Hello Edward James
I read your posting on the World Family Tree site and the hairs came up on the back of my neck! My name is Edward Ramsden, as was that of my father and we were both born in Felling (Which is actually part of Gateshead, on the opposite side of the River Tyne from Newcastle). My father was born in 1905 and I was born in 1938. My grandfather was John Ramsden, known to me as "Pop", born at Heworth Colliery, not far from Birtley (not the way you spelled it) around 1894 and had sisters called Martha, Ada, Eunice and Grace, but no brothers so it is unlikely to be the same Martha. My Great Grandfather was also called Edward, but was known as Ned, as was my father. I met Aunt Martha several times, the last being at my grandmothers funeral in 1971and recall her as a redoubtable lady. I heard that she died only a few years ago.
Family hearsay suggests that the Felling branch of the Ramsden family all originated from two brothers - Edward (Ned) and another, whose name I do not know but may be well have been your great great grandfather. He had children, one of whom was called Edward and may have been your great grandfather ? he was slightly older than my father and probably born around the end of the 1800's. He was a pharmacist and worked for a local chemist (Pharmacy) called Simpson's in High Street, Felling. I well remember him from my childhood as a dapper man with a pointed, waxed moustache. He had children, one of whom may have been your grandfather James (the Dates seem right) and a daughter called Nancy, who may still be alive and lived in Turfside, Ellen Wilkinson Estate, Wardley, Felling. She will be your Great Aunt if she is still around. We think James was the father of Edward (?your father) who as a young man may have sung in Felling Male Voice Choir - if so I have heard him sing! My guess is that you must be a relatively young man ?30's or 40's - when did your family go to Australia?
My Grandfather married a Catholic girl in 1904 (the Ramsdens were protestant!), a great social problem in those days and the young couple tended to be ostracised by their families for a year or two as a consequence. My sister remembers your great grandfather's sister Martha as the matron of a children's home in Windy Nook - she never married. There are other members of the family that need to be fitted in, including Reuben who was the school attendance officer and rode a big black horse, catching children with the crook of his walking stick from horseback - sounds a formidable character to me!
I now live in South Wales and have three children - my eldest boy continues the tradition and is called John Edward Ramsden. He now lives in Singapore (He is Rear Commodore of Changi Sailing Club and features on their Club web-site).
To make sense of all this I show below a draft of a possible family tree, although I have made several assumptions and guesses. I tried to Email this information but it seems your Email address may have changed as it was returned. As you posted on the geneology site more than a year ago it may take time before you pick this response up, but when and if you do, please feel free to Email me if you want to pursue the contact.
Draft of likely Ramsden Family in Felling
Two Brothers came From Yorkshire to Felling
In the 19th Century
Edward (Ned) Another one
John(Jack), Ada, Grace, Edward; Martha
Martha, Rebecca & ? Eunice
Edward (Ned) 1905; ?James 1920, Nancy (? Alive)
John 1906 (No Children)
Edward (Eddie) 1938 ? Me:
Maureen (Brown) 1931 Edward (? Sang in Felling Choir)
Judith (Moore) 1961; Edward James - You
John Edward 1962;
Alistair James 1969
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