Harriet Mays was the fourth child of John May & Mary Marchant christened September 29th, 1839 at St John the Baptist, Croydon.
In 1851 Harriet was living with her parents & brothers & sisters at 11 Smiths Yard, Croydon.
In 1861 Harriet was a house maid at the home of Lord Charles Compton Cavendish & family at Latimer House, Chesham, Bucks. It was apparently a very large house with many house maids, kitchen maids, ladies maids etc.
Harriet married William James Grinstead on October 8th, 1865 at the Parish Church, Croydon. One of the witnesses at the wedding was Harriet’s brother Thomas Mays. William was born September 6th 1839 at Dorking, & christened October 20th, 1839 at Dorking West Street Chapel, Surrey, the son of Anne & William Grinstead, a builder.
In 1871 Harriet & William were living at Falkland Rd, Dorking & William was a carpenter & joiner. They had a 4 year old daughter Mirella.
By 1881 they had moved to Howard Rd, Dorking & William continued as a carpenter & joiner. Daughter Mirella was an apprentice dressmaker. They also had a lodger, Margaret Moss (22), a dressmaker.
Daughter Mirella married Frank Victor Parkinson in July-September 1888 at Dorking. Frank was a grocer’s assistant.
In 1891 Harriet & William were now living on their own at 14 Howard Rd.
They continued to live at the same address until at least 1901 when they had a boarder, Ernest Cartwright, an elementary school master. William continued to be a carpenter & joiner.
By 1901 daughter Mirella & husband Frank Parkinson were living in Dorking with their 2 children – William (12) & Florence (7). Frank was now a gas stoker. Frank died early in 1911 & at the time of the census Mirella was living at 1 Falkland Gardens, Dorking with son Percy, aged 10.
William died aged 63 & was buried on December 2nd, 1902, at the Municipal Cemetery, Dorking.
Some time after William’s death Harriet went to live with daughter Mirella & her husband Frank at 1 Falkland Gardens, Dorking. This is where Harriet died in March 1911, aged 71, & was buried on March 22nd, 1911 at St Martin’s Dorking. Frank had died earlier in 1911 & was buried on January 18th, 1911 at St Martin’s, Dorking. At the time of the 1911 census Mirella was still living at 1 Falkland Gardens, Dorking with son Percy, aged 10. She was working as a charwoman at the Union Infirmary & it was noted that she had had 3 children, only 2 of whom were still alive. Sadly Mirella died the following year.
The children of Harriet Mays & William James Grinstead were:
m.1.4.1 Mirella Grinstead born July-September 1866 at Balham, Surrey; buried April 4th, 1912 at the Municipal Cemetery, Dorking