Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Reverend John Eustace GILES, Baptist Minister


[Photograph courtesy of Susan ANDERSON; annotated on the back - "Rev John Eustace GILES."
Photograph by WHITLOCK, New Street, Birmingham (established 1842).
It is not easy to see a resemblance to the man in the other illustrations below.]

John Eustace GILES was the second surviving son of Reverend William GILES, Baptist Minister. John was born at Dartmouth, Devonshire, probably in the house built for the GILES family immediately above the Baptist Chapel in Meeting House Lane, a very steep and narrow thoroughfare running straight up the hill behind the town centre.

[A view of the Baptist Chapel in Dartmouth, Devonshire, looking up the hill behind the town.]

The date was 20 November 1805, and he was named for an elder brother John who had died shortly before his birth (aged 2), and for his maternal grandfather, Eustace PIKE, who had died in Tavistock a few years earlier, about 1800.

[A view of Dartmouth; the Baptist Chapel on the left with the hipped slate roof, in contact with the foliage
of the tree opposite. This may have been built just after the GILES's time there.
The GILES family lived for a time in a house just up-hill of the chapel, with the lamp post in front.]

John's elder siblings were (Mary) Eliza (aged 10), Sarah (aged 8) and William (aged 6). From the pen of (Mary) Eliza, written from memory some 80 years later, we get a fascinating picture of their early lives in Dartmouth, where at least two more siblings joined the family - Martha, and Samuel (he was born in October 1809, just before his parents relocated to Lymington in Hampshire). [See ]

Their father, William GILES, was born in Harrowbridge, near Tavistock, on 1 May 1771, son of John GILES of Buckland Monochorum, and Sarah GRAY of Buckfastleigh, all in the south part of County Devon.

See his separate blog-page, entitled "William GILES Senior, a peripatetic Dissenting Minister" and posted in July 2013, at this link:


William and Elizabeth had issue:

1. (Mary) Eliza GILES was baptised at St Eutatius's Parish Church, Tavistock, 15 January 1795:

["Grandma GODFREY, Sep 1881" - from the album of Helen GILES of London.]

2. Sarah GILES, born at Tavistock, about March 1796; baptised at Tavistock, 8 May 1796, by Thomas KELK, a Wesleyan Methodist Minister.

3. William GILES, born at Dartmouth, 30 December 1798.

4. (Elizabeth) Mary GILES, born at Dartmouth, about 1801.

5. John GILES, born at Dartmouth, about February 1803; died there, March 1805, aged 2 years and 1 month.

6. John Eustace GILES, born at Dartmouth, 20 April 1805.

7. Martha GILES, born at Dartmouth, about 1805.

8. Samuel GILES, born at Dartmouth, 31 October 1809; Cotton Printer in Manchester:

[Portrait of a young Samuel GILES, from a family collection of Helen GILES of London.]
See their biographical notes in the separate blog for their father, entitled "William GILES Senior, a peripatetic Dissenting Minister" and posted in July 2013, at this link:


The young John Eustace GILES began his education in Dartmouth, at a Dame School run by a Mrs LAWRENCE, whom John remembered as "...a good-tempered and good old woman"; he travelled with his parents from Dartmouth, aged 4, to Lymington, where he was enrolled in another Dame School, this time run by a Mrs COTTERELL, where, for 2 years, he "...learned nothing but mischief."
And so, his father decided to take his education in hand himself.
John developed a propensity for the Greek language of the Old Testaments, but pressure of work meant his father could not long continue with his promising young son, who was then sent to an un-named school in Lymington, where he was among 240 other boys, 90 of them boarders.

John went again with his family when they moved to Chatham, and there his education was continued in his elder brother William's little school, at which one of the star pupils was the young Charles DICKENS, whose parents had, in 1821, moved "down-hill" into a house next door to the Providence Chapel. From Mary Eliza GILES, John's eldest sister, we have the first known "pen-portrait" of the young DICKENS:
"He was a very handsome boy, with long curly hair of a light colour; very amiable and agreeable, and capital company, even then." [Recorded in Thomas HARDY's Biography of DICKENS.]
Although it is likely that, despite reports that he had taught DICKENS to read (his mother did that), John may already gone to Oxford before the connection with the DICKENS family was established.
However, DICKENS did have strong recollections, many years later, of associations with John GILES in Chatham; he addressed a Grand Soiree of the Manchester Atheneum, held in the Free Trade Hall in Manchester in October 1843, and during his address:
"...when John GILES was present, vividly recalled how he and John had 'rambled together through the same Kentish fields and mingled in the same sports.' Among places they rambled to was a stretch of waste ground just outside Chatham known as 'Tom-all-alone's' a haunting name that DICKENS stored away in his memory and made powerful use of many years later when writing Bleak House."
[See Michael SLATER's "Charles DICKENS," page 18.]
I wonder whether this may have been in error for Samuel (3 years older than DICKENS), who was more of an age with C.D. than was John Eustace (7 years older), and in 1822 aged 17, and probably, if not already there, on his way to Oxford.

His training for the Baptist Ministry is detailed in his Memorial published the Baptist Magazine of 1876:
"From Chatham he was sent to Oxford to be under the care of Mr HINTON, father of the late John Howard HINTON, who kept an excellent academy in that classic city, and who used to tell his pupils that three things were essential to the successful accomplishment of their duties, vizt - Understanding, Method, and Despatch. At this school he took a distinguished position.
"Under the hallowed influences of his father's example and preaching, accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, he was brought to a decision for Christ. He was baptised by his father at Chatham, 16 September 1824, being then between 19 and 20 years old. In the following year, according to an entry found among his papers, on 25th May 1825, he became conscious of a call to the ministry of the gospel, and soon afterwards, entered the academy at Bristol as a student for the ministry. While there he sat under the ministry of the late Robert HALL, and had the privilege of much intercourse with him in private; there also resided at the same time the celebrated essayist John FOSTER, who admitted him to his friendship. He entered college with attainments greater than many possess who leave it; and to those who knew him there gave great promise of great eminence and usefulness to the ministry."

From college John went to Haverfordwest, where he temporarily supplied the pulpit of the Baptist Chapel, but declined their invitation to settle, believing native born pastors better suited the Welsh.

["Salter's Hall and part of the Salter's Hall chapel for Protestant Dissenters in London" 
by Thomas DALE, 1822. Image courtesy of the website.
 The Cannon Street Chapel of the same name, located just around the corner, was probably 
a direct lineal successor to the one depicted above.]

While there, the committee of management of Salter's Hall Chapel, in Oxford Court, off Cannon Street, London, was pointed in his direction, and he was invited to preach there for several Sundays. Being warmly received, he was asked to settle among them, and was ordained their Pastor on 16 September 1830. He had just survived a serious illness, from which it was thought he may not have recovered.
A later entry in the Baptist Magazine, 1 December 1831, in an alphabetical list of the Baptist Ministers in England, recorded him with the two dates of 1830, being the year the church was founded there, and the year of his ordination - this reveals that his was the founding Baptist pastorate in this chapel.

[An etching of John Eustace GILES, published as a frontis-piece to the Baptist Magazine, January 1831,
to mark his appointment to Salter's Hall Chapel, Cannon Street, London.]

In his six years at Salter's Hall, John resided at 9 Lincoln Place, North Road, and at 1 Lansdowne Place, Holloway.

Shortly before his ordination, John married his first wife, Ann Ledyard EVILL, at the Parish Church of St Mary, Bathwick, on 27 July 1830, before witnesses Mary, Sophia, George and James EVILL, and William BRADLEY; a notice of it, with a typo, was published on 31 July 1830 (Oxford Journal) and 3 August 1830 (Bristol Mercury):
"At Bathwick, the Rev John GALES, of London, to Ann Ledyard, second daughter of Mr George EVILL, of Bathwick."

Ann was born at Bathwick, on 25 October 1801, daughter of George EVILL, of Market Place, Bathwick, by his wife Sarah LEDYARD (they were married at North Bradley, Wiltshire, on 24 January 1788); her father George, at one time a Draper, and later a Brewer, died at Bathwick on 17 June 1837, aged 80, and her mother Sarah died there on 19 April 1831, aged 71; they were both buried in the Old Baptist Burial Ground, Lyncombe Hill, Walcot. Her grandparents were George EVILL Senior (1720-1785), Tailor and Woollen Draper of Bath, and his first wife Elizabeth TILLEY (died 1757).

Ann died at her residence, Lincoln Place, New North Road, Islington, on 5 June 1831, aged 29.
She died just six days after the birth of their only daughter, Ann Ledyard GILES (born on 29 May 1831), and her death was almost certainly the result of complications arising from that birth.
Notice of her death was published in the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, Thursday 16 June, describing her as "...the beloved wife of the Rev I.E. GILES, pastor of the Baptist church, Salter's Hall, and second daughter of Mr George EVILL of Bathwick Street."
John buried Ann at Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, City Road, on 13 June 1831 [Dr WILLIAM's Library, London Burials, E/W123, N/S 34].

And, while still at Salter's Hall, the widower John married for the second time, to his younger brother Samuel's recently acquired sister-in-law:

[Image of the Manchester Collegiate Church Register, courtesy of the P.R.O., London,
by arrangement with Ancestry.Library edition.]

[Image of the Marriage License Bond, courtesy of]

This second marriage took place in Manchester Collegiate Church, on 27 December 1832, to Anne LEESE, the second daughter of Joseph LEESE of Manchester, and younger sister of his sister-in-law Mary, wife of his brother Samuel GILES.

[A portrait identified as Anne LEESE - of the same style as one of her older sister Mary, probably painted
about the time of her marriage in 1832, and perhaps commissioned as part of a LEESE family set.
The original painting was de-accessioned in 2002 by of the Flagler Museum, Florida, and is now 
in the possession of descendants.]

By her, the next three children were born in London - John Eustace Junior, William Leese, and Maria.

On 12 February 1836, John accepted a pressing offer, made on 1 February by the Baptist Congregation at South Parade, Leeds, to become their Pastor, and he was ordained there on 22 May.

[South Parade Chapel, built in 1826 - as illustrated in the "Centenary Memorial Volume of the Yorkshire 
Baptist Association," Southampton Row, London, 1912, pages 251-2.]

[Two contemporary views of the enlarged South Parade Baptist Church.]

Once again, we find a description of his time at Leeds in his Memorial in the Baptist Magazine of 1876:
" Leeds, his new sphere... he seemed to blaze forth as a star of the first magnitude. Under his preaching, numerous conversions took place, not only amongst the poor and ignorant, but others occupying high social positions, and of high mental culture. The chapel had to be enlarged, and the church became one of the chief centres of influence in the town of Leeds. On the platform he was equally powerful. The working classes everywhere hailed him as their friend and the defender of their rights. The advocates of religious intolerance and the ecclesiastical supremacy of a sect under the name of the State Church fell back before the vigour of his attacks. He unmasked Sacramentarianism, at that time developing itself under the ministrations of the Vicar; and he defeated him in his attempt to pass a church rate at the vestry meeting, by which the fate of church rates was sealed ever after in Leeds. He exposed the miserable injustice and licentiousness of the socialism of Robert OWEN in three lectures which, by those who heard them, will never be forgotten, and which resulted in the complete collapse of all the schemes of OWEN's supporters to gain a foothold for their principles in Yorkshire. It was mainly through his instrumentality and eloquent pleading that the debts resting upon the Baptist Churches in Yorkshire were cleared off.
"He was at that time one of the foremost promoters of the Anti-State Church Association, and also one of it's most eloquent and effective advocates. On many a platform, too, his voice was heard pleading the cause of foreign missions, and the freedom of the slave. In the battle for the abolition of the Corn Laws and the establishment of Free Trade, he played a prominent part. All the time he kept up his pulpit ministrations amongst his own people and others whom he was frequently called to visit; preaching the gospel with a purity, and simplicity, and eloquence which those who were accustomed to hear him declare made all his people feel that their pastor was a preacher far above the common order, and it is no uncommon thing to hear those who listened to him years ago, speak of his sermons and mention the texts from which he preached, so deeply were they impressed upon their minds. In Leeds, he was all but the idol of his people, and indeed, of the greater part of the townspeople as well."

His attachment to the poor was the subject of mention by R.W. RAM in his paper "Dissent in Urban Yorkshire, 1800-1850," published in the Baptist Quarterly, Volume 22 Number 1 (January 1967), at page 15, in the following terms:
"Dissenters were not unalterably opposed to Chartism... FAULKNER mentions the Baptist minister at Leeds, J.E. GILES... What GILES's exact position was on Chartism is not known, but he was certainly active in public life at Leeds, and on ne occasion forthrightly answered charges from the Chartists as to his position vis-à-vis working men. It is extremely interesting that the man criticising him was named TEMPLETON, possibly the man expelled from GILES's chapel in 1839. To TEMPLETON, GILES said - 'the working man's interest is my interest. The working man's food is my food, and the working man's welfare I have sought and will seek; the working man's friendship I value and his friendship I have.' [Footnote 54 - Leeds Mercury, 25 April 1840]."

P.B. TEMPLETON had been expelled from the South Parade congregation in 1839 for publishing "... a paragraph in the 'papers injurious to the character of Mr GILES" after GILES delivered a series of lectures denouncing Socialism "... as a feckless movement" and "... a threat to the State." [RAM, Op. Cit., page 14].

Harold Underwood FAULKNER, in his "Chartism and the Church," New York, 1916, wrote of GILES:
"... the Chartist leaders were drawn from all denominations. Among the infidels... GILES was a Baptist..." [Page 18 - Attitude of Chartism towards the Church.]
"... Another gifted preacher in this class was Eustace GILES, a prominent Baptist, who was spoken of as 'one of the pioneers who believed that it was often needful to be political in order to give expression to one's religious convictions'." Footnoted source - CARLYLE, Story of the English Baptists (London, 1905), p.231. [Page 28 - ditto.]
"... Eustace GILES, one of the founders of the Baptist Union, and one of the best friends the Chartists had amongst the middle class..." [Page 101 - Attitude of the Churches.]
"... the National Complete Suffrage Union. This association published other tracts from the pens of clergymen, among which were 'The Suffrage Demonstrated to be the Right of All Men, by an Appeal to Scripture and Common sense,' being the substance o a lecture delivered March, 1843, by Rev J.E. GILES of Leeds..." [Page 113 - Positive Contribution of the Church.]

In September 1841, together with Dr ACKWORTH, John visited Germany to plead with the authorities for religious tolerance towards Mr ONCKEN and his Hamburg Baptists; and secondly, with Rev H. DOWSON, he visited Denmark to plead to the King of Denmark for religious tolerance there. His congregation in Leeds, fearing they might lose their revered pastor, is on record as having rebuked the Baptist Missionary Society for trying to entice him away from them.

In April 1843, a well attended "Soiree" was held in Leeds by the Complete Suffrage Association, at which the presiding chairman, Joseph CLIFFE, Esq, of Wortley, singled out one vocal adherent to their cause:
"... the Rev John Eustace GILES (cheers) who, notwithstanding the abuse which had been heaped upon him, and the taunts and jeers he had met with for being what their opponents called a 'political dissenter,' as if there were no political churchmen within the pale of the Establishment (hear, hear), had manfully come forward to denounce the wrong, and to plead for the rights (cheers). He, the Chairman, hopes that the example thus set by Mr GILES would be followed by many other ministers..."
[The Bradford Observer, Thursday 20 April 1843].

In July 1844, John again fell ill, and spent nine months in Brighton for his recovery. He resigned his Leeds charge on 3 August 1845, and advised his old congregation that he had been invited to settle at Broadmead in Bristol. He received their farewell on 21 September, and was presented with a silver inkstand.

During his nine years at Leeds, four more children were born - Joseph Henry, Ellen, Alfred, and Frederick Goodwin.

In the 1841 Census, the family were enumerated at the corner of Brunswick and North Streets, Leeds (the 1837 directory listing was at 20 North Street), with John, aged 35+, Baptist Minister, his wife Ann, aged 25+, children Ann (10), John (7), William (6), Joseph (4) and Ellen (2), along with Eliza GODFREY (15+, probably his niece), and two Female Servants, Jane MILTHORPE and Jane FOSTER (both aged 20+). By 1982, North Street had disappeared under the M1 motorway.

John was not to last long in Bristol.

[The remains of the Broadmead Baptist Chapel. Image courtesy of the Flickr web-site.]

In his ten months at Broadmead, John resided at 17 Ashley Road, Clifton, where, in July 1846, his ninth child Edwin was born. He had just resigned the pastorate there on 11 July 1846, and was to return to Yorkshire, where he was ordained as Pastor of the Portmahon Chapel in Sheffield.

[Portmahon Chapel, built in 1839 - as illustrated in the "Centenary Memorial Volume of the Yorkshire 
Baptist Association," Southampton Row, London, 1912, pages 251-2.]

The Baptist Magazine of 1876 once again gives us an overview of his time in Sheffield:
" Sheffield.. he remained 15 years, during which time he succeeded in clearing off a heavy debt which had long pressed heavily on the church, and to many in that town he became a 'savour of life unto life.'
"In Sheffield, Mr GILES lost is second beloved wife. After some years, he was again married, to the widow of John BLAKE, Esq, Manufacturer of that town, whom none could exceed in devotion to her husband, and especially during his last long and painful illness. By her there was added to his previous family three sons, bright, promising boys, whom their mother in his dying moments he commended into the care of Him who has promised to be 'the husband of the widow, and the father of the fatherless.'
"It was while in Sheffield that he was invited by the Protestants in Scotland to deliver a lecture upon the Church at Rome as a system of priestly power. This lecture made some stir at the time of it's delivery, and was afterwards printed and pretty widely circulated. While at Sheffield, too, he wrote articles for the Eclectic Review, which more than once became the subject of special remark."

In Sheffield, the family lived at 6 St George's Terrace (1849); York Place, Portmahon (1852); York Cottage, Sheffield (1854); and at York Cottage, Whitehouse Lane, Longsett Road, Nether Hallam (1857).
John was enumerated at York Cottage, Whitehouse Lane, Nether Hallam, in the 1851 Census, aged 45 (born Dartmouth), Baptist Minister, Portmahon Chapel, with his second wife Ann (aged 38, born Burton-on-Trent), and his six children Ann L. (19, born London), Joseph Henry (14, born Leeds), Ellen (12, born Leeds), Alfred (9, born Leeds), Frederick G. (7, born Leeds), and Edwin (4, born Bristol).

His second wife, Anne LEESE, died at York Cottage, Nether Hallam, on 30 November 1852 [Statutory Registration; Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, Saturday 4 December]; she was buried on 4 December, by Rev W.M. McKERROW, in Rusholme Road Cemetery, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, 4 December, aged 40 years, cause of death "...consumption" [Cemetery Register, Findmypast]; she was buried in the same grave (No 1164) as her mother (Ann LEESE alias HARRISON in 1837), and mother-in-law (Elizabeth GILES alias PIKE in 1844). Her infant twin children, Arthur (died November 1848) and Eliza (died March 1851), had been buried in Sheffield General Cemetery.
And John was married thirdly, at Portmahon Chapel, 27 December 1856, to Ellen, widow of John BLAKE, Manufacturer in Sheffield, and daughter of John BARNETT, Coach Proprietor. She bore him two sons in Sheffield - Barnett and Arthur.

In October 1860, John was farewelled from Portmahon Chapel, after he had responded to an invitation from the Baptist Congregation at Rathmines, County Dublin. His son William Leese GILES had just been appointed to his first charge, at Abbey Street, City of Dublin, and may have been instrumental in his father's invitation.
In Dublin, John and his family resided at Latour Villa, Upper Rathgar Road, Rathgar, County Dublin (1862).
But his Irish sojourn was brief, as the Baptist Magazine of 1876 noted:
"From Sheffield he went to preside over a new church at Rathmines, Dublin, He was not long, however, in finding out that the community was so permeated with the spirit of Plymouth Brethrenism that his hopes of success would be in vain; accordingly, he resigned his charge and came up to London."

While in Dublin, their young son Barnett died, aged 3; and another son Frank was born. Unfortunately, the 1861 Census returns for Dublin do not survive.

John secured an appointment to supply "... the endowed chapel on Clapham Common," where he ministered for the last 13 years of his life. The family resided at 1 Wentworth Terrace, Fitzwilliam Road, Clapham, where, in the 1871 Census, he was enumerated as Baptist Minister, aged 65, with his third wife Ellen, aged 46, born Warwick, sons Arthur (11) and Frank (9), both scholars, and son Edwin (5), with a servant named Mary WHITE.

[Rev John Eustace GILES in later life. Photo in the Colombo PIGOTT family album now in my possession.]

John Eustace GILES died at 37 Fitzwilliam Road, Clapham, on 24 June 1875. The Baptist Magazine of 1876 has the final word, noting that he died:
"...after a long and painful illness borne with much patience and submission. In his last moments he gave utterance to none of those rapturous expressions of joy and confidence which sometimes we find recorded in books as the last words of some; but his firm hope was in God's mercy, through Christ. He would hear of nothing that he had ever done as supplying any ground for comfort. All he could see in himself, he said, was sin, and his predominant feeling was one of amazement at God's wonderful mercy, and patience, and forbearance. At length he fell asleep without a groan or struggle..."
His remains were buried at West Norwood Cemetery, Norwood Road, London SE 27, in grave number 15747, square 26. There is no standing monument on the grave, in which he was, as of 2003, the sole burial.

John's will was proved in London on 14 July 1875, by his widow Ellen. He made bequests of a silver coffee-pot and cream jug to his daughter Annie PURCELL; Silver tea-pot and sugar basin, and her mother's portrait, to his daughter Ellen PIGOTT; Watch, seals and rings to his eldest son John Eustace Junior; Cabinet with polyglot bibles and other contents to his second son William Leese; Encyclopaedia Britannica to his third son Joseph Henry; Large writing desk to his fourth son Arthur; Butter dish with silver cover to his fifth son Frederick Goodwin; Treasury bible to his sixth son Arthur; Bagsten's Comprehensive Bible and Johansen's Dictionary to his seventh son Frank; and Pulpit presentation Bible to his eighth son Edwin Barnett.


John Eustace GILES had issue by his first wife Anne Ledyard EVILL:

1. Annie Ledyard GILES, born in London, 29 May 1831; aged 10, with father and step-mother, 1841 Census; aged 19, with father, step-mother and five half-siblings, 1851 Census; emigrated to the U.S. during 1854; she died at New Haven, Connecticut, on 25 December 1913, and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven, in the family plot (Grave 3); she was married at the Baptist Chapel, York Street, Manchester, on 30 January 1854, to John PURSELL (or PURCELL - born Shrewsbury, 1830), Gothic Carver, of 93 Red Bank, Manchester; they emigrated to America in 1854; residing at Ward 2, Boston City (1860), Charlestown, Massachusetts (1870), New Haven, Connecticut (1880), and at State Street, Hawden, New Haven, 1910 Census; he died at New Haven, 19 June 1911, and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven (Section 5, Plot 312, Grave 2), aged 80; issue:
a. John Eustace William PURSELL, born at East Boston, Massachusetts, 10 November 1854; Wood Carver; at Lafayette, New Haven, Connecticut, 1910; died 16 December 1920; married Rose De La RIVIERE; issue:
     i. Francis William PURCELL, born CT, August 1880; at Milford, New Haven, CT, 1940 Census, aged 60, Labourer, with wife, 4 children, son-in-law and 2 grandchildren; died CT, 1950; married Loretta (born CT, ca 1889), with issue.
     ii. Henry Edward PURCELL, born CT, February 1883, and probably at Beverley Hills, Los Angeles, 1940 Census, aged 54, Superintendent, Record Manufacturers, with wife and son; died at Hollywood, 1942; married Mae E. (born CT, ca 1890), with issue.
b. Elizabeth PURSELL, born at Needham, Norfolk County, Mass, 18 August 1856; died at Cambridge, Mass, 3 November 1917, and buried Cambridge Cemetery; married at Malden, Mass, 7 December 1876, Charles Arthur CROWN; he died in Los Angeles, 6 February 1927, aged 73; issue:
     i. Edward Lyman CROWN, born at Boston, 6 February 1878; died 26 July 1965.
     ii. Annie L. CROWN, born Boston, 10 July 1879; died Lowell, Mass, 30 April 1957; married at Cambridge, Mass, 5 June 1900, Frederick C. BEAN.
     iii. Charles Arthur CROWN, born Boston, 14 February 1881; died Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles, 8 June 1934.
     iv. Robert Allan CROWN, born Boston, 26 July 1886; died 1 September 1973.
     v. Howard Emery CROWN, born Boston, 3 June 1890. died 11 March 1892.
c. Frederick G. PURSELL, born at Needham, Massachusetts, 20 December 1858; died at New Haven, CT, 19 October 1922, and was buried in the family plot (Grave 4).
d. William PURSELLborn at East Boston, 15 December 1860; died at Boston, 9 August 1865; a child.
e. Henry PURSELL, born at East Boston, 18 August 1862; Cabinet Maker; died at Los Angeles, 16 March 1942.
f. Arthur Edward PURSELL, born at Boston, 11 February 1865; Carpenter; at St Charles, Kane County, Illinois, 1900; went to Los Angeles; died at Los Angeles, 1949; married at St Charles, Illinois, 24 April 1888, Harriett Malvina SWITZER; she died Los Angeles, 11 August 1963; with issue:
     i. Herbert A. PURSELL; born and died 10 October 1889.
     ii. Elizabeth Mabel PURSELL, born at Elgin, Illinois, 1 April 1891; died at Bakersfield, California, 15 September 1973; married at Santa Anna, Cal, 17 May 1913, Eugene Thomas DEVINE.
     iii. Harriet Towner PURSELL, born Illinois, 4 May 1894; died 21 February 1986; married in 1917, Don Carlyle CONDON.
     iv. Stanley Arthur PURSELL, born at St Charles, Kane County, Illinois, 2 November 1900; died Huntington Beach, California, 8 July 1980; married in 1922, Irene SPIERS.
     v. Mary Switzer PURSELL, born at St Chester, Kane County, Illinois, 16 October 1902.
g. Annie Ledyard PURSELL, born at Milton, Suffolk County, Mass, 6 June 1867; died at Cambridge, Mass, 6 February 1869, a child.
h. William (2) PURSELL, born Mass, ca 1869; aged 11, with parents, 1880 Census; died 8 September 1894, and buried in his parents plot (Grave 1). 

By his second wife, Anne LEESE, John had further issue:

2. John Eustace GILES Junior, born at Holloway, London, 17 September 1833; aged 7, with parents, 1841 Census; apprenticed to Mr MOORE, Surgeon and Druggist, of Shalesmoor, 1850, when, in MOORE's absence, he sold a lethal dose of prussic acid to a man who used it commit suicide, and was issued with a caution by the Coroner, it being observed that he did "... labour under considerable mental suffering" as a result; at Moorfield, North Sheffield, 1851 Census, aged 17, Apprenticed as a Chemist, and residing with Nathaniel MOORE (36), Surgeon and Dispensing Chemist, and his wife Mary MOORE (aged 37); John was residing at Wood Villa, Roundtown, County Dublin, 1862-65; residing at Westcroft Street, Droitwich, Worcestershire, 1881 Census, as a boarder with the Rural Postmaster Thomas NESBITT and his family - this census enumeration recorded John as a Lunatic, perhaps the result of his mental anguish over the 1850 suicide; he died at Droitwich, June quarter 1893, aged 61 [Volume 6a, page 191]; unmarried.

3. William Leese GILES, born at Holloway, London, 27 October 1834; aged 6, with parents, 1841 census; educated to the Ministry in London; Baptist Minister; Abbey Street Chapel, Dublin, October 1860-October 1862; Canon Street Chapel, Birmingham, 1863-72; at 103 Varna Road, Edgbaston, 1871 Census, aged 36, Dissenting Baptist Minister, with wife and four children; moved to Greenwich, 1873-78; Minister of Chorley and Cloughfield, Lancashire, 1878, 1879, and residing at Plantation House, Dobbin Lane, Cloughfold (1878); and at 22 Cloughfold, Newchurch, Lancashire, 1881 Census, aged 46, Widower, with five children.

[William Leese GILES and his cat. Image courtesy of Marylin CANGRO's tree on]

William went to America, 1882, and settled early in Chesterfield, Connecticut (child born in 1883); Shelton, Connecticut (child born 1885), New Durham, New Jersey (ordained in May 1886, child born 1889, left before December 1891), Cross River, New York State (children born in 1890 and 1893, minister in 1894), then in East Longmeadow, Hampden County (minister in 1897, 1900 Census), and in Cummington, Hampshire County (1910, 1920 Censuses), Massachusetts, serving Baptist churches in those six places; he died at Cummington, 20 February 1922, and buried at Cummington, 24 February [Report of the Funeral published in the Springfield Republican, Saturday 25 February].
William was married firstly, by his father, at Regent's Park Baptist Chapel, London (originally the rotunda part of Louis DAGUERRE's 1823 London Diorama), on 7 August 1861, to Helen ELPHINSTONE (eldest daughter of John ELPHINSTONE of Regent Street, London, Master Baker); she died at Whalley, Lancashire, December quarter 1879; issue:
a. Sarah Lilian GILES, born at Marino, County Dublin, 24 May 1862; aged 8, with parents, 1871 Census; aged 18, with father, 1881 Census, unmarried.
b. Anne Louise GILES, born at Birmingham, 15 June 1864; aged 6, with parents, 1871 Census; aged 16, at 6 Upper Tulse Hill, Lambeth with her grandparents John and Sarah ELPHINSTONE; she was married at Paddington, 3 July 1889, to Rev Thomas HINCKLEY of Winslow, Bucks, with issue:
          i. Primrose Dorothea HINKLEY, born Halifax, Yorkshire, 1897.
c. William Elphinstone GILES, born at Birmingham, 12 May 1866; aged 4, with parents, 1871 Census; aged 14, Scholar, with father, 1881 Census; went to America, 1884; Designer, Providence, Rhode Island, 1910 Census; married at New Haven, Connecticut, 12 May 1897, Alice Louisa FINLAY; she died at New Haven, 5 July 1917; issue:
          i. Emma Helen GILES, born at Bristol, Hartford, Connecticut, 4 May 1898; at University Apartments, West 118th Street, New York, 1940 Census, aged 41, with husband and son; she died N.Y., 1963; married at New Haven, CT, 6 June 1918, Walter BALDWIN (born CT, and; aged 44 in 1940, Superintendent of Apartment Houses); with issue.
          ii. Katherine F. GILES, born 6 July 1899.
          iii. Melmouth Jessie GILES, born 8 February 1900.
          iv. Agnes Elvira GILES, born 2 November 1903.
          v. Harriett A. GILES, born 4 February 1905; at Queen's County, New York, 1940 Census, aged 35, with husband, GILES son and 2 FROUDE children; she died Brentwood, New Jersey, January 1976, and married Henry FROUDE, with issue.
          vi. Editha GILES, born Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 9 September 1907; died Bristol, CT, 1990.
d. John Howard GILES, born at Birmingham, 22 March 1868; died 1869, an infant.
e. Agnes Maude GILES, born at Birmingham, 15 November 1869; aged 1, with parents, 1871 Census; aged 11, at 6 Upper Tulse Hill, Lambeth, 1881 Census, with her ELPHINSTONE grandparents; went to America, 1882; died on 16 June 1949; married at Cross River, New York, 12 October 1882, Aaron NEWMAN of New Jersey; at East Longmeadow, Hampden County, Massachusetts, 1900, 1910; at Washington D.C., 1920; at Mt Vernon Hwy, Mt Vernon, Fairfax County, VA, 1940 Census, aged 71, with wife, son and daughter-in-law; issue:
          i. Dorothy Agnes NEWMAN, born Massachusetts, ca 1897, Clerk, U.S. Gov't, and married Washington D.C., 1923, Gerald Ward BROOKES.
          ii. Laurence G. NEWMAN, born Massachusetts, ca 1899, Accountant, U.S. Gov't, 1910; aged 41, Economist, U.S. Gov't, with parents, 1940, with his wife Lillian (aged 42, born Texas, Clerk, U.S. Gov't).
f. Carolyne Edith GILES, born at Birmingham, 10 December 1872; aged 9, with father, 1881 Census; went to America; of West Hoboken, New Jersey, 1922.
g. Herbert Noel GILES, born at Greenwich, 29 September 1873; aged 7, with father, 1881 Census; went to America; of Florence, 1922; at Northampton, Hampden County, Mass, 1900, 1930; married at Nantucket, 16 June 1897, Lillian May WORTH, with issue:
          i. Leonard W. GILES, born Massachusetts, ca 1903.
          ii. Arabella W. GILES, born Massachusetts, ca 1906, died 2003.
h. Helen Constance GILES, born at Greenwich, 2 May 1875; aged 5, with father, 1881 census; went to America; Writer; married at New York, 16 October 1901, Ephraim Daniel KLOTS, a Homoeopathic Doctor, of New York; both in New York, 1930 Census.
j. Ethel GILES, born at Greenwich, 6 January 1878; apparently "adopted out" on her mother's death; living in Birmingham, 1923.
William married secondly, at Prestwich, Lancashire, June quarter 1882, Mary Jane BROWN (born at Bristol, England, 24 August 1858, daughter of George BROWN and Elizabeth HARRIS); she was at Cummington, Mass, 1920 Census, aged 61; living 1930; she died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs HARMON, in the Steady Lane district of Ashfield, 16 March 1942, aged 83, having resided in the U.S. for 60 years [North Adams Transcript, Massachusetts, 16 March - recording also her birth details]; further issue:
k. Amy Elizabeth GILES, born at Bristol, Gloucestershire, 23 September 1882; with parents, 1910; of Ashfield, 1922; died on 24 November 1950; married at Cummington, Massachusetts, 23 September 1910, Harry E. HARMON.
l. John Eustace GILES, born Chesterfield, Connecticut, 23 October 1883; of Springfield, 1922; at Springfield, Hampton County, Massachusetts, 1940 Census, aged 56, Street Car Operator, with wife; he died on 16 October 1944; married at Springfield, Massachusetts, 15 September 1912, Maude ROCKERELL (born MA, aged 54 in 1940).
m. Joseph Leese GILES, born at Shelton, Connecticut, 29 July 1885; died in infancy.
n. Frederick Alexander GILES, born at New Durham, New Jersey, 24 October 1889; at Cummington, Massachusetts, 1920 Census, aged 31.
p. Arthur S. GILES, born at Cross River, New York, 31 December 1890; Painter (Building), at Cummington, 1920, 1930, 1940; died on 30 May 1964; married at Cummington, 12 September 1913, Ruth Whitney STEVENS, with issue:
          i. Richard GILES, born Cummington, ca 1917; married Elizabeth, with issue.
q. Esther Leese GILES, born at Cross River, New York, July 1893; of Albany, New York, 1922; at Westfield, Union County, New Jersey, 1940 Census, aged 47, with husband, 2 children, son-in-law and grandson; married at Cummington, Masachusetts, 24 November 1915, Howard Charles BARNES (born MA, ca 1893, a Traffic Engineer), with issue.
[I am very grateful to Brenda WIEBER for recent confirmation of the above birth and marriage details; and to Marilyn CANGRO for some of the death dates.]

4. Maria Stephens GILES, born at Holloway, London, between 24 January and 7 February 1836; died at North Street, Leeds, 22 June 1836, aged 4 mos 3 weeks, of decline, and was buried on 24 June at Leeds General Cemetery, Grave 4080 [Nonconformist Register RG4].

5. Joseph Henry GILES, born at Leeds, 17 March 1837; aged 4, with parents, 1841 Census; aged 14, "... at home" with parents, 1851 Census; Medical Practitioner; went to America, and resided for a time in Massachusetts; naturalized at Stockton, San Joaquin County, California, 6 April 1868; resided in Sutter Creek, Amador County, California (1880, 1900); Physician and Surgeon, Sutter Creek, February 1910, office in Eureka Street, one block east of Main Street; Magistrate; subject of Superior Court proceedings, in January 1900, resulting from the death of one of his patients, a married woman for whom, it was imputed, he may have procured an illegal termination (the jury could not agree on a verdict).

[Artist's impression of Dr J.H. GILES accompanying a press report on his trial, January 1901.]

Joseph died at Sutter Creek, 1 April 1902, as the result of a fall from his carriage; he married firstly, at Bolton, Massachusetts, on 8 September 1859, Lucie Jane COOLIDGE - in the marriage register, his occupation was recorded as Clergyman; they appear to have divorced, and there are no indications of any issue; she died in Marlborough, Massachusetts, on 26 November 1911, being recorded as divorced.
Joseph married secondly, at Calaveras County, California, on 23 May 1873, Mary Elizabeth SETTLES; she was at Sutter Creek, 1910, aged 58, a widow, with her 2 younger sons; at Placerville, El Dorado County, 1930 Census, aged 74, with son Fred and daughter-in-law Edwina; she died at El Dorado County, California, 2 May 1938, aged 86; issue:
a. May Lilian GILES, born CA, February 1874; lived in North Dakota, and returned to California by 1906; died at Bakersfield, Kern County, California, 7 February 1929; married in 1890, Joseph Burr FLITCRAFT, Upholsterer; he died in 1939; issue:
     i. Earl C. FLITCRAFT, born North Dakota, 1891; married with issue.
     ii. Clarence FLITCRAFT, born North Dakota, 1893.
     iii. May Evalyn FLITCRAFT, born North Dakota, 1896; married Arthur RAINES with issue
     iv. Giles Edward FLITCRAFT, born North Dakota, 1898.
     v. Elizabeth Helen FLITCRAFT, born North Dakota, 1902.
     vi. Frederick William FLITCRAFT, born North Dakota, 1903; married Vida May HICKMAN with issue.
     vii. Alice FLITCRAFT, born California, 1906.
     viii; Elsie Louise FLITCRAFT, born California, 1911.
     ix. Giles Settle FLITCRAFT, born Amador County, California, 1915.
b. Evie GILES, born 9 December 1875; died 13 July 1877, and buried Suttor Creek Cemetery, an infant.
c. Eustace H. GILES, born California, 24 December 1876; Actor in Alaska; Manager, San Francisco, 1910; married Lillian FRENCH, with issue:
     i. Dorothy GILES, born San Francisco, 1912.
     ii. Hazel GILES, born San Francisco, 1915.
d. Garfield L. GILES, born California, September 1881; Musician; died at Amador County, California, 23 April 1911.
e. Frederick William GILES, born California, 1 January 1888; Farmer, Placerville, El Dorado County, California, 1930; died at Amador County, California, 5 October 1961; married Edwina Eugenia PAXSON; she died at Placer, 26 December 1991, aged 90; with issue.

6. Ellen GILES, born at  North Street, Leeds, 21 March 1839; aged 2, with parents, 1841 Census; aged 12, scholar, with parents, 1851 Census; she married in London, 1862, Henry Robert PIGOTT (see his separate posting on this blog-spot), and went with him to Ceylon, then N.S.W.; with issue.

7. Alfred GILES, born at Leeds, 11 July 1841; aged 9, Scholar, with parents, 1851 Census; living 1875; probably married Emily, and enumerated with her, 1871 Census, at 49 Male Road, Nether Hallam, Sheffield, Brewer's Traveller.

8. Frederick Goodwin GILES, born at Leeds, 24 November 1843; aged 7, Scholar, with parents, 1851; Engraver, 14 King's Place, Nether Hallam, Yorkshire, 1881 Census, with wife Harriett (aged 32) and daughter - Helen Mary Beatrice GILES (7).

9. Edwin GILES, born at 17 Ashley Street, Clifton, near Bristol, 13 July 1846; aged 4, with parents, 1851 Census; died at Clapham, April 1862, and buried on 16 April at Battersea Rise Cemetery, grave #330, aged 15.

10. Arthur GILES, born at Sheffield, 23 June 1848, a twin; died on 5 November 1848, and buried at Sheffield General Cemetery, aged 4 months (Grave G18, Reg. 2829).

11. Eliza GILES, born at Sheffield, 23 June 1848, the other twin; died on 8 March 1851, and buried with her twin brother, aged 2 years (same grave, Reg. 3576).

By his third wife, Ellen BLAKE alias BARNETT, who as a widow went to N.S.W. with several of her sons, John had further issue:

12. Barnett GILES, born at Sheffield, 6 March 1858; died at Rathmines, 18 October 1861, and buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Rathfarnham.

13. Arthur GILES, born at Sheffield, 8 September 1859; aged 11, Scholar, with parents, 1871 Census; B.A. in Mathematics, Cambridge University; School Master at Furze Hill, The Wick, Hove, Sussex, 1881 Census.

Arthur emigrated to N.S.W. in 1881, where, after a short spell at Launceston Grammar, Tasmania, he taught at Sydney Grammar School, becoming head of the Junior School; he died in 1939; he married Ann Minna McKELLAR of Bungendore, with issue:
a. John McKellar GILES.
b. Arthur McKellar GILES, 4th Battalion, 1st A.I.F., and killed at Gallipoli.
c. Marjory McKellar GILES, wife of Wallace CHISHOLM, then of Norman PRENDERGAST.

14. Francis GILES (Frank), born at Rathmines, County Dublin, 28 June 1861;aged 9, Scholar, with parents, 1871 Census; Draper's Assistant, at Messrs TARN's Establishment, Newington, Surrey, 1881 Census; went to N.S.W with his widowed mother, but later returned to England; Accountant's Clerk, 1901 Census, with cousin Agnes WITHINGTON, at the Rectory, Great Ayton, Yorks.

15. Edwin Barnett GILES, born at Clapham, 9 May 1865; aged 5, with parents, 1871 Census; went to N.S.W. with his widowed mother, 1883; Accountant; died on 23 June 1942; married Edith Bridson HARDIE; she died at Double Bay, N.S.W., 13 July 1947; they had issue:
     a. Merton B. GILES.

John Eustace GILES was my great-great-grandfather.


Anonymous said...

Hi there...I just googled your great grandfather and found your site. I bought an old picture at an antique store and on the back was the name "Rev John Eustace Giles". The picture is approx. 2" by 3". It appears to be a young John. The photographer appears to be Whitlock on New Street, Birmingham, established in 1842. You are welcome to this picture if you would like. Just email me at Thanks, Susie Anderson

Marilyn said...

Wow! I stumbled onto your blog and I am blown away. William Leese Giles is my Great Grandfather, Esther, his daughter is my Grandmother, Priscilla, her daughter is my mother. Priscilla is 91 and just handed the geneology over to me. I bought Legacy software and have just stated with the help of a large album full of letters and pictures.
I have to sit down and digest all your research. I am very excited! Thanks, Marilyn

Chris PIGOTT said...


Greetings, cousin.

Please feel free to contact me direct at for exchange of useful information.


Chris PIGOTT, Potts Point, N.S.W.

Mitzi Hammond Perkins said...

Thank you your hard work! My gggrandfather was John Giles Humphries,m. Jane Giles Jones and was father of William Henry Humphries and 21 other full siblings. The Humpries certainly had large families.

Chris PIGOTT said...


Am very interested in your family link to the GILES family as detailed in my blog.

Please contact me direct at to exchange useful information.

Chris PIGOTT, Potts Point, N.S.W.

Jeffrey Duke said...

I enjoyed finding your site. My ggGrandfather was Joseph Henry Giles. I love all the pics and information you have also. Thanks for all your hard work. Jeffrey Duke

Chris PIGOTT said...


Delighted to find a new cousin. Please contact me direct at for exchange of further useful information.

Chris PIGOTT, Potts Point, N.S.W.

Anonymous said...

My Great grandfather is William Leese Giles, Grandfather was Frederick A. Giles. My father is still living, he will be 89 Noveember 4th Burton Frederick Giles. I just copied these pages and took them to him in Florida.
History is amazing.He did say listed under Willliam and Mary Jane Browns children one is missing, his name John. So interesting

Lady Bren said...

Your site is absolutely amazing. There is so much information here I can't thank you enough for sharing it like this.
John is my 3rd Great Grandfather. When we started researching family history we were tickled to discover Baptist Ministers in our family as my daughter is currently studying Opera and Ministry at a Baptist school in Alabama.

Lady Bren said...

I just read the comment left by Marilyn and I recently received information that includes a letter from Priscilla. If you are in touch with her please feel free to pass along my information :)

Chris PIGOTT said...

Lady Bren,
Sadly, Marilyn did not respond to my encouragement for her to get in touch direct, so I have no means of contacting her.
I sincerely hope that I will not be soon saying the same about your goodly self.
My direct e-mail contact is

Unknown said...

Sorry, I got lost in space. Chris, I wrote to your email address. I also sent a picture of Uncle John Giles and some notes about another child who died in infancy. Most of my information about the family is on my site which you are welcome to view and fill in your ancestry with pictures. Lady Bren, Chris has my email address for contact. Happy searching. Marilyn

Unknown said...

Anonymous of July 22, 2012
Fred is my Great Uncle Fred. I am Esther Giles' granddaughter. If you give me your email, either through Chris Pigott or on her blog, I can send you some pictures. Or, connect through my Bingham/Barnes Family Tree on "" Burton Giles was at the Giles Family Reunion around 1980?? Were you there? We might have met already.

Marilyn said...

Sorry again! My name didn't show on the last two comments. I fixed that. Marilyn Cangro

Andrew Pearce said...

I am related to Lilian Mary Pearce. I'm interested in info about her family or that of Domenico Poggi.

Airola Law Offices - Auto Accident and Injury Attorney said...

Hi Chis - I am just showing your site to my daughter, Gabrielle, as she is working on her own family tree. Please recall that I am the gggrandson of Joseph Henry Giles (Jeffery Duke, above, and I are first cousins). Thank you for all of your hard work, cousin!! - John Verrios Airola, Sacramento, CA.