Thursday, April 7, 2011

Meeting Misses Grace and Margaret Goodland

Despite my optimism about finishing the saga of Joshua Goodland, I just can't seem to get any traction. First of all, we're entering our annual block of state achievement testing. We've been preparing feverishly for the high-stakes FCAT test here in Florida, but the only thing tougher than teaching a full year's worth of material in just 7 months would be learning it in that short amount of time!

In addition, I'm still stalled and wondering where Joshua Goodland's money came from, not only for his eight-year Cambridge education, but for the daily living expenses and costly holidays enjoyed during that time.

Just when I think I've covered all of the possibilities, something new crops up!

This time, it's a new sibling: Margaret Esther Goodland, who would have been 18 years of age at the time of the 1901 UK census, and 23 years old in 1906 (a date fixed in my last entry ascertaining Joshua's continued residence at Cambridge until at least then).

I did hedge in my speculation last time: "Frances Goodland gave birth to at least six children who had survived infancy, listed giving their approximate ages in 1906: Gillmore, Jr. (34), Joshua (32), Grace L. (29), Ernest Talbot (27), Theodore Thomas (25), and Kenny Arnot (18)."

So, make that: Gillmore, Jr. (34), Joshua (32), Grace L. (29), Ernest Talbot (27), Theodore Thomas (25), Margaret Esther (23), and Kenny Arnot Goodland (18).

There's a Grace Leviah Goodland appearing in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales [seen, right], during the 1911 census (although right now I can't access the actual census document), so I am uncertain what her situation there might have been. She also appears to have been too young: 28. There is also a Margaret Goodland showing up during that same census in Edmonton, Middlesex, almost 10 miles north of the City of London proper (I haven't access to an address, occupation, or household for her, either).

In lieu of seeing the actual documents, my best guess is that Grace was living in Wales, and might have been married at the time of the 1911 count.

The earlier 1901 census recorded Grace as a visitor to the home of 54-year-old Edwin Lee, managing director of a brickworks in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales. Lee's eldest son, Sidney, 25, was of the same age as Grace on that day, 31 March 1901. Documents show that a 'Grace Goodland' was soon married in the summer of 1901 in Glamorgan, Wales, and that a 'Sidney Lee' also was married during the exact same time frame in the very same locale.

Were they wed in 1901? And were they still united by 1911? It's difficult to say. 1911's Grace Leviah Goodland obviously still uses the surname "Goodland." I am unaware as to what the possibilities might have been regarding a married British woman using her father's surname after marriage at the time in Wales. And without a look at the census form, we can't say with whom she was residing—or what she was doing as an occupation.

In 1901, Grace Goodland was listed as a visitor in Cardiff, and as having no occupation at the time. She was in the company of her younger brother, Ernest, then 22, whose occupation was given as "sailor (mate)." Both hailed from Exmouth, Devon.

While I do believe it is possible that Grace, in the time between the 1901 and 1911 censuses, came up with an occupation (or a husband) that could have provided money allowing her mother to move to Gresham House, London, and her brother, Joshua, to spend eight leisurely years at Cambridge, I also think it is extremely unlikely.

If she did, indeed, marry Sidney Lee, why would a man who had been living at home modestly with his family until the age of 25 suddenly start throwing money at his in-laws? And if this 1901 visitor's name later remained Grace Goodland because it was another Grace Goodland who was married that summer of 1901, what line of work might Joshua Goodland's sister—a single woman in Wales at the turn of the 20th century— have entered that would have supported not only herself, but her mother and her globe-trotting brother?

Grace had a fine education. She was recorded in the U.K. census of 1891 as a 15-year-old student boarding at Mrs. Martha Bennet's well-regarded Park School [the original boarding house is pictured, left] in Yeovil, Somerset, an institution that had opened its doors in 1851 and which still maintains an excellent reputation. Is it possible Grace learned skills that would have become lucrative by 1911?

Surely. But in 1911, we also find out that her brother, Gillmore, Jr., and his wife, Kathleen, have an infant named Gillmore Desmond Goodland (called Desmond), age 1, who is being cared for in Merthyr Tydfil. Where? I can't say exactly, at least not without seeing the document itself, but is it safe to conclude that little Desmond is being cared for in Wales by his father's sister, Grace?

The family of Gillmore Goodland, Jr., has older children: Kathleen, 10, and Joan L., 9, who are listed as being in Godstone, Surrey, on census day, 2 April 1911. The Goodlands had a home at Hoving Shaw, Woldingham, Surrey, at the time.  However, Gillmore, Jr., and his wife, Kathleen, seem to have been abroad in early 1911, visiting the United States, but likely having spent more time in Mexico (and Gillmore likely spent some time in a Mexican jail cell). They finally steamed back into Liverpool on 5 July 1911 on the Campania of the Cunard Line, having departed New York City some time before.

Would I be wrong in assuming that daughters Kathleen and Joan could have been at school in Surrey, or perhaps living with a neighbour named Edmund Stephenson, a rubber merchant?

Stephenson and his wife may have offered Kathleen and Joan a place to stay while their parents were away. They may also have been boarding at a nearby school in Surrey. Again, seeing the actual census document would answer many questions!

Anyway, if Grace herself had time to look after her young nephew Desmond Goodland, she was unlikely to have been the lynchpin in any venture that provided a great deal of money that she then could have lavished on her family. It seems that, if Grace had been simply paying someone else, a relative stranger, to care for Desmond while the baby was in Wales in 1911, the Goodlands could have found someone to do exactly that for them back in Surrey!

(For that matter, why wouldn't Gillmore and Kathleen have left Desmond with brother Joshua's wife Florence, who was in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, with Joshua's own 10 ½-month-old daughter, Josephine Mary Goodland, and a nurse at the time? That is, if they were looking strictly for kin to provide Desmond's care?)

The bottom line: It simply doesn't appear that Grace Goodland could have been the financier behind Frances Goodland's rooms at Gresham House in London and any economic assistance with Joshua's Cambridge degrees.

Grace's sister, Margaret? 1891 finds her the youngest boarder, aged 8 years, at Park School in Yeovil, along with older sister Grace.

The 1901 census [below, left] hurls that eight-year-old into the future and adult life rather quickly. She then lived in Blandford, Dorset, with the family of a farmer, Owen C. Richards, who resided at Whatcombe Farm with his wife, Ellen, and four children, ages 9 to 14. There were two servants in the house on 31 March, along with the children's governess: 18-year-old Margaret E. Goodland of Exmouth, Devon.

No, Margaret was a working girl on a Dorset farm in 1901, not someone who was footing the bill for her brother Joshua's further education and world travels. By 1911, as mentioned above, we find her in Edmonton, Middlesex, still using the name Margaret Goodland, presumably still unmarried. What she was doing there is known only to those with access to the document itself.

I'm loath to assume that these girls, Grace and Margaret, are the only two sisters of Joshua Goodland, but they seem to be right now. Neither of them seems to have become wealthy by the turn of the 20th century.

Did Joshua somehow fund his entire education and his holidays by drawing up the odd plan for builders around Cambridge when he wasn't studying law, coaching law, or traveling the world? Did his mother actually inherit enough from Joshua's father to live in the center of London after her husband's passing in Exmouth in 1893?

Before we jump to any conclusions, let's take a look at Joshua's brothers and their fortunes as the 19th century faded into memory.

Stay tuned…

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