This is the fourth in my new series of blogs documenting the lives of my 2 x Great Grandparents and next up we have the very exotic sounding Nicolina Elizabeth Stampa.
Nicolina was the youngest of eight children born to Italian born Father Dominicio Stampa and Mary Hair, she was born on 14th May 1822 at High Calton, Edinburgh. She was baptised 25th June 1822 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh and she was actually baptised as Nicholasa, although on all other documentation she called herself Nicolina. Her parents are listed as Dominicio Stampa and Mary Hair.
At the time of the 1841 Census Nicolina is still living at home with her parents at Gayfield Place, St. Cuthberts, Edinburgh Midlothian. Her Father, Dominicio, aged 75, is listed as a Print Seller, Overseas Born (Known to be Como, in Italy) and Mary Stampa (nee Hair) is aged 55. Also listed are Nicolina’s siblings Caroline aged 30, George Stampa a Shopman, aged 20 and Francis Stampa a Carver and Gilder Journeyman, aged 20. Also listed is an Agnes Ghari, aged 20 years, who is a Cousin.
Nicolina’s first Marriage took place on 5th November 1849 at St. Cuthbert’s Church in Edinburgh, where she Married William McDonald, who was born in Ireland. At the time they were both listed as living at No.2 Hill Place, Edinburgh. St. Cuthbert’s Church is actually a Church of Scotland Church and not a Catholic Church.
Nicolina and William had two children, Mary Stampa MacDonald, born 11th November 1850 in Edinburgh and Willimena Louisa MacDonald born 11th July 1852, again in Edinburgh.
Nicolina is listed with William McDonald and her Daughter Mary S. McDonald as living at 13, Hill Place, St. Cuthbert’s in Edinburgh.
Sometime between 1851 and 1861, Nicolina’s first husband, William McDonald sadly dies, she is listed in 1861 as a Widow on the Census. Also between these dates, Nicolina gives birth to an illegitimate child named Jane Elizabeth Hide Stampa, born on 6th May 1860. We can make two possible assumptions from this, always a dangerous thing with Genealogy as we know! We can assume that William McDonald died prior to this birth, somewhere between 1851-1859 and we can have an educated guess that the surname of the illegitimate Father is likely to be Hide.
By the time of the 1861 Census, Nicolina had completely relocated from Edinburgh to St. Pancras in London. Somewhere between the Birth of her illegitimate Daughter, Jane and the 1861 Census, Nicolina took the massive decision to move to London. One cannot say for certainty the reason behind the move, but by this time, both her parents had passed away, as well as two of her Brother’s, Francis Stampa and George Stampa. Her Brother Louis and Sister Caroline also moved at the same time and they lived together at 28, Ponsford Terrace, St. Pancras, London. It might well have been her Brother Louis who first decided to move to London, either way the three siblings moved away and lived together.
Counted in the 1861 Census at 28, Ponsford Terrace, St. Pancras, London are Louis Stampa, Caroline Stampa, Nicolina Stampa, listed as a Widow and Dressmaker, Cousin Agnes Geary, along with, Nicolina’s two Daughter’s, Mary McDonald and Louisa McDonald. Noticeably her illegitimate Daughter, Jane Elizabeth Hide Stampa is missing. I am as certain as I can be that she remained in Edinburgh with her Father, John Hide and his Wife Jane, she can be found here on the 1861 Census for St. Cuthbert’s Edinburgh.
On 3rd March 1862, Nicolina Married for a second time to, Thomas Wootton, at the time he was 23 years old and she was 39 years old. They Married at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Chapel in St. Pancras, London. Witnesses to the Marriage were Nicolina’s older Brother, Louis A. Stampa and Mary Cole, Louis and Mary were later Married in 1864. They both listed 28, Ponsford Terrace, St. Pancras, London as their address at the time of the Marriage.
The following year on 28th May 1863, their only child, William Tom Wootton was born. By this time the Family had moved to 106, Carlton Road, Kentish Town, London.
(Carlton Street, not Road, Kentish Town)
In 1871 Nicolina is living at 9, Platt Street, St. Pancras, London, at home with Nicolina are her husband Thomas Wootton, their Son, William Tom Wootton, also her children from her first Marriage, Mary S McDonald and Louisa W McDonald and her Sister Caroline Stampa.
By the time of the 1881 Census, the family had moved again to 23, Hadley Street, St. Pancras, London, living at home with Nicolina are Husband Thomas Wootton and Son William Tom Wootton, along with her Daughter from her first Marriage, Mary McDonald and Nicolina’s Sister, Mary Stampa. Nicolina’s occupation is listed as a Dressmaker. Also living at the same address is Boarder Frederick Somerset who was occupied as a Lead Glazier, the same occupation as William Tom Wootton.
1891 Brought yet another move within the St. Pancras area, the family had moved to 3, Malden Road, St. Pancras, London. At home with Nicolina are her Husband Thomas Wootton and her Sister, Caroline Stampa. Nicolina’s occupation is listed as a Mantle Maker.
By 1901 Nicolina and Thomas Wootton have moved again within the Parish of St. Pancras, to 65, Mansfield Road, St. Pancras, London. By this time they are living alone, but living within the same building is Nicolina’s daughter from her first Marriage, Willimina McDonald, who by this time had married William A Jones.
For the latter part of Nicolina’s life, she lived at various addresses within short distances of each other, within the Parish of St. Pancras.
The Family lived about four miles north-west of the City of London in an area centered on North St. Pancras, which is north of the Regent’s Canal and the London and North Western Railway line and either side of the Hampstead Junction line. In fact, the houses of Hadley Street where they lived, backed onto this line. The area would not have been very desirable owing to the great amounts of noise and air pollution issuing from the steam trains.
This was largely an industrial and commercial area developed between the 1840’s and 60’s when the development of estates rapidly destroyed the rustic middle-class atmosphere. The character of these estates was rapidly lowered by the development of the railways which filled the air with their smoke and steam and the constant clanking of shunting trains in the sidings. The roads too, were filled with traffic to and from the various rail depots and much of it still horse drawn.
The streets were crowded with small terraced houses each one measuring only about 12 to 16 feet wide by 20 to 40 feet deep and often the longest part of any house was only about twice the total length of its frontage. Most houses were built directly on or only several feet back from the pavement and their back yards were either non-existent or up to a size equal to that of the corresponding house. These cramped houses were well placed for the many local railway workers, one of whom was Henry Compton, a Railway Engine Driver, the future father-in-law of William Tom Wootton, who lived in nearby Haverstock Hill.
Within a radius of a quarter of a mile from Hadley Street there were no parks or green areas amongst the houses. However, there were 6 schools, 8 churches, 2 mission halls, 2 other halls, 2 post offices, 1 bank, 1 police station, 1 public bath and wash- house and 21 public houses!
I have been unable to find an entry in the 1911 Census for Nicolina, despite trying various searches. However, she is listed in the 1911 Electoral Register, see the link below, as living on her own at 93, Mansfield Road, St. Pancras, London. Having checked the 1911 Census for this address it would appear that the enumerator stopped frustratingly at number 91!
The next record that I have found for Nicolina is sadly her admission into the St. Pancras Infirmary on 29th January 1916, just before she sadly passed away. The address given was 117, Mansfield Road, St. Pancras, London and her next of kin was listed as her Daughter, Mrs. Jones of 65, Mansfield Road, St. Pancras, London.
Sadly within a month of admission to the infirmary, Nicolina passed away and this is also recorded in the St. Pancras Infirmary records as a discharge, rather a harsh way of recording that somebody has died.
Further information regarding the Workhouse and Infirmary at St. Pancras can be found on Peter Higginbothams Workhouse website Here
Nicolina died 12th December 1916 and her cause of Death was recorded as Senile Dementia/Influenza Bronchitis.
Informant at Nicolina Wootton’s death was her daughter L.Jones of 65, Mansfield Road, St. Pancras, London
Her body was brought from St. Pancras House, Pancras Road. It is likely that this was the former name for St. Pancras Hospital situated in St. Pancras Gardens between St. Pancras Way and the Regent’s Canal.
She was buried on 16th December 1916 at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Kensal Green London, Grave Number 12154.
Nicolina was a devout Catholic throughout her life and my Second cousin, Carol Barber, is in possession of Nicolina’s actual Rosary Beads, seen in the pictures below.
Special thanks to “Cousins” Carol and Eleanor for their contributions to Nicolina’s story.