Belford Family

Ada Belford  (1864 1955)

Ada’s parents were John Belford and Matilda Masters. John’s parents were James and Harriet Belford. Matilda’s mother was Hannah Masters.

Ada Gertrude Belford was my husband’s mother. Her family had come from St Helier in Jersey, and were jewellers, mainly French, and sometime marrying English spouses.

Ada’s father had migrated to London, where he was a fireman with the City of London fire service from the 1860’s. He had five daughters (named Alice, Laura, Ada, Rose and Blanche) and one son, John, who died young. Mr Belford was offered the head of the Nottingham Fire Service position, and his daughters were all employed in the town.

Three of the girls were school teachers: one became head of an infant school, one head of a special school for tuberculosis children who had to be taught outdoors throughout the year. One was a dressmaker named Rose, who married a Jersey man called Jack Renouf, a curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London. During the Second World War, in 1941, Jack died in Grand Avenue, Bournemouth, where he and Aunt Rose had retired from a London flat in Westbourne Grove, and later at 59 Redcliffe Road, SW10. We visited them during the George V’s celebrations in May 1935.

Ada became head of a hosiery factory department (I think Morleys) and at 36 37, in 1903, she married Eli Thomas Bestow. They had one child, Alfred James Carington. The last name was added to male children because the related Carington family were squires in Leicestershire at Ashby (Forville), and one was an M.P. in the late 19th century.

Lord Carrington, who added an ‘r’to the spelling of his name, became a minister in Margaret Thatcher’s Government during the 1970’s and 80’s. When Roger and I married in 1976 in Chelsea Registry Office, the young registrar commented on my birth certificate, where the name of my Father was given as Alfred James Carington Bestow, and he said he was a friend of Toby Carrington, Lord Carrington’s son. Was my family connected? It was all too much to go into while we were exchanging vows, so I just said I did not know.)

An interesting connection: A.J.’s (our note: Ruth always referred to Alfred James, her husband, as A.J.) maternal family, a Belford, and a cousin I believe, married Frederick Lonsdale, whose family were connected with the Fox’s (this generation are Robert, James and Edward). Their father had been a theatrical agent and play director. Frederick Lonsdale was a Liverpudlian and in the 1900’s 1920’s was a famous playwright. I studied parts from ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’ for one of my degrees in 1924. (our note: we assume that Lonsdale had directed Oscar Wilde’s play).Frederick Lonsdale later lived in London with an Ellen Fox and had a daughter, Angela Fox, out of wedlock, who married an actor and is now an author.