Family History Notebook

Joseph Thomas Swindale ("Tom")

Son of Joseph Swindale and Mary Jane Gregg  born 23rd January 1877 in Haverigg, Cumberland 1

Married Alfreda Stroym Brixley Meen on 15 August 1903 Blakenham Magna, Suffolk


Doris Maude, born on the 4th of December 1905  1,2 1904 in Ipswich, Suffolk
Thomas Raymond, born on the 25th of May 1907 in Ispwich, Suffolk
John (Jack) Barnard, born on the 4th of  January 1910 in Ipswich, Suffolk
Audrey Grace, born on the 22nd of  July 1912 1
William Neville, born on the 27th of September 1914 in Johannesburg, South Africa 1
Daughter, born on the 6th of December 1921 in Johannesburg, South Africa 1

Died 10th April 1940 in Johannesburg, South Africa 1

PersonID 05631

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Picture of Thomas and his brother William about 1880

John Stephen Swindale ("Jack") writes on a postcard to his father 17/6/1907 '...I am going to see Tom & family at Ipswich on Sunday if all goes well.' This could imply a long term connection with the area but there are no Swindales in the telephone directory for Suffolk in 1996 except myself (AJS). In fact Joseph Thomas emigrated to South Africa and died in Johannesburg.

Tom was already working in the mine at Millom as a 'weigher' at 14. By 1901 he was working in Millom as a boilermaker. Then after, according to Joan Shrewsbury, 'an adventurous career in the army and in America' he married Alfreda Meen at Blakenham Magna just outside Ipswich on August 15th 1903 (when Tom was 26 and Alfreda was 20). Their 'residence' in the marriage register is given as Blakenham Magna but the address on a 'memento'  I was given by Joan Shrewsbury is given as 14, New Cardinal Street, Ipswich. He lists his occupation as boilermaker in the marriage register.

By the birth of their second child, Thomas Raymond, in 1907, they are living at 133 Ranelagh Road, Ipswich just a hundred yards from the works of Reavell and Company,  founded in 1898 to manufacture steam engines and compressors and still in business on the same site as part of the Siebe Group in 1997. At this time Tom describes himself as 'Boilermaker (foundry)'. The house is a small terraced house built in 1883 backing onto the railway. By 1910 and the birth of their third child, John Barnard, they have moved back to 14 New Cardinal Street, a few hundred yards away on the other side of the river, but now redeveloped as an industrial area. (Was this Alfreda's mother's house?)

According to his daughter 'My mother left England and followed my father who had made a home for the family in South Africa.' This would probably have been about 1911 since there is no record of the family in the Ipswich street directories after 1910.

On arriving in South Africa the family settled in a suburb north of Johannesburg, Norward and resided at 1, Nellie Avenue. 4

1    Information from Joan Shrewsbury

2    The Ipswich registry office could not find the birth certificate for Doris Maude

3 Information suppressed on this page for reasons of privacy - click here for privacy policy.

4    Denise Munn


a)    1881 UK census    Living with his parents in Main Street, [Haverigg?], Millom, Cumberland
        1891 UK census    Living (14) with his parents at 5, Main Street, Haverigg, Millom - a weigher.
        1901 UK census, cont    Living with his parents at 4 Crown Street Millom
- a boiler maker.

b)    The birth of Joseph Thomas Swindale, mother's maiden name Gregg, was registered in the first quarter of 1877 in the Bootle district (FreeBMD / GRO 10b 698)

        The marriage of Joseph Thomas Swindale and Alfreda Stroym B Meen was registered in the third quarter of 1903 in the Bosmere district (FreeBMD 4a 1759)