Monday, July 25, 2016

And it's back to the Ody family


In the cemetery at Lydiard Millicent I discovered the grave of James Ody Selby who died on October 24, 1939 and his wife Henrietta who survived him by nearly nine years.

The couple were married in 1886 and had family of nine children, eight of whom survived to adulthood. Henrietta was born in Oldland, Gloucestershire but James had never moved very far from the Lydiards.

Now I may be biased, but as you know I find the Ody family fascinating and this branch is no exception.

James takes his middle name from his paternal grandmother Elizabeth Ody. His grandfather William Selby and Elizabeth never got around to tying the knot. Pinning down Elizabeth has proved difficult and I would hazard a guess that she probably died round about the time of the birth of her youngest son Richard in 1842.

William and Elizabeth had at least six sons, John, Henry William, Thomas, William and Richard of whom three died in infancy but three survived. James is the second son of Thomas Ody/Selby and Amelia Fisher. Until the time of his marriage Thomas usually went by the name of Ody, but as a married man he adopted, whether officially or not remains unknown, the name of Selby.

At the time of the 1861 census William Selby was working as a gamekeeper at Lydiard Park where he lived with his two sons John and Thomas (who are both recorded as Ody) and Thomas' wife Amelia and their baby Richard (also called Ody). James was born later that year and christened at St Mary's Church, Lydiard Park on December 1, 1861.

In 1871 Amelia and her five young children are still living at Lydiard Park with William; a terrible tragedy had occured, leaving her a widow.

The details were published in the Gloucester Journal on Saturday July 22, 1865.

Fatal Railway Accident – An inquest was held before Mr Ball, coroner, on Monday at the Post Office Inn on the body of Thomas Selby, a stoker on the Great Western Railway, who met with his death under the following circumstances: - The deceased was a native of Wootton Bassett, and was fireman to Joseph Jones, of Swindon, an engine driver. He drove the down midnight goods’ train from Swindon to South Wales on Friday night. About half past one in the morning they were between Sapperton tunnel and Brimscombe, when Selby, unobserved fell off the engine. His companion stated that he did not see him fall off, nor did he miss him til he had got a mile further. The deceased went round to the other side of the tender to fetch his “dart” to stir the fire, and he (Jones) supposed that the poor fellow must have overbalanced and fallen off. Both received the highest character for steadiness. It was proved that both were perfectly sober; and it was stated that they were on the most friendly terms with each other. James Turner, the driver of a bank engine, was running up from Brimscombe, and saw what he believed to be a man on the down rails. A short distance above he turned to come back and then he discovered Selby lying between the rails with both his legs and one arm cut off. The poor fellow was then sensible, and said he felt very ill – too ill to tell how it happened; and he wanted Turner to pull his mutilated arm off and give him some tobacco. Turner conveyed him to Stroud, and took him to the Hospital, where he was admitted about four o’clock on Saturday morning. He became unconscious, and could tell nothing of how the accident happened, and died at six the same evening. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”

Amelia never remarried and at the time of the 1911 census she was living with her two sons Richard 49 and William 47 at Nine Elms, Shaw in the parish of Lydiard Millicent. Living next door are James and Henrietta with five of their children Frances Beatrice 17; Emily Jane 11; James William 6; William George 3 and 2 month old Lilian Gladys.

There is yet more to tell about the Ody/Selby family ...

Cottages at Nine Elms - could one of these have been home to the Selby family?

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