History of the Gidney Surname

The original family name was Gedney but subsequently changed to Gidney. The Gedney family crest consisted of a pike – a Celtic weapon to the end of which were 3 pyke fishes.

Henry’s Grandparents

William Gidney was born about 1822 Norwich, He enlisted with the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers. After he married an English Roman Catholic, Margaret. The couple then went to Mauritius with the regiment and had three sons: John – Henry’s father, Frank – who joined the North Staffordshire regiment & rose to high rank during WW2. He was the father of Francis Gidney the first Camp Chief of Gilwell Park & friendto Lord Baden-Powell. William – the youngest son, joined the West Surrey Regiment.

The Northumberland fusiliers were stationed at Mauritius in 1857 & were ordered to proceed to India to help with the Indian Mutiny. The regiment finally reached Lucknow and in defending the residency William Gidney was killed. He was identified and his belongings were sent to the War Office, London. The news of his death was first sent to England and simmered slowly to Mauritius where his widow and three children stayed while the regiment moved to India.

When William’s widow Margaret, heard of the news she died and left the children in the care of a local French lady.   >

Henry’s Parents

John Gidney was a good French Scholar & was appointed to the junior staff of the Mauritius University as a teacher in French. John got in to some domestic trouble & left Mauritius & sailed unknown to his family to Dublin, Ireland, He never visited Mauritius or saw his family again. John & His siblings where offered the Queen Victoria Cadetship but because John was not present he couldn’t take up the offer but Frank & William accepted.

When John left Mauritius & sailed to Ireland in 1864 he remained there for some time but left for domestic reasons once again. John travelled on HMS Highflyer which arrived in Bombay completely wrecked.

When arriving in Bombay penniless, John was forced to accept employment in the excavation of the tunnels for the Bhoor Ghats, GIP Railway. He was then promoted to work in the Loco Department of that railway & now spending most of his time in Igatpuri, He met his further wife Miss Margaret David.

John was a handsome youth and attracted the attention of Miss David. After mass opposition from Miss. David’s guardians (two high court judges), John was finally allowed to marry his Anglo-Indian wife. Margaret was the daughter of a wealthy family who traded in coastal boat traffic in Mahim, Santa Cruz & Vilapara, this is why there was opposition. She was considered one of the most brilliantly educated young woman of her time and at a very early age she was a consultant to the Bombay Government regarding female education within province. She was a well known Linguist & Musician. Margaret died sometime after her third child, Henry.

John Gidney married three times & had children from the first two marriages. His 2nd wife was Anne Jane Guest followed by Philomena Lodwin


Henry had several siblings, There was a total of 12 including himself. They are listed below & some photos above-

John Gidney & Margaret David’s children: Charles, Louisa & Henry

Charles Gidney

Charles William Augustus was born in 1870 ,Igatpuri & married Rose Florence Rees Isitt born 1872. The couple where married for 67 years until the death of Rose in 1959. Charles died aged 97 years with 2 of his 10 children present. Charles & Rose’s children are as followed Jack, Charles, Lemuel, Margaret, Henry, Floyd, Septimus, Harriet, Rose.


Louisa Gidney

Louisa M was born in 1871/2,Igatpuri & married Charles Sullivan in 1894

Henry Albert John was born in 1873, Igatpuri. More info @ Himself.

John Gidney & Anne Jane Guest’s children: Edward, George, Frank, Benjamin, Arthur, Gertrude, Matilda, Anne Jane & Irwin

Edward Daniel Gidney

Edward Daniel was born in 1877 & married Stella E. Duncan, this marriage was childless and Edward remarried the following year to Maud Sophia Small. The couples children are as follow Edward John, Walter Gibbert, Clarence & Dorothy. Walter was said to have died in infancy & the other siblings moved to England at some-point.

  • Edward John Gidney was born in X 1902 and enlisted in the army during his late teens where he was soon sent to Burma where he met his wife and had 2 children. When the Japanese invaded Burma, Edward and his family where forced to evaluate and his wife and son and daughter where sadly killed. Several years later Edward married Maisie Beatrice Guest nee Stewart an Anglo Indian Landlord and Plantation owner and moved to England in 1952 where they had 5 children.

    Edward & Maisie’s Children (4 to the left & Bride)

George Gidney

George Alfred was born in 1879, Igatpuri & married Isabella C. Stewart who was born circa 1882. The couple married in Bombay,1901 were George was an Assistant Collector. The family was living in Poona around 1918 & Isabel died there in 1959 after having 5 children John Stewart, Mackenzie, Stanley Stewart, William & Jean. George & his issue all emigrated apart from Jean to England, Rhodesia & Australia, where George, John & Mackenzie all died. George was aged 93 upon his death.

Frank Gidney

Frank Thomas married Emma Jane Joynt between 1901/1905 in Bombay but is believed to have divorced & married a widower, Rose Cheetham nee Pickett in 1928, when he was aged 50.


Arthur Gidney

Arthur married Elizabeth Stewart whom was born about 1892. They married around 1912 but 2 years later Elizabeth died of Cholera followed by her little son. Arthur married his new wife Stella Watts, who’s extended family were Portuguese Royalty & moved to Australia. The couple had one daughter, Norma.

Gertrude married Arthur Westerling in 1903. The couple had two children, Amelia & Lionel.

Matilda married  Frank E S Coulson in 1906 & had the following children Frances, Matilda, Alicia, Beatrice.

Anne Jane

Irwin died in the second year of his life.

A family get together in 2009 of Desecedants of Edward Daniel Gidney: