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!
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)