The Joint Family Ancestors
William Joint was born in Chulmleigh in Devon, about the year 1809, but like many West Country people he moved to Bristol, probably prior to 1833, as by this date he had married a Bristol girl. William was a tailor by trade and in 1851 he was living in Lime Kiln Lane, St. Augustines [this was later renamed St. Georges Road, probably after the completion of St. Georges Church, just above the road, on the slopes of Brandon Hill] There he lived with his wife Elizabeth Hollister of Winterbourne, his second son Henry, and his daughters Matilda and Martha. Williams’s eldest son Thomas, who was 16 years old at the time of the 1851 census, does not appear to have been living at home.
The 1881 census states that William was living at No.3 St. Georges Road [probably the same address as in 1851 but with the name change] with his wife Elizabeth and one daughter, Matilda, who was a tailoress. The census also shows that he employed one man. William was rather flexible when stating his age to the census takers, for it appears to change at each census. The 1851 census clearly shows him to be 40, the same age as his wife, Elizabeth. However by 1881, when Elizabeth is shown as being 70, William is only 62.
In 1881 William died and his wife and daughter Matilda moved in with daughter Martha, who had married a Daniel Westlake, a carpenter originally from Puxton in Somerset and was then living at 12 Ambrose Road, Clifton, just above Hotwell Road. His other children, Thomas, Henry and Elizabeth had all left home by then.
In 1884 Elizabeth made a will leaving the sum of one hundred and forty-seven pounds, nineteen shillings and four pence to be divided among her children, Thomas, Martha, who had married Daniel Westlake; Henry, who was missing, leaving a wife Marian and a daughter, Martha; Elizabeth, who had married a cousin, Robert James Joint and was running a chemist shop in Fore Street, Chulmleigh and Matilda, who appears to have remained a spinster. Elizabeth died in1891.
The 1901 census shows that Robert James Joint [the chemist] had moved to Bristol and was listed as 'a man of own means'. Thomas Joint lived a short distance from his parents at Boars Head Yard, near the bottom of Park Street. He was a shipwright by trade and as such lived near the Bristol shipyards.
Thomas had married Theresa Oaten from Taunton in 1858, at St. Judes Parish Church, Bristol. Her father, Frederick Oaten came from Pitminster, Somerset, just outside of Taunton and her mother came from Corfe, the next village. Frederick was a coach spring maker and in 1881 he was living at No 8 Leigh Street, Bristol.
Theresa worked as a `monthly nurse' and appeared to be missing from home for the 1881 census, however she was listed as being at the home of Mr and Mrs Archibald Andrews, an African trader, of 41 Redland Road, Westbury on Trym. The Andrews had a 1-month-old child called Gerald and it is likely that Theresa was employed to look after him. Thomas also had a daughter called Theresa and she was also missing from the 1881 census, but an investigation of the census found her at her uncle and aunts, Robert and Elizabeth Joint; the cousins who had married and owned the chemist shop at Chulmleigh.
Thomas and Theresa had the following children; William Thomas Joint born 1864. The 1881 census shows his occupation as a bookbinder - Theresa born 1867, Elizabeth M born 1871 and Emily D born 1874. Although William was Thomas and Theresa's only son, it is possible that they had a boy in 1861, three years prior to William. Research shows that a William Frederick Joint was born in Bristol in 1861, but there is no trace of him in the 1881 census. It is likely that he was named after his paternal grandfather, William Joint and his maternal grandfather, Frederick Oaten, but died in infancy. However, this is pure speculation.
William Thomas Joint was married twice; His first marriage was to Elizabeth, born 1860 in Axbridge, Somerset. They had two children, Thomas William born 1882 and Victor Francis born 1885. Elizabeth died before 1901.
Williams’s second marriage was to Hannah Sophia Stickler from Pucklechurch Gloucestershire. Hannah was born in 1871; her father was Charles Stickler (1842-1892), a miner at the Parkfield Colliery, Pucklechurch. However he came from a long line of 'cordwainers' or showmakers. Hannahs mother was Sarah Everett born 1835, from Breadstone, Gloucestershire. She died in 1912 at Dunkerry Road, Bedminster, and Bristol.
William and Hannahs wedding took place at St. Matthews, Moorfields, [St. George] in 1901. In 1923 Hannah died of cancer and was buried in Greenbank Cemetery and shortly after William retired from his job as a postman. He was well thought of at the G.P.0. and received a number of letters from colleagues expressing their appreciation of his work there. 'Mr. Joint has earned his retirement by willing service on committees' says one letter, and ' he has taken a deep interest in the welfare of his colleagues, and the poor children of Bristol' states another.
William died in 1932 after being knocked down by a motorcycle in Gloucester Road. He was walking across the road at the junction with Bryland Avenue, but stopped when he got to the first set of tramlines. He appeared to be undecided as to what to do and started to walk back. A motorcyclist was approaching and swerved to avoid him as he made an effort to reach the pavement. However, the motorcyclist collided with him. The cyclist was a Mr. Harold Bond of the Bombing Squadron, R.A.F. stationed at Filton Aerodrome. Dr. A.R. Williams of the Royal Infirmary said that death was due to shock from the injuries, accelerated by chronic myo-carditis of the heart. The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.
The tenancy of the house, 67 Dunkerry Rd., in which he and his family lived, was taken on jointly by his son William and his son-in-law Ernest Richards. William and Hannah had the following children; Albert, the eldest child, William Charles Frederick [1904-1969], Olive [born 1906], Kathleen Irene [1908-1983]. There was also a younger child, who died in infancy in 1910.
An investigation of census's and records can only give us the basic information on our ancestors; names, dates, occupations, employment etc. It can tell us little of the people themselves and the events they witnessed,. However it is interesting to speculate on the things they might have done and the sights they may have seen. For example; as it appears that William Joint senior was in Bristol and probably living in the St. Augustines area in the 1830's, did he see or take part in the great Bristol Riots of 1831, did he have to board up his premises as the mob swarmed through the streets to set fire to the Bishops Palace and storm the newly built Cumberland Goal, releasing all the prisoners as they went? Did he take his wife and newborn baby a few hundred yards along the road to Hotwells to see the launching of Brunel’s colossal new steam ship, the SS Great Britain, built in the dry dock on the other side of the harbour, in 1843?
Did William take his young family across 'the Cut' to see the last public hanging of a woman in this country at the Cumberland Goal in the year 1849. Perhaps, on the 8th December 1864, the Joints went on a family outing to join the celebrations that were taking place just up the hill at Clifton, as the Cifton Suspension Bridge was finally opened, some 5 years after the death of its designer. Did the young William Frederick Joint die in infancy, a victim of one of the terrible cholera epidemics that swept through Bristol during the 1840's 50' and 60'.
Was Robert James Joint [the cousin] the 'apothecary' that family legend claimed had invent a wonder patent medicine and was it the royalties from this medicine that enabled him to declare in the 1901 census that he was 'living on own means'?
Did William Joint [jnr] join the crowds who gathered to see the grand opening of the Rocks Railway in 1893, watch the Barnam and Bailey circus parade through Baldwin Street in 1893, or stand on College Green to see Queen Victoria receive the homage of the City, in 1899?
Sadly, it is unlikely that we shall ever have the definitive answers to these questions and as it is also unlikely that we shall ever find that we are descended from the aristocracy, or from someone who distinguished themselves on the field of battle, it is pleasing to think that when it comes to certain historical events, we might just have had ancestors who could have said' I was there'.