Biography Birth 1881 census 1891 census 1901 census Marriage 1911 census Ethel's Birth Death Photos

Florence Syer Florence Syer, Jenny's grandmother, was born on the 1st January 1880 in Manchester at 12 Balmoral Terrace, Shrewsbury Street, Stretford.

Her father was John Syer, described as a "Looking glass maker" and her mother was Mary Ann nee Thorpe.

The parents of Florence and all the other children up to that point, had come up from Surrey in c. 1878-79

The 1881 census, taken when she was 1 year old, refers to her as Flora Syer, which was confusing when searching for her on the internet, but confirmed her address at 12 Balmoral Terrace, Shrewsbury Street, Stretford, near Manchester

The 1881 census also shows her father's occupation as "Carver and Gilder" and in later documents he is described as a "Picture Dealer" and a "Picture Expert" so he certainly started making the ornate Victorian frames and later probably started dealing in paintings.

In 1887 when Florence was 7 years old, her mother Mary Ann died, the death being recorded in the registration district of Chorlton in the Oct-Dec quarter, volume 8c, page 557.

In 1885, her sister Rosina was born, also registered in the Chorlton district, in the Jan-Mar quarter, volume 8c page 883. Rosina appears later as a witness at Florence's marriage, but identified herself as Rosie Syer.

In the 1891 census they are living at 28 Molyneux Road, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, in Manchester. Florence is a scholar and John, her father is a "Glass Silverer"

Then in the 1901 census, John appears with a new wife Katherine, Rosina and a new son John, living at 65 Wilmslow Road, Birch-in Rusholme, in the district of South Manchester. John had married Katherine Andrews in 1893, registered in the Chorlton district, Apr-Jun quarter, vol 8c page 1285. They had a son John in 1894 who would be Florence's step-brother.

The only clue to Florence's location in 1901 is a reference to a Florrie Syer living as a housemaid to a widow and stockbroker, who also employed a cook and domestic, in a boarding house in South Manchester. Her age coincides, but there is no confirmation that this is our Florence. Being 21, had she left home after not getting on with her stepmother? Her father, John, is described as a "Picture Dealer"

The next event is Florence's marriage to Edwin Arrowsmith on June 6th 1909. Edwin had been a Marine bandsman and was present at the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900 aboard HMS. Centurion. Florence gives her age as 27 and not 29, but in those days it was fashionable for a lady to appear at least 2 years younger than her husband. The witnesses are Rosie Syer, her sister and John William Arrowsmith, Edwin's brother, also known as Jack, and who was a foreman lamplighter for Manchester Corporation. Rosina later starred in "The Earl and the Girl" as Rosie Reyes. Her father, John's occupation is given as "Picture Expert"

In the 1911 census, we see Florence and Edwin, married, living at 22 Annis Street, Moston, near Manchester, with Ethel (Jenny's mother) 8 months old. Edwin is a Musician working in Music Halls.

Florence had 2 daughters, Ethel, who was Jenny's mother, born in 1910, and Hilda born in 1912.

Florence died in 1920 at the Christie Hospital on the 22nd March 1920 of cancer and was buried on the 24th March 1920 at the Barlow Moor Road cemetery in plot number U 536.

birth certificate
1881 census page 1 1881 census page 2
1891 census
1901 census
marriage certificate
1911 census
ethel's birth certificate
death certificate
Florence with daughter Hilda and Ethel

Florence with daughter Hilda and Ethel (Jenny's mother)


Edwin as musician

grave stone