The Rodgman family

Most of the following information, and all of the family photographs, come from Nancy Frey, a descendant of Frederick Eli Rodgman.
Very many thanks to Nancy

On 1st May 1893 Frederick Eli Rodgman married 21 year old Edith Nicholls in Bideford parish church. Frederick, aged 22 and living in Bideford at the time, was a tailor.
Parish records

The birth of Frederick Charles Rodgman, mother's maiden name Nicholls, was registered in the December quarter of 1893 in Bideford.
The birth of Edith Mary was registered in the June quarter of 1896, also in Bideford.
The birth of Florence May was registered in the December quarter of 1898, in the Newton Abbot district
and George Henry's birth was registered in the June quarter of 1900, also in Newton Abbot district.

Florence May was baptized in Ashburton in September 1898, with Frederick Eli's occupation being given as tailor. The address of the family was Back Lane.
By the time of George Henry's baptism, the address is just Ashburton.
Parish records

At the time of the 1901 census the couple were living in Ashburton with four children: Frederick C.,7,  Edith M., 5, Florence M., 2, and 10 month old George H. The parents and two eldest children were all born in Bideford, whilst the youngest two children were born in Ashburton.
Frederick Snr. is a tailor (cutter), and the family's address is shown as Kingsbridge Lane, with Berry's Office written alongside in brackets.
1901 census RG13, piece no 2053, folio 22, p10

The birth of a third son, Archibald, was registered in the June quarter of 1902 in Newton Abbot

The family were still in Kingsbridge Lane when Archibald Rodgman was baptized in May 1902, with his father being described as a tailor cutter.
Parish records.

In the 1911 census the family are in North Street. Frederick Eli is a master tailor maker, and his wife Edith is an assistant in the business. Frederick Charles (who signs the census form) is a journeyman tailor, and his sister Edith Mary is a shop girl (drapery). The three younger siblings are at school.
With the family on census night are 19 year old Florence Rodgman, a niece; sister-in-law Ethel Rodgman, a tailor's machinist; Mary Kate Rodgman and Jessie Maud Rodgman, both nieces. These last four were all born in Bideford.
1911 census RG14, piece no. 12727

Left: Siblings Florence and Archibald

Frederick Eli and Edith Rodgman remained in Ashburton. Edith died in 1930 and her widower remarried, but his new bridge Annette (Neta) Rowland only had 10 years with him before Frederick Eli died in 1940. Fred and Edith are buried together in the churchyard at St Andrews in Ashburton.
Many thanks to Nancy Frey for this information

Frederick E Rodgman married Annette C Rowland in the September quarter of 1931, in the Newton Abbot registration district.

In the 1939 register Frederick and Annetta are living at 26 North Street. Frederick is a master tailor, and Annetta, in addition to her unpaid domestic duties, is a member of the ARP
1939 register via

The children of Frederick Eli and Edith:

Edith M Rodgman married Edgar C Kelly in the Newton Abbot registration district in the March quarter of 1916.
This marriage fits in with information from Nancy Frey, who believes that the family remained in Ashburton.

In 1920 Edgar Christopher Kelly is on the electoral register, living in North Street, Ashburton.
England and Wales electoral registers, available via
The births of 3 children with the surname Kelly and the mother's name Rodgman were registered in the Newton Abbot district between 1920 and 1925:
Mona P(atricia), known as Pat
Edgar Archibald (died as an infant)
Edith M(ary) E(rnestine), known as Mary
Extra information from Nancy Frey

Right: Flo and her niece Pat

In August 1926 Archibald Rodgman and Edgar Kelly, both of North Street, Ashburton, embarked at Liverpool to travel to Quebec. Archibald, aged 24, was a railway fireman; Edgar, aged 33, an engine driver.
Passenger lists leaving UK 1890 - 1960, via

Mona Patricia Kelly married Whittle
Edith Mary Ernestine Kelly married Brown
Nancy Frey

Florence M Rodgman married George M Casely in the Newton Abbot registration district in the September quarter of 1923

Below: The marriage of Florence ('Flo') and George

Frederick G R Casely's birth was registered in the Newton Abbot registration district in the September quarter of 1925, with the mother's name being given as Rodgman.

Frederick George was known as Georgie
Nancy Frey

In March 1928 George and Florence Casely, and their 3 year old son Frederick, left Southampton, destined for Halifax, Canada. Thier address in the UK was 26 North Street, Ashburton; George was a baker by trade.
Passenger lists leaving UK 1890 - 1960, via
Above: 'Flo and Georgie'


George Henry Rodgman, known as Jack, was the black sheep of the family.

In November 1937 George Rodgman of North Street, Ashburton, embarked at Southampton for Quebec and Montreal. Aged 38, he was a tailor like his father.
Passenger lists leaving UK 1890-1960, via

Left: Jack Rodgman and Towser.
Nancy Frey

Archibald Rodgman married Margaret Llewellyn in the June quarter of 1923, in the Merthyr Tydfil registration district.
Their son, Frederick A(lan) Rodgman was born in the March quarter of 1924.

Archibald's wife Margaret and 3 year old Frederick followed Archibald to Canada in 1927
Passenger lists leaving UK 1890 - 1960, via

'[Alan] made his mark in history when on behalf of the tobacco companies he testified that cigarettes were not harmful to our health...'
Nancy Frey

Alan Rodgman's biography can be found in a book that he co-authored: Alan Rodgman and Thomas A Perfetti, The Chemical Components of Tobacco and Tobacco Smoke, 2nd ed., Florida 2013

Above: Various members of the Rodgman family and their children
Nancy Frey


From Nancy Frey: Frederick Charles Rodgman, the eldest child of Frederick Eli and Edith, attended school in London and also became a tailor like his father. He emigrated to Canada and worked in Toronto; this is where he met Mabel Merrett who had emigrated with her family from Wales.
At the outbreak of WWI Frederick Charles enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and in September 1914 sailed back to England. He became ill and was sent to recuperate in Ashburton with his family where his fiancé and her parents joined him. He and Mabel were married in the Wesleyan Chapel in Newton Abbot 28th November 1915.

When Edgar came along Mabel Rodgman (nee Merrett) sent Elsie Edith May to live with Elsie's grandparents Frederick Eli and Edith, who raised her. They had a much bigger house and business at 26 North Street while the Rodgman Jnr. family had a  smaller place at 2, Roborough Terrace. Grandmother Edith, believed to rule the roost, called Elsie 'Billie' (after the singing sensation of the day Billie Holiday) and the name stuck.

Fred and Mabel Rodgman with their three children Elsie (Elsie Edith May), Edgar (Edgar Archibald George) and Charlie (Frederick Charles) re-emigrated to Canada in 1929. A fourth child, Leslie Charles, died as an infant.

For more on the Rodgman family see Tailors and Drapers, under Banks and Businesses 3, and Days Off and Nights Out, under Joining Together

Above: Elsie Edith May Rodgman ('Billie') on the left, with Annie Morrow, taken in Ashburton. Circa 1927, Billie was about 11 years old.
Nancy Frey

Left: 26, North Street, Ashburton, where Elsie Edith May Rodgman lived with her grandparents Frederick Eli and Edith.
My own photograph 2018

At various times Fred's siblings also emigrated to Canada, leaving only Frederick Eli and Edith Rodgman in Ashburton.
Graeme, a son of Frederick Charles Jnr., and Christopher, a grandson, became, respectively, a doctor and a psychiatrist. Dr Graeme Rodgman and his then wife Dr. Susan Rodgman travelled with the royal family on one of their visits to Canada.

Many thanks to Nancy for this.