John William BOLTON was born 06 June 1881 in Mortlake District, Surrey, England. He married Leah Florence KNIBBS 19 August 1909 in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. He died 08 October 1964 in Bullindon District, Oxfordshire, England. Leah Florence KNIBBS, daughter of William KNIBBS and Ellen DRINKWATER , was born 03 February 1885 in Woodstock District, Oxfordshire, England. She died 24 September 1974 in Oxford District, Oxfordshire, England.

Children of John William BOLTON and Leah Florence KNIBBS are:
1. Violet Ethel BOLTON, b. 10 February 1911 See John Edward TURNER & Violet Ethel BOLTON

Marriage Notes for John William BOLTON\Leah Florence KNIBBS:

Witnesses to the marriage were Elizabeth Alice Bolton, Arthur Bolton and Alfred Longworth.
William is listed in the marriage register as a 28 year old bachelor.

Notes for John William BOLTON:

Also known as: Bill

I understand from Ian Turner, the grandson of John that he used to sing in the Temple Church choir as a boy, and had a brother Frank and sister Rose.

Ian also told me that when John worked at Blenheim, he lived at Spring Lock Lodge in Blenheim Park which is where Ian's mother Violet Ethel was born.

In line with what Ian has told me, John can be seen in the 1911 census living at Spring Lock Lodge, Blenheim, Woodstock, Oxfordshire:
John William Bolton Head Mar 29 Foreman Gardener Surrey Mortlake
Leah Florence Bolton Wife Mar (under 2 years) 26 Oxfordshire Woodstock
Violet Ethel Bolton Daur Under 2 months Oxfordshire Blenheim

Family lore has it that as a Returning Hero in 1918 after WWI, John learned that his job at Blenheim was gone. He and his family lived in a house belonging to Alf Longworth, his brother-in-law, until c1936, when he and his family moved to Yarnton. He got a job with the Automobile Association (AA) when patrol men rode bicycles, and had to learn to drive instantly or lose his job when motor cycles were introduced.

His wife Leah continued making gloves. She had a treadle Singer sewing machine with a wheel instead of a presser foot, and she could strip, clean, and reassemble it with her eyes shut. The dimple oil can was in regular use. Ian remembers her trying it on the radio but it made matters worse!

She made a weekly trip to Woodstock to change the wireless set accumulator, but mainly to sell the gloves and buy more pieces from the factory. Ian used to go with her whenever he could and they always called to see her sister Sarah. Old age was not kind to Sarah, and in Ian's last memory of her, she was chattering to herself in the room behind the shop as she soldered nipples onto Bowden wire brake cables.

Ian never understood why a lady came from Woodstock to help Leah on washing days, other people in the village were better off, and they did their own. He remembers that the lady was called Mrs Knibbs, so presumably it was a cousin or aunt.

I have been told that John William's father was James Joseph, a greengrocer.

John is identified in the marriage register as a foreman-gardener from Blenheim.

In 1939, John and Leah were living at Sunbrae Grsvel Pits, Ploughley, Oxfordshire:
John W Bolton DOB 6 Jun 1881 AA Patrolman
Leah F Bolton DOB 3 Feb 1885 Domestic Dutires Unpaid

Sources for John William BOLTON:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Woodstock,
  2. Personal Contact with Diane Sharland , daughter of Elsie Maude Longworth,
  3. Birth Certificate,
  4. GRO England & Wales,

Notes for Leah Florence KNIBBS:

Leah is shown aged 16 years living at Woodstock, Oxfordshire at the 1901 census.

The above picture shows three generations of the family with Ellen Knibbs (nee Drinkwater second from the left, her older daughter Sarah Longworth (nee Knibbs) on the left, her younger daughter Leah Bolton (nee Knibbs) third from the left, and her granddaughter Elsie Holley (nee Longworth) on the right.

This photo was taken in about 1967, showing Leah holding her great-granddaughter.


Click the tape above to listen to Leah Florence in the early 1960's, aged about 75 years, speaking about Christmas cards. The first voice is her husband, Bill Bolton. The audio file will take approx 5 minutes to download via a 56 kbps modem link.

Sources for Leah Florence KNIBBS:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Woodstock,
  2. GRO England & Wales, GRO England & Wales gives 1Qtr1885 
  3. Personal Contact with Diane Sharland , daughter of Elsie Maude Longworth,
  4. 1901 British Census,