A family tree of the Randell family originating in North Norfolk
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John RANDELL 1834

John Randell was born 21 February 1834 in Cromer but christened at Church Gate Wesleyan Chapel, North Walsham, 23 March 1834. He was the youngest of Thomas Randell and Mary Ann Gray's ten children and was born well into the families tenure at Jetty Street. The year John was born Britain abolished slavery through out the empire and Sir Robert Peel became Prime Minister.
John, like his elder brother Ephraim, chose a life at sea. By 1834 New York to Liverpool was a steam assisted journey of only 22 days and steam ships had begun to operate on all the major trade routes. Most sailors, would go to sea as boys and the industrious could be rated as an Able Seamen by the time they were 16 years old. But for most the allure of adventure would wear off and only a small percentage of men stayed on at sea. The life of an Able Seaman had it's compensations of rank, nice earrings, but seemingly it was a hard life.
John's father-in-law, Robert Kirby, was a fisherman who owned his own boat. Robert Kirby purchased the Sheringham built lugger the "Ark 'in 1865. The Ark registered at Cley, was a three mast lugger which weighed ten tons. Despite the apparent similarity, a fisherman and a mariner, are seemingly vastly different things and there is no evidence to suggest that John Randell was ever tempted to join his father-in-law long lining for Cod in the North Sea.
On the night of 30 March 1851 John Randell was recorded at home in Jetty Street as an "Able Seaman, age 17". In the following years he sailed with his elder brother, Ephraim and was recorded in 1871 as the Mate on Ephraim's lugger The Studley. John doesn't appear to have reached the heights of his elder brothers vocation and it seems likely he was Mate to Ephraims Master through out most of his career.
Ten years later on the night of 3 April 1881, John Randell was recorded as a bricklayer's labourer. I think this is an aberration, whilst he was never identified as a fisherman, it was common for fishermen to find casual work until the winter weather improved. When recorded toiling as a labourer in 1881 he was aged 47, whether this represents a retirement from the sea or a temporary job is hard to determine. It's possibly significant that his future son in law was a Bricklayer.
By 1891 he was again returned as a mariner and 1901 he was a retired mariner. On each of these later occasion he was making his census declarations not from the deck of an ocean going vessel but from the relative comfort of Chesterfield Cottages, in Cromer.
At the age of twenty eight John Randell married single mother Sarah Ann Kirby and seemingly embraced her daughter Mary Ann Kirby. John married Sarah, 15 May 1862 at St Peter and St Paul's. Mary Ann Kirby died of Scarlet Fever within months of the wedding and was recorded in the official documentation under the names both Randell and Kirby.
John and Sarah commenced their life together in Brooke Street, Cromer but spent an extended period in Chesterfield Cottages, living in a cluster of family which included their married son John Ephraim and also Mary Love, John's sister.
The 1911 Census finds the couple at 61 Mill Lane, Suffield Park, Cromer. Whilst Mill Lane no longer exists, Mill Road does and 61 Mill Road still stands. Given street names and numbers change it may be the same or similar house. John recorded their home as having five rooms plus a kitchen. A nearby dwelling, recently for sale, was described as a '3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, period terrace with bay window and ornate fireplaces'.
The census form hand written and signed by John, revealed him to be aged 77 years, whilst Sarah Ann was a more youthful 72 years. John was a Retired Sailor in the Merchant Service and had been married 50 years. Considering his age his hand writing is well formed and steady.
john 1911
A more sobering facet of the detail records that John and Sarah Ann had five children but at the time of the census four remained alive. Their daughter Blanch Mary, who died aged two, is captured by the statistics but Sarah's child born prior to her marriage to John is missed.
An altogether happier section of the form details that their grandchild, Florence Hilda Chillingworth was staying with them and attending school in Cromer.
They both lived to remarkable ages, John was aged 88 years at death. Sarah Ann Kirby and John Randell enjoyed almost sixty years of marriage. John lived beyond his sixtieth wedding anniversary but was a widower, having lost Sarah only months before. On his death a short article appeared in the local newspaper.
John Randell's death certificate records that he died 29 May 1922 in Sidestrand and that his son in law William Chillingworth was present at his death. The "Cause of death" section comprehensively notes "Malignant disease of the Large Bowel - 1 year 6 months - No Post Mortem - Certified by Robert Grant".
Unfortunately I'm unable to identify were they were buried but Sidestrand has to be an option.

ANCESTRY ~ Clement / Thomas / John

Sarah Ann KIRBY 1838

Sarah Ann Kirby was born 3 June 1838 and baptised 1 July 1838 at St Peter and St Paul Church, Cromer, Norfolk. She was the eldest of two children born to fisherman Robert Kirby and his wife Mary Nockels. Robert Kirby and Mary Nockels married 23 November 1837 in Cromer.
Sarah was nine years older than her only sister Ruth. A check of the records suggest that the two girls were the only children of Robert and Mary and that infant mortality played no part in the large age gap. Ruth Kirby was born 13 March 1847 and baptised 4 April 1847 at St Peter and St Paul Church, Cromer, Norfolk.
Sarah's father, Robert Kirby, was born 13 December 1812 and baptised two days later at St Peter and St Paul Church. He was the son of James Kirby and Honor Nurse. Honor Nurse was baptised in Barningham 12 June 1785 and appears to luxuriate in a name which surprisingly had an endless array of spelling variations, including "Hona" and "Honara". Honor Nurse was the daughther of Thomas Nurse & Honor Lynes.
Robert's father, James Kirby, died age 55. He was buried in St Peter and St Paul Church 4 April 1838. Honor Nurse married James Kirby in Weybourne 14 December 1810. Honor died aged 85 and was buried in Cromer, 20 January 1871.
Robert Kirby and his father James were fishermen. The parish register of St Peter and St Paul's includes the birth of James Kirby 24 July 1784 and notes his parents as John Kirby and Lydia Allen. Lydia Allen, in turn was recorded in the same register as baptised 3 December 1758 the daughter of Sexton and Lydia Allen.
Sarah's mother, Mary Nockels, was also born in Cromer but was slightly younger being born in 1819. Mary Nockels was never recorded with her parents in the census but evidence suggests that Sarah's father was fisherman Sam Nockells. In 1841 Sam Nockels and Honor Kirby both lived in Jarvis Yard, Brooke St Cromer.
The UK Census record establishes that in 1841, Sarah Ann and her mother Mary, were living in New St, West Row, Cromer. Presumably her father was at sea. By 1851 the entire family, expanded to include Ruth, are together for the only time and still living in New Street.
In 1861 I was unable to find Sarah Ann Kirby. However a new member of the New St, Kirby household emerged. Mary Ann Kirby was listed as the daughter of Robert and Mary Kirby but was in fact the illegitimate child of their daughter of Sarah Ann. Tragically Mary Ann Kirby died age five, 28 September 1862, as a result of Scarlet Fever and Pneumonia. Her death certificate identifies her as the "daughter of Sarah Kirby, now the wife of John Randell, Sailor, Merchant Service".
John Randell married Sarah Kirby 15 May 1862 at St Peter and St Paul Church, Cromer, Norfolk the service was witnessed by John's brother, James Randell and Harriet Plumbly.
Sarah Ann Kirby and John Randell had extraordinarily long lives, their marriage lasted very close to sixty years and produced five children. Unfortunately, on the 28 September 1866, their second child Blanch Mary, age two, died but the remaining four flourished.
John Randell Newspaper

Sarah Ann Randell, "wife of John Randell", aged 83 died of "suspected colon cancer" 25 June 1921. Recorded as present at the death was her son in law William Chillingworth.

Sarah had one illegitimate child prior to marrying:

Mary Ann KIRBY 1857 Cromer, Norfolk

John and Sarah had the following children:

Sarah RANDELL 1862 Cromer, Norfolk
Blanch Mary RANDELL 1864 Cromer, Norfolk
John Ephraim RANDELL 1866 Cromer, Norfolk
Edith Ruth RANDELL 1875 Cromer, Norfolk
Emma Mary RANDELL 1879 Cromer, Norfolk

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