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Jumping ahead to 1851 for a minute, this is where Sophia Yates lived in Drury Lane! Well not exactly. This is the Sarastro Restaurant “the show after the show” which is opposite Drury Lane Theatre . It’s roughly the site of Sophia Yates’ home in 1851. Her husband had died and she was living with her two adult children Charlotte and Charles at 126 Drury Lane.
So, where did we get to in the last blog?
1815 and Georgianna Phebe had just been born in Sherrard Street, Piccadilly!
She was the first of George and Sophia Yates’ children to survive her childhood years. Not too surprisingly, she decided to drop her first name and become plain Pheobe as she grew up!
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As the table below shows, another daughter was born in 1817, Charlotte Frances, by which time the Yates family had moved to Princes Street, Drury Lane. The fact that the census records gives George’s full name, George Skinner Yates, at both the old address in Sherrard Street and the new address in Princes Street helps to confirm they are the same family.
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Street name changes – Drury Lane, Princes Street & Kemble Street
At some stage prior to 1878, Princes Street and at least part of Drury Lane were one and the same. When the Princes Street stretch of road later became part of Drury Lane, Princes Street became the name of a new road leading east off Drury Lane.
Princes Street has now become the section of Kemble Street between Russell Street and Wild Street. Very confusing!
Because of the street name changes, it is unclear whether the Yates family lived in one place or moved to new accommodation in the same area over the next few years. Whether they moved or not the family either lived in what is now Drury Lane or in Princes Street (now Kemble Street) that led off it. It is possible that much later on in 1851 when we find the widowed Sophia Yates living at 126 Drury Lane, she hasn’t actually moved from Princes Street (Drury Lane) – the name Princes Street could have moved to it’s new site. In other words the family may have moved around the Drury Lane area quite a bit or alternatively, once they had moved from Sherrard Street, they may always have lived in the same place – approximately the site of 126 Drury Lane today.
In 1821 Charles Skinner was born and for the first time his baptism record gives the Yates’ street number – 5 Princes Street, Drury Lane. Another daughter, Emily Rose, was born in 1823 and her baptism record shows that the family have either moved up the road a few houses to number 10 Princes Street, Drury Lane, or there had been a change in the numbering system of the street (which was not unusual).
In 1825 Frances Mary Ann Yates was born and baptised at Piccadilly St James. It is likely that she was yet another of the Yates’ children who died in infancy because George and Sophia’s name their next child Frances as well. And this Frances is our Fanny – Frances Harriet Yates.
Born in 1828, her proper name Frances (she’s not Fanny until later) is used in the 1841 census. This is the census record I only recently discovered; I found the last of George and Sophia’s children – Sophia Louisa, and got the important confirmation I needed that Fanny lived with her parents in Princes Street at least until she was 13. The 1841 record had been hard to trace because the family’s surname had been transcribed as Gates instead of Yates.
Here are all the records (baptism and marriage) that I’ve referred to above.
I’ve also discovered a little about Fanny’s grandparents. Her parents, George and Sophia Yates (née Woodness) were both born in 1791 and baptised in the parish of St Marylebone. George’s parents were Thomas and Phebe Yates and Sophia’s were Ralph and Sarah Woodness née Smith.
That’s Fanny’s parents and siblings all accounted for and we know where they lived – so what next?
Having presented all the facts I can find, I still can’t prove that Frances Harriet Yates is the same Fanny Yates that gave birth to my great grandfather Edward Cavendish Yates in St Marylebone, although it does seem quite likely.
Before I leave this line of my family tree and move on to another, I think my next blog should tell the story of the Yates family I’ve discovered. From George Skinner Yates and his wife Sophia to the birth of possibly their illegitimate grandchild, Edward Cavendish Yates. No records – just the story!