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 (or Susannah) 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.
UPDATE 10th September 2020: Find My Past have released new Portsmouth area records and these indicate that Leonard (born 1812) may have had a sister Eliza Backler, baptised in 1819 at Holy Trinity, Gosport, whose parents were Leonard and Elizabeth.
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 at St Mary, Portsea), 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.
Leonard and Susan had a daughter Lavinia Backler (born 1850 Portsea) who married Henry Thomas Kimber (1846 – 1925). 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. Alfred and Fanny, seem to have had a daughter named Fanny Backler (born 1877 Portsmouth and baptised at St Bartholomew, Southsea) 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 (baptised in 1881 at St Thomas, Portsmouth), who was a Major in the Army and whose medals are owned by my cousin Peter Backler, who bought them on Ebay. Fanny had three sisters, Daisy Louise Backler and Florence May Backler both baptised in 1883, who were probably twins, and Elinor Backler who was baptised 1885. All three were baptised at St Bartholomew, Southsea. Unfortunately Daisy was buried the same year she was born and Florence was buried in 1884, the year when Elinor was born. Elinor married Walter Palmer Leigh in 1917 at St Peter, Southsea.
Eliza’s and Leonard’s brother, George Backler, who was baptised in 1840 in Alverstoke and who died 30th June 1902, was a grocer’s assistant according to the 1861 census. He married Elizabeth Thorpe in Alverstoke in 1864 and they had five sons and a daughter, all baptised at St John, Portsea. George Hollis Backler in 1865, Leonard Hollis Backler in 1867, Alfred Thorpe Backler in 1870, Frederick Backler in 1871, Harriet Florence Bruce Backler (Bruce maybe Brice) in 1874 and Albert Edward Grant Backler in 1876. Unfortunately, three of these sons died in infancy: George Hollis in 1866, buried at St Mary, Portsea, Leonard Hollis in 1870, also buried at St Mary, Portsea and Alfred Thorpe, buried in 1870. Harriet Florence married Francis George at St George, Portsea in 1899. When her father 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 (born 1837) married Mary Ann Thorpe (born 1837 Emsworth – died 26th March 1891 Alverstoke) on 9th June 1861 in Alverstoke. Leonard and Mary Ann had sons George Albert Backler (baptised 1865) and Ernest Alfred Backler (born 1866) a clerk in a waterworks and a daughter Maud Mary Ann Backler (baptised 1870 at All Saints, Portsea), all of whom were baptised at All Saints, Portsea. Also living with them at the time of the 1891 census was their niece Florence Harriet Backler aged 17 (this is probably Harriet Florence Bruce, daughter of George and Elizabeth Thorpe). 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 Mary Ann had yet another Leonard Backler (born 1863 Gosport, baptised at Holy Trinity, 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).
Leonard and Mary Anne had Harry Thorpe Backler (born 15th July 1867 Portsmouth, baptised at All Saints, Portsea – 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). 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.