There are two lines that I have been able to trace in Hampshire, both involving many Leonard Backler’s where neither line appears to be linked. The other line is descended from George Backler, see the blog page Hampshire Backlers – Leonard Country – via the Isle of Wight. The line detailed below is from William Backler who was born in Haverhill in 1750 and Mary Wiseman who was born in Steeple Bumpstead in 1756. I wanted to research this line to see if any of the Hampshire Backlers’ travelled to Bristol, which is not that far away and may lead to connections into my own family tree, where I have gaps.
William and Mary had a number of children, but one of them, Leonard Backler (born 1783 Haverhill – died October 1855 Portsea) moved to Hampshire and was living in Arundel Street, Portsea in the 1851 census, where he was described as a Superintendent of Ordnance. Leonard married Elizabeth Dane (born 1779 in Bexley -1864) on 7th January 1811 at St George the Martyr (probably Southwark in London as their son was born in Woolwich the following year) and they then lived in Portsea. Leonard and Elizabeth had a son, another Leonard Backler (born 1812 in Woolwich – died 17th December 1889 in Portsea), who married Susan Kirswell (born 1815 Stonehouse, Plymouth, Devon – died 1881 Portsea) on 18th December 1836 at St Luke’s, Charlton. The younger Leonard was a mariner in the Royal Navy in the 1851 census, who was described as a Royal Naval Steward in the next census and who became a wine and spirit merchant in Portsea. When he died probate was granted to his son Leonard, a retired Royal Naval Inspector of Machinery living at St George, London Road, Landport and his son-in-law Henry Thomas Kimber living at 6 Hyde Park Road, Landport a wine and spirit merchant. Leonard was living at King Street, Southsea and he left £221 in his will and was recorded at number 96 in the 1851 and 1861 censuses.
Leonard and Susan had a big family and I have not been able to find out anything further yet about Amelia Backler (born 1838), Eliza Backler (born 1841 who married Alfred James Tanty in 1863), Susan Backler (born 1843 who married John Kimber in 1870), Henry Backler (born 1845) and James Backler (born 1855). It is possible that Henry was the Royal Naval Lieutenant – see separate blog page. [UPDATE DEC 2019: Henry was the Royal Navy Lieutenant – I have a parish marriage record showing that at the age of 42 he married 18 year old Edith Jessie Lavin on 14th November 1887 at Westminster All Saints, Paddington. His father was confirmed as Leonard Backler – gentleman.] They did, however, have another Leonard Backler (born Alverstoke 23rd November 1837 – died 2nd February 1902 in Hampshire), who was an engineer in the Royal Navy and in the 1851 census he was resident in Greenwich, where there is a naval college. This Leonard married Mary Ann Thorpe (born 1837 Emsworth – died 26th March 1891 Alverstoke) on 9th June 1861 in Alverstoke. Leonard and Mary Ann had sons, Leonard Backler (born 1863 – see below) Ernest Alfred Backler (born 1866) a clerk in a waterworks and a daughter Maud M. A. Backler (born 1871). Also living with them at the time of the 1891 census was their niece Florence H. Backler aged 17. Leonard was described as a retired Royal Naval officer in the 1891 census and was a widower. Mary Ann left £105 19s to Leonard, when they were living at 3 Hilsea Terrace, North End, Portsmouth and he was a retired Inspector of Machinery in the Royal Navy. By the time Leonard died, he was living at 14 Kings Terrace, Southsea and probate in the sum of £538 13s 5d was granted to Albert Backler an accountant and Alfred Earnest Backler a merchants clerk, who may be the son referred to above.
Leonard and Susan had a daughter Lavinia Backler (born 1850 Portsea) who married Henry Thomas Kimber (1846 – 1925) and another son George Backler (born 1839 Portsmouth – died 30th June 1902), a grocer’s assistant according to the 1861 census, who married Elizabeth Thorpe. Another son, Alfred Backler (born 1852, who was described as a clerk to a cork culler in the 1871 census), appears to have married a woman called Fanny (born 1848 – died 3rd April 1895 leaving £72 10s) and they lived at 6 St Peter’s Grove, Southsea. Albert and Fanny, seem to have had a daughter named Fanny Backler (born 1877 Portsmouth) living at the same address who died a spinster on 17th October 1950, leaving £1638 4s 5d, whilst finishing her days in The Arlington Nursing Home, West Street, Fareham. Fanny had two brothers: Alfred A. Backler (born 1879 Portsmouth) and Owen Key Backler, who was a Major in the Army and whose medals are owned by my cousin Peter Backler, who bought them on Ebay.
Leonard and Mary Ann had yet another Leonard Backler (born 1863 Gosport) who married Florence Charlotte Keen (born 1878 Rochester) on 6th April 1909 at St Michael at Bowes, Southgate, London. In the 1891 census, Leonard was a Seaman Officer on HMS Seagull. In the 1911 census, the family were living at Ingledene, Glanville Road, Tavistock and Leonard was described as an Engineer Officer in the Royal Navy. Leonard arrived in New York on 26th June 1914 and it is not clear if this was part of his service in the Royal Navy or whether he had emigrated. Leonard and Florence lived in Hampshire and then Tavistock in Devon. They had two sons born in Tavistock, another Leonard Backler (born 1910) and Charles Lionel Backler (born 1912).
George and Elizabeth had Alfred Thorpe Backler (1869 – 1870), who died as an infant. Earlier it seems they had Harry Thorpe Backler (born 15th July 1867 Portsmouth – died March 1936 Edmonton), who married Rosa Augusta White (1875 – 1968). Harry and Rosa had five children: Harry Ernest Backler, a junior clerk (born 1896 in Holloway, London – died 1964), Leonard George Backler (born 6th March 1899 in Clapham – died 1965 Waltham Forest, who lived in Walthamstow and Tottenham), Florence Mary Backler (born 1903), Elsie Mary Backler (1905 – 2008) and Rose Evelyn Backler (born 1907). When George died he was living at 1 and 5 The Hard, Portsea and probate was granted to his brother-in-law Henry Thomas Kimber and to George Mitchelmore Nelder for £6015 3s 11d, a large sum for 1902.
Leonard George was a policeman and he was pictured on an Ancestry tree directing the traffic at the first set of lights in London at Ludgate Circus on 12th July 1930. He looks like he had enjoyed a good lunch or two and could have been a model for the Keystone cops, except I believe they were American.
I need to research further to see if any of the other descendants of William and Mary are linked to the Backlers of Hampshire or if any are linked into the other lines I have been attempting to follow.