14 May 2016

Hayes, Wells & Buffham Family Album

This old album that dates back to the mid 1800s was found in a deceased house lot of goods. The person who purchased them kept the album for five years in the hopes that someone in the family would come back for it, they didn’t.

The people in it all seem to have originated from England, so far I haven’t found why it ended up in New Zealand.


These are the first two front pages inside the album, although the photograph is not named in the album I presume her to be Mary Elizabeth Hayes, the mother of Francis Bertram Wells who updated the album in 1978. Unfortunately the album and photos are not in the best of condition as sellotape has been used which has not lasted over the years. However, I have managed to find out a bit on the families of some of the photos in the album, sadly only a few of them are named.  Also included inside the album was this typed list of names plus an original marriage certificate that I’ve had to divide into two to scan as it was too long otherwise:-



Strangely there is no wedding photo for the above marriage in the album, apart from this unnamed bride, it’s hard to say if she is the same person as the one in the front of the album:-


This is the groom, William George Wells, who is in various named photos:-











The photo with the question mark was not named but I took a gamble because he’s the spitting image of the guy in the photo below him who was named. It seems William may have been an actor of sorts as I don’t think that’s his everyday wear above!

He also belonged to a cycling club and on the evening of the 5 Apr 1894 he was out with his friends in Midhurst, Sussex:-


William George & Mary Elizabeth had three sons - Clement Victor 1896-1955, Francis Bertram 1897-1990 and Sidney Gordon 1899-1974, all of them with named photos:-




William George Wells was the son of Joseph Wells & Sarah neé Betteridge, born 1873 in Andover, Hampshire. Joseph (Grandad) & Sarah (Grandma) had seven children, that I found, five of them with named photos in the album:-



I’ve searched the newspapers online for a report on Grandad’s exposure in the snow but couldn’t find anything. It looks like these two photos were taken on the same day in front of the same wall with the climbers in the background.

William George was their eldest son, then came Lottie known as Tots born 1875, she married Harry Cornelius in 1905 and as far as I know didn’t have any children:-


After Lottie came Fred 1879-1881, then Florence May born 1882, she married Frank Benjamin Bone in 1904 and had two daughters, Eva May & Phyllis Mary Bone. There are no named photos of Fred or Florence in the album.

Next was Beatrice Lillian known as Lil, she was born in 1884, married in 1937 to Archibald Shearing:-



Then comes Bertie 1886-1951, he marred Louisa Jane Howard in 1912 and they may have had two children, Laura & Kenneth. Lastly came Stanley Ernest born 1893 & killed aged 24 in Belgium during WWI, buried in Flanders:-



These two small candid photos were loose in the album and from them I was hoping to find something about the business ‘Wells the Bacon People Ltd’, obviously belonging to William George Wells, in the newspapers of the day but as you may appreciate the word ‘Wells’ is just too common, I would have been searching for weeks to find anything of interest, no matter what combination of words I tried there were just too many hits. It’s a shame really as I would have liked to have fleshed out this family a bit more:-



I haven’t been able to find anything about Maltby House either, apart from Maltby being the maiden name of W G W’s wife’s grandmother.

Mary Elizabeth Wells neé Hayes was the second of the nine children of John Hayes (no photo) and Martha neé Buffham who I presume is Grandma Hayes:-


Martha Buffham was the fifth of the nine children of Charles Buffham and Mary neé Maltby, she was born on 7 Sep 1842 in Woolwich, Kent where her father was stationed in the Royal Marines at the time. Charles served 21 years and was discharged in 1845 when he returned to Lincolnshire, the county he was born in about 1805, he became a Police Officer & High Bailiff of the Spalding District County Court.

There are no named photos of any of Mary Elizabeth’s siblings or father in the album.


Mary Elizabeth’s son, Francis Bertram, would have been about 80 when he decided to renovate & edit the photograph album in 1978, on the back page he has glued a photo of his marriage to Violet Irene Edna Chandler on 2 Oct 1932 and on another page I found one other named photo of Violet:-




Francis & Violet may have had any number of children as there are quite a few Wells/Chandler births registered in England after 1932 but only one of them was in Rochford - Alan M Wells born 1937. In 1869 Alan married Christine Lester and just a few moments ago I came across an Alan & Christine Maltby Wells listed in the New Zealand Electoral Roll in 1978 & 1981 - their surname is listed as Maltby Wells so it may not be them but the names seem to be too much of a co-incidence don’t they? Alan seems to have been alive & living in Auckland up until 8 years ago so if any of his family see this please do get in touch with me.

I would also love to hear from anyone else who may be connected to the families in this album, it should be returned to a family member.







Dawn Scotting

No comments: