by Annette Edwards.


Mary Jane Haden was the daughter of Nathaniel Haden and Jane Isabella Sellers, she was born on 13 July 1847, her father was a mast and block maker, these were used in a ships rigging. He was doing well as by 1871 he was a “master” employing 12 men in Wapping, Mary Jane is still at home. In 1873 she married Thomas Houghton. Mary Jane died 29 August 1895 aged 48 and was buried in Wrexham Cemetery.


Thomas was born in 1849 in Ratcliffe, Middlesex, he was the son of Thomas Houghton and Eliza Haden.  In 1851 he is with his parents Thomas and Eliza at Mile End, Stepney.

By 1861 his father Thomas has died but they are still in the same street, Eliza is a governess, only Thomas and a younger daughter Frances Eliza aged 8 are there with her.

The family moved up to Wrexham and is at 5 Madeira Hill in 1871, Eliza, Thomas and Frances Eliza have no occupations.   He had a brother William who also moved to Wrexham.

On 20 Dec 1873 Thomas married Mary Jane Haden at All Saints, Deptford, Kent.

The couple came back to Wrexham and by 1881 they have a son Percy Wilfed aged 9, Thomas is a grocer, they were living at 5 Derby Street.

In 1891 they are in Rhyl, he is a provision merchant on Well Road, so it does look as if he is living there, by now they have a daughter Bertha Lilian aged 8.

Mary Jane died 29 August 1895 at Caradoc Villas, Brighton Road, Rhyl aged 48, and she was buried in Wrexham cemetery.  She left a will, with effects of £30, Thomas was then a commission agent.

About 12 months later in 1896 Thomas married Edith Maria Stevens at Wrexham. His new bride was about 19 years younger and was born in Brixton. She was closely related to Jane Stevens whom his brother William married.

They moved to St Asaph, and by the 1901 census had two children, Reginald (Reggie) born 1898 and Walter Cecil born 1899.

Reggie died in September that year, he was only 4, and he was buried in Wrexham with his mother Mary Jane.

The family moved again to Hoole road, just outside Chester, by then Thomas is a yeast merchant   on his own account, he has another daughter, Edith Daisy aged 9.

Thomas died on 19 May 1924 and was buried with his first wife and son in Wrexham.

On the photograph of the “Gatefield ladies “ Edith Maria is on the left hand side,  with the elaborate hat, her son Reggie is between the two older ladies, one of which is Susan Belcher who is Edith Maria Stevens` Aunt.  Susan died in 190.


Walter Cecil’s Navy records are interesting.

He joined for 12 years at Portsmouth on 18 November 1917.  Born 18 November 1899, he was 5ft 6 inches tall, with a 33 ½ chest, he had brown hair and grey eyes. His occupation was “schoolboy”. During his service he sailed on many ships, the last being the “Philomel” which he was on from 1 October 1927 until his death. He appears on the Royal Navy Roll of Honour List. The “Philomel” is described as ex cruiser, depot ship, New Zealand. 

Walter C Houghton. Engine room artificer. An Engine Room Artificer (ERA) was a fitter, turner or boilermaker in the early days of steam-powered warships.

Walter Cecil Houghton died at Auckland General Hospital on 23 December 1927 while still in service.

Researched by Annette Edwards. August 2018.

With thanks to Paul Stevens for use of the “Gatefield” ladies photograph.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02809