The Family of Helena Rayner formerly Flack

I am grateful to Denise Carr and Jim Flack, ( for some of the information on this page.

Helena Flack was baptised 25 October 1861 at Linton (father a labourer), a daughter of James Flack or Gibson and Susan formerly Sheffield. There is a birth entry for a Helena Flack at Linton, 1861.

In 1871 she was at home aged 9.


A search for ‘Helena Gibson’ in the 1881 census gave a 19 year old servant housemaid, born at Linton in the household of Sarah Headley at Stapleford House, Stapleford, Cambridge.


She married Henry Mitchell Rayner 25 December 1881 at the parish church of St John’s Southwark.  Henry was aged 25, a bachelor and labourer of Church Street, a son of William Rayner, labourer.  Helena was aged 20, a spinster of Church Street, a daughter of James Flack, a labourer.  The witnesses were Alfred Gibson and Laura Gibson.


In 1891, in 3 rooms at 1 Great Yard, Horsleydown, Southwark, Henry was aged 34, a brewer’s labourer, born in Cambridgeshire.  His wife Cath (sic) was aged 28 and born in Cambridgeshire, and their children were Lillie aged 8, Percy aged 5, Minnie aged 4 and Arthur aged 1, all born in Bermondsey.  The name of ‘Cath’ is worrying but other data fit.


Henry Mitchell Rayner died 6 April 1899 at Guys Hospital.  He was aged 41 years, a brewer’s labourer of 13 Elm Street Bermondsey.  The cause of death was pneumonia, respiratory failure.  The informant was E Raynor widow of the deceased of 13 Elm Street Bermondsey.  E may well be Eleanor.


Helena and Henry’s children were:

Lily Helena Rayner, born 1882 in Bermondsey.

Percy Edward Rayner, born 24 June 1884 at Newington.

Minnie Violet Rayner, born 1886 at Bermondsey.

Henry Mitchell Rayner (1887 – 1889), born 19 September 1887 at Horsleydown, St Olave, Southwark and died 1889 in the St Olave registration district.

Arthur William Rayner, born 1890 in Bermondsey.

Albert James Rayner, born 1893 in the St Olave registration district.

Emma Florence Rayner, born 1897 in the St Saviour registration district.

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Posted November 2016