Research: Frances Elizabeth Craft/Jopling (nee Beacock)

My 2x great Aunt Frances Elizabeth Beacock was born on 8th May 1896 in Hull, East Yorkshire. More specifically, her birth certificate states that she was born at 2 Ice House Terrace, Collier Street. This was the home of the Beacock family at the time. She was the oldest of 7 known children; Frances Elizabeth (1896-1957), Frederick Walter (1899-1938), Margaret Lily (1903-1904), David (1907-1908), Florence Avis (1908-1908), Arthur Ernest (1910-1910) and Julia May (1911-1996).

Somewhere between Frances’ birth in 1896 and the year 1899, the Beacock family moved to the Durham area. France’s father Frederick had some family such as brothers, living there around this time too. In 1901 Frances was living with parents and her brother Frederick Walter Beacock (my great-grandfather) at 71 Stephen’s Street in West Hartlepool, Durham. She was just 4 years old at the time. The map below shows Stephen Street.

stephen street.PNG

In 1911, 14-year-old Frances was living at 18 Reform Street in Hull, with her parents, her brother and her younger sister Julia May, who was at that time under 1 month old. This census states that Frances was “at Home”, which suggests that she helped her mother out with the housework, such as cleaning and cooking. The map below shows Reform Street.

reform street

On 18th May 1916, Frances Elizabeth Beacock married Robert Alfred Jopling at the Register Office in Hull. 20-year-old Frances and 19-year-old Robert were living at 6 Francis Buildings, North Street in Hull, at the time of their marriage.

Frances may have been the reason why my great grandparents actually met. On the marriage certificate of my great-grandparents, Frederick Walter Beacock (Frances’ brother) and Lily Kirby, it states that Lily was living at 5 Frances Buildings, North Street, at the time of her marriage. As stated above, Frances lived at 6 Frances Buildings at the time of her marriage in 1916. One of my theories is that Lily and Frederick met when Frederick was visiting Frances. On their marriage certificate, it also shows that Frederick was living at 70 North Street, so he and Lily were definitely living in the same area. Obviously, I cannot know for certain but, I believe it is a very strong possibility and seems to much of a coincidence!

The couple went on to have 12 known children; William Pretoria (1916-1991), Florence May (1919-2007), Frances Lillian (1921-1994), Robert Alfred (1923-2014), Ernest Edward (1924-1935), Olive (1925-1994), Dorothy I (1927-1928), Lily Margaret (1928-1929), Evelyn Melora (1929-1987), Gordon Leslie (1933), Raymond A (1935-2016) and Marjorie Avis (1939-2013).

On the 1939 Register, 42-year-old Frances was recorded as living at 1 Park Row, Park Street in Hull with her husband Robert, brother in law William T Jopling and her mother Florence Avis Beacock. There are also 7 closed records, who I assume are Frances and Robert’s children. Frances’ occupation at this time was recorded as Unpaid Domestic Duties.

On 13th April 1942, Frances’ husband, Robert, passed away at the age of 45 years old at 188 Anlaby Road in Hull. He died as a result of Pulmonary Tuberculosis. According to one of Frances’ grandsons, Robert was very strict to Frances and his children. He had learnt this from the very few times that Robert’s daughter (his mother) mentioned him.

On 22nd March 1948, Frances married Sidney Christopher Craft in Hull. Sidney was the best friend of Frances’ late husband, Robert. He apparently treated Frances a lot better than how Robert did. Sid worked as a Fish Bobber and was also from Hull. The photograph below shows both Frances and Sidney. I believe that they are stood outside of their Hull home of 6 St. James Square, St. James Street.


The photograph below shows the wedding of Frances’ daughter, who was also called Frances and her husband John Beales. Frances is stood second from the left, which her husband Sidney Craft to the right of her. In 1948, the year of her daughter’s wedding, Frances would have been about 52 years old.

Frances Jopling wed 2

On 13th August 1957, Frances Elizabeth Craft sadly passed away at the age of 61 years old in Kingston General Hospital, Hull. She died as a result of Toxaemia which is blood poisoning by toxins from a local bacterial infection. Frances also had Peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum) and Carcinoma of the Colon (cancer of the colon). The photograph below shows Evelyn (Frances’ daughter) sat beside Frances’ gravestone.


According to one of Frances’ grandsons, Sidney (Frances’ husband) was seeing another woman near to the end of Frances’ life. When Frances passed away, Sidney inherited the estate and made a new life in Essex with the other woman.

Frances seems to be a strong but caring woman. I believe that she would have had a tale or two to tell and would have made welcome any person that stepped foot into her home. There are so many questions that may always be without an answer, and I wish that I was able to meet Frances, as I am sure we would have had a lot to talk about. If anyone knows anything else about Frances or her family, please contact me! I would love to learn more about her.

Thank you very much for reading,

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