Family tree: Pardoe

This page shows the ancestry of my maternal grandfather, Arthur John PARDOE, and of his mother, Ada Emma MATTHEWS.

Geographical note: In the 19th century the district of Handsworth was part of Staffordshire, while Selly Oak (which includes the parish of Selly Hill and the Bournbrook estate) belonged to Worcestershire. In the 20th century the City of Birmingham engulfed these once-rural areas as its population grew, and a series of boundary changes saw first the expansion of Warwickshire and then the creation of the West Midlands county which covers the entire Birmingham and Black Country conurbation.

William PARDOE
b 1809, Belbroughton, Worcs
married Ann
b 1812, Bromsgrove
John PARDOE (b 1835 or 1836, Bromsgrove)
Elizabeth PARDOE (b 1837, Bromsgrove)


b 1834 or 1835, Bromsgrove
married (1) Mary Ann SPINDLER
b 1835 or 1836, Wandsworth, London
d 1870, Greenwich
married (2) 1871, Greenwich Jane
b 1846 St Germans, Cornwall
Harry PARDOE (b 1868, Greenwich)
Georgina PARDOE (b 1872, Greenwich)
Emma PARDOE (b 1873, Greenwich)

It can only be supposed that it was John Pardoe’s trade that led him to move from Worcestershire to Greenwich (sometime between 1851 and 1861). His second wife was almost certainly Jane ADAMS, who moved from Cornwall to Greenwich sometime between 1861 and 1871 (she worked as a servant in both places).

By 1881 the family had moved to Bournbrook, not far from where I live. At the time the area was undergoing development, slowly being converted from farmland to the rows of terraced houses that exist today. In September 1885 a plan was submitted by “John Pardoe, Builder of Tiverton Road, Bournbrook” to build 12 houses in Tiverton Road. 8 of these houses still exist, as does an alleyway that once led to 4 more ‘back houses’ that have since been demolished.

b 1868, Greenwich
Quarry engine driver
married 23 December 1893, Selly Hill Ada Emma MATTHEWS
b 27 June 1869, Handsworth
d 1970
Dorothy Laura PARDOE (b 1894, Birmingham; died in infancy)
Arthur John PARDOE (b 1900, Rowley Regis) Clerk, later Personnel Manager
Edith PARDOE (b 1902, Rowley Regis)
Hilda Gertrude PARDOE (b 1903, Rowley Regis)
Lily PARDOE (b 1907, Rowley Regis)

Harry Pardoe and Ada Matthews were married in St Stephen’s Church. Coincidentally, Miriam and I were married in the same church nearly a century later.

Arthur Pardoe spent his entire working life with the firm of Thomas Lench, which made nuts and bolts.

Ancestry of Ada Emma MATTHEWS

b 1833, Handsworth
Farm labourer
d after 1901
Son of Thomas MATTHEWS b c.1801 Milk man
and Elizabeth b c.1806
married (1) 1859 Sarah GIBBS
b 1832, Birmingham
d 1871, Handsworth
married (2) 1873 or 1874 Mary
b 1851 or 1852, Birmingham
d 1892, or possibly 1897
Joseph Alfred MATTHEWS (b 1860, Handsworth)
Charles MATTHEWS (b 1865, Handsworth)
William MATTHEWS (b 1866, Handsworth)
Ada Emma MATTHEWS (b 1869, Handsworth)
Ellen MATTHEWS (b 1874, Handsworth)
John (Jack) MATTHEWS (b 1877, Handsworth)
Jane MATTHEWS (b 1878, Handsworth)
Samuel MATTHEWS (b 1879, Handsworth)
Harry MATTHEWS (b 1884, Birmingham)
Florence MATTHEWS (b 1887, Birmingham)
Amy MATTHEWS (b 1888, Birmingham)
Leonard MATTHEWS (b 1891, Birmingham)

Ada Matthews celebrated her 100th birthday in 1969, and I still remember attending the party as a representative of the fourth generation. There was always a nagging doubt about when she was born, because her birth was never registered. However, the census records are consistent with her being born in 1869, as she claimed.

The story in the family is that she was badly treated by her father’s second wife, and she left home in her teens, walking all the way to Selly Oak. She went into service in a large house near the Gun Barrels pub on Bristol Road, and this appears to have been a congenial place in which to live and work (her half-sister Jane later worked there too).