Skip to main content

William Ernest Marsh
1847-after 1912
Lived in Bromley and London and recorded much of the Marsh Family History 


Born: 31 May 1847 at No 43 Holborn Hill.  Alive in 1912.
Son of: Samuel Marsh (1813-1884) and Maria Marsh nee Bean.
Brother of:
1. Samuel Vincent Marsh (1843-1922?) who married Elizabeth Catherine Clark (1844-19??).
2. Arthur Charles Marsh (1844-19??) who married Francis Emma Beadle (1842-19??).
William married:  Kate Wallace daughter of Thomas W Wallis of Louth, Lincolnshire. 24 July 1877.
William and Kate had issue:
1. Earnest Oswald Marsh (1879-1879).
2. Kathleen Clare Hewett nee Marsh (1880-19??) who married Frederick Stanley Hewett (1876-19??).
3. Alma Evelyn Stretton nee Marsh (1881-19??) who married Arthur Ernest Stretton (1872-19??).
4. Muriel Amy Leveson-Gower nee Marsh (1883-19??) who married Heathcote Easton Leveson-Gower.
5. Sybil Idonea Marsh (1889-19??).

William Ernest Marsh: An Overview

We know of William from his recordings of the Marsh Family History and from his work on the book:
'History of the Ancient Family of Marsh of Marton . . . by Joseph J Green Archivist Genealogist, 1903. Revised to date by William Ernest Marsh 1912.'

In the above he records himself (and his father in law) as follows:

William Ernest Marsh FRNS (C), of Marston, Bromley, Kent, Chief Cashier of the National Freehold Land and Building Society, 25 Moorgate Street, EC, is the youngest of the three sons of Samuel Marsh, of Holburn Hill and Fleet Street, by Maria Bean, his wife, and was born at no 43 Holburn Hill, 31 May 1847, (vide p354).  Educated at Globe House School, Tottenham.  Leaving school in 1864, he was for a short time in a Tea Broker's office in Billiter Square, London, but owing to ill health, had to abandon City life for nearly two years.  On 2nd May 1866, he entered the offices of the National Freehold Land Society (then so called) and has remained there to the present time (1913).  He served in the 1st AB Surrey Rifles, 1867-1879, and in 1870 won the Marksman's Badge with 3 stars, as the "Best Shot" in the Battalion.  He was a representative of the corps at Wimbledon for the Queen's and St George's Prizes in 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874 and 1876.  On 3rd May 1872, after examination, he received a Certificate of Proficiency, the equivalent of that given to Captains of Infanty.  In April 1911 he was enrolled in the newly formed National Reserve, and attached to A Company, 4th Kent (Bromley Battalion).  Married at the Parish Church, St James, Louth, Lincs, 24 July 1877, Kate Wallis, 2nd daughter of Thomas Wilkinson Wallis, of Louth by Susannah, his wife, daughter of William and Fanny Crow (nee Cross) of Louth.  In 1899 the "Autobiography of Thomas Wilkinson Wallis, Sculptor in Wood", with many illustrations, was published by JW Goulding & Son, of Louth.  A review of this work by the Rev Edward Hall Jackson, entitled "Thomas Wilkinson Wallis, of Louth, the man, the artist, and his book" gives a fascinating picture of a most accomplished man, who was an artist to the backbone.

For his wonderful Wood Carvings, Mr Wallis received the Society of Arts Silver Medal in 1850, the Great Exhibition Medal 1851, The Paris Exhibition Medal 1855, The Great Exhibition Medal 1862, and others.  His artistic creations being entirely the work of his own hands, are consequently comparatively few in number, but have scarcely been surpassed, or even equalled, in any age.

Mr Wallis possessed great versatility, and excelled in almost everything that he undertook, as painting etc etc.

On the formation of the Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1859, he was amongst the earliest to join, and on 7th November of that year he was the 7th man to be enrolled in the Louth Rifles, being shortly afterwards appointed musketry instructor (acting).  In the following September he was appointed Quarter-Master Sergeant, and acted for 20 years in that capacity, as well as undertaking the duties of Hon. Secretary to the Corps.  For many years he was returned as "Best Shot", and in 1866, amongst upwards of 2000 competitors for the Queen's Prize at Wimbleton, he was placed in the first 100.  In 1870 he was offered and refused a commission in the Corps, and in 1895 he was awarded the Silver Medal for "Long Service".  Mr Wallis was born at Hull 4th February,1821, and died at Louth 26th August, 1903.

William Earnest Marsh is an enthusiastic genealogist and able historian and recorder of the family with whom the present writer has frequently taken "sweet councel", and to whom he is greatly indebted for many kind offices.  He is also an accomplished Numismatist, and was elected a Fellow of the Numismatic Society of London (since 1904 the Royal Numismatic Society), on 20th June 1895.


The full title of the Marsh Family History book is:
'History of the Ancient Family of Marsh of Marton, in East Langdon, near Dover, also of Dover and Canterbury, of Brandred in Acrise, of Denton, of Old Court in Nonington, of Nethersole in Wymlyngswold, and of Kingstone, of Faversham, Snave, Ivychurch, London, Eastbury County Hertford, of Bath, Ryde, Windsor, Picklington, County York etc etc. Circa 1320-1903. And in particular that branch of the family settled at Folkestone.  With an account of descendants resident at Hitchin, Guildford, Dorking, London, Chatham, Epping, Gaynes Park, Ashford, Bow, Kingston, Luton, Belfast, Bromley etc etc.  1520-1903.  Together with references to a large number of families and individuals bearing the name Marsh.  Complied from original and other sources by Joseph J Green Archivist Genealogist, 1903. Revised to date by William Ernest Marsh 1912.'
This book appears to have been a one off production typed up on a type writer and probably never fully published.  It is an extensive work and runs to 411 pages documenting a very large number of people sharing the name Marsh.  Luckily copies have been made over the years and passed around the Marsh family.  In addition a large family tree turned up at auction in 2013 and appears to have been the work of William Ernest Marsh in that his name is towards the bottom together with the names of his children.  In addition Earnest has also listed his brothers Samuel Vincent Marsh (London and Walthamstow) and Arthur Charles Marsh (Tottenham). Also their cousins William Marsh, Thomas Henry Marsh, Catherine Marsh and Elizabeth Ann Tebbutt (Winchester).  This tree may have been owned later by Peter Russell Marsh Birkin-Tebbutt (born 1931) who was presumably a grandson.  This family tree document is now for sale (contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details).  The frame measures 85cm x 67 cm.

 Marsh Family Tree. History by William Earnest Marsh

If you have any information to add to what is listed please contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.