When Gertrude Elizabeth Harvey was born on 1 June 1895 (registered Okehampton, evidence 1939 register) her father, William Henry Stanbury Harvey, an ag.lab, was 28, and her mother Emma, nee Wonnacott, was 25. She had one brother, William James Harvey (known as Willie – personal knowledge). The 1901 census shows that she lived initially at No 1 Taw River Cottages in Sticklepath (there were 2) with her parents and brother.
In the 1911 census she was already a ‘dairy worker’ aged 15y, William was still at school, both parents are there. The census sheet completed by the household has a gap between the Harvey family and two others, Ellen Powlesland 54y ‘sister’ and Ada Powlesland nice, dressmaker, living on her own means. The gap may imply they lived in separate parts of the house?
She helped out on the farm most of her life, living at Tawside House Sticklepath, (South Tawton Parish), from at least 1910,(evidence from a postcard), helping out on the farm, but moved to Effra opposite the Wesleyan Methodist chapel in Sticklepath in old age (personal knowledge). It is likely she had rickets as a child, owing to the characteristic shape of her legs on photograph. Willie died in 1974. Gertie never married. She died in Greenacres nursing home on 3 March 1990 in Chagford, Devon, at the age of 94. (Probate 11 April 1990 Bristol).
Questions could be asked about how an Ag Lab was living in such a large house. Tawside was built 1901-1910 (estimate) in arts and crafts style, it was a large house. In 1910 a postcard shows they were taking paying guests. Recent house details suggest Tawside was part of the Wood Estate and had a coach house closer to the road.
Research and personal knowledge of Helen Finch Shields 2020. Census register and probate images accessed via Ancestry.co.uk
The Devon and Exeter Daily Gazette. Saturday November 21 1931