A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

Walter Norton alias Santley alias Wynne




On 7th September 1911 James John Parrish, a thirty-nine-year-old Master Billposter, married an Amy Santley at Aberystwyth Register Office. The couple settled in Llanelly (later Llanelli), Carmarthenshire, where they brought up their children.

For years the family has wondered about the identity of Amy Santley, not helped with her marriage to John C. Griffiths, in 1922, after the death, during the year before, of James John Parrish. ‘Granny Parrish’ was now, confusingly, ‘Granny Griffiths.’

So, who was Amy Santley?

At first sight the wedding certificate for James John Parrish and Amy Santley looks entirely straightforward. We have details of a father, namely, Charles Santley, a Hairdresser – and the added bonus of a signature of another member of the Santley Family as witness, namely, Elwy. Both Elwy and Santley are relatively unusual names.

My immediate reaction was to look for a Charles Santley in Aberystwyth for the 1911 Census but there wasn’t one. However, I did find a Charles Santley – but the one I found was not Amy’s father but was, more likely, her brother.

1911 – Boarding at 8 Crynfryn Buildings, Aberystwyth:

Charles Santley, married for two years, 25 years, no children, barber, working on his own account, born London.

Eleanor Santley, his wife, 26 years, born Darwen, Lancs.

I then discovered that Charles Wilton Santley married Eleanor Mayoh in Aberystwyth Registration District during 1909. Finally, I found a death in 1954 of a Charles Santley in Llanelly (now Llanelli), Carmarthenshire. Well, I seem to have found a brother for Amy but what about her father?

Looking again at the 1911 Census I had a surprise because I found a family called Wynne living at an address in Aberystwyth with striking parallels:

Walter Wynne, aged 67, married for 28 years with 8 children, Hairdresser working on his own account, born in Boston, U.S.A., British (Naturalised)

Emma Wynne, aged 50, assistant in business, born in London

Amy Wynne, daughter, aged 21, single, assistant, born London

Elwy Wynne, daughter, aged 16, assistant, born Rhyl

Sarah Wynne, daughter, aged 3, single, School, born Aberystwyth.

In a 1910 Trade Directory for Aberystwyth I have found that a Walter Wynne was operating a ‘Fancy Repository’ in Arcade Terrace Road and a Walter Wynne working as a Hairdresser at 4, Northgate Street. Does this represent two different people or just two businesses?

Walter Wynne was, again, listed in a 1901 directory as a Hairdresser of 4 Northgate Street.

Going back from the 1911 Census to the 1901 Census, we find the Wynnes living at 4 Northgate Street, Aberystwyth:

Walter Wynne, 48, Hairdresser, Married, born Boston, America,

Emma Wynne, 36, wife, born London

Charles Wynne, 13, born London

Amy Wynne, 12, born Rhyl, Wales

Elwy Wynne, 9, born Rhyl, Wales

Sarah Wynne, 2, born Aberystwyth

At this point, I thought I might find out more about Walter and Emma but with no success. However, low and behold, in the 1939 Register for England and Wales, Emma Wynne, born 21st May 1861, was living at 97 Station Road, Llanelly with her daughter, Amy Griffiths.  Clearly, we have the correct family!

When Emma died in Llanelli in 1944, aged 83 years, she would appear to be listed in the Index of Deaths as both Santley and Wynne! Why is this family using the name Santley and, also, Wynne?

Going backwards to Rhyl what do we find there? Well not what would be expected! At 2 Elwy Street, Rhuddlan, Flintshire there is this family:

Walter Norton, 38, Hairdresser, born Boston U.S.A. British Subject

Emma Norton, 29, wife, born London, Middlesex

Charles Norton, 3, born London, Middlesex

Amy Norton, 1, born London, Middlesex

We also find that in 1895 the birth of Elwy was registered in St Asaph R.D. as ‘Elwy Norton Santley’, this district probably included Rhuddlan. Oddly, Elwy would seem to have been named after the street in which the family was then living! In addition, a Gladys Norton Santley was born in 1892 in St Asaph Registration District and she died in Aberystwyth in 1897, aged 5 years. The family names get better as a Rhyl Norton Santley died in the Bury area of Lancashire in 1894.

Staying with Elwy, she may well have married an Ernest Davies and lived in Thomas Street, Llanelli in 1939.

Finally, a Walter N. Santley, born in 1841, died in Llanelli in 1919. Presumably this is Amy’s dad? Progress has been made but still there are no references to the family that I have found in either London or in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Returning to my initial question, this is certainly a very complicated family with members using three surnames. However, I think we can be confident that Amy’s dad was from Boston, Massachusetts, and that he worked as a Hairdresser. Amy’s mother was certainly Emma and she died whilst living with her daughter in 1944. Were they fleeing the law, did they owe money?

Please contact me if you can shed further light on this Family:

3 comments on “Walter Norton alias Santley alias Wynne

  1. Richard Barton
    December 4, 2019

    From Ernie Jackson:


    WHOW !!! Great research and detective work! I was wondering why I had not heard from you for a couple of weeks. Now I totally see why. The spider weaves many webs. So is it Amy Norton Wynne Santley Parrish Griffiths? Did she marry again after JJ’s death?

    If there was further interest in the Parrishes, I would invite you as a guest to the tree? Keep up the good work. Ernie.

  2. Richard Barton
    April 13, 2020

    From Timothy West:

    Amy Griffiths aka Wynne Santley was my maternal grandmother. I am so glad to see the details posted on your blog of which I had no idea till I searched “Walter Norton Santley”. I would be grateful if you could email a readable copy of the marriage cert. posted in the blog.

    Emma Louisa Wynne was indeed living with Amy on Station Road and was known as Granny Wynne to the family. Incidentally Amy’s husband John Charles Griffiths is listed sometimes as having died in 1949 which is not correct, the correct date is 1962 the year after I was born.

    It would be a blast to find out that all the complication was down to dodgy deals perhaps in the USA.

    I did quiz my parents and other member of my family when they were alive but drew a blank, So would be grateful if you could let me know if you come across any revelations.

    One of my biggest unknowns is a lady called Minnie Siviter (could be spelt wrong) who lived with Elwy in the Isle of Wight until their deaths. No idea if there was a family connection or just simply a long lasting friend. Elwy’s descendants all met with sad ends.

    • Richard Barton
      April 13, 2020

      Thank you very much Timothy for being in contact. Richard

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