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Goode, Archer

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Archer Good was visited several times by Carol and Gwilym Davies between 1974 and 1979. Gwilym and Carol introduced him to Mike Yates who also recorded him. He sang to him the British Soldier’s Grave, the Dunmow Flitch, Guy Fawkes, Jan’s Courtship, Jockey to the Fair, the Life of a Man, the Lost Lady Found, the Mistletoe Bough, No, John No, Seaweed and the Unquiet Grave.

Archer Goode came from a long line of farm workers, originally from near Leominster, Herefordshire. His great-grandparents, Benjamin and Rosina Goode, were living at Ivington, Herefordshire, when Thomas, Archer’s grandfather, was baptised in Leomington in May 1825. Rosina lived at Ivington until at least 1841 when Benjamin had apparently died as he was no longer living with her.

By 1881 Archer’s grandfather, Thomas, and his wife, Elizabeth, who was fifteen years younger than him, were living at Westhope Hill, Canon Pyon, Herefordshire, where Thomas was working as an agricultural labourer. Archer’s father, James had been born in 1873 in Canon Pyon and had an older sister, Rose, who was then a scholar and two younger sisters, Emma and Eliza. All the family except Thomas had been born in Canon Pyon. By 1891 Thomas aged 71 and Elizabeth had a household at Derndale Hill, Weobley, Herefordshire. Their son, Thomas, was the only child still living at home but they had a boarder, Elizabeth Lloyd, aged 4 who remained with them for at least ten years. By this time Archer’s father, James, had left home and was working as a carter at the King’s Head, Blakeney, Glos. James married Mary Elizabeth Morris in 1894 in the Weobley registration district in Herefordshire. James’ father, Thomas probably died in 1894 in the Leominster Registration District. James had a son, Albert James, in 1896 and a daughter, Rose Adaline, in 1898 in Canon Pyon, Herefordshire, where in 1901 he and his family were living in one of 2 cottages called ‘Wotton Cottage’ next to Wotton farm where James was working as an agricultural labourer. James had another son, Harold James Goode, who was born in Wellington about 1903 and then Archer Thomas Goode was born in 12 December 1906 in Canon Pyon, Herefordshire. By 1911 all the family were living at Derndale Hill, Wellington, Herefordshire, where James was working as a cowman. James and Mary Elizabeth had been married for 16 years and had seven children of whom two had died. They also had another daughter, Edith Mary, born in Canon Pyon about 1908. Shortly after this the family moved to Abergavenny where a further son, Edgar Clifford, was born on 5 December 1911.

Archer’s father, James, died in 1929. Archer married Janet Coley in Abergavenny in 1932. Archer always said that he was originally from Abergavenny, where he had worked with horses on rural farms.  He had befriended the Warwickshire Morris dancer Sam Bennett in the 1930s when Sam would go to Wales on holiday.  Sam taught Archer a number of songs. Archer later moved to Cheltenham where he was a stalwart of the folk clubs in later life. Archer had at least one daughter, possibly Kay. He died in Cheltenham in 1984. His wife, Janet died in Cirencester in 1995.

Archer’s Brother, Albert James Goode

Albert was born in Canon Pyon, Herefordshire in 1896. He married Clara E. Howard in Abergavenny in 1922. Albert died in 1959 when he was living at 9, Sycamore Road, Griffithstown, Monmouthshire, just outside Pontypool.

Archer’s Sister, Rose Adaline/Adeline Goode

Rose married Alfred James Wedge in 1917 in Abergavenny. An Alfred Wedge was working as a cowman aged 16 on a farm at Court Morgan Farm at Llanddewi Rhydderch, Abergavenny in 1911. He had been born in Bethnal Green, London. Rose probably had at least one daughter, Ida, who was born in 1918 in Abergavenny. Alfred was living at 3, Park Street, Abergavenny when he died aged 31on 1 January 1927 at Victoria Hospital, Abergavenny. Ida married Percy A. Phelps in 1939 in Hereford registration district. A Percy Phelps died in Pontypool, Monmouthshire (where Rose’s brothers Albert and Edgar, also died) in 1969.

Archer’s Brother Harold John Goode

Harold was born 22 April 1902 in Wellington, Herefordshire .He worked on the railways at Pontypool station between July 1920 and at least May 1930. He married Eveline Violet Parsons, the daughter of a coachman from near Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. Harold died in Newport, Monmouthshire in 1995.

Archer’s Sister Edith Mary Goode

Edith was born in Canon Pyon, Herefordshire about 1908.

Archer’s brother, Edgar Clifford Goode

Edgar was born 5 December 1911. He married Josephine Sybil Dunn at the end of 1942 in Abergavenny. She died in March 1971 in Pontypool where Edgar also died in 1979.

Notes by Carol Davies January 2015