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  • neilduffin

So there is a Turvey Connection after all.

I have to say, it is not much of a connection, to say it is tenuous is overstating it, however I have finally found the first vague connection between my family of Pursers and the Higgins family of Turvey. I will say now this does not lend any credence to Grandma's tale of doomed love and elopement, however, did I not speculate that some connection via the household staff was far more likely ? Well I was right. Well............. sort of. Not bro much a connection as a contract . ( of employment )

Sorry I will stop fannying about. In the mid 19th Century when Turvey House was owned by William Higgins and his family then subsequently by his son Charles Higgins . The Higgins family do not appear to have spent much time actually living at Turvey House, it was let for some extended periods and left empty or with just a skeleton staff at some other times. This information comes from the census returns of 1841 onwards. The drawback here is that the census return is a snapshot of who was where on a single day, and says nothing about the day after or the next 9 years and 364 days until the next census. Where the house appears empty on census day, they could have just gone away for the weekend. Notwithstanding this, the census is the information that is available.

For much not the time when the house is let, the family are living at Turvey Cottage. Despite its name, Turvey Cottage is a very substantial house, and is no cottage. Quite when they did this one can really only guess. At other times the family has shown up living bat Tunbridge Wells and in London. Again I have no idea if this was for a week or for 5 years, just cant tell.

In the census of 1851, the Higgins Family are at Tunbridge Wells and Turvey House has been left in the charge of one of their Coachmen, John Bamford, his wife Catherine who is listed as cook and a single servant, Sarah Wall. Inn the census return it actually states that John Bamford was left in charge of the house.

There is a certain Irony in John Bamford having been officially in charge of the house, even if it was just for a few days. The Bamford and Purser families have both been in the Turvey / Pavenham area for generations and there were a number of marriages between them over the centuries. Inn his own time, John Bamford had a niece andna nephew both of whom married Pursers. So an ancestor of Grandma really was in charge of Turvey House !! ................................ for a while. Sort of get what I mean ?

This is a far cry from desperate love and elopement but you never know, if I keep looking.

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