Alfred Willis, 18, receives a school beating – Massachusetts, 1842

Alfred Willis was born in Barham in Kent in 1824 – the eldest child of James & Elizabeth (nee Prebble).  In 1835 the family (including Alfred and his younger brother James) sailed across the Atlantic to the USA and settled in West Newbury, Massachusetts.  The following account gives an insight into not only the schooling practices of the 1840s, but …

Norman MAYNE – killed in a hit & run accident, August 1950

On 9 August 1950, Norman was knocked down by a car  near his home, “Kenwyn” on Sandwich Road in Whitfield.  The car did not stop, and Norman was killed instantaneously. He was 65 years old. Norman Mayne was born in Dover in 1885, one of eight children born to Richard Mayne and Jenny Sedgewick.  He married Fanny Taylor in 1910 …

Ellen Pyne (1845 – 1917): Matriarch & Military Wife

The life story of Ellen – my 2x Great Grandmother – was certainly eventful. It began in a tiny Devon-shire hamlet in 1845, and took her halfway across the world to the Indian sub-continent and to Burma, and eventually back to England and the Kent port of Dover. She was married twice, had a total of eight children, and has …

Mr E. B. Hopper Esquire – New Zealand pioneer

Edward Betts Hopper was born in around 1799 in Dover, Kent into a Quaker family – his parents were Robert Hopper and Abigail Betts. Parts of his life are shrouded in mystery – indeed, nothing is known of Edward’s early life – the first official record we have of him is his baptism on 20 March 1826 in Queenborough, Kent. …