Key Topics

More About Lucy Luck

Earlier details were given of Mrs Lucy Luck, who was born in Tring, and whose autobiography is printed in Professor John Burnett's book "Useful Toil". The earlier article left a number of questions unanswered and the issuing of the 1881 census on CD Rom has made it possible to follow up Luck Luck's family in a way that would otherwise prove virtually impossible if the census returns had to be searched manually.

Lucy LUCK was easy to find. She was living at Stanley House, Herries St, Chelsea. She was the wife of William LUCK (36, born at Lilley, Herts) whose occupation was given as a carman. Her children were Eliza (12, born at Lea Green, Herts - which fits in with her account that her first daughter was born on January 7th 1869). There was a son William G. (7, born Luton, Beds), daughter Eorth A. (4) and sons George (2) and Arthur (1), the last three born at Paddington.

Her older brother Joseph MARSHALL (35) was a mill sawyer living at 34 St Marks Road, Lambeth with his wife Charlotte (39, born London), seamstress.

The name of her younger brother was not know, but a search for anyone called Marshall, born in Tring shortly after the 1851 census produced George MARSHALL (29) a labourer living in the High Street, Northchurch with his wife Sarah A. (30, born Aldbury) and children William (5), Kate (4) and John (1), all born at Northchurch.

In May 2004 Wendy Smith (wsmith999 @t writes: George Marshall is my great grandfather. He and Sarah had another 3 children after the 1881 census, Elizabeth (Bet), Lucy and Ellen (Nellie), my grandmother.  She married a William Kelly in 1918 and had one daughter, EilleenGeorge's son John, married a Nancy Reading.  They had 2 sons before emigrating in 1906 to Canada, Vancover Island.

In January 2007 Wendy added: I told you about John Marshall who emigrates to Canada, the son of George Marshall and Sarah Ann Simmonds. I was told John's wife's name was Nancy, but I have since found their marriage at Crowthorne in 1904, and she is named as Annie Readings [Nancy is a not uncommon nickname for Annie] I knew they had two boys before emigrating, and both died soon after arriving in Canada.  Have found both deaths on the same day in 1910, their names were Dennis Edmund, aged 3 and Reginald John aged 5.  Since the 1911 census for Canada went online I have found John and Annie on Vancouver Island. They arrived in Canada on 2nd September 1909 on board the Empress of Britain.  I believe it sailed from Liverpool and arrived at Halifax.  Also on the same crossing were Annie's mother Harriet and siblings Florence and Reginald.  Her father, James Reading had arrived on 22nd October 1908 aboard the Empress of Britain. Three of Annie's brother had gone out in 1907, (the passenger lists for this year is not yet on-line).

A search for her sister under her maiden name of Charlotte MARSHALL failed to produce anything, but on the assumption that she was married a search was made for anyone called Charlotte (no surname), born in Tring, of the correct age and living anywhere in S.E. England. This produced two hits, one of which is almost certainly the missing sister. The possibilities, which could be confirmed by buying marriage certificates, were:

(1) Charlotte GOWER (35) was living with her husband William GOWER (53, born Brighton, Sussex), a waiter, at 7 Harcourt Street, St Marylebone. The household also included a stepson Charles STODDARD (15, born Holloway, Middlesex) who was learning watchmaking, and this suggests that Charlotte was previously married to someone called STODDARD. There were also three lodgers. (It is interesting to note that the surname Gower was extremely common in the Tring area - so William GOWER might have local connections.)

(2) Charlotte ROWLAND (35) living with her husband Robert ROWLAND (46, born Marsworth), a lock keeper living at Lock House, Marsworth (near Tring), Bucks, with children Alice (11), Frank (8) and Minnie (2).

Iain Rowland (iainannerowland @t has written (December 2002): Having found your website I was fascinated by the tale of Lucy Luck. With the mention of Robert Rowland (a member of my family) it certainly made me check some details. You stated that Lucy's sister could either be a Charlotte Gower or Charlotte Rowland. I have carried out a check re the marriage and subject to confirmation via a certificate my enquiries show that Charlotte ROWLAND was formerly Charlotte Smith Ashby so will not be Lucy's sister. I have at least found more family history.

Lucy said her first lodgings in Tring were a tailor called J D, and it has already been surmised that this was James Dancer who lived in Tring in 1855. He was probably the James DANCER (74, born Wendover, Bucks) a former tailor on parish relief who was living in Church Street, Great Missenden, Bucks, with his wife Elizabeth (63, born Boxmoor, Herts) a straw plait maker, and two granddaughters Sarah SPIERS (13, born Watford) who was acting as nursemaid to her grandfather, and Clara SPIERS (12, born Watford) straw plaiter.

Lucy's second lodgings keeper was easy to find. Frances HAWES (60, born Marsworth, Bucks) was living in 14 Brook Street, Tring (presumably the same house as in 1861). Her occupation was described as charwoman, and she had three lodgers, a widow Ann STEVENS (90, born Tring), a fishmonger John STEVENS (49, born Wales) and a straw plaiter Bridget STEVENS (35, born Paddington, Middlesex).

Does anyone know what happened to the other members of the family? If you do why not tell me.


Page updated January 2007