Robert was the son of Robert Green and Jane Nelson and was born in Liverpool in 1794, the youngest of eight children. He became a tobacconist and married Eliza McAlister on 4th April 1814. Eliza was born in Warwickshire, of Argyllshire descent, but her parents and family lived in Liverpool by the time of the marriage.
Their first child, Peter, seems to have been born very close to the marriage in Liverpool. He was followed by four more siblings in Liverpool, then, for reasons unknown, they moved to Chesterfield in Derbyshire. We can guess from the children’s christenings that this was sometime in the 18 months between February 1827 and August 1828.
By the time we find them in the 1841 census the family have moved again. Only five of the ten children are living with their parents in St Mary’s Street, Lincoln, just off the busy High Street. Peter is left running the Chesterfield business, two of the older girls are in Liverpool and another in service.
It would seem likely that they were working with Thomas Lunt, also listed at this address and a tobacconist. There was a long standing family tobacco broking business in Liverpool of the same surname. Thomas dies at their home in Lincoln, May 1847.
At this point, I am going to tell the story through his daughter Sarah (click on her name to continue reading) and then her son, Robert.
The children of Robert and Eliza (Because of their travels, there may be gaps. If you can fill them, please let me know)
Peter McAlister Green born Liverpool 1814 died Chesterfield 1894 married Elizabeth Davison
Jane Green, born Liverpool 1818, died?
Margaret, born Liverpool 1820, died?
Robert, born Liverpool 1823, died Liverpool before 1827
Eliza, born Liverpool 1826, died?
Robert, born 1827, died?
John, born Old Brampton 1828, died Chesterfield?
Anne or Ann born Chesterfield 1832, died?
Sarah born Chesterfield 1834, died Lincoln 1858 married George Edward Lumb.
Sarah Green was born in Chesterfield and baptised on 23rd September 1835 in St Mary and All Saint’s Church, known locally as the “Church of the Crooked Spire”.
Her father, Robert Green was a tobacconist, born in Liverpool in 1790 and his wife Eliza McAllister (spelt various ways) was born in Warwickshire of Argyll descent, They had met and married in Liverpool, in 1814, where Eliza’s family had settled and had their first child, Peter, soon after.
Sarah was by far their youngest and when they uprooted the family once more and moved to Lincoln, she went with them. Peter stayed behind and ran a tobacconist’s business of his own.
They lived in St Mary’s Street, in central Lincoln.
Not much is known about the ten years between the 1841 and 1851 census, but by the later date, there were three children still at home and the two girls were listed as dressmakers. Beaumont Fee is a pretty terrace in a leafy street.
In March 1855, Sarah gives birth to a son. If it wasn’t that she gave him his father’s surname for a middle name and that he was brought up knowing who his father was, he would probably have been just another Victorian child whose story was untraceable. His name is not recorded on his birth certificate, but by his christening, on 27th August 1855, his name is recorded as “Robert Lichtenstein Green”.
A delay in christening a child is not so unusual. But in this case, it is possible Sarah hoped his father would marry her and as he was Jewish, the child would not have been christened. Robert’s father was a jeweller from Lask in Congress Poland, named Levy Lichtenstein. But he didn’t marry her. The family story has always been that she had been working as a maid and became pregnant by the son of the family. This proved not to be the case. He was also not yet a diamond merchant as the tale was told, he made and sold Whitby Jet jewellery. But, well, as I have found, stories grow!
On 7th October 1856, when Robert was 18 months old, Sarah married George Edward Lumb in the same church in Chesterfield she had been christened in. They were the same age and she had probably known him most of her life.
George was the son of a tinsmith. Tobacco was often sold in tin boxes or snuff, also sold by tobacconists, was kept in tin lined boxes. Their parent’s trades were interconnected in a small town.
George is living at home with his parents in the 1841 census. But he had a sister, Charlotte. By 1841 she is 15 and a living in maid for a silversmith’s household in Silver Street.
On 2nd August 1850, Charlotte gives birth to a boy, John Edward Lumb. He is christened at St Swithin’s church on 8th September. At the time of the 1851 census, he is living with his grandparents and his uncle.
It would seem Charlotte had got pregnant whilst working for a Jewish family in Lincoln. Perhaps this helped George accept his stepson, it would certainly have meant the parents had something in common. The Cohen family leave the area and eventually settle in the US.
Sarah’s family certainly seem pleased about the marriage, announcing it in numerous newspapers.
George has gone from being a printer and compositor’s apprentice to editor of the Derbyshire Times in five short years. This seems a little unlikely? But the significance of the particular announcement is more interesting. Levy’s brother was living in Sheffield in 1851. It is likely that this announcement was meant to be seen by Levy.
George returns to live in Lincoln after the marriage, a thing he probably could not have done had he been editor. In January 1851, George’s sister Charlotte marries the appropriately named John Newlove. In October 1857, George and Sarah have a son, Edward Stevenson Lumb. Life seems rosy. But of course, that isn’t the end to the story.
In April 1858, when her son Edward is but 6 months old and Robert only 3, Sarah dies of TB, having been ill for 3 months. She dies at an address round the corner from the home of her parent’s, Beaumont Place and is buried Canwick Road cemetery, Lincoln.
In January 1860 George marries Elizabeth Anson, exactly a year later their son George Anson Lumb is born. Robert Lichtenstein Green is brought up by his grandparents who return to Chesterfield after the death of Sarah. His story will be told later.
The census of 1861 shows Edward living with his father, stepmother and stepbrother at the address his mother died at.
On 8th October 1861 George Edward Lumb is declared bankrupt. The reason given is “living beyond his means”. It is interesting to note he calls himself a “newspaper reporter/ newsagent” in the census of that year.
George and Elizabeth have another son, Albert John, in February 1864. But later in November 1864, he too dies.
Edward Stevenson Lumb marries Emily Climpson and lives until 1927. To my knowledge, his half brother did not see him again after the death of their mother.