Elfreda Agatha KEKEWICH (1855–1929)
St Paul section: Row 31, Grave H11½

Elfreda Kekewich


Elfreda Agatha Kekewich was born in Canada at St John’s, Newfoundland in 1855. Her parents were Samuel Blomefield Kekewich and Olive Elizabeth Elton. The surname Kekewich is English and originated from Kekwick in Cheshire, but is most heavily clustered in Devon.

Elfreda’s father Samuel Blomefield Kekewich was born in South Africa as a British subject in 1826/7, the son of George Kekewich and Catharina Cornelia De Waal. At the time of the 1851 census, a few months before his marriage, Samuel (24), who was an Ensign in the army, was based at Anglesey Barracks.

Elfreda’s mother Olivia Elizabeth Elton, sometimes recorded as Olive, was born in Clifton near Bristol in 1819, the daughter of James. Elton and Elizabeth Freeman Oliver, and was baptised at Clifton on 18 March 1819. She had six siblings: Frances (born 1816), Clara (born 1817), Charles Allen (born 1820), Georgiana (born 1824), John Henry Duntze Carew (1826), and Marcella Adelaide (born 1826). Olivia’s mother (Elfreda’s grandmother) died on 24 April 1836, and at the time of the 1841 census when she would have been 21, Elfreda and her older sister Clara were staying at Inwardleigh Parsonage in Devon with the Revd Benjamin Wood and his wife Emma. In 1851 she was a visitor in the house in South Molton of the attorney James Riccard.

In the third quarter of 1851 in the Barnstaple district of Devon, Elfreda's parents Samuel Blomefield Kekewich and Olivia Elizabeth Elton were married. They had two daughters:

  • Emily Catherine Kekewich (born in St John’s, Newfoundland in 1852/3)
  • Elfreda Agatha Kekewich (born in St John’s, Newfoundland in 1854/5 and baptised at Willingham, Cambridgeshire on 24 June 1855)

Elfreda’s father Samuel Kekewich remained in the army after his marriage, and was living at Tiverton with his new wife when on 8 July 1851 he was promoted to Lieutenant of the 95th Foot of the Newfoundland Companies. He eventually became a Colonel in the service of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers.

The family does not appear to be listed in the 1861 or 1871 censuses for England & Wales, and was probably in Newfoundland. There was a connection with Oxfordshire, as Elfreda’s grandfather James Elton died at North Stoke on 4 March 1863.

By 1878 Elfreda’s parents were back in England and living in Leicester, and her mother Olivia Elizabeth Kekewich died there near the end of that year.

The 1881 census shows Elfreda’s father as a pensioned Lieutenant Colonel on the active list, aged 54, living in Leicester at 48 Saxe Cobourg Street with his daughter Emily (28), who probably acted as his housekeeper, plus a cook and housemaid. Elfreda is hard to find in that census, and may have been abroad.

Elfreda’s father Samuel Blomefield Kekewich died in Tiverton (where he had begun his married life) at the age of 63 on 30 November 1889. His effects came to £1,199 3s. 9d.

Elfreda then moved in as a boarder in the home of the surgeon Charles Read at 49 Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells.

On 14 June 1892 Elfreda’s sister Emily Catherine Kekewich married the Revd Hon. Arthur Francis Northcote, son of Stafford Henry Northcote, 1st Earl of Iddesleigh.

Elfreda is hard to find in 1901, but in 1911 when she was 56 she was boarding in Warwickshire at Alcester Road, Studley in the home of a retired coal merchant.

Elfreda evidently moved to Oxford at some point between 1911 and 1929, but as she was not a householder, she is not listed in directories. She died in east Oxford in 1929, so it is unclear why she was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery:

† Elfreda Agatha Kekewich died at 38 Regent Street in east Oxford at the age of 75 on 10 October 1929 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 15 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

Elfreda’s sister
  • Emily Catherine Kekewich, Mrs Northcote and her husband the Revd Hon. Arthur Francis Northcote had three daughters: Dorothea Mary Northcote (born 1882), Hester Selena Mary Northcote (born 1888), and Evelyn Olivia Stafford Northcote (born on 4 April 1893). Emily’s husband was a clergyman, and at the time of the 1901 census they all were living in Suffolk at the Rectory of St Peter’s Church at Monks Ely with four servants, and they were still there in 1911 with their two younger daughters and four servants and a governess. Emily died two years after her sister, on 8 November 1931, at Monks Ely Rectory. Her effects came to £3,799 16s. 6d. Her husband, who became a Canon of the Church, died at Parkland, Bradninch, Devon on 30 August 1843.



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