Family History


Born: 1845 Harting

Father: (see Note 1)

Mother: Sally (Sarah)Tullett

Baptised: 14/11/1845 Harting

Married: 7/11/1868 Harting (see Note 2)

Spouse: Georgina Prior

Baptised: 27/9/1846 Harting

Mother: Charlotte Prior. (see Note 3)

Children: Georgina Tulett b 1869 Harting (see Note 4)

Ernest William Tulett b 1871 Harting (see Note 5)

Cornelius Kemp Tulett b 1875 Harting (see Note 6)

Alma Shier Tulett b 1878 Harting (see Note 7)

Ethel Jessie Tulett b 1884 Harting (see Note 8)

1861 census: Residing with William & Sally Shier Foxcomb, Harting. Occupation: under carter

1881: residence: Pads wood, Harting. Occupation: Assistant deer keeper

1891 census: residing Lye Common, Up Marden. Occupation: gamekeeper

1901: residence: Lye Common, Upper Marden Occupation: gamekeeper. Grand-daughter Ella J Tildesley b 1895 Portsmouth living with them

Note 1: Sally Tullett married William Shier 25/4/1846 in Harting

Note 2: No fathers given on marriage certificate. His residence given as Foxcombe West Harting. Witnessed by John and Mary Ann Pook. She signed, he and the witnesses made their marks.

Note 3: Charlotte Prior bapt 28/8/1825 Harting daughter of William & Lucy Prior

Note 4: Georgina Shier bapt 5/9/1869 Harting birth registered as and baptised as Georgina Tulett. Married 1894 Portsea district as Emily Georgina Shier. Spouse Alfred William Tildesley b 1865 Willenhall, Staffs. Children: Ella Jessie C Tildesley born 1895 Portsmouth; Harold William J Tildesley b 1896 Portsmouth.

1901 census: 14 Kassassin St, Portsmouth. Occupation: Sergt RM Artillery

Note 5: Ernest William Shier birth registered as Tulett and baptised 28/1/1872 as Tulitt. Married 1897 Westbourne district as Shier. Spouse Caroline Warrington b 1878 Stoughton. Daughter of Thomas and Eliza Warrington. Children: Georgina Caroline Shier b 1898 Portsmouth; William E Shier b 1901 East Meon

1891census: lodger Henbury, Kingsweston, Gloucesteshire. Occupation: agricultural labourer

1901 census: residing East Meon Hants Occupation: gamekeeper

Note 6: Cornelius Shier born 1875 Harting birth registered as Cornelius Kemp Tulett. Married 1895 Portsea Island district as Cornelius Shier. Spouse: Amy Trent b 1870 Burton, Dorsetshire. Baptised 31/10/1869 Winfrith Newburgh daughter of Edward and Ann Trent. Children: William Edward Shier b 1895 Eastney, Hants; Charles Cyril Shier b 1897 Eastney, Hants, Eustace Claude Shier b 1900 Bersted, Sussex; Alfred Seymour Shier b 1900 Bersted, Sussex

1891 census: Residing with parents. Occupation: gamekeeperís assistant

1901 census: Residing Elbridge, North Bersted. Occupation: Groom

Note 7: Alma Shier birth registered as Alma Shier Tulett bapt 16/10/1878 (from Pads wood) as Alma Shier. Died 1878 Midhurst district 0 years. Death registered as Alma Shier Tullet

Note 8: Ethel Shier birth registered as Ethel Jessie Tulett bapt 1/6/1884 Harting as Ethel Lizzie Shier. Recorded on census returns as Ethel J. Married 1917 Portsmouth district Charles G Jakes



Updating the records of two relatives made me think of two issues very relevant to family historians; changing of surnames and its implications for tracing relatives and illegitimacy. I can see that family historians many years ahead will have a problem tracing many people alive today, particularly the younger generation. Many children are now born out of wedlock - do they take the mother's or fatherís name? If parents split up and mother remarries or has a new partner the name is often changed again. Working with teenagers I know that it is not uncommon for a young person of 16 or older to revert to a surname of their choosing. This is not a new situation however. On 7/11/1868 in Harting parish church WILLIAM SHIER TULLIT married GEORGINA PRIOR. Neither gave the name of a father for the marriage certificate as they were both born out of wedlock. William was baptised in Harting 14/11/ 1845 the son of SARAH TULETT and Georgina was baptised in Harting 27/9/1846 the daughter of CHARLOTTE PRIOR. As William was given the middle name Shier one could assume that his father was probably a Shier and indeed on 25/4/1846 Sally Tulett married WILLIAM SHIER. (However this does leave us with the question of why William Shier wasnít given as father?)

What sort of lives would young William and Georgina have had being born illegitimate. I strongly feel the idea of a pregnant girl being thrown into the streets by family is not accurate, at least for most working class people, town and rural , well into the second half of the 19th century. No doubt it did happen but I have come across numerous examples in mine and my husbandís family where illegitimate children were brought up by the mother or her family. Of course that is not to say the child might not have suffered from a stigma, especially when attitudes seemed to harden as the century went on or that the child might not have been ill-treated by a step-parent. If only our ancestors could speak!

As Iíve already said Williamís parents married shortly after his birth. Most family historians are used to a lot of rural girls not getting married until many months pregnant. I understand that well into the 19th century it could be quite the norm for couples who had an understanding not to tie the knot until a baby was definitely on the way. It is not surprising there are cases where baby arrived prematurely or for financial/housing reasons the marriage took place after the birth. On the 1851 census William is living with his maternal grandparents GEORGE and SARAH TULLET. This was probably a temporary stay as his mother may have just given birth to a daughter Ellen baptised 25/5/1851, or was waiting for the birth. Ten years later William was recorded as Shier on the 1861 census return and was living with his parents and working as an under carter. The Ďunderí Iím sure was under his father who was a carter. By now he had surviving siblings Mary, George, James, Lucy and John.

Georginaís circumstances were somewhat different. Her mother never married and she spent her childhood with her mother at her grandparents William and Lucy Prior. For a time her uncles Harry Prior and George Prior and Aunt Ann also lived with them. On the 1861 census Charlotte is described as a nurse and she then becomes a laundress. An illegitimate child wasnít new to the family. Charlotteís mother Lucy had two sons as Lucy Scott before she married William Prior and the younger one Joseph Scott was living with Charlotte at the time of the 1871 census. On the wedding certificate Georgina was the only out of the bride, groom and witnesses (John and Mart Ann Pook) who could sign her name, so her mother must have seen she had some education. I like to think that as the only child in the family she was fussed over and cosseted. William on the other had come from a family with many mouths to feed.

William took up the career of gamekeeper. This is not surprising as many the Shier men in Harting were gamekeepers. Unfortunately I canít find them on the 1871 census, on the 1881 one they living in Pads Wood, now an SSI site. By 1891 they had moved to Lye Common, Up Marden, an adjoining parish and were there in 1901 with William continuing to work as a gamekeeper. On all the census records he gives the name Shier but if you try to find the births of any of the coupleís five children registered as Shier you will be unlucky as they were all registered as Tullet; GEORGINA 1869, ERNEST WILLIAM 1872, CORNELIUS KEMP 1875, ALMA SHIER 1878 and ETHEL JESSIE 1884. ALMA SHIER TULETTís death was registered under that name when she was less than a year old.

Turning to the baptism register in Harting Georgina is baptised as Georgina Tullit 5/9/69 and brother Ernest as Tullit 28/1/1872. I have no record of Corneliusís baptism but Alma and Ethel are both baptised with surnames Shier. A quick mention of first and second names. When she married in 1895 Georgina gave her names as Emily Georgina. Did she just like the Emily? Ethelís baptism record has her middle name as Lizzie although birth registration has her middle names as Jessica and census returns give her as Ethel J. Where did the Kemp come from for Corneliusís middle name? Could Georginaís father possibly have been a Kemp?

As the 19th century closed the family came to definitely adopt Shier as their surname and it was under this name that Georgina and Cornelius married in 1895, Ernest in 1897 and Ethel in 1917.

William died in 1921in Westbourne district (which included Up Marden) and Georgina followed in 1930 in Portsmouth. Three of their four surviving children had settled in Portsmouth. Both deaths were registered under the name Shier. Unless their children had cause to need a birth certificate they probably never realised their parents had been called Tullet. But for relatives these little confusions provide a lot of the fun of family history research Ė well for me anyway!