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My name is Alfred Brian Fox born 1933 in Custom House, London. E.16 married in 1959 to Maureen Ellen Louise Brett

My father was Alfred Fox born 1907 in Poplar, London - died 1981 in Basildon. Essex married Minnie Edmead in 1929

His father was Joseph Fox born 25th October 1863 in Kelfield, Yorkshire - died 22nd January 1941 in Maldon, Essex.

His father was John Fox born 26th April 1807 in Kelfield - died 19th October 1870 in Kelfield.

His father was Thomas Fox born 1774 in Kelfield - died 26th February 1839 in Kelfield.

My principal ancestor on whom this family history is based is Joseph Fox - my grandfather born 1863.

OUR HISTORY  follows the line of John Fox (a Farmer) born 1807 whose first marriage was to Jane Guy (1807-1858) a widow and following the death of Jane married Maria Nicholson

(1832-1866) a spinster on 15th March 1859 in the Parish Church of Stillingfleet


Maria was unmarried but had two illegitimate children - William c 1848 and Alfred George c1854

To Maria Nicholson father unknown -

William Nicholson b 1848

 Alfred George Nicholson b 1854


the marriage to John Fox then produced the following children:-

To John Fox c 1807 - 1870 & Maria Fox (nee Nicholson)  c 1832 - 1866

John born 1859

Thomas born 1861 - died 1944

 Joseph born 1863 died 1941 -

 Mary born 1866


Alfred Brian Fox - 50th wedding anniversary picture 2009 at Noak Hill Golf Course, Billericay, Essex.





In the year 1801, Kelfield had a total population of 175 inhabitants - in 1811 this had increased to 209, and in 1821 there were 286 while in 1831 there were 302, a steady increase over the years. Kelfield was a small agricultural village and census records of 1841 show 69 inhabited houses, 4 uninhabited and none building, at this time the population numbered 315 inhabitants - made up of 75 male persons under 20 years of age and 98 over 20 years of age - a total of 173 males. Females under 20 years of age numbered 60 while there were 82 over 20 years of age - total females 142.

A big increase occurred in 1851 with a total of 421 persons made up of 229 males and 192 females, in this year there were 77 inhabited houses, 3 uninhabited and 1 being built.

In 1861 a slight drop was recorded with more females - 197 against 191 males although there were now more houses occupied - 83 and 2 uninhabited. Buildings from this era that remained in 1980 were Kelfield Grange at Number 18 Riccall Lane, Mount Pleasant at Number 19, The Manor House at 35 and the Grey Horse Inn at Number 43. A prominent building, Kelfield Old Hall was demolished in 1829 by Henry Preston and was the residence of the former owners before being bought by Henry Preston. A local story suggests that Colonel Henry Thomas Preston had been awarded the manor/estate as a reward for his services to the Crown during the Indian wars. At the beginning of the 19th century the manor and estate , containing 1286 acres, belonged to Mary, the widow of the Reverend Edward Stillingfleet and the only daughter of William Peirse Esq of Hutton Bonville who died childless in 1804 and the estate was sold by public auction in 1812 to seven gentlemen for the sum of 58,000.

Around 1982/3 the local builder Noel Hare built a new house on the Chapel of Ease for his son and his wife who named it the Old Hall - it is by the river opposite to Village Farm and they have suggested that it is on the site of the house called Oburn (or Auburn) Hall which was occupied by Joseph's father John Fox and his then wife Jane(nee Guy). The house was at Number 54 Riccall Lane. Later information from Francis Benson suggests that his residence in Kelfield which is the Old Manor House, Moor End was the original Auburn Hall and was possibly renamed by his grandfather to Old Manor House.

Adjacent to the cricket field and almost opposite Holly Tree Farm is a field named "FOX FIELD" - so called since it would appear that the local landowner Henry Preston who lived nearby at Moreby Grange, came across a farmer Fox in the act of killing a fox - the family being then banished from the land and the field supposedly getting its name from this act. Kelfield Grange is situated on a farm and in 1980 was occupied by a Mr.Stones and family. Some parish records seen in 1980 but since destroyed did not show any reference to either the Fox or Nicholson families around the year 1900 and it must be assumed that many had, like Joseph, gone to seek work and fortune elsewhere or many had died. Bulmers Directory and History of East Yorkshire dated 1892 described the village of Kelfield as situated on the east back of the river Ouse, which is here crossed by an iron bridge, connecting it with Cawood in the West Riding. This bridge was erected in 1872, by a company of shareholders at a cost of nearly 12,000, in lieu of the ferry previously belonging to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. It is 295 feet in length and consists of 5 arches - two of which open to allow the passage of vessels. It was taken over by the county in 1882 and declared toll-free. Kelfield is nine miles south of York, six miles north-north-west from Selby and one and a half miles south from Stillingfleet.

We know from parish records that the Fox family existed in Kelfield/Stillingfleet in the early 1600's as John Fox married Averell Clark on 8th January 1604 and raised a family of Ann Fox christened 10th April 1611, Elizabeth christened 24th August 1613 and Alice christened 7th March 1617 - also Francis Fox married Mary Key on 19th December 1604 and a son Robert was christened 15th June 1608 - also a Robert Foxe married Dorothy Swayne on 19th January 1608 and a son was christened in July 1610 - the same parents raised other children Thomas christened 19th January 1611, Robert christened 7th November 1613, William christened in 1614 and a daughter christened 15th December 1616.  








First Marriage

Joseph Fox - 1863 - 1941 and Marion Ormiston

Following his release from the Essex Regiment in 1888 - Joseph did not remain idle for very long - on the 7th November 1889 he joined the Millwall Dock Company as a Police Constable earning 23 shillings and six pence per week.On the 24th September 1894 he married Marion Ormiston, the 24 year old daughter of the then Chief Constable of Millwall Dock Police Alexander Ormiston. They were married in Poplar Registry Office - Joseph's address was shown as 171 West Ferry Road. Poplar. London. On the 14th October 1899 he was promoted 4th class Sergeant at 32 shillings and six pence per week. Four weeks later, on the 13th November 1899 his wife Marion was to die of Cardiac Disease - certified by a J.Drummond MB.

Their address was given as 134 West Ferry Road. Poplar. London. It is not known if their were any children of the marriage. Marion's father Alexander Ormiston had resigned his position as Chief Constable on 11th November 1895.


Second Marriage

Joseph Fox - 1863 - 1941 and Ada Caroline Fox (nee Eagleton) - 1878 - 1939


Still living at 134 West Ferry Road, Joseph then remarried, his bride being Ada Caroline Eagleton who resided with her mother Susannah Eagleton at 188 Abbott Road, Poplar. London, they were originally from Jarrow, County Durham.


Ada Caroline Fox outside 99 Marston Avenue, Dagenham bought by son George for his Mum and Dad.

Joseph on his allotment at Beckton Road, Custom House, London. E.16 with dog "Biddy"


Joseph and Ada formerly lived at :-

134 West Ferry Road. Poplar.

9 South East Row, Poplar.

52 South Molton Road, Custom House.

58 Jersey Road, Custom House.

River Road, Barking, Essex (Middle house of three behind "VOLUNTEER" Public House - demolished 1999) 99 Marston Avenue, Dagenham. Essex.

On demobilisation from the Essex Regiment Joseph lived at 171 West Ferry Road. Poplar.E.14. with his first wife, Marion Ormiston, whom he had married at Poplar Register Office on the 24th September 1894. Marion died on 13th November 1899 from heart failure at their then address, 134 West Ferry Road. Poplar. London. Marion was the daughter of the former Chief Constable of the East India Dock Company police force.

Joseph Fox was born in Kelfield, Yorkshire, England on the 25th October 1863. The birth was recorded in the registration district of Selby at the sub-district office at Ricall. The informant on the 29th November 1863 was Joseph's father John Fox, whose occupation was given as farm labourer. Joseph was baptized on the 22nd November 1863 in the parish church of Stillingfleet, a small village local to Kelfield.

The marriage took place at Poplar Registry Office on 9th October 1900 - Joseph was 35, his wife Ada 21. Abraham Purdy, the Registrar had now officiated at both of Joseph's Marriages and also the death of Marion. Joseph and Ada began married life at 134 West Ferry Road where the first of their 10 children was born.

Children from the Second Marriage

Joseph/Violet Victoria Goodwin - 1901 -1969 died Hertford,

William/Ellen Maie Cable - 1903 - died Elm Park

Martha Agnes/Frank William Edmead- 1905 - 1973 died Rush Green,

Alfred/Minnie Edmead - 1907 - 1981 died Basildon,

Albert/Lilian Saville - 1909 - 1979 died Loughton also,

Albert/Winifred Florence Rose Middleton - 1909 -1979 died Loughton

Lilian Elizabeth Susannah/George Blackwell - 1911 - 2004 died New Zealand,

George/Kathleen Fisher - 1912 - 1979 died Loughton,

Leslie/Frances Mary Hunt - 1916 - 1998 - both died New Zealand

Gladys/Leonard Chick - 1918,

Violet Victoria/George Sales - 1921 - 1995 died Rush Green.

Click to view separate pages for the children







The 1911Census shows Elizabeth as 0 years old and the family living at 111 Manor Road, Sub District Plaistow - District West Ham - enumeration District 14. Joseph and Ada moved house fairly regularly - living at 134 West Ferry Road Poplar, 9 South East Row, Poplar, 52 South Molton Road, Custom House, 58 Jersey Road, Custom House, River Road, Barking(middle house of three behind "Volunteer" pub (now demolished - 2008), and lastly at 99 Marston Avenue, Dagenham.Essex. Ada was to die aged only 61 on 27th January 1939 while Joseph died at the St. Peters Public Assistance Institute at 32A Spital Road, Maldon. Essex. 22nd January 1941 later to become St. Peters Hospital - both are interred at Eastbrookend Cemetery, Becontree(close to the CHASE nature reserve) in a family plot E.617.

The Institute had formerly been the Maldon Union Workhouse covering 5 acres and housing 350 inmates but was then converted into the Public Assistance Institute in 1930 only to be further converted in 1948 into St.Peters Hospital. Ada had a brother and sister - William Eagleton was the proprietor of a cafe in Victoria Dock Road near to Custom House Railway Station and was called the "EAGLES NEST". Her sister married a Custom House man William Spriggs. Of the children, Joseph joined the Royal Navy on 11th June 1923 at the age of 22 and served until 27th September 1945, William became a dock labourer, Martha married Francis William Edmead, Alfred joined the Metropolitan Police Force just after the outbreak of war in 1940 having married Minnie Edmead in 1929 whose brother Francis had married Alfred's older sister Martha,  Albert joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15 years and 7 months as a boy entrant on 10th December 1924 and served until 27th December 1945,George also joined the Royal Navy as a boy entrant on 28th September 1927 at the age of 15 years and 5 monthsand released from service on 5th December 1945. Lilian married George Blackwell and for some time they owned a small retail unit in the old Ilford Shopping Arcade before emigrating with their family to New Zealand, Leslie served with the Royal Engineers during World War 2, was torpedoed off North Africa and was rescued after 4 hours afloat in the Mediterranean only to be injured later during the invasion of Sicily, he emigrated with his wife and then two sons to New Zealand in 1956, Gladys lived most of her early life in Dagenham before moving to Ongar, Essex and later to South Molton, Devon, while the last of the family Violet lived with her family in Rush Green, Dagenham.

Information has been obtained from various sources including:-

1) Various certificates - birth, marriage and death certificates which provide not only dates of events

but also previous addresses and relatives names.

2) Census Returns from 1841-1851-1861-1871-1881.

3) The Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, York, where parish records dating back to 1450 are held on microfilm.

4) Bulmers Directory and History of the East Riding of Yorkshire 1892.

5) Hull University Archives where Kelfield Estate records are held.

6) Various residents of Kelfield - Mr.& Mrs Hare 0757 848111 also Rev.S.Walker of Kelfield.

7) John W Burrows book - The Essex Regiment 2nd Battalion.

Records relating to the voyage of the troopship "MALABAR" i.e. Ship's Logs dated 1st July 1879 to 21st November 1880 under reference number 11642, dated 22nd November 1880 to 28th January 1882 reference number 11643, dated 29th January 1882 to 30th September 1882 reference, 1st July 1883 to 5th August 1883 reference 12141 and from 6th August 1883 to 16th November 1884 reference 12142. ALL MAY BE FOUND IN VOLUME ADM 53 AT KEW PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE.

A sketch/drawing of the "MALABAR" is also within the family files.

Reference could also be made to the World Ship Society, Department SRN, 58 Bicton Street, Exmouth. Devon. EX8 2

Ada Caroline Fox (nee Eagleton) and Joseph Fox - last resting place.

The Burial plot at Easterbrook End Cemetary, Becontree. Picture taken by

Leslie Fox Junior (during a trip over from New Zealand in the 1980's)


To follow the history of Thomas & Mary Fox and their descendants with

specific information on both Joseph Fox and Thomas Fox


CLICK HERE to follow the generations - so the earliest known descendents of

Thomas c 1774 -1839 & Mary Fox - c 1777 - 1845

are believed to be:-


Ann born 1806 - John born 1807 died 1870 - William born 1809 - Mary born 1810 died 1843

Joseph born 1812 - Jane born 1814 - Thomas Wallis born 1815 - Elizabeth born 1817 died 1859

George born 1819 - Charles born 1822 died 1828


First Marriage of Joseph's elder brother Thomas

The child of Thomas Fox -1861 - 1944 - and Ann Elizabeth Fox (nee Staley) 1854 - 1899 is

Thomas Fox Junior - 1891 - 1917


Second Marriage

The children of Thomas Fox - 1861 - 1944 and Mary Hannah Fox (nee Ward) 1876 - 1918 are

Irene - Alfred - James - Joseph - Iris - Harry



Picture of Thomas Fox courtesy of Tina Willis - a descendent

Thomas (Junior) died in Iraq (Mesopatamia) during the First World War -

details on the following pages


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or here for Cornelius Brett & Rebecca Crane - c 1770


or here for Edward Kelly & Catherine White - c 1800


or here for Alfred Edmead & Esther Fitzpatrick - c 1863


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Pages in all of the above are still being added to - any information or photographs from family members 

would be appreciated.  All details posted by Alfred Fox Jnr.