Edgar GARDNER was born abt. 1887 in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. He died UNKNOWN. Amy Elizabeth KNIBBS, daughter of Robert KNIBBS and Elizabeth MARKHAM , was born 23 May 1887 in Clifton, Oxfordshire, England. She died 24 September 1962 in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England.

Marriage Notes for Edgar GARDNER\Amy Elizabeth KNIBBS:

For the reasons identified in the Notes for Amy, Edgar and Amy didn't marry. However, they enjoyed a lifelong friendship and the story would not be complete if Edgar were to be excluded from the family data.

Notes for Edgar GARDNER:

As the marriage notes indicate, Edgar never did marry Amy, but the package I use for creating these family pages assumes that a couple who share their lives together must of course be married!
From the snippets of information I have picked up from the family, I believe Edgar was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Edgar's family seems to have resided in Banbury, Oxfordshire for several generations. We see here, his grandfather Daniel and father Edwin in 1881:
Daniel GARDNER Head M Male 61 Banbury Pump Maker
Eliza GARDNER Wife M Female 58 Charlton, Berkshire, England
Edwin GARDNER Son U Male 28 Banbury Carpenter
Ann Eliza GARDNER Daur U Female 21 Banbury Dressmaker
Arthur GARDNER Son Male 14 Banbury Scholar

We see him here in 1901, aged 14 years, living with his parents Edwin and Annie, siblings Percy and Eliza, and grandmother Eliza.
I assume that the sister Eliza is the "problem sister" referred to in the Notes given under Edgar's partner, Amy Knibbs.
Edwin Gardner 47 Oxford Banbury Oxfordshire Banbury Carpenter
Annie Gardner 39 Oxford Banbury Oxfordshire Banbury 
Edgar Gardner 14 Oxford Banbury Oxfordshire Banbury Clerk Builders
Percy Gardner 10 Oxford Banbury Oxfordshire Banbury 
Eliza Gardner 6 Oxford Banbury Oxfordshire Banbury 
Eliza Gardner 79 Northampton Charlto Oxfordshire Banbury

In 1911 Edgar was still living with his parents at 7 Broad Street, Banbury which I believe was the Fish & Chip shop where he later lived with Amy Knibbs: 
Edwin Gardner Head Married M 57 1854 Fish Dealer Banbury Oxon
Anne Gardner Wife Married F 49 1862 Banbury Oxon
Edgar Gardner Son Single M 24 1887 Carpenter And Joiner Banbury Oxon
Percy Gardner Son Single M 20 1891 Assistant In Business Banbury Ox
Eliza Gardner Daughter Single F 16 1895 Assistant In Business Banbury Oxon

Sources for Edgar GARDNER:

  1. 1911 British Census,
  2. 1901 British Census,

Notes for Amy Elizabeth KNIBBS:

I'm pretty sure the above shows Amy Knibbs on the left of the photo, with her brother and sister-in-law, George and Evelyn Knibbs, and their daughter Winifred Amy. The photograph was at the front of 3 Phoenix Psrk Terrace, Basingstoke and I would guess, taken around 1940'ish.

Read details of Amy's Last Will and Testament


Amy appears in the 1901 census aged 13 years living at 12 Medway Street, Westminster, London. She was living with Walter Drury and his wife Mary, and identified as a neice. Mary was Amy's mother's sister, Mary Markham.
Walter Drury Head Mar 50 Hall Porter London Westminster
Mary Drury Wife Mar 50 Oxon Middle Aston
Amy Knibbs Niece 13 Oxon Clifton
John W Gould Lodger Mar 44 Bricklayer Norfolk Buxton
Daniel Symons Lodger Widr 65 Glass Worker London Mile End
Bertram Phillips Son UnM 23 Bricklayer Sussex St Leonards
Alfred Drury Brother Mar 49 No Occupation Essex Dedham

All were living at the parish of St John the Evangelist and St Margaret, Westminster, London

We know from an address found in the address book of Howard Ernest Roberts of Connecticut, that Amy lived for some time at The Lych Gate, Chamberlaine's Lane, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England.

Amy was a neice of Howard Ernest Roberts' grandfather, James Knibbs who emigrated to Connecticut in the 1850's.

Whilst Amy remained a spinster all of her life, she was, as her neice Barbara put it to me, "very fond of" a man named Edgar Gardener. Edgar owned Gardener's Fish & Chip shop at Broad Street, Banbury. Amy worked for him as a general helper in the shop. Edgar was always referred to as "Uncle Edgar" by the neices and nephews, but never married Amy. It is understood that at his mother's request, Edward had promised never to marry but always to look after his sister Liz. An unusual situation but nevertheless, the reason why he and Amy never married.

Edgar's sister Liz was able bodied and quite capable of looking after herself, but possibly spoilt by her parents, and was always one to monopolise conversations. She never had a boyfriend and no prospect of marriage, so the only conclusion is that Liz's mother perhaps feared that if Edgar ever married, his sister Liz would be all alone.

Edgar and Amy moved from the flat over the shop to live in a private house just down the road - with Liz of course! Liz was jealous of the relationship between Edgar and Amy and resented Amy being there. In the end, Amy could stand it no longer. She packed her trunk and caught the train to Wolverhampton to stay with family. She got a job as a Housekeeper/Nanny to a family there. Amy's mother was ill at this time so that may well have influenced her to move out. I believe it was Amy who moved in with her mother Elizabeth Knibbs at Clifton to look after her in her old age. Amy's neice Barbara told me that quite often as a child, she would be taken by her mother Ethel to Clifton to look after Grandma Elizabeth, giving Amy a break.

Edgar remained true to his promise to his mother and remained in Banbury looking after his sister. But used to visit Amy at weekends at Wolverhampton, staying at Amy's sister Sarah's house.

Edgar died some time after Amy, leaving Liz on her own. Liz moved into a home and died several years later.

We see Amy living at 229 Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, at the time of the 1939 Register.
Gladys H Lister 21 Dec 1891 Private Means Single
Amy E Knibbs 23 May 1887 Domestic Worker Paid Single

Knibbs Amy Elizabeth of 37 Patricia Avenue Goldthorne Park Wolverhampton spinster died 24 September 1962 at Park House Nursing Home West Bromwich Staffordshire Administration Birmingham on 13 November to Ethel Sarah Stacey widow. Effects £222

Sources for Amy Elizabeth KNIBBS:

  1. Living memory of me, Don Knibbs,
  2. GRO England & Wales, GRO England & Wales gives 3Qtr1887 
  3. 1891 Census for Woodstock District,
  4. Oxford & Northants Methodist Listing - Brackley Register 1837-1903, gave actual birth date 
  5. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 gave date 
  6. Ancestry.com. - England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966,
  7. Personal Contact with Barbara Stacey,
  8. 1939 Register,