Find Ancestors

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

Electoral Rolls

Looking for living relatives?

Search our UK Electoral Rolls (2002-2013) and find your living relatives today.

Search Electoral Rolls

New electoral roll records


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Fanny Crutchley Shelvoke

Page 0 + 1 of 3

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. »
ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Lance Report 18 Mar 2013 23:40

So my great great grandmother wasn't a woman of the night but a penitent, eh? Anyone know what being a penitent means? In those days? And it still fails to explain why she left gran's house, wound up in a penitentiary hundreds of miles away, yet returned to grannie a few years later, from where she presumably got married to great great grandad William Morgan...The plot thickens


ArgyllGran Report 18 Mar 2013 16:32

Here's a bit about the penitentiary, which suggests that destitute women were there as well as prostitutes. Maybe it was to save them from having to become prostitutes. There's also mention of vocational training.

" “A House of Mercy” was published in March of 1858 in the first issue of the journal. The unsigned article takes the reader on a tour of the London Diocesan Penitentiary at Highgate—a shelter and house of industry established by the Church of England for the physical rehabilitation, vocational training, and moral reform of street prostitutes and destitute women. The editorial decision to run an article dealing with one of the culture’s most threatening figures in the journal’s first issue signaled the EWJ’s willingness to take risks. At the same time, the writer was quick to stress the utter respectability of Highgate Penitentiary, perhaps to avoid offending readers, and to protect the journal from moral critique. A detailed description of the spare, spotless interior of the dormitories near the beginning of the article resembles those found in many a domestic novel. It comforts the reader with the assurance of piety and feminine modesty, character traits desired by the institution for its inmates, referred to as “girls” throughout. The girls are observed by the writer of the article, but are kept at a safe, non-contaminating distance; she never speaks to one of them directly, only to the warden of the institution, who acts as their representative. Like many accounts of the “fallen woman” emerging at mid-century, the writer cannot resist aestheticizing and sentimentalizing the “penitents” as beautiful, frail victims. Upon closer inspection, however, she declares that some are “decidedly plain, and three at least were almost idiotic-looking” (21). What we encounter in the article, then, is a relative mix of versions of the fallen woman: those truly repentant of their sins are rehabilitated and exhibit a “latent love of poetry” (24), while others are recalcitrant, pine for their old ways, and seem “possessed with a devil” (19)."

That's from here:

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 18 Mar 2013 16:06

She is described as a penitent and is with other woman ,it wasn't a prison .

"In North Hill the largest house, and the farthest back from the road, was
> Park House, which had been converted into a refuge for prostitutes in 1848
> and leased as the London Diocesan Penitentiary (later the House of Mercy)
> in
> 1855. It had beds for 60 girls in 1877, was taken over by the Clewer
> Sisters
> in 1900, and closed in 1940, (fn. 2) although the building survived until
> the flats of Hillcrest were laid out. (fn. 3)"
> Stanford's 1862 suburban map (though 20 years too early) shows the streets
> and buildings clearly


EVEIE Report 18 Mar 2013 15:42

1881 England Census
about Fanny Shelford
Fanny Shelford
[Fanny Shelvoke]
Estimated Birth Year:
abt 1868
Where born:
Tottenhall Wood, Staffordshire, England
[Tettenhall Wood, Staffordshire, England]
Civil parish:
Street Address:
"North Hill Penitentiary"
Employment status:
View image
Registration district:
Sub-registration district:
ED, institution, or vessel:
View others on page
Page Number:
Household Members:
Ann Oliver 76
Mary Skene 58
Ann Skene 50
Elizabeth Sykes 26
Charlotte Dennis 21
Mary A. Crapnell 45
Sarah J. Mullins 38
Hannah Cornwall 32
Rosa Dean 22
Alice Chisham 20
Mary Loft 20
Rose Richardson 19
Mary Coombes 29
Elizabeth Bailey 20
Annie Simpson 19
Florence Bushell 17
Emma L. Mariz 23
Christiana Bailey 29
Emma L. Tooley 17
Annie Hawkins 21
Mary A. Dagge 21
Ruth Mason 23
Elizabeth Rowe 19
Anna Barratt 27
Annie Preston 17
Selina Harper 19
Maud Clabby 17
Mary A. Cockman 16
Emma Tubbs 15
Helen Hall 25
Maria G. Jones 20
Susan Reynolds 22
Sarah A. Thompson 17
Mary A.E. Bell 22
Annie Kent 22
Emma E. Carbine 18
Fanny Sholl 16
Sarah Cole 19
Annie Seward 18
Edith Jura 17
Louisa Goddard 15
Jane Mescock 19
Rosanna Stocker 17
Ann Buchan 19
Maud Husbands 15
Harriet Langham 15
Ada Pears 15
Eliza Shaw 22
Rachel Dawson 16
Emily Davis 24
Hannah Brentnell 18
Elizabeth Smith 29
Fanny Shelford 13
Alice E. Williams 12
Mary Clark 13
Margaret Richards 12
Nellie Austin 13
Amy Shay 13
Ellen Farrow 10
Mary Swain 14
Annie E. Langford 21
Frances Iliffe 14
Edith Hall 16
Mary F. Wheeler 23
Elizabeth J. Lock 14
Caroline Doyle 22
Ellen Bowyer 18

See more with the new image viewer

Try it now

Learn more with our new image viewer


View original image
View blank form

up arrow

Save This Record


Lance Report 15 Mar 2013 16:58

Do you think Sarah Crutchley is the Sarah Law with whom Fanny was living in 1891 when she was 23. And the same Sarah Timmins with whom Fanny was living in 1871? If so, she did change her name a few times....


Lance Report 15 Mar 2013 16:43

Thanks, wisechild. That gives me something I was unable to find on genes. Well, unable to find the way I use it. So it seems Fanny might have been Lucy's daughter and that Sarah was married to a Henry Shelvoke. That would explain the random Shelvoke and would explain the way Lathe appeared. I'd still love to find out what Fanny was doing at that penitentiary when she was 13 - and how long she was there! To have one's ancestor as a lady (or girl) of the night would shut some of my family up!

Mel Fairy Godmother

Mel Fairy Godmother Report 15 Mar 2013 16:29

Marion I did see that tree yesterday.


wisechild Report 15 Mar 2013 14:21

A tree on Ancestry has Fanny´s grandparents as Henry Shelvoke & Sarah Crutchley.
They had 3 daughters Fanny 1843, Lucy 1845-1936 & Mary Ann 1848-1901.
Fanny´s mother is supposed to be Lucy who married George Lathe 1871.
Maybe Fanny was away from home on census night to give the newly weds a break, or maybe Lucy´s new husband didn´t want her daughter.
Lucy married for a 2nd time to George Webb 1891 & died 1936 in Cannock.
If this tree is correct, Fanny´s 2nd name of Crutchley was her grandmother´s maiden name (although it could possibly be that of her father as well if he was a cousin of Lucy´s)
No idea if any of this is accurate as I haven´t checked it out.

Mel Fairy Godmother

Mel Fairy Godmother Report 15 Mar 2013 12:36

I should think this is her birth.

England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
about Mary Griffiths
Name: Mary Griffiths
Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1839
Registration district: Clun
Inferred County: Shropshire
Volume: 18
Page: 44

Mel Fairy Godmother

Mel Fairy Godmother Report 15 Mar 2013 11:34

Is this more likely to be Sam and Jane's wedding licience???????

Samuel Griffiths
International Genealogical Index (IGI)

Lic. 24 Apr 1832*****************

Hopesay, Shrops., Eng.

birth: abt. 1807 of Hopesay, Shrops., Eng.

spouse:Jane Lucas


Alemap Report 15 Mar 2013 11:27

I think since she was a base child, her middle name of Crutchley is there to name the father. It was common practice. So she probably was a Crutchley.

If she was poor and destitute she would have been in the local workhouse, not a penitentiary. So she must have been caught doing something to warrant removal to a penitentiary.

She could of course, be a runaway and used petty crime to survive, before being caught.

Mel Fairy Godmother

Mel Fairy Godmother Report 15 Mar 2013 11:19

The Samuel Griffiths who married Jane Jones was born in 1836 so not Samuel born 1786/9.

Don't forget most people could,nt read or write in these early years hence the funny spellings of surnames and the way people spoke could be heard wrong.

Also most people did,nt know what year they were born or used the year they were baptised and some were baptised later in life.

Mel Fairy Godmother

Mel Fairy Godmother Report 15 Mar 2013 11:12

Parents:Samuel Griffiths, Jane

nameMary Griffiths
christening date28 Apr 1839

father's nameSamuel Griffiths

mother's name Jane

indexing project (batch) numberC03733-2
system originEngland-ODM
gs film number918857
reference id


Lance Report 15 Mar 2013 10:53

Thanks for all that. It doesn't help, of course, that in two of the censuses(ii) the birth dates are completely different for the whole family. And it certainly doesn't help when you're chasing Morgans, Griffiths and even Jones's in and around the Welsh border. Everyone was had one of the names and they invariably named their children afterr themselves. As for Fanny, I'm sure you are right and she perhaps learned her trade in the penitentiary. As I said before, I find it fascinating that she lived with gran 10 years before and after, but was for that period locked up. Prostitute at 13? Now there's an ancestor whose life is worth tracing.

Mel Fairy Godmother

Mel Fairy Godmother Report 15 Mar 2013 10:38

1861 England Census
about Mary Griffiths
Name: Mary Griffiths
Age: 21
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1840
Relation: Daughter
Father's Name: Samuel Griffiths
Mother's name: Jane Griffiths
Gender: Female
Where born: Bishops Castle, Shropshire, England

Civil parish: Bishops Castle
County/Island: Shropshire
Country: England

Street Address:


Condition as to marriage: View image

Registration district: Clun
Sub-registration district: Bishops Castle
ED, institution, or vessel: 3
Neighbors: View others on page
Household schedule number: 136
Piece: 1841
Folio: 45
Page Number: 24
Household Members: Name Age
Samuel Griffiths 72
Jane Griffiths 66
Emma Griffiths 24
Mary Griffiths 21
John Griffiths 7
Mary J Griffiths 2

Mel Fairy Godmother

Mel Fairy Godmother Report 15 Mar 2013 10:36

England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915
about William Morgan
Name: William Morgan
Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1861
Registration district: Clun
Inferred County: Shropshire
Volume Number: 6a
Page Number: 1137

*****Mary Griffiths Oct-Nov-Dec 1861 Clun Shropshire

Edward Marston Oct-Nov-Dec 1861 Clun Shropshire

***** William Morgan Oct-Nov-Dec 1861 Clun Shropshire

Mel Fairy Godmother

Mel Fairy Godmother Report 15 Mar 2013 10:29

1881 England Census
about William Morgan
Name: William Morgan
Age: 19
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1862
Relation: Son
Father's Name: William Morgan
Mother's name: Mary Morgan
Gender: Male
Where born: Bishops Castle, Shropshire, England

Civil parish: Bishops Castle In
County/Island: Shropshire
Country: England

Street Address: Horse Fair

Employment status: View image
Occupation: Tailor

Registration district: Clun
Sub-registration district: Bishops Castle
ED, institution, or vessel: 2
Neighbors: View others on page
Piece: 2620
Folio: 25
Page Number: 23
Household Members: Name Age
William Morgan 44 SHOEMAKER
Mary Morgan 41
William Morgan 19 TAILOR
Henry Morgan 15
Samuel Morgan 13
Emma Morgan 8
Edith Morgan 5
Alfred Morgan 3
Baby Morgan

Mel Fairy Godmother

Mel Fairy Godmother Report 15 Mar 2013 10:23

You know I am wondering if when Fanny was in the penitent house she learn't her trade as a Dressmaker.

I looked all through the census pages for that and it was an Ann who was the head of the place and she was married. They even had an Organist. The youngest child I could see in there was 10 years old.


Lance Report 15 Mar 2013 09:20

I'm not entirely sure Fanny was a Crutchley; she seems to have been a Shelvoke. I'm more fascinated to find out why she lived with her gran in 1861 and 1881, yet in 1871 was in a penitentiary at the age of 13. Was she a prostitute or was she just homeless and destitute? I'm also trying to track down Morgans - William married Fanny in 1861 but have hit another brick wall by going down a Griffiths alley. William's dad was William and he married a Mary Griffiths, whose mum Jane lived with them and the kids in 1871 (in Bishops Castle). In 1851 it seems Mary lodged wigth an Ann Pugh in Church St, Bishops Castle, with her pauper husband Samuel. Could be Samuel married Jane (Jones) in 1860. See what I mean? Dead ends and blind alleys.......


wisechild Report 15 Mar 2013 08:08

There is a definite link between the Crutchleys & The Billinghams.
My grandfather´s sister Louisa Davis married Alfred Crutchley.
His parents were William Henry Crutchley 1841-1903 & Hannah Billingham 1841-1900.
I suspect that Edwin Billingham was either a son of Bathsheba from a previous marriage or her illegitimate son.