Frances Eleanor Chapman

I thought it might be a good idea, given recent updates, to list all that we know in relation to my great grandmother, Frances Eleanor Chapman.

Frances was born on the 18th November 1905, the address listed on the birth certificate was “Back of Woodclose Cottage Bembridge R.D.”, on the Isle of Wight.

Her parents were Henry Chapman, a “marine stoker”, and Eleanor Isabella Chapman nee Coxhead.  The birth was registered on the 22nd December 1905.

On the 14th January 1906, she was baptised at the Holy Trinity Church of England Church in Bembridge.

By 1911, Henry, Eleanor Isabella and Frances Eleanor had moved up to Preston, Lancashire.  They appeared on the 1911 census at 96 Wellfield Road with Eleanor Isabella’s mother, Mary Coxhead nee Holmes, who had been born at Hazel Ridge, near Cartmel in 1852, her husband John had died that year, and Mary would die the following year, and be buried with him at Preston cemetery.

On the census, Henry Chapman is stated as working as a second engineer on a Preston corporation dredger, while Eleanor Isabella is listed as a weaver at a cotton mill.

The records of employees working on the dredgers are very delicate, however, it could be established that in 1911 Henry was working on the “Gilbertson” dredger.

On the 25th September 1912, Frances Eleanor was admitted to St. Matthew’s C of E school in Preston, the address they were living at was 11 Cavendish Road.  Henry appeared in Barrett’s directory of Preston in 1917 at the same address, listed as an “engnr.”

But, Frances wouldn’t be staying at that school for very long, indeed, under “Remarks”, the word “Removed” is given.

The family had moved to Edinburgh at some point between being listed in the trade directory in 1917, and “Harry Chapman” appearing on the 1920 valuation roll at 61 Home Street, Edinburgh.  Frances would have been 15 in 1920.

Frances, a restaurant waitress, had met somebody in the latter part of 1924, and had a baby girl, my grandmother, Beatrice Eleanor Chapman on the 8th August 1925 at the Elsie Inglis Memorial Maternity Hospital not far from Holyrood. The address given on the birth certificate was 61 Home Street.

According to the Lothian Health Service archives entry for the birth, Frances intended to marry the father, but no father’s name is given anywhere.

It must have been tragic for the family to hear the news from workmates who’d travelled with Henry on the ship “Borthwick”, that he’d died of acute sepsis at a hospital in Rotterdam on the 20th August 1928.

It is most likely that Henry, the second child that we know of, of Frances Eleanor, then in domestic service, gave birth to in Edinburgh towards the end of 1930, was named after her dad.  She gave 5 Gibb’s Entry, Edinburgh as her address.  In 1930 her mum, Eleanor Isabella, was listed on the valuation roll at 17 West Richmond Street, Edinburgh.

Beatrice was placed in an orphanage in about 1932, as i’ve mentioned before, and Henry told me that he was fostered to a family in Scotland.

This is all that we know of Frances Eleanor Chapman to date.

UPDATE – 7/6/2016 – Frances Eleanor Chapman born 1905 does not appear on the 1939 Scottish National Register.

If you recognise any of the above, please do get in touch by clicking here, would be pleased to hear from you.

UPDATE – 4th July 2016 – Rechecked through all Frances E Chapmans who marred in England and Wales, cross crecking birth dates with 1939 England and Wales national register.  No matches.

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