Ancester Number 12 of the 52 Ancestors Challenge

Alfred Flint Copperthwaite is the number 12 ancestor in the 52 Ancestors Challenge, and is my son’s four times great grandfather. When researching Alfred, I felt that his middle name was slightly unusual and figured that it must be a family name that has been carried on. I researched further and found that Flint comes from Flint Cole (1765-1836). Flint Cole was Alfred’s great, great grandfather on his mother’s side. He was born in the St Michael area of Southampton. This area no longer exists in Southampton, and I assume that it was one of the many parishes in Southampton at the time. There is still a St Michaels church in Southampton City Centre which is in one of the older parts of Southampton.

Alfred was the second born of three children to George Copperthwaite (1815-1843) and Louisa Payne (1817-1871). His two siblings were Emma Copperthwaite (1839-1840) and Harriet Copperthwaite (1842-1843). As you can see, unfortunately, both his siblings died in infancy, he was the only surviving child.

Alfred was born on 14 February 1841 and was baptised a month later on 14 March 1841 at St Michael, Southampton. We don’t have to wait long to see Alfred on the next record, which was the 1841 Census carried out on the 6th June that year. Here it is below:


On the 1841 census, Alfred is seen to be living at Castle Buildings, St Michael, Southampton, Hampshire, England with his mother, Louisa and a female servant called Martha Cole.

 Scan1The 1851 census was carried out on 30th March 1851. Alfred was visiting his grandparents at the time of this census. He was staying with James and Harriet Payne at 4 Cossack Street, Southampton St Mary, Hampshire, England.



By the time the 1861 census was carried out on 7th April, Alfred was lodging at Poole St James where his occupation was a Tallow Chandler. A Tallow Chandler makes and sells tallow candles or soaps and oils. Tallow is made from suet or fat taken from animals and separated from the membranous, as well as the fibrous matter by melting.

By the third quarter of 1861, Alfred married Clara Carter, and he is back in Southampton.

By the next census return, in 1871, Alfred and Clara are living in Southampton, and Alfred’s occupation has changed to a ship steward. Here is the census return below:

 Scan3As you can see, Alfred and Clara are living at Duke Street with two of their children, Alfred and Ada. Alfred is four years old and is at school, whereas Ada is only two years old.

Scan4By 1881, the family have moved to 3 Spa Court, Spa Road in the area of Southampton called Southampton All Saints. Alfred’s occupation is a dock labourer. Alfred and Clara’s son, Alfred is a Butcher’s Assistant and their daughter Ada is at school.

Scan5In 1891, the Copperthwaite family are still living in Spa Road. On this census return, you can see the rest of their family. Alfred is back to being a Steward for a living. Their eldest son, Alfred, doesn’t appear to be living with them and neither is Ada. We have, instead, Ernest, who doesn’t seem to be working, and Laura, Lilly, Frederick and Albert who are all at school. Albert, in 1912, signs up to work on the Titanic, and tragically loses his life.

Scan6By 1901, Alfred and Clara have moved to 29 John Street in the St Marys area of Southampton where Alfred is still a Ship Steward. They have Ernest still living with them at this stage.

Scan7This is the 1911 census carried out on the 2nd April. It’s just Alfred and Clara living at home now. Alfred is 70 years old and is still working as a Ship Steward. They are living at 5 Brick Court, Canal Walk in Southampton. The 1911 census is my favourite census return as this is the return that is completed in our ancestor’s own handwriting.

Alfred passed away in the fourth quarter of 1919 aged 78 years old. His wife, Clara, outlived him by 10 years.


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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