Ancestor Number Nine of the 52 Ancestor Challenge

I know that I am slightly behind with this challenge, but keep watching, and I will be adding some more of my ancestors for you to meet.

Today’s ancestor is my son’s four times great grandfather James Francis Sparshott who was born on the 16th February 1949. His parents were James Sparshott (1816-199) and Ann Cooper (1817-1858). He was born in the village of Elson in Gosport, Hampshire, and he was baptised on 20 June 1849 in St Thomas’ Church in Elson. He was still living in Elson, Gosport with this family on the 1851 census at the age of two years old.

When we reach the 1861 census, James and his family have moved to 1 Clarence Square in Alverstoke, and James is showing as attending school.

On the 1871 Census, James had moved to Portsmouth in Hampshire and his occupation shows him to be working for the removal firm, Pickfords, as a carman and carrier. A carman would drive a vehicle which would transport goods. Pickfords was established in the 17th century. Whilst he was working here, James enlisted in the Army Hospital Corps in the British Army. The date was 6 February 1872, he was 22 years old.


This is the front page of James’ army enlistment papers. It states that he was born in the parish of Alverstoke in Gosport, he’s 22 years old and that his occupation is a Carrier.

Scan1This is the second page of James’ army paper. This page gives us a description of what he looked like the day he joined. It states that his height is 5 feet 5 inches tall (same height as me). He has a fresh complexion  with grey eyes and light brown hair. He has no distinctive marks. It states that his religion is Church of England. By reading this, you can almost get an image as to what he might look like.

There are quite a few pages to his records, but in summary, it tells us that his next of kin was his wife Lucretia ( ancestor number eight in the 52 week challenge) and that they were married on the 10th May 1874. It mentions their three children: Edith (30 April 1876), James (10 February 1879), and Edward (18 March 1880). During his military history, he served at home from 7 February 1872 – 4 August 1882. He was then posted to Egypt from 5 August 1882 – 25 April 1883 (Anglo-Egytian War), and then he served at home from 26 April 1883 – 28 February 1898. He received the Long Service and Good Conduct medal with gratuity on 5 August 1890. He also received the Khedive Star. This was awarded to people who served in the military campaigns in Egypt between 1882 and 1889.

On the 1891 Census, he was living with his family at Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, where it states that his occupation was a Private – Medical Staff Corps. On the 1901 Census he was living in Hound, Netley Abbey. By the 1911 Census, James was a widower and was living at Hound at Netley Abbey where it states that he was an Army Pensioner. He was the head of the household, but looking at the census return below, it shows that he had a soldier and his family boarding with him.





About debbielou72

I am a genealogist who has been researching for quite a few years on mine and my husband's family tree. I also carry out research professionally for other people. I am a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies studying the surname Hiscock and its variations. I am also a member of CILIP. I am currently studying for the Pharos Tutors Family History Skills & Strategies (Intermediate) certificate
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