Born: July 19, 1827 Place: Winslow, Buckinghamshire
John comes from George Cross’ second marriage to Ann Burgess. He was born in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, England on July 19, 1827. His son William wrote that when John decided to become an Anglican priest his father and stepmother wanted him to continue with the family business. Since he opposed, they told him to leave and never come back. John went to London where he worked during the day and attended King’s College, University of London at night. According to the college archives, John was first admitted to the Department of Theology on February 9, 1850. He was first admitted into the Class of Candidates, a preparatory class for those applicants who did not qualify for the department’s admissions exam. His residence at the time is listed as Student Chambers and he paid tuition of 13 pounds 3 shillings. John was admitted into the Department of Theology on July 7, 1851. His address was Theological Residences and paid tuition of 12 pounds 12 shillings. Finally, in 1853, he was awarded the Certificate and named Associate of King’s College.
A few years after being ordained, he returned to Winslow and reconciled with his father.
William wrote that John’s first assignment was in Buckingham where he married Sarah Jones who had been his sweetheart since about six years old. The Certificate of Marriage shows they married on July 20, 1852 in Buckingham. At the time, however, John was still a student in London. This marriage produced two daughters, Josephine Amy, and Cissie who died in infancy. Sarah died a few years later on September 2, 1856. I found the entry of birth for Josephine Amy in the England and Wales, Civil Registration Index, Q1 1854, Wakefield, Yorkshire. Vol 9c, page 23 but have not been able to find an entry of birth or death for Cissie .
Since John completed his studies at King’s College in 1853, it seems that his first assignment might have been Wakefield, Yorkshire, where Josephine was born in early 1854.
Approximately in 1858 John was sent to Charlbury, near Oxford, where Samuel Russell was vicar of St. Mary the Virgin church. There, John met Anne Maria Russell, sister of Samuel, who was living with her brother and helping keep the house. John and Anne were married on May 4, 1858 in Charlbury where her brother Samuel preceded over the wedding. While they were living in Charlbury, their first son, my great-grandfather William George Herbert Cross was born on June 15, 1860. He was later christened there on July 8.
Anne Maria was the daughter of Thomas Russell and Maria Hendry; granddaughter of John Russell the painter. In the census of 1871 taken on April 2, 1871, Anne Maria is registered as being 44 years old, and in the 1881 census taken on April 3, 1881 she appears as being 54 years old. According to her death certificate, Anne Maria died on June 3, 1897 at the age of 70 (Folio 1D, Pag. 329). This indicates that she was born between June 3, 1826 and April 2, 1827.
A short time after the birth of William, John was sent to Mursley, Buckinghamshire as Rector of St. Mary the Virgin church in that town. The other children were all born in Mursley. When John arrived in Mursley, the Church was in need of repairs and after raising funds he initiated reconstruction of the church. The church was rebuilt and reopened in May 1867.
The remaining five children were all born in Mursley. In order from eldest to youngest according to the 1871 and 1881 census:
We had the opportunity to visit Mursley in May 2002. It is a small town of approximately 700 residents near Milton Keynes. Inside the church there is a list of all rectors the church has had and John Cross is listed from 1860 to 1884. The current Rector showed us the church and with him we found a grave which may be that of John Cross. The headstone is eroded but it is possible to distinguish some letters which seem to spell “*OHN *ROSS”. The grave seems large enough for two people which suggests that Anne Maria may also be buried there.
The book used by John as registry for baptisms is still in use today at the church. John’s signature appears in all baptisms performed until July 27, 1884. John died in November 9, 1884.
After John’s death I believe Anne Maria moved to London. In the 1892, 1897 and 1903 contracts between her son William and the Cable Company, he lists “5 Kyrle Road, Wandsworth, London” as his residence in England. I found the deed of this property and it indicates that it was sold to Anne Maria Cross on March 25, 1890, who previously lived at 10 Lyndhurst, Peckham Rd., Surrey. The property was sold on July 17, 1919 by Edgar Henry.
Anne Maria died on June 3, 1897. Her death certificate indicates the cause of death as Influenza (21 days), bronchitis (21 days), cystitis (7 days), alveoli - dental periostitis, necrosis 1 month, exhaustion"
Created by Edgar H. Cross