My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book,  Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

GEORGE CHARMAN, who is a well informed and practical florist, is proprietor of the Nisky greenhouses, and does the largest business both in wholesale and retail trade of anyone in Bethlehem. In business and social circles he is held in high regard, being a genial companion and an accommodating friend.

The birth of our subject occurred in Godstone, Surrey, England, July 10, 1861. His father, whose Christian name was also George, was a native of the same place, and there followed farming. His entire life was passed in England, where his death occurred in 1892. He was a devoted member of the Baptist Church, and an honest and upright citizen, possessing the love and respect of all. His wife, formerly Emma Sitford, is a native of Surrey, and still lives on the old homestead. She is also identified with the Baptist Church. Of her live children only one resides in America. Two of her sons are engaged in the floral business, and the other two are bricklayers.

George Charman was reared in Surrey, there attending the common schools, and was only thirteen years of age when he was apprenticed to a florist at Croydon. With him he remained for three years, acquiring practical knowledge of the business, and later becoming a journeyman. Afterward he went to the Royal Gardens in Kew, and there took a course in botany and chemistry, which so far advanced him in his knowledge of the work that he received the largest pay of any one there. For two years he studied everything bearing on his future work, including physics and chemistry, economical, systematic and geographic botany, and received a diploma on the completion of his studies. For two years thereafter he was employed at Sion House as foreman of the conservatories of the Duke of Northumberland, who gave him a valuable certificate when he left his employ.

Coming to America in 1887, Mr. Charman was for a year and a-half engaged in orange growing and gardening in Orange Lake, Fla., where he planted eleven acres in an orange grove. In 1889 he sold out, and coming to Bethlehem, was foreman for E. P. Wilbur for one year, after which, in 1890, he rented the place on the south side of Third Street.

In New York City, July 7, 1890, Mr. Charman married Miss Rhoada C. Woolven, who was born in Wivelsfield, Sussex, in 1863. Her father, William Woolven, who was a native of the same locality, is still engaged in farming there and also carries on a hotel. Her mother, whose maiden name was Mary A. Birchfield, was born and reared in Sussex, and religiously is connected with the Episcopal Church. Mr. and Mrs. Charman are the parents of two children, Kenneth George and Gladys May. After running his greenhouses on Third Street for three years, Mr. Charman in 1892 bought his present site at the corner of Church and Maple Streets, 120x280 feet in dimensions. He owns three greenhouses side by side, 18x160 feet in dimensions, being connected by a corridor 10x50, and covering altogether an area of ten hundred and thirty-two square feet. This property he has built up and improved since becoming its owner in March, 1893. Here may be found everything in the line of flowers and plants, and he also makes a specialty of raising early spring vegetables in hot-beds. In designing he takes the lead, and in cut flowers carries a fine assortment. The green-houses are heated by the hot-water pressure, Mercer system, and are models of their kind. Mr. Charman is a member of the Moravian Church. Politically he votes the Democratic ticket. In a social way he is identified with the Royal Arcanum and the Heptasophs.

* * * *

This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company. 

View additional Northampton County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Northampton County, Pennsylvania Biographies

View a historic 1911 map of Northampton County, Pennsylvania

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.