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Henry James Sams

Henry James Sams
Brick Wall Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Henry James Sams was born in Washingley, Huntingdonshire, in about 1863. He married Mary Searle (named in the GRO transcript as Mary Ann Searle), in 1888 in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire.

In the 1901 census Henry was listed as a timber merchant’s clerk, so he probably worked at the same timber yard where George was an engineer’s fitter. He was nine years older than George and was listed as married. However, his wife Mary was not listed with Henry and their son Cecil Henry.

I believe Mary was not Mary Ann (for whom I cannot find a convincing birth or death record), but Mary Ellen Searle, the daughter of a house painter. If I have the correct person, when she left Henry, she returned to Boston, Massachusetts, US, where most of her family had settled, and where she herself had lived as a child. She remarried in the US in 1894, to George Elmer Shepard, a clerk, stating that it was her first marriage. I hope that in the future, records or DNA matches will prove her identity.

On 21st Feb 1903, Henry James Sams, listed as a commercial traveller, and George William Richardson, engineer’s fitter, submitted their application GB190304109DA for a tea maker. The patent was entitled the ‘Time Water Heater and Alarm‘. Henry was probably not the inventor in this enterprise but he probably provided clerical support and perhaps intended to help market the invention. Henry’s address in 1903 was 8 Saxon Villas, London Road.

By 1911 Henry was referring to himself as widowed. Henry remarried to Alice Sarah House on 8 Apr 1913 at Brean Church in Somerset, again referring to himself as widowed. Henry and Alice settled in the Brean area and lived there until Henry’s death in 1939.

Henry’s son, Cecil Henry, became an engineer’s fitter like George, and was later an auto engineer.