A family tree of the Randell family originating in North Norfolk
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James RANDELL 1832

James Randell was born in 1832 in Cromer, he was the second youngest of Thomas Randell and Mary Gray’s children, and the only one I‘m unable to find an exact date of birth for. Whilst all the others are recorded at the North Walsham Wesleyan Chapel he remains an apparent pagan.
He lived with the family at Jetty Street, being recorded there twice. On the second occasion, in 1851, as an Ironmonger age 18. Seven years later, in 1858, he appeared for the first time in Kelly’s Directory as the blacksmith in Trimingham.
James was recorded in many publications as the local Blacksmith and progressively as the sub-postmaster of Trimingham, the Tax Collector and according to Kelly's Directory of 1896 an Annuity and Insurance agent. By 1901 he was Trimingham Postmaster.
The postmaster of a village was a responsible job. James, obviously had the ability to read and write, a prerequisite for the position but something large swathes of the adult population never attained. It’s difficult these days to appreciate the status once afforded Postmasters. James, elder brother Nathaniel, was for many years also a Postmaster in Ixworth. In early Victorian England, a world which was divided into the landed gentry and the working folk, the village blacksmith was a well rewarded and high status position. Many occupations were profoundly affected by the industrial revolution and the introduction mass produced items but blacksmiths continued to assimilated new technologies into their skill's and flourished. Many moved forward into the expanding auto market and beyond.
At the age of 29, James Randell, blacksmith married Esther Susanna Olley, aged 20, a servant of Trimingham. They 'plighted their troth' 7 November 1860 at the strangely named local church of 'St John the Baptist's Head', Trimingham.
wedding sig Esther Susanna, nine years his junior, was born and raised in Trimingham and together they had two girls, Mary and Ada. Mary the elder of the two children continued to live with her parents and in 1912 was recorded as Miss Mary Randell, Sub-Postmistress, age 51. James and Esther Randell lived for many years in Church Street, Trimingham and later at the Post Office. Whether they moved to the Post Office or their existing home became the Post Office, isn't clear, I suspect the latter. An image of the Post Office in the form of a Post Card exists and gives some concept of the building and gardens. The 1911 census states that it was a building with seven rooms not including an office or shop.
James Randell died 3 January 1910, aged 78, in Trimingham. Esther and James enjoyed 49 years of marriage and James, described in his Will, as Sub Postmaster and retired Blacksmith left a small legacy of £196 7s 5d. to Esther.

ANCESTRY ~ Clement / Thomas / James

Esther Susanna OLLEY 1840

Esther Susanna Olley was born 19 April 1840 and christened at St John’s in Trimingham 26 April the same year. Her parents were Francis and Martha Olley, both whom were born in Trimingham a small village a few miles east of Cromer. Trimingham today is relatively remote, being somewhat pleasantly off the main road but in the 1880’s it was not just isolated, it was rapidly eroding. Two farms disappeared into the encroaching sea around this period. Even the groynes constructed to hold the winter ocean failed to last more than a few years.
Esther’s father Francis Olley, born 1800, was a farm labourer and her mother Martha Ann Olley born 1809 was, as is often the case, a wife.
Her name in the census record vacillates between Susanna with or without an "h" but the 1911 census reveals her spelling of her own name.
Esther Susanna
As a teenager Esther worked briefly as a nursemaid in Overstrand before marrying James Randell in October 1860. Two years later the couple had their first child, Mary Susanna. It was to be another fourteen years before their second daughter Ada arrived. Esther was aged thirty six when Ada was born, which on paper, appears quite late but putting things into a modern perspective, Esther is not unusual, it's the fourteen year gap which catches the attention.

post office
Esther parents lived well into their eighties but Esther outlived all of them. She survived James by twenty five years ultimately dying April 1935, aged 94.

James and Esther had the following children:

Mary Susannah RANDELL 1861 Trimingham, Norfolk
Ada RANDELL 1875 Trimingham, Norfolk

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