Neal relations at Cuckoos Cup, The Wrekin

An array of Osbornes Knocking down a wall to see the wider picture

Up until the beginning of this month (April 2016), two of great grandmother Amelia Osborne’s siblings had proved elusive, despite looking for several years. The brick wall has well and truly been smashed through thanks to third cousin Alan Croad, for one of the two at least.

Elizabeth Osborne, the middle child of the family, married Fred Tucker in Neath district, rather than the expected Pontypridd, in 1899. With this cracked, it is easy to find her in 1901 and 1911 census, both times living near to sister Ellen and her Woodland crew in Blaengwynfi {1}.

As well as Alan’s relatively recent family tree on Ancestry, undoubtedly adding useful grist to the hints system mill, he has provided some fascinating old photos too. The first one below is a wonderful puzzle which could keep us going for a while.

Who, When, Where

osborne group_GoldenWedding_early20s
Mary Ann Scott right, rear; Violet Maud Tucker left, front.

Alan kindly sent this in his first direct email, labelled ‘Golden Wedding’. The quality of photo and fashion styles indicate around early nineteen twenties. The golden wedding celebration for William and Mary Ann Osborne would be in August 1921 so could well be the occasion in question. Held somewhere in the Welsh valleys from the turnout, but is it Blaenclydach or Blaengwynfi?

Violet Maud Tucker, the first child of Fred and Elizabeth, is on the grass, far left, and would be coming up to 21.

It didn’t take long to identify Mary Ann Watkins, nee Scott, in the furthest corner from her, standing far right. Compare the main photo Scott/Osborne page from 1923 and it seems certain that other Scott members are here too.

The identifications so far

Updated 22nd April {6}. Names as at 1921 (married names if appropriate):

  • Back row: first left possibly Rosina Jones, skip 3 to middle for sisters Mary Ann Winnett and then Louisa Roberts, next to their brother Albert Gregory, right of him Phyllis Scott (only 14), then Daisy Maud Scott, and Mary Ann Watkins on the end.
  • Middle row from left: first Elizabeth Tucker & her first grandchild Phyllis Jones (8 months), third Rosina Gregory, William and Mary in centre #, then Amelia Scott with first grandchild Vivian Watkins (born Dec. 1918).
  • Front row: first left Violet Maud Tucker, skip one to Verdun/Louisa Winnett (age 5), in front of Amelia – Lily May Scott (11).

# Are the couple in the middle really 72 and 69 years old respectively?

Further thoughts

Could the two girls either side of Lily May be Brookstones, Doris and Eva (the latter aged about 4)? Sadly Doris died in 1924.

WR Osborne - uncle billThe remaining elusive Osborne sibling is William Robert, born 1885. Is it possible that the balding man next to Amelia is him? His WW1 ‘service’ recently came to light on FindMyPast (rejected for duty after 2 days training in July 1915) – height 5ft 8in, no distinguishing marks. Difficult to be sure, but possibly his oldest child would be 18 months or so at August 1921 {5}. Update: What must be a slightly earlier photo of ‘uncle Bill’ has now emerged – looks like a match.

It is likely that Ellen Woodland and some of her 5 children (ages ranging from 21 to 11) are in the mix. There aren’t enough boys for the whole Letherby offshoot (at 1921, four of them from 4 to 10), but perhaps the two oldest – Trevor, Frederick – could be in the front row.

Out of the Scotts, Stan and William are definitely missing. Emma Jane might just be in the front row, 2nd from right.

Could some of the offspring (age 22 to 32) of Robert’s sister Susan Sibley be here, too? They were still in the area at 1921.

There seems to be a general pattern emerging – the oldest two or three offspring in each generation/line, apart from the immediate children of William and Mary Ann (where there is as complete a line-up as possible). However, the Scotts are over-represented, and this train of thought goes against the Brookstone girls – their brothers were older.

Total of 27 people plus 4 babes/toddlers. There are six women (maybe more) remaining to be puzzled over – top left, bottom right. From the emerging pattern, maybe the eldest Woodland girls bottom right – Alice (20) and Florence (18).

Your thoughts on individuals welcome, along with additions to the picture parade below and any other suggestions.

The Osborne women

William and Mary Ann married 15th August 1871, Misterton Somerset, and had 10 children according to the 1911 census. One of those that died young is still missing from the records {4}, Daniel died 1909, with William Robert the only male reaching adulthood. This leaves the seven women.

Who can we see?

The eldest daughter was Margaret ‘Annie’ Osborne, by this time Annie Trask, living in Weymouth. No portrait of her yet.

Rosina is next in seniority.

Rosina Gregory, born 1876

For Amelia, born 1878, see main photo on Scott/Osborne page.

Ellen Woodland, born 1880, surely appears in the group photo. Could the sisters be roughly in order, with Ellen sitting between Elizabeth and Rosina? (Had thought she would be holding a youngster, possibly a grandchild, but couldn’t find any to fit.)

Elizabeth follows in order here:

Elizabeth (Osborne) and Fred Tucker
Elizabeth, born 1882, and husband Fred Tucker

Leaving Lily (Brookstone, b 1887) and Daisy (Letherby b 1892) to find.

As a bonus:

Auntie Susie Eli Sibley's mother
Susan Osborne, younger sister to William, born 1867/8. Married Eli Sibley.

Mystery photo

Surely an Osborne, but which?

Probably Amelia Osborne

Submitted as ‘Probably Amelia Osborne’, the hair style seems wrong for her, as does the clothing. But she could be one of the Osborne women of that generation.

Amelia (Osborne) and Charles Scott later in life
Amelia and Charles Scott later in life.


  1. Alan Croad has written a guest article on the Osborne connections to Blaengwynfi (and Tonyrefail), so the Cutlock draft prompted by the area featuring in BBC Wales ‘Real Valleys’ season, April 2015, can be canned.
  2. See Scott and Osborne page for full list of Amelia’s siblings and their offspring.
  3. Photo credits – sources rather than photographers.
    1. Alan Croad/Elizabeth Jane Croad for group photo, the Tuckers, Susan Osborne, uncle Bill.
    2. Glenn Lambert-Vickers for mystery photo and older Amelia and Charles.
    3. Valerie Newell for Rosina.
  4. With William and Mary Ann marrying August 1871 and their eldest daughter Margaret Ann not appearing until late 1873 at the earliest, a still born earlier child in 1872 seems quite likely.
  5. A possible identification for the child (on possible William Robert’s lap) is William Daniel Osborne born Dec. 1919.
  6. Valerie Newell reports that she also has a copy of the group photo and is able to identify some individuals. Thanks Valerie!
  7. An attempt at counting the number of people in the generation of Phyllis Jones, Louisa Winnett and Vivian Watkins comes to about 96 – second cousins or closer – excluding those known not to have reached adulthood. Almost half are on the Gregory line. Wow. Louisa the oldest (born 1916), and perhaps a Letherby the youngest (maybe born as late as 1966, now living in Chicago!).



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2 responses to “An array of Osbornes Knocking down a wall to see the wider picture

  1. Alan Croad avatar
    Alan Croad

    Hi John, the Osborne group photo may well include Rosina Jones nee Tucker my great aunt -top left, her sister Violet Maud Boobyer nee Tucker (my gran) is bottom left and their mother Elizabeth Tucker nee Osborne centre left. If the baby is her last child Vernon Osborne Tucker then this is more like a 1918 photo. Where are the menfolk?

    1. Cutlock & Co avatar

      Thanks Alan.

      We could draw up quite a long list, I think, of descendants of William and Mary Ann who could be in the photo, at 1921 or 1918, but – probably – aren’t. But they did have more girls than boys. 1921 fits much better with those identified from the Scott family (and the possible Brookstones, which I am increasingly keen on).

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