As a child I loved A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh especially “The House at Pooh Corner”. I also loved the smell of those books with their shiny paper (I don’t know if this was significant, but I’m okay).

Today is Winnie the Pooh’s 85th birthday and to commemorate his author A. A. Milne, has been investigating Milne’s family history:

Educational ancestors

We discovered that Milne came from a family of school teachers. Our first stop was the census records on where we found Milne in the 1891 census. He is recorded at Henley House School, Mortimer Road, Hampstead, aged nine. He is listed as a scholar with his father, John Milne, the schoolmaster. John was born in Jamaica and was married to Sarah Heginbotham. See the record here:

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Ten years later, the 1901 census tells us that Milne’s father had moved on from Henley House School and was the schoolmaster at Streete Court School, Westgate-on-Sea, Kent. Milne was living with his aunt and uncle as a Cambridge undergraduate at this time.

Milne’s uncle, Alexander Milne, was the principal of the Boys’ Private School, University School, Holmesdale Gardens, Hastings. Alexander is listed in the Teachers’ Registration Council Registers 1914-1948 on He registered on 1 July 1919 and his career in education spanned 1871 to 1932. View Alexander’s record here:

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Our research revealed further evidence of teaching in Milne’s family. Milne’s mother and maternal grandmother, both named Sarah Heginbotham, were school mistresses at Brooklyn House, Wellington, Shropshire at the time of the1871 census.

Milne’s paternal grandfather, William Milne, was recorded as being an inspector of schools in the 1861 census, which made us wonder whether he was the catalyst for the family’s teaching tradition.

At the time of the 1911 census, Milne was living at Broadgates, Steeple Bumpstead in Essex with his parents. Milne was recorded as being a journalist, working on his ‘own account and Punch‘. By this time, his father was a retired schoolmaster.

Milne on the move

We were intrigued to find Milne 20 years later in the passenger lists on travelling as a first class passenger to the USA with his wife, Dorothy.

The couple were aboard the Aquitania, which departed Southampton for New York on 21 October 1931. In the detailed log, Milne is described as an author and his address is recorded as being 13 Mallord Street SW3. View the record here:

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As Milne’s ancestry demonstrates, you can glean huge amounts of detail when you find your ancestors in theTeachers’ Registration Council Registers 1914-1948 on We are working in partnership with theSociety of Genealogists to bring you these rich records.

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1 Comment on AA Milne in Findmypast records on Winnie the Pooh’s 85th birthday

  1. Alex says:

    Was Sarah Heginbotham (or her mother) Jewess?

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