This is my maternal Grandmother, Pretoria May Adams. She was born in 1901 in Crockenhill, Kent. I have had great fun trying to trace her and it wasn’t until my Aunt contacted one of her cousins and she sent me a copy of Pretoria’s birth certificate that I was able to locate her.
Pretoria’s birth was registered under her mother’s name of Hill, not Adams as her family had always known her.
During Pretoria’s childhood she spent some time in Manor Gate Children’s’ Home (at least twice to my knowledge) along with her younger siblings and mother. This home was associated with the Dartford Union Workhouse, Kent. The family went into the workhouse possibly because Sarah (their mother) could not find work and the final time was because Sarah was very ill and couldn’t look after the family. Sadly, Sarah died within a few months of entering the workhouse, along with Pretoria’s youngest sister, Emily (aged just 17 months).
In my searches for information about Pretoria and her life, I have discovered her younger sister Emily, as mentioned above, and another sister Maude Evans Adams. Pretoria’s children were unaware of these two younger sibling of their mother and I am trying to find out what happened to Maude.
Not much is known about Pretoria from her time in the children’s home, as she did not talk to her family about it, but I guess she was put into service as soon as she was old enough. I do know she came to work at Grafton Manor, Grafton Regis as a children’s nurse. This would be where she met my Grandfather, Ernest Solomon Gascoyne.
Pretoria and Ernest married in Grafton Regis in 1926 and had 6 children over the next fourteen years’.
Both my grandparents were involved with the local British Legion and I believe they helped set up their local branches.
The family lived in the local area on the Northamptonshire & Buckinghamshire borders where most of their family still live.
In 1961 Pretoria was admitted to the Renny Lodge Nursing home in Newport Pagnell, where she died.