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Kiff One Name Study 1996-1999 all rights reserved

KIFF One Name Study

Secretary: Lori-Ann Foley
St Helier, Jersey
Channel Islands, UK

Issue 11

Summer 1996

Kiff One Name Study Newsletter

Abbey Cathedral, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Issue 11,  Summer 1996


page 1

Research Undertaken

page 2

Charles Stephen Kiff

page 3

Page 1


The big news from this quarter's newsletter is the feature on the 1881 Census Index for the UK, less Middlesex and Lancashire which haven't been published yet. Betty Lark has been busy at her local LDS Centre and has sent copies of the Kiff, and variants, references, reprinted here. Now's your chance to find those missing relations who ran away to sea or who travelled the railway, never spending census night where you would expect them to.

Next issue I hope to feature the Kiff/ts in North America. So if you know of Kiffs there, or are a Kiff there, and would like an article or some information put in the next newsletter, please send it in. The next issue should be out at the end of August, so please have any material to me before then. Thanking you all in advance for the deluge of articles I will no doubt receive on this, or indeed, on any other topic of interest.

The photograph below was sent in by Jo-Anne Mandat, showing the headstone of Frank and Elsie Kiff, her grandparents, buried in St Peters, London Colney.

  image2.gif (1568 bytes)

page 2

Research Undertaken

Celia Jepps has heard from the Metropolitan police museum,s Curator and he supplied the following information.

Joiners Ledger Reference MEPO 4/334 at Kew R.O.

KIFF Robert, Warrant No. 24522
Appointed 7 June 1847
Resigned 30 August 1847
Recommended by Mr J. G. Falck, Crill near Falmouth and W. Wheeler Esq, Port of Gweek Comc. Gweek.

KIFF George, Warrant No. 31039
Appointed 14 March 1853
Resigned 13 August 1853
Recommended by James Trushaw of Jenningsbury F&-m, Hertford, and Mr Ray.

KIFF William John, Warrant No. 25092
Appointed 3 January- 1848
Dismissed 20 May 1862
Recommended by Mr Jet Copeland, 30 Hertford Street, Fitzroy Square, and Mr S. Clark, 3 Southampton St.

The curator was unable to find out anything other the brief references above.  He did note that officers often avoided restrictions on age and height in Victorian times.

Celia also notes that the George Kiff mentioned above seems to be the George Kiff had up for manslaughter, as detailed in the last newsletter.  She thinks that the James Trushaw who recommended George is the Mr Trustam mentioned in the report of the case.

A look at the 1851 census gave the following entries:

Jenningsbury Farm, Hertfbrd      
James Trustam Head Mar 40 Farmer 374 acres, employing 17 men, 5 boys
Ellen M Wife Mar 31  
Elizabeth ? Campkin Serv W 57  
Ann ? Hinch Serv U 22    
Next door, in a house with many lodgers      
Charles Ferry Head        
Andrew Kiff Lodger Unm 23 Ag Lab Little Amwell, Herts


Heather Manthorpe has been looking into her branch of the tree and has found the following pieces of information.

A marriage in Langleybury, parish of Abbots Langley between James Kiff, aged 21, bachelor, son of George Kiff, labourer, and Mary Ann Hart on 8th June 1878.  He lived at Hunton Bridge. The witnesses were James K and Charlotte K. This James was born in 1857, the son of George Kiff and Charlotte Buimer.

A death of May Louisa Johnson, daughter of James Johnson and Louisa Chapmen (James Johnson being the son of Jane Kiff and Henry Johnson), on 12th December 1944.

From the Glamorgan MIMI (Monumental Inscription Master Index) Lori-Ann Foley found a reference to Edri Kiff who died in 1988, aged 81 years in St Mellons, Glamorgan.

Further to the Thomas Kiff and Annie Monk who head a New Zealand branch of the tree, not yet placed on the main tree, the birth certificate reference in the last newsletter indicated Thomas was the son of John Kiff and Lydia Bau. Betty Lark wonders if John Kiff could be the one born in 1827 in Northolt (page 24 on the tree).  As Thomas was born in 1848 the family may still be living in Harrow Weald in 1851, so a search of the census may help there.  Any ideas or information will be gratefully received by the Auckland descendants.

And finally, to show that the Kiff name, or one of its variants anyway, is still going strong in Holland, the following comes from a package of tulip bulbs.


page 3

Charles Stephen Kiff

By Celia Jepps, 1996

Charles Stephen Kiff was born on 26th May 1878 at 34 Denmark Road, Hendon, the son of Charles Kiff, a straw hat blocker, and Kate Louisa Elizabeth Davey, a straw plaiter. Charles was the eldest of five children, having three sisters, Maud, followed by twins Kathleen and Hannah, and one brother, his look alike younger brother, Clement Davey.

Private Charles Kiff, No 4162, 3rd Dragoon Guards

Charles Kiff was an extra tall man of 6'3" which might have been the reason he joined the mounted Dragoon Guards.  His daughters Eileen and Jean were very proud of him as he was a kind and loving father.  He was very striking in his Guardsman uniform which consisted of a red jacket, blue trousers with a yellow stripe down the sides, black boots and a helmet with a long black horsehair mane forming a plume. He wore a curled handlebar moustache which he waxed with soap at the ends.  Charles had won many medals of gold and silver, which he polished a great deal.  There had been a photograph of him on horse-back at a Military Tattoo.

Charles' first wife, Margaret Cowan, used to follow him around from camp to camp, as good army ,wives do.  Margaret already had a son Bill, who was later to play a big part in the family.  Charles and Margaret had two sons, George and Stephen, who became coal miners in Ashingdon, Northumberland.  A daughter, Kathleen, who was born at an army base in Curragk Ireland on 24th November 1906, became an excellent hat designer and married Mr Riddle, who was later killed by The Flying Scotsman.  Their other daughter, Beatrice, was born in Egypt, possibly after or at the end of the First World War.  Margaret died about this time.

A picture is beginning to form about Charles Kiffs career in The 3rd Dragoon Guards.   He fought in the Boer War.  He probably sailed to South Africa, landing at Cape Town, and taking his horse on the journey with him.  From there he went overland a great distance to the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.  He was awarded three clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal, which tell us this.  He won the South Africa Medal on 14th July 1901 at Heilbron and a second South Africa Medal on 8th May 1902 at Harrismith.

The First World War

Charles seems to have switched regiments here, or perhaps he re-enlisted.  He appears as Acting Corporal in the K. Edw. H., number D.19860, and won the Victory Medal.   The regiment is possibly the King Edward's Horse (The King's Overseas Dominions Regiment).  The 3rd Dragoon Guards was also known as the Prince of Wales' and, as King Edward the VII was the Prince of Wales during the Boer War, there may be a connection between these regiments.  More research is needed here at Kew Record Office which houses the old army record.

Margaret, Charles' wife, died at about the end of the First World War and Charles then married his second wife, Olive Maud Walby, on 27th September 1920 at the St Alban's register office. They had twin sons, Arthur and John, who sadly died at birth.  Their other children were Horace, Eileen and Jean.  Jean, the youngest, was about 2 years when her mother, Olive, died.  Charles' step-son, Bill Cowan, took his mother's younger children in, to take care of them.  Olive is buried in Fleetville cemetery, St Albans.

The Old Soldier

Charles, in later life, was known as an 'Old Soldier'.  He probably retired from army service in 1933, at the age of 55 years.  He then lived in Luton with is son Horace and daughter Eileen.  Jean moved in with them later, having been living in St Albans.

On leaving the army Charles worked as a scaffolder and bricklayer and when this became too much for him he worked in the Luton hat trade, as a hat dyer's machinist.

His son, Horace Kiff, married in about 1947 in Luton and there was an article in the newspaper about it, as he had a double wedding with a friend of his.  Eileen married Mr Tabi and had eight children, including twin girls Kathleen and Pauline, and Kathleen now has twin daughters herself.  All the twins have been non-identical, fraternal twins.  Charles used to play darts in the local pub where he met Mrs Jones, who also played darts. Charles, at around the age of seventy, married Mrs Jones, which is when Jean and Eileen lost touch with their father.

Charles died at 25 Elizabeth Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, on 7th December 1961, aged 83 years of age.

1881 Census Extracts for the UK

Betty Lark has sent in extracts from the 1881 census index for the UK less Middlesex and Lancashire which are not yet available. Hertfordshire extracts have already been featured in an earlier newsletter.  The information from the extracts is given in the following order:

Name Age Sex Head,etc Mar,etc Census Place Occupation Name of Head Where Born

(Listing not yet available on webpage)

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