Edwin PONSFORD (c.1828–1871)
His wife Mrs Keturah PONSFORD, née Avenell (c.1822–1890)
Their infant children Kate Matilda PONSFORD (1868–1870) and
Edwin PONSFORD (born and died June 1871)
Mention of their son Alan Shrimpton PONSFORD (1862/3–1886)
St Giles’s section: Row 6, Grave B32 (front): see also back

Edwin Ponsford






AUGUST 30, 1886, AGED 23 YEARS


WHO DIED JULY 26, 1890,




This gravestone is double-sided: see the back where two of Edwin and Keturah's other children, Charles and Jessie, are commemorated

Edwin Ponsford was born at East Budleigh in Devon in c.1828, the son of the farmer William Ponsford and Amy Roberts. At the time of the 1841 census Edwin (2) was living at East Budleigh with his parents William (50) and Amy (47) and his siblings Daniel (23), who was a farmer and Caroline (18), Hannah (16), John (14), Emanuel (10), David (7), and Robert (4).

By the time of the 1851 census Edwin (23) had moved to Oxford and was living at Balliol College, where he worked as a coachman.

Keturah Avenell was born in Kirtlington in 1823 and baptised there on 26 May. She was the daughter of the blacksmith Charles Avenell and his wife Sophia (born in Lambeth in c.1786). By the time of the 1841 census Keturah’s mother described herself as a blacksmith, suggesting that she had been widowed and was running her husband’s business: Keturah (18) and her sisters Matilda (16), and Louisa (13) were living with her at Kirtlington, plus a lodger.

Keturah Avenell became a schoolmistress, and in 1851 when she was 27 she was still living with her mother Sophia (64), but in Kidlington rather than Kirtlington, and her sisters were not at home.

On 14 August 1855 at Kirtlington church, Edwin Ponsford, described as a servant of Oxford, married Keturah Avenell, and they had the following children:

  • Charles William Ponsford (born at 3 Worcester Place, Oxford in 1858 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 26 December)
  • Alan Shrimpton Ponsford (born at Richmond Road (then called Worcester Terrace), Oxford in 1862 and privately baptised by St Paul’s Church on 25 December; received into the church on 14 April 1863)
  • Amy Louise Ponsford (born at Pusey Street, Oxford in 1864 and privately baptised by St Giles’s Church on 18 June; received into church on 7 August)
  • Jessie Avenell Ponsford (born at Pusey Street, Oxford in 1866 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 1 April)
  • Kate Matilda Ponsford (born at Pusey Street, Oxford in 1868 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 21 June; died aged 1 year 8 months and buried on 5 March 1870)
  • Edwin Ponsford (born at Pusey Street, Oxford on 8 June 1871 and privately baptised by St Giles’s Church on 15 June; died aged ten days and buried on 18 June 1871)

(There must also have been another short-lived son who was born either before or after Charles, as Alan is always described as the third son.)

Initially the couple lived in St Paul’s parish, first at Worcester Place. At the time of the 1861 census Edwin Ponsford (32) was living at 5 Richmond Road (then 5 Worcester Terrace), with his wife Keturah (37) and their first son Charles William (2). They had a 13-year-old housemaid. Charles was now described as a college servant: he was probably by now a Balliol College bedmaker, having ceased to be their coachman when he moved out of the college following his marriage. [Note that Nos. 1–9 Worcester Terrace are wrongly recorded as Worcester Street in the 1861 census.]

By 1864 the family had moved to Pusey Street (then called Alfred Street), where by 1868 they had four more children: Alan, Amy, Jessie, and Kate. Edwin Ponsford did not own the house, and on 26 March 1864 it was advertised for sale, with him as a sitting tenant, at a rental of £26.

Their baby daughter Kate Matilda Ponsford died in 1870 aged 1 year 8 months. Her burial on 5 March was recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church and she is likely to have been buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, but not necessarily in the same grave as her parents.

In the 1860s Edwin Ponsford won many prizes at the Oxfordshire Horticultural Society show for his vegetables.

In 1871 Edwin (42) spent census night in the Infirmary at Hastings: possibly he was working at the seaside during the Easter vacation, and had been taken ill. Meanwhile his wife Keturah (47) was home at Pusey Street with Charles (12), Alan (8), Amy (6), and Jessie (5), and their servant girl.

Their youngest child Edwin Ponsford junior was born just two months later on 8 June 1871, but died aged ten days, and was buried on 18 June 1871, again probably in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery

Edwin Ponsford senior died six months after his baby son:

† Edwin Ponsford senior died at Pusey Street at the age of 42 on 27 December 1871 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 1 January 1872 (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

His death was announced thus in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 30 December 1871: “Dec. 27, after a long illness, much respected, Mr. E. Ponsford, of Alfred-street, St. Giles’s, and late bed-maker of Balliol College, aged 42.” His effects came to under £600, and his wife was his executor.

At the time of the 1881 census Keturah (57) was living at Pusey Street with her daughters Amy (16) and Jessie (15), who were both dressmakers. She described herself as a lodging house keeper and had two lodgers: a 21-year-old undergraduate, and the meteorologist George Augustus Rowell (76). Her sons had both left home: Charles (22) was now a newspaper reporter for the Sussex Daily News and boarding at 2 Mighell Street, Brighton, and Alan (18) had probably already joined the army.

Her son Alan died in Ceylon in 1886 while serving as a Corporal in the Royal Artillery:

  • Alan Shrimpton Ponsford died at Trincomalee in Ceylon at the age of 23 on 30 August 1886 and is remembered on his father’s grave. The following notice was inserted in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 9 October 1886: “Aug. 30, at Trincomalee, Ceylon, Corporal Alan Shrimpton Ponsford, Royal Artillery, third son of the late Edwin Ponsford, Alfred-street, St. Giles’s, Oxford, aged 23.”

Mrs Ponsford died in 1890 and was buried with her husband:

† Mrs Keturah Ponsford, née Avenell died at 2 Pusey (then Alfred) Street at the age of 67 on 26 July 1890 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 29 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

The following notice was placed in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 2 August 1890: “July 26, at 2, Alfred-street, St Giles’s, Oxford, aged 67, Keturah, widow of the late Edwin Ponsford.” Her personal estate came to £85 3s. 10d., and probate was granted to her son Charles in Brighton.

At the time of the 1891 census Edwin and Keturah Ponsford’s two unmarried daughters remained at their home at 2 Pusey Street: Amy (26) described herself as a lodging house keeper and dressmaker, and Jessie (25) simply as a dressmaker. Their mother’s boarder George Augustus Rowell, now 86, was still living with them, and they had one servant.

Surviving children of Edwin and Keturah Ponsford
  • Charles William Ponsford (born 1858) and Jessie Avenell Ponsford (born 1866): these are commemorated on the back of the above gravestone: see separate page
  • Amy Louise Ponsford (born 1864) married Alfred Ernest Orlando Shrimpton, a grocer of St Mary Islington and the son of Orlando Shrimpton, gentleman, at St Giles’s Church in Oxford on 14 September 1896. At the time of the 1901 census Alfred (47), who was now described as a house agent, and Amy (36) were living at 53 Leckford Road their son Alan (3), who had been born in Islington and was wrongly recorded as their grandson. In 1911 Amy (37) was living at Ellenglade, Kennington Lane with her son Alan (13) and a female boarder. She described herself as both married and the head of the household, suggesting that her husband had left her. Mrs Amy Louise Shrimpton of 3 Pusey (then Alfred) Street, described as a glove examiner, departed on her own for Tasmania on 11 June 1921 at the age of 56. Her husband Alfred died at Crown Road, Kidlington on 25 December 1928, leaving just £42 2s., and she died in Australia in 1952.



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