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William Freeth [fh.]

William Freeth was the eighth child of Josiah Freeth and Mary Yates born April-June 1861 at Smethwick, Staffs.

William’s mother Mary died prior to 1871 as his father Josiah (mistakenly written as Breath in census) was registered as a widower. They were living at St George St. & William had 1 brother & a sister still at home.

William married Elizabeth Millward in Oct-December 1879, the marriage being registered at Kings Norton. Elizabeth was born Jan-March 1859 at Oldbury, Worcs, the daughter of Sarah & William Millward, a fitter & turner in the iron trade. Elizabeth had given birth to an illigitimate daughter, Bertha Ellen, earlier in 1879.

In 1881 William & Elizabeth were living at 58 Regent St, Smethwick & William was a pipe setter. They had 2 children at home, Bertha E (2) & Leonard (5 months). Living next door were Elizabeth’s parents & their family.

By 1891 William & Elizabeth had moved to 7 St George St, Smethwick & William was now described as a ‘pipe setter pottery earth’. They had 3 children at home – William (9), Ernest (6) & May (2).

Daughter Bertha was visiting her grandfather William Millward & aunt Mary A Millward at 60 Regent St, Smethwick at the time of the 1891 census. Bertha was to marry Matthew Payton in Jan-March 1900 in Smethwick & by 1901 they had a daughter Elsie L.

The family were still at St George St in 1901, now at number 108. William was now described as a drain pipe maker & there were 7 children at home – William, a screener of coal above ground, Ernest, an iron ….. dresser, Tom (15), an iron rivet maker, May, Maud (10), Harold (6) & Robert (3).

Elizabeth died, aged 45, in Oct-December 1904 at Smethwick.

Daughter May married John Jarvis in 1907 & in 1911 they were living at 68 Edward St, Langley Green, West Bromwich.  John was a labourer at Rolling Mills & they had a 3 year old son John.

In 1911 widowed William was living at 122 White Rd, Smethwick & was described as a tube maker for bedsteads.  Living with him was son Robert who was described as a ‘school programme seller’!  Also with William was son Thomas Leonard, an iron roller, & his wife Elizabeth (nee Banner) & their 3 month old daughter, Gladys Irene.  It was noted on the census that William & Elizabeth had had 9 children, only 7 of whom were still alive. The 1939 register shows son Thomas & Elizabeth living at 65 Mornington Rd, Smethwick & Thomas was now incapacitated.

The children of William Freeth & Elizabeth Millward were:

fh. Bertha Ellen (Millward) Freeth born April-June 1879 at Smethwick, Staffs; died Jan-March 1933 in Birmingham
fh. Leonard Freeth born Oct-December 1880 at Smethwick, Staffs, died Jan-March 1885 at Smethwick, Staffs
fh. William Henry Freeth born April-June 1882 at Smethwick, Staffs
fh. Ernest Freeth born Jan-March 1884 at Smethwick, Staffs
fh. Thomas Leonard Freeth born May 19th, 1886 at Smethwick, Staffs; died April 12th, 1947 at 65 Mornington Rd, Smethwick
fh. Sarah May Freeth born April-June 1888 at Smethwick, Staffs
fh. Maud Freeth born May 7th, 1891 at Smethwick, Staffs
fh. Harold Freeth born 1896 at Smethwick, Staffs; died April-June 1901 at Smethwick
fh. Robert Freeth born Oct-December 1897 at Smethwick, Staffs


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