Margaret Blanche Hubbard (née Sheath) (1902 - 1980)

Margaret was the second child of James and Blanche (née Lavy) Sheath. James Sheath was what would probably nowadays be described as a small business man. He was self-employed and a partner in a firm called Sheath Bros.

The firm was an importer of rubber and rubber goods. Its premises were in City Road in Finsbury a few hundred yards to the north of the City of London. Blanche came from a family which even by Victorian standards could be described as prolific. She was one of fourteen siblings and was somewhere in the middle - born in 1874. Clearly her father Charles Lavy was highly successful as a timber merchant and importer. Blanche herself went to a finishing school in Hamburg. It was in Hamburg that her father had been born. He was a Jew who at some stage converted to Christianity. His family name was, I understand, Meyer. Lavy was accordingly a concocted name based a Middle Eastern name for lion. (On the face of it there is a similarity between it and German Lo"we and Russian Lyev). Margaret's elder sister Frances suffered from Down's Syndrome (just as John's younger brother Ben). Frances was always referred to in the family as George or Georgie - a name that she gave herself. Like Ben she did not survive beyond her mid-forties. The youngest of the family was Laurence with whom Margaret had a strong sisterly bond.

Margaret was thus born and brought up in North London. As a young woman she worked in the City for the large Insurance Company ~ Commercial Union. In the event she did not find office life entirely fulfilling and in her mid-twenties she offered her services to the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.). It seems that C.M.S. considered that she had had a  too nurtured and protected early life to be taken on immediately. Before considering whether to employ her they insisted that she should do a year's work in a city mission in a deprived area in Birkenhead on Merseyside. It seems that she made the grade and was taken on by C.M.S. to work in Nigeria.