Rosalind Davies' Family History
© Rosalind Davies 2001
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Janet (Jenny) Riding 1889- 1915

my grandmother

Janet (Jenny) RIDING

Birth: 25 Nov 1889 at 25 Charles St, Lancaster UK i
Death: 22 Oct 1915 Scotforth, Lancaster UK viii
Burial: Scotforth Cemetery 27 Oct 1915 at 3 pm; section C #221 at a cost of 17 shillings
Occupation: home duties
Religion: Church of England
Father: William RIDING (1856-1907)
Mother: Sarah Ann ROBINSON (1853-1914)

Her husband

Birth: 20 Nov 1889 4 Back George St, Lancaster UK i
Death: 27 Dec 1971 Kaloola Nursing Home, Harris Park, NSW viii
Burial: 30 Dec 1971 cremated, Rookwood NSW
Occupation: labourer/ foreman
Religion: Baptist
Father ; John DAVIES (1863-1938)
Mother: Sarah LEWIS (1864-1938) both of Llanidloes prish, Wales

Marriage: 11 Apr 1914 at St Pauls, Scotforth, UK
Child: Wilfred (1915-1998)

This lovely of postcard of Jenny aged 10 months was kindly given to me by my second cousin, Mrs. June Coulson.

My grandmother, Jenny Riding was born on 25th November 1889 at 25 Charles Street, Scotforth, Lancaster. i. She was christened Janet after her maternal step- grandmother, Janet Robinson. Her father was William Riding and her mother was Sarah Anne Robinson; she was one of eleven children who were born and raised in that small terraced house in Charles Street.

Jenny as a child

Jenny had three older sisters and two older brothers to help raise her whilst her mother was busy with the younger children. When she was 12 years old she attended Westham Street Wesleyan Band of Hope and won a book prize titled "Pictures and Stories of Natural History- Wild Animals with Illustrations" . (Probably similar to Sunday School.)

Sunday School Book Inscription

Whilst her father, William, was a very strict, the family was a happy one. He would often send the girls outside if they giggled too much at the table but would bring them back in later to finish their meal. ii Her father died of heart disease when she was 18 years old. iii





Tommy Davies
When she was 22 years old she wrote the following post card to her eldest sister Maggie, who was 'in service' with the Cardwell family in Maidstone, Kent. iv It was her Christmas card for 1911 and on the front was a studio portrait of her boy friend Tom Davies.

"My Dear Maggie, Just to wish you a Merry Xmas & a very Happy New Year. How do you like my Christmas card. Well I suppose Janet & Ted will have set sail by now. Alice is with us- came on Thursday night. Bill is coming today. Tom has bought me a writing case for Christmas. I have bought Mother a cup for the bedroom & a box of chocolates which I will give her on Xmas day. Did you know Ria Clark gets married on Sunday."

Much love,
Jenny xxxxx
Tommy's birthday entry in jenny's diary
She recorded Tommy's birthday in her diary.
The people mentioned in the postcard were her brother Ted (Edison) who sailed out to Australia on the same ship as Janet Smith who was engaged to marry Gordon Riding, another brother. v Alice was an older sister who had recently married Bill Clark. vi
Lancaster Castle

Another postcard was written to Janette Riding on 24th July 1913; this time she and Gordon were living in Kensington, Adelaide. On the front is a picture of Lake & New Bridge, Williamson Park, Lancaster.

Dearest Janetta,
Thank you for your card. Adelaide seems to be a nice place. You will be quite settled down & never time to feel lonely now that you have got baby. Sorry Gordon does not keep in regular work. A pity he couldn't learn walling. I wonder what football team Tom Davies will join next year. Greaves sometimes have given up. Mother is feeling slightly better again this week & the rest of us are quite well. I do wish Mother could get alright. She has to have egg etc whether they are expensive or not & it cost her four & six shillings a week for medicine. She never gets a chance to have a hapenny before her & it makes her get low-spirited at times. I am going to take her to Morecombe on August Monday if the weather is alright & she is fit to go. Lord Ashton is going to build another mill, Janet, a cotton mill. About time something was done to brisk Lancaster up. With love to baby Gordon & yourself.
Jenny xxx"

In another postcard (above)written on August 18th 1912, Jenny writes to her sister-in-law, Janet Riding in Murray Bridge South Australia who had sailed out to marry Gordon.
Belvidere, Greaves

Dear Janet,
Thank you for the PC (postcard) you sent me of Murray Bridge. It is a bigger place than I thought it was. Hope you are all quite well. Mother is keeping alright. We are having rotten weather. We had a letter from Ted this week & thank him for the money. The money has come regularly since you went out, as have also the letters. We are all in the pink. The Terriors got back alright last week. Next week I will send Ted a PC of a Territorial group. There may be some of his friends on it. Don't you think this a good photo of the old Castle that your house is called after." (See below)
"Your loving sister,
Jenny xxx

Jenny in 1914

Jenny in 1913.

She used this postcard portrait as her Christmas Card.

On the 11th April 1914 Jenny married Tom Davies at St Paul's Church of England, Scotforth (photo right) . Her sister Lilian and bridesmaid and Tom's brother John was best man. Unfortunately, her mother died just two days later of cancer of the bladder. She was 60 years old. vii The wedding was probably low key because of her impending death.


St. Paul's Parish Church, Scotforth
Postcar dto Fred Shaw Another postcard from Jenny, written on December 23rd 1914, was to Fred Shaw wishing him a happy Christmas. Fred married her younger sister Lilian in the following February. The photo of Jenny on the front of the postcard must have been taken a few months previously because in January 1915, she gave birth to Wilfred.


After their marriage, Tom and Jenny moved into the house across the street from her parents and it was here on 15th January 1915 that their son, Wilfred was born.viii By that time Tom was overseas in France during World War 1 but was given leave to come home and see his son.

Tom, Jenny & baby Wilfred
According to her sister Maggie, Jenny often visited Tom whilst he was still in England doing his basic training. Accommodation was scarce and not of a good standard. Maggie blames damp sheets as the reason for Jenny contracting tuberculosis. It was a rapid form of TB and when her baby was just nine months old, Jenny died. Tom was given leave to return home to bury her in Scotforth Cemetery. She is buried with her parents but not mentioned on the gravestone.

She was 25 years old.


i. Birth certificate
ii Oral- Margery Brown, daughter of Lilian Riding
iii. Death Certificate of William Riding
iv. Oral- Lena Huntington
v . June Riding's Family History research
vi . General Register of Marriages
vii. Death certificate of Sarah Riding
viii. Death certificate


Jenny's Birth Certificate 1889
Jenny's Birth Certificate
Jenny and Tom's Marriage Certificate 1914
Tom & Jenny's Marriage Certificate
Jenny's Death Certificate 1915
Jenny's Death Certificate


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Ros Davies