James Cornelius (c.1854-?)

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James Cornelius
Sex: Male
Birth: c.1854
Father: Edward Cornelius
Mother: Emma
Spouse/Partner: Sarah Seldon
2nd Spouse: Susan Seldon

Early LifeEdit

James Cornelius was born in Dawlish, Devon c.1854. He was the fourth born of five sons of Edward Cornelius and Emma Cornelius. His older brothers were Charles (born c.1846), Robert (c.1850) and William (c.1852); his younger brother was Albert (c.1859). In 1861, the Cornelius family was living at Park Hill in Dawlish. Edward was working as a boot and shoe maker.[1] In 1871 they were all living at 13 Park Street in Dawlish[2]. (The electronic transcription took the handwritten census to read Park St., but it could also be Park H., the same address as in 1861).

Family LifeEdit

In 1877, James married Sarah Ann Seldon (Annie)[3] and by 1881 they were living at 11 Oxford Street, Weston-super-Mare along with Annie's sister, Elizabeth Seldon, and his mother, Emma, now 64[4]. (It is possible then that his father, Edward, had died some time between 1871 and 1881). The Seldon family came from Tavistock in Devon[5]; Annie and Elizabeth's father, George, was a farmer[6].


James and Sarah Seldon

Within a year, Annie appears to have died and James moved to Bristol. On 18th November 1882 he married another sister, Susan Ann(?) Seldon. At the time of their marriage, they were both living in Bath Parade, Bristol. He was 28. She was 24. Susan was born in Barnstaple[7], although her sisters Annie and Elizabeth were born in Tavistock, Devon[8].

Their first child, Annie, was born in 1883[9], followed by Edward, who was born in Weston-super-Mare in 1887[10]. Whether they had moved back to Weston-super-Mare or were just visiting (perhaps Emma still lived there) is unclear, but they were back in Bristol soon after since all their other children were born there: Henry c.1890, Elizabeth Florence (Florrie) c.1893 and William on 25th September 1897.

In 1891 the family lived at 4? Cobourg Road in Bristol[11] along with Elizabeth Seldon.


In 1871, James was an apprentice baker (his brothers were working as a tailor (Robert) and a gardener (William)[12].

In 1881, James was working as a "cook and confectioner" in Weston-super-Mare[13]. His sister-in-law, Elizabeth Seldon is recorded as working as a shop assistant, so it is possible James had a shop and Elizabeth worked for him.


186 Cheltenham Road, Bristol

James had moved to Bristol by 1882. In November 1889 he received a glowing reference from his then employer, A.J. Lanham of 186 Cheltenham Road, Bristol, who described James as "well up in all branches of small goods and fancy pastry" and having "an exacting high character".


Employer's Reference

Later LifeEdit

At the time of the 1901 census, James was 46 years old and living in Barnstaple. His occupation was a bread baker. Susan was 45. They lived at 49 Vicarage Street, Barnstaple with Edward, Henry, Elizabeth and William.

James was still alive in 1923 and worked as a baker.[14]


Name Birth Death
Children of James Cornelius


Edward c.1888

Henry c.1890

Elizabeth Florence c.1893

William 1897


  1. ^ 1861 census
  2. ^ 1871 census
  3. ^ details from Anita
  4. ^ 1881 census
  5. ^ 1881 census
  6. ^ James' marriage certificate, 1882
  7. ^ James' marriage certificate, 1882
  8. ^ 1881 census
  9. ^ Anita
  10. ^ Anita
  11. ^ 1891 census
  12. ^ 1871 census
  13. ^ 1881 census
  14. ^ Marriage certificate of William Cornelius

The details of James marriage to Susan come from their marriage certificate.

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