Fizzing with Florence

Florence Wellock (1874 – 1916)

Memorial stone of Florence Wellock and her family. Photo taken by Kyle of findagrave

It all started with a plan to research and connect the Wellocks on findagrave in anticipation of maybe, one day, starting a one named study into the surname Wellock (and yes, I should probably just own that’s exactly what I am doing). The stories just pop out in almost every set of family gravestones. I’ve broken down brick walls, discovered connections between unconnected Wellocks (who are connected through the sisters they married) and even found a tale of bigamy. But it is Florence Wellock’s memorial stone that has completely drawn me in for it’s one of those wonderful family stones – father, mother, four children and a grandmother – which are just brilliant for connecting people.

Jumping straight into the research it was clear that this was THE OTHER BRANCH, the Wellocks who descend from the as yet unconnected Henry who lived in Kirkby Malham in the 1600s. It really was okay to just stop after linking the direct family.

But it didn’t take long to realise that Florence Wellock was the end of the line. Her three siblings, Mary Elizabeth, Christopher & Emma had died as children. The weird eight year gap between the three oldest and Emma could have occurred for all sorts of reasons, but losing two children in quick succession had quite possibly put Florence’s parents, Emma & John, off from trying for another.

So that left Florence. The only one of the four children to make it into a census. There was clearly a close relationship with her maternal cousins. One, Herbert Hough, was captured staying with the Wellocks in 1891, then Florence was recorded with Herbert in 1901, and with another cousin, Thomas Lyth, in 1911. Her will, in 1914, split her estate between the two. For Florence never married. Working as a tailoress (I am assuming dressmaker rather than sweat labourer), she both inherited and earned her own money leaving an estate of £466. Which is why, I imagine, she left instructions for a memorial remembering her parents and her long dead siblings (including reference to the fact that Christopher was buried elsewhere) and, randomly also, her paternal Grandmother, Mary (Hewitt) Wellock.

I thought at first, she’d fallen out with her mother, Emma, who had remarried after her father had died. But then she left her estate to her maternal cousins. Uncharitably I figured her paternal Grandfather, Christopher, may just have been aloof, and maybe that holds some truth. But he died just before Florence’s younger sister, Emma, died, and the likely story is that Grandma Mary came to live with Florence and her parents and helped them all through that last, terrible, death.

Aah, Flo, you truly deserve a remembering. I just suspect you weren’t expecting it to be from the third cousin, twice removed, of the sister-in-law, of the husband, of your third cousin once removed or from someone who feels a connection to a surname, has a niece with a middle name Florence, shares a birthday with the death day of your mother, and has a soft spot for dressmakers as it was her Nana’s profession. My hope is that this story piques the interest of someone closer to you, but if not, your memorial has served it’s likely intention of keeping your family’s story alive.