My relatives and I have been researching our family history since the 1960s. At that time my great aunt Lulu Thomas (nèe Toone) had a great deal of help from the then Leamington Librarian – H Tallamy. Since that time Lulu, her daughter Jean, my cousin Elisabeth and I have gained more information and have been corresponding with a branch of the family who moved to America in the 1850s.

We began with John Toone (1787 to 1875), a builder in Victorian Leamington, who married Elizabeth Toone01Reading (1785 to 1873), and had 14 children.

The photo (right), showing my American cousin Elizabeth Thomas, and me, Helen Pendery. was taken recently at John and Elizabeth’s grave in Leamington Cemetery.

The Toone’s eldest son, also called John Toone, (1813 to 1893) married Emma Prosser and emigrated to Utah. It is his family we have been corresponding with over the years.

Our great grandfather Henry Toone (1828 to 1917), was another son of John and Elizabeth. His daughter Lulu and her brother Harry, our grandfather, were brought up in Cambridge House at the end of Lansdowne Crescent. My father Basil and his brothers Laurie & Reg were born there and my family lived there until Harry’s death in 1968.

Despite the wonders of modern technology, and coming from such a large Victorian family, cousin Toone02.2Elisabeth and I have not been able to find any other cousins in this country, so any information would be gratefully received. This photo (right), which Elisabeth found in the back of a family sampler, may jog a few memories. We can identify our grandfather Harry Toone, second from the left in the back row, dating the photo to around 1910.

We would like to know if anyone can identify the occasion. On the side of the building there is a builder’s sign which we believe may be Matthews. There was a builder at 88 New Street where this may have been taken.

Helen Pendery (nèe Toone)
Winter 2012