Thomas Barnett was the fourth child of William Barnett & Ann Matthews born in 1833 at Saunderton, Bucks. After a fruitless search for Thomas’ actual birthdate, the following has recently been found in the Records of the British Civil Service Evidence of Age. ‘Thomas born February 22nd, 1833. The above is a true extract from a Bible, in the possession of William Barnett, of the Grange Farm, in the Parish of Saunderton, Bucks, and the insertion therein of the date of the Birth of Thomas Barnett appears to have been made at the time indicated.’ This was signed by Francis A Faber, the Rector of Saunderton from 1845 until 1876 .
In 1841 Thomas & his brothers & sisters were living at Saunderton Grange where his father was a farmer.
By 1851 Thomas was working as an apprentice miller for George Rose at Amy Mill, Chesham Bois, Bucks.
Thomas was lodging at 26 Charles St, Wigan, Lancs at the time of the 1861 census. He was working as a surveyor of taxes.
By 1871 he had moved to Cornwall & was still employed as a surveyor of taxes. He was lodging in Princes Street, St Mary, Truro.
Thomas married Florence Augusta Keller on March 4th, 1875 at St James’, Gloucester. Florence was born May 13th, 1849 in Rathmines, Dublin, the daughter of Thomasina Eliza Anderson & Thomas Keller.
Thomas & Florence had a son born on May 15th 1876 who sadly died in infancy on August 12th, 1876, as reported in the Royal Cornwall Gazette of August 19th, 1876. They were living in Truro at this time.
Thomas & Florence were living at 24 St James Place, Plymouth St Andrew, Devon in 1881. They had 2 children by this time – Susan J (2) & Sybil (1) & Thomas was still a surveyor of taxes for the Inland Revenue. A general servant & a nurse were living with them.
By 1891 Thomas, 58 years of age, had retired & he & Florence were living at Norland, Weston, Somerset. With them were children Norah A (9), Irene L (6), Dorothy M (5), John P R (3) & Emma Helen (1). They also had a domestic servant.
Tragedy struck the family in 1896 when 10 year old Dorothy fell into the river at Newton Bridge on April 1st. She was saved from drowning by a young man who received a medal for his bravery. Dorothy, who was described as a bright intelligent child full of promise, recovered from the effects of the accident but was subsequently taken ill. She had apparently only been rescued after sinking 3 times & it is thought ‘that she succumbed to some insidious disease caused by her prolonged immersion’ (Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette, May 21st, 1896.
The family was still living in Weston in 1901, now at 60 Newbridge Rd. Children at home were Susan, a governess, Irene, John & Emmie (Emma). Daughter Norah was boarding at 9 Montpelier Terrace, Cheltenham with Thomas Whittard, a teacher of classics, & family. Norah, who never married, went on to be a language teacher as shown in the 1939 Register when she was living at 226 Halbyn Rd, East Grinstead, Sussex.
Thomas died in April-June 1904, his death being registered at Bath.
Daughter Susan (known as Cissie) married Arthur Hewitt Long, an insurance broker, in 1908 in Bath.
In 1911 widowed Florence was living in a 3-roomed flat at 9 Devonshire Villas, Wellsway, Bath. With her at the time of the census was a 62 year old spinster, Louisa Sophia Dyer. Daughter Irene was working as an assistant house keeper at a hotel in Linden Gardens, Notting Hill West, Kensington, London in 1911. The proprietor of the hotel was a Miss Florence Schroeder. Irene went on to be manageress of a hotel in Torquay, Devon as shown on the 1939 Register. She was living at Flat 2, Erith Cottage, Lower Erith Rd, Torquay, & with her was her sister Helen who was working as a receptionist/bookkeeper.
The Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette of May 20th, 1933 reported that Florence Augusta had sustained a fall at 21 New King Street, Bath where she had rooms in August last. Her daughter, Irene Laura Barnett (of 15 New Bridge Rd, Bath), said that after stumbling over the step outside her room she had broken her right leg. Since that time she had been bedridden & as a result of which, 9 months later, she contracted broncho-pneumonia. Florence, 84, died at the Forbes Fraser Hospital, Bath.
The children of Thomas Barnett & Florence Augusta Keller were:
b.220.127.116.11 Thomas Augustus Barnett born May 15th, 1876 in Truro; died August 12th, 1876 in Truro, Cornwall
b.18.104.22.168 Douglas William Barnett born Jan-March 1878 at Plymouth, Devon; died at 24 St James Place, Plymouth & buried May 31st 1880 at Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth
b.22.214.171.124 Susan Janet Barnett born March 2nd, 1879 in Plymouth, Devon; died April-June 1925 in Bath
b.126.96.36.199 Sybil Florence Barnett born April-June 1880 in Plymouth, Devon
b.188.8.131.52 Norah Augusta Mary Barnett born January 1st, 1882 in Plymouth, Devon; died May 5th, 1959 at 74 Old Shoreham Rd, Brighton
b.184.108.40.206 Ellen Rea Barnett born July-September 1883 at Bath, Somerset; died at 9 Pulteney Gardens, & buried September 23rd, 1884 at Bathwick, Somerset
b.220.127.116.11 Irene Laura Barnett born March 4th, 1885 in Bath, Somerset; died Oct-December 1967 in Newton Abbot, Devon
b.18.104.22.168 Dorothy Marguerite K Barnett born April-June 1886 in Bath, Somerset; died April-June 1896 in Bath, Somerset
b.22.214.171.124 John Poulson Barnett born Jan-March 1888 in Bath, Somerset
b.126.96.36.199 Emmie Helen Barnett born August 16th, 1889 in Bath, Somerset; died April-June 1975 in Exeter, Devon