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We know of the following families who lived in what was once 4 Saw Mill Lane in Thornbury ;

The Newman family – the 1840 Tithe map indicates what appears to be two houses on the Plot 311 and these are owned by George Taylor and occupied by two households: Thomas Barge and Aaron Newman.  These two families are shown as living in these houses in the 1841 census, and although we cannot be sure which family lived in each house, we are guessing that it was Aaron Newman who was occupying number 4.

The census shows the house occupied by Aaron, a veterinary surgeon aged 60 and Mary Ann Newman aged 20.  This seems to be a change in occupation as when his children, Mary Ann and Samuel, were baptised, Aaron was described as a labourer.  His age too seems to have undergone a change.  The inscription on his grave, four years later on 12th August 1845 shows he was 75 when he died.  His obituary described him as a farrier.  He was an illegitimate child, the son of Hannah born in 1770.  He married Maria Addis in Thornbury on 7th July 1800.  Maria wasn’t living with Aaron at the time of the 1841 Census and we can’t find her for sure. 

Following Aaron’s death, the house in Saw Mill Lane seems to have been occupied by Aaron’s son, Samuel Newman.  In 1851 Samuel was living there with his family.  He was described as a master farrier aged 32 born in Thornbury.  His wife, Ann, was aged 25 born in Alveston.  Their children were: Aaron aged 5, Elizabeth A aged 3, and Charles aged 1.  In this census, Maria, Samuel’s mother, is shown as being aged 72, a visitor to Ann Collins, a farmer in Sibland. 

By 1861 Samuel was still living in the house with Ann.  They now had 7 children: their son, Aaron now 15 had become an apprentice farrier, Elizabeth A aged 13, Hannah Maria aged 9, James aged 7, Daniel aged 6, Stephen aged 4, and Sarah aged 1. Samuel’s mother, Maria was now living with him.  She was described as being aged 83 and ‘formerly a quill maker’.  Maria died on March 29th 1862 aged 85 years and was buried with Aaron in Thornbury St Mary’s graveyard.  By 1871, Samuel and the family moved to 1 Saw Mill Lane.  Samuel’s son, Aaron Newman, joined the Royal Navy and served for three years from 1873 to 1876 and then settled in Yorkshire.  Click here to read more

William Liddiatt – in 1871 the house appears to be occupied by William Liddiatt, a sawyer aged 58 from Thornbury and his wife, Margaret aged 50 born in Henbury, and their children: John aged 13 born in Bristol, and Frederick W aged 8 and Henry aged 5, both born in Thornbury.  Click here to read more

Daniel Raggatt appears in this house in the 1880 rate book. Daniel was born in Yate about 1839, the son of James and Ann Raggatt.  He married Elizabeth Jane Symes in the Clifton area in 1861.  They had several children: William Sargent registered in the Chipping Sodbury area in 1863, Ernest Edward baptised on 5th March 1865, Mary E born in 1866, Eliza Ann baptised on 7th March 1869, Alice Emma baptised on 15th December 1872, Frederick Charles baptised on 1st June 1873, Frank born in 1874 and Kate born in 1877.  Apart from William all the other children were registered in Thornbury.

The 1871 census shows Daniel was living in Silver Street.  He was a journeyman wheelwright aged 32 born in Yate.  He was living with his wife, Elizabeth aged 32 born in Yatton and their five children: William aged 8, Ernest aged 6, Mary aged 4, Eliza aged 2 and Alice aged 10 months.  All the children had been born in Thornbury.  They also had a lodger, John Collings, an agricultural labourer aged 20 who was born in Thornbury.

We suspect Daniel and the family had moved from a house in St Mary Street (on the site of numbers 33/35) because the 1876 rate book shows the occupant there as ‘Daniel Rackett’.  The 1881 census shows the family in ‘Pullins Green’ which we assume to include the houses in Saw Mill Lane.  In the census Daniel was 44 years old wheelwright and living with his 45 year old wife from Yatton in Somerset.  At this time they had seven children living with them; William aged 18 born in Yate, Ernest aged 16 (both of whom were wheelwrights like their father), Eliza M. aged 12, Alice aged 9, Frederick aged 8, Frank aged 6, and Kate aged 3.  All the children (except William) were born in Thornbury.

In 1883 Daniel was charged at the Petty Sessional Court with neglecting to send Frank aged 9 to school on 25th October 1883.  He was convicted and fined 5 shillings without costs or 7 days hard labour if he refused or could not pay the fine.  The family were still living in Saw Mill Lane in 1885.  By the 1891 census Daniel and Elizabeth had moved to Crossways where they were living with their sons, Frederick a blacksmith and Frank a wheelwright.

Daniel’s daughter Eliza Ann Raggatt then aged 23 married Fred William Smith a porter-guard from Sheffield on November 17th 1892.

In the 1901 Census Daniel and Elizabeth were living alone at Crossways near the Chapel.  Elizabeth died aged 72 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 28th January 1909.  The 1911 census shows Daniel was living with his widowed daughter, Eliza Ann Smith who was running the newsagents shop at 33 High Street on the corner of Silver Street.  She was a widow aged 45 born in Thornbury.  The census shows Daniel had been married 50 years and had eight children, seven of them still surviving.

We know from a Gazette newspaper of 8th November 1913 that Daniel had died at Horfield in Bristol aged 76.  It reported that he had lived in Thornbury for the last 50 years but he had been living with his daughter, Mrs Smith, a newsagent, for the last six years and only moved to Horfield to live with his daughter there a short time before his death.

John White – by 1890 the rate book shows that the tenancy has changed and John White now lives there.  The 1891 census shows the house is occupied by John White, a foreman sawyer aged 34 from Slimbridge and his wife, Sarah aged 31 from Cam.  They had two children: Alexander aged 11 born in Cam and Francis aged 9 born in Wickwar.  They had moved from Cam, where they appeared in the 1881 census.  In this census John’s wife is shown as ‘Elizabeth’, although her age and birthplace are consistent with the 1891 census.  John was a sawyer in Cam and their baby son Alexander was only five months.

Charles Reeves – in 1894 the rate book shows that Charles Reeves had moved to this house from 1 Saw Mill Lane.  He continued living in this house until at least 1899 when he appears in the rate book of that year as a tenant.  He then moved to 5 St John Street.

Levi Screen – in 1901 the house was occupied by Levi Robert Screen, an engine driver aged 26 from Normanton, near Wakefield in Yorkshire, his wife, Jane aged 24 from Deddington in Somerset and unmarried sister-in-law, Mary Haines aged 21 also from Deddington.

It is interesting to see that although Levi and Jane were not local, Levi’s family was.  Levi was born in March quarter 1874, the son of Robert Screen, an agricultural labourer of Duckhole and his wife, Sarah from the Forest of Dean.  In 1881 the family were living in Duckhole in Thornbury.  In 1891 the family had moved to Palmers Flat in the Forest of Dean where Robert and Levi were working as coal miners.  An Ernest Long, a grandson aged 3 and born in Milbury Heath was staying with them.  Levi married Jane Haines in Thornbury on 1st December 1900.  Jane died on 30th August 1945 aged 68 years.  Levi died on April 12th 1956 aged 86 years.

By 1905 the rate book is blank for this house so Levi and his family may have moved. A report in the Gazette in November 1907 shows that Levi wanted to leave his job as second driver on the steam engine roller with the District Council.

Maud Mary Mills – the 1911 census shows that Maud Mary Mills was occupying the house.  She was a widowed charwoman aged 34 who was born in Redland, Bristol.  She was living there with her children: Ernest Charles aged 8 and John Robert aged 6, both born in Brislington.  We suspect that Maud had been Maud Mary Wheeler who married Ernest Henry Mills in Bristol in 1902.

She was still listed as living in Saw Mill Lane in the 1918 electoral register.  By 1921 she had moved to St Mary Street, but by the 1921 register she had moved to St Mary Street. Maud appears to have had another child in 1915,  Fredith M Mills was registered with the maiden name of the child was Wheeler.  According to the school records Fredith was born on 13th December 1914 and when she started school in 1920 her mother, Mrs Mills was living in St Mary Street.  It appears that Maud and Fredith moved away from Thornbury later that year as Fredith was taken out school.
George and Mary Hurkett – lived in the house in 1925 electoral register and the 1925 valuation list.  The Council School record shows that in 1921 Thomas Hurkett started the school and that his father was William Hurkett who was living at Saw Mill Lane.  We do not know the connection between George and William.  Thomas left the school in 1922 to go to Bristol, which is probably why William does not appear in the 1925 electoral register.  George and Mary left the house by 1926.

The Holpins – from around 1927 to the early 60’s the family was occupied by Bill and Doris Holpin and their family – Read more about them

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