Saturday, 24 December 2016

Blanche Gertrude Nixon 1883-1976

Blanche Gertrude Nixon was the third eldest child of John Nixon (1860-1921) and Elizabeth Julia Nixon (1859-1928). According to the GRO death register index she was born on the 25th November 1883.

The 1891 census finds her not with her family at 212 Cronnfield Road (or possibly, Crownfield Road) in Wanstead but with her maternal grandparents at 68 Pedro Street, Hackney. The household is recorded as Samuel Ball (aged 53), a wheelwright; his wife Charlotte Ball (aged 38), and six children: Charlotte Ball (aged 18), George Ball (aged 15), John Ball (aged 13), Walter Ball (aged 10), Albert Ball (aged seven) and Frederick Ball (aged 4). Blanche is the last person to be enumerated in this household and she is recorded as the seven year-old granddaughter of Samuel.

There are a couple of points to note about this census return. The correct family name was BALLS rather than BALL. Also, Charlotte Balls (nee Charlotte Reeve) was not 38 years old. Born in 1842 she would have been 48 or 49 when the 1891 census was taken.

By the time the 1901 census was taken, the Nixon family had moved to 49 Adelaide Road, Leyton. The census records John Nixon (a wheelwright's wheel-maker) and Elizabeth living with their ten children: Lily E Nixon (aged 20), Elizabeth J Nixon (aged 18 and working as a bookbinder's sewer), Blanche G Nixon (aged 17), Edgar A Nixon (aged 14), Mabel E Nixon (aged 12), John F Nixon (aged 10), Walter L Nixon (aged 8), Sidney H Nixon (aged 6), Alfred A Nixon (aged 4), and Ethel B Nixon (aged 1).

In 1905 Blanche married her uncle, her father's younger brother, Jesse Edward Nixon. Jesse and Blanche would have three sons and a daughter: Harold Jesse Nixon (1906-1992), Leonard Guy Nixon (1908-1990), George Sydney Nixon (1910-1913) and Blanche Jessie Nixon (1913-1987).

The photo at the top of this blog post was taken some time in 1916 and shows, left to right, back row: Jesse Edward Nixon, Blanche Gertrude Nixon, Elizabeth Julia Nixon (nee Balls), Edgar Albert Nixon, and Ethel May Nixon (nee Brown). In the front row are the children: Leonard Guy Nixon, Edgar and Ethel Nixon's daughter, Olive Nixon; Blanche Jessie Nixon and Harold Jesse Nixon.

For Jesse Edward Nixon, this was his second marriage. He had first married Winifred Alexander in 1884. There was no issue from this marriage and when she died in 1904, Jesse married his niece, Blanche, the following year. At least one of Jesse and Blanche's, Leonard Guy Nixon, suffered from albinism.

When the 1911 census was taken, Blanche and Jesse were living at 39 Harold Road, Leytonstone. Jesse's occupation is recorded as "bottling manager at spirit merchants". He is recorded as being 45 years old, and Blanche as 27 years old. With the couple are Harold (aged 4), Leonard (aged 2) and George (aged 11 months). There is also a servant at the house, Ada Turner, aged 16.

Fast forward 28 years and the 1939 Register sees Blanche living with Jesse and their daughter at Harley House, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. Jesse is recorded as a retired works' manager whilst for Blanche it's the usual, "unpaid domestic duties". Their daughter, Blanche, was working as a stenographer.

The following year, on the 11th July 1940, Jesse Nixon died. The National Probate Calendar reveals that hsi effects totalled just over £9,000.

Blanche Gertrude Nixon was a widow for thirty-six years before she died at Clacton-on-Sea on the 12th January 1976. She was 92 years old. The National Probate calendar records that her home address was 37 Thoroughgood Road, Clacton and that her estate was valued at over £37,000.

If you are related to Blanche Gertrude Nixon, who was my great aunt, or to any of the other people mentioned in this blog post, I would love to hear from you. Please contact me at