John GEE (c.1805–1887)
His wife Mrs Mary GEE, née Varney (1811–1891)
St Giles section: Row 45, Grave J28
[Front, shown above] IN LOVING MEMORY OF / JOHN GEE, / DIED APRIL 23RD 1887, AGED 82 YEARS.
“LOOKING UNTO JESUS”
[Back, shown below] IN LOVING MEMORY OF / MARY, WIFE OF JOHN GEE, / DIED DEC. 20TH 1891, AGED 77 YEARS.
“WHEN THOU PASSEST THROUGH THE WATERS I WILL BE WITH THEE.”
(This John Gee is not related to the famous Oxford Gee family. For his namesake John Gee who
founded Gee’s Nursery and is also buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, see separate grave)
John Gee was born in Sulgrave, Northamptonshire in 1804/5, and was a carpenter who later became a builder.
Mary Varney was born in Bicester in 1811 and baptised there on 24 December. She was the youngest daughter of Robert Varney of Blackthorn, Ambrosden and Martha Smith of Bicester, who were married at Bicester on 27 November 1800. Mary’s older siblings were also baptised at Bicester: Anne (1804), John (1806), and James (1808).
On 9 September 1835 at St Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford, John Gee married Mary Varney: they were both then living in that parish. They had the following children:
- Mary Anne Gee (born in Oxford in 1835 and baptised at St Thomas’s Church on 13 December)
- Charlotte Elizabeth Gee (born in Jericho, Oxford in 1837 and baptised at St Thomas’s Church on 8 July)
- Martha Beavis Gee (born at Great Clarendon Street, Oxford in 1838 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 16 December; died age one at Observatory Street and buried on 4 October 1840)
- Jane Eliza Gee (born at St Paul's Terrace in September 1840 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 4 October;
died at St Giles’s Road aged 7 and buried on 20 June 1847)
- Henry Richard Gee (born at St Giles’s Road in 1842, reg. fourth quarter; died at St Giles’s Road aged one and buried on 16 July 1843)
- Richard John Gee (born at St Giles’s Road on 4 September 1843 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 7 May 1845)
- Henry Beavis Gee (born at St Giles’s Road in 1845 and baptised at St Giles Church on 7 May)
- Harriet Martha Gee (born at St Giles’s Road in1846/7 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 11 January 1847)
- Jane Eliza Gee (born at St Giles’s Road in 1849 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 24 December;
died at St Giles’s Road aged 14 months and buried on 12 January 1851)
John and Mary Gee were living in Great Clarendon Street in Jericho at the start of their marriage. By 1840 they had moved to St Paul's Terrace or Observatory Street. In 1842 their address was given as St Giles’s Road, which was the south end of the Woodstock and Banbury Roads.
Four of their children died in infancy between 1840 and 1847 (before St Sepulchre's Cemetery opened) and were buried in St Giles’s churchyard.
At the time of the 1841 census their address is given as Jericho Terrace, St Giles, which may well be Observatory Street. John and Mary were living there with their three surviving children: Mary Anne (5), Charlotte (3), and Jane (eight months).
In 1851 John (46) and Mary (39) were said to be living at St Giles’s Road with four of their children: Mary Anne (15), who is described as an apprentice; Richard (7) and Henry (6), who were at school; and Harriet (4). Charlotte (13) had gone to stay in Nottingham with her uncle and aunt, Edward and Mary Smyth.
Their daughter Charlotte was married in 1856:
- On 10 November 1856 at Summertown Church, their daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Gee (19) married the cabinet maker Robert Walker (27): they were both then living in Summertown.
At the time of the 1861 census John (56), described as a joiner, and Mary (47) were described as living at St Giles’s Street with their daughter Harriet (14), who was a pupil teacher, and a house servant. Their son Richard John Gee (17) was an apprentice to a shawl & mantle man, living with his master at 69 Bull Street, Birmingham; and Henry (16) was a draper in Kings Norton, living with and presumably working for his uncle Edward Smyth, who was also a draper.
In 1871 John and Mary Gee were living in the Banbury Road with their granddaughter Alice Pugh (2), born at Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire and the daughter of Mary Anne.
At the time of the 1881 census John Gee (76), described as a retired builder, and his wife Mary (66) were living at 40 Iffley Road (now renumbered 97) in east Oxford with their daughter Harriet (34), who was a certificated teacher, and a cousin Mrs Catherine Long, a farmer’s wife (born in Bicester, so probably Mrs Gee’s cousin), as well as Catherine’s daughter Mary (33), who was born in Summertown.
† John Gee died at Fair View, Summertown at the age of 82 on 23 April 1887 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 29 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
His effects came to £33 18s. 8d., and the probate record described him as being formerly of St Giles but late of Fair View, Summertown.
His widow Mary appears to have gone back to live in her home town of Bicester, where she died four years later:
† Mrs Mary Gee, née Varney died at Bicester at the age of 77 on 20 December 1891 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 26 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
Surviving children of John and Mary Gee
- Mary Anne Gee (born 1835) appears to have married Henry Pugh (born in Worcester in 1818, and so 17 years her senior) in the 1860s, and she was living in Caversham when her elder daughter Mary Katherine Pugh was born in 1867, and at Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire when her younger daughter Alice Martha Pugh was born in 1868/9. The 1871 census shows Henry (52), described as a merchant, and Mary (35) living at Merlin Haven, Wotton-under Edge with their elder daughter and a servant (the younger daughter was staying with her grandmother in Oxford). In 1881 Mary Anne and her husband (now retired and described as a house owner) were living at 103 London Road, Reading with their daughters, plus a servant. They then moved to Hastings, where in 1891 they were living at 9 Belgrave Terrace, Baldslow Road with their daughters; in 1901 Henry (82) and Mary Anne (64) were living alone at 28 Park Road there.
- Charlotte Elizabeth Gee (Mrs Walker) (born 1837) and her husband Robert Walker were living at Dean Street, Shoreditch in 1871 with their son Ernest R. Walker (11). In 1881 they were at 3 Yew Cottages, Barclay Road, Walthamstow, with their seven-month-old daughter Kate Walker. They were at 139 Barclay Road in 1891 with two daughters: Edith (18) was a wool worker, and Kate (10) was at school. In 1901 Robert (68) and Charlotte (62) were living at 40 Fraser Road, Walthamstow with Kate (20), who was now a music teacher.
- Richard John Gee (born 1843) was a bookbinder in London in 1871: he was still unmarried, and lodging with an Oxford-born family called Watson at 2 John’s Place, Camberwell.
- Henry Beavis Gee (born 1845) may be the man recorded as Henry Beavor Gee who died in Chesterfield in 1864.
- Harriet Martha Gee (born 1846/7) was a certificated teacher who never married. Following her parents’ death, she taught at a board school in Bootle and in 1891 was lodging at 51 Hertford Road; she lodged at 37 Wadham Road, Bootle in 1901. She was still a teacher at the age of 65 in 1911 when she was paying a visit to a training college tutor and his wife in Cheltenham. She died in Oxford at the age of 88 in the third quarter of 1935.