Birth: 9 February 1859, Peasmarsh, East Sussex
Baptised: 9 April 1859, Rye Methodist Chapel, East Sussex
Married: 30 October 1884, Hastings Registry Office, East Sussex
Died: 1927, Brighton, East Sussex
Buried: Downs Cemetery and Crematorium, Brighton, East Sussex
Fanny Dengate was born 9 February 1859 in Peasmarsh, East Sussex to Thomas and Frances Dengate. She was baptised 9 April 1859 in Rye Methodist Chapel.
Rye Methodist Chapel, East Sussex, 2004
The 1861 census shows Fanny as a 1 year-old living with her parents and elder brother Ernest Alfred and elder sister Annie Dengate on Main Street, Peasmarsh, where Thomas was working as a grocer. In 1871 the 11 year-old Fanny was recorded on the census as a scholar, living with her parents and siblings in the King's Head, Peasmarsh. Unfortunately, Peasmarsh school records for this period no longer exist. By 1881 Fanny had moved to Hastings where, on the 1881 census, she was recorded living at Villa Road in a lodging house. It was likely in Hastings that Fanny became pregnant.
In 1882, aged 23, Fanny gave birth to her illegitimate daughter Flora Dengate in her home village of Peasmarsh. Soon after the birth, Fanny travelled back to live in Hastings. As her school records and the censuses attest, Flora was raised by her grandparents Thomas and Frances Dengate in Peasmarsh. Even Flora's marriage certificate lists Thomas as her father. Upon moving back to Hastings Fanny lived for some time with her brother William Dengate at his home of 59 Stonefield Road. It was at this address, that Fanny resided on 30 October 1884 when she married William Christmas, a 31 year-old widower, in Hastings register office. William was a gas-worker, at the time living at 4 Gas Cottages in Hastings. Witnesses to the marriage were Ann Venus Winter and John Pearce.
Fanny and William had two children: Annie, who was born 1886 in Hastings and Mabel, who was born 1892 in Battle. The family continued to live in Battle for some years and are recorded here in 1891 and 1901. At the time of the 1891 census William and Fanny were living at Spittal Hill, Battle with their daughter Annie and James Christmas, a son from William's previous marriage. By 1901 the family lived on Marley Lane where William was working as a gasworks foreman and his daughter Annie was working as a dress-maker's assistant.
It is unclear when exactly the family moved from Battle, but they are next recorded in Brighton in 1918, living at 6 St Peter's Place with their daughter Annie and her husband Charles Richard Murray; a place they would remain for the rest of their lives.
6 St Peter's Place, Brighton, 2004
Fanny Christmas died in Brighton in 1927, aged 68 years. She was buried in Downs Cemetery, Brighton. Although no headstone exists to mark her grave, it is possible to locate her grave using a burial plot of the cemetery.
Fanny Christmas' grave (immediate foreground), Downs Cemetery, Brighton, 2004
William Christmas continued to live at 6 St Peter's Place in Brighton with his daughter and son-in-law until his death, aged 79 years, at 37 Blackman Street, Brighton. He died from bronchitis and myocarditis. He was buried in the same cemetery as his wife but in a different grave, also without markings.
William Christmas' grave (immediate foreground), Downs Cemetery, Brighton, 2004
The Dengate Bible
© Copyright N. Goodwin MMII