George Mobbs [1829 - 1906] and Elizabeth Withers[1836 - 1923]

A family tree prepared by Gladys Irene (Wren) Hart confirms that these people were ancestors of John Hart. Gladys recorded that George Mobbs was from Buckingham(shire) and that Betsy Withers was from Midlands(?). She indicated that their eldest daughter Mary Elizabeth married Stephan Hart in Maidstone. With this information we are able to positively find these people in the census entries of Maidstone in 1881.

We have little family lore on this family beyond that provided by Gladys (one wonders how and why she collected this information?) However, with this information we are able to create some understanding of the family by looking at the various census records as well as the birth, marriage and death records for England. (I have included images of these records below)

George's childhood

We first find George in the census of 1841 where he is a 12 year old child living with his parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Mobbs. The father is a 55 year old agricultural labourer and the mother is 15 years younger at age 40. George is one of six children listed in the census return; he has four brothers (one older) and a sister.

Elizabeth's Childhood

Elizabeth appears in the 1851 census of England as a 15 year old child living with her parents Emma and George. She is the oldest child living with the family at that time, although the fact that her mother, Emma,  is 34 and her father, George, 39, suggests that there may have been older children in the family. It is interesting to note that her father, George, is a printer born in Middlesex, St. Johns Westminister. The children, including Elizabeth, are indicated as being scholars -- they were at school, which is again interesting as it indicates the family were literate and concerned about the education of their children, decades before general education was the norm in England.

The marriage of George and Elizabeth 1Q1856, Southwark

The marriage of George and Elizabeth appears in the BMD records in the first quarter of 1856 at St.George, Southwark. Elizabeth uses the name 'Betsy' and is 20 years old at the time. George is 27 as shown below:

As the BMD entry shows there are two females with the name Elizabeth on this page; we can be sure that it is Betsy Withers due to the family records passed down by Gladys (Wren) Hart. We do not yet have the actual marriage registration for this union.

The Family of George and Elizabeth

From the census and BMD records we are able to create the following table of information on the family of George and Elizabeth

Name Born Married Occupation Date of Death
Place of Death
Elizabeth Mobbs
29 May 1858
Walworth, Middlesex
Stephen Alfred Hart
24 July 1946
Annie Mobbs
1862/Walworth, Middlesex
Q2, 1884?/Thomas Medhurst or John Henderson

Ellen Mobbs 1864/Walworth, Middlesex
Q1, 1881/Philip Hosmer in Maidstone

Louisa Mobbs 1869/Maidstone, Kent
Q4, 1895/Charles Waters

Albert Mobbs 1872/Maidstone, Kent remained single, living with mother in 1911
Worked for railway in various jobs
1915 at age of 43
Strood, Kent
Amy Mobbs 1876/Maidstone, Kent Q2, 1897/Lewis William Upton
 labourer, cement worker

Bessie Mobbs 1879/Maidstone, Kent Q3, 1900/Henry George Upton
 labourer  Q1, 1950,
Bridgend, GLA, Wales

From the census records below we see that George and Elizabeth, although born in the Bletchley area, they were married in London. It appears that George, though starting life as a general labourer was able to gain employment as a labourer on the railway. This led to moving to Maidstone (which had signficant railway works) in the same capacity and to later employment as a railway guard and porter in Malling which is near Maidstone.

Census Records

George appears in all the census records from 1841 through 1901 (he died in 1906) and from these we are able to trace his movements, his family composition and the work that he did during his lifetime, as narrated above.

The census of 1841

The census of 1851

The census of 1861

The census of 1871

The entry for the family is spread across two pages of the census

The census of 1881

The family located at 16 Prospect St. is next door  to the Thomas Hart household at 15 Prospect St. Although the daughter Mary Elizabeth (who was almost 23 years old by this time) is not living with the family, the information on George Mobbs and his wife Elizabeth (Betsy) corresponds. The information "Midlands" for Betsy's birthplace is obviously a mistaken interpretation for the actual birthplace in Walworth, Middlesex which was the birthplace of Ellen and probably of her older sister Mary Elizabeth. In fact, Betsy (nee Withers) was born in Watford, Herts, on the  northwest edge of the London area.

The census of 1891

The census of 1901

The census of 1911

Birth, Marriage and Death Records

Both George and Elizabeth were born before the central registration system of 1837 so we have no possibility of birth registrations for them. From the census we have the names of the parents but not the maiden name of the mothers. Indeed the maiden name of Elizabeth is known to us with certaintly (at least initially) from the genealogical notes left by Gladys Irene (Wren) Hart.

The marriage record of George and Elizabeth would be obtainable (fairly easily but at a cost of several pounds) from the information provided by FreeBMD.

The 1911 census shown above indicates that Elizabeth was a widow at that time. George Mobbs appears in the death registries for 1906, dying in Malling, Kent at the age of 78 in the first quarter of the year. Again this record could be recovered. A death entry for Elizabeth in 2Q 1923 on FreeBMD