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EDKINS (née NEAL), Elizabeth – emigrated 1875

Elizabeth Edkins, née Neal (1820-c1889), was born at Aston Somerville, Gloucestershire, in 1820, the daughter of James Neal and his wife, Mary (née Drinkwater).

Elizabeth married George Edkins on 30th October 1847 at Aston Somerville.  Their early days of married life were spent at Bengeworth, Evesham.  They had eight children (seven daughters and at last a son):  Emma (1848-1915), Mary (1852-1869), Ellen (1853-1937), Betsey (1855-1931), Caroline (1857-1932), Jane/Jennie (1859-1941), Alice (1862-1940) and Oliver (1864-?).  At the time of the 1851 census, George and Elizabeth were living at 1 Longdon Hill, Bengeworth Field, with their first-born child, Emma.  They were still at Longdon Hill when Mary was born in 1852 but, by the time Ellen was born in 1853, they had moved a mile or two away to Murcot.  Ellen, Betsey and Caroline were all born at Murcot.  By the time of Jennie’s birth in 1959, they were living in Wickhamford, where they remained for the next 16 years.

In the 1861 census, George was described as an agricultural labourer and Elizabeth was a gloveress.  The four eldest daughters were all scholars and would have walked daily to Badsey to attend the National School.  By 1871, only the four youngest children were still living at home.  George was now a market gardener of 11 acres.  Emma, the eldest daughter, had married Thomas Jelfs in 1869, Mary had died in 1869, Ellen was working as a servant in Berkshire and Betsey was a servant at Wickhamford Manor.

Following in the footsteps of their two eldest daughters, Emma Jelfs and Ellen Edkins, George and Elizabeth Edkins and their five youngest children left Liverpool in steerage class on “City of New York”, arriving in New York on 15th October 1875.  It is perhaps not surprising that, with family, friends and neighbours who had emigrated, George and Elizabeth also decided to make the voyage overseas (Wickhamford neighbours, John and Mary Ann Sears, had emigrated in 1872).   George and Elizabeth settled in the state of Ohio, where a number of Badsey and Wickhamford families were already living.

In 1880, George and Elizabeth were living in Bainbridge, Geauga County, Ohio, with their three youngest children, Jennie, Alice and Oliver.  George was a farmer.  Nine-year-old Jesse Reynolds, described as a nephew, was also staying there.  But surely he was a grandson?  George and Elizabeth’s eldest daughter, Emma Jelfs, had also emigrated to America but her husband, Thomas Jelfs, had died and she had married again in 1879 to George Reynolds.

Elizabeth Edkins had died by 1890 as on 31st March 1891, George married Anna Day in Sangamon, Illinois.  No record has been found of Elizabeth’s death.  George died on 22nd February 1908 in Springfield, Illinois, but was laid to rest in Restland Cemetery, Bainbridge.

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