Josiah Groom c1834 – 1884
Born c.1834 in Hadleigh, Suffolk
Baptized 1834 in Hadleigh, Suffolk
Died 1884 in Hamer, Lancashire
Established in 1860. Josiah died in 1884.
Studios were operated in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and Rochdale, Lancashire
1841 – Hadleigh, Suffolk aged 7
1851 – Stowmarket, Suffolk (in home of George Collen) aged 17. Apprentice to plumber & glazier
1861 – Shrewsbury, Shropshire aged 25. Photographer & gilt frame maker
1871 – Shrewsbury, Shropshire aged 35. Photographic artist &c
1881 – Shrewsbury, Shropshire aged 45. Photographic artist &c
Josiah Groom was born in Hadleigh, Suffolk. In his teens he apprenticed to George Collen, a plumber and glazier in nearby Stowmarket. No photographic studios were operating in Stowmarket at that time. The town was visited by John Beattie in 1854 and F. Dowling set up a short lived studio in 1858 but by then Josiah had partnered with Harriet Poppelwell and was on the move. Their first child Josiah was born in 1856 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire and their second Harriet many miles from there in Launceston, Cornwall. By the birth of their third child Frederick in 1859 they were in Shropshire where they were to remain for many years. Josiah’s brother David Groom had set up as a photographer in Plymouth. Josiah opened a business as a frame gilder with photography as a sideline. It is unclear where and how he learnt his trade. No doubt riding the wave of popularity surrounding the newly announced carte de visite photograph format, Josiah’s business blossomed and he went on to become one of Shrewsbury’s leading photographers.
Josiah’s wife Harriet after bearing 8 children, died in 1865 when they were living at Bynner Cottage, Belle Vue in Shrewsbury. Josiah remarried the following year to a local girl, Martha Evans. Martha bore another 5 children before her untimely death some 10 years later, then Josiah went on to marry Martha’s sister Mary who had yet another 5 children giving a grand total of 18 children! Of these the first born Josiah and David followed into their father’s profession. Josiah was said to have produced 40,000 negatives whilst in Shrewsbury. In the early 1880s Josiah moved to Hamer, Rochdale near Manchester continuing his trade in photography until his death at the premature aged of 45. His business was carried on by his son Josiah, and his son David worked as a photographer and picture framer in Burslem, Staffordshire. Sons James, Fred and Walter became butchers while Jesse became a baker.
Father – Henry Groom – born c.1791 in Suffolk
Mother – Mary Clark/e – born c.1801 in Suffolk
Married (1) 1862 in Birmingham, Warwickshire to Harriet Poppelwell – born 1841 in New Sleaford, Lincolnshire (died 1865)
Child 1 – Josiah – born 1856 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
Child 2 – Harriet Emma – born 1858 in Launceston, Cornwall
Child 3 – Frederick William – born 1859 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Child 4 – David – born 1860 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Child 5 – James Henry – born 1862 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Child 6 – Jesse Clarke – born 1863 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Child 7 – Walter Edward – born 1864 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Child 8 – Georgina – born 1865 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Married (2) 1866 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire to Martha Evans – born c.1847 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Child 9 – Martha – born 1866 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Child 10 – Esther – born 1867 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Child 11 – Fanny Amelia – born 1869 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Child 12 – Marian Helena – born 1872 in Atcham district, Shropshire
Child 13 – Captain Percy – born 1875 in Atcham district, Shropshire (died 1876)
Married (3) 18 ? ? in ? to Mary Evans – born ? in ?
Child 14 – Marion Eleanor – born ? in ?
Child 15 – Albert – born ? in ?
Child 16 – Harry – born ? in ?
Child 17 – Walter – born ? in ?
Child 18 – Mary – born c.1880
Data in italics is unconfirmed at present.
Compiled by: Marcel Safier, Photographic Historian
Thank you to Groom family descendant Julia Moir for her kind assistance and contributions
Censuses of England 1841-1891; Indexes of births, deaths and marriages for England; various trade directory information courtesy of Sandy Barrie
Josiah Groom – Gallery
Copyright © 2008 Ron Cosens
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