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Snippets from Poole Archives

The Voyages of Ruth Willis

User Avatar Penelope Lovesy 06/11/2020 11:19:37

When the intrepid men of Poole ventured across the seas their delicate wives stayed at home and cared for the children, plaintively gazing out to sea, awaiting their husbands’ return.

Or did they? The 1881 census records that Claremont Villa in Longfleet, Poole was occupied by Ruth Willis, aged 38, her four children and a servant. Ruth is described as a Master Mariner’s wife, born in Poole. The birthplaces of her children are of particular interest. The eldest, George, was born “at sea”, 5 year old Nellie was born in Peru and 1 year old Blanche was again described as born “at sea”. So, it is apparent that Ruth Willis, shared her husband’s voyages.

Ten years later, in the 1891 census, they seem to have given up the sea. Husband George is now a hotel proprietor. There is a little more information on Nellie whose birthplace is given as Callao, Peru and Blanche’s birthplace is given as the Indian Ocean.

Image: An unknown family group on Poole Quay


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