John Capper 1828 - 1897
This is a collection of information centered on the lifetime of my great-grandfather
John Capper (sen.).
The aim was to find out what happened in his life and to some extent to his family during his lifetime and to get the known events sorted out on a time line. Scanning through this time line is the recommended way to start looking at the material. Some interesting old documents are still in existence and can be viewed using the corresponding icons. The main original documents and a few pictures and notes were lent or bequeathed by my cousins Tim Pratt, (1942 - 2006), and Ruth Vines, (1948 - 2005), by my sister Gill, (1940 - 2003), my brother Bill Capper and my sister Liz Capper. I am very grateful to each of them and to their families.
Here is a summary of the events of his life:
Born about 1828, John Capper was the poor and illiterate son of farmer Michael Capper in Armagh, northern Ireland. He escaped the devastating potato famine by enlisting in 1847 with his elder brother in the Royal Artillery of the British army. After service in Woolwich, London, he was posted to Devon, where he met and married schoolmaster’s daughter Ann Avery. During 30 years of marriage 9 children were born, among them my grandfather William J. Capper (sen.). After further postings in eastern England, in Turkey soon after the Crimean War and in Ireland, he was sent to India shortly after the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny. He served in various places there for 12 1/2 years accompanied by wife and family before being discharged. Back in the UK - the eldest daughter stayed in India - he left the army with a reward for meritorious service and a Chelsea Pension and returned with the family to the West Country, where he was employed in government service at Dartmoor prison. At that time son William was born. The family moved to Rochester, where John served at the Borstal Convict Prison. Here wife Ann died in 1882, leaving John with four children still under 18. William was 8 and the youngest, Lizzie only 5. The married older daughter Anne apparently brought up the younger children. Both families, John and children and Anne and husband, moved to Newport, Mon, (Gwent), where John continued in goverment service, now with the Customs, until his retirement in about 1893. He lived there until his death at 68 in 1897.
This is a complete revision of material originally distributed within the family on a CD in 2002 with the intention of making it more suitable for the web today. Various web resources have helped to fill in some gaps. Old documents have been transcribed for better legibility. Material that is now unnecessary as it is easily available in the web has been reduced, removed or can be accessed via links. Source material for family tree details has been heavily reduced and what is purely family tree is now covered by links to separate files.
These and also especially the complete collection of scanned images of John Capper’s army paybook - a key document - have the format .xps. Free reader programs/apps are normally available but may need to be installed on your device.
The above picture was taken from the Capper family picture and is thought to date between 1893 - 1895.
Beau Capper (also known in Germany - nothing to do with this study - as John Capper)