John Springfield family tree

Image of Springfield Family Tree. Shows John, the son of Jumbaloowagee, married to Eliza Andrews and their daughter Miriam

Springfield Family Tree. Shows John, the son of Jumbaloowagee, married to Eliza Andrews and their daughter Miriam.

Using a wide variety of family history and local history resources Surrey History Centre has constructed a basic family tree for John Springfield. Light has been shed on his remarkable life.

Photocopy of a photograph of Zillah Puttock, nee Twort, and her mother, Miriam Twort, nee Springfield, no date (SHC ref 1714/7)

Photocopy of a photograph of Zillah Puttock, nee Twort, and her mother, Miriam Twort, nee Springfield, nd (SHC ref 1714/7)

A decade after John’s death, the 1901 census informs us that Eliza moved to Dorking where she and Miriam both worked as needlewomen. Miriam had a relationship with William Alfred Twort of Croydon, a tailor, who also sang at Croydon Empire theatre. According to the 1901 census, Miriam took his surname but no records of a marriage between the two can be found in the parish registers, and it may have been that Twort had not divorced his previous wife (Bertha Harris Heath). They had two daughters, Elsie (b.1896, died in infancy) and Zillah (b.1897), and a son, John. The relationship didn’t last and Miriam married Henry James Grantham in 1903.

According to Miriam’s younger daughter, Zillah Puttock, she and her brother attended Powell Corderoy school. Zillah worked in Tugwell’s Sweet Shop, in Dorking High Street, and the family later moved to Reigate, where she went into service. Miriam continued to live with the family and it was through this that Zillah recalled so much of the family history.

Records relating to the children and William Twort can be found in the Springfield papers (SHC ref 1714/-).

Photocopy of a photograph of Zillah Puttock, nee Twort, granddaughter of John Springfield, in 1914 (SHC ref 1714/7)

Photocopy of a photograph of Zillah Puttock, nee Twort, granddaughter of John Springfield, in 1914
(SHC ref 1714/7)

How you can discover more

Further research may lead to sources held by other archive offices. For example, John and Eliza’s marriage certificate shows they were residing in Croydon in 1870, so perhaps Croydon Local Studies Library and Archives have records relating to their time there? They will at least be able to reveal what Croydon was like in that period and set the scene for the family’s time there.

Aspects of John Springfield’s life could be further explored, such as his religious beliefs, or his involvement in the anti-slavery movement. This may lead to the Methodist Archives and Research Centre or Anti-Slavery International (which has a historical library holding over 200 years of literature on the subject of slavery and the anti-slavery movement). He may be included in some of the records of the Wesleyan Methodist Church on North Street, or perhaps he was mentioned in contemporary newspapers?

There are many sources that can be useful for researching family history and many aspects of an individual and their families that can be explored.

Copy of an article about John Springfield with Zillah Puttock, his granddaughter, from Surrey Advertiser, 25 January 1985 (SHC ref: 1714/10)

Article about John Springfield, based on an interview with Zillah Puttock, his granddaughter, from Surrey Advertiser, 25 January 1985 (SHC ref 1714/10)

Sources

Archive sources:
1871 Census Entry for John Springfield and Eliza Andrews, Coleshill Terrace, Croydon (Piece: 841; Folio: 85; Page: 4; GSU roll: 827755).
1881 Census Entry for John Springfield, Stoke-next-Guildford (Piece: 776; Folio: 53; Page: 25; GSU roll: 1341182).
Certificate of Naval Service for John Springfield aboard HMS VICTORIA, 1864-7 (SHC ref 1714/3).
Marriage certificate: John Springfield and Eliza Andrews, 1870 (SHC ref 1714/4).
Copy of census entry for the Springfield family of Chertsey Street, Guildford, 1881 (SHC ref 1714/8).
Copy of marriage certificate: William Twort and Bertha Harris Heath, 1889 (SHC ref 1714/9).
Press cutting: Surrey Advertiser, 25 January 1985 (SHC ref 1714/10).
Miriam and William Twort, Croydon 1901 census (Piece: 622; Folio: 65; Page: 6)

Published sources:
Clements R. Markham, Commodore J.G. Goodenough: a Brief Memoir (Portsmouth: J. Griffin & Co., 1876).
Menand, Louis, The Metaphysical Club (London: Harper Collins, 2001), pp. 1-48.
Nwulia, Moses D.E., ‘Role of Missionaries in the Emancipation of Slaves in Zanzibar’, Journal of Negro History, Vol. 60, No. 2 (1975).

Websites:
www.ancestry.co.uk
https://www.findmypast.co.uk/

Find out more…

Follow the life of John Springfield and find out some of the types of sources useful for tracing family history.

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