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James Albert Stone [st.2.5.4]

James Albert Stone was the fourth child of James Stone & Sarah Langstone born Oct-December 1866 at West Bromwich, Staffs.

In 1871 the family were living at Hilltop, West Bromwich, Staffs & James had 3 brothers.

In 1881 James was living at 18 Dudley St, West Bromwich with his parents & younger brother John B.

James married Gertrude Elizabeth Line in July-September 1890, the marriage being registered at Birmingham. Gertrude was born March 6th, 1868 at West Bromwich, the daughter of Elizabeth Baker & Edward Burford Line, an ironworks manager.

By 1891 James & Gertrude had a daughter Sarah E M, aged 1 month at the time of the census. At this time Gertrude & her daughter were visiting her parents Elizabeth & Edward B Line, a coal & coke merchant, at Oldbury Rd (Union Funaces), West Bromwich. James was with his father & step mother at the time of the census at 302 High St, West Bromwich. James was a tailor & draper like his father & his younger brother John, who was also at home, was an apprentice woollen draper.

Articles from the Nottingham Evening Post of May 1895 revealed a dramatic turn of affairs in the lives of James & Gertrude.  Early in that year James, a travelling tailor, had been examined by a medical man in consequence of his abnormal behaviour, & it was advised that James  should be watched.  Soon after this his wife left him, & by May 1895 James was living at 32 Lombard St, West Bromwich, employing  a 20 year old servant girl, Laura Williams.  On the morning of May 2nd, 1895 screams were heard from the house & eventually when police attended the scene in the afternoon a gruesome scene confronted them.  In one room was the body of the servant girl lying on the sofa with a bullet through her head!  Also in the room, upright in a chair, was James with a bullet wound in his head & his right eye being completely blown away.  A military carbine was found nearby - James had been a member of the Lichfield Yeomanry.  The verdict of a jury was that James had murdered the girl & then committed suicide.

Administration of James' will was granted on May 30th, 1895 to his widow Gertrude Elizabeth.  His effects were £454.1s.1d. 

In 1901 widowed Gertrude was with her widowed mother Elizabeth Line at 284 St Pauls Rd, Smethwick, Staffs. Also there was Gertrude’s daughter Mary (Sarah in last census) aged 10 & son Edward, aged 6. Gertrude’s brother William (21), a coal merchant, was also living with them.

By 1911 Gertrude had moved to 156 Vicarage Rd, Langley, Birmingham & was described as living on private means.  With her was daughter Mary (now listed as Marguaretta!) & son William (Edward in previous census), who worked as a clerk at the brewery. Daughter Mary remained a spinster.

The 1939 register shows Gertrude living at 16 Bertram Rd, Smethwick & with her was daughter Sarah, a tracer (draughtsman), & son William, a motor coach proprietor. 

Gertrude died, aged 82, on July 20th, 1950 at the Hallam Hospital, West Bromwich.  Probate was granted on November 1st, 1950 to her brother William Baker Line, retired colliery agent & her effects were £2,502.13s.8d.


The children of James Albert Stone & Gertrude Elizabeth Line were:

st. Sarah Elizabeth Margaretta Stone born March 4th, 1891 at Droitwich, Worcs; died July-September 1971 at Birmingham, Warks
st. William Richard Edward Stone born July 14th, 1894 at West Bromwich, Staffs; died June 2nd, 1947 at St Chad’s Hospital, Birmingham, Warks


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