Newspapers give vital clues in tracing family lines

By Warren Nunn

Newspapers often provide information in tracing family lines, particularly when relatives are mentioned in events such as funerals.



Mrs J. Outlaw (Rose Avis) mentioned as a mourner at her brother George's funeral in 1915.

When Mrs J. Outlaw  attended George Avis's funeral in Chevington, Suffolk, in 1915, she was described as his sister.

George was the eldest son of George Avis and Ann Nunn, and had eight siblings that included five sisters, Mary Anne (married name Clarke); Lucy (whose status was unknown in 1915);  Rose (whom it was subsequently discovered married one James Outlaw); Harriet and Charlotte.

From that mention of Mrs J.Outlaw in the newspaper report  a 1873 marriage entry found in the England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index revealed the union of Rose Avis to James Henry Outlaw in Suffolk, England.  

There's more to Rose's story, below..

George Avis funeral

A transcript of the funeral notice:

Bury Free Press 17 April 1915, p5 FUNERAL OF MR GEORGE AVIS.- The funeral of Mr George Avis, who died on Tuesday week, took place at the parish church  (Chevington) on Monday afternoon, the Rector (the Rev. A.Keble White) officiating.

The coffin, which was of elm with brass furniture, bore the inscription: George Avis, died 6th April, 1915, aged 77 years.

The principal mourners were Mrs Avis (widow), Mr William Avis, Mr Robert Avis, Mr Edward Avis, and Mr Harry Avis (sons). Mrs A. Shaw and Mrs J. Shaw (daughters), Mrs J. Outlaw (sister), Mr Alfred Avis (grandson), Mr A.Shaw and Mr J.Shaw (sons-in-law), Mrs W.Avis (daughter-in-law), Mr J.Outlaw (brother-in-law), and Mrs S.Pettitt and Mrs E.Bridge (nieces).

Amongst those present to pay a last token of respect were Mrs Fred Avis, Mrs Frost, Mrs Quantrill, Mr J.Bradfield (Chevington Hall), and P.-c. Frost.

Beautiful floral tributes were sent from the following:-From mother and the boys; from Emma and Allison; from Bill and Georgina; from Jane; from Annie; from Kit, Tom, and Gwennie; from Ted and Alice; from Hattie and Jack; from Lili and Kate; from Jim and Rose; from Fred and Alice Avis; from Mr and Mrs Frost and Florrie; from Mr and Mrs J.J.Evered and family; from Mr and Mrs Edward Moss and family (Cambridge).

James and Rose Outlaw

Having established that Mrs J. Outlaw was Rose Avis, it was easier to trace the family through newspaper reports and other records, such as the census. It also helps that Outlaw is a somewhat unusual surname.

As James and Rose married in 1873, they are first found on the 1881 census at Ousden which is only a couple of miles from where Rose grew up at Chevington.

1881 census



The Outlaw family on the 1881 census at Ousden. James is a gardener and Annie a dressmaker. With them are their children Annie and Arthur.

1891 census



James and Rose Outlaw and their children are still at Ousden in 1891.

1901 census



James and Rose Outlaw on the 1901 census in Ousden. Son Arthur is still at home and is also a gardener.

1911 census



James and Rose Outlaw on the 1911 census in Ousden. Added information shows that they had been married 37 years and had two children, both living.

Move to Bedfordshire



Obituary of Rose and James Henry Outlaw who died within week of each other.

After having spent most of their 61 years together at Ousden, James and Rose spent their final days in Bedfordshire where their daughter, Annie, had settled with her husband William Charles Maries.

The Biggleswade Chronicle published a lovely tribute to James and Rose and reported they passed away six days apart in April 1935. A transcript follows:

The death has occurred of two aged inhabitants in the persons of  Mr and Mrs Outlaw.

The greater part of their life was spent at Ousden Hall, Newmarket, Mr Outlaw being head gardener for many years. They had been married 61 years and were a very devoted couple.

Mr Outlaw passed away on April 22nd and was aged 84 years. The funeral took place on April 25th, the coffin being of plain elm. The breastplate bearing the name: "James Henry Outlaw, aged 84 years."

Mrs Outlaw passed on April 28th, six days after her husband. She had been ill for some months. The funeral took place on Wednesday, the remains being enclosed in a plain elm coffin, the breastplate bearing the inscription: "Rose Outlaw, died April 28th, 1935."

The mourners were near relatives of the deceased. The Rev. W.H.Hopkin officiated in both cases.

Annie Outlaw



Annie Outlaw and William Charles Maries on the 1911 census with their children. They had been married six years.

James and Rose's daughter Annie, who had been in service in a "big house" at Great Liversmere, Suffolk, in 1904 married a butler, William Charles Maries in Suffolk.



Annie Maries (nee Outlaw) newspaper obituary.

They are first found on the 1911 census at Great Liversmere with children Annie and Charles.

At some point, most likely because of William's work, they moved to Biggleswade, Bedfordshire where Annie died in 1931 aged 57.

From the newspaper obituary, it appears Annie had cancer.

Biggleswade Chronicle 21 August 1931, p3
We have to report the death of Mrs William Maries, of Grange Road, which took place on Tuesday, the 11th inst. Up to a few months ago Mrs Maries had enjoyed fairly good health, but not feeling as well as usual.

Dr. Hughes was called in and advised consultation with a specialist.

She was at Rye Close Nursing Home for some weeks, where it was found that she was suffering from an internal growth. Mrs Maries had been home for a few weeks before her death and had received every care.

The funeral took place on Saturday, the first part of the service being conducted at the Parish Church after which the remains were laid to rest in the cemetery.

The coffin was of plain oak with brass fittings.

The mourners were: Mr W.Maries (husband), Mrs Maries and Mrs Currant (son and daughter), Mr and Mrs Outlaw (parents), Mr Outlaw (brother), Mr W.Currant (son-in-law), Mrs G. Maries, Mrs Hard, Mrs Evans, Mrs Laurance (sisters-in-law) and other friends.

Arthur Henry Outlaw in Scotland

By following the record, it was found that James and Rose's son, Arthur, eventually moved to Scotland after marrying in Yorkshire.

An excerpt from Arthur's World War One service record, shows that he married Annie Wright on 22 December 1910 in Appleton Roebuck, North Yorkshire, England.

It also shows that their daughter Lilian Jean, was born on 3 April 1916, Auchendrane, Ayr, Scotland.

Annie Doris Maries wedding



Annie Doris Maries wedding.

In June 1929, William and Annie's daughter, also, Annie, married Francis William Currant.

The Bedfordshire Times and Independent 14 June 1929 published a description of the wedding.

Part of the newspaper report of the wedding reads:

Blunham, A pretty wedding was solemnized in the Parish Church on Saturday between Annie Doris Maries, only daughter of Mr and Mrs W.C.Maries, of Grange Road, and Francis William Currant, only son of Mr and Mrs H.Currant, of the "Horse Shoes."

According to on ancestry.com tree, Annie and Francis had at least one child, Patricia Joy, whose married name was Devonshire, and who died in 1998.

Charles Arthur Maries in Derbyshire

In 1935, Charles Arthur Maries married Dulcie Edith Bryant in Surrey. It is not yet known if they had children but they both died in Bakewell, Derbyshire; Charles in 1988 and Dulcie in 1997.



1935  marriage certificate for Charles Arthur Maries and Dulcie Edith Bryant. 

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