HOME     SITE MAP     CONTACT ME     
Westaway One Name Study
John Trewin Westaway
Sharing the research of all Westaway families worldwide
 Back to site map
 

Athalia Westaway 1824 to 1905

Athalia Westaway was born in Bradworthy in 1824, the second daughter of John Westaway and Ann Yeo. Several of her brothers emigrated to Canada, including William who married Mary Geromoly and Samuel who married Ann Brook Whitlock. Others were farmers in the Bradworthy/Bideford area. Athalia had moved away from the family and was living at 11 Somerset Square in Bedminster, Somerset and was a servant of a Mr Harden Hamett, who was a coach builder. Sometime before 1848 she moved back to Devon and had a child, John Jennings Westaway born in 1848. The Jennings prefix is significant because in 1851 she was a servant living with a Mr Richard Francis Jennings. Mr Jennings was an attorney & solicitor and Athalia came from an articulate, educated family, although they were poor and there appears to have been an affair. Richard died shortly after this and his wife and children moved to Ipswich, probably to be near Ann's family

1851 Census 5, City Road, Holsworthy, Devon

Richard Francis Jennings
H
M
36
Attorney & Solicitor
b. Yorkshire, Driffield
Anne Jennings
W
M
40
wife
b. Suffolk, Ipswich
Fanny Jennings
D
U
8
Scholar at home
b. Devon, Bideford
Thomas Charles Jennings
S
U
8
Scholar at home
b. Devon, Bideford
Clara Jennings
D
U
6
Scholar at home
b. Devon, Bideford
Lucy Ann
D
U
3
Scholar at home
b. Devon, Bideford
Rosa Adelaide
D
U
5 mns
none
b. Devon, Holsworthy
Mary Ann Hardman
Serv
Mar
52
Nurse
b. Devon, Hartland
Athelia Westaway
Serv
U
24
House Servant
b. Devon, Bradworthy
Mary Bickel
Serv
U
17
House Servant
b. Cornwall, St Gennis
 
Athalia around 1852  

Little John Jennings Westaway was living in Exeter St Sidwell in 1851 with friends and after this dates completelydisappear and probably changed his name.

By 1852 Athalia had moved to Exeter St Sidwell and had begun an affair with a Mr Henry Tripe, who was also connected to the law and was a soliciotor's clerk, unmarried at this time.. Athalia gave birth to Rosa Jane Tripe Westaway in 1852 and Henry Tripe Westaway in 1854. . It is strange that she used similar names for the girls as those of Richard Jennings and his wife Ann, and was possibly still mouning the loss of Richard. Henry Tripe was probably an eligible batchelor and Athelia an attractive woman, however having produced the first two children Rosa and Henry, he married Elizabeth Ann Veysey in Newington, London in late 1855. Elizabeth's father was a hatter and hosier in Exeter and she was working as an assistant so probably knew Athalia. Why they married in London is a mystery other than perhaps to do this in secret away from Athalia's eyes and ears. Henry & Elizabeth Tripe moved back to Exeter (Trinity) and had eight children between them, Harry, born 1857, Sophia born 1858, Mary, born 1861, then Charles, Lizzie, William, Thomas and Kate (born 1871). Between 1871 & 1881 Henry and his family all moved to Lambeth in Surrey where Henry died in 1896. However he still must have been involved with Athaliah as in 1859 she had a third child by him called Clara Ellen Tripe Westaway.

Athalia was a talented dressmaker and made clothes for the rich. She supported her family by doing this and in 1861 was living at 2, Chapples Court, Exeter St Sidwell, with her three youngest children, Rosa, Henry and Clara, and in 1871 in St Kerrian, Exeter. In 1874 Rosa Jane and her young sister Clara Ellen took the opportunity to escape from their immediate family background and set sail for New Zealand. Before they sailed these photographs of them were taken (around 1873).

Rosa Jane Westaway
Henry Tripe Westaway
Clara Ellen Westaway

During the lengthy sea voyage the girls seem to have concocted a more respectable family background for themselves and on their arrival in New Zealand changed their name to West. It is not known how the girls earned a living in New Zealand, but both were literate. Clara was known as Minnie and died young in 1890 leaving five young children, having married into the well-to-do Gardiner family of Dundedin in 1877. Rosa Jane married Henry Corbett around 1881and they were the grandparents of Averill Adlam.

 
 
An Older Athaliah

Athalia never married. In 1881 she was living in St James Street, St Sidwell, Exeter with son Henry who was a labourer and in 1891 was living at 2, King William Street, St Sidwell with Henry and classed herself as a widow. She was then a clothes dealer and Henry a laundry porter. In 1901 aged 76 years, she was receiving parish relief although Henry was still living with her. She must have lead a very lonely life, ostricised by her family, losing contact with her first son, jilted by her lover and the separation from her two daughters who emigrated to New Zealand. She died on the 7th November, 1905. Henry never married and died on the 22nd February, 1938.

 

 

 

My thanks to Averill Adlam who kept us all amused with her tales of Athalia and family for so many years and sent me these priceless photographs of them all. Also to Sandy Pestill & Elaine Westaway for the Tripe censuses.

 

Back to top

 
  © 2003-6 Sheila Yeo | For more information on the Westaway family and the research contained in this site email sheila@yeosociety.com or call me on +44 (0)1626 360978