Great Grandmother Jemima

Jemima Mary Ann Allery (Blackburn) 1920s

My great-grandmother Jemima was born in Christchurch, London on 17th December 1852. The address of her parents that year was 7 Jane Street, Christchurch. Her early childhood was spent in the precinct of Holborn and she might have attended St Andrew’s Church Holborn, (see below) one of the most ancient churches in London. Her early schooling would have been in one of the schools on the north side of the river Thames. When she was 8 years old, she is listed as a scholar in the 1861 census, along with her parents and siblings. Her father Thomas was a Goldsmith and her older brother, Thomas was a Copper Plate printer at the tender age of 15. Their brother, Charles, aged 11 was listed as a Sithographer. I suspect that was a transcription error and should have been Lithographer, an occupation also associated with the Printing trade. The family was then living at 15 Brooke Street, St Andrews, Holborn.

Her mother Eliza Jesse Watson married Thomas Julius Pampe Blackburn on the 10th January 1847 at St Mary’s, Newington. Together they had five children.

Interior of St Andrews Church, Holborn. By Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

When she was just 16 years old the National Women’s Suffrage movement had begun. I imagine that she would have been active in this movement by the time she was 20, and probably much to the surprise of her parents Thomas and Eliza. In 1872 the fight for women’s suffrage became a national movement with the formation of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage 

Jemima was 37 years old by the time she became the second wife of my Great Grandfather, Samuel John. Their marriage took place on 13th September 1884 at St George the Martyr Church in Surrey. She was a spinster!

Marriage of Jemima to Samuel John Allery, 13 September 1984


Jemima gave birth to six sons from 1886 to 1898 – now that is an incredible feat for a woman of her vintage. She was 39 years old when her first son was born and would have been 51 when her last son was born. Her fourth son Sydney James, born in 1892, was still living at home in 1921 according to the census. He was in the Building and Decorating trade, like his brothers. He, like his mother, did not marry until much later in his life.

When her husband died in 1922, she was named as the executor of his Will along with her eldest son, Dave Bert. She received the residue of Samuel’s estate, the house in Peckham, and the income from his business enterprise which amounted to almost 10 thousand pounds stirling. Jemima lived on into her 90’s.

Jemima died on the 29 November 1944 at her home, and is buried along with her husband in the Camberwell Old Cemetery, Wood Vale, London.

Interesting to note the spelling of her name Jemina, on this gravestone displayed on BillionGraves.

Note: I used the Photo enhancement tools in MyHeritage to enhance and colourise her photo. I also experimented with the animation feature to see her face as she might have been in the 1920s. You can see this here.

Deep Story

After listening to an amazing free webinar from MyHeritage earlier today, I was intrigued with this new way to preserve an ancestral story – Deep Story. With this tool, you can create an animated image of your ancestor telling their own story in chapters with images to illustrate. I tried this out for Great Grandmother Jemima and you may like to view the story (an MP4 file uploaded) on the Family History Preserved Facebook page or on my YouTube Channel.

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