedley having a family, then coming and going between England and New York and at times living in both places. Along the way he appears to acquire a "wife", Margaret, in New York and another "wife" Jennie/Jane in London.
      - 12 May 1895. Hedley and (presumably) Mary's first child Ernestine Elvina E K Somner (later known as Vena E) is born. She is registered as Somner.
      - 24 October 1898. Gladys Maud "Maudie" Somner is born. She was registered as Gladys Maud Somner and christened as Maudie Somner at St Barnabas, St Marylebone on 26 Apr 1906 child of Hedley & Miriam SOMNER labourer of 17 Burne St
      - 19 Jan 1899. Hedley applied for a passport.
      - 1901 census. I cannot find Hedley and family but as 'Miriam', Mary was living with George Cayless along with her second child Maudie. Her first child Elvina was living with her grandmother (Hedley's mother)
      - 7 January 1902. Hedley applied for a passport again.
      - 5 July 1902. Hedley witnessed his sister Elvena's marriage in Paddington.
      - 27 October 1903. Charles Somner is born. Unless I'm mixing him up with someone else he was registered as Charles Robert G CAYLESS in Q4 1903 at Hendon (3a/314). But he was christened at St Barnabas, St Marylebone on 26 Apr 1906, as Charles SOMNER, child of Hedley & Miriam Somner labourer of 17 Burne St.
      - 5 April 1906. Ethel Lily Somner is born. Again unless I'm mixing her up with someone else, she was registered as Ethel Lily CAYLESS at Marylebone in Q2 1906 (1a/560). The death of Ethel CAYLESS, aged 11, was registered at Paddington in Q2 1917 (Paddington 1a/80). But she was christened as Ethel Lily SOMNER at St Barnabas, St Marylebone on 18 Apr 1906, child of Hedley & Miriam SOMNER labourer of 17 Burne St.
      - 1906 & 1907. Electoral Registers for Paddington North include Hedley Percy SOMNER in a dwelling house at 61 Warwick Road.
      - 9 November 1907. Hedley William Percy SOMNER, 31, Swiss Govt. Serv and his wife Mary Ernestine SOMNER, 32, were passengers on the SS Caronia which sailed from Liverpool to New York. I haven't found when Mary returned to England.
      - 15 September 1908. Hedley P SOMNER, aged 34, was a passenger on the SS Lusitania which arrived at Liverpool from New York.
      - 24 October 1908. Hedley P SOMNER was a passenger on the SS Lusitania which left Liverpool for New York.
      - 1910. United States Federal Census: at 367 Edgecombe Avenue, District 0665, Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York (both SOMNER), He[d]ley P (head, 33, married 10 years, born England of English parents, immigration year 1890, representative for Swiss Government Railroad and Margaret (wife, 33, married 10 years, born Germany of German parents, immigration year 1890).
      - 1912. New York City Directory for Hedley P SOMNER, manager at 241 5th Avenue, home address 367 Edgecombe Av.
      - 16 October 1913. SS Winipedian sailing from Liverpool to Boston on 16 October 1913 included Hedley Wm P SOMNER, 37, manager foreign firm. Contact in UK listed as wife, Mrs Hedley Wm P Somner, 61 Marylands Rd, London.
      - 1913. Boston, Mass. City Directory lists Hedley P SOMNER, clerk 248 Wash rms 445 Columbus av.
      - 1914. Boston, Mass. City Directory lists Hedley P SOMNER, clerk 248 Wash rms 63 Astor.
      - 20 July 1914. Hedley P SOMNER (agent, age 47) was one of the passengers who disembarked at Fishguard from the Lusitania, which arrived from New York. [The age is wrong].
      - 1918. London, England, Electoral Registers, 1918 for Paddington and St Marylebone includes Hedley Percy SOMNER in a dwelling house at 62 Edgware Road.
      - 1919. London, England, Electoral Registers, 1919 for Paddington and St Marylebone (Dorset Square & Regent's Park Ward) includes Hedley and Jennie SOMNER in Flat 33.Chalfont Court (Upper Baker Street).
      - 1921. London, England, Electoral Registers, 1921 for Paddington and St Marylebone (Dorset Square & Regent's Park Ward) includes Hedley SOMNER in Flat 35.Chalfont Court (Upper Baker Street). No Jennie.
      - 1924. London, England, Electoral Registers, 1924 for Paddington, Westminster (Harrow Road Ward) includes Hedley SOMNER at 61 Marylands Road. No Jennie.
      After a gap of several years:
      - 1932 & 1933. London, England, Electoral Registers, 1932, 1933 for Hackney (Stamford Hill Ward) include Headly [note changed spelling] and Jennie SOMNER at 8 Moundfield Road.
      - 1934. Jennie was still at 8 Moundfield Road in the 1934 Electoral Register but not Headley/Headly.
      - 1939. In the 1939 Electoral Register Jennie was at 17 Chelsham Road, Clapham North with Walter SOMNER (who might have been Hedley's brother).
      Jennie continued to appear in Electoral Registers:
      - 1956 & 1957 she was at 2E Vicarage Mansions, Abbotsford Avenue, London N15 (Tottenham) with Basil H SOMNER.
      - 1958. In the 1958 Electoral Register Jennie appeared as Jane (probably her proper name) with Basil H SOMNER still at 2E Vicarage Mansions, Abbotsford Avenue, London N15. But in the same year, 1958, Basil H also appeared with his wife Iris F at 30a Mill Hill Grove, Acton, London. [This shows how much the Electoral Register lagged behind actual events - Basil and Iris were married in 1955!]. Basil and Iris continued to appear in Electoral Rolls from 1959, when they were still at 30a Mill Hill Grove, onwards.
      Jane SOMNER continued to appear in Electoral Registers:
      - 1959, 1960 alone at 2E Vicarage Mansions, Abbotsford Avenue, London N15
      - 1961 & 1962 with Abraham & Rachel SHINE at 7 Oakfield Court, Haslemere Road, Stroud Green, Hornsey
      - 1963 with Kathleen WILSON at 13 Oakfield Court, Haslemere Road, Stroud Green, Hornsey [Abraham & Rachel SHINE were still at no. 7]

      Now to return to George Cayless. It seems almost certain that the wife and some of children who appeared with him in the 1911 census must have originally been Hedley Somner's wife and children. But there are some strange inconsistencies around the surnames of the children. What seems beyond doubt is that Hedley Somner was, to say the least, a bit of a lad. He seems to have abandoned his first wife and family to George Cayless and acquired other women as he went along. I can find no indication of what became of Hedley but he seems to have dropped out of the picture in the early 1930s.

      One of the most significant facts which ties all this together is that on 31 January 1915 George Cayless and Mary Ernestine Somner got married. But before that, they'd had two children, Arthur William Cayless in 1908 and George Edward Cayless in 1910. Neither of these were known as anything but Cayless so it looks as if by around 1908, Hedley Somner's "interest" in Mary and her children had ceased.

      The London, England, Electoral Register, 1918 for Paddington and St Marylebone (Westbourne Ward) includes George and Mary CAYLESS at 40 Hampden Street.

      George's death was probably that registered in Q1 1938 at Watford.
    Person ID I513  Eyke, Suffolk
    Last Modified 16 Dec 2016 

    Father James Whitby CAYLESS,   b. Dec 1841, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1923, Kingston RD Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Mother Emma WHITEHOUSE,   b. Mar 1847, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mar 1893, Shoreditch RD Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 46 years) 
    Married 16 Jun 1867  St Mary, Paddington Green, London Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4
    • Married after banns. James Whitby [could have been altered from Whitley] Cayless, full age, bachelor, labourer of Dudley Street, father George Cayless, boatman. Emma Whitehouse, full age, spinster of Dudley Street, father Thomas Whitehouse, labourer. Both signed. Witnesses Henry Mason ----, Ann Jennings Cayless.
    Family ID F174  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Ernestine EVERITT,   b. Dec 1875, Marylebone, London Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1944, Weston RD Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 68 years) 
    Married 31 Jan 1915  Holy Trinity, Kilburn, London Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • Married by license. George Cayless, 37, bachelor, pioneer, Royal Engineers of 16 Alpha Place North, father James Whitby Cayless, bricklayer. Marye Ernestine Somner, 39, widow of 16 Alpha Place North, father John Robert Everitt (deceased), sewage foreman. Both signed. Witnesses Edwin William Henry Hall, Sophia Mary Milner.
    Children 
     1. Arthur William CAYLESS,   b. 23 Feb 1908, Paddington RD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1972, Abingdon RD Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
     2. George Edward CAYLESS,   b. 19 Dec 1909, Paddington RD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1974, St Albans RD Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
    Last Modified 16 Dec 2016 
    Family ID F180  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 4 Feb 1879 - Paddington, London Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S7] BMD index, Q1 1879 Kensington 1a/45. (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S28] London Metropolitan Archives at Ancestry.co.uk, October 2009 and later.

    3. [S7] BMD index, aged 60, Q1 1938 Watford 3a/1304. (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S7] BMD index, Q2 1867 Kensington 1a/240. (Reliability: 3).