The family history of Charles Downes, the first burial.

As promised, here is Charles Downes’ family background –

1871 Census

(Charles’ Grandfather) William Downes, now aged 30,was born in 1841 in Dilwyn, Herefordshire. Dilwyn is a village in Herefordshire, England located about 18 km from the city of Hereford and 9 km from its nearest town, Leominster.

By the time of the census in 1871, William is a carpenter living on Balsall Heath Road employing a man and also a servant, Jane Brazier aged 21 (b 1850).  His wife is Sarah (nee James) is aged 33.   He has two sons Walter William (Charles’ father) is aged 2 and Albert

1881 Census

William is now aged 40 and is a builder.   His wife Sarah is 44.  Their son Walter William is 12 and a scholar and Albert is 10 and a scholar.  The family are living at b/o 152 Balsall Heath Road, Kings Norton, Worcestershire.   Mary A. Lancaster (a niece aged 15) is a visitor.

1891 Census

Charles’ father, Walter William, is now aged 22 (born 1869) and a carpenter living at 188a Balsall Heath Road.   He marries Ada Louisa McKenzie (Mother born 1971) aged 20 (from 172 Moseley Road) at St. Thomas in the Moors Church of England Parish Church in Cox Street West, Balsall Heath on 1st March 1891.  Both their fathers are listed as deceased.

(In 1897 when Charles is 3, his father Walter William Downes aged 28 is admitted to the Birmingham No. 5 Branch of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners Union).

William and Ada’s children .

1892   William John

1894   Frederick Walter

1894   Charles        

1897   Albert

1898   Harry

1899   Louie Ada

1901   Frank


1899   Charles Dies 11 April at 47 Runcorn Road, Balsall Heath (Diphtheria x four days) – buried 15th April

———————————————————————————————–1901 Census

The family are living at 284 Balsall Heath Road, Kings Norton, Warwickshire. Walter William is 32 and is a carpenter/joiner – his wife Ada is 30.

1908   Their second daughter Lucy is born.

 1911 Census

The family are living at 105 Clifton Road, Balsall Heath.   Walter William is 43 and is a Carpenter and Joiner working at a Builders and Contractors.   Ada is 40.

Their children –

William John is 19 and a clerk, Frederick Walter is 17 and employed in shop fitting Albert is 14 and is a gas works laboratory assistant, Harry is 13 and a school boy, Louie Ada is 10 and at school and Lucy is 3 years old.

Walter William’s mother Sarah is 75 and a widow living with them.

1937-Walter William dies aged 68.

(Our thanks to all those that assisted us in producing this time line and we hope it helps to bring the ‘Downes’ family and Charles to greater attention)



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