Northiam is a village and civil parish in the Rother District of the administrative county of East Sussex, within historic Sussex, England. The village is located thirteen miles (21 km) north of Hastings in the valley of the River Rother. The main road that passes through it is the A28 which goes to Canterbury and Hastings.
Alice was one of my great-grandmothers. She was born on Christmas Eve 1878 to George and Emily (née Freeman), in Northiam, Sussex.
In 1881, the 2 year old Alice was living with her parents and older siblings, Samuel aged 7 and Lucy aged 3, at the Smith’s Shop in Northiam. Also in the household were 2 servants who worked for George and a mystery 8 year old girl, Alice Jenkins, listed as visitor.
By 1891, the family were living at Laurel House on Main Street, Northiam – visiting them was Emily A Freeman aged 24. I think she must be related to my great great grandmother, as Emily Coleman’s maiden name was Freeman, but I have as yet been unable to find the link.
In 1901, Alice had moved out of the family home, and was a live-in barmaid at the Royal Hotel in Hastings. I believe that it must have been at around this time that she met my great-grandfather John Goodwyn Jefferson, because they married the following year.
By 1911, Alice and John were living at 3 South Street, St Leonards on Sea, Sussex. They had 3 children, Hilda Alice (aged 7), 6 year old John Coleman and Phyllis Kathleen aged 1. I also know that at this time, Alice and John would have been expecting the pitter-patter of tiny feet again – my maternal grandfather was born in October 1911.
John was one of my great-grandfathers. He was born in the third quarter of 1881 in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, son of John and Harriett (née Bates).
By the time the 1891 census was taken, overnight between March 31/April 1, the 9 year old John was living in Luton, Bedfordshire with his parents (both aged 37) and sister – Margaret A (aged 11) and 6 month old Janet.
In 1901, John was boarding in St Leonards, Sussex, with John and Constance Wallis, working as a bicycle salesman. It must have been at around this time that he met his future wife, Alice COLEMAN, as she was working as a servant at the Royal Hotel in Hastings; by early the following year they were married.
John and Alice had 6 children between 1903 and 1913. My great aunt Hilda Alice (born in 1903) died in 1937, my great uncle John Coleman (born in 1905) died in 1940, and my grandfather Maurice Herbert (born 1911) and great uncle Alec Hugh (born 1913) both died in 1996.