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Gotts Family History


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Snapshots 15

Telephone directory1.pdf

Old Phone Books

BT have released their old telephone directories through Ancestry.com, covering London from 1900 to 1946.

The first Gotts to have a phone was John B Gotts OBE, of Belsize Park and later Sidcup in 1923. In 1924 Harry Davenport became the second, and by 1946 23 people had been in the phone book. If you have Gottses in London you can see where they lived. (esp trees #079, 071.) I haven't placed them all, so any help with that will be useful.

Carole Ford found her father and grandfather in the list. Carole Ford found her father Cecil W Gotts and her grandfather PW Gotts in the list.

"Both of them lived in Walworth before the first World War and the Provisions store referred to was a Grocer’s shop, a business owned by my grandfather. I understand the windows were stoned before the 1st WW because the family were thought to be German, but in fact my grandfather served in France in the war and died prematurely in his early forties due to the effects of mustard gas in the trenches.

Percy William Gotts had 5 children in total. Two sons who died in infancy of diphtheria were born in the years between the birth of the eldest son Cecil William in 1910 and his sister Elsie Rose. The youngest son was Percy Sidney born at the end of WW1. My father served in the 2nd WW in North Africa and escaped from Tobruk. As a boy he attended the William Ellis school, but did not like lessons and told me once stabbed his foot on a hatpin while paddling in the White Stone Pond. By the time he was about 23 both his parents had died and he and a younger sister and teenage brother had to fend for themselves. I know the sister looked after them domestically and my father worked for the John Lewis Partnership, an employment he went back to after the war. He retired and lived to be 87.

I was very interested to use Google Earth and look at the shop premises (Tranley Mews sign is still there) and the flat the brothers and sister moved into after their parents died. I understand that it was not possible to keep on the Grocery business because of heavy death duties, both parents having died so close together. My grandmother contracted dropsy after a hysterectomy. The 3 children all married and had families, but the 2 sons only produced daughters so the Gotts name from this tree has come to an end. There was at least one generation of Gotts in Hampstead before P W Gotts and I think my great grandfather was a stone mason and wood carver."

"I now think Percy William was the first generation to move to Hampstead, from East London. He and the eldest brother Edward were both Grocery Assistants and Percy William was witness to Edward's wedding to Amelia Frost in St James Church, Edmonton in 1908. Edward Albert emigrated to Canada a few months after his marriage, to be followed in 1909 by Amelia and his infant son. A daughter was also born in Canada, so the family name may yet be carried on in this line.  In 1941 at the age of 59, Edward and  Amelia boarded a ship to New York,  their departure being seen off by their daughter in Canada. Edward by this time had become a Canadian citizen.  It is possible that Edward was a half brother as his father William John had previously been married to Eliza Ticehurst who died in 1884, shortly before he married Elizabeth Taylor. Given the harshness of the times, the difficulty of communication and the multiplicity of children, it is perhaps not surprising that family members lost touch"

“Another brother Leopold lived until 1964 and for part of that time actually lived in Hampstead.  This has come as a surprise to the family today, as the word passed on, was that Percy William's brothers had been killed in WW1. In fact only the youngest brother Sidney, aged 23 died of his wounds and is buried at Etaples in France.
The births of the 4 brothers  were followed by 3 sisters and when he  married, Leopold named his first daughter Grace Madeleine after his eldest sister, who died in 1906, when she was 10.”

To see the list compiled in 2010 click on the BT link.

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