History of 90 Gwydir Street

See History of Gwydir Street and Buildings in Gwydir Street.

Hornsby, Willam lived in 90 Gwydir St in 1904 (see Spalding's Directory)

He was still there in 1913 (see Spalding's Directory).

Janet Freeman emailed me in 2021. Her husband was related to the Hornsby family (and her son is now living in Gwydir St!) She has done the following genealogical research:

This house was lived in by members of the Hornsby family from at least 1876 to 1962. The family came from Yardley Hastings, Northamptonshire, and moved through Wolverton and Fenny Stratford in Buckinghamshire, eventually settling in Cambridge.

William Hornsby (1829-1914) married Elizabeth Susanna Wooding (1842-1932) in 1862 at Yardley Hastings. They went on to have 12 children born between 1863 and 1884, although two died in childhood and two others died before 1911. Judging from the birthplaces of the children, the family must have moved to Cambridge from Fenny Stratford sometime between 1872 and 1876, as the five youngest were born in Cambridge when living at 90 Gwydir Street.

On the 1881 census, fifty year old William is employed as a railway engine driver, and his eldest son, Thomas Cornelius, is a railway engine cleaner. The couple have nine of their children living with them, ranging in age from eighteen to two months, four of them aged five and under. Three of the older boys are employed as messengers, possibly for the Post Office, as their father was in 1849 in Northamptonshire.

On the 1871 census, William is still a railway engine driver, and many of his neighbours in Gwydir Street also work for the railway in a variety of jobs. He and Elizabeth have five children still at home, but this has dropped to two by 1901. By this time William is 72, although still listed as a railway engine driver, and Elizabeth is 59. Their daughter Ada, aged 22, is a domestic servant and their youngest son, 16 year old William Frederick is a plumber's apprentice. The 1911 census sees William, aged 82, as a retired engine driver for the London and North Western Railway. William Frederick is still with them, newly married a few months earlier, and working as a cab driver for the Provincial Motor Cab Company. William died in 1914 aged 85, and Elizabeth died in 1932 aged 90.

The next document available - until the release of the 1921 census - is the 1939 Register which lists two of William and Elizabeth's daughters living at No. 90 Gwydir Street. Lois Minnie Hornsby is aged 63 and unmarried, listed as engaged in domestic duties, and her 58 year old sister Susannah Ann is divorced and a factory hand. The 1850 List of Electors lists a brother, Alfred Harry, living with them after the death of his wife; he died in 1956 aged 86. Lois also died aged 86, on 4th July 1962 at Chesterton Hospital, but of 90 Gwydir Street, at which point her sister Susannah went to live with relatives in Sawston and the link with the house was broken. Susannah died in 1970 aged 89.

From Capturing Cambridge:


William Hornsby, head, 50, railway engine driver, b Northants
Elizabeth S, wife, 40, b Northants
Thomas P, son, 18, railway engine cleaner, b Bucks
Charles W, son, 16, messenger, b Bucks
Fred, son, 13, messenger, b Bucks
Alfred H, son, 12, messenger, b Bucks
Harry, son, 9, scholar, b Bucks
Lois M, daughter, 5, scholar, b Cambridge
Ada M A, daughter, 2, b Cambridge
Alice S, daughter, 1, b Cambridge
Susannah A, daughter, 2 mos, b Cambridge

William Hornsby, head, 60, railway engine driver, b Northants
Elizabeth S, wife, 48, b Northants
Ada M E, daughter, 18, b Bucks
Alice S, daughter, 12, b Cambridge
Susannah A, daughter, 10, b Cambridge
William F, son, 10, b Cambridge
Harry, son, 6, b Cambridge

William Hornsby, railway engine driver
Ada, 22, servant, b Cambridge
William, 16, plumbers apprentice, b Cambridge

William Hornsby, 82, retired engine driver
Elizabeth, 69,
William Frederick, 26, motor cab driver Provincial Motor Cab Co., b Cambridge
Nelly Hornsby, wife, 22, b Bucks

William Hornsby

Susannah Hornsby, b 1881, factory
Louis M, b 1876

Miss N Hornsby

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