Notes on Mrs Dorothy Ireland (nee Goss) (Dolly)
During most or all of the taped interviews, I had very stupidly not figured out that Mrs Ireland’s mother was not married, and that Mrs I was brought up by the Rushen family in Church Street, where she called Mrs Rushen her grandma, though as far as I know she was not related. So some of the questions and answers do not really make sense. I learnt more from an unrecorded conversation in December 1989 and much of the following summary is based on that, though there are still some inconsistencies. I have tried to put clarifying notes in square brackets in the transcripts.
Goss family tree
Her mother was Bertha Kate Winifred Goss (unmarried, and must have been about 15 when Dolly was born). According to tape 32, side 10, she died when Mrs Ireland was four days old but this cannot be so as she is in the 1901 census; perhaps she died after a later baby?
I don’t know who Dolly’s father was. I thought she implied at one time that her father later married her mother and that he was a Williams so her middle name is Williams. But she may have been talking about someone else, because see tape 32, side 10, that her mother died and that her father was a Cousins. Eventually they[?] went to Africa (tape 32, side 10, implies that it was her father that went to Africa).
Grandparents: Bertha, Dolly’s mother, was daughter of Augustus Goss, who was thus Dolly’s grandfather. He was postmaster at Witham post office (then 84 Newland Street). In March 1895 he and his family moved away to Colne in Lancashire, were still there in 1901, then in Paignton, Devon, by 1909 (but not there 1914) (newspaper report in Essex County Chronicle 30 March 1894, 1901 census, and marriage of Gladys in 1909). Mrs Ireland said her grandfather was a postal inspector later, and sometimes would come to Witham in this role in the 1920s after Mrs Ireland had married.
Great grandparents: Samuel Goss and his wife Frances at White Notley, (a shoemaker?). Perhaps moved there from Witham when they retired? Mrs Ireland would go and live there in the holidays, partly to stop her peapicking etc. with the other children. She didn’t play with children there. She used to call the great-grandfather ‘uncle’ till people, especially the postmen who knew the family, said he was her great-grandfather. See the beginning of tape 33, side 9, about the golden wedding of Samuel and Frances in 1904.
Brought up by: Mrs Rushen, whom she called her grandma. Probably in a house behind about no. 6 Church Street (Mrs Raven mentioned this location in her interview and it ties in with the 1891 census where the Rushens are six houses above the White Horse). Mrs Rushen brought her up and received money every month for it. I thought Mrs Ireland said this was from her grandfather and/or great-grandfather[?], but on tape 32 side 10, the implication seemed to be that it came from her father’s family. In some of the questions I was thinking that she was brought up at the Post Office in Newland Street which she wasn’t.
Message from John Macdonald, April 2019. “I have read this with some interest as I always thought that “Dolly” was part of my family. My Maternal Grandmother was Mabel Nellie Haggar (nee Rushen), in the 50s and 60s I lived in Peckham, London at the pub run by my Grandparents, “The Havelock Arms”. A couple of times a year, my Grandmother would take me on the train, or sometimes in a hired car with a uniformed driver to visit my parents who still lived in Witham. At this time, most of her siblings were still living locally and, if time allowed, we would call on some of them. As I have said, with the innocence of youth, she was “Aunt Dolly”, I knew no better
Married: 25 October 1924 at St Nicholas church, Witham, to Edward Henry (Ted) H. Ireland. Engineer with Crompton’s, Chelmsford.
Lived and work:
Born: 84 Newland Street.
Till about 1910: With Rushens, Church Street.
After 1910: With John Wadley and his wife, probably at Dean House, 21 Chalks Road. Helped in their shop (48 Church Street) and collecting rents from their houses, especially in Church Street.
1920s onwards, i.e. after married: 12 Chalks Road
Children: three. Marie (b.c.1926) Renee (b.c.1931), Clive (b.c.1933). Clive living at 37 St Nicholas Road 2001.
Died: 25 May 1995 in Witham.
General: She remembers hearing murmuring about ‘she died’ (perhaps her mother), and some money coming to her, which was how she bought the house in Chalks Road. She also remembers hearing about ‘a sheep that’s gone astray’ and seeing people whispering about family photos, at Notley.
She didn’t know anything about the family circumstances until she was about sixteen and Mrs Rushen died or was dying. Mrs Rushen said ‘I can’t go on for ever’. This upset Mrs Ireland.
When she was a child, no-one ever said anything to her about her parents, and she doesn’t remember ever thinking about why she didn’t have a mother – ‘I never asked’. She was happy and so fond of Mrs Rushen that it didn’t occur to her that there was anything wrong. When she saw Mrs Rushen’s grown-up children [later?], they said things like ‘My mother brought her/you up’.
Mrs Rushen was the District Nurse before Mrs Kentfield.
At school people would say to Mrs Ireland ‘You’re a lady’s child’. She always had nice clothes, velvet etc.
When she was sixteen she wanted to go to Australia but the great-grandparents wouldn’t let her; they said ‘You must realise you’ve cost us a lot of money’ (see tape 32, side 10, suggesting that it was her father’s sister that was in Australia). Mrs Raven said that Mrs Ireland’s parents went abroad (unrecorded conversation with Mrs R, January 1978).
She said people didn’t use words like ‘illegitimate’, they would say ‘love child’.
Extracts from relevant documents
RG 10/427, f.46, p.21, schedule 129, Post Office Savings Bank, 27 St Pauls Churchyard, parish of St Gregory, City of London
Samuel Goss Head Mar 40 Inspector and Office Keeper born Essex, White Notley
Frances P Goss Wife Mar 43 Housekeeper born London
Agustus [sic] E Goss Son 13 Messenger Boy born London
Elizabeth S Goss Dau 11 Scholar born London
Frances M Goss Dau 9 Scholar born London
Ernest W Goss Son 7 Scholar born London
Horace G Goss Son 4 Scholar born London
RG 11/734, f.83, p.30, 8 Dermody Road, Lewisham, Kent
Samuel Goss Head M 50 Inspector Of Savings Bank G.P.O. (C S) born Essex, White Notley
Frances P Goss Wife M 53 St Andrews Holborn
Frances M Goss Daur U 19 Dressmaker born St Pancras
Ernest W Goss Son U 17 Compositor born St Pancras
Horace G Goss Son 14 Telegraph Clerk G.P.O. born St Pauls City
Isaac Goss Father M 74 Retired Tradesman (Gen Shopkeeper) born Essex, Braintree
Sarah Goss Mother M 76 born Essex, Redmarsh
Emma Wright Visitor U 32 No Occupation (Laundress) born Essex, Walthamstow
Lilian F Hitchman Grand-child 2 born Kent, Lewisham
RG 11/733, f.96, p.57, 13 Elwick Road, Lewisham, Kent
Augustus E. Goss Head M 23 Sorter Savings Bank Dep GPO born Middlesex, St Pancras
Esther Goss Wife M 25 Dressmaker born Kent, Lewisham
Bertha K. W. Goss Daur 2 born Lewisham
RG 11/178, f.91 p.36, schedule 207, 46 Wellington Street, Deptford, London
Walter W Hitchman Head Mar 27 Boiler maker born Middlesex, Poplar
Elizabeth Hitchman Wife Mar 22 born Middlesex, Kings X
Mabel Hitchman Dau 3 born Kent, Lewisham
RG 12/1426, f.154, p.2, Hill Side, near Pennets Farm, White Notley, Essex
Samuel Goss Head Marr 60 Retired Civil Servant born White Notley
Frances Goss Wife Marr 62 born London, Holborn
Mable Hitchman Grandchild 13 born Kent, Lewisham
RG 12/1425, ff.36 and 37, pp. 12 and 13, High Street, Post Office, Witham, Essex
Augustus Edward Goss Head M 33 Postmaster born London, Kings Cross
Esther Goss Wife M 33? born Essex, Witham
Winifred B K Goss Daur 12 born Essex, Witham
Sydney W A Goss Son 9 born Essex, Witham
Gladys E.L Goss Daur 4 born Essex, Witham
Mary Butcher Serv S 15 born Essex, Witham
RG 12/520, f.150, p.2, schedule 8, 8 Bonfield Road, Lewisham, Kent
Ernest W Goss Head M 27 Literary Assistant (employed) born London, St Pancras
Louisa E Goss Wife M 27 born Kent, Lewisham
Dorothy M Goss Dau 1 born Kent, Lewisham
Elizabeth C French Servt S 15 General servant born Essex, Maldon
6 December, birth of Dorothy Williams Goss at Witham, daughter of Bertha Kate Winifred Goss (unmarried).
RG 13/1728, f.38, p.9, Braintree Road, White Notley, Essex
Samuel Goss Head M 70 Retired Inspector, Post Office born Essex, White Notley
Frances P Goss Wife M 73 born London, St Andrews, Holborn
Ethel Challis Visitor S 24 School teacher (worker) born Essex, Black Notley
RG 13/3886, f.95, p.38, schedule 243, 105 Albert Road, Colne, Lancashire
Augustus E Goss Head M 43 Postmaster (Civil Servant; works at home) born London, St Pancras
Esther Goss Wife M 44 Assistant in Post Office (works at home) born London, Lewisham SE
Bertha K W Goss Daur S 22 born London, Lewisham SE
Gladys E L Goss Daur S 14 Pupil teacher born London, Lewisham SE
Olive May Goss Daur 7 born Essex, Witham
Gwendoline Ettie Goss Daur 7 born Essex, Witham
Leslie George Goss Son 6 born Essex, Witham
RG 13/549, f.71, p.29, schedule 192, 13 Warwick Gardens, Lewisham, Kent
Ernest W Goss Head M 37 Printer’s manager born Middlesex, St Pancras
Louisa E Goss Wife M 37 born Kent, Lewisham
Dorothy M Goss Dau 11 born Kent, Lewisham
Horace W Goss Son 8 born Kent, Lewisham
Ernest Cyril Goss Son 6 born Kent, Lewisham
Jane Hankin Lodger S 44 Living on own means born Surrey, Bermondsey
RG 13/1725, folio 55, page 2, schedule 15, Church Street, Witham
Robert A. Rushen Head M 34 Bricklayer (worker) born Essex, Witham
Sarah A. Rushen Wife M 34 born Essex, Witham
Edward W. Rushen Son S 12 born Essex, Witham
Arthur R. Rushen Son S 11 born Essex, Witham
Elsie A. Rushen Daur 9 born Essex, Witham
Albert W. Rushen Son 7 born Essex, Witham
Eva L. Rushen Daur 5 born Essex, Witham
William E. Rushen Son 4 born Essex, Witham
Mabb N. Rushen Daur 2 born Essex, Witham
Cecil F Rushen Son 1 born Essex, Witham
Bridget Rushen Mother Wid 70 born Essex, Witham
Dorothy Williams Visitor 6 born Essex, Witham
Can’t find Sydney who would have been about 19, perhaps he died or emigrated. I got a marriage certificate for Sidney Alfred Goss aged 19 who married 1901 in St Marylebone but not the right person (his father was Alfred James Goss a ‘chequer’).
Marriage certificate of Dolly’s aunt:
1 June 1909, parish church of Paignton, Devon, by banns.
Robert Percy Couch, aged 29, bachelor, clerk, of Montrose, Redcliffe Road, Winchmore Hill, son of Robert Stephen Couch (dec), publican
Gladys Ethel Lily Goss, aged 22, spinster, of Post Office, Paignton, daughter of Augustus Edward Goss, postmaster.
Witnesses Aug E Goss, Syd W Goss.
1914 directory of Devon (online)
Postmaster at Paignton is no longer Mr Goss but F S Staines. Can’t see any Goss in the residential part either.
Marriage at St Nicholas church, Witham, 25 October
Edward Henry Ireland, aged 30, bachelor, electrical engineer, of 12 Church Street, Witham, son of Henry Ireland deceased, checker
Dorothy Williams Goss, aged 29, spinster, of Dean House Witham, daughter of —
By banns. Witnesses Robert A Rushen, Gladys May Rushen. By G A Campbell, vicar