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Honorine RANDELL 1855

Honorine Randell was born 6 May 1855 in Cromer, daughter to Thomas Ere Randell and his wife Judith Ann Mayes. She was the middle of three girls in a family of ten. She was born in Cromer but her family moved to Holt around 1858.
By 1871 she had moved to Chertsey and was a housemaid at the home of her elder brother Thomas and his wife Justina Evans. Her brother Nathaniel was also in London at the time.
After 1871, I was unable to find her in any UK census material but “Honorine Augusta P Randell” married Paul Prestage in Wolverhampton in January 1874. This may seem problematic, as no reference to 'Augusta' appeared in any previous document but Paul Prestage was the eldest son of John Thomas & Augusta Prestage, and simple bad transcribing provides the link.
Honorine and Paul Prestage vanish from all subsequent UK records but in the 1880 US National Census, Paul and Honorine Prestage reappear. He was recorded as 'white male' age 46. Whilst Honorine was noted as 25 years, born England. They ran or at least lived on a Vineyard in Lacey, Ocean County, New Jersey USA. In 1880 no children were recorded but nine year old servant Charles Smith, was living with them. The census notes that Charles was white, illiterate and had never attended school.
Subsequent records show that Honorine had two children, Francis Daniel Prestage and Arthur Nathaniel Prestage both born in New Jersey.
A fire destroyed the 1890 US Census creating a dark age around the lives of the Prestage family. Fortunately the State of New Jersey conducted an independent census in 1895 but this provides very little detail and is essentially a list of the members of each household. Neither Paul or Honorine Prestage appear on the list, but oddly their son Frank Prestage does.
Frank was a resident of Shrewsbury, Monmouth County. He was sparingly depicted as white American, aged between five and twenty years, belonging to “Household 1488“ which included two adults, Honorine & Peter Ferguson and child Arthur Ferguson. Arthur, despite his surname entirely fits the profile of Frank's brother, aka, Arthur Nathaniel Prestage. No detail of the relationships within the household are provided, giving no insight in who Peter Ferguson was, but...
The Red Bank Register, Wednesday 26 May, 1897 reported the following, “The Ferguson Case. Peter Ferguson, in the county jail since last winter for refusing to support his child, was released last week. Mrs. Honorine Prestage, states that she believed she was Ferguson's wife until she learned that he had wife and children in Scotland. On making the discovery she made him leave - at which point he refused to support his child".
An editorial the previous week took a different view and put a very sympathetic perspective on Ferguson's plight. It described, Honorine as “his, so called, left-handed wife” and advanced the theory that placing him in prison had deprived him of an income and the ability to support his three years old child. It conveniently omitted any reference to bigamy or children in Scotland and presented Ferguson as an unfortunate victim of an unjust legal system.
The same newspaper 11 May, 1892 reported the death of Paul Prestage and stated he was survived by his widow and only child, leaving little doubt Ferguson was the father of Arthur Nataniel.
By 1900 Honorine resumed the name Mrs Prestage. She was listed as a widow, living with her two children in rented accommodation. The extensive information included in the American census, states that she was the mother of two children and who were both alive. Their names were Frank & Arthur. Additionally it recorded her arrival in New Jersey in 1874, the same year she married. It also included an optimistically revised date of birth, 1861, a reduction of six years from all previous records. Interestingly a subtraction that would make her just thirteen when she married Paul Prestage and sailed the Atlanitic first class as Mrs Prestage.
Ten years later, in 1910 she appeared in the Federal Cunsus as Honorine Wilson, having married John A Wilson, 20 October, 1909. She was living with her children, identified with the surname Wilson. John A Wilson was a carpenter who owned his house and managed his own business. Like Honorine, John A Wilson had a previous marriage. By 1910, Frank was a plumber opperating from his own shop and Arthur was a carpenter, possibly in the employ of his step father.
By the 1920 census, Honorine and John A Wilson were living in Keansburg, New Jersey. They owned their home, John was a house builder and Honorine was a nationalised citizen, having sworn allegiance in 1909. A few doors away lived Frank D Prestage and his Irish born wife, Mary and their two children.
Searching for a death record of Honorine, I came across the following entry in the Red Bank Register - Wednesday, 10 December, 1924. Whilst it doesn't identify her actual death, it points to her being aged around 69.
“Honorine Wilson, late wife of John A. Wilson bequeathed her house with several lots on Orchard Street, Keansburg and all the furniture for the use of her husband as long as he lives. She ordered her property on Park Avenue, Keansburg to be sold, with $500 from the sale given to her husband and the rest divided equally between her two sons. Francis D. Prestage was named as executor.
A considerable amount of valuable jewellery was distributed among relatives.”

It would appear that from the list of assets that Honorine had accessed some of Paul Prestage's wealth. Ferguson according to his trial had "no property or assets" and whilst John A Wilson appears to have been reasonably successful, she was in fact leaving money to him. Paul Prestage was described in his obituary as “from an aristocratic family” and holding an “important position in Canada”.

Honorine Randell had the following children:

Francis Daniel PRESTAGE 1886 Lacey, New Jersey, USA
Arthur Nathaniel PRESTAGE 1894 Lacey, New Jersey, USA

ANCESTRY ~ Clement / Thomas / Thomas / Honorine

Paul PRESTAGE 1832

Paul Prestage was born 2 March 1834 and baptised 26 March 1834, at Saint John the Evangelist, Westminster. His parents were John Thomas Prestage, an Engineer industrialist and his wife Augusta, (possibly Howard).
At the time of his birth his family lived at 34 Vincent Square, Westminster, London. Vincent Square covers 13 acres and is the privately owned playing fields of Westminster School. Very prestiges address.
There is no single census that finds the entire Prestage family under one roof. The 1841 census comes close including six of the seven Prestage children, (Peter was yet to be born). The 1841 and 1851 find the family living in Westminster, London. In the latter census John Thomas Prestage was an Engineer, Industrialist and Manufacturer whilst his sons Franklin and Paul were Engineers.
Some ten years later the family were in Broseley, Shropshire running Prestage and Broseley Tiles which produced tessellated and en-caustic floor tiles as well as roof and plain floor tiles. When incorporated in 1877 it had registered capital of £10,000 but at it’s peak it was manufacturing six million roof tiles a year.
Paul was one of seven extraordinary children, his eldest sister, Augusta became a Catholic Nun. His elder brother Franklin, conceived, built and managed the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in India, was knighted and returned to England as Sir Franklin Prestage. He took over the family business from his father and passed it on to his son Donald. Paul’s immediate younger sister Katherine travelled to Australia and New Zealand, married and lived out the remainder of her life there. Ward Prestage was also a Civil Engineer and travelled to China where he unfortunately died aged 42. The youngest girl in the family, Winifred, married the manager of a rival brickworks and expanded the Prestage business in the process. Finally, the youngest son, Peter, became a significant Jesuit Missionary in Africa and along side Cecil Rhodes was fundamental in the foundation of Rhodesia. When Cecil Rhodes, contemplated taking up arms against the Ndebele nation, he found an ally in Father Peter Prestage who, in 1893 wrote, "we must put down the Matabeles and then go on with our work as if nothing has happened".
At first glance Paul’s contribution to humanity seems less momentous than his siblings, it appears he did little more than marry a girl of nineteen when he was in his forties, moved to America and opened a vineyard.
The wedding of Honorine Randell and Paul Prestage took place in Broseley in January 1874. Presumably, on her wedding day Honorine was 23 years younger than her husband. The Prestage family were devout Catholic, Paul's sister was a Catholic Nun. At least some of the Prestage weddings took place at the family home, certainly at that point Broseley had no Catholc church.
There's evidence to suggest that Paul Prestage was in North America prior to his marriage to Honorine. He doesn’t appear in the 1861 or 1871 UK census but a letter written around this time, to his sister Katherine in Australia outlined his disquiet with his current situation and desire to follow her. Paul Prestage was included on the passenger lists of several vessels crossing the Atlantic over an extended period. An example of Paul Prestage on a passenger list finds him arriving in New York, 15 August 1889. He was travelling alone on the Teutonic and recorded his details as born 1834 in England but stated he was an American citizen returning home.
Three years later a death notice for Paul Prestage was published in New Jersey's, Red Bank Register, 11 May 1892. It stated simply, "PRESTAGE. At Long Branch on Sunday, May 1st, Paul Prestage, aged 57 years."
A week later a obituary appeared, “Paul Prestage, a former resident of Red Bank, died at Long Branch on Sunday of last week from an attack of pneumonia. He had been sick about a week. Mr. Prestage was a native of England and was a trifle, over fifty-seven years old. He was an extensive traveller, came from an aristocratic family and held an important position in Canada. He had been a resident of Long Branch for the last three years. He is survived by his widow and only child.”
An important position in Canada? I tried to progress this but was unable to add anything to it. Presumably, like his brothers Civil Engineering work. An aristocratic family? His brother was knighted, they do appear in Burkes Peerage, they were certainly wealthy, Paul's nephew left over £26,000 in his Will, but actual members of the aristocracy. Yeah, why not!
Oddly Paul appeared twice in the Red Bank Register, his first appearance was 21 September, 1887 during the great dog licence debate. He was recorded as having complied promptly with the new regulations.
Long Branch was once the "Hollywood" of the east. Originally a beach resort town with a few large estates and farms, it became popular around 1880 when the great theatrical stars of the day settled in the area to escape crowded New York and enjoy the clean beaches.
Bruce Springsteen grew up in Long Branch.


Peter Ferguson was the father of Arthur and Honorine's second husband but he was also a bigamist with children and a wife in his native Scotland.
Over 200 Peter Ferguson's are recorded in the 1891 Scottish Census and over 100 of them are married with children and around Honorine's age.


The information supplied by the 1910 USA Federal Census confirms John A Wilson married Honorine. John was born Middletown, Monmouth, New Jersey in 1859 and said to be a "Carpenter with employees". Ten years later he was described as a House Builder. He owned his own home, having purchased it with a mortgage.
It appears his marriage to Honorine was not his first but no other information is provided regarding his previous wife.
The Red Bank Register reported 20 October, 1909 - “John A. Wilson of Keansburg Beach and Mrs. Prestage of New York - newcomers in the area were married last week at New Monmouth Catholic Church by Rev. John Murray. ~ Mr and Mrs. Wilson are living in the groom's house at Keansburg Beach. ~ Mrs Wilson's son is in the plumbing business and has branches both here and in Atlantic Highlands.”
Unfortunately John A Wilson is a very common name and even in New Jersey there are several. The most promising would be the 1870 Federal Census which lists twelve year old John A Wilson with his parents Alexander & Elizabeth Wilson. What struck me as interesting is they also have a servant called Charles Smith.
John A Wilson outlived Honorine to the extent that he was a benefactor in her will but I'm unable to find a death for him.

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