My GGrandfather came from rural Norfolk in a village within site of the railway. He
became first a Railway Porter and then a policeman in the Greater Manchester area. His
father had been a gamekeeper at Northrepps Hall and I suspect he didn't want to go
into Service and the railway would have offered an exciting alternative. My Grandfather,
whose father was a Head Gardener at large houses in Derbyshire, always said that a house
without a garden was worth 5 bob a week more. He was a Rolls Royce Millwright. I think
there was quite a backlash against both Ag Labs and domestic service by the next
From: DEVON [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of mick
Sent: 23 April 2017 04:31
To: Roland Purnell <rnpurnell(a)yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [DEV] Travel from Plymouth to Bristol in 1840's
On Sun, 23 Apr 2017 00:01:25 +0000 (UTC) Roland Purnell <rnpurnell(a)yahoo.com>
The posts on ancestors' travels have been very interesting. My
GGGrandfather, George NEWMAN, was born at Ugborough, Devon in 1828. He was still there
with his family in 1841. He married at Chepstow, Monmouthshire in 1849, listing his
occupation as railway labourer.
A 'railway labourer could well have been a 'Navvy or Navigator' a labourer
building the railway across the country, tramping on to the next project when the job was
He appeared on the 1851 Census, still at Chepstow. By 1861, he was
living in Cardiff, occupation police constable, and remained in Glamorgan until his death
in 1893. He gave his place of birth as Ugborough, Devon in 1861, 1871 and later.
A burley lad with no visible taint on his reputation would not find it hard to become a
police constable at that time.
I've wondered why he traveled from his birthplace to Chepstow,
always thought it was for seeking better employment. His occupation there as a railway
labourer seems to say that he was tired of being an "Ag Lab."
Throughout that period Britain was industrialising and people where being to the major
centres, this was at time of upheaval and people realised they could go where better work
was available, across the country or even across the world.
Roland Purnell Ventura, California
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