The Marks Family History



by John Marks


Granny Marks as we knew her in the family must have been a tough and resolute women, as I got to know more about her lifestyle I can`t but admire her determination in life, that said I will attempt to give you at best a potted history of her life journey and of her siblings.


Charles Best was born in Worcester about 1820,so the 1851 census tells us, and his trade was that of boot/shoe maker. Early in life it seems, as a young man he made his way up north and met and married a young lady from Inverness, Scotland, her name was Catherine Fraser and she was born 1823. Their first child, a daughter was born 1843 in Kilmarnock, Scotland and named Mary Ann Best. In 1851 we find that the family have moved to Newcastle, Northumberland and there is an addition to the family, John Best born 1844, and Charles Best, born 1847 and named after the father.


Not a family for staying too long in one place our "Best family" move on and in the 1861 census we now find them in Aston, Birmingham.We can only assume that searching for work makes our family so mobile. There have been four additions to the family, all daughters! Sarah Best born 1851, Eliza Best 1853 (she was to become my grandmother) Ann Best born 1855, and last but not least Agnes Best born 1858, all of which were born in Altrincham, Cheshire.Mary Ann Best, who is now 18yrs old, is now a servant girl living at a house in Aston.


One could be forgiven for thinking that our "Best Family" had settled in Birmingham which at that time was the workshop of the world but no.We find them in the 1871 census living in London`s East End of all places with two more additions to the family Thomas Best, who was born 1860 in Birmingham, and Jane Best in 1862 also in Birmingham. Sadly we find that Charles Best is now a widower, also that Eliza Best is now married to James Clarke who is a Londoner, Agnes Best has stayed behind in Birmingham with her sister Mary Ann who is now married and has a family.


Most of my grandmother`s family are in some way involved in the boot and shoe trade, yes, even my grandmother, her husband James, and the two sons she was later to have, her three brothers John, Charles, and Thomas, all followed their father into the shoe trade.


As we move on to the 1881 census we find that Eliza Clark has moved back to Aston Birmingham and is living with her three children, Fredrick  Clark, born 1872  in Northampton, and James Clark, born Bristol in 1876, and lastly Emily Clark, born in 1880 Birmingham. Also living with them is Samuel Clark lodger from Bristol, we were to discover via the 1891 census that Samuel Clark was in fact Samuel Marks (my grandfather to be) it must have been an enumerators error.


So it seems this tough resolute lady had been living in Northampton and also Bristol and perhaps more places we don`t know about since leaving London. So James Clark had died and Eliza was now on her own with her family, but she did have family around her in the form of Mary Ann, her eldest sister, also Charles her elder brother and family and Thomas her younger brother, John the eldest brother had chosen to marry a London girl and settle down in London.


And so we move on to the 1891 census and find that Eliza has now started a new family with the name of Marks, first we have Harriet Marks 1881, Annie 1883, Susannah 1885, Edith 1888, Sam 1891(who became my father) and Frank 1895. The 1901 census shows us that all the Clark step children have left home but I might add that Fredrick married and lived a few doors away from his mother in Vaughton St.


Samuel Marks and Eliza Clark eventually married at Bishops Ryder Church in Birmingham (below) in 1906. Samuel died in 1934 he was 77. Eliza died in 1939 after a fall in the street she was 86, an inquest was held 2 Jan 1940.For more information about this go to the Highgate page. Agnes Best, youngest sister to my grandmother died in Birmingham in 1875, she was 17years old.



 Bishop Ryder's Church where Samuel and Eliza were eventually married on the 27th January 1906

Make a Free Website with Yola.