Collection date: Apr 1914
Area: Somerset - West
William Kingdon of Simonsbath (1838-1915): age 76, 4 songs on 27 Apr 1914: William Kingdon was born c1838 in North Molton in Devon, son and only child of William Kingdon Snr, blacksmith and his wife Catherine. The family had moved to Simonsbath in Somerset by 1851. By 1861 William Jr, aged 22 was a lodger with William Vellacott (a small farmer in Simonsbath) and he had followed his father into the blacksmith’s trade. William Vellacott had a daughter Mary Elizabeth, aged 14, who would later marry William Kingdon (childhood sweethearts?).
But first he married Elizabeth Jane Fry on 31/3/1869, who perhaps died in childbirth because in 1871 William is listed as widower with charge of a one-year old son Alfred. William’s mother Catherine came to help out but soon after on 25/4/1875 William was indeed remarried to Mary Elizabeth Vellacott at Exford church. They had 4 children and by 1881 had taken over the Post Office in Simonsbath. Mary was listed as ‘postmistress’ in 1901, while William continued as a master blacksmith, taking on apprentices. In 1911 he was shown as aged 72, postmaster with Mary, 64 by his side. William died on 14/3/1915, leaving £769 (worth 80K today).