Gainsborough girl: Phoebe Annie SELBY (1883 - 1968)

  Eight Late Victorian Families ©2010-2017 Rosemary & Stan Rodliffe

Gainsborough girl: Phoebe Annie SELBY (1883 - 1968)

Phoebe Annie SELBY

Phoebe Annie SELBY was born on 21st April 1883 at Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, the second daughter of George SELBY and Mary Frances DUCKERING. She had one brother, William Joseph (1875 - ), an older sister Mary Edith (Aunt Ede, 1877 - ), and a younger sister, Jessica Frances. Mary Edith married Walter Naylor and moved to Kings Lynn. Phoebe moved to be with her sister at Lynn and worked in Jermyn's Department Store. At the time of her marriage to Horace Frost, she lived with her sister at 13 Gladstone Road.

Carpenter father

George SELBY was born in 1848 in Blyton, a village north of Gainsborough, where his father Joseph was a joiner and wheelwright. George was variously a joiner, carpenter and wheelwright. In 1911, aged 62, he was a joiner working for Marshall Son & Co general engineers. Phoebe always described her father as lame but walking several miles to and from work in Gainsborough each day.

One drizzly day we searched Blyton churchyard and found where four of George's brothers and sisters are buried: Phoebe died June 1875 aged 9; Ann died February 1876 aged 19; Rebecca died October 1880 aged 10; and James who died April 1889 aged 36. George's brother Joseph married Phoebe's sister Sarah Jane. James left a widow, Sarah, who in the 1891 Census is shown as living alone at 2 Spring Gardens Gainsborough, aged 41, lodge keeper of apartments. In 1881 she and James had lived in Etherington Street Gainsborough but neither 1881 nor 1891 Census mentions children. Brothers William and Joseph both married and had children. The 1891 census for Blyton shows William SELBY, aged 43, a joiner and wheelwright, married to Emma with two sons, Benjamin and James, who were cousins for Phoebe Annie.

George SELBY

Mother a cook

Mary Frances DUCKERING

Mary Frances DUCKERING was born in 1847 and came from Blyton. The 1871 Census shows her as a general servant in Blyton, living with her father William (52), an agricultural labourer, and mother Mary (52). [Phoebe Annie SELBY said that she had been a cook at the time of her marriage in 1872.] She had three brothers: Samuel (1843 - 1927); Thomas (1845 - 1919); and William (1854 - 1926); and three sisters: Sarah Jane (1849 - ); Ann (1852 - ); and Elizabeth (1855 - ). The 1891 Census shows William living at Gainsborough as a draper's assistant married to Mary (27) with five children, ranging from 13 years to 3 months, plus a servant. Mary Frances is remembered as a very hard worker and at one time took in lodgers, one of whom, Harry BRODLEY, became her son-in-law. He was a policeman and had to share his bed with another policeman on different shifts!