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7 Apr 2020

F is for Fordingbridge

2x ggrandmother Sophia Tucker 
Fordingbridge is a small town just 21 miles west of  Southampton, where my father was born. My father's great grandmother Sophia Tucker, nee Jefferis had moved there in about 1850 from Fordingbridge where she was born in 1834.  My father vaguely remembered her - she died when he was about 8 in 1922.  She had lived in Bell Street, Southampton nearly all her married life.  Sadly Bell Street, off Upper Canal Walk was totally destroyed by bombing in 1940.

She and her husband George remained very poor in Southampton but saw their son George William Tucker (1856-1924) become prosperous enough as a music dealer to purchase two adjoining houses on the outskirts of Southampton by 1901.

Fordingbridge has a long history
Most of the Jefferis family remained in Fordingbridge and my ancestors lived there for generations before that.  Their surnames included Tiller, Rogers, Parrot and Gold.  In the 1831 census, the population was 1114, including 57 people in the Workhouse.  Included in the census were nine Jefferis families and six Tiller households, mostly employed in agriculture but some in various trades. Households named Rogers, Parrot and Gold were not represented.

Ange & Paul outside The Ship Inn
In 2008, during our first visit to England together, we met my fourth cousin Ange who lives in Southampton.  We'd met online and both had husbands who were long-term spinal cord injured.  Ange showed us many places around Southampton and did so again in 2009 and 2012 when I returned on my own. 
Marg & John
Since then, we've cruised to England three times.  Each time, the highlight of our trip has been meeting Ange and Paul, and my cousin Linda and Peter, mentioned in earlier posts.  Ange has been wonderful showing me around my ancestral villages in Hampshire over the years.

Old buildings
Marg, Ange & Paul

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