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Norman and Helen's History

Norman and Helen

Norman and Helen
Please see Bird section for Norman's family history

click here



This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Romsey in Hampshire. The placename is first recorded in the Saxon Charters of 966 as "Romeseye", and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Romesy". The placename means "Rum's island", derived from the genitive case of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Rum", a short form of compound names with the first element "rum", "wide", or "renown", with the Olde English word "ey", island or dry land in a fen. Locational names were given especially to those former inhabitants who left their homes to live or work in another area. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Romsey, Rumsey, Romsay and Rumsay. John de Romesy was noted in 1328, in Kirby's Quest for Somerset.

BT telephone directory

BT telephone directory
Sabina Louise Rumsey was Helen's sister, she appeared in the Newton Abbot telephone directory from 1957 to 1975. She died in 1976 - registration district Torbay
Helen was listed in Widecome from 1961

According to Pete Rumsey Lyonel and Margery lived in the same house as Sabina in Newton Abbot but on his death Lyonel is listed as living at 'Roseville' Coombeinteignhead in 1964 and left his money to Dorothy Bate

Gladys Helen Rumsey's history

Gladys Helen appears to have come from a very interesting, professional and musical family. Below is just a synopsis of what has been found about her background on various genealogy databases. It would be good if anyone had any feedback from speaking to her whilst she was married to Norman.
Her grandmother Sabina came from the Longman family who had been landowners in Milborne Port, many also appeared to have been working in the leather glove making industry. Her grandmother's sister Helen married a John George Horner who was a School Master for the Royal children, they lived on the Royal Estate Great Park Windsor. On retirement by 1891 John and Helen Horner were back in Shepton Mallet living with Sabina and John Rumsey. In 1871 Silvanas Longman a nephew farmed 330 acres at Milborne Port.There were two or three Uncle Alfreds on both the Longman and Rumsey sides of the family spanning three generations. There were two cripples in the Longman family, plus Silvanus' son Henry Arthur who was 'an imbicile from birth'.
It is rumoured that Helen was a 'ballerina of some note' in her younger days. Any more information on this would be much appreciated, it would be interesting to have details of her career. She remained a spinster until marrying Norman at the age of 76 yrs when she was living at Green Cottage on Widecombe Green.

Helen' s family originated from Somerset, Milborne Port, her great grandfather John was born in 1787 and was a Music Master. He and his wife Hannah lived in North Street.

Her grandfather ,also John, was born in Sandford in 1823 and on the 1851 Census was a Professor of Music in Shepton Mallet. Her grandmother's name was Sabina Longman, The Longmans and Rumseys lived next door to one another in Milborne Port. Silvanas Longman was a farmer of 370 acres. The couple by this time had three sons and had a music pupil Walter Laskin from Germany living in the household. The family had a servant Mary Pearce. They lived in Paul Street Shepton Mallet Somerset

On the 1861 Census John and Sabina had seven children including Helen's father Frank Vincent born in 1855. John L, Henry A, Alfred W E, Frank V, Earnest E, Helen T E, and Florence, A pupil from Gloucestershire John T Chambers was living in as well as a servant Esther Green. All living at 'Draycott' Shepton Mallet.

On the 1871 Census Frank Vincent had left home and was working as an Ironmonger in Yeovil
He was boarding with William and Mary Gould and family - Boot Manufacturer

By 1871 Alfred W E [Gladys Helen's uncle] had become a Professor of Music [organist] and was living in Southampton .In 1879 he married Eva Mary Scorey, born 1858 a Professional Singer, thay had a son Alfred John born 1880 whose birth was registered by RE Lee who was present at the birth. It appears baby Alfred went immediately to Shepton Mallet to be brought up by his grandparents. Another child was born in 1881, Eva Helen she was 3 months old on the census sheet, her mother was described as a Professor of Singing. Another daughter Dorothy Florence was born in 1889 and she also became a Professor of Singing. Eva Helen married Alfred Stanley Longman . Eva died on 22.5.1922 at 5 The Grange Westbury on Trym, she left £3342.17.11 to Mervyn Rumsey a retired brewers manager and Stanley Longman, Photographer. Eva's mother was Lucy Elizabeth Fielder (aka Eliza), born at Botley Hampshire 1839. Dorothy married Reginald G Hudson in 1910.

Helen's parents Frank Vincent and Mary Jane married in June 1879

By the 1881 Census grandfather John was Professor of Music employing one man. Two of his daughters Helen and Florence were professional Governesses and living at home. Alfred JW aged 1yr (grandson) and Mervyn aged 28, with Domestic servant Emily Bristow.

No trace of Helen's father Frank Vincent but his wife Mary Jane, her baby son Mervyn John aged 11 months and a servant Mary Carmichael were living in Widnes Lancs. Mary Jane was working as a Music Teacher. Another son Frank A was born there in 1882. Mary Jane was born in Milborne Port

On the 1891 Census Frank and Mary were living in Winchester Hants Frank was a Cycle Agent and Music Dealer, Mary Jane still a Teacher of Music. The couple had five children and a servant Sabina Bush living in. Gladys Helen was born in Winchester in 1887

Also in 1891 grandparents John and Sabina were still living in Shepton Mallet with Mervyn 38 and Florence, Alfred J W grandson was still living with them aged 11. A brother in law John G Horner retired schoolmaster aged 75 yrs a sister in law Helen Horner aged 89 and a Cook and a Servant. At 13 Commercial Road Shepton Mallet.
Florence sailed from Southampton to New York as a 'domestic' aged 27 to a Mrs F Pott . Her address in the UK was given as Ferrybridge Yorks. On the 1911 census she was living there with her mother and Cecil aged 12 and Dorothy, so must have been there for over 10 years.

On the 1891 Census uncle Alfred W E [organist] and Eva {Singer and Teacher of Singing} lived in Thorley Lodge Isle of White and had a cook and a housemaid living in. Their son Alfred John was still living with his grandparents John and Sabina.

Helen's grandfather John died in September 1897 aged 77 yrs

By the 1901 Census Gladys Helen's parents had had nine children and were still living in St Thomas, Winchester. Frank was a Musical Instrument Dealer and Cycle Agent. Difficult to decipher but it looks like' Navy or Army Corps' on the Census return. The children were Mervyn, Frank A, Georgina, Gladys H, Lyonel H, Sabina L, Thomas A, Horace G and Dorothy Feodora.

In 1901 Sabina (grandmother) was living with Mervyn 48 her son, [head of household] Florence 40 her daughter , John G Horner (uncle) 85, Sabina 10 (niece) and a Servant. At Commercial Road Shepton Mallet.

Gladys Helen's uncle Alfred was a Church Organist in Shirley Southampton his wife Eva was still a Performer of Singing living on her own means. Alfred their son 21 was living at home, he was an Electrical Engineer . The couple had had a daughter Dorothy 12 who was also at home. Frank 19, Gladys Helen's brother was living with them and was a Mechanic Cycle Maker.The family had a housekeeper and servant living in.

Uncle Henry A was living in Shepton Mallet , he was a Commercial Traveller for a Brewery He had also married a Longman, Susie, his nephew Alfred Longman 23 was a photographic artist and living in the household, also a domestic servant. At The Grange, Bowlish. Shepton Mallet.


On the 1911 Census she was a Teacher of Dancing aged 23 at Apply Lodge Rusholme Manchester

letter Margery was Gladys Helen's sister born 1884
Thomas Arthur Rumsey was Helen's younger brother born 1893.......

My knowledge is limited but Thomas Arthur married Elsie Maud Pyatt and my late mother Dorothy Mary was their only child and she was born in 1926. My mom was named after my grandad's favourite sister Dorothy Feodora, who I did meet when I was in my teens. My mom kept in contact with her and also Sabina (Biney) and also Margery who I always thought was an aunt. I do vaguelly recall something about Biney I think being a lesbian, I think it was her so as she and Margery lived together in latter years maybe they were partners? When I was young we did visit great uncle Horace and his wife Mary at a farm in Reading. I think my grandad was in the army and served in India at some stage he caught a disease over there and was bald at age 21. Know that he had some medals of some kind. My grandad used to read to Queen Victoria and had a chair given to him by her with a plaque saying that. Was in my mom's possession at one stage but no idea what has happened to it now. Have no photos what so ever of my grandparents or their families I'm afraid. This is a bit muddled so hope it makes sense. My great aunt Dorothy was artistic and sold some of her paintings. think thats all I can remember for now regards.... Julia

More memories from Julia

I have been trying to think back to things that I was told by my mother so
many years ago. A bit jumbled but here goes.... Was told that my grandpa
didn't get on with his father, but worshipped his mother. He ran away to
join the army or navy can't be sure at age 16. Don't know how or why he was
in B'ham to meet my nan (Elsie Maud) she was a typical Brummie and a
wonderful lady. Know that they lived at Comberton Terrace in the Rotton
Park area of B'ham. It was a 2 up and 2 down terrace house and they shared
an outside toilet with another family. There was a shared wash-house too.
Know that money was tight and not sure what job my grandad did, think he may
have been in and out of work. My nan worked from home as a box maker when my
mom was young and she also had a cleaning job.Not sure what year my grandad
died, do know that he suffered with angina. Not sure if he could read music,
but think he could pick up a tune on the piano and he could play the mouth
organ and he used to play the spoons too. He always used to make paper hats
and little paper boats for me. Can remember some so small made out of toffee

Family Wills

Family Wills
My Aunt was convinced she had an aunt called Stella & I‘m not sure I mentioned this, anyway I couldn’t find anything other than a photo from the case with “Stella's daughter’s wedding” written on the back of it then one day I was looking through my dads old bureau & found a document referring to a Mrs Stella Ida Kellett... Bingo, this was the person I had been looking for also I had a bunch of photo’s of two children, Donagh & Pat Kellett & at the time I was convinced that those photo’s had probably belonged to Norman anyway as luck had it they revealed themselves !
Looks like Stella emigrated to South Africa at some time, she married a chap called James Maunsell Kellett & had at least two children that we know of

So it seems as the list of children of Frank & Mary Rumsey is as follows:

Mervyn John Alfred, Frank A, Georgina M, Gladys Helen, Lyonel Hubert, Sabina Louise, Thomas Arthur, Florence, Horace George, Cecil, Dorothy Feodora, now Stella but no idea where she fits in the time scale also one child Leslie died very young after falling into a marsh or bog on his return from a party. Pete


Read the very interesting story of Helen's brother Frank who settled in Africa -
provided by Pete Rumsey


Information from Janis in Canada

My grandson is a descendant of John Longman Rumsey

It was John Longman Rumsey who came to Canada in1910. It looks as though his son Godfrey came first though as his year of immigration is listed as 1903 in one place (think it's a bad interpretation of the writing in this case) and 1906 in another. John Longman and 4 of his children are listed in the 1911 census Cranbrook, British Columbia. It looks as though John Longman and wife Martha travelled to Sydney, Australia to visit two sons in 1920. I don't see her on the 1911 Census in Canada though but it does say she is returning home to Cranbrook on her passenger form when she is returning home from Australia. It also says the last time she was through Quebec was in October of 1909 so I wonder where she is in 1911. I'll take a second look to see if I can locate her.

Godfrey worked as a trainman for the Canada Pacific Railway while in BC. I see a Godfrey F. Francis who is listed as a farmer in Dorset going to visit a friend in Michigan in 1906. He is 18 at the time which would make him the right age. On the 1911 census it looks as though he is listed as a jeweller but the writing is difficult to read.

John Longman died in Cranbrook February 19, 1927 following amputation of his leg for gangrene.
Godfrey died July 30, 1953 in St. Eugene Hospital, Cranbrook. He died of carcinomatosis caused by cancer of the stomach.

Godfrey had son John Henry Rumsey born October 5, 1925 in Cranbrook.
John Henry had John Rumsey April 3, 1962 in New Westminster, BC.
John had my grandson Jacob Douglas Rumsey November 21, 1993 in Maple Ridge, BC

Many thanks to Janis !

Entry return from Australia to Canada 1920

Entry return from Australia to Canada 1920