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Elisabeth May [m.8]

Elisabeth May was the eighth child of Elizabeth Agent & John May christened June 30th, 1822 at East Grinstead, Sussex.

In 1841 Elizabeth was working as a servant & living at Kidbrook House, East Grinstead. With her was her sister Sarah, also a servant. Head of the household was Mary Middleton, also a servant.

Elizabeth married John Tester on August 7th, 1841 at East Grinstead, Sussex. John was christened March 14th, 1819 at St Swithin Parish Church, East Grinstead, the son of Jane Winn & George Tester, an agricultural labourer.

In 1851 Elizabeth & John were living at Stone Quarry, Wych Cross, East Grinstead with their 4 children – Luezer (sic) (7), Ebenezer (5), Joseph (2) & an unnamed infant just 2 weeks old. Living next door were John’s parents, Jane & George Tester.

Elizabeth & John were still living at East Grinstead in 1861, at Kidbrooke Drive, with children Louisa, Ebenezer, Fanny (10), Mary Ann (8), George (3) & Elizabeth (5 months). John was now a gardener & Ebenezer was an errand boy.

Elizabeth died in July-September 1864 at East Grinstead.

Daughter Louisa married James Cook, a blacksmith, on July 21st, 1866 at St Bride, Fleet St, London

In 1871 widower John, a gardener, was living at Gardeners House, East Grinstead with daughter Fanny, house keeper, son George, a post boy & Elizabeth. There was a 2 year old 'daughter' also listed, called Minnie Tester, born at Hartfield.  This could be John’s granddaughter, the child of daughter Louisa & husband James Cook, but she was also listed on the census with her parents at Hartfield Rd, Forest Row as Minnie E Cook, aged 2, born at Hartfield.  Perhaps Minnie was visiting her grandfather as Louisa had recently had a new baby.

The children of Elizabeth May & John Tester were:

m.8.1 John Tester born Jan-March 1842 at East Grinstead, Sussex; died Jan-March 1842 at East Grinstead

m.8.2 Louisa Tester christened August 27th, 1843 at East Grinstead, Sussex
m.8.2 Ebenezer Tester born Jan-March 1846 at East Grinstead, Sussex
m.8.3 Joseph Tester christened November 12th, 1848 at East Grinstead, Sussex
m.8.4 Fanny Tester born Jan-March 1851 & christened June 1st, 1851 at Forest Row, Sussex
m.8.5 Mary Ann Tester christened March 20th, 1853 at Forest Row, Sussex
m.8.6 George Tester born Jan-March 1858 at East Grinstead, Sussex
m.8.7 Elizabeth Jane Tester christened August 4th, 1861 at Forest Row, Sussex

John remarried in April-June 1879 at St George Hanover Square, London. His new wife was Laura Tuckey born c1835 at Brixton, Surrey.

In 1881 John & Laura were living at Kidbrook Garden Cottage, East Grinstead where John was a gardener. John’s son George was with them & working as a carpenter.

They were still at Kidbrook Garden Cottage in 1891 but John & Laura were on their own.

John died on January 1st, 1894, aged 74, at Forest Row, East Grinstead.  Administration of his will was granted on January 27th, 1894 to his widow Laura.  His effects were £194. An obituary in the Sussex Agricultural Express of January 9th, 1894 states that John was born & brought up on the Kidbrooke Estate & began service there under Lord Colchester.  He was much respected by his employers & the villagers.

In 1901 widow Laura was living at 2 Parkside Cottages, East Grinstead with her widowed sister Mary Burdon (65). Laura was described as a retired housekeeper.

Laura was lodging at 144 St Awdrys Rd, Barking, Essex in 1911 & described as living on her own means.

Laura died in April-June 1922, aged 88, her death being registered at Wandsworth.


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