Annie Elizabeth STOKES was born on 2 Jan 1871 in Merstow Green, Evesham and brought up in Broadway, with her brothers and sisters. Although she was not recorded as living with her parents in any census, even when young.
At the time of the 1881 census Annie was staying with John SUCH, the innkeeper of the Angel Inn, Broad Campden, near Chipping Campden (3.5 miles from Broadway) and his 23 year old daughter Sarah A SUCH. Annie Elizabeth was only 10. It's unclear why a 10 year old girl would be staying at an inn away from her parents and her young brother and sister.
In 1891 she was working for William CALCUTT, a Tobacconist, and was boarding with him and his family in High Street, West Bromwich. As William and his wife Rachel were from Churchill and Oddington respectively it is very likely they were known to the family.
When the MAXTON family visited the de Navarro family at nearby Court Farm, she took up a family post with them. Whilst she lived with them, she travelled to the Continent and visited Paris on more than one occasion. The photograph of her when she was young was taken in Paris
Annie probably held another post with the HODDINOTT family who emigrated to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1894.
Amongst Annie Elizabeth's relatives was Edith Mayo KNAPTON who was probably an art teacher, and possibly her second cousin, Edith BOX. They were obviously close, as Annie's family received most of her belongings, when she died in 1920.
Amongst her papers were letters from Tom MATTHEWS and Frank A. MATTHEWS from Michigan, U.S.A. Perhaps they were also second cousins.
She married Albert Parker EDWARDS on 14th February 1898 at St. Lawrence Church, Evesham. Annie's youunger brother Frederick Thomas STOKES and a cousin, Edith Mayo Knapton, were witnessed at the wedding. Edith's final letter to Annie is shown below.
In April 1901 Annie Elizabeth was a patient at The Hospital on Church Green West. Her husband was with his brother and two STOKES visitors, and her son, Albert Garnet, aged 2, was with her brother-in-law Ralph EDWARDS. Her daughter Mildred had died in infancy the previous year.
They kept The Cricketer's Arms in Beoley Road, Redditch for some years, where their six children, Albert, Mildred, Doris, Ralph, Ena and Osmond were born; and there Albert Parker dabbled in farming in a small way. In 1995 Osmond visited The Cricketer's Arms and found it to be virtually unchanged.
Later the family moved to The Royal Exchange at Droitwich, before Albert PARKER became the proprietor of The Bear Hotel in Evesham. Later still they moved to the Red Lion at Astwood Bank, where they stayed until Albert Parker EDWARDS died on February 11th, 1930 aged 53. Annie Elizabeth EDWARDS loved to move home, and would have lived in many more places had she been allowed to.
After Albert Parker died, Annie Edwards moved back to Evesham, first to La Quinta, Cheltenham Road, and then to 23 Collinsfield, near to her daughter Dolly. Finally she moved to a flat in St. Andrews Street, Droitwich, and lived there until she was almost 91 years old.
Annie died of broncho pneumonia and chronic bronchitis on 20 December 1961. She was cremated at Worcester and shared a memorial service with her sister Katherine SPENCE on 10 Jan 1962 at St Michael's, Broadway.