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Horace thrasher & thresher - 1911

Dear Family History UK

Horace Thrasher was born in 1893 Fulham.

Horace Thrasher (baptised as Thresher) was baptised in 1896 Earls Court living at 133 Finborough Road.

Horace Thresher's parents when baptised in 1896 are Percy Thresher and Louisa Thresher.

Horace Thrasher's parents get married in 1905 Fulham - Percy's birth name is Atkins and Louisa's birth name is Thrasher.

In the 1911 census living at 12a Inglethorpe Street, Percy and Louisa are shown as Percy Atkins and Louisa Atkins. They correctly state that there have been no children or lost children to this marriage as Horace was born/baptised before their marriage in 1905. However, Horace is also not staying with them as Horace Atkins/Thresher/Thrasher and we have also not been able to trace him living elsewhere in the 1911 census (or 1901 census), or getting married or dying.

In the 1911 electoral register for 12a Inglethorpe Street Percy is shown as Percy Thresher.

In the 1918 electoral register for 12a Inglethorpe Street Percy is shown as Percy Thrasher.

Any help with Horace Thrasher/Thresher/Atkins would be greatly appreciated!
Lorraine how do you know that Percy Thresher noted on the baptism if infact Percy Atkins who married in 1905?

Birth index

Births Mar 1893 (>99%)
Thrasher Horace Fulham 1a 318

That means his parents didnt marry until 12 years after his birth.. that seems a bit odd.

Do you have Horace's birth cert.?

I would say that the Horace Courtenay you found in 1901 in Prittwell are the same person, as he is with (classed as nephew) in 1911 to Grace and Herbert Solomon. With them also is Leslie Court age 6. They're not making it easy for your are they. :)
Marriage - Oct/Nov/Dec - 1924 - District Edmonton

Horace Courtenay - Spouse Adelaide M Cook

Death - Oct/Nov/Dec 1959 - Surrey Northern

Horace Courtenay - Age 66/Born abt 1893
Thank you all for your posts, which I will try to answer in this one post to help make sense of the situation. If no Horace Atkins/Horace Thresher/Horace Thrasher can be found after the 1896 baptism this is the story so far.

Regarding the Horace Thresher baptism in 1896 at St Phillips Church where Violet Jezard was baptised on the same day, with Violet and her family and Horace and his family living at the same address at 133 Finborough Road:

Horace's parents Percy Thresher and Louisa Thresher at this stage are not married. Percy's real name is Percy Atkins and Louisa's real name is Louisa Thrasher. Percy and Louisa get married in 1905. In the 1911 census they are living together at 12a Inglethorpe Street as Percy Atkins and Louisa Atkins and their 'son' Horace is not living with them. Despite it being accurately correct that they have no children or have lost no children from their marriage (with Horace being born as Horace Thrasher in 1893 and baptised as Horace Thresher in 1896 and Percy and Louisa getting married in 1905) they also do not mention him at all.

In the 1911 electoral register Percy Atkins calls himself Percy Thresher living at 12a Inglethorpe Street.

In the 1918 electoral register Percy Atkins calls himself Percy Thrasher living at 12a Inglethorpe Street.

Horace Thrasher/Thresher is born and baptised
Horace Thrasher/Thresher is not on 1901 census or 1911
Horace Thrasher/Thresher does not get married
Horace Thrasher/Thresher does not die

We have a relative who was illegitimate and rumoured to be the son of an aristocrat. The illegitimate son is:

Horace Courtenay who we cannot find a birth for
Horace Courtenay who we cannot find a baptism for
Horace Courtenay who is on 1901 census
Horace Courtenay who is on 1911 census
Horace Courtenay who marries in 1924
Horace Courtenay who dies in 1959

Kensington Register Office has looked at this case and believe that Horace Thrasher/Thresher and Horace Courtenay are the same baby.

We also contacted the GRO as it has taken several years determination and research on our part and help from various people to finally come to this point. The GRO believe that the Thrasher/Jezard/Courtenay family shied away from officialdom and keeping official records despite it being the law to do so or used different names (as has found to be the case).

We have ordered several certificates from the GRO without problem before yesterday when we were contacted by the GRO because they could not process our birth certificate for Violet as the parents quoted (from her baptism) were incorrect. We have searched for details of Violet's parents George Jezard and May Jezard also without success (but as George was a P&O steward has been suggested that they could have been out of the country when married, for census taking and other official records), so we are going to try again and order Violet's birth certificate without the parent check. When we order Horace Thrasher's birth certificate we will also order without the parent check.

In the 1901 census Violet Jezard (down as Gezard) is at the boarding school in Southend with Horace Courtenay who were both born in Earls Court, London.

In the 1901 census, Horace Courtenay's mother, (Grace) Alice Maud Mary Courtenay (born as Alice Maud Mary Thrasher and may have used Jezard as her mother Priscilla Thrasher remarried to John Jezard), is living in a boarding house living on own means.

We have only just found out through using The Stage online archive that (Grace) Alice and Louisa's sister Ruth Jezard (Ruth Thrasher) was an actress and played at The Royal Drury Lane Theatre. We are going to look further to see if all sisters had theatrical jobs, as Ruth's husband Albert Edward Court was Chief Of Staff at the London Colesium and Louisa's husband Percy Atkins was a Theatrical Business Manager. With illegitimacy and class, the question is who but the other question is how? We are wondering if (Grace) Alice was either an actress herself or met the father of her illegitimate child at the theatre.

Any thoughts gratefully received - but I think waiting on Violet's and Horace's birth certificates may have to be the answer for now?

Leslie Court from the 1911 census is the son of Ruth Thrasher/Ruth Jezard (who was married to Albert Edward Court).

Our family had no knowledge of the Thrasher family at all until a couple of weeks ago when with help from others, they found Percy and Louisa in the 1911 census living as Atkins. Then we tried searching for (Grace) Alice again with the new surnames discovered and tried Thrasher and found her and her family at long last.

If Violet had not stayed with Horace Courtenay in the 1901 census and Leslie stayed with Horace Courtenay in the 1911 census, we would never have found this family.

Thank you for your help.

Would this be Ruth's marriage?

Q3 1900
Court Edward Albert Fulham 1a 536
Jezard Ruby Fulham 1a 536

Ruby Jezard
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1879
Age: 21
Spouse: Edward Albert Court
Spouse Age: 26
Event Date: 25 Aug 1900
Parish: St Oswald, Anselm Road
Borough: Hammersmith and Fulham
Father: Robert Jezard
Spouse Father Name: Thomas Gilbert Court
Parish Register
[Occ: Not declared, father occ., secretary. Edward's occ., clerk, father's occ., contractor. Witnesses: Looks like Arthur Brooks and Albert ?]

I notice she may have visited NY as (Ruth) with some theatrical friends in 1897, though age a little out:
Name: Miss Ruth Jezard
Age: 21
Birth Date: abt 1876
Departure Date: 7 Aug 1897
Port of Departure: Southampton, England
Destination Port: New York, USA
Ship Name: Paris
Master: Frederic Watkins.

Did Ruth/Ruby have a sister, Eliza? If so, this could be her:
Birth Q4 1868
THRASHER Eliza Priscilla St. Giles 1b 511

Hi Lorraine

It's interesting that Violet and Horace were born within 2-3 of years of each other and together in 1896 and 1901.


Probate for Horace Courtenay.

Horace Courtenay of 78 Worsley Drive, Kingston Upon Thames - died 26 Nov 1959 - probate London to Adelaide May Courtenay widow - effects £3221 9s 11d
Hi Geoff and Julie
Thank you both very much for your posts.

This is the first branch of our family that we started researching three years ago - and the most baffling and perplexing!!! We didn't even know that this family existed until several months ago as we only knew (Grace) as Mrs (Grace) Alice Maud Mary Solomon and non-birth maiden name Miss (Grace) Alice Maud Mary Courtenay - but she was in fact born as Alice Mary Thrasher. When her illegitimate son Horace Courtenay died in 1959 his solicitors were unable to find his birth certificate and his mother's family and his father's family - it is no wonder as Horace was birth registered as Horace Thrasher in 1893 and baptised in 1896 as Horace Thresher - we do not know when he first took on the name Horace Courtenay - our first knowledge is the 1901 census at the boarding school with cousin Violet Alice Louise Jezard born 1890.

Yes, Eliza is a sister.
Robert Thrasher and Priscilla May Thrasher (Pope) had four known daughters in London:
Eliza Priscilla Thrasher born 1868
Alice Mary Thrasher born 1871
Louisa Thrasher born 1873
Ruth Thrasher born 1879

Yes, Alice had several names:
1871 born Alice Mary Thrasher
1881 census Alice Thrasher
1891 census Alice Maud Mary Thrasher
1893 son Horace Thrasher's birth certificate Grace Thrasher, formerly Grace Courtenay
1901 census spinster Grace Alice Maud Mary Courtenay
1901 marriage Grace Alice Courtenay spinster, Grace Alice Solomon wife - and her father is named as Robert Courtenay a cab proprietor deceased
1911 census Grace Solomon
1941 death Grace Alice Maud Mary Solomon widow

Yes, that is the wedding for Albert Edward Court and Ruth Thrasher (Ruby Jezard). On their wedding certificate Ruby names her father as Robert Jezard - a combination of her birth father Robert Thrasher and step-father John Jezard. With their theatrical connections and looking at the electoral registers their wedding witnesses could have been - Arthur Brooks comedian and Albert Kingsley artist - the last witness is Mrs Ellen Seymour. When Ruth/Ruby has her son Edward Leslie Court in 1905, she calls herself Ruth Court, formerly Ruth Jezzard.

Yes, why such a close assocation with Horace and Violet - born close together in 1890 and 1893, baptised together in 1896, living together in 1896 and then at boarding school together in 1901 census. Could they both be illegitimate children - could they both be children of the same aristocrat?

After looking at this for so long now - sleeping, dreaming, daydreaming - you start to notice other aspects - only because so many official records for this family are not forthcoming, this is just a theory. Where false names are being used, false transport related jobs are being used and could the family be staying with unknown family abroad.

Priscilla Thrasher is a widow by the 1881 census. Her brother Alfred Pope born 1836 Hartest is living with Priscilla and her daughters Eliza, Alice and Ruth - despite being a domestic servant, working as a cook, Priscilla is able to send her daughter Louisa to a boarding school. We are still trying to trace the family of Robert Thrasher and his whereabouts in the 1851 census and 1861 census (the Robert Thrasher we have found in the 1841 census as a servant may or may not be our Robert and provides no clue to his family) - unfortunately with no marriage certificate for Priscilla and Robert, we also do not know his father's name. We believe that Priscilla emigrated from East Anglia between 1851 and 1861, as her mother is a widowed pauper laundress in 1851 and Priscilla is not found on the 1861 census. As there is no other record of Priscilla's brother Alfred, except the 1881 census, perhaps he had already emigrated and Priscilla went to live with him abroad and that is where she met and married Robert. It may be that as Robert came from Southampton he also had other family members that lived elsewhere in the Empire, as soldiers, sailors, merchants - and perhaps Robert and Priscilla had children who died or stayed living abroad - and that is where their daughters and grandchildren born in London go and visit and are therefore not found on many official records - Priscilla and Robert are older parents when Eliza Priscilla Thrasher is born in 1868 London.

Violet Alice Louise Jezard Born 109 Finborough Road, Kensington
Mother Eliza Jezard, formerly Eliza Thrasher
Father Alfred Jezard - tram line cleaner - could this job enable Violet to be sent away to a boarding school in 1901? However, if grandmother Priscilla Jezard is Violet's guardian Priscilla dies in 1900 - is this why both Violet and Horace were sent away?
We have been unable to find a marriage for Eliza and Alfred
We cannot find Violet in the 1891 census, 1911 census, getting married or dying.

Violet's mother Eliza is found on the 1891 census with her mother Priscilla and sisters Louisa and Ruth - where is Violet and Eliza's husband Alfred - or why is Eliza not living in a separate household with Violet and Alfred? We cannot find Violet in the 1891 census, we cannot find Alfred in the 1891 census. Also, the family are named Torplow - and should either be called Thrasher or Jezard (according to Priscilla's 1900 death certificate she is the widow of John Jezard living at 133 Finborough Road). Was this just an error by the census recorder or Priscilla deliberately renaming her family due to Violet's birth?
We have been unable to trace Eliza in the 1901 census and 1911 census

Horace Thrasher born 81 Archel Road
Father Robert Thrasher (this is actually Alice Thrasher's father) - a road car timekeeper - could this job enable Horace to be sent away to a boarding school in 1901? However, if grandmother Priscilla Jezard is Violet's guardian Priscilla dies in 1900 - is this why both Violet and Horace were sent away?
Mother Grace Thrasher, formerly Grace Courtenay (this is actually Alice Thrasher)

Horace's grandmother Priscilla May Thrasher, remarried as Priscilla May Jezard is found living at 81 Archel Road in the 1894 electoral roll
We have not been able to find a marriage for Priscilla May Pope/Priscilla May Thrasher marrying John Jezard. Priscilla May Jezard is listed on the 1894 electoral roll - where is John Jezard (a tram car conductor according to Priscilla's 1900 death certificate) - we cannot find John Jezard on any census or dying or Priscilla's daughter-in-law Ellen Jezard present at her death at 133 Finborough Road.
Did Priscilla re-name her family due to Horace's illegitimate birth?

Violet and Horace are baptised - with false baptism parents
Violet's 'father' George Jezard is a P&O steward, Violet's mother is May Jezard (possibly grandmother Priscilla May Jezard) living at 133 Finborough Road.

Horace and Violet's grandmother Priscilla May Jezard is found in the 1897 electoral register living at 133 Finborough Road.

Just for information, Eliza Priscilla Thrasher born 1868, is baptised in 1869 as Eliza Priscilla Thresher and Robert is a messenger.

Another researcher has recently found the baptism for Alice, Louisa and Ruth baptised together in 1880 - with no indication that father Robert Thrasher a messenger has died - therefore the 1879 London Strand death certificate for Robert Thrasher who is a fireman and with no family present is not likely to be our Robert - our Robert possibly went abroad again to work and died abroad.

When Horace Courtenay marries to Adelaide May Cook in 1924 he names his father as H Courtenay clerk deceased.

Why, oh why, the need for this cover-up? Not only does it make us wonder who was the father to Horace and Violet - but who was Robert Thrasher?

Well as the saying goes 'the truth is out there' - but just about where is the mystery! Horace wanted to tell us about a family secret - but unfortunately circumstances overtook and he died without telling us. It was only when Horace's wife Adelaide became frailer in the 1980's that their nephew told our family about the very old rumour of being related to an aristocrat so that the story would not be forgotten.
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