As I mentioned in a previous post, Carol Keller whose husband is the great-grandson of William Reed/Farncombe had a document that she'd received from one of his cousins. Some of it has no basis in truth (as far as we know), but some of it may in fact be correct. We haven't really checked it all out, yet.
Sir Edward William James Reed-Holcombe born Sept. 20, 1830 at Sheerness, England. At age 23 was designer of various vessels for the British until he denounced Royalty in Dec. 1856.[William Reed/Farncombe was not SIR anything and his birth was not accurate either. He was, however, a blacksmith/engineer and did emigrate from England in late 1856 or early 1857]
One brother remained in England.[seven out of nine siblings remained in England] Sir Thomas German Reed-Holcombe born at Brighton June 27, 1817---died March 1888.[none of this is accurate excepting the family was from around Brighton, England]
In 1857, Sir Edward William James Reed-Holcombe came to America---arrived under the name of William James Reed.[other than his English name, the rest is accuate, we believe]
Later at the age 25 arrived in Ste. Genevieve, MO from New Orleans, after he was refused entry at New York. there he was taken in by a Catholic Priest---a Jesuit. Later married at age 28 to Ann Francis Granville [Glanville] in 1859.[Carol Keller had already found his entry through New Orleans, so this could be accurate]
(Additional footnote)married at Valle Mines Mo, lived in DeSoto Mo. Owned and operated Reed Carriage Makers. Later built home on farm 5 miles East of De Soto. to them were born 9 children Anna, Allis [Allie], Mammie [Mamie]--Wm, John, George, Walter, James, Charles."[don't know abut the Reed Carriage Makers but the rest is probably true]
So, from this I can deduce that someone in our family knew William Reed was not the name he was born with, and that he had given up his citizenship and come to USA around 1857. Although I'm not sure about Reed Carriage Maker, he did say in a census that he was an engineer and blacksmith. His sons were all involved with the automobile industry, several moving to Detroit during the 1930's to work in automobile assembly, painting, body work. He did marry Francis Glanville (whose parents were both from England) in Valle Mines, Mo and they did live in the DeSoto area.
Everything about his life in USA has the ring of truth, everything about England does not. The only thing that's interesting is the mentioning of Brighton (Pyecombe is just north of Brighton) and the designing vessels. The date of his arrival is fairly close. We KNOW he was here by 1860, but the census indicated he was single. He was married and with a family by 1870.
At this point we have no photos of William Reed/Farncombe. We feel fortunate to have photos of several siblings and his mother.