John and Annie Ford were Master and Mistress of the Workhouse in Thornbury. The Special Drainage District Rate Book shows that the house that later became 10 Gloucester Road in Thornbury was empty in 1890 but by the Census of 1891 the house was occupied by John and Annie Ford and their family.
John Ford was baptised on 25th April 1852, the son of Matthew and Mary Greenwood Ford (nee Jenkins), farmers of Court House Farm, a large farm in Rockhampton. In the 1871 Census John was living with his grandmother, Hannah Jenkins, in the Hackett. Still only 19, John is described as a farmer and maltster. In the 1876, 1880, 1885 and 1887 Rate Books John is shown as occupying the Malthouse in St Mary Street.
On 29 April 1880, John married Annie Elizabeth Boulton in Thornbury. Annie was baptised on 4th December 1859, the daughter of John Thomas Boulton, a butler and his wife, Susannah. In the 1881 Census John and Annie were living at 9 The Plain with John working as a maltster using the premises in St Mary Street which he was still using in the 1885 and 1890 Rate Books. On 6th July 1885 an advert appeared in the Bristol Mercury advertising to let a ’10 Quart Malthouse with convenient offices and appliances’ – apply John C Millard, Olveston and John Ford, The Plain. It appears that John may have giving up being a maltster and concentrated on being a corn dealer.
By the time of the 1891 Census John and Annie are shown as living in 10 Gloucester Road and John was described as a corn dealer. Living with them were their two children: John aged 9 (baptised on 10th February 1882) and Annie aged 7 (baptised on 8th May 1883) and Annie’s brother, John Boulton, a railway clerk on the Midland Railway aged 24.
They were still living in the same house in the 1893 Rate Book but the 1894 Rate Book shows that they had moved away. In 1896 he is listed as living in Morton. Interestingly, John and Annie Ford left number 10 to become the master and matron of Thornbury Workhouse and they are shown there in the 1901 Census. Their daughter, young Annie, assisted them there.
The register of St Mary’s School in Thornbury shows that their son John Ford was admitted to the school in 1896 when their address was given as Gloucester Road, which we assume meant the Workhouse. John’s date of birth was given as 13th January 1882. The records appear to indicate that John first went to school in Cam and was transferred to Thornbury.
Annie died on September 21st 1911, aged 51 years. She died at Glenthorne, 13 Gloucester Road, the home of her sister, Elizabeth Mabel Maud Burchell. In 1915 John and Annie’s daughter, Annie, married Frederick Leighton in the Cricklade area, possibly at Lydiard Tregoze where he worked as a schoolmaster. They had a daughter, Elizabeth Joyce born in 1917. (Later following the death of her mother in 1919 and father in 1929 Elizabeth Joyce spent some time living in Thornbury with her grand uncle and aunt, Harry and Lil Burchell. The 1939 electoral register shows her living at Glenthorne in Gloucester Road and she was listed there after the war with her husband, Noel Cunnell.
The 1918 Electoral Register lists John Ford as living at The Castle Hotel in the High Street. The 1921 Electoral Register shows that John was living at the home of William Maishment in Kington Lane and then in 1927 he was living with Mrs Maishment in Easton Hill, Thornbury. John died February 17th 1933 aged 80 years. The report of John Ford’s death in the Gazette of 25th February 1933 says that John aged 80 at the time of his death had been a master of Thornbury Union (the Workhouse) for several years but that he retired on a pension about 22 years ago. John was living at his home in John Street at the time of his death. We have been unable to identify which house in St John Street was John’s.
Both are interred in Thornbury cemetery.
Annie Ford’s brother, John Thomas Boulton, the railway clerk for the Midland Railway who was living with John and Annie in the 1891 census, married Mabel Cullimore in 1893. Mabel was the eldest daughter of Luke Cullimore of Sibland Farm. By the 1901 Census, they had moved to Gloucester where he was still working as a railway clerk.