The Pettit Family 1823 - 2002

Bertha Pettit b 16 December 1879 - d

Census Year Copy Found Certificate Type Copy Found Associated Locations  
1881 No



Place of birth (No map yet)
1891 Yes



Place of marriage
1901 Yes








Research Dates
8 Aug 06       

8 August 06
As with others of her generation, facts about Bertha are proving hard to find after the 1901 census.   What is known so far is that she was born in the barracks of the Tower of London, something that not too many people can lay claim to.   Her father was a Colour Sergeant in the Coldstream Guards, and a number of Bertha's siblings were born in different Army camps, but Bertha's birthplace is by far the most auspicious.   Her next appearance comes in the 1891 census, where aged 11 she is found living in the Staff of Life beerhouse.   Sadly, her father died in 1899, but before he did he may have managed to secure Bertha a job, as she is next found in the 1901 census with her sister, working for a Lt Col Fleming and his wife in Frimley, Surrey.   After the 1901 census, she vanishes, but there are two possible entries in the register of marriages which may relate to her.   The certificates will be obtained to establish if either of them applies to her.

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Birth Certificate

Bertha was born on the 16th December 1879, daughter to William and Sarah Ann Pettit (Middleditch). The location for Bertha's birth is a bit special, she was born in the barracks at the Tower of London. At the time of her birth father William was a Colour Sergeant in the Coldstream Guards, and he was no doubt on duty at the time of the birth. Mother Sarah Ann reported the birth on the 23rd January 1880, to J Sparks, Registrar.

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1901 Census

The 1901 census finds Bertha aged 21 working as a housemaid domestic at The Glen, Frimley, in Surrey. Her employers are an Edward Fleming a Lieut Col RA, and his wife Gertrude. There are a number of servants employed at the house, another of them possibly being Bertha's sister Elizabeth, although her name is shown as Lucy, so further enquiries are being carried out. Amusingly, someone has entered the word 'Toff' against the Head of the Household's entry - I wonder what that story is! Did he upset the enumerator by his manner? I suppose it is something that will never be known, but if he did, did his servants find it pleasant working for him?

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