Alan March’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back many generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Alan’s as (1)(1)

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CHARLES BELFIELD. Charles was born in Croydon in the third quarter of 1875. He was the second son of the builder’s labourer Joseph Belfield and his wife Elizabeth Hamilton.

In 1881 he is a 4-year-old living with his parents and two brothers at 3 York Cottages, Wortley Road, Croydon. His father is a general labourer. A baby sister had died soon after birth.

In 1891 he is still living at 34 Wortley Road, Croydon, with his parents and younger brother William.  His older brother Joseph  has left home, and a younger brother Henry has died in infancy. But another sister, Eliza Elizabeth, has been  born and is now a four-year-old.

His father is now a bricklayer’s labourer. Charles is 14, but is listed neither as a scholar, like his brother William, nor in employment.

He got a job as a bricklayer’s labourer like his father, probably working for the same employer,

In 1901 he is 23, unmarried, and still living with his father and mother and younger brother William at 34 Wortley Road. He is now a bricklayer’s labourer, like his father in the previous census. All the males in the family work in the construction industry. His father is now a navvy and his brother a stone mason.

Bricklayer’s labourer [1]


HANNAH TOWES.  She was the daughter of Henry Towes and Hannah Brewer. She was born in South Norwood. Her birth date is given in the 1939 Register as 24 Oct 1877

 In the 1881 census she is living at 7 Clifton Cottages, Croydon. She is aged 3 and the third of four children of Henry and Hannah Towes.

Ten years later, in 1891, her older siblings have left home. Hannah is living at 125 Clifton Road, but now with her parents and four younger siblings. Her birthplace is given as Chinghall in Essex. This is because the enumerator has entered the family’s birthplaces a line lower than they should be. Chinghall (Chignall) is her mother’s birthplace. Hannah’s birthplace of South Norwood is found on the line below.

She is at the same address in 1901, aged 23 and still single. She is now the eldest of six children living at home, Her father is a general labourer and her brother a milk salesman. No occupation is given for Hannah.


Charles Belfield married Hannah Towes.in the Croydon district in the first quarter of 1902. Hannah must already have been pregnant. Charles Henry was born in the second quarter of that year.

Hannah Nellie was born in 1904, Alice Winifred in 1907 and Violet in 1909.

6-year-old Charles junior died in 1908. It must have been a grief for the parents to lose their only son.

In the 1911 census Charles and his wife Hannah are living at 134 Clifton Road, South Norwood, with their three remaining daughters.

1911 Census. 134 Clifton Road, South Norwood, Croydon.
Charles Belfield     Head    31   M    Plasterer’s labourer   Worker       Croydon
Hannah Belfield     Wife    31   M                                                        South Norwood
Nellie Belfield        Daur    6    S     School                                         South Norwood
Winifred Belfield   Daur    3    S                                                         South Norwood
Violet Belfield        Daur    1                                                               South Norwood

The couple are said to have had four children, of whom three are still alive.

More children followed. Another son, Frederick J, was born in 1912, Lilian M in 1915, Dorothy in 1919.

In the 1921 census, they have moved a short distance to 148 Clifton Road. In those days, only a minority of people owned their own houses. The majority could make frequent moves to various rented properties.

1921 Census. 148 Clifton Road, South Norwood.
Charles Belfield     Head           43y 11m   married     Croydon          Labourer
Mr Boster, Builder. No fixed place
Hannah Belfield     Wife           43y 8m     married     S Norwood      Home Duties
Nellie Belfield        daughter     17y 3m     Single       S Norwood       Waitress                                                                    Mr Wagstaff, Restaurant, Victoria Station.
Winnie Belfield      daughter     13y 11m                   S Norwood      wholetime
Violet Belfield        daughter     11y 10m                   S Norwood      wholetime
Fredie Belfield        son             8y 11m                     S Norwood      wholetime
Maisie Belfield       daughter     6y 7m                       S Norwood      wholetime
Dorothy Belfield    daughter     2y 3m                       S Norwood

It appears from this that Lilian’s second name was Maisie, and this has been entered here.

There is a death in the Croydon District in the 3rd quarter of 1939 for Charles Belfield aged 64. This puts his birth date around 1875, a couple of years earlier than we would expect from the censuses. In the 1939 Register which was taken on 3 September of that year, Hannah is a widow, so he could have died shortly before it.

The 1939 Register was compiled in the run-up to the Second World War to see what human resources the country could draw on. It shows the widowed Hannah living at 278 Whitehorse Road, Croydon with her daughter Dorothy.

BELFIELD  Hannah             F                   24 Oct 77             W           Unpaid Domestic Duties
BELFIELD  Dorothy     F     9 March 19   S       Shop Asst in Textile Piece goods business

Dorothy’s surname Belfield has been crossed out in a heavier hand and changed to Harford, with an M in the margin to say that she was married. Dorothy did not marry Henry Harford until 1940. The change has evidently been made because her status as a married woman could change her availability for war work.

In the same 1939 Register her daughter Winifred is living at 266 Whitehorse Road, only a few doors away, with her husband Walter Monk and their two children.

Also in 1939, her son Frederick is a laundry van driver living in Upton Road.

Hannah lived through the war and well beyond. She did not reach her mother’s age of 82, but died in Croydon aged 73 in the second quarter of 1951.


[1] https://i.pinimg.com/236x/80/ee/75/80ee7555cae9308





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