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Family Notes June 2016
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Family Notes - June 2016

This is a sample of the information provided to members of the P*rr*tt Society in the most recent edition of Family Notes. Family Notes is a 56-page printed magazine that is distributed to society members every quarter.

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Three Generations Lost

On 12th April 1941 three generations of one family were killed when German bombs fell on the family home, 56 Whitehouse Street, in the city of Bristol. Ellen Annie Perrett (nee Budd), her daughter Ellen Annie Webster (nee Perrett) and grandson John Webber are buried together at Canford Cemetery along with Charles Joseph Perrett, Ellen’s husband, who had died almost 12 years before. He had worked as a hardware and china dealer before his death in 1929.

Their gravestone reads: “Sacred to the memory of Charles Joseph Perrett who died April 29th 1929 aged 58 years. Resting. Also Ellen Annie Perrett wife of the above aged 67 years. And Ellen Annie Webber their daughter aged 43 years. And John Webber her son aged 13 years who were killed by enemy action April 12th 1941”.

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It's in the Papers...

Over the years our members have sent us a variety of newspaper and magazine cuttings that make reference to P*rr*tts – here are a few examples:

EVENING ADVERTISER (Swindon, UK) – 15th August 2002

Swindon actor Rob Perrett is launching his own drama school … "I felt it was time to move on and bring drama to a wider range of the community an provide a good working environment for myself" said Rob, a father of three … Rob, from Leigh, near Cricklade, has appeared in six episodes of the TV drama Casualty. He has been teaching drama and media studies since 1999 at Swindon and Cirencester colleges.

PAPER UNKNOWN (Australia) – 2002

Prominent Melbourne architect Les Perrott has died, aged 75. Mr Perrott helped shape the city skyline through his involvement in the designs of the Rialto, the Hilton Hotel and Nauru House. He also designed the controversial Gas and Fuel towers which were demolished to make way for Federation Square. Mr Perrott was awarded an OBE in 1977 for community service and an OA in 1992 for town planning and community service.

SOUTH WALES ECHO (Cardiff, UK) – 2003

"I believe my late husband could have been related to John Perrett, Potato Creek Johnny, who lies buried next to Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood Cemetery. Paul Morgan of Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, said he had found a John Perrott born in Llanwonno in the 1881 census who could be the gold prospector from Dakota. My husband Vivian, a miner who died six years ago, and myself were both from Llanwonno. We had seven children, including one called Anthony John. We still have the marriage certificate of my father-in-law Vivian Harold Perrett, who married Elleanor Mary Jones in 1929. Unfortunately my husband was only two when his father died so we don’t know much about his family before then although his grandfather was called Arthur George. My husband’s family were all short and since Potato Creek Johnny was only four feet three inches tall we think he might have been a relative. We were all thrilled to hear we could be related to someone who was so famous and discovered such a large nugget of gold!" – letter from Lily May Perrett, Barry

Editor’s note: ‘John Perrott’ in Llanwonno on the 1881 census was in fact born in Gillingham, Dorset. He was the son of Septimus and Eliza Perrott, born in 1866, which would make him around the right age to be ‘Potato Creek’ Johnny, however this ‘John Perrott’ married a Mary Morgan and was living in Aberdare in 1891, where he worked as a coal miner … ‘Potato Creek’ Johnny had gone to the USA in 1883, so it is not the same person.

THE MAIL ON SUNDAY (UK) – 30th August 1992

Although I have known Monsieur Perrott for more than ten years, I still do not know his first name. Indeed, it was only this year that I learned his surname. He and his wife – a silver-haired lady who looks like a dowager duchess – have a hoop-la stall in a French funfair which at this time of the year wends its way from one Normandy seaside village to another. I love to watch Monsieur Perrott enchanting his customers. He is especially good and gentle with children. And late at night with revellers as, with unsteady aim, they try to throw their hoop over a china dog. Although, if the rain comes – and it comes quite often in this part of Normandy – there are times when there may be no customers at all. It was near midnight on one such night this holiday that I got into a prolonged conversation with Monsieur Perrott. "Where do you go from here?" I asked. "Grandcamps" he replied. "And after that?" I asked. He proceeded to list a number of other towns where he and the rest of the funfair arrive at precisely the same time each year. "When do you finish for the winter?" I asked. He looked at me in some surprise. "We never stop. We go on right through the winter". "Do you never have a holiday?" I asked. He shrugged his shoulders. "Never". He looked at me searchingly and said: "I expect that in England you have a house. I have no house and never have had one. I have no land. No money either. I am 73 and my wife is 74. Our only home is our caravan, and even that is a much smaller one than we used to have. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s a wonderful job and I love it". And looking at him and his wife, who was nodding in agreement, I realised he meant every word he said. I got up early the next morning and sought out his caravan with a bottle of whisky which I planned to give him as a tiny gesture of thanks for the pleasure he had given me and my family over the years. But his caravan had already gone. I hope I see him again next year. I have an instinct that he could teach the rest of us a good deal about what really constitutes human happiness. (from John Junor’s column)

WESTERN TELEGRAPH (Pembrokeshire, UK) – 13th September 2000

On September 20th 1580, Sir John Perrot, Knight, of Haroldston and Carew Castle, presented to the town of Haverfordwest much of his property ‘for the improvement of the town, and for the repairs of its streets, bridges, walls, conduits of water, and other decays of the town, and also for a new Quay’. For 420 years Perrot’s Trust has been of great benefit to the town.

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Chris Perrett (935) came across this photographic postcard on eBay listed as: "Shop Front. J. Parrett, Hair Dresser. Seaforth, Liverpool. Seaforth 1906 … Joseph Richard Parrett of 43 Rawson Road, Seaforth".

Further research by Lynne Morris (964) confirmed that this was the family of Richard Joseph Parrett, who was born to John Parrett & Harriet Shore Elliott in Bristol in 1868. He married Lily Trapnell in 1891. By the time of the 1911 census they had eight surviving children: John Richard, Ethel May, William Alfred, Henry Arthur, George Trapnell, Lilian Josephine, Harriet and Alice.

Are any of our members related to this family?

Ruth Draycott (945) and husband Anthony recently went to Normandy for a long weekend and – while there – came across an advertisement featuring this painting, Le Naufrage by Pierre Perot (1851-?), It was one of the lots for sale in an auction at St. Pair-sur-Mer with an estimated guide price of 300-400 Euros. Can any of our members tell us more about the artist?
Walter Perrott was born on 9th October 1826. He married Jane Rees in Llanelli on 5th May 1850. His Mate’s Certificate of Service, issued in 1851, states that he had been employed as a boy seaman and mate in the British Merchant Service for a period of nine years, meaning he would have started in this work around the age of sixteen. When the 1851 census was taken, Jane was living in her parents’ household, with Walter apparently away at sea.

At the time of the 1861 census, Walter was at sea on board the John & Ann, of which he was master, however he is also recorded living with Jane and their daughters Mary Ann (10), Sarah Jane (7), Harriett Justina (5) and Emma (3) in Llanelli. A son – Walter George – had been born the previous year and died in infancy. Later additions to the family, then living in Minor Street, were Emily Jane (born 1861, died 1911 in Burry Port) and Robert Rees (born 1866, died 1938 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa).

Following Jane’s death in 1868, Walter remarried in 1870 to Mary Ann Harding (nee Burgess), widow of William, who had two daughters. The 1871 census has Sarah Jane, Jessie (Harriett Justina) and Emily Jane living in Swansea with their step-sister Sarah Harding, aged 18, who describes herself as a ‘captain’s daughter’.

Younger brother Robert was also living in Swansea in 1871 with his aunt and uncle, Henry and Christina Mills. Their father Walter was presumably away at sea.

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Last modified: 22 July 2018