Every now and them when researching family history you come across a real gem.  Joseph Groves my great uncle x 3 as we have seen was a great sportsman and briefly in his obituary there is a mention to the six days 'go as you please' race held at the Royal Agricultural Hall in London.  So imagine my surprise and delight when I was given information by Derek Williams from Oswestry Library that I could actually follow the progress of this race by looking it up in the Times online archives. (Link to follow)

Under the heading of 'Sporting Intelligence', Pedestrianism coverage of the race was covered 19th March 1878 to the 25th March 1878 although I could not find an article for the 24th March 1878.

So first of all what was Pedestrianism as the title would suggest it was a running or walking race were the competitors on foot and without any help aimed to cover the most distance.  The six day race held in March 1878 was for the competitors to cover the distance for six days and night with the aim of becoming the champion pedestrian of the world.  (More details to follow)

Anne Thomas

Anne Thomas was the wife of Joseph Groves and my Gt Grandmother x 3.  She was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Thomas as far as I am aware she had five brothers and one sister.  There may have been other siblings because their is no record of William and Elizabeth's marriage in Churchstoke after 1813.  Although they may of married elsewhere.

Anne's father William's occupation was shown on her marriage certificate as that of Innkeeper.  However, he was a stone mason at that time, it was more than possible that people would have two occupations.

The following Baptisms for the Thomas family took place at the Parish Church Churchstoke:

John 5th November 1814

William 20th October 1816

Thomas 6th February 1820

Harriett 10th June

Anne 25th August 1825

George 15th March 1828

Edward 1st April 1832

1841 Census Old Churchstoke

William Thomas at that time age 50 a Mason by occupation and born in Montgomeryshire.  Elizabeth his wife then aged 40, Ann aged 15, George aged 10 and edward aged 8.

1851 Census for Old Churchstoke

William aged 65, Stone Mason. Elizabeth aged 50

1861 Census Alldress Churchstoke

It would appear that Elizabeth had died and William was now living with his son and grandson. John a widower aged 47 and a farmer.  William, widower aged, 74 and John grandson aged 11 scholar.

I would like to thank P B Evans Librarian for the Montgomeryshire Genealogical Society for the above information.  I had  been thrown by William's occupation on Anne's marriage certificate and this information has opened new avenues of research.


By 1901 Joseph Hanley had married Ada M  Richards from Whittington they where living at (to follow) he was aged 23 his occupation Fellmonger.  A Fellmonger is someone who separates the wool from pelts. Ada then aged 22 had given birth to a little girl Mary Susan Groves c1900 then aged 1.

They also had the following children:

Doris Gertrude cMar 1903 died 27th June 1970

Joseph Henry June 1906

John Rees c1909

Thomas E c1911

Annie c1913

1911 Census for England

On the 1911 census Joseph was aged 33 his middle name given as Henry and his occupation House Painter, Workman.  He and Ada May had been married 12 years and she was aged 33, they had 4 children living at home with them as 1 Evans Cottages, Middleton Road, Oswestry.

Their children at that time were Mary Susan aged 11, Doris Gertrude aged 8, Joseph Henry aged 5 and John Reis aged 1, the three eldest children were all at school.

It looks as if Joseph followed in his father's footsteps and became a House Painter.  Joseph died 21st June 1957 and his wife Ada died 6th February 1951.  As far as I am aware they both died in Oswestry.


Groves family pages under reconstruction.


WELCOME TO THE GROVES FAMILY FROM 1845 - 1975 my maternal side

The reason for splitting the Groves family in to two seperate web pages is that the pages were becoming to long to navigate.  I suspect I was also running out of space as at the time of setting up this page I still have a lot of information to add.  By splitting the family in to two pages gives me the opportunity also to research the female generations and I have started with Anne Thomas in the right hand column.  Anne was Joseph Groves's wife and therefore my gt grandmother x 3.  Although I have stopped at 1975 I am a 9th generation Groves.

My direct line

William Groves died 1798

Samuel Groves c1752 - 8th October 1829

William Groves c1780 - 22nd November 1838

Joseph Groves baptised 11th April 1825 - 22nd September 1866

William Groves baptised 2nd September 1849 - 10th March 1927

Mary Jane Groves 11th January 1882 - 12th June 1975 my Grandmother


JOSEPH GROVES 1825 - 1866

Joseph Groves was the 13th child of William and Anne Groves (nee Hotchkiss).  He was born at Chirbury and baptised at Chirbury on the 11th April 1825.  On the baptism records Joseph's father William was a farmer and their address given as Timberth.


Photography was invented by Joseph Nicephore Niepce.

At Chatterton, near Ramsbottom, 60th Rifle Corps shot six Luddite rioters.

Power looms caused starving out-of-work-men to riot and break looms in Lancashire.



Joseph married Anne Thomas on 6th February 1845 by Licence at the Parish Church Churchstoke. His profession shown as Grocer and his father's name was William Groves, profession Farmer.  Anne born at Church Stoke in 1826 listed as a Drape Maker at the time of her marriage she lived at Old Churchstoke, her father William Thomas was an Innkeeper.  Witnesses were John Thomas and Mary Maria Thomas.  There is no address for either Joseph or Ann on their marriage certificate.  I have not been able to find out which Inn Ann's father had, neither have I been able to trace the witnesses at their wedding.  However, from the information received through the librarian at MGS I have since discovered that Ann's father was actually a stonemason.  When Joseph and Ann married their age given was that of "Minors" that means, at that time, they would have been under 21 and would both have needed their parents consent. 

For details on Anne Thomas's family go to the right hand column.

As far as I can tell, they had eight children.   William c1849 was my Nan's father, he was baptised at Churchstoke 2nd September 1849, his father at that time was shown as a shopkeeper.  Alice Ann born 6th June 1851 at Churchstoke her birth registered by her father on 3rd July 1851, at that time her fathers occupation was shown as ------ & Grocer, the writing is so small I need to get a magnifying glass.  There is no address on Alice’s birth certificate.  The other children where Joseph (1853), Robert (1856), Samuel (Qtr 1 1857), Agnes (1860).   Margaret was born 19th September 1862 and was baptised on the 9th October 1862.  Her father Joseph was described on the baptism record as a Provision dealer and their address was St. Michael's Street, Shrewsbury.   Harriett was born 7th November 1864 and she was baptised 8th December 1864 in the Parish of St Michael Shrewsbury.  The family address then was Wrekin Terrace, Shrewsbury which was also in the Parish of St. Michael's.  Alice Ann and all the boys where born in Church Stoke, however, apart from the 1841 census for Wales, which Joseph appears on all the other census forms the family, lived in Shropshire.   The question being did Ann go home to her parents to have her children?  If so why?  Or did the family have a second home in Churchstoke maybe above the shop were Joseph worked because it would appear that he worked in Church Stoke for a few years

1851 Census England

The 1851 census for England shows us that Joseph aged 25 and Ann also aged 25 are living in the Civil Parish of Churchstoke and the Ecclesiastical Parish of Middleton.  It is interesting because the County given is Shropshire however; both the Registration and Sub Registration districts are given as Montgomeryshire.  Therefore, they appear on the English census and not the Welsh census.  At that time, Joseph and Ann have one son William aged 1.  Also interesting to note is that Joseph and Ann married in 1845 and it almost seems inconceivable at that time that William was their first-born.  Joseph's occupation was that of a Draper and later on his son's William's marriage certificate he was shown as Master Draper.  In Ann's obituary, Joseph was shown as late of Top Shop, Churchstoke.  The family fortunes must have been good as they employed three servants.  This would confirm some of the information that my Nan told me.  The 3 servants were Edward Smith aged 16, servant, Anne Blockley aged 21, house servant and Edward Williams aged 16 Errand Boy.

There is a discrepancy in details for the three girls that were born to Joseph and Ann.  Agnes was born in Pulverbatch, Margaret and Harriett where born in Shrewsbury but some census records show Harriett as being born in Shrewsbury and some in Oswestry. 


The population of Manchester reached 455,000

1861 Census England

On the 1861 census, Joseph then aged 36, describes himself as a farmer employing two men; he also employed one female domestic servant.  The address on the census shown as 'Bank'.  Ann aged, 35 and the following children living at home William aged 11, Alice Ann aged 9, Joseph aged 8, Robert aged 5, Samuel aged 4, Agnes aged 1 her birth given as Ratlinghope.  However, this address does not tie in with the details that were given on Margaret's baptism record in 1862 as their address was give as St Michael Street, Shrewsbury and Joseph's occupation given as Provision dealer.  Also when Harriett was baptised in 1864 the family were living in Wrekin Terrace, Shrewsbury and then Joseph's occupation was a Farmer.  For whatever reason the family moved between December 1864 and September 1866 to Oswestry.  At this time none of us know why?

Joseph died in 'the district' of Oswestry aged 42 on 22nd September 1866 at Gas Works Cottage, Oswestry.  His occupation shown as 'Agent' to Canal Company.  Present at his death was Charles Walker of Springfield Gardens, Shrewsbury.  The cause of death was Phthisis (TB) and Exhaustion.  Joseph's death registered on the 24th September 1866.  Unfortunately I can not find were Joseph is buried it is not in Oswestry.  From Ann's obituary in the Advertizer dated 16th March 1898, she was shown to be the widow of Mr. J. Groves late of Top Shop, Churchstoke.

There is no indication as to how or why the family arrived in Oswestry although I assume it was work related. 

The map below shows The Bank Farm.   My thanks to Mike a member of the Shropshire Family History Society who provided me with the following information.   'If you look at the 1861 census entries immediately before Bank (Westcott and Hunters Cottage) and those after (Stitt) this fits with my assumption'



1871 Census England

The 1871 English Census shows Anne Groves (Ann) as 'Head' of the family (41).  The family lived at 7 Duke Street, Oswestry her occupation Laundress.  William aged (22) was a Freeman working for the Cambrian Railway, Joseph (17) a Coach Painter, Robert (15) a Page Boy, Samuel (14) an Errand Boy.  The three youngest girls were in school; this was unusual at that time because education did not become free until 1891.  It is possible they will have been in a Church School where a board paid the fees, or they attended a private school but who would have paid those fees?  We do know that the Groves family had money but the story goes that they lost most of it. 

Alice Ann did not show up on the 1871 census living with her family she would have been 19 and I could not find her living anywhere else.    I did not find her again until 1883 when I found her marriage details.


Rugby Football Union was formed

1881 Census England

On the 1881 census five of the family where living at 7 Duke Street.  Anne was 'Head' (55) no occupation listed, Robert (25) occupation Barman (Inn Servant), Samuel (21) Footman (Dom), Margaret (18) General Domestic Servant and Harriett (14)  a Scholar.  This again was unusual for girl to be at school at fourteen.  Although I do remember my Nan telling me that all the girls in her family received, an education and this gave her such pride.  On the 1881 census, Harriett's birthplace listed as Oswestry.  At that time Oswestry was known as Oswestry Town.  Their son Joseph Groves had left home and married.  Joseph Groves has turned out to be quite a surprise details below. 

1891 Census England

Anne Groves was 66 on the 1891 census and described as 'living on her own means'.  This raises the following questions where did her money come from?  Was she left money by her own family?  Did she have money left by her husband or his family? 



William Groves eldest child as far as I am aware of Joseph and Ann Groves (nee Thomas).  He married on 21st February 1880  Elizabeth Jones.  William aged 30 and a Bachelor, I believe upset the family with his marriage.  Elizabeth Jones aged 30 was a Widow with a son it was not considered appropriate for William.  On their marriage certificate, William's occupation listed as Railway Engine Driver and his address given as 7 Gate Street, Oswestry.  His father Joseph (deceased) occupation Master Draper so discrepancies here from Joseph's death certificate as he was listed as Agent.  Elizabeth's address was given as 1 Parry's Building Castle Street, Oswestry, her father was John Batten (deceased), Journeyman Skinner.  The Battens were all Skinners but that is a tale for another day.  William and Elizabeth where married at The Primitive Methodist Chapel by Certificate.  The witnesses were John McKay and Jane Batten who signed with her mark. 

1881 Census

As far as I can find out Elizabeth was widowed at the age of 27, her son Thomas J Jones was born in Oswestry c1876 and listed on the 1881 census as Stepson to William. Thomas was 5 years old and a Scholar.  William's occupation listed as Stationery Engine Driver.  John R Groves born c1881 my Nan’s big brother.  At the time of the 1881 census, the family lived at 8 Chapel Street, Oswestry Town.  My Nan was born on 11th January 1882 at 8 Parry's Buildings her father registered her birth on 14th February 1882 and his occupation Labourer at Railway Works.  Her mother was shown as Elizabeth Groves late Jones formerly Batten.  My grandmother was named Mary Jane apparently after a daughter her mother Elizabeth had in her first marriage.  The little girl died very young she is possibly buried at Birkenhead.  As the name, Mary Jane Jones was such a common name at that time it is virtually impossible to trace.

1891 Census

Joseph Edward Groves the third child of William and Elizabeth born about 1888 and aged three on the 1891 census.  The family at that time lived as 8 Cripplegate.  There is a discrepancy here in the address. For some reason the 1891 census is not complete therefore the information is not 100% accurate. 

William aged 41 and described as a Fitters Labourer.  Thomas aged 17 worked as a General Labourer, Robert aged 10, and my Nan aged nine where at school.  On this census, the name John had been dropped for Robert and he eventually was known as Bob.  Both Joseph and Bob called my Nan Cissy.

March 1883 would have brought sadness to the Groves family, as Robert Groves (William's) brother died aged 27.

1901 Census

In 1901 William and Elizabeth Groves where living with their family in Lorne Street.  William aged 51, described as a Labourer on the Railway.  Elizabeth also 51 did not work.  Thomas aged 27 had become a Joiner/Carpenter.  Robert was working as an Ironmonger's Apprentice aged 20.  My Nan aged 19, a Shop Assistant and Joseph Edward aged 13 with no occupation but not listed as being in school.


The game of Ping Pong was invented

Edward V11 was King of Great Britain and Ireland 1901-1910

William lived to the age of 77 in later years his occupation was shown as Carriage Examiner.  He died at 23 Lorne Street on the 10th March 1927.  Source: Register No: 8/64/10401.  

Elizabeth is buried with her husband she was aged 80 when she died on the 2nd February 1929 at 23 Lorne Street.  Source: Register No: 8/77/10669.

Every now and then in family history you will come across some dark secret or information that totally surprises you and yet sometimes it explains were an interest in alternative thought and behaviour comes from.  In December 2008 I finally got round to sending for obituaries of the Groves family and they held quite a few surprises.  In the case of my gt grandfather x 4 Joseph Groves it told me were he worked in Churchstoke a fact that had eluded me for a long time.  In the case of Joe Groves my gt uncle x 3 it told me how much work he did for Oswestry and what a great sportsman he was.  However, the biggest surprise was with my gt grandfather William Groves was a member of The Society of the Perseverance Lodge of Druids. Never once in all the stories I had heard about the past had this been mentioned.

This is the Obituary for William Groves taken from The Oswestry Advertizer 16th March 1927 page 12 column 3.

The Late Mr. Wm Groves, Oswestry

The death occurred on Monday week at the age of 77, at his home, 23 Lorne Street, Oswestry, of Mr. William Groves, after only a brief illness.  Deceased was born at Churchstoke, and came to Oswestry sixty years ago, being employed by the late Cambrian Railway Company for over forty years.  He leaves a widow, two sons, and one daughter (my nan) to mourn their loss, and to them the sympathy of a wide circle of friends goes out in their bereavement.  The funeral took place on Thursday at the Oswestry Cemetery, the service at the Parish Church and the graveside being conducted by the Rev. L.E. Meredith, senior curate.  The mourners were:  Mr. Bob Groves (son) Mrs. W. Francis (daughter), Mr. Joe Groves, Hyde (son), Mr. Joe Groves, Oswestry and Mr. Samuel Groves, Abermule (brothers), the Misses Peggy (Margaret), Agnes and Harriett Groves (sisters), Mrs. Bob Groves (daughter-in-law), Mrs. Joe Groves (sister-in-law), Mr. Joe Groves, senr., Mr. Joe Groves, junr., Mr. J.H. Jones, Mr. E. Jones, Mr. J Hanmer (nephews), Master Jack Griffiths (grandson).

The article then went on to list the bearers, members of the Perseverance Lodge of Druids and the general public.

Wreaths were sent by the family and friends with a wreath from Mrs. Morris and family from The Five Bells Hotel.  The latter tell us were he used to go for a drink.

My thanks to Derek and his team of volunteers at Oswestry library for supplying me with this information.


The Groves family who lived in Oswestry are all buried in Oswestry cemetery near to the Chapel.   My mum remembers as a child of being taken to see the graves by her sisters and I vaguely remember also on summer afternoons visiting Oswestry Cemetery with my Auntie Connie.  I would place flowers on the graves and my job was to fill the watering can and fill up the vases, I would miss and the water would go all over my shoes.




Ann Groves lived until she was 73 and died on the 11th March 1898 at 7 Duke Street.  Source: Register No: 5/50/5308 

The obituary for Ann Groves was printed in The Oswestry Advertizer dated 16th March 1898 and reads:

THE LATE MRS. GROVES - The death took place yesterday week at 14, Duke Street, of Mrs. Ann Groves, widow of the late Mr. J. Groves, late of the Top Shop, Churchstoke, at the age of 73.  Mrs. Groves had been a resident in Oswestry for upwards of thirty years.  The funeral, which was largely attended, took place on Friday, the remains being interred in the Cemetery.  Note that the address given in this article is 14 Duke Street and on the census documents it is 7.  Did Ann move or were the houses renumbered?

Among those present were:- The Rev. T. Redfern, W. Jones, T.E. Jones, and J Preece, &c.  The first part of the service was conducted at Holy Trinity Church, and the second part at the grave by Rev. T. Redfern.

No other mention of family and friends and therefore I have to assume they were there as the funeral "was largely attended."

My thanks to Derek and his team of volunteers at Oswestry library for providing me with this information.

The lives of Joseph and Anne's (nee Thomas) children and William's brothers and sisters are as follows:

Alice Ann (nee Groves) and Edward Owen

Alice Ann as far as I am aware was the eldest daughter on Joseph and Ann Groves (nee Thomas) and was born on the 6th June 1851 at Church Stoke.  She appeared on the 1851 and 1861 census living at home with her family but from the 1871 census until her marriage in 1883 I found no trace of her.  Do not know what happened to her in the meantime.  In December 1883, she married Edward Owen of Shrewsbury.  On the 1891 census, she and Edward were both aged 39 and lived at 81 Springfield Gardens.  Harriet Groves is listed on this census as sister-in-law, occupation Domestic Companion aged 25.  Alice Ann and Edward had a son Robert Norton Groves Owen born in 1884. 

On the 1891 census, Robert was living with his Grandma Anne at 7 Duke Street.  This was probably only a stopover but had to be shown as it was taken on the night of the census. 

On the 1901 census, Alice Ann and Edward were both 49.  Edward's occupation given as Local Contractor-Sanitary Inspector.  Robert was 16 and his occupation given as Office Boy (part time).  By this time, Margaret (40) and Harriett (38) were both living with their sister Alice Ann and brother-in-law Edward their occupations givens as Housemaid (Dom) and General Servant (Dom).  I know in later years my Nan use to visit Robert in Shrewsbury a lot not only were they cousins but I believe they where brought up together and were very close.  Robert was known as Bob and even I remember tales of uncle Bob, my mum says I should remember him but it is all rather vague.


Joseph (known as Joe) was the third son of Joseph and Ann Groves (nee Thomas).  Normally when I do my family research I only follow a direct line however there is so much information on Joe Groves that I decided to add this line to my web page.  Joe Groves was my Gt Gt Gt uncle.  Born 1853 at Churchstoke Montgomeryshire the third son of Joseph and Ann although born in Churchstoke the family lived at Ratlinghope Shropshire until approximately 1864.  They then moved to Oswestry not sure why and in 1866 his father died.  Life must have been quite tough for them.

Until I got hold of a copy of Joe's obituary which you will find if you scroll down this page I had no idea what a sportsman he was.  On Whit-Tuesday, June 6th 1876 Joe took part in the Wenlock Olympian Society 26th Annual Festival at Much Wenlock.  The Wenlock Olympian Society have sent me photocopies of the days events.  My thanks to Peter and Chris for all their help.  Below is a photocopy of the front page of this event.



A 5.15 p.m. Joe took part in the One Mile Hurdle Race their were 12 other competitors and Joe was running in a red and white strip for the C.E.Y.M.S. (Church of England Young Mens Society).  No idea how he got on in this race.  Joe also took part in the One Mile Flat Race at 5.45 p.m. again no idea at this stage how he got on.  At 6.00 p.m. Joe took part in the Half-Mile Flat race which he won.  In the write up by the Wenlock Olympian Society it read:  Half Mile Flat Race. - J.H. Groves, C.E.Y.M.S., 1st;  J.J. Bateman, B.A.C., 2nd; G. Westbrook (ketley), 3rd.  Seven ran, in a well contested race.  However, the program shows that there were 19 competitors listed.  In the program Joe is shown as J.H. Groves, I am assming the 'H' stands for Hanley because his son was also Joseph Hanley Groves.  At this time I do not know what the signifigance is of the name Hanley.

As I have already said I did know that Joe had won a race which I discovered when I read a copy of his obituary in the Advertizer.  However I did not realise the importance of this until I saw The One Show on the B.B.C. on 6th June 2008 when the B.B.C. covered the Wenlock Olympian Society.  For further details on the Wenlock Olympian Society go to

Joe also took part in the Pedestiranism event at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington between 19th-25th March 1878 detail of which you will find on the top right hand column of this page.

Joseph married Mary Daniels in Qtr 2 1877 at Oswestry.  Source: GRO Vol 6a, Page 1299.  As a family they first appeared on the 1881  census for England living at the Pistyll in the Parish of St Oswald, Oswestry Town.  Joseph's occupation then a Coach Painter aged 27.  Mary then aged 24 had given birth to 2 children Joseph Hanley Groves then aged 3 and Mary Groves then aged 1.  Source: RG11/2658.

In the 1891 census they were still living at the Pistyll.  Joseph aged 37 working on his 'Own Account' as a Coach Painter.  The family had grown Mary then aged 34 had given birth to another three children by this time Joseph and Mary had five children.  Source: RG12/2116.

Joseph Hanley aged 13 - Scholar

Mary aged 11 - Scholar

Annie aged 9 - Scholar born 24th 1981 Upper Brook Street

Lissie aged 6 - Scholar

Stanley aged seven months

The 1901 census shows quite a change of fortune for Joseph and Mary.  They had moved to 37 Upper Brook Street, Oswestry which was still part of St Oswald's parish however this would be a step up in terms of housing.  Joseph was still working on his 'Own Account' as a Coach painter.  Mary his wife also working on her 'Own Account' as a Dressmaker/Tailor and daughter Mary aged 21 also a Dressmaker working at home.  Joseph Hanley had left home married and had a child of his own.  Annie Groves aged 19 then Teacher - School.  

The 1901 census shows a child aged 10 named Hanley I think this is transcribed wrongly and should read Stanley.  Mary had also given birth to another child Agnes then aged 7.  Source: RG13/2545

Stanley Groves died Qtr 3 1908 aged 18.  Source: GRO Vol 6a, page 379

Annie Groves married William Morris Qtr 3 1915 at Oswestry.  Source Vol 6a, page 1756.

Joseph Groves' Family Grave


As you can see from the headstone Joseph, Mary and their daughter Mary who never married are buried in the same family grave. 

My thanks to Graham Lee for providing me with the  information on the Groves burials at Oswestry and the photographs of their graves.

Mary Groves the wife of Joseph Groves died aged 72 at 37 Upper Brook Street on March 16th 1928 her grave purchased for first interment buried with her is her husband Joseph and daughter Mary.  Source: Register No: 8/71/10539.

The obituary of Mary Groves was printed in the Oswestry Advertizer dated 21st March 1928 and reads:

The Late Mrs. Mary Groves Oswestry

The death occurred on Tuesday week of Mrs. Mary Groves wife of Mr. Joseph Groves.  The deepest sympathy is felt for the family in their bereavement and loss.  Mrs. Groves had been an employee of Messrs. R. and R. Hughes and Co. for 58 years and was held in high esteem.  The funeral took place on Friday at the Oswestry Cemetery.  The service at the Parish Church and graveside was taken by the Rev. Bertram Russell.  The hymn "Abide with Me" was sung.  A large number of friends had assembled at the church, including the staff from Messrs. R. and R. Hughes and Co.

The mourners were: the husband; Mr. J. Groves (son); Miss M. Groves (daughter), Mr. & Mrs. W. Morris, Shrewsbury (daughter and son-in-law), Mrs. T.B. Ceely, Hull (daughter), Mr. & Mrs. Len Jones (daughter and son-in-law), Miss Daniels (sister), Mr. D. Daniels (brother), Joe, Jack, Eric, May, Doris and Annie (grandchildren), Misses Agnes, Peggy, and Harriett Groves (sisters-in-law), Mr. Arthur Lewis, Rhos (nephew), Mrs. Francis, Oswestry, (niece), Mrs. R. Groves (niece), Councillor J. H. Profit and Mr. F. Bristow.

The obituary then went on to list members of the general public including representatives of the West Ward Conservative Association.  Wreaths too many to mention and included wreaths from the staff of R. & R. Hughes & Co; The Committee of the West Ward Association and her nieces and nephews of Ash Road.  The latter being my Nan and her family.

Joseph Groves died on the 8th October 1932 aged 79 he had been a painter since he was 17 until he retired.  He died at 37 Upper Brook Street.  Source: Register No: 8/108/11342.  

As I wrote earlier normally I only look at my direct family line however, there is  so much information on Joseph Groves that I felt it would be a shame not to include his life.

This article was taken from a photocopy of the Oswestry Advertizer dated 12th October 1932, page 16, column 3.

Much regret was felt in Oswestry neighbourhood last week, among sportsmen and others at the news of the death, which occurred on Wednesday morning of Mr. Joseph ("Joe") Groves, at 37 Upper Brook Street, Oswestry, his residence, after a long illness, at the age of 79.  Mr. Groves, who was a native of Churchstoke, Montgomeryshire, came to Oswestry as a youth, and had taken a prominent part in the life of the borough.  His wife, Mary Groves, died some four years ago, and he is survived by one son and four daughters.

By occupation Mr. Groves was a coach-painter and sign-writer, and up to his last illness his neatness and skill in sign-writing remained unimpaired, as he possessed a clever hand at his craft.  Mr. groves was an honorary life member of the Oswestry Conservative Club and in past days was a strong and active worker for the local Conservative cause, helping in many national political battles and in municipal contests.  He was a noted sportsman and all round athlete-football, running, cricket, swimming, bowls, and angling being among his chief recreations.  Mr. Groves was a former Chairman of Oswestry Amateur Swimming Club, and was member of the Oswestry football team which won the Shropshire Cup in season 1881-2 by defeating Shrewsbury Castle Blues in the final.  That was the first occasion upon which Oswestry won the County trophy, and one of his contemporaries was Mr. R.T. Gough, who is President of the Football Association of Wales.  An excellent runner on the track, Mr. Groves, on Whit-Tuesday, 1876, won the half-mile at Much Wenlock sports, held under the presidency of Mr. Cecil Weld Forester M.P.  In 1878, he completed in a six days' "go-as-you-please" competition (walking, running, etc.) at the Royal Agricultural Hall, London.  Even in his old age, the stalwart veteran showed his prowess by winning in 1930, the Harlech Bowls competition at the Oswestry Conservative Club.  Formerly he frequently acted as umpire for the Oswestry Cricket Club, and he was one of the keenest amateur fisherman in Oswestry district.  Frequently Mr. Groves acted as starter at local sports, especially at the Boys' Club sports, and he took a deep interest in the activities of the Club.  He was a registered coursing slipper and often acted in that capacity at local meetings such as Woodhouse, Chirk, Chirbury, etc.  In his earlier years Mr. Groves was a noted reciter, and his services were in great demand.  He was a life member of the "Philanthropic" Lodge of Oddfellows, Oswestry (M.U.), which lodge he joined in 1907.  Mr. Groves was a member of the Holy Trinity Church, Oswestry.  As a collector for charitable causes, Mr. Groves performed excellent work-among the institutions for which he collected being the Oswestry Cottage Hospital, the Prince of Wales' Fund, during the war, and St. Dunstan's Hostel for the Blind ex-Servicemen.  A man keenly interested in borough affairs, one of his last actions in that connection was the organisation of opposition to the closing, or diversion, of the public footpath leading through the Oswestry Boys' High School fields to St. Oswald’s Well, about two years ago.

To read about the Six days 'go as you please' competition see the top right hand column on this page.

THE FUNERAL of Joe Groves

The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon, the services at Holy Trinity Church, and at the graveside being conducted by the Vicar of Holy Trinity (the Rev. Eben. Evans).

The principal mourners were: Mr. and Mrs. J. Groves (son and daughter-in-law); Miss Groves (daughter); Mr. and Mrs. Morris, Shrewsbury (son-in-law and daughter); Mrs. Ceely, Hull, (daughter; Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Albert Road, son-in-law and daughter); Misses Agnes, Margaret and Harriet (sisters); Joe, Eric, May, Doris, Annie and Jessie (grandchildren); Mr. and Miss Daniels (brother-in-law and sister-in-law; Mr. Bob Groves nephew.

Also many other including members of the Philanthropic Lodge of Oddfellows, Oswestry Conservative Club, Police and Boys Club.

Details of wreaths to follow:

Mary Groves the daughter of Joseph and Mary never married and she is buried with her parents.  She died on the 30th June 1966 aged 86 years at Greenfields Hospital Morda Nr Oswestry.  Source: Register No: 10/130/16894.

I would like to thank Graham Lee of the Oswestry Burial Joint Committee for researching and supplying me with the dates and  source of the above deaths together with the photographs.  His research has helped fill in a lot of gaps and is very much appreciated.

Robert Groves was the fourth child of Joseph and Ann Groves (nee Thomas).  He died on the 8th March 1883 aged 27 at the time of his death he was living at 7 Duke Street and he had been working as a barman.  Robert's early death according to family stories is that in a drunken stupor one night he jumped on top of the roof of a train and fell off.  I do not know if the train was moving and although the accident did not kill him he died shortly afterwards.  What is interesting is that he died at home and there is no mention in the local papers of his death.  His grave was purchased for 1st Interment and his mother and sisters Agnes and Margaret are in the same grave.  Source Register No: 3/31/2691. 


Samuel Groves

Samuel Groves, William's youngest brother does not appear on the 1891 census for England, however, there is a Samuel Groves on the 1891 census for Wales.  As far as I can tell Samuel was born in the quarter of Jan/Feb/Mar 1857.  If I have the right one in 1901 Samuel is living at 1 Middle Mill Cottages, Llanmerewig with his wife Elizabeth and two daughters Lucy aged 7 and Elizabeth aged 4.  His occupation then a Coachman (not domestic).  From his brother William's obituary Samuel in March 1927 was living at Abermule. I have not followed through because I do not see this as a direct line. 

Agnes Groves

Agnes Groves, William's sister was in service in 1881 living at Victoria Parade, Oswestry Town working for the Whitfield family, Samuel Whitfield described as a Farmer of 34 acres.  In 1901, Agnes worked for the Ewart Family of Alport House, Whitchurch as a Housemaid (Domestic).  The lady of the house Mary Ewart described as 'living on her own means'.  She also employed three other servants.

Agnes Groves never married and lived until she was 75 she died at 44 Gate Street on the 13th January 1936.  Source:  Register No: 9/4/11844.

Margaret Groves

Margaret Groves never married and lived until she was 77 she died at 44 Gate Street on the 18th November 1939.  Source:  Register No: 9/35/12455.

The photograph below  is the bottom half of the family grave and is the only part that is still legible and shows Agnes and Margaret's names.


Harriett Groves

Page last updated 7th June 2009