Cole Connection

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Pat Cryer is tracing her Cole ancestors and we recently corresponded about Ivy Cole and Alfred George Ferdinand.  Pat kindly sent me the photograph reproduced below of Ninny Ferdinand and some family history appears below.  Do you have any further information to add to what we have below?  Can you identify Ninny?  If you can please drop me a line or go to Pat's website and contact her.  Either way we would both be delighted to hear from you.  Also if you have any other photographs of this family.

NinnyFerdinand.jpg (25872 bytes)

Left: Florence Edith Cole. Right: her young niece who we know only as Ninny Ferdinand, the daughter of Alfred George Ferdinand and his wife who was born Ivy Cole

Breaking News:  Since writing this we have found out that Ninny is Ivy Ferdinand.  Thanks Ken & Iris for letting me know.

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Alfred George Ferdinand  

My information starts around 1914 when Alfred George Ferdinand was based in Tilbury as a soldier. Ivy Cole was in Tilbury at the same time, in service in a large house. Apparently Alfred George (who was always known in the family as George) was very dashing and he ‘got her into the family way’. Ivy’s father, my great grandfather, James Reedman Cole, was summoned from the Cole Pottery in Tottenham (north London) to come and get her – as pregnancy before marriage meant instant dismissal in those days. However the couple seemed pleased to marry and George went on to be treated as one of the family. He and Ivy went to live in Tilbury but were frequent visitors at the Pottery. As further evidence of the amicable relationship, there is a photo of my grandfather, Ivy’s elder brother, Herbert James Claude Cole, with George on the beach at Tilbury. (Thurrock, which is mentioned in much of your data, in on the outskirts of Tilbury.) Unfortunately all that can be seen of George in the photo is part of a raincoat. So I didn’t bother to make a copy and no longer have access to it.

In the light of these circumstances and your known birth date of George and Ivy’s eldest son in January 1915, we can assume that George and Ivy married in 1914.

For some reason, Ivy and George were unable to look after one of their young daughters for a while and she came to stay with Ivy’s brother and his wife, my grandparents. I have no idea for how long or which daughter, as she was known in the family as Ninny. You have the photograph of her as a young child with my mother in my grandparent’s garden at Edmonton, a few miles from Tottenham. Judging by my mother’s apparent age, I would assume that the daughter was Ivy – although it just could have been Kathleen. My grandfather loved having Ninny around and she was invited back.

Contact with Ivy’s family was probably lost largely due the deaths of Ivy’s parents and the second world war which disrupted so much. Indeed it is only as a result of a large amount of detective work that I have managed to amass details of the descendants of Ivy’s six sisters and two brothers. This is available in detail on a CD-Rom on request. In order to protect the privacy of living individuals, most of it is not on the web, although the web does show an outline (see the maternal genealogy links from The emphasis on the CD-Rom is the photo collection, although I have no photos at all, as yet, of Ivy.

Pat Cryer



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