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Will it snow this winter?

During the year I have received several messages through this blog, all have been interesting. Thank you. Several messages were interested in Dorset Police and these contacts I have passed on to Ian who hopes to be bringing you a history of the Dorset Police force and the Policemen who walked our streets, in 2018. Other messages were members of the Beck or House family, I have loved meeting you on line and hopefully in person in 2018. Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Sylvia Photo of May taken at Blandford Police Station most likely during WW1

Frances Jane Beck "Who fell asleep" May 26th 1919

Grandad Beck's mother died on May 26th 1919, Grandad Beck, Rebecca and 18 year old May would have joined Eli (Grandad Beck's father) and the rest of the family at Garland Road, Longfleet, Poole, Dorset for the funeral.  My Great, Great Grandmother, Frances Jane Beck was buried in the St Mary’s churchyard, Longfleet. Later to be joined by her husband, Eli and Grandad Beck.

Seated gentleman with older lady on his lap
Grandad Beck with his mother Fanny

Early years

Grandad Beck's mother was known as Fanny by friends and family.  She was born and lived most of her life in the village of Buckland Newton, near Dorchester, Dorset.  Fanny was born in the early part of 1848 and on 4 June her parents visited the local Church of the Holy Rood, Buckland Newton for her Baptism.  Father, Michael Foot was a labourer, most likely on a farm and with his wife Louisa lived at the nearby  tithing or hamlet of Brockhampton.  By the time of the 1851 Census Fanny's father had died, her mother is listed as a widow working on a farm in Beaulieu wood area of Buckland Newton.  Fanny (2 years) and her brother William (6 years) where being looked after by their 16 year old sister Elizabeth.

Holy Rood Church Buckland Newton
Holy Rood Church Buckland Newton

It is not known if Fanny went to school, though there was a free school in the village prior to the village school being built in 1857 (Kelly's  Directory). At 7 years old it is probable that Fanny was one of the first pupils in the new school.  Her brother William became a police constable with the Metropolitan (London) police force.  It is possible that Grandad Beck’s Uncle William or Bill inspired him to join the Dorset Constabulary.

In  1861 Fanny was a servant, a dairy maid, at Holbrook Green Farm in the village of Lydlinch near Sturminster Newton 7 miles from Buckland Newton. She was living with Dairyman, Robert Snook and his wife Sarah. Their 2 year old daughter Charlotte Ann Snook was born at Buckland Newton.

9 years later on the Wednesday 16 February 1870 21 year old Fanny married Eli Beck at the same village church she had been baptised in. Eli was 18 years a labour, living in Cosmore, a hamlet near Buckland Newton. Fanny is listed as living at Buckland Newton at this time. Their witnesses where Edward Beck (possibly Eli's uncle) and Lydia Russell. Lydia is most likely a childhood friend of Fanny's, who was also born and bought up in Buckland Newton.

Family group taken in garden
Grandad Beck and Eli behind Lionel and May. Frances and Rebecca seated

Married life

The couple's first son, Charles, was born in September 1871, followed 4 years later by the birth of a daughter, Olive. Eli was now working as a gardener and the lived in the village of Buckland Newton. In a previous post I speculated about where Eli worked. Looking at the photograph albums I identified a photograph of Buckland Newton church. The next photograph is of a big house and garden which is identifiable as Buckland Newton Place formally the vicarage.  I think this is most likely where Eli worked for over 30 years (1871-1901 census) the family living near by in the village.  Fanny and Eli had 3 more children, Arthur Percy (Grandad Beck born 1875), Beatrice (1882) and Ernest (1886). Charles died in May 1882, aged 11, around the same time as Beatrice was born. Olive died in 1905 aged about 31 years.

The vicarage Buckland Newton (now called Buckland Newton Place)
The vicarage Buckland Newton (now called Buckland Newton Place)

By 1911 the couple had moved to Rempstone Hall, near Corfe Castle, where Eli was caretaker of a 27 roomed manor house.  In the Census they were the only occupiers on 2 April 1911. When Eli retired, possibly 1917 when he was 65, the couple moved to a terrace house in Longfleet.

Grave stone
The memorial at St Mary’s Church Longfleet. Taken after Eli’s death by Beatrice (Grandad Beck’s sister)

All original content by Sylvia Collins is copyright protected.

All photographs from the Beck family album


  1. Thank you for posting more information about the Becks it is all so exciting to see people who were only names come to life. Looking at the photo of Grandad Eli is like looking at my brother Roy! Amazing! Again recalling my late mum's memories Eli definitely worked for the Canon Ravenskill(?) as his gardener. According to 'family legend' Eli also lived in Corfe village for a while, which is close to Rempstone, possibly one of the old mill houses. He conducted tours of the castle - for a fee - but had to cease when the Ministry of Works found out! Sorry I have been slow to respond, we've been on our tours again. We toured around Lincoln where Edmund George Wills Legg died but with prior research I haven't been able to find where he was buried, he died in Leasingham near to Cranwell.

  2. Thank you Heather for this helpful information. I can see Eli showing people around the castle, in his photos he looks as though he would be a really good guide. I had a look at the election roles and in 1910 Eli is registered at Buckland Newton, the next record is 1915 when he is registered at Garland Road. He wouldn't have qualified to vote while at Rempstone. It would be interesting to spend a lot more time researching this, though there may not be any other records. I hope you enjoyed your time in Lincoln.

  3. Please make contact Edmund Legg was my grandfather fascinated with the threads detailing my families past.


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