The first proven reference to a Milsom
was a Henry Milsom born in 1792/3. The 1851 census shows him as living in 35
Oak Street, Bath and his occupation being as a porter. In 1851 he is recorded as
being blind and was "Born on Seas". I have speculated as to why he was
born at sea and family stories link the Milsom family with slave trade in the
West Indies and the Southern parts of the English colonies in America . I am
unable to prove any earlier links the only evidence is a report that Charlotte
Milsom (born c 1850) was very vehement in her declarations that the
"other" Milsoms had inherited the family fortune by using unfair means
. At the same time as Henry was living
there were many other Milsoms in Bath. They all worshipped in Bath Abbey and
lived within a mile of one another. . The "other" Milsoms include
descendants of Daniel Milsom who was both a schoolmaster and a member of the
Corporation of Bath in the 1750's. (After whom Milsom Street is named)
(b1792/3) married Ann Bennett from Mangersfield near Bath . The Church
records that would fully cover this and some subsequent events were destroyed by
German bombing in the Second World War. Henry and Ann had a son called Thomas.
This Thomas (who in 1851 was living in 35 Oak St, Bath), became a printer and
married a Caroline Hiscock . Caroline's father was a John Hiscock who claimed to
have been a Surgeon/Dentist in the 1851 census. However his name does not appear
on any of the professional records of that date so I can only assume that he
carried out these duties in an amateur fashion. Thomas and Caroline were living
in 35 Oak St in 1851 but I can find no reference to them in the 1861 census as
living in Bath. On 23rd December 1849 a son was born to them . He was called
Thomas Henry Milsom. Thomas Henry became a carpenter and Funeral Director . He
moved first to 16 St James Court in Bath and later to 2 Lower Boro Walls Bath (
2 Lower Boro Walls was another casualty of the 1940 "Baedeker" raids).
In 1871 Thomas Henry married Charlotte Elliot , the daughter of Robert Elliot
who had a carpentry shop which backed onto the premises used by Thomas. Little
is known of the Elliots and research is continuing on this line.
Robert Elliot Milsom was born in 1876 to Thomas and Charlotte . He was later to become a carpenter and funeral director as was his father but he fell out with him about not being a partner in the family firm. After his marriage to Emily Anne Barnes in 1900 he moved to Birmingham. They first lived in Corporation street, then moved to 256 Bridge street Hockley and then to Hockley Hill where he worked for Hodgeson's Funeral Directors . Robert had two sisters and five brothers. Amongst them was:
Thomas Milsom of whom little is known other than that he was a heavy drinker which caused his early death.
George Bennet Milsom who, following WW1 service with the Army, Royal Flying Corps, and the RAF (where he was a Mechanic First Class) then became an Undertaker working for Edwards in Great Lister St in Birmingham. George had a son Leslie who was employed at Norton Motorcycles and in 1957 emigrated to Australia ( Information about George and Leslie supplied by Hazel McMullin).
Charles Milsom died whilst working for Hope Bros during the construction of the Joseph Lucas factory in Great King Street, Birmingham.
Robert's two sisters both
emigrated to Canada, as did his brother Walter.
Emily Anne Barnes was born in 1875 in
10 Upper Trafalgar Place Bath, her father being Edwin Barnes and her mother
Elizabeth Mary Clark. Edwin Barnes was recorded as being a hotel porter in 1900.
He then took charge of a Billiard room and later owned or ran a hotel in Bath
(The Angel ?) . Emily later had very left wing views but there is no evidence
that she inherited these from her father or passed them on to any of her
The Barnes family have been traced back
to Robert Barnes (c1800) who was also a carpenter in Bath .
Little written evidence has yet been
found of the Clark(e) family but there are stories that her family came from
Monmouth and one of her family had been Mayor of Monmouth.
Douglas Walter Milsom
was born to
Robert and Emily in 1907. Following education at Farm Street School until the
age of 14, he became a Diesinker . Douglas continued his education for a further
10 years of evening and weekends at the Jewellers School of Art in Victoria
Street, Birmingham . In 1936 Douglas married Elsie Margaret Muddiman and in 1940
Ann Elizabeth Milsom was born followed by Michael Douglas Milsom in 1943.
Post cards from Bath