In recounting the very early years of Bible Students in Britain, Bruce and Rachael wrote about Tom Hart and Jonathan Ling. Both names were mentioned in the 1973 Yearbook history of Britain. A paragraph about Ling was extended as a result of research made on Ancestry and also a reference found in Tony Byatt’s book on the history of Bible Students/Witnesses in London.
The combined information reads:
(quote) Thom Hart was born in Calcutta, India, in 1853. At the time of the 1881 Census he had moved his family from the Islington address to 5 Lavinia Grove, Middlesex, London. He was “a carman” for one of the railroads. In another place he called “a railroad shunter.” He and his wife had three children, two sons and one daughter, all under the age of four. Jonathan Ling was born in Blaxhall, Suffolk, early in 1858. The 1891 census has him as a railway guard at Islington, an occupation he still had in 1901. He was married Elizabeth, maiden name unknown, and they have seven children, ranging in ages from one month to 17 years old. He died June 20, 1922. We lack an exact date for Ling’s conversion, but it appears to be early. Ling’s daughter Ruth remembered that their meetings were held in the common room of the King’s Cross hostel, a layover spot for railway workers. (end of quote)
As a result of contacts via Ancestry, I have made contact with one of Ling’s great grand-daughters, Elizabeth. Although the census return referred to above gave Jonathan Ling seven children, it appears he eventually had ten. His wife, Elizabeth, was originally Elizabeth Moody and lived to be 100. The modern Elizabeth’s branch of the family did not remain with the Bible Students.
Great grand daughter Elizabeth (from the line through Jonathan’s son, Lewis Charles Ling) has very kindly supplied the two photographs below, and has given permission for them to be reproduced here. I have not cropped them but just reproduced them as received. Elizabeth has also given permission to reproduce the photographs in the second volume of Separate Identity if required, with just an acknowledgement requested.