Florence FLETCHER

b abt 1873 in England

I originally wrote this when I thought my Florence FLETCHER was the daughter of John William FLETCHER and Jemima FARNELL. In 2016, using DNA tests, it was determined that my Florence is actually the daughter of Alfred Manby FLETCHER and Ann WARRINER. But I have decided to leave this other FLETCHER family information on my site because it entails 25+ years of research. So I am leaving most of this page in tact, other than removing the parts that used to connect to my family.

Florence FLETCHER was born in the early 1870s. I have never been able to find a birth certificate for her, even though I found the birth certificates for most of her siblings. I think it is more likely that she was born in 1872 or 1873 based on the birthdates of her closest siblings. I assume she was born in Dalton, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, the same birth place as her siblings. Her father was John William FLETCHER (b 24 Nov 1818 in Barnsley, Yorkshire) and worked as a bookkeeper. Her mother was Jemima FARNELL (b 5 Aug 1843 in Market Drayton, Shropshire). John and Jemima were married in Manchester, Lancashire in 1864 and their first two children were born there. After that they settled in Huddersfield, Yorkshire and had 7 more children. John William Fletcher was married at least once before to Sarah Ann Horton (b abt 1820 in West Bromwich, Warwickshire), and had at least 4 children with her: Lucy, Samuel, Jane and Charles. But I was never able to find out what happened to any of them.

Florence had 10 full siblings: Lucy, John William, Thomas, Emily, Lillian, Albert, Harry, Walter, Ernest, Frank. It is unclear whether Louisa is a full sibling or a child of John and Sarah's. John William Jr, died in about 1870 and Walter died as an infant in 1881. Around the same time, the oldest daughter, Louisa, got pregnant and married Joseph HAGUE. She gave birth to a daughter Ada in 1880. For some reason the marriage dissolved and Louisa ended up changing religions, marrying Patrick MCCARRICK, and moving to Manchester, Lancashire. No sign of what happened to her first husband, Joseph, or her baby Ada.

The family seems to be falling apart during the late 1880s and 1890s. The first real evidence of this is that in the 1891 census, John William Fletcher is in the Sheffield Workhouse and his condition is listed as "lunatic". Jemima and her children, Florence, Frank, Harry and Ernest, are in Willaston, Nantwich, Cheshire. Florence is 19 and lists her occupation as "unemployed barmaid". Brother Albert is in an Industrial School in Everton, Lancashire. Shortly after the census was taken John William dies on 28 Apr 1891 in the Sheffield Workhouse of "Paralysis and Influenza", at age 75.

After 1891 it looks like the younger boys, Harry, Frank and Ernest were either adopted out or sent to Industrial Schools. I can't find a death certificate for mom Jemima but find an interesting entry in the 1901 census in Fernilee, Derbyshire:


I believe that the entry for Ann Fletcher is most likely my Jemima Fletcher, since she is living next door to her daughter Lillian HANCOCK and gives her actual small town of birth, Market Drayton. So what happened? Why aren't her children with her and why the name change?