The life and family of Peter Button & Harriet Jefferies in Streatham.
Peter Button Jefferies was born on 31 January 1841 at Sible Hedingham and died at 4 Wellfield Road, Streatham on the 1st September 1908. By the 1871 census he is recorded as being a boot maker, a trade he may have started learning before the family left Sible Hedingham. More details of his life appear in an obituary of his wife Sarah Harrington from 1928. He is said to have set up his shop next to the 'White Lion' in the High Street, Streatham, (now Streatham High Road). The pub is still there and is just opposite where the family lived in Wellfield Road.
Sarah was the daughter of James Harrington of Castle Hedingham, the adjoining village to Sible Hedingham. The Harringtons were a large family in the area and her father James was a bricklayer as were several others in the family. Sarah was the eldest of 7 children. In the Obituary it states that Peter and Sarah met in Streatham and discovered that they had come from the same village and so the relationship developed. Sarah was in service, but with whom is not known nor when she went to Streatham. In the 1871 census she was working as the cook for a family living in Paddington, so not nearby. They were married in the Independant Chapel in Castle Hedingham on the 28th September 1874.
Peter and Sarah had 5 boys and one girl; the next part of this page summarises their lives, in birth order.
William Frederick Jefferies was born on 8th June 1876 and lived at home until his marrage to Mary Thacker in late 1901. He started as a telegraph messenger boy and then a postman. During WW1 he served in France, being invalided out in 1917, wounded. He was a keen cyclist and encouraged his nephew Frank William Jefferies who also became a keen cyclist, doing the trip from London to Poole whle courting Edith during his College years!
Peter James Jefferies was born on 13 March 1878 and married Alice French on Boxing Day, 1904. Before his marriage he had a greengrocer business in Brixton with his younger brother Walter as an assistant and was still a greengrocer at his marriage. However by the 1911 census he had become a furniture remover, there is a photo of him and his removal pantechnicon, horse drawn. He died on the 7th November 1918, at the age of 40, one of the early deaths from the Spanish Flu epidemic after WW1.
My grandfather Walter John Jefferies was born on the 20th March 1880. As said above he worked with his bother Peter as a shop assistant in Peter's greengrocery business and, later for John Stacey in his greengrocery business where he must have met and later, on the 27th February 1907, married my grandmother Gertrude Emma Stacey. More on these two later but their relationship was not welcomed by the Staceys and permission to marry was said to have been grudging. Walter had got a job as an installer of laundry equipment such as steam boilers for the Woodall-Duckham Company, and there are photos of him on site. He seems to have had very little formal education beyond the basics but he was always interested in a range of things mechanical, he had a book dated in the early 1900's that discussed the merits of automobiles powererd by steam, gas, petrol and electricity! He died in Leamington Spa in 1963.
Albert Henry Jefferies was born on 10th March 1882. He was the only son to go into his father's business of boot repairer and took over the business on his father's death. He married Alice Mary Spencer on 4 August 1926 in Croydon. Almarie, as she was usually known, had been in the boot and shoe business before marriage and was a qualified chiropodist. Apart from continuing the Jefferies shop in Streatham they also had a business in Croydon, her family town and practised there. Albert was also in touch with the American Jefferies around 1940, writing to George Atkin Jefferies.
Alice Ethel Jefferies was born on 31st October 1884, the only daughter. She trained as a dressmaker and married George Charsley on the 18th June 1911. They moved into 255 Lordship Lane, Dulwich, where George ran a watchmaker, repairer and opticians business until his death in 1969. Sadly Alice had tuberculosis and died on the 11th April 1927 at Dulwich. They had two children and the family history of the Charsleys is very well researched by the descendants, there is a link in the Links page.
The last child of Peter and Sarah was Charles Edward Jefferies, born on the 15th March 1888 and died, age 11 in July 1899.
Revised 12 June 2021