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Thomas William Jones Freeth [fh.]

Thomas William Jones Freeth was the third child of George Freeth & Ann Jones born April-June 1859 at Tipton, Staffs.

In 1861 Thomas was living with his parents & 2 sisters at King St, Wednesbury, Staffs.

By 1871 the family were living at 2 Glad. Terr, Wednesbury where father George was a foreman at the railway. Thomas now had 3 brothers & 3 sisters.

In 1881 Thomas was helping his father in his trade as a fruiterer. They were living at 45 High St, Smethwick, Staffs.

Thomas married Rosanna Archer in Jan-March, 1887 at West Bromwich Register Office. Rosanna (Rose Hannah) was born at Smethwick & christened April 2nd, 1865 at Oldbury, Worcs, the daughter of Elizabeth & Abraham Archer, a glass worker.

Thomas & Rosanna had a daughter, Rosa, born in July-September 1887. It appears that sadly Rosanna died at the age of 24 in Oct-December 1889, her death being registered at Kings Norton.

In 1891 widowed Thomas & daughter Rosa were living with his parents-in-law & sister-in-law Elizabeth Sarah & brother-in-law Abraham Alexander Archer at 318 Oldbury Rd, Smethwick. At this time Thomas was described as a cutter down at the iron works.

The children of Thomas William Jones Freeth & Rosanna Archer were:

fh. Rosa Freeth born July-September 1887 at Smethwick, Staffs, died February 7th, 1988 at High Lodge House, Iverley, Stourbridge

Thomas remarried in Oct-December 1892, his new wife being Clara Smith & the marriage was registered at Kings Norton. Clara was born November 9th, 1869 at Smethwick.

Thomas & Clara were living at 31 Corser St, Smethwick in 1901 with their son Ernest (8 months) & Thomas’ daughter Rosa. Thomas was still working at the iron works as a cutter down.

In 1911 Thomas & Clara were living at 3 Bridge Street West, West Smethwick & Thomas was still employed at the iron works as a cutter down.  As well as son Ernest who was now at school they now had 2 more children – George Joseph (8) & May (7 months).  It was noted on the census that Thomas & Clara had had 7 children, only 3 of whom were still living.  They also had a boarder, Henry Courtney, a timber cutter at the colliery.  Daughter Rosa was listed as a visitor in the household of Amelia & John French, a fish salesman, in 1911 at 23 Birmingham St, Oldbury, West Bromwich.  The French’s had 3 daughters & a son, all of whom were employed by their father in the fish shop.  Rosa was employed as an assistant in the fish shop.*

Thomas died in Jan-March 1914, aged 54 years, the death being registered at Kings Norton.

Son Ernest married Ida Millicent Merryweather in 1928 & the 1939 register shows them living at 23 Salop Rd, Oldbury with 2 daughters, Ida & Clarice.  Ernest was a glass lens polisher.

Son George married Mary Ellen Lyttleton in 1923 & the 1939 register shows them living at 12 High St, Oldbury.  George was a driver of a goods vehicle.

The 1939 register shows widowed Clara living with daughter May & her husband Thomas Brettell, an iron foundry labourer, & family.  They were living at 35 Valley Rd, Smethwick.

Clara died in Oct-December 1945 in Smethwick aged 75.

The children of Thomas William Jones Freeth & Clara Smith were:

fh.  Clara Freeth born Oct-December 1896 at Smethwick; died Oct-December 1896 at Smethwick
fh.  Ernest Thomas Freeth born July 4th, 1900 at Smethwick, Staffs; died Oct-December 1977 at Sandwell, W. Midlands
fh.  George Joseph Freeth born October 25th, 1902 at West Bromwich, Staffs; died July-September 1951 at Oldbury
fh. Agnes Freeth born July-September 1906 at Smethwick; died July-September 1906 at Smethwick
fh.  Emily Freeth born July-September 1906 at Smethwick; died July-September 1906 at Smethwick
fh.  May Freeth born August 4th, 1910 at West Bromwich, Staffs; died Oct-December 1979 at Sandwell

*According to Helen Stearn (granddaughter of Abraham Alexander Archer, Rosa’s uncle) Rosa Freeth ran a high class wet fish shop (supplying Birmingham hotels) in High Street, Smethwick, along with her friend Trixie French. The two spinsters ran a successful business and Rosa remained in close contact with the Archer family. In order to help out the Archer family who had fallen on hard times, Rosa and Trixie decide to offer a home to one of their six children. Their favourite was Rosa’s cousin Dorothy Archer (born 1910) who lived very happily with them for some years. In her early forties Rosa married Philip Harris, a carpenter, and emigrated to Chicago U.S.A. Rosa was an astute business woman and made money during the Wall Street Crash. She and Philip returned home to England in the 1960's, living in Hagley Worcestershire. Some time after Philip died Rosa had a first visit from her step-brother Ernest. Apparently they had a cordial visit but did not see each other again. He too lived in Worcestershire. Rosa lived to be 100 years old & died in 1988.


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