Rebecca (2) Woodhurst

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Brief biography

Rebecca (2) Woodhurst was born to parents William (9) Woodhurst and Rebecca (nee) Blackman. She was christened at Frindsbury, Kent on March 1st 1789 [Frindsbury (All Saints) Parish Register], but may have been born at the small village of Hoo about 3 miles north-east of Frindsbury.

She married George (2) Janes at Chatham Parish Church on July 31st 1809 [IGI: Batch M166068; Bishop's Transcripts 1718-1837, Kent Archives, Maidstone]. He was the son of a grocer and dealer George (1) Janes of Bill Street, Frindsbury and the latter's wife Hannah Hudson, and was born around 1787.

George (1) Janes was almost certainly the "Mr. Janes" recorded as having received on November 11th 1816 various groceries assembled for subsequent consumption by paupers in the Frindsbury workhouse [Medway Archives: Original Document P150-Frindsbury-1669-1984/P150-18Ba-01, Overseers of the Poor, Workhouse Receiving Book 1816-1826].

By her first marriage Rebecca (2) produced at least one child, Rebecca.

Her husband George (2) died in 1814 and was buried at age "27" at Frindsbury on April 6th 1814 [All Saints Frindsbury Burials 1775-1861]. Administration of his estate was granted on July 1814 by the Consistory Court of Rochester, naming him as "Janes, George junior, labourer" [West Kent Probate Index 1750-1858].

On November 14th 1816 she remarried - as "Rebecca Janes" - at the Church of St. Lawrence Jewry with St. Mary Magdalene in Gresham Street, London to Alexander (1) Ellis [IGI: Batch M001461]. He was about 24 years older than her. The marriage is recorded in Pallot's Index which notes that she was a widow, that he was a bachelor and that they married by Licence. The original marriage register [Guildhall Library, Corporation of London: MS microfilm 6978, Part 1 (1813-37), Register Entry No. 42] describes her as "of this parish" (i.e. St. Lawrence Jewry) and Alexander (1) as "of the parish of Chatham". They were married by the incumbent vicar A. Burgh. The witnesses were J.(or T.) Friday and Sarah Morgan, whose connections are unknown. The church was the most expensive one ever built (in this case, re-built in the 1670s after the Great Fire) by Sir Christopher Wren. In WW2 it was almost completely destroyed by a German incendiary-bombing raid on December 29th 1940, but was superbly rebuilt in Wren's style in the mid-1950s.

On October 8th 1817 she had both her daughter Rebecca and another daughter Mary Ann jointly christened at Maidstone, declaring the father of the first to be George (2) Janes but the father of the second to be Alexander (1) Ellis [IGI: Batch I005958].

On July 2nd 1821 she and Alexander (1) married a second time, on this occasion at Aylesford [IGI: Batch M036513]. Aylesford lies about three miles north-west of Maidstone and about two miles west of Boxley. It is not yet known why they went through this second ceremony.

It may be that the forenames of Rebecca (2)'s two husbands influenced the forenames chosen by her supposed brother William (1) for his child George Alexander who was born about 1821.

By Alexander (1) she produced at least five further children - Alexander (2), Eliza, Helen Maria, Matilda and Emma Georgina - all christened in Maidstone. It seems probable that Rebecca (2) was living in this period with or near her mother who was apparently in Maidstone until around 1840 [Pigot Directory for Maidstone, 1840].

Alexander (1) was listed in Maidstone's Electoral Register for 1832. His address is given as "Spring Cottage, near Barracks" and his property qualifying him to vote was described as "Building & Garden" [Maidstone Borough Records: MD-REP-1, 1832-1873].

The 1841 Census finds Rebecca (2) living with Alexander (1) and four daughters at York House in New Road, Chatham. This was probably near, or synonymous with, the York Cottage in New Road where Rebecca (2)'s mother had died seven months earlier. The census schedule indicates that Alexander (1) - having (rounded) age "75" - was born in Scotland. He is described as "Independent".

Alexander (1) died in 1847. His death certificate [Death Index: Maidstone 5 264, 1847 (Dec)] states that he died aged "82" on December 24th 1847 at Springfield Cottage, Wharf Lane in Maidstone. He is described simply as a "Gentleman". The cause of death was certified as fungus haemotodes (2 years) and the informant was an Elizabeth Eve of Wharf Lane, present at the death. Her connection is unknown but she may have been his servant. Fungus haemotodes was a general term applied in that period to soft cancers (sarcomas). He was buried at Maidstone on December 31st. A notice of his death was published in the South Eastern Gazette on December 28th and described him as "late gunner R.N., aged 82 years".

In January 1848 Rebecca (2) submitted a claim to the Admiralty for £13 outstanding of Alexander's pension [Nat. Archives ADM 45/23/634]. She was still living at Spring Cottage.

The 1851 Census finds Rebecca (2) widowed at age "60" living at 9, County Place in Maidstone and described as a "pensioner (Govt.)". Also present were her unmarried daughter Rebecca Janes aged "34", her now married daughters Helen Maria and Emma Georgina and their three infant children. The birthplace of Rebecca (2) and of her daughter Rebecca is entered as "Kingsbury" in Kent, but Kent has no such placename and this is presumed to have been a misrendering of Frindsbury.

In 1855 her daughter Rebecca Janes married John Burr.

The 1861 Census finds Rebecca (2) at age "72" living at 132, Windmill Street in Gravesend and described as an annuitant. Also present - as head of household - was her now-widowed daughter "Rebecca Burr" aged "45". The birthplace of both was given as Strood, immediately next to Frindsbury. Also present was her grandson George Ellis Pattenden aged "12".

The 1871 Census finds Rebecca (2) at age "83" still living on her annuity at 132, Windmill Street. Here her birthplace is given as Hoo. Her daughter Rebecca, still there as head of household, is described as born in Frindsbury and living on the 3% dividends of consolidated funds. Also present, besides a servant, was Rebecca (2)'s unmarried daughter Mary Ann Ellis aged "47" and described as an annuitant.

Rebecca (2) died aged "85" in 1873. Her death certificate [Death Index: Gravesend 2a 198, 1873 (Sept)] states that she died on July 15th at 132, Windmill Street and describes her as the widow of a Royal Navy Gunner Alexander Ellis, noting also that she was "on pension". The cause of death was certified as rheumatic gout (many years), paralysis (6 years), anasarca and bedsores. The informant, present at the death, was her grand-daughter Mary Ann Agnes (nee Ellis) Hastings residing at 54, Bermondsey Street in London.

Her children by George (2) Janes

  1. Rebecca Janes - born probably in Frindsbury around 1810-1814
  2. and possibly others ...

Rebecca Janes

Rebecca was christened at Maidstone on October 8th 1817 [IGI: Batch I005958 (misindexed under "Jones")]. On December 18th 1817 she was conditionally bequeathed 10 pounds in the Will of her grandfather George (1) Janes. The Will confirms that her father George (2) Janes had already died.

The 1851 Census finds her living with her widowed mother in Maidstone. In 1855 she married in the City of London to John Burr. They were married by Banns on October 25th 1855 [IGI: Batch M001461] at the same church where her mother had married her step-father Alexander (1) in 1816, namely St. Lawrence Jewry with St. Mary Magdalene in Gresham Street. The marriage certificate [Marriage Index: London 1c 207, 1855 (Dec)] describes them as both "of full age", John being a widowed farmer and Rebecca a spinster. They both gave their address as 16, Wood Street, which intersects with Gresham Street. His father is described as a farmer, also called John Burr, and hers as a butcher George (2) Janes. The witnesses were John Parker, whose connection is unknown, and Rebecca's half-sister Mary Ann.

A few years later John Burr died, on June 16th 1858 [Death Index: Hollingbourne 2a 322, 1858 (June)]. His Will was proved on July 26th by the oath of Rebecca acting as sole executor. He was described as a farmer and his effects were valued at under £1,500. Up to this time he and Rebecca had been living at Langley Lodge in Chartway Street, Sutton Valence.

Rebecca was living at 132, Windmill Street, Gravesend during the 1861 and 1871 Censuses and her mother was also there. The 1881 Census finds her in London - recorded as simply "R. B." - as a patient in the St. Luke's Hospital for Lunatics in Old Street, City Road. It describes her as a widow of a farmer, aged "71", a lunatic and born in Frindsbury (mis-spelled as "Finsbury") in Kent. Mary Ann was still living at 132, Windmill Street, now as head of household.

Rebecca remained at the St. Luke's Hospital, dying there on November 5th 1887 [Death Index: Holborn 1b 515, 1881 (Dec)]; the latter source gives her age as "78". Her Will was proved on February 7th 1888, the executors being Mary Ann and a solicitor Humphrey Wickham of Strood. She left personal estate valued at the very considerable sum of £1380.

Her children by Alexander (1) Ellis

  1. Alexander (2) Ellis
  2. Mary Ann Ellis
  3. Eliza Ellis
  4. Helen Maria Ellis
  5. Matilda Ellis
  6. Emma Georgina (or Georgiana) Ellis
  7. and possibly others ...

Mary Ann Ellis

Mary Ann was christened jointly with her half-sister Rebecca Janes at Maidstone on October 8th 1817 [IGI: Batch I005958], her father being named as Alexander (1) Ellis. The 1841 Census appears to find her at age "23" living in the household of a fishmonger George Hills in Wharf Lane, Maidstone, where she was occupied as a female servant. The 1851 Census possibly finds her at age "28" living at the Vicarage in Plumstead Road, Plumstead occupied as a servant to the incumbent vicar, with her birthplace given as Yalding which is about 5 miles south-west of Maidstone. In 1855 she witnessed the marriage in London of her half-sister Rebecca. The 1871 Census finds her at age "47" unmarried and living on an annuity with her mother and half-sister Rebecca in Gravesend. The 1881 Census finds her at age "63" still living at this same property in Windmill Street, but now as head of household and occupied in letting apartments. Also present was a married and illegitimate daughter of hers, Mary Ann Agnes (nee Ellis) Hastings, born in Maidstone in 1839 and described as the wife of a licensed victualler. Mary Ann (senior) died aged in 1898. Her death certificate [Death Index: Gravesend 2a 381, 1898 (March)] states that she died aged "80" on March 3rd 1898 at 132, Windmill Street in Gravesend, describing her as a lodging house keeper. The cause of death was certified as cardiac disease and exhaustion. The informant, present at the death, was an E. Baker of 50, Peppercroft Street in Milton (in Gravesend), whose connection is unknown.

Mary Ann Agnes was born in 1839 [Birth Index: Maidstone 5 260, 1839 (Sept)] and was christened as a teenager, with only her mother Mary Ann being named as a parent in the register, at Maidstone on December 6th 1854 [IGI: Batch I005490]. In 1859 she married John Thomas Pooles [Marriage Index: London City 1c 193, 1859 (Dec)]. They married on November 9th 1859 at St. Lawrence Jewry with St. Mary Magdalene in Gresham Street, London [IGI: Batch M001461]. John Thomas was christened on July 1st 1833 at Boston, Lincolnshire [IGI: Batch C011334] to parents John Pooles and Elizabeth Brough Parker, who had married there in 1819 [IGI: Batch M011331]. The 1871 Census finds Mary Ann Agnes living at 54, Bermondsey Street in Bermondsey, Surrey as the wife of a licensed victualler "Thomas Hastings". There were no children with them. The schedule describes Thomas as born around 1833-34 in Boston, Lincolnshire and so it appears that, for reasons unknown, he had adopted "Hastings" as a surname alias. Mary Ann Agnes was still at this Bermondsey address in 1873 when Rebecca (2) died. By 1881 Thomas was a licensed victualler in the "Star and Garter" at 25, Pattison Road in Plumstead, described as married but accompanied there only by an unmarried barmaid Elizabeth Hall - born at Maldon in Essex - and a servant. In 1881 Mary Ann Agnes may have been just visiting her mother for the census. The 1891 Census finds her living with her mother at the Windmill Street house and living on her own means. It appears that she had by then separated from Thomas, who was now living on his own means at Sidney (or Sydney) Lodge in Purrett Road, Plumstead with a new "wife", this being the barmaid Elizabeth who had been with him in 1881. They had four children with them. Thomas died - as "John Thomas Hastings" - in 1899 aged "65" [Death Index: Woolwich 1d 826, 1899 (March)]. The 1901 Census finds his widow Elizabeth aged "44" living with four daughters at the same address as in 1891 and living on her own means.

Now free to remarry, Mary Ann Agnes soon afterwards married a widower John Nordish [Marriage Index: Gravesend 2a 1150, 1899 (Dec)]. The 1901 Census finds her living with him at 54, Windmill Street in Milton Parish, Gravesend where he was occupied as a "doctor of animals". In earlier censuses he was variously a butcher and horse slaughterer. She died aged "61" soon after this census [Death Index: Gravesend 2a 334, 1901 (June)].

Alexander (2) Ellis

Alexander (2) is recorded in an Admiralty school admissions file [ADM 73/221/62] in the National Archives; the file has yet to be fully examined. It states that he was born on January 8th 1819 and was christened at Maidstone on March 21st 1819, noting that his (correctly-named) parents had married on November 14th 1816. It also states that he had been admitted to the Greenwich Hospital School, but provides no date for this. Nothing more is currently known of him.

Eliza Ellis

Eliza was christened at Maidstone on October 27th 1820 [IGI: Batch I005959]. The 1841 Census finds her living with her parents in Chatham. On December 30th 1845 she married at St James the Less Church in Bethnal Green's St Matthew Parish to a farmer John Richard Miskin, giving her address as Beaumont Cottage in Lark Row (Bethnal Green) and her father's occupation as "Officer in the Navy". Her sister Emma Georgina was one of the witnesses. John was christened at Gravesend on December 1st 1824. A descendant's reports states that he and Eliza emigrated to South Africa in October 1848, together with two children born in Kent. In South Africa they produced several more. Eliza is reported to have died in December 26th 1912 at Ficksburg in Free State province.

Helen Maria Ellis

Helen Maria was christened at Maidstone on January 9th 1824 [IGI: Batch I005355]. She married George Green Pattenden by Licence on June 5th 1848 at St. Nicholas in Rochester [IGI: Batch M135093]. The marriage certificate [Marriage Index: Medway 5 469, 1848 (June)] describes them as "both of full age". He was a widower and butcher living at Maidstone and she was a spinster living at St. Nicholas. His father Robert Pattenden is described as a butcher and hers, Alexander (1) Ellis, as a "gunner in the Royal Navy". The witnesses were Ellen Henrietta Henniker and Edmund Henniker, whose connections are unknown. Edmund was probably the Edmund Henniker whom the 1851 Census finds living at age 55 with his wife and children at 347, High Street in Chatham and occupied as a gun smith and Army clothier [PRO Ref: HO107 Piece 1610 Folio 391 Page 2]. Ellen may have been his sister or daughter; she married in 1850 [Marriage Index: N. Aylesford 5 479, 1850 (Sept)].

They produced at least one child George Ellis Pattenden [Birth Index: Maidstone 5 333, 1849 (Sept)].

Various Pattenden researchers state the following: George Green Pattenden was christened at Boxley on February 24th 1807 and first married there to Jane Fowle on August 22nd 1832; Jane was born at Boxley on October 18th 1804 to parents William Fowle and his wife Mary (nee Pattenden) and was christened there on July 21st 1817; George Green and Jane produced four children of whom only two - Edward Robert (christened at Maidstone on July 31st 1833) and Jane [Birth Index: Maidstone 5 309, 1842 (Dec)] - survived infancy; Jane (senior) was buried at Boxley on March 10th 1847 [Death Index: Maidstone 5 285, 1847 (March)].

In 1840 George Green was a butcher living at 6, Week Street in Maidstone [Pigot Directory for Maidstone, 1840]. He may have been the "George Pattenden" listed in the Maidstone Borough Electoral Register of 1845, described as then living in Sandling Road and eligible to vote by virtue of possessing a house valued above 10 pounds. Following his second marriage to Helen Maria, the 1851 Census finds him with his son Edward Robert (entered as "Robert") living in Week Street where they were both occupied as butchers. His daughter Jane was meanwhile boarding at age "9" at 11, St. Thomas Square in Hackney, for reasons unknown. He is believed to have died in 1855. The 1861 Census finds Edward Robert at age "30" living in Greenwich and occupied as a butcher. The 1871 Census finds him at age "40" living in Greenwich and occupied as a journeyman butcher. The 1891 Census finds him at age "50" living in Greenwich and occupied as a dealer. He died aged "66" in 1902 [Death Index: Greenwich 1d 648, 1902 (Dec)]. Pattenden researchers state that Edward Robert married three times, to Jane Ann Muncaster (at St. Saviour, Southwark on October 29th 1860), to Mary Ann (nee Wilkins) Jenkins [Marriage Index: St. Saviour 1d 180, 1883 (Dec)] and to Elizabeth (nee?).

Some time after the death of George Green, Helen Maria emigrated to Australia. She married there to Darius Bouscarle on May 10th 1870 [Register of Marriages in 1870: Bourke County, Colony of Victoria]. The register names her and her parents fully and correctly. She is described as a dressmaker aged "42", a widow since 1855 and as having had one child (i.e. George Ellis) who was still living. Her father Alexander (1) is described as having been a Naval Officer. Darius, a bachelor aged "49", was born in Marseilles, France and was occupied as a boot maker. He had applied for naturalization in 1869 [National Australian Archives Reference: 1869/U4153]. She died aged "70" (nearer 76) on January 27th 1898 [Register of Deaths in 1898: Traralgon District, Bourke County, Colony of Victoria]. The register again names her and her parents fully and correctly, again describing her father as a Naval Officer and also giving correctly her birthplace and the name and birthyear of her son. She had been living in Traralgon Street.

George Ellis Pattenden married Elizabeth Ross McLachlan in 1879. The marriage certificate [Register of Marriages in 1879: Queensland, Reg. No. 1879/000567] describes him as a bachelor and carter aged 30 with birthplace Maidstone and residing in Millchester, Queensland and her as a spinster aged 18 with birthplace Glasgow, Lanarkshire and also residing in Millchester. His father is described as a butcher and hers, John McLachlan, as a carter. Her mother is named as Elizabeth Ross (nee) McGregor. The marriage took place on July 21st 1879 at St. Paul's Church in Charters Towers, which lies west of Townsville. The witnesses were John McLachlan (presumably her father) and Matilda Keary whose connection is unknown.

The above details concerning Helen Maria and George Ellis Pattenden are mostly owed to research undertaken by Kelly Woodhurst.

Matilda Ellis

Matilda was christened at Maidstone on May 23rd 1825 [IGI: Batch I005355]. The 1841 Census finds her living with her parents in Chatham. She may have married in 1851 [Marriage Index: Maidstone 5 413, 1851 (June)] or in 1855 [Marriage Index: Medway 2a 523, 1855 (Dec)]. Nothing more is currently known of her.

Emma Georgina (or Georgiana) Ellis

Emma Georgina was christened (as "Emma Georgiana") at Maidstone on February 20th 1828 [IGI: Batch I005355]. She married William Henry Oliver in 1848 [Marriage Index: London 2 132A, 1848 (June)]. They married on April 22nd at St. Lawrence Jewry with St. Mary Magdalene in Gresham Street [IGI: Batch M001461]; the latter source mistranscribes William's surname as "Aliner". They appear to have undergone a second marriage ceremony a few months later [Marriage Index: London 2 150, 1848 (Dec)], possibly in a Catholic church.

William Henry was a son of Nathaniel Oliver and Sarah Lawrence, who had married on September 20th 1820 at St. George in Hanover Square, London [IGI: Film 170464]. He was christened at St. James in Paddington on January 23rd 1825 [IGI: Batch C079031]. A sister of his, Emma "Laurence" Oliver, was christened there on May 1st 1831 [IGI: Batch C079032] and in 1849 married to George Keay [Marriage Index: Camberwell 4 39, 1849 (June)]. Emma Laurence died the following year [Death Index: Richmond S. 4 299, 1850 (Dec)].

William Henry and Emma produced - in Lowestoft, Suffolk - at least two children, Edith Oliver [Birth Index: Mutford 13 461, 1849 (Sept)] and Emma Laurence Keay Oliver [Birth Index: Mutford 13 536, 1851 (March)] who was christened at Lowestoft on May 4th 1851 [IGI: Batch C131962]. Clearly the second of these children was named in memory of William Henry's recently deceased sister.

The 1851 Census finds Emma with these two daughters at the home of her widowed mother in Maidstone, perhaps just visiting her for the occasion of the census. William Henry was meanwhile living in the High Street, Lowestoft where he was described as aged "25", born in Bayswater (next to Paddington), married and occupied as a master painter employing 2 men and 4 boys.

They may also have produced a son Edgar Oliver in Lowestoft [Birth Index: Mutford 4a 676, 1853 (June)].

In 1854 the family emigrated to Canada. In Ontario they produced further children Winifred Sarah Oliver (born January 1st 1854), Nathaniel Ellis Oliver (born around 1858), Florence M. Oliver (born around 1860), Bertha R. Oliver (born around 1861) and at least one other.

In 1872 Emma and William Henry emigrated from Canada to Illinois, America. The US 1880 Census finds them living with their daughters Winifred and Bertha in La Salle township, La Salle County in Illinois. The same census finds their daughter Emma Laurence Keay unmarried and living (perhaps boarding) in the household of an Odelia Wilkinson in Chicago, Cook County in Illinois. The same census finds their son Nathaniel occupied as a physician and living in the household of another physician in Lake View, Cook County. He married Minnie E. Bradley in Cook County on September 27th 1881 and produced by her at least six children. She died in Cook County on February 10th 1902.

Their daughter Edith married at age 24 in Petrolia, Lambton in Ontario on October 23rd 1873 to a Scot named David McKenzie, then aged 39 and occupied as a lumber dealer. The marriage register names her parents as William H. Oliver and Emma G. Oliver, and his parents as David and Ann McKenzie. The witnesses were R. Lawyer, E.D. Kirby and Edith's mother Emma. The Canada 1881 Census finds Edith and David living in Petrolia where he was now occupied as a merchant. Also present was Edith's unmarried sister Winifred. Edith appears to have remained in Canada until David's death, following which she too emigrated to America, in 1900. Winifred remained unmarried and died on August 23rd 1948 in Orange State, California. Florence also remained unmarried and died in Cook County on June 21st 1933. Bertha also remained unmarried and died in Cook County on February 17th 1906 aged "42".

William Henry Oliver died in Cook County on May 19th 1892 aged "69".

The above details, besides others not presented here, concerning the descendants of Emma Georgina and William Henry are mostly owed to research undertaken by Kelly Woodhurst.