Some Raynsford genealogy. Robert Thomas Raynsford born 1820 married Maria Parsons and among their children was Robert John born 1848-died 1921. He married Jane born 1851- died 1903-- in Lambeth. They lived on Bagley Street Battersea and then Lithgow Street Battersea. As of 1891 Robert John worked at the gas works and was also a bricklayer. Robert John and Jane had 8 children: Robert Francis 1866-1935, Arthur John 1870-1938 (your mother's line), John 1874-??, Charles 1876-??, William 1879-1959, Alfred 1883-1931, Walter 1886-1932 and Bert 1888-1943 (my gf). Each of these sons had many children: Arthur John had 12, Charles had 6, William had 3, Alfred had 3 and Bert had 10. These are the men who became grocers and food importers.2 of them started a greengrocer shop in Battersea which is still there. Bert was my grandfather. He married Florence Cook. They had my father Charles Bert 1908-1983 called Toohey, Daisey 1909-1929, Arthur Robert 1910--still alive and lives near Battersea, James Frederick 1912-?, Lillian-1914-2003, Michael John 1916-1997, Violet 1918-2001, Rosie 1922-1924, Albert 1927-??, and Reggie 1932-lives in Southern England with wife Audrey.
Grandfather Bert was in the vegetable and fruit wholesale trade. He had a lot near his home on Hope Street where his other realtives delivered imported produce and then Bert and his sons delivered it all over London by horse cart. Bert had cousins --the sons of Arthur John Raynsford (your mother's ggf) who were the importers of fruit--those are the ones with the banana business. One is still alive that I know of--Charles born 1919--his daughter Jo Bourgaize lives on one of the islands between England and France. This Charles was injured during WWII and sems to have broken away from his family afterward and sold the businesses.We have also heard that some Raynsfords imported fish and one is in the seaweed import business now!
It seems my father was called Toohey because his father was also called Toohey. Some of the relatives spell it Tuhy. No one seems to know what it means or why they were called that. I did find out there was a biscuit--what we call cookies here in the USA--called a Tuille that was very popular in the early 1900's--maybe he sold those and it became a nickname? Names in this family are hard--Uncle Arthur Robert is called Robert---I think Uncle Michael John was called John. It made it hard to find people and also to figure out who is who.
I rejoyced when I found the family. I was brought up believing that I had no family. That everyone had died in the war. I have 2 step brothers andtwin half sisters here in the USA from my mother's 3rd marriage. But I was neverreally part of my step father's family--and always felt very alone. I knew my mother was hiding something--but never imagined that she was hiding a whole family from me! I thought I was probably illegitimate. I wanted to retire from my teaching job in 1996 and needed to prove my age and sent to the UK for a birth cetificate and when the info on it did not match up to what I had always been told--I began to check. I spent 5 years looking for my family--knowing at first only my father's name. Uncle Reggie and Uncle (Arthur) Robert have been wonderful. I hear from them all the time. They have really adopted me (strange to be adopted at age 60!). I am married, have 1 daughter from a 1st marriage and 2 step children from my 2nd, live about 50 miles north of NYC, taught physical education and was a school administrator for 35 years and now am retired. From photos and from what Audrey and Reggie and Pauline tell me I look very much like my father. Your mother is the daughter of Robert Arthur (1924-??) and Joan? And Robert Arthur was the son of Robert(1899-1978) and Daisy Wilkenson? And that Robert was the son of Arthur John (1870-1938) who wasmy Grandfather Bert's brother? So that makes your ggf and my father first cousins? Gets confusing. Anyway--I am your American cousin--2nd or 3rd or something.