Ifould, William Henry 1849 -1918, Journeyman Carpenter and Engineer

Ifould, William Henry 1849 -1918, Journeyman Carpenter and Engineer

William Henry Ifould born April 1849

son of Henry Ifould/Ifold Innkeeper


His father was Henry Ifould born 1825, the son of Richard Ifold. Henry Ifould was the builder of the Cricketers Inn, Steep.


His mother was Caroline Luckins/Luckens, She was born about 1826. She was his father Henry’s first wife.

The 1841 Census lists a ‘Carolin Luckin’ aged 15 who was working as a female servant in the household of 45 year old Benjamin Challen, yeoman, of Brook House, Cocking in the Midhurst district of Sussex. Given that a daughter Charlotte was born six years after this census in the same Midhurst district, then this ‘Carolin’ may well have been her mother. If this is the case, then Caroline Luckins may have been born around 1826.


1847 Birth of sister Charlotte Luckins

William Henry’s older sister Charlotte Luckins was born in the third quarter of 1847 in the Midhurst district.

It is perhaps more than likely that Henry Ifould/Ifold was her father, although the couple did not marry until a few weeks after her birth. She seems always to have been known as Charlotte Luckins, rather than Ifould.

1847 Marriage of William Henry’s parents

On 14th December 1847 Henry Ifold married Caroline Luckins, servant, at Steep church. The marriage register lists her father as James Luckins, soldier.

Caroline was a resident of Steep and of full age at the time of the marriage.

Henry was a resident of Petersfield, of full age, and a labourer.

1849 Birth of William Henry Ifould

William Henry Ifould was born in April 1849 in the Petersfield district

William Henry Ifould should not be confused with William Ifould born (fourth quarter) of the same year:1849, at Steep in the Petersfield district. This William was the son of Henry Ifould’s brother, James Ifould born 1823 and his wife Jane.

1849 Death of William Henry’s Mother

William Henry’s mother Caroline died aged perhaps about 23, in the Petersfield district at the end of 1849. The family were probably living in Petersfield, where William Henry’s father was now a maltster. William Henry’s mother had died just a few months after his birth.

1851 Census

William Henry aged 2, was living at the Spain in Petersfield in the house of (wood) turner Richard Pullen. His older sister, Charlotte 3, was also with him. The two sons of Richard Pullen were also living there. One was a cabinet maker. The other was a turner. This seems to indicate that this was a wood working business, perhaps producing furniture.

1855 Second Marriage of His Father

After almost five years, his father married again. The wedding took place in the third quarter of 1855 in the Petersfield district,  Henry Ifould’s new wife was labourer’s daughter Esther Bettsworth. She may have been the daughter of William and Mary Bettsworth of Steep. Five children would be born between 1859 and 1867 to this marriage. There do not seem to be any records of William Henry Ifould born 1849, the son from his father’s first marriage, ever having lived with the new family.

1861 Census – Churchers College

Instead, William Ifould was sent to become a boarder at a local charitable independent school. In 1722 businessman and philanthropist Richard Churcher had laid down in his will, the principles by which Churchers College should be set up as a charitable foundation. Its purpose was ‘to educate 10 or 12 local boys from Petersfield of any age from 9 to 14 years in the arts of writing, arithmetic and navigation so they could be apprenticed to masters of ships sailing in the East Indies.’
The 1861 census record gives a list of the twelve designated boys who had been accepted for a free education there. William Henry Ifould was one of them. The family surname had again been mis-transcribed, this time to ‘Yould’. William would have been about 12 years old. He was a scholar and a boarder. As shall later be seen however, William had designs on another career. He would not be sailing to the East Indies, but he would end up working in a foreign clime.

While William Henry was studying at Churcher’s College, his father was busy in Steep. The Cricketers Inn was built in 1859. A shop and Post Office was established. He bought the plots on which the family houses stood, thus ensuring that family members could continue to live in them. He bought the land on which the Cricketers Inn stood.

After finishing his education at Churchers College, William Henry seems to have fallen back on skills that he had observed when he growing up in the house of Richard Pullen, turner and woodworker. He must have served an apprenticeship, perhaps with Richard Pullen’s business, he was to become a journeyman carpenter. This indicates that he had completed his apprenticeship but was not yet a master craftsman.

Death of his Father

In April 1869 William’s father, Henry Ifould died In Steep aged 43 years.

1871 Census – South Hayling

Although the death of Henry Ifould must have had a considerably adverse effect on his second wife Esther and their five children, William Henry was by then distanced from them and making his own way in the world. The 1871 census saw William Henry aged 22, boarding in the house of 51 year old carpenter and wheelwright George Clinker at West Farm, South Hayling. Mr Clinker’s wife and eighteen year old son James, also a carpenter, were living at West Farm too, so this may have been another family carpentry business, like the one in which William had grown up.
William Henry had moved seventeen miles away from Petersfield, a market town, to Hayling Island, which is east of Portsmouth and in the southern part of Hampshire. The census record shows that West Farm was not far from West Town, an attractive sandy seaside resort on the south coast of Hayling Island. West Farm also seems to have been near the Manor House. This area of South Hayling is described as follows in the Victoria County History: “This part of the parish is the most picturesque on the island, and from the abundance of trees has great additional advantage of being sheltered from the gales which sweep across the island in winter.”

William Henry seems not only to have moved to further his career as a journeyman carpenter, he was also living in what was, at that time, a very attractive area of the south coast of Hampshire.

1873 Marriage in London

Twenty four year old William Henry Ifould married twenty six year old Fanny Maria Cave in the parish of St Margaret Westminster in the St George’s Hanover Square district of London in  1873.

Fanny Maria Cave had been born at Lee in Kent, the daughter of William and Sarah Cave. Her father had been a grocer and cheesemonger of Lee Green. She had been baptised on 31st January 1847 at Lee in Kent. In 1871 Fanny was living with her 64 year old widowed mother who was carrying on the family grocery business, at 3 Burnt Ash Place, Lee Green, in the Christ Church parish of Lee, London and Kent.

So just two years after his sojourn in Hayling, it seems that William Henry had moved again. This time he had left the beauties of rural and coastal Hampshire behind. He had gone to investigate the opportunities offered by the capital city and had met and married one Fanny Maria Cave.

In Romania (perhaps between 1872 and 1900)

After their marriage, William and Fanny seem to have travelled to Romania and spent some years there, where William Henry may have learned engineering skills.

1875 Birth of Son

Their son Alexander Ifould was born about 1875 in Jassy in Romania .

1891 Census

There is no record for William Henry and Fanny in the 1891 UK census, indicating that they may have been in Romania at this time. They would however return by 1901.

Jassy/Iaşi,  Romania

Henry and Fanny were in Jassy, Romania, for at least some of the time between 1872 and 1900. Their son Alexander was born there around 1875.

Jassy, or Iaşi, is the second largest city of Romania. In the historical region of Moldavia, it had long been a leading centre of social, cultural, academic, and artistic life. It was home to the oldest Romanian university and to the first engineering school. Until 1859 Jassy was the capital of Moldavia. In 1862 the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia combined to form the new country of Romania, whose capital became Bucharest.

Henry and Fanny were therefore present in this formative new period of Romania’s history. The presence of an engineering school at the university is significant, given that Henry seems to have acquired engineering skills while he was there. Perhaps he studied there and then applied his engineering skills in the many opportunities that emerged in the newly formed country.

It must have been a vibrant and interesting place in which to live and work. It has a humid, continental type climate. One of the nicknames of the city was The City of Ideas. It is not surprising that Henry grasped the opportunity to travel there with his new wife. One can also see why the couple may have remained there for a number of years and why later, his son Alexander returned there in 1920s.

Iaşi became a great industrial centre during Romania’s Communist period 1955-1989.

Romania is a central European country which borders the Black Sea. It lies east of Hungary and also borders Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria and Serbia. Iaşi is in the north east of the country. Travelling to Romania in the nineteenth century would probably have involved a journey of well over a thousand miles by train across a number of European countries. The fact that Henry Ifould and his wife Fanny were prepared to make this, shows that they must have been somewhat intrepid and ambitious characters.

1901 Census

By 1901, Henry and Fanny had returned to the London district in which Fanny had grown up. Living at 89 Burnt Ash Road, Lee, in the St Peter’s parish of the south part of Lewisham, London and Kent were: William Henry Ifould and his wife Fanny M. Both listed their ages as 52.

William gave his  occupation as ‘civil engineer’ working on his ‘own account’. He was therefore perhaps working on a self employed basis. It seems likely that while he was in Romania, William Henry had taken advantage of the engineering training on offer in the city of Iaşi . He had extended his carpentry skills to those of civil engineering.

William and Fanny’s son Alexander Harry, aged 26 years, was with them in London 1901. He too was an engineer. His birth in ‘Roumania – Jassy’ was recorded on the 1901 census return.

William Henry’s son, Alexander, seems to have followed his father into the engineering business, which he may also have studied in Iaşi. Father and son may well have been working together.

1906 Marriage of Son Alexander

Thirty year old Alexander Harry Ifould married twenty four year old Winifred Mary Simmonds 24 in the first quarter of 1906. The marriage was in the Marylebone district of London. Winifred had been born about 1884. She was the daughter Nevil Mark Simmonds and his wife Mary Ann. Mr Simmonds was the master of the Northumberland Street Workhouse Marylebone in 1901. His wife Mary Ann was the matron.

1918 Death of William Henry Ifould

William Henry Ifould, carpenter, civil engineer and son of Henry Ifould  of Henry Ifould of the Cricketers Inn, Steep, died, aged 70, in the Hendon district of Middlesex in the fourth quarter of 1918.

1927 Death of William Henry’s wife Fanny

There is a record of a Fanny Ifould who died aged about 80 on 16th May 1927 at 10 Tamworth Road, Hove, Sussex. Probate was awarded to John Beale retired rate collector. Her effects were £91 15s 6d. Her age is correct for William Henry’s widow, so it may well have been her, but there is no proof that this record is definitely William Henry’s wife Fanny, as there were a number of other Ifoulds living in Sussex at this time.

1928 Death of William Henry’s son Alexander

Alexander H. Ifould die,d aged about 53 years, at Strada Codstream 28, Galatz in Romania on 30th December 1928. His death is listed in the England and Wales Government Probate Death Index 1858-2019. Probate was granted to Alfred Arthur Warner Simmonds poor law official, attorney of Winifred Mary Ifould widow. His effects were £1565. Alexander had returned to Romania either for business or a holiday and died while he was there.

1941 death of William Henry’s daughter in law Winifred

Winifred Ifould of The Lilacs, Shepherds Lane, Caversham died aged about 57 years at 53 Woodcote Road, Caversham in the Reading district of Berkshire on 13th February 1941. Probate was granted to Beryl Edwina Simmonds spinster and Frank William Neville Simmonds civil servant. Her effects were £3750 4s.

I did not find any specific records of children born in UK to Alexander and Winifred Ifould. Given that probate in 1942 was to relatives from the Simmonds family at Winifred’s death, Alexander and Winifred may have had no children.


As a child whose mother died when he was an infant and for whom there is no record of him living with his father, William Henry Ifould, born 1849, has been an interesting character to research.

Like his father Henry Ifould born 1825, he seems to have had intelligence and the ability to strike out and achieve of his own accord, regardless of the rest of the family.

He was fortunate in having been selected for an education at Churchers College, a local independent charitable school. Yet he did not abandon his beginnings in the house of a wood turner and cabinet maker. He learned this skill too and became a journeyman and a skilled craftsman. William Henry then seems to have left rural Hampshire behind and tried his skills in London, where he met and married his wife Fanny.

There he displayed the adaptability observed in other members of the Ifould family and became even more ambitious. He travelled many miles with his wife to live in Romania where he broadened his construction skills learned as a carpenter, to those of engineering too. He was perhaps here using and extending, to the foremost, the good education he had received at Churchers College. With his son Alexander, he may have developed the equivalent of a small business, whose interests lay in the construction industry in Romania. After a number of years abroad and having made money at engineering, he returned to England.

William Henry’s son, however, went back to live in Romania, which perhaps shows that there were still Ifould business interests there and further gains to be made. The effects that were eventually left at his son’s widow’s death, would seem to indicate that this father and son engineering venture had been successful and profitable.

Again, we see demonstrated the Ifould family trait of seizing an opportunity when it arose and working from relatively humble beginnings, to achieve a good measure of success.

by Fran Box



Find My Past – Census, birth, marriage and death records, GRO Consular Death Indices.


GRO Government Probate Records

Encyclopedia Britannica on Jassy/ Iaşi, and Romania

Victoria County History of Hampshire on Hayling


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There are more articles about members of the Ifould family here:





and there is more about the Cricketers Inn here: