The Hemmings Family

Part of the Ient family history is intrinsically linked to Oxford. We know that Karl Jent went to Oxford in the 1890s and it is almost certain that he met his second wife, Julia, there.

Julia Ann Thurley Hemmings married Charles Ient (formerly Karl Gottleb, or Gottlob, Jent) in Oxford. Julia was born on the 18 June 1865 in Paddington, London, to parents James Thurley Hemmings and Sarah-Ann Ball.[1] We don't know why they were in London, but the family lived in Oxford. See Julia's biography: Julia Ient (1865 – 1955)

This record is a summary of the research I have done with the help of Rob Hemmings.


Family Tree
William Hemmings
James Thirley Hemmings
James & Sarah Marry
Freeman of the City of Oxford
George & Dragon, Oxford
Julia Ann Thurley Hemmings
Julia & Karl Marry and Move to London

Family Tree

The following diagram, I hope, will simplify the family tree throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. This shows a 100 year period over 4 generations, from William Hemmings (b.1803) to Albert (b.1905), the youngest of Julia and Karl's children and my Dad:

Family Tree

William Hemmings

William was born in Oxford in 1803 and christened in the parish church of St Mary Magdalene, Oxford. About 1825, he married for the first time; unfortunately we do not know the name of his wife. However, we do know that they had a daughter, Julia Hannah Hemmings. The first wife and daughter Julia (not to be confused with the Julia who married Karl Jent) are not shown on the above chart.

In 1830, William married for a second time. This time the ceremony took place in Cowley, Oxford, on 21 May, to Lydia Gosling King.

William and Lydia lived at addresses in Red Lion Square and St Ebbes Street, Oxford. They had six children: William Frederick (1832), Thomas (1834),John (1836), George (1838), James (1842) and Joseph (1844).

Census and christening records from this time show William's occupation as shoemaker. Lydia died in 1844 and after this William seems to have added Thorley to the family surname for all his children. This is best illustrated in the census of 1851, when William, status widow, was living in Brown's Yard with Julia Thorley (22), William Thorley (19), John Thorley (17), George Thorley (13), James Thorley (10) and John Thorley (grandson) (4).

In 1858, William, aged 55 years, married for a third time. His wife was Anne Elizabeth Smith (not show on the above chart) and they were married on 24 August in the Registry Office in Oxford.

William died in 1884 from Bronchitis and Senile Decay at Littlemore Asylum. He was buried on 12 March in Headington, Oxford, at Littlemore Asylum Burial Ground. He was 81 years of age.

James Thirley Hemmings

James, Julia's father, was born on 1 June 1842 in St Ebbes Street, St Ebbes, Oxford. Christened as James Thirley Hemmings on the same day as George Thirley Hemmings, his brother. Their parents were William Hemmings and Lydia Gosling King.

When he became a Freeman of the City of Oxford in 1879, he was living with his sister Julia, her husband (Thomas Beath) and son at 2 Nelson Street, Oxford, and his occupation was noted on the census of that year as labourer. His brother-in-law was a bricklayer and perhaps this is where he started learning to become a Bricklayer himself.[2]

James & Sarah Marry

James married Sarah-Anne Ball on 20 April 1862. The 1862 (Easter Day) marriage record found in the parish register for St Paul's, Oxford, shows James's occupation as labourer, living at Nelson Street, the same address as his wife. The certificate confirms that at the time neither could write, as they made their mark on the certificate with an X. Sarah's father was listed as a brick maker. James father was listed as a shoemaker. No ages were given.

In 1871, James and Sarah-Anne were living at The Crown, Cowley Road, Oxford, with their children James, Julia, William and baby Frank. The went on to have eleven children: James John (1862), Julia (1865), Sarah Ann (1867), William (1868), Frank (1871), Tom (1873), Ada (1875), George (1876), Harry (1878), Frederick (1880) and Edward (1882).

The 1871 census shows James's trade as bricklayer and beer retailer, reverting to bricklayer in subsequent years. In 1881, he was living at 9 Dovers Row, Cowley, Oxford, and in 1891 (aged 49) at 52 George Street, Oxford, with occupation again shown as bricklayer. But the 1895 Kelly's Directory shows James Hemmings living at 52 George Street as a beer retailer.

Sarah-Anne Ball

Sarah-Anne was born in Wiltshire ... TBC

Freeman of the City of Oxford

At least two generations of Hemmings were Freemen of the City of Oxford:

In 1825, William Hemmings (b.1803) was admitted as Freeman of the City of Oxford. His trade was that of cordwainer or shoemaker.

William's son James (b.1842) was also a Freeman. James received his certificate of admission to Freeman of the City of Oxford on 21 February 1879.[3] But rather than being a shoemaker like his father, James worked in the building trade. His career as a mason can be traced right back to 1861, when he was aged 20 years.

George & Dragon, Oxford

Rob Hemmings, a direct descendant of William and James Thorley Hemmings, confirmed to me that the building at 50/52 George Street was known as the George and Dragon and that the premises remains a public house after all these years – previously known as the Welsh Pony and today the 'Eurobar'.

George & Dragon, Oxford

The George & Dragon as it is today inOxford

The picture below shows George Street, Oxford, in around 1891. To the centre/left of the white building is the George and Dragon inn which was run by James and Sarah (Annie) Hemmings. One can just make out the image of the dragon above the door on the corner of the building:

At the time of his death in 1929, aged 87 years, James was still living at the George and Dragon, 50 George Street. The cause of death was given as: (1a) Cardiac failure b) Chronic Myocarditis c) Senility (2a) Carcinoma of Liver b) Chronic Bronchitis. He is buried as Jas. Thorley Hemmings in St Sepulchre's cemetery on Walton Street in the Jericho area of Oxford:

James T Hemmings grave in St. Sepulchre's cemetery on Walton Street
James T Hemmings grave in St Sepulchre's cemetery on Walton Street

Julia Ann Thurley Hemmings

The story of the Hemmings/Ient connection in Oxford now moves to Julia James's second child and my grandmother. Julia was born on 18 June 1865 in Paddington, London, and by the age of 16 years she was already in service – the 1881 census shows that she was working as a servant to William and Bessie Brooks of 27 New Inn Hall Street, Oxford. Ten years later (1891), she had moved away from Oxford and was working as a cook for James Young and family at 27 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, Sussex. But by late 1893/early-1894, Julie had return to Oxford, because it is here that I believe she met Charles (Karl Gottleb) Jent.

Julia with the other half of her family – the Hemmings Julia with the other half of her family – the Hemmings

Julia with the other half of her family, the Hemmings, taken in about 1938. She is in the front row on the far right-hand side. Details of the other members are show in the footnote[4].

Julia & Karl Marry and Move to London

Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene, OxfordI do not know whether Karl, in the company of his sister Louise, had gone to Oxford just for a visit, but I think it more likely that, as a mason, Karl had gone there in search of work. Anyway, the couple met and on 8 April 1894 were married in the parish church of St Mary Magdalene, Oxford. Children followed very soon after; indeed Katherine Louise was born just six months after the wedding, followed by Godfrey (1896), Thomas (1897), Philip (1899), Pauline (1901), George (1903) and my dad (1905).

In the same year, as their daughter Katherine was born, 1894, we know that Karl and Julia left Oxford and were living at 54 Warriner Gardens, Battersea, London.


[1] This is the surname shown on her birth certificate and later her marriage certificate, but the name Thorley Hemmings was commonly used by other family members.

[2] Thomas Beath later became a publican. (Sources: 1861 and 1881 census)

[3] James made Freeman because his father before him had been a Freeman. His trade was that of cordwainer (shoe maker).

[4] Rob Hemmings received this from a lady called Beverly Hemmings who is the granddaughter of Frederick Thorley Hemmings (one of Julia's brothers). Beverly's complete explanation of the picture is below (she refers to Frederick Thorley Hemmings as Grandad Hemmings):

The wedding of Gladys Hemmings and Leonard Crowle circa 1938

Back row, Frederick Hemmings (junior) and his wife Hilda. Next: Percy Hemmings, Arthur Hemmings at end of row. Next row: My dad –William Hemmings, George Hemmings, bridesmaid – Phyllis Hemmings, bridegroom –Leonard Crowle, bride – Gladys Hemmings, Margaret Hemmings, Freda Hemmings. Next row – don't know but she has a strong resemblance to my sister Pat (Hemmings), maybe she is one of aunty Dorothy's daughters. Ivy Hemmings holding Valerie perhaps? Mother of Leonard Crowle, Grandad Hemmings (Frederick) holding my sister Pat age 6(?), Gran Hemmings (May), Julia Hemmings. Don't know children in front row apart from Douglas Hemmings (only son of Hilda and Frederick) holding dog with ribbon round its neck!

Previous page: George & Norah Ient
Next page: The Henderson Family