Cycle Ward b.1875

The original reason why I wanted Cycle to appear on my blog is because of the occupation of the man she marries, however when I came across her family in the course of my own family research as I too have a Henry and Susan Ward (her parents) in Croydon in 1881, only unfortunately not these ones,  I knew the family would be a very interesting bunch.

Unlike most of the people who appear on my blog, Cycle has siblings with unusual names too. Although the eldest started off with the fairly innocuous Annie and Henry after their paternal Grandparents, we later have Paris, Omega, Lorraine (a boy), Clematis, a slightly-ahead-of-it’s-time Zoe and one more common name of Ivy. It didn’t really come as a surprisewhen I saw their Father’s occupation varied between Photographer and Artist. 😀

Many of the children became photographers too, and it was whilst looking up Lorraine’s photography that I came across this quote from a comment on an old photograph used by the Reading Chronicle, showing a local ‘dad’s Army’ which was started by Henry himself;

“Henry Ward started it – he was an avid cyclist who kept a diary showing he rode around 8,000 miles a year. His studios were at 43 London Street, Reading.”

So, much like another person who appears on this blog – Photo Scales – Cycle was named after one of her Father’s passions!

After 1881 I struggled to find Cycle on the censuses. This is because I found a marriage for her, marrying an Edwin F Hubbard, but could not find either of them under that surname. When I looked into Edwin’s family however, I realised they all had the same middle name – Fortescue. In fact in 1891 Edwin, his brother and his Mother are all using the surname Fortescue, even though he marries using Hubbard, and his Mother’s maiden name is Greey (not a typo, it’s with two e’s). Amelia also goes back to using Hubbard in 1911. Oddly, some of Edwin’s siblings emigrate to the USA, but continue to use Hubbard. I did wonder if they did this to escape some kind of scandal, but I couldn’t find any records of crimes committed by any of the family, and Edwin’s father’s absences are explained by his occupation as a travelling salesman, confirmed by finding him staying in hotels and the varying birthplaces of the children. Despite going back a few generations either side I couldn’t find any Fortescue’s and that aspect may have to remain a mystery… Unless anyone reading knows the answer of course! *Update – a comment below from a descendant explains there really was no reason behind it other than Fortescue sounding a bit posher!*

And so I found Cycle and Edwin Fortescue, living in Caversham, Oxford, in a recently built house called ‘Tally Ho!‘. They have two children (Their first sadly dies aged 2), who are registered with the surname Fortescue-Hubbard.

Edwin’s occupation is… a Cycle manufacturer and repairer.

Coincidentally Edwin and Cycle were born and lived a few streets away from each other in Croydon in their childhood, as well as both families moving within a few miles of each other to Caversham and Reading. Although the most likely scenario is that they met because of Cycle’s Father – I imagine he would have frequented Edwin’s cycle repair shop if he was cycling 8,000 miles a year – it’s nice to think the connection between her name and his profession had a hand in ‘breaking the ice’ when they met.

I don’t have a photo of Edwin and Cycle together, but here is Cycle at her brother’s wedding 


And here is a photo of all the family (Cycle 2nd from the left in the white blouse)



13 thoughts on “Cycle Ward b.1875

  1. Loved this story! I wonder if Cycle was teased as a child about having an unusual name. But unusual names are in vogue now…. my daughter in law’s cousin named her baby daughter Pepper Scarlett Awesome.

    1. I think it was probably easier for her than some of the people I’ve researched, like poor Creamaleanous who came from a much less ‘artistic’ background! wow, that’s a name and a half, weirdly I think it would’ve sounded better as ‘Awesome Scarlett Pepper’? Teehee!

  2. Hi
    Cycle was my great great Aunt. My great Grandfather was Henry Ward Jr. I have hundreds of photos of the Wards possibly even one of Cycle and Edwin together with one of their sons if I remember correctly. Happy to send you a copy if interested.

    1. Hi Bill, if you are happy to share a photo of Cycle (and Edwin together) I would love to post it, it’s always great to add any information or photos. 🙂
      I’m hoping this blog will eventually become almost a database of sorts of genealogy and how research can connect people with their ancestors and living relatives, as well as showing you can bring your ancestor’s stories ‘to life’, so they aren’t just lists of names, so it’s always lovely to hear from descendants of the people I’ve ‘researched’. 🙂

      1. Incidentally, regarding the name change to Fortescue, my mother told me they changed it because Fortescue sounds much more posh than Hubbard. Incidentally my mother (89) and father (almost 93) are still alive and well.

    2. This reply is for Bill, though Fenifur I am gratified by your research and story, thank you very much for your interest. It is strange to read about one’s relatives through someone else’s eyes. Cycle was also my great great Aunt. The only one of that family i met and knew, however, was Ivy. My mother was their niece. My mother met my father in London and they moved to
      Washington state where we live now. Ivy actually made the trip over – her first time in a plane – when she was 93. When I see photos of her as a girl I see an eerie resemblance to myself. It looks like me in Victorian clothing. But I heard so much about cycle and the others growing up and I, too have lots of pics though perhaps not as many as you, bill. I’d be interested to make contact with you and share pics and stories.

      1. Hello Elizabeth,
        Thanks so much for commenting, this is exactly what I hoped this blog would do – connect people and help them in their research, whether directly or indirectly with showing how unexpected the directions family trees can take are sometimes! That’s interesting to hear about the name change as well, it’s just not something people do these days but people seemed a lot more willing to alter their name if they felt it would help their prospects, my partner’s family changed their name from Wilkins to ‘de Winton’ when they started a bank for miners in Wales!
        Lovely to hear from you and about your family,
        best wishes

      2. Hi Elizabeth
        Henry Ward (junior) and Agnes Roffey were my great Grandparents. Henry was a portrait photographer – as was his father Henry senior. So Henry Ward (senior) and Susanna Morell will be your Great Great Grandparents, which, I guess, makes us third cousins. My father emigrated to New Zealand in 1947 after serving in the navy during the war. I never met any of Henry’s siblings but did meet/know three of his daughters in addition to my grandmother, who was Henry’s oldest daughter.
        My email is I can send you some interesting photos that you may not have.
        All the best
        Bill Jordan
        Auckland NZ

    3. Hello Bill, I’m not sure if you will get the notification of Elizabeth’s reply below as i have to approve comments, so I thought I’d just point it out again in case 🙂

    1. Hi Andy – this is great, and almost certainly is either them or Edwin’s sons, as the ‘Bros’ must refer to Edwin and his brother Reginald who were in business together in 1901, or Roy Warn and Hubert Ronald who were definitely in business together, following their father’s footsteps, in the mid 40’s. Thanks for visiting/commenting 🙂

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