13 February 2015

Two Lillies – 23 Mar 1919


Subject: Lillie & Lillie
Date: 23 Mar 1919
Photographer: USA Studios, London & Provinces
Found: Browns Bay Market, Auckland, NZ

From the information on the back of today’s photo I have become so confused with my research that I’m giving up but I still want to post it here, someone may know the answer.two-lillies-back

What I gather from this is that two brothers, Joseph & James Watters had a cousin named Mrs Johnston who married the eldest brother James in 1919. I looked on FreeBMD but there was no Watters/Johnston marriage in 1919, however there was a Watters/Johnson marriage in the 2qtr in York:-

Marriages Jun 1919
Johnson     Eliza A C W   Watters  York  9d  18
Watters     James W       Johnson  York  9d  18

I was then led a merry dance all over the place with lots of name changes/differences along the way! I found that Eliza’s first husband was William Holman Watters & that they married on 11 Jan 1881 in Tranmere in Cheshire, I also found a marriage licence for them showing that it was the first marriage for both:-

marriage-licence marriage-watters-goulding

Eliza turned out to be Eliza Chandler Goulding and her father was George Chandler Goulding according to the marriage cert but strangely in all previous census I found them in their surname was Chandler only. George Chandler was living at the same address, 90 Whetstone Lane, in the 1881 census that Eliza gives on her marriage cert just three months earlier so I know I have the right family. So why is she listed as Eliza A C W when she married James W Watters and why can’t I find a marriage for Eliza Watters to a Mr Johns(t)on?

William Holman Watters was the son of John Watters and Mary Jane neé Holman, baptised on 11 Mar 1856 at Breage in Cornwell. I can’t find William & Eliza in the 1881 census at all and in 1891 Eliza is at home with her daughter Lillian aged 7 and her brother William Chandler. Eliza is listed as ‘wife’ and ‘married’ but husband William is not at home and after that I can find nothing further on him, there is no death registration for a William Holman Watters although there are a couple of William Watters who might be him, however, neither of them are registered in the right area.

In 1901 Eliza is listed as widowed & living with her daughter Lillian aged 16 and her father George Chandler aged 76. In 1911, this is where it gets confusing, Eliza is still Eliza Watters widowed and living with her daughter Lillian but by now Lillian is Lillian Johnstone and she has a one year old son Ronald. Lillian had married Claud Henry Johnstone in 1905, Claud is nowhere to be found in 1911 but he didn’t die until 1965.

Whoever wrote the information on the back of the photo is obviously a little mixed up as it was the daughter Lillian who had the surname of Johnstone BUT when her mother Eliza married her second Watters husband she says her surname is Johnson, why? I can’t find another marriage for her before 1919.

When Lillian married Claud Johnstone in 1905 she was listed as Lillian Holman Watters but her name on her baptism is Lillian Susannah Watters:-


Note the address of 90 Whetstone Lane again. Living at that address in 1911 is another William Holman Watters, with father John who turned out to be the brother of the first William Holman Watters. The second William Holman Watters married an Eva Lillian Martin in 1918.

So now we have TWO Lillians but neither of them seem to fit the two Lillies of the photo. If it was taken in 1919 then Lillian Susannah would have been 36 so obviously the older person in the photo, if that is her then who is the younger Lillie? If she is a daughter of Lillian then she must have been born shortly after the 1911 census as she looks to be at least 8 in the photo. Again, I can’t find a birth for a Lillie/Lily/Lillian Johnstone during that time frame.

Neither can I find a Joseph Watters or a James W Watters in any of the earlier census, none that I can say for certain is them. It’s so frustrating, I know I’m on the verge but just can’t quite get there.

References: ancestry.com.au; familysearch.org; FreeBMD.


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the WATTERS or CHANDLER-GOULDING or CHANDLER families please do contact me, I would love to pass the photo onto a family member, even a distant one. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

Dawn Scotting

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