The Life of George Stone           


Whilst I was transcribing the various records and images for Deopham, there was one name which stood out more than others, and that was GEORGE STONE. As it happens he is my first cousin, three times removed, but I didn't realise this at the time of my researching until I started my family history.

In the early 1800's, migrants of the Phoenix dynasty arrived in Deopham from neighboring Hingham. There were, however, many variations of the name spelling, e.g. Fenix, Phanix, Phenix, Pheonix. Many of Phoenix families who lived in Deopham descended from Taylor Phoenix and Sarah Stone, however, some families had the surname of Phoenix Stone, whilst others were just Phoenix. But strangely George was given the surname of just Stone.

This is a story of George's turbulent life:-

George Stone  (1835 - 1905)

George was born in Attleborough in 1835. He was the bastard son of Rose Maria Fenix Stone. It wasn't until George's wedding that the name of his father was recorded. He was Waters Goldspink; occupation tailor. 

The 1841 census shows George (6) living in the Low Common area of Deopham with his grand parents Taylor and Sarah Phenix. This was probably resulting from his mothers death just before this census. She would have been about 38 years old. 

At the age of 16, the 1851 census gave George's occupation as a thatchers servant, probably working for his uncle, John Pheonix, who was also living with Taylor and Sarah Pheonix.  

In 1858 George married Lettia Pooley at Deopham church. Lettia was from Hackford, the neighbouring village, and that is where there first child William was born.  

A year later George was shown living at Low Common, and that was where daughter Maria was born in 1859.

The 1861 census shows George's occupation as "grocers shop and publican" aged 25.  

A year later, 1862, daughter Martha was born.  

Tragically, in November 1863, both Maria and Martha died within two days of each other and were both buried at Deopham church on the 11th November 1863.  

At that time, from November 1863 to May 1864, over 20 children living in Deopham died and were buried at the church. Presumably the village was struck by an epidemic such as smallpox.

  Death Details


From 1864 to 1867, Lettia gave birth to three more children; daughter Martha Anne and sons John and Robert.  

In 1868, tragedy hit the Stone family again when George's wife Lettia died at the age of only 35 and was buried at Deopham church.  

The 1871 census shows George as a widower with 4 children and his occupation was a thatcher. His oldest child, William, was also a thatcher at the age of 13.  

In 1874 the family suffered yet more deaths.  Martha Ann (11) and Robert (7) died within days of each other at the end of the year.  

By 1881, George had only son John (18) living with him. They were both thatchers. However, the 1881 census shows he also had a housekeeper, Ann Caroline Scace, living with him, along with her two sons Robert and George.

A year later George and Ann Caroline Scace were married at Deopham church. He was 47 and she was 32.  

In later years George had two children with Ann Caroline; Taylor in 1887 and Harriet in 1896. 

Before 1901, the family had moved to Kings Head Lane in Hackford.  

George died in 1905 and was buried with his first wife Lettia at Deopham church.