Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Rogers

Maternal ancestor, along the mt-DNA trail.

My Female Direct Line (and that of Sister, Daughter and Niece).

Sanderson – Harvey – Tranter – Frost – Lovell – Rogers – Shepherd – Orford

This is the story, as far as we can say, of the lady who inspired me to start on this part of my story. Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Rogers. According to the church records of ‘Old Brentford, St. George’, Hounslow, Middlesex, she was born 5th February 1831 and baptised February 27th, as ‘Betsy’, to Joseph and Elizabeth Rogers. Elizabeth was the fifth of eight children, so far identified to this family. Caroline 1821, Eliza 1824, Rebecca 1826, Mary 1828, (Elizabeth/Betsy 1831), Sally 1833, Joseph 1834 and Mary Ann 1837.

What sort of family atmosphere she was born into is an interesting question. Her mother Elizabeth Shepherd had married her father Joseph Rogers, on 23rd July 1820 at St Marys (Hanwell) Ealing.

By the time Betsy was born in January 1831, her four older sisters had died. Caroline aged 3 and Eliza aged 11 months were both buried on the same day 19th December 1824 at St Mary’s Church Ealing. Just over two years later Rebecca was buried aged 15 months on 13th January 1828. Mary died in October 1829, at the age of eleven months. A younger sister ‘Sally’ – Sarah, died at seven months of age in 1833. This left just Elizabeth and younger brother Joseph born 1834. Mary Ann has just been identified, but no other details have come to light yet.

So, did Elizabeth and Joseph just accept infant mortality as a fact of life, and carry on as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, or was the death of their young children a cloud that hung over the family. Did it make Elizabeth an over protective mother. Did she live in constant fear, if her children suffered from childhood diseases. It is unlikely that we shall ever know.

I haven’t been able to identify any of the surviving family in the 1841 census. (or indeed extended members of the family). They were living in a notorious slum, so this may be the reason.

On 8th November 1846, Betsy Rogers married Joseph Lovell Raine (his parents were unmarried Joseph Lovell and Elizabeth Raine. Following marriage he and his family were known as Lovell) at St. Paul’s Church, Hammersmith. This would make Elizabeth 15 years old at the time of marriage. She must also have been in advanced pregnancy, as her first child Joseph was born, 17 January 1847, and baptised on March 12th at St. Pauls, Hammersmith. This was followed by daughter Elizabeth 21st February 1848, baptised March 12th, then William 9th April 1850, baptised 5th May, and George 1851, there is no baptism record for George, or burial record, he was entered as 2 months on the 1851 census, taken in March, and not with the family in the 1861 census.

The 1851 census shows the family living at the Potteries, Notting Dale, (Kensington). This was a notorious slum in the area, a place of ill repute, disorder and stagnant pools of standing water. It had previously been a gravel and clay pit, where clay was dug to make bricks. Apparently the brickmakers, were the worst of the population. An occupation taken by several members of this family!

Many gypsies also lived on the site, which has led us to wonder if there were gypsies in the ancestry.

1851 census entry

Joseph Lovell aged 25 born Middlesex
Elizabeth Lovell 23 born Middlesex (she was actually 20 years of age) – was this an oversight, or were they trying to disguise her young age at marriage.
Joseph Lovell 4
Elizabeth Lovell 3
William Lovell 1
George Lovell 2 months.

The 3 older children born in ‘Middlesex’, and George as ‘Kensington’, does this mean they had only recently moved into The Potteries.

On 2nd March 1852, daughter, Caroline Lovell was born (my Gt gt Grandmother), she was baptised at St James Norland, Kensington, 21st March 1852, there were two further children, John born 1854 and died 1858. and Charlotte born and died 1857.

Elizabeth’s husband, Joseph Lovell died from pneumonia on 28th May 1857, at Mary’s Place, The Potteries. Jane Cole, believed to be Elizabeth’s cousin was present at the death. This left Elizabeth, a widow at the age of 26, to support herself and four young children.

At the time of the 1861 Census, the family lived at (20) Mary’s Place, St Mary Abbots, Kensington.

1861 census entry

Elizabeth Lovell aged 30, son Joseph aged 14, Elizabeth 13, William 10, and Caroline 9. Elizabeth was working as a mangler, in the laundry industry, as was daughter Elizabeth, as an Ironer. Joseph was also working, although I cannot quite make out what.

We were recently sent this fabulous family wedding from a distant cousin – through ‘ancestry.com’. We had heard of it, as ‘Nana’ remembered it being taken, she was one of the bridesmaids at her Aunts wedding, (Daisy Frost to Charles Longman) in Notting Hill 1913, but had never seen it. The picture is a copy of a copy etc, and now in bad condition, but it has so many family members on it, who are very difficult to be able to pick out, due to its condition. One lady in particular is of interest – Elizabeth Lovell born Rogers 1831, and died 1924 aged 94! (so picture may contain 4 generations of my female line).

Angela Weatherill 2024