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Saturday, March 1, 2014


Walter and Fannie RUMSEY, with children Florence and Reginald.

UPDATE - The Rumsey Family photo has been claimed by a relative and is going back home. This photo was located at the Antique Show which was held at the South Florida Fairgrounds yesterday.  The front of the photo is stamped "R.L. Bartlett, Shrewsbury."

The back of the photo is inscribed "Walter and Fannie Rumsey, dau. Florence (age 17), son Reginald (age 18)."

For quite a while today I was getting frustrated that I could not find the Rumsey family in census records for Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, as I had assumed that was the Shrewsbury indicated by the photographer's studio stamp. Only when I started looking at other Shrewsburys did the right family come into focus.

Eventually I was able to determine that the photo was taken circa 1907 or 1908, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire County, in the west of England, near the border with Wales.

The father is Walter English Rumsey (born 1856 to parents William Rumsey and Arabella English.)

The mother is Sarah Fanny Harris.

The daughter is Florence English Rumsey (Oct 1891 - 1966 ) who would later marry Welshman Ernest Peter Tucker in 1928.

The son is Reginald English Rumsey (1890 - 1918) who would marry Gladys Louise Gardner in 1915. Their life together was destined to be a very short one. He joined the 10th Service Battalion Welsh Regiment and served as a Lieutenant before transferring to the RAF in which he achieved the rank of Captain. He died on 9th Dec 1918 at the Halsar Hospital in Gosport, Hampshire from burns and other injuries when his plane crashed. His obituary in the Royal Aeronautical Society magazine also states he 'Carried out some brilliant observation work over the German lines'. He is buried in Shrewsbury General cemetery and was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War & Victory Medals. In his will, he left his wife £349.

Thank you, Kevin Barnes, for this photo (right) of the gravestone for Reginald Rumsey.

The family is also found on the 1901 English Census. Walter's occupation is "Journalist / Author". The family lived at Mountfields Villa.  The 1911 English Census gives Walter as a "Shipping Agent" and 20-yr-old Reginald is a "Shipping Clerk".

Sharon Donaldson of the Roundhay St. John Church in Roundhay Leeds England sent this photo of a memorial at the church which includes the name of Reginald Rumsey. It is always a treat to be able to collaborate with other researchers when investigating the details of the lives of the people in these photos.



    We seem to have the same Reginald English Rumsey remembered on a memorial plaque at our local church. I am currently editing all the soldiers of the Church plaque and memorials ready to be published soon on our web site. Do you have any other information on the family. Sharon Donaldson

  2. Dear Sharon,
    Thank you for the note. I really have no other information other than what I have posted here. I found this photo in an antique show and was determined to find out who the people were and how I can get the photo into the care of their existing family. I wish I had more information for you. If you come across some family member, please direct them here as I'd love to get this photo into their hands.

    1. Yes, I'll be glad to that

    2. Just come across a son for Reginald English Rumsey. W/CDR Howard Rex English Rumsey born in Leeds in 1916. He died in 1964 There seems some connection to the peerage with the family,