The parish records at Saint Mary's Church, Alverstoke, west of Portsmouth Harbour, hold details of many members of this branch of the Commerford family
Comerford of Wexford, Hampshire and Jersey
One Comerford or Commerford family with roots in Co Wexford appears in the 19th century in Hampshire and in Jersey in the Channel Islands, and can be traced through local parish records and census returns.
JOHN JAMES COMMERFORD (ca 1802-1883), was born in Co Wexford ca 1802. He lived in Gosport, Hampsire (mariner, 1830; musician, 1833; bricklayer, 1862; stonemason, 1868); Ann Street, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands (1830; ca 1839; mason, aged 35, 1841 census); St Martin, Jersey (1851 census); stonemason and builder’s clerk (1875). At the 1881 Census, he was living at 19 Saint John’s Square, Alverstoke, Hampshire, and was aged 79. A “Bricklayer Unemployed,” he declared he was born in Wexford, Ireland.
He married on 26 July 1830 in Saint Mary’s, Alverstoke, Emily Evans (1809-1883) daughter of Thomas Evans, shoemaker, and his wife Anne (Stirving), of Chapel Lane, Alverstoke, Hampshire.
Emily, who was born in Gosport, Hampshire in 1809, was baptised on 14 May 1809 in Saint Mary’s, Alverstoke, with her twin Emma. Emily died at the age of 74 in December 1883 in Alverstoke. Emily Comerford died aged 74 years at Saint John’s Square, Forton and was buried on 16 October 1883 at Ann’s Hill Cemetery, Gosport. John Comerford died aged 82 years at the same house and was buried on 5 November 1883 in the same grave.
John James and Emily Commerford ha seven chilren:
1, John James Commerford (1830-post 1861). He was born in Jersey on 11 May 1830, and was baptised in Saint Mary’s, Alverstoke, on 30 October 1831. He lived in Alverstoke, Hampshire, and at St Helier and St Martin’s on Jersey in the Channel Islands (boot and shoemaker of Jersey, 1851; Able Seaman, Royal Navy, 1856; Bandsman on Princess Royal, 1856, Ship’s Corporal, 1861).
2, Emily (1833- ). She was born on 1 January 1833, and was baptised in Saint Mary’s, Alverstoke, on 23 April 1833.
3, Caroline (1839-post 1891). She was born in St Helier, Jersey ca 1839. She was aged 12 and living with her parents in St Helier in 1851. She lived at St Helier and St Martin’s, Jersey, Alverstoke and Portsea in Hampshire, and Chiswick in Middlesex. She married Henry John Moreton, a tailor, at Portsea in 1859 as Caroline Comerford. In 1881, she was living at 49 Bishop Street, Portsea, Hampshire, with her husband Henry; in 1891, she was widowed and living at 61 Devonshire Road, Chiswick, Middlesex with her sister Louisa (see below).
4, Edward William Commerford (1841-1886), of whom next.
5, Louisa (1844-post 1891), of whom after her brother Edward.
6, Harriet (1846-1858). She was born ca 1846 in St Helier, and was living with her parents in St Helier, aged five, in 1851. Harriet died aged 12 at Dunaway’s Yard, Seahorse Street, Gosport and was buried 8 November 1858 at Ann’s Hill Cemetery, Gosport, as ‘Harriet Comerford.’
7, Francis Phillip Commerford (1852-1879). He was born ca 1852 at St Helier, Jersey. He lived at St Helier and St Martin’s, Alverstoke, Hampshire (1861), Woolwich, London, Sandown and Freshwater, the Isle of Wight, and Peshawar, India (ca 1876-ca 1879). He was a gunner in the Royal Artillery in Woolwich (1871), and Golden Hill Fort, Sandown (1875). He married Emily Mary Brown (born 1855), daughter of Joseph Brown and Amy Maskell, of Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, on 27 July 1875 in a Non-Conformist Chapel in Newport, Isle of Wight. Emily was born on 22 September 1855 in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight and baptised on 18 November 1855 in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. Francis Phillip Commerford died ca 1878/1879 in Peshawar, India. They had at least two daughters:
● 1a, Louisa Emily Commerford (1875-1875). She was born 29 July 1875, at Freshwater, Isle of Wight; she died on 2 September 1875 in Freshwater.
● 2a,. Mary Commerford (ca 1876-ca 1886). She was born ca 1876/1879 in Peshawar, India, and died there between 1884/1886.
After Francis died, his widow Emily married secondly James Rutt, of the Royal Artillery, on 22 October 1879 in Saint James’s, Delhi. They had at least six children; the eldest, Amy, was born in 1882 in Peshawar and remembered playing with her half-sister Mary Commerford.
The second named son:
EDWARD WILLIAM COMMERFORD (1841-1886), seaman, of Portsea, Hampshire. He was born on 18 September 1841 at St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands. He was 28 when he married on 4 November 1868 at Saint Mary’s, Portsea, Hampshire, Ann Penny Beecham, daughter of William Beecham, a pilot, and Mary Ann (Graham) of Walmer, Kent, then aged 23. In 1881, they were living at Highfield Street, Portsea, Hampshire. He lived in St Helier and St Martin’s, Jersey, and Alverstoke and Portsea, Hampshire. He was a town missionary of Copenhagen Street in 1868 at his marriage; he was a seaman of Unicorn Street in 1870 at the time of his son’s baptism; he was in the Royal Navy in 1885. He served on the Excellent, Barracouta, Rattlesnake, Flora, Challenger, V. Emanuel, Vigilant, Dwarf, Thalia, and the Thunderer.
He died aged 45 in 1886 in Southampton. Ann remarried in December 1887.
Edward and Ann Comerford had one son:
1, (Sergeant) Edward William Commerford (1870-post 1904). He was baptised on 13 February 1870 at Saint John’s, Portsea, Hampshire. He was a soldier at Shornemead Fort, 1891; sergeant, Royal Engineers, in Devon in 1901. Edward married Matilda Cozens in Medway, Kent, in 1896, and they married each other again in 1897 in Plymouth. They had at least three children:
● 1a, Dorothy Agnes Commerford (1897-post 1916), born in 1897 in New Brompton, Kent. She married Samuel S. Pearce in 1916 in Islington, London.
● 2a, Winifred Commerford (1899-post 1926), born in 1899 in Plymouth, Devon. She married Hugh W. Campbell in 1926 in Islington.
● 3a, Edward William Commerford (1904-1944), born in 1904 in Tynemouth. He was a Private in the Home Guard, 18th County of London Battalion. He married Minnie Peake in 1931 in Camberwell, Surrey, and lived in Dulwich. He died on 2 April 1944 in London, and is buried in Norwood Cemetery.
Edward William Comerford’s next sister:
LOUISA COMMERFORD (1844-post 1911). She was born in St Helier, Jersey, on 1 January 1844, and was living with her parents and aged 7 in 1851. She married on 3 March 1862 in St Mary’s Parish Church of Alverstoke, Hampshire, Henry William Flowerday, of full age, bachelor, a corporal in the 24th Regiment, of Gosport, son of Henry Flowerday, plumber.
Louisa and Henry Flowerday lived at Aldershot, Hampshire (1862-1864); Dublin, 1866; Chiswick (1868-1869); and at 13 Crown Street, Hammersmith, Middlesex (1870-1872). She later lived at 21 Chester Terrace, Chiswick, Middlesex (1881); 61 Devonshire Road, Chiswick, Middlesex (1891); 3 Alkenden Road, Chiswick, Middlesex (1901); and 93 Grove Road, Woolston, Hampshire (1911).
Louisa and Henry Flowerday had the eight children, five daughters and three sons:
1, Emily Louisa Flowerday, born in 1862 in Aldershot, Hampshire.
2, Henry Albert Flowerday, born in 1864 in Aldershot.
3, Arthur Edward Flowerday (1866-1883), born in 1866 in Dublin; he died in Chiswick.
4, Rosina Flowerday, born in 1868 in Chiswick.
5, Alice Maud Flowerday, born in 1869 in Chiswick.
6, Caroline Flowerday (1870-1959), born on 15 August 1870 in Hammersmith, Middlesex. She married Henry Herbert on 12 August 1893. They had nine children in Camberwell, Surrey. She died in 1951.
7, William Flowerday (1872-1879), born in 1872 in Hammersmith, he died in 1879 in Chiswick.
8, Maud Mary Flowerday (1873-1875), born in 1873 in Chiswick, she died in 1875 in Chiswick, Middlesex.
After she was widowed, Louisa married secondly, on 26 September 1875, at Chiswick Parish Church or hammerman, Middlesex, Charles Fisher, bachelor and coachsmith, of Chiswick, son of Charles Fisher, a brewer. Charles was born on 3 December 1849 in Huntingdon. They had three children, a son and two daughters:
9, Charles Fisher, born in 1877 in Chiswick, Middlesex.
10, Elizabeth ‘Lilly’ Fisher (1879-1969), born on 19 April 1879 in Chiswick. She was born as Eliza, but known later as ‘Lilly’ or ‘Lillian’ Elizabeth. She married Reginald Arthur Grigg on 16 June 1900 in Chiswick, Middlesex and they had five children. Secondly, she married George Boyce on 3 February 1920, at South Stoneham, Hampshire, and they had three children. She died in 1969, in Southampton, Hampshire.
11, Amy Fisher, born in 1880 Chiswick, Middlesex.
John James Comerford (above) was a contemporary of Michael Comerford, of Portsmouth, Hampshire, ancestor of another Comerford family in Hampshire, and Assistant-Paymaster William Thomas Comerford from Portsmouth, who in 1857 was an officer in the Shannon Naval Brigade led by Captain Sir William Peel in India during the Mutiny, and for which Peel received a V.C.
MICHAEL COMERFORD, stationer, of Portsmouth, Hampshire, was the father of:
1, ... Comerford (a son), of wom next.
2, Emma Sophia Comerford, of whom after her brother.
Michael Comerford’s son:
... COMERFORD, a chemist, of Portsmouth. He had retired by the time his daughter Grace married, or, according to the 1881 Census, was “out of business.” He was the father of several sons and daughters, including a daughter:
GRACE SOPHIA COMERFORD, who married Francis Meier in London ca 1881. They lived for some time in Argentina before returning to England and settling in Bedfordshire.
We now return to Michael Comerford’s daughter:
EMMA SOPHIA COMERFORD (ca 1820-1900). She was born ca 1820 in Kingston, Hampshire. She died on 7 January 1900. She married firstly Thomas West, an officer in the Royal Navy. She married secondly on 3 October 1854, Commander William Charles Grierson, son of Sir Alexander Gilbert Grierson of Lag, 6th Baronet, and Elizabeth Dalzell. She died on 7 January 1900. Her second husband, William Charles Grierson, died on 8 February 1871. Emma and William Grierson had three children:
1, Elizabeth Sophia Grierson ( -1893). She married Lieutenant-Colonel Ponsonby Glenn Huggins in 1883. She died on 2 May 1893 at Epsom, Surrey. They had two daughters and a son.
2, Sir Alexander Davidson Grierson of Lag, 9th Baronet (1858-1912), of Rock Hall, Lag, Dumfriesshire, and Paragon House, Blackheath, London. He was born on 30 November 1858, and died in London on 1 April 1912. Sir Alexander succeeded as Chief of the Grierson Clan and to the title of 9th baronet on 27 December 1879. He was a clerk in the London and County Bank, a J.P. for Dumfriesshire, a major and an honorary lieutenant-colonel in the 3rd Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers Militia, and fought in the Boer War. On 7 December 1882, he married Fannie White of Blackheath, London, and they had three sons. The family title is now held by his grandson, Sir Michael John Bewes Grierson of Lag, 12th Baronet (born 24 July 1921), of 40C Palace Road, Streatham Hill, London.
3, Gilbert William Frederick Grierson (1861-1906). He was born on 29 July 1861, and died on 15 February 1906.
© Patrick Comerford, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013
Trevor Stuart, a descendant of Michael Comerford’s daughter, Grace Sophia Meier (24.1.2009).
Suzanne Maitland-Wood, a descendant of Lilly Fisher and her husband Reginald Arthur Grigg (11.11.2002; 26.2.2010).
Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage (107th ed., 2003), vol 2, p. 1682.
George Edward Cokayne (ed), The Complete Baronetage, 5 vols (no date (c. 1900); reprint, Gloucester: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1983), volume 4, p. 329.
William Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy: a history from the earliest times to the death of Queen Victoria (Sampson Low, Marston and Company, 1903), vol 7, pp 138-150 (1903).
The Times (London), 12 October 1854.
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Last updated: 25 January 2009; 15 and 17 August 2009; 27 February 2010; 2 June 2010; 5 April 2013.