Pugh Family 

Pugh: Of Welsh origin, originally ap-Hugh (‘son of Hugh’) [1]


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Part 1: George Pugh (c1825 - 1899)

George Pugh was born c1825 in Upton-on-Severn, Worcestershire, a little village almost halfway between Worcester and Gloucester. His father was John Pugh, a labourer. Nothing else is known of John and his family. (There is speculation that John’s wife was Charlotte Pugh who might have been related to George’s daughter-in-law, Lydia Gough, but no records have been found to substantiate the claim.)

By 1850, George was living in Gloucester and working as a boatman. (There is a possibility he was in Gloucester in 1841 as a census record lists a 15 year old George Pugh being held in a police station!) George married Selina Davis 08 July 1850 in Sandhurst Parsh, just north of the city. Selina was born c1829 in Gloucester but little is known of her except her father Henry was a sawyer and she was able to sign her name, unlike George.

The River Severn and the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal with its many quays, docks and timber yards were important features in Gloucester. George and his family lived on ‘the Island’, which was bordered on two sides by the River Severn. Gloucester was an important location for receiving imported goods like corn, timber and wine and then using the inland canals (and later the railway) to supply the booming Midlands. George laboured at the docks and then in the 1860s there was an economic boom which resulted in new timber yards and mills being built. As a result, George went to work as a stationary engine driver at one of the local sawmills and many of his sons and his son-in-law worked at a sawmill.

George and Selina had nine children: Mary Ann, George Alfred, Elizabeth, Emily, Joseph Thomas, Charlotte Selina, Henry, Frederick and Alice. They would later look after some of their grandchildren and at one point, they took in four boarders. Having boarders was often a sign of financial hard times within a family, although there is no indication that Gloucester’s docks and mills were in decline. However, the area surrounding docks was generally where the poorer members of society lived and poverty and crime were highly likely. The family moved regularly within a small distance of the docks and the timber yards, probably to find cheaper rents. Selina died c1883 and George 16 October 1899 aged about 74.

Mary Ann (c1848 - ?) was born in Gloucester c1848. She married Cornelius Scrivens 06 February 1870 at St Mary-de-Lode’s Church, Gloucester. Cornelius had a variety of jobs over the years: labourer, horse keeper and finally a carter for a timber merchant. They had seven children: William, George, Rose Hannah Selina, Elizabeth Emily, Rhoda Mary, Jesse Cornelius and Thomas. In the 1911 census, Cornelius was boarding with his daughter and Mary Ann was not present. It is very likely she had been committed to the Gloucester Second Lunatic Asylum. [Records are closed for 100 years after the closing date so it is not possible to verify this.] Mary Ann was listed as a ‘lunatic 42’ which probably meant she had been suffering the condition for 42 years. Lunatics were medically described as those who sometimes had a sound or good memory and understanding, and then sometimes not. Mary Ann may have died in 1919 but it is not confirmed.

George Alfred (1850 - 1911) was born in St Mary-de-Lode Parish, Gloucester in 1850. He had a variety of jobs over the years: machinist, sawyer, labourer and working in the railway industry. He married Mary (maiden name unknown) and they had twelve children: George James, Henry, Frederick, Clara, Albert, Harold, Phillip, Selina Emily, Mary Elizabeth, William Edwin, Percy and an unknown child who died in infancy. The family lived in Gloucester their whole life, except for a brief period in the mid-1870s when it seems they lived in Birmingham. Mary died sometime after 1901 and George in 1911.

Elizabeth (1853 - ?) was born in 1853 and worked as a servant in her teenage years. There is no confirmed record of her after 1871 and it is likely she married.

Emily (c1856 - ?) was also known as ‘Emma’. She was born c1856 and was a servant in her teenage years. There is no confirmed record of her after 1871 and it is likely she married.

More information about Joseph Thomas (1858 – 1919) appears in Part 3.

Charlotte Selina (c1861 - ?) was born c1861 (her birth was registered as ‘Selina Charlotte’). She worked as a shirt maker but there is no confirmed record of her after 1881 and it is likely she married.

Henry (1864 - 1905) was born in 1864. Initially he worked as a lath clever (someone who split wood).  He then became a general agent clerk and then a merchant. He married Florence Marguerite York in 1895 and they had three children: Arthur Gerald, Muriel Olive and Phyllis Otteline. Sadly Henry died 24 January 1905, aged 40. Florence remarried in 1909 and the three children all went to live with various relatives.

Frederick (1866 - ?) was born in 1866. He worked in a sawmill as a wood working machinist most of his life, though at one point he was a fireman (someone who stoked a fire for a stationary engine rather than one who puts out fires). He married Mary Ann Doon and they had six children: Ellen Selina, Frederick George, Dorothy, Leonard John, Gwendolen and Winifred. It is not certain when Frederick died but it may have been c1951.

Alice (c1869 - ?) was born c1869. She was listed as a ‘scholar’ in the 1881 census but there is no confirmed record of her after this date and it is likely she married.

Next: Joseph Thomas Pugh




[1] www.surnamedb.com/Surname