JOHN HOARE'S FAMILY HISTORY
Our KELD line
First published 16.3.2014 revised 20.1.2019
The name KELD is fairly uncommon in the UK. It is usually considered to have its origins in Old Norse. The word is often translated as river or stream, but is probably looser in origin, as kelda 'a well, fountain, spring' or 'a deep, still, smooth part of a river'. There are many variants to be found in Scandinavia. In the UK the name seems to first be found in the Northeast, centred around Whitby and Scarborough. Our KELD line so far only goes back with any certainty to about 1801 in East Yorkshire.
In the nineteenth century the records for our line are sometimes ambiguous, so I have had to be pedantic in gathering facts.
William KELD or KELL, born 1801, married Ann
The first of our line we can be at all sure of is William KELD. In 1825, when his son was Christened William Hatfield KELD, his name was recorded as William KELL married to Ann, living at Hyperion Street, Hull, with his son William and his daughter Mary Ann, occupation gardener. In 1841 he was living in Garrison Side, Sculcoates, Hull.
In the 1851 census William was working as a gardener at The Grange, a country house set in a large estate in Cottingham (Cottingham is about five miles NW of hull), living in the Grange garden house with his wife and his son. He was recorded as born in Headon in Yorkshire about 1801. He probably died in 1859 in Sculcoates, Hull.
William Hatfield KELD, born 1825, married Ann ROBINSON in 1846
This William was recorded as 'William Hatfield Keld' when he was baptised in 1825, and when he was the informant in the registration of his son's birth in 1847. We are fascinated by the forename 'Hatfield' - It is likely that it relates to a benefactor, but we have found no leads. (The nearest match so far is that there was a Thomas HATFIELD born about 1800, in the same area, a gardener.)
William appears in the 1841 census living with his parents in Sculcoates, occupation joiner apprentice. He married Ann ROBINSON in 1846. (We note that Joseph KELD was a witness and there is a Joseph KELD born in Scarborough, living in Hull in 1851.) His first son William Hatfield KELD was born in 1847. The best match we have found suggests that in 1851 he was living away from his family in Kippax, which is in the Leeds area. There seems to be a large gap before his second child Emily Ann, born about 1858 in Hull, and then Ada Mary, born about 1863. We can be pretty sure that by 1861 he was 'William H', living at 4, Brunsk [Brunswick] Place, Naval Row, in Poplar, London and working as a ship's joiner. In 1871 he was 'William H', back in Hull (his daughter Ada Mary was born in Middlesex). In 1873 his name is given as 'William Hatfield KELD' in his son's marriage record
By 1881 William was a 'boat proprietor' living at 85, Coldharbour, London with his wife Ann and his daughters Emily and Ada, apparently next door to his son William Hatfield KELD.
As it happens a large amount of historical information for this area is available, so it we have set up two pages of background information.
Click here for our page about Coldharbour and the Keld family
Click here for information about London Docklands in relation to our Keld and Williams families
William Hatfield KELD, born 1847, Married Amy Helen RITCHIE in 1873
William was born in Hull in 1847. By 1861 the family had moved to what is now Tower Hamlets, where his father was working as a ships joiner. Their address in the 1861 census was 4, Naval Row, Brunsk [Brunswick] Place, Poplar, London.
William's first child Henry Ritchie was born in 1870. At that time William was seventeen and apprenticed, and marriage or fathering a child would have breached his terms of employment. He married Amy Hellen RITCHIE in Bethnal Green in May 1873, and two months later his second child Charles William was born. Sadly William died in 1874 aged about four years. By 1881 William was recorded as a lighterman, living at 34, Cole Harbour, Poplar, London. The house is one of very few Victorian buildings still standing in the area. It was large and quite high status - I have set up a page carrying information about the area here. William and Amy had produced six children in eight years; the census records that Amy's mother Eliza was living with them as nurse, and they also had a live-in servant, which may indicate that Amy was not in good health. According to the records we have found Amy altogether gave birth to twelve children by 1890, but four died in childhood. The seventh born only lived a year, and the eleventh died as infant. The last died after fourteen days, a day after Amy herself died from complications in the birth. It was 1890 and Amy was aged 36. William was left to bring up the surviving eight children with the help of Amy's mother Eliza and a nurse. Records for 1890 have William living at number 30, Cole Harbour, but the address was number 34 in Amy's death certificate in 1890 and in the 1891 census.
Amy died in 1895. The children seem to have thrived, and probably left home to make their way in life as soon as they were old enough.
In 1901 William Henry was still a lighterman, but widowed and living in two rooms across the river in Rotherhithe with his daughter Gertrude, the youngest living child, who was aged 14.
By 1911 Gertrude was married and gone and William was an inmate in the Greenwich Union Workhouse, where his former occupation was properly recorded, but his place of birth was entered by default as Greenwich. He died in 1919 at the age of 72.
There is more about the Greenwich Union Workhouse on Peter Higginbotham's Workhouse website - it makes grim reading.
Ernest John KELD, born 1884, was William's ninth born child.
Children of William Hatfield KELD b.1847 d.1919 and Amy Hellen RITCHIE b. 1827 d.1906 -
Ernest John KELD, born 1884, Married Elsie Sophia SNAZELL 1916
Ernest John KELD grew up as the youngest boy in the family in Coldharbour. He recalled that after Amy died when he was six his sister Florence (only twelve herself) took over the role of mother. He must have joined the Royal Marine Artillery as soon as he was eligible, serving towards the end of the Boer War and during the First World War and on until 1920, but there is little surviving in the military records, other than the fact that he was awarded the Victory medal at the end of WW1, so I am dependent on family memories. Luckily, in the 1990's his widow Elsie was asked to write down the story of her life by one of her granddaughters.
According to Elsie's testimony, they met in 1915, in World War One, when Ernest was a gunner in the Royal Marines in service on a small ship bringing merchandise to the American troops in France under threat from German submarines. They were married by special licence in late 1916. Ernest returned to civilian life, but suffered from poor health and had difficulty finding work. Elsie's life must have been pretty tough. Their first child, John Rodney known as Jack, was accidentally killed at the age of seventeen serving as a 'boy, 1st class' in the Royal Navy. As we understand it Jack was caught in the recoil of a gun. Elsie had a total of nine children, and with the exception of Jack all flourished. Peter Edward Thomas KELD was their fourth child of nine. Ernest John died in the 'fifties, but Elsie lived past her hundredth year.
© John and Sheila Hoare 2014 and 2019
Baptism records ref. PE 109/4 at the East Riding County Records Office in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire
Reference books at the East Riding County Records Office in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire (titles not recorded)
UK Census entries for England (seen on the Ancestry website 2013)
Military records on the Forces War Records website (seen 2013)
'The Workhouse' website (seen 2013)