CFHS code : HT365

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : In Loving Memory of BETSY the beloved wife of JAMES WAKELING STOKES d July 16 1915 aged 73 also KATE WAKELING STOKES daughter of the above d Feb 22 1915 aged 40 also JAMES WAKELING STOKES d April 30 1919 aged 76

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Betsy Stokes (née Farby) (1841 – 16 July 1915)

Betsy was born in Thetford and is believe to have been the daughter of William Farby. Her father died when she when she was a newborn and aged 9 was living with her step father James Graves (a cow keeper), mother Sarah and 6 siblings on the Main Street in Thetford.  She married James Stokes at Christ Church Cambridge on 30 August 1865.  They had five children: Annie Elizabeth (1868-1911), Kate Wakeling (1874-1915), Gertrude Farby (1877-1963), Edward William (1879-1939) and another child who died as an infant.  James worked as a gas lighter and was later a foreman gaslighter and the family lived on Church Street.

In April 1887 she went to court after Henry Stokes (no relation) was charged with threatening her.  Henry’s mother was a lodger at Church Street with the Stokes family and he had gone there to ask his mother to lend him 2s.  She refused to do this, so he became verbally abusive and threatened to knock Betsy’s ‘head off and her eyes in’. In front of court Henry testified that although he had said that he did not actually intend to do Betsy any harm.  The magistrates ordered him to pay two sureties of £10 and to keep the peace for three months.

Betsy died at 7 Church Street aged 73 years old.

Kate Wakeling Stokes (1874 – 22 February 1915)

Kate was the second daughter of James and Betsy, but does not appear to have been raised within the family unit. She was raised by Robert and Mary Ann Howard as their adopted daughter.  Mary Ann was from Cambridge, so maybe the families were known to each other.  In 1881 they were living at Prospect Place in Long Ditton, Surrey, and Robert was working in the ‘window glass trade’.  In 1891/1901 Robert was running a coffee house in Kingston, by the time she was 26 Kate was working as a waitress in the coffee house.  In 1911 Robert was running a coffee house and dining rooms at 111 Kentish Town Road in London – Kate was 36 years old and working as the cook in the business. She was described on the 1901/1911 census as their adopted daughter, whereas in previous census records she was described as a visitor. Kate is recorded as dying in Cambridge aged 40 years old.

James Wakeling Stokes (1843 – 30 April 1919)

James was the son of Edward and Mary Ann Stokes. His father was a fishmonger, his mother a launderess and he grew up on Rupel Street. He married Betsy Farby when he was 22 years old.  James worked for the Cambridge Gas Company for over 50 years. He was also a member of the Royal David Lodge of the Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds – a friendly society which raised money to help the sick and needy. He died at home aged 76 years old

James was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 3 May after a service at Christ Church.  His coffin was carried to the graveside by six of his fellow workers.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Betsy Stokes; James Wakeling Stokes; Kate Wakeling Stokes