Mrs Frances GRACIE née White (1849–1882)
Her baby sons Eden White GRACIE (born and died 1878)
and Alexander GRACIE (born and died 1881)
St Paul’s section: Row 26, Grave E10 (St Paul ref Q.23 and R.23)

Frances Gracie



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Frances White was born in Great Milton in 1849 and baptised there on 23 September. She was the daughter of Eden White, a plumber & glazier, and Mary Beckett, who were married at St Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford on 24 April 1844. Two of her siblings were also baptised at Great Milton: Jane Elizabeth White (1845) and George White (1847).

In October 1850, when Frances was just one year old, her father Eden White died at the age of 32, and he was buried at Great Milton on 1 November. Her mother Mrs Mary White then worked as a shopkeeper to make ends meet, until on 24 June 1852 at Great Milton Church, when she was aged 34, she married her second husband, William Wallace (25), who was a mason. Their only daughter Margaret Wallace was born in Great Milton in 1853 and baptised there on 20 November (with her surname spelt as Wallis in the register and on her birth certificate).

At the time of the 1861 census Frances White was just 11 years old (although her age is recorded as 10), and she was described as already working as a nurse. She was living at 3 Clarke’s Row, Oxford with her stepfather William Wallace (32), who was a bricklayer, her mother Mary (42), who was working as a cook at the Star Hotel in Cornmarket, and her brother George White (12) and her stepsister Margaret Wallace (8).

In 1871 Frances (21) was still living with her mother and stepfather at 3 Clark’s Row in Oxford and was working as a tailoress.

On 26 August 1874 at St Aldate’s Church in Oxford, Frances White married James Gracie, who was born in Dumfries, Scotland on 15 May 1850, the son of the tailor William Gracie and his wife Mary Ann Porteous. They had the following children:

  • Mary Ann Gracie (born at Great Clarendon Street, Oxford on 6 February 1875 and baptised at St Barnabas' Church on 24 March)
  • William Porteous Gracie (born at 23 Great Clarendon Street, Oxford on 28 May 1876 and baptised at St Barnabas' Church on 24 August)
  • Eden White Gracie (born at 23 Great Clarendon Street in 1878 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 8 July;
    died aged two months)
  • James Gracie (born in Oxford on 7 September 1879 and baptised at St Barnabas' Church on 1 January 1880)
  • Alexander Henry Gracie (born at 1 Monkton Villas, Walton Street on 18 February 1881 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 30 March; died aged nine months).

The family initially lived at Great Clarendon Street in Jericho. Their third baby Eden, named after his maternal grandfather, died there in 1878:

† Eden White Gracie died at Great Clarendon Street at the age of two months on 9 July 1878 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 12 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

On 11 December 1878, James Gracie won first prize for his parrot at the Cage Birds section of the third annual show of the Oxford Ornithological Society; and on 15/16 December 1879 he won the third prize of two shillings for his parrot at the fourth show. His address was given as Walton Street on the latter occasion.

At the time of the 1881 census Frances Gracie (31) was living at 1 Stockton Villas in Walton Street with her husband James (30), who was described as a tailor employing one man and one woman, and their surviving children Mary (6), William (4), James (1), and Alexander Henry (one month), plus a 13-year-old servant girl. Their baby son died before the end of that year:

† Alexander Henry Gracie died at Walton Street at the age of nine months on 6 December 1881 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 10 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

Mrs Frances White was staying at Clarke’s Row in St Aldate’s, probably being looked after by her mother, when she died the following year:

† Mrs Frances Gracie née White died at Clarke’s Row, St Aldate’s at the age of 33 [the gravestone says 31, but it is clear her exact age was unknown] on 19 October 1882 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 23 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

James Gracie (buried elsewhere in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery) and his second wife Annie

Frances’s husband James Gracie initially remained at Walton Street (and won another prize for his parrot in December 1880). He is recorded as having attended the anniversary dinner of the Loyal Walton Lodge of Odd Fellows in January 1882, and as having been a member of the North Ward Conservative Association in February 1882. He also faithfully attended Burns Night dinners.

On 3 September 1883 at St Thomas's Church in Oxford James Gracie (30), described as a clothier of Cardigan Street, married his second wife Annie Sophia Sansom (21) of Church Street, St Ebbe's: she was born in Paradise Place, Oxford in 1866 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 3 June, the daughter of the grocer & beer retailer Charles Adolphus Sansom and his wife Annie. At the time of the 1881 census Annie was 15 years old and living with her parents at 16 Church Street, St Ebbe’s. She was only 17 at the time she married James Gracie, and evidently already pregnant. They had the following children:

  • Margaret Gracie (born at 105 Cardigan Street on 1 March 1884 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 29 April)
  • Ellen Gracie (born at 105 Cardigan Street on 6 June 1885 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 19 August);
    died aged six months and buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery (St Paul reference R.23, probably a section for babies) on 28 September 1885
  • John Gracie (born at 32 Walton Street on 26 February 1887 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 6 May).

The family lived in Cardigan Street. James Gracie is recorded at this time as being a member of the Oxford City Rifle Volunteers, and was a Corporal by 1885. He was still living in Cardigan Street when on 24 November 1885 at the Chrysanthemum Show held in the Corn Exchange in Oxford he exhibited a fern case he had made of 5,000 very small pieces of wood.

By the time of his son’s baptism on 26 February 1887 the family was living at Walton Street, and he died there the following year. His death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 21 April 1888 read:

April 16, at Walton-street, Oxford, from consumption, Mr. James Gracie, tailor, aged 37.

He was buried on 22 April 1888 in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery (St Paul’s plot reference I.25), but his grave has not been identified.

At the time of the 1891 census his second wife Mrs Annie Gracie, aged 25, was working as an upholsterer and living at 4 Clark’s Row, St Aldate’s with her eldest child Margaret (7), listed as Maggie, and a boarder who worked as a tailoress. Her only other surviving child John (4) was boarding with a family at 23 Cranham Street, implying that she was having a difficult life supporting herself and her children. She was evidently in no position to look after her husband's three surviving children by his first marriage, as they were dispersed (see below).

At the time of the 1901 census her own daughter Margaret Gracie (17) was living with her uncle Charles Sansom at 16 Church Street, St Ebbe’s, but when on 25 November 1906 at the age of 22 she married the butcher Oswald Rogers (30) of 5 Castle Terrace at St Paul’s Church, her address was given as 104 Cardigan Street in Jericho. In 1911 Annie's son John (24) was a mechanic boarding in Reading.

Mrs Annie Grace appears to have died in Bolton at the age of 80 in 1945.

Surviving children of James & Frances Gracie
  • Mary Ann Gracie (born 1875), also known as Mary Annie or Annie, was adopted by the tailor John McLean and his wife Mary Lawrie, who were both Scottish and were married at St Ebbe's Church, Oxford on 13 December 1863: they are likely to have been relations of Mary's father. At the time of the 1891 census Mary (16) was living with the McLeans at 33 Cowley Road, Oxford. In 1901 when she was 25 she was a servant of a surgeon living at 52 Parkhurst Road, Islington, London. On 29 September 1906 at St Stephen's Church, South Lambeth, Mary Ann (25), who was now living at 18 Portland Place South, married Richard James Newman (27), a drummer at the barracks in Kingston-on-Thames. At the time of the 1911 census Mary Annie (36) and Richard (32), who was described as a soldier (musician) were living at 74 Clifton Road, Kingston-on-Thames. They do not appear to have had any children. She may be the Mary Annie Newman who died in Scarborough on 14 August 1969.
  • William Porteous Gracie (born 1876) was an apprentice tailor aged 14 at the time of the 1891 census, boarding at 45 Cardigan Street in Oxford with the tailor John Foster. A man called William Porteous Gracie was a hatter & hosier in Dundee in 1922.
  • James Gracie junior (born 1879) was living in Kirkmichael, Dumfriesshire at the time of the 1891 census with his uncle Alexander Gracie. He was still there in 1901 when he was aged 21, working as a railway shunter. At some point between 1901 and 1909 he emigrated to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where he married Robina McCleod Craies. They had four children there: Robert James Gracie (1909), Mary Ann Porties Gracie (1911), William Alexander Gracie (1913), and Frances Thompson Gracie (1915). His first wife Robina died in childbirth in 1915, and he married his second wife, Winifred May Mitchell, and had two more children: Ethel Beatrice Gracie (1924) and Colin Sidney Gracie (1926). He died in 1927 when he was 47 (with his age wrongly recorded as 44, and with the middle name of Wallace, which was the surname of his step-grandfather).



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