The 1901 census for the village of West Meon in Hampshire records 43-year-old George Yeo at ‘George Inn Yard’ – most likely a building on the site of the George Inn. His occupation is given as ‘railway navvy’, so he might have worked on the Meon Valley Railway, which ran between Alton and Farnham via West Meon, or have used it to travel further afield to work.
George seems not to have known where he was born [note 1]. Listed with him are his wife Rose (age 40, born at Ewell, Surrey), his son John Yeo (5, born at Ewell), daughter Elizabeth Yeo (2, born at Ewell) and daughter Rose Yeo (three months, born at Brookwood, Surrey).
The births of these children were not registered with the surname Yeo [notes 2, 3, 4] – it appears that Rose was their mother, but while there is no record of her having married George she lived with him, and used the surname Yeo until the end of her life. She was born Rose Emily Marshment in 1863 [note 5] and had married Jesse Remnant in 1883 [note 6].
The family moved to Glamorganshire about 1910 [note 7]. The 1911 records them at 18 Wingfield Crescent in Lanfabon with the household including seven children [note 8] and boarder Jesse Woodcroft. George’s birthplace is recorded as Barnstaple.
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1. ‘NK’ is entered in the column for his place of birth. He was born in Tawstock in 1857 (birth registered as Abraham George Yeo at Barnstaple in the second quarter, son of John Yeo and Elizabeth Brace) and died in Wales in 1932 with his age inaccurately recorded as 73 and his name as George Yeo.
2. John’s birth was registered at Epsom as John Reuben Remnant in the first quarter of 1896. He died in 1916 while serving with the army in Greece, his surname recorded as Remnant.
3. Elizabeth’s birth was registered at Epsom as Kathleen Elizabeth Remnant in the first quarter of 1899; she married Thomas Henry Purbrick at St Andrew, Cardiff in 1922 and died in 1983.
4. The registration of Rose’s birth has not been found.
5. Birth registered at Epsom in the fourth quarter, so her age as given in the 1901 census is inaccurate. She died in Wales in 1943, with her surname recorded as Yeo.
6. Marriage registered at Croydon in the third quarter: Jesse Remmant and Rosa Emily Marshment. They had seven children, according to research by Sara Croft.
7. From a letter Rose wrote in 1923 to George’s brother in the United States.
8. Of these, the four born after 1901 were Emily Yeo (born 1903), George William Yeo (1905–1983, married Ella Rosina Morgan), Mary Ann Yeo (born 1907, married Thomas Coles) and Thomas Yeo (1911–1981, married Nan Thomas).