Received 11 April 2012
I am emailing to see whether you have any information on the Groves family from Blackmore.
Louisa (or Louise) Groves was my great-grandmother. She was born in Blackmore around 1855, the eldest of three daughters of Joseph Groves born c. 1834 in Blackmore and Sarah Groves (nee Bradley) born c. 1835 in Matching Green. Louisa and her sisters Rosa born c.1858 and Sarah born c.1860 are recorded in the 1861 census as living in 26 Village Cottages, Blackmore. Joseph is an agricultural labourer.
Joseph Groves died in 1864 of catarrh and asthma. It would appear that her widowed mother Sarah left Blackmore and moved to London in search of work. Louisa told her grandchildren that she was brought up by her two maiden aunts in Ganders Hall. The two aunts are probably Ellen and Ann Groves, who are listed as servants working at Howletts Hall in the 1861 census. Louisa claimed that Ganders Hall belonged to her family and that she should have inherited it on her aunts' deaths, but this seems fanciful.
I cannot find birth certificates for Louisa or her sisters, nor can I find a marriage certificate for Joseph Groves and Sarah Bradley. This may be because the family were, I believe, Congregationalists.
Sarah Groves did remarry in Blackmore, in 1870, to William Whybrow, a lunatic attendant, from Whittel Canfead (I am not sure if that is the right spelling). The family then moved permanently to London, where William joined the railways. William, tragically, died in a railway accident in 1972 and Sarah subsequently remarried.
Do you have any information on the Groves family?
Replied 21 April 2012
I am sorry I do not have information on this family. Blackmore has a Baptist Chapel not a Congregational Chapel. Congregationalists met in Ingatestone, Writtle, Ongar, Brentwood and Billericay, to name five local places. These are now part of the United Reformed Church. I suggest you look at the Essex Ancestors section of the Essex Record Office to see whether there are baptism, marriage and burial registers for this denomination.