Nina Mabel Foley Bird (nee St Paul) (about 1855 - 1935)
Nina’s Will throws up some interesting questions relating to the ownership of The Rhodrons, why Leslie and not Percy benefited from her estate and the Everdon connection which comes up again, coincidentally this time, I think.
Nina Mabel Florence St Paul married Georgie Bird in the second quarter of 1891. On the census earlier that year, Georgie is shown as living at The Rhodrons, a manor house in Hook, with one servant. They were still living there on the 1901 census with five servants and are still both there on the 1911 census with three servants. The census form says there are 13 rooms (including the kitchen). The Rhodrons is now the home for a social club. Nina is undoubtedly the Mrs G.Bird unveiling the War Memorial, in 1920. I have been in contact with a direct descendant of hers who is researching the St Paul family. She tells me that Nina’s father was Deputy Leiutenant of Northamptonshire and a Justice of the Peace for Northamptonshire. I am also in touch with a direct descendant of Nina's brother, Cecil Harley St Paul. In November 1930, her husband, Georgie Bird, was accidentally run over by a car while pushing his bike. In his Will, which he drew up in 1904, he left £9,927 (worth about £526,000 today using the retail prices index) “unto my dear Wife for her own use absolutely”. Nina lived for just over four more years and died at The Cavendish Nursing Home, Surbiton, Surrey on 8th February 1935. Her home address was still given as The Rhodrons. Probate was obtained 22 March 1935. The gross value of her estate when she died was £78,687-14s-3d (net £68,555-17s-8d) with Estate Duty paid of £14,072-10s-3d. I have transcribed her Will to a large extent. A number of questions arise from this : Her gross estate of £78,687, although it is difficult to value in terms of today's money, if you increase it by the retail price index, amounts to £4.1 million today. This must include the marital home, The Rhodrons. I know from Georgie Bird's Will that he left everything "unto my dear Wife for her own use absolutely" and his estate was only valued at £9,927 (£525k today), which obviously means that either he had gifted her the property before he died or she had owned it in her own right, which is unlikely given that Georgie was living there on the census BEFORE they married and she moved in. Was she wealthy in her own right prior to their marriage ?
Georgie's only brother, Henry Ross Bird, had died in 1926, leaving two sons Leslie and Percy. In Nina's Will, apart from leaving monies and property to her cousin / cousin's son, the next biggest gift was £25,000 (£1.3m) to Leslie Bird. Why didn't Percy get anything - not even a mention ? He was certainly alive and well at the time. (Percy became separated from Marjorie per deed dated December 1933, so Will may well have been drawn up after they separated and could be a reason Percy isn’t mentioned ?)
Finally, and this is really just curiosity and probably a coincidence, Nina left money for the upkeep of her fathers grave in Everdon, Northamptonshire. Did Nina's father, David Richard St Paul, live in Everdon and did their Everdon connection go further back from there ? The village is full of Bird's and I am trying to find a connection with my Bird's.
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