William (7) Woodhurst

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Brief biography

William (7) Woodhurst was born apparently in Milton (Milton Regis) near Sittingbourne around 1837 to parents Edward (1) Woodhurst and his wife Frances. His census entries consistently state this as his birthplace. However, the Milton Parish Register appears not to record his christening. Instead, he was christened in London on July 9th 1837 at St. Thomas in Clapton Common, Hackney, the register naming his parents as Edward and Frances. The GRO Birth Index for 1837-38 seems not to record his birth under any surname variant.

The 1841 Census finds him at age "4" living with his mother and siblings at Water Lane in Milton.

The 1851 Census finds him at age "14" living with his parents in Greenwood near Hadley Gate in Enfield.

He has not yet been found in the 1861 Census.

In 1861 he married Mary Ann Newcomb. The certificate [Marriage Index: Bethnal Green 1c 720, 1861 (Dec)] states that they married at the New Parish Church in Bethnal Green on December 25th 1861. He is described as a bachelor and labourer aged 24 residing at 7, Bird Cage Walk, Bethnal Green, and she as a spinster aged "21" residing at 5, Bird Cage Walk. His father Edward (1) is described as a labourer, as so also is her father Frederic [sic] Newcomb. The witnesses were Mary Ann's brother George (Frederick) Newcomb and his wife Sarah (nee Watson), who had married three years previously [Marriage Index: Islington 1b 405, 1858 (Dec)]. The latter couple also witnessed the marriage in 1864 [Marriage Index: Shoreditch 1c 439, 1864 (Sept)] of Mary Ann's sister Esther Newcomb to George Watson, probably the brother of Sarah.

Mary Ann was actually about 18 when she married William (7). Her birth was possibly registered in the Pancras district in the 2nd quarter of 1843, although census records consistently cite her birthplace as Dalston. Her mother was Rebecca (nee) Green, one of several children born in Maidstone, Kent to William Green and his wife Esther (nee Packham) who had married at Chatham, Kent on May 20th 1804 [IGI: Batch M166068]. The 1851 Census finds Mary Ann aged "8" living with her parents and siblings at 35, King Henry Street in Islington, where her father was described as a day labourer. Her mother's birthplace is here entered wrongly as Hackney. The 1861 Census finds her aged "19" still living with her family at the same address and occupied as a laundress. Here her mother's birthplace is given as Kent.

Bird Cage Walk in Bethnal Green no longer exists as such, but corresponded to the north-eastern stretch of today's Columbia Road which joins Hackney Road at the latter's approximate midpoint. William (7) was not living there at the time of the 1861 Census and his whereabouts then are unknown. In 1871, however, Mary Ann's grandmother Esther - then aged "86" - was living there at No. 2 in the household of her married daughter Mary Ann Glover.

William (7)'s first child by Mary Ann was Rebecca (1), who was born in 1865 and died in infancy. He was then living at 6, Boleyn Place in Islington and occupied as a brickfield labourer.

In 1868 their daughter Mary Ann (2) was born in Islington.

In late January 1871 they produced a son William Frederick (2). They were then residing at 13, Prince Edward Street in Islington and William (7) was working as a brickfield labourer. No apparently connected persons were at this address at the time of the 1871 Census five weeks later. In fact No. 13 was marked by the census enumerator as being uninhabited.

The 1871 Census finds the family living at 6, Piercefield Street, Kentish Town in Pancras. William (7) is described as a labourer aged "34" with birthplace Milton in Kent. Also in the household was Mary Ann's unmarried brother Henry Newcomb, aged "19" and also a labourer.

The same Census finds another of Mary Ann's unmarried brothers, James Newcomb, aged "14" and residing at 5, Lawrence Street, West Ham in Essex in the household of a brickfield labourer John (3) Warren. This John (3) was born around 1816-17 in Camden Town and had married Rebecca Green's sister Esther. The 1841 Census finds John (3) and his wife living at Romney Place, St. John-the-Evangelist in Westminster, whilst the 1851 Census finds them living in Norbiton, Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey. In 1858 they witnessed the marriage mentioned earlier of George (Frederick) Newcomb and Sarah Watson. The 1861 Census finds them living in North Lane Brickfield in Aldershot, Hampshire with their birthplaces entered wrongly as Aldershot. By the time of the 1881 Census they were living at 4, Belitha Villas in Southend Lane, Lewisham. John (3) was almost certainly related (e.g. as brother or cousin) to the father Richard of John (1) Warren, in turn the husband of William (7)'s sister Effield, but the precise connection has not yet been ascertained.

In late 1872 William (7) and Mary Ann produced a daughter Frances Ann. They were then living at 31, Howard Road in the South Hornsey subdistrict of Edmonton and William (7) was a general labourer. Frances Ann died in Edmonton about six months later.

In late 1874 they produced a son Edwin John (2) in Hornsey.

In late 1876 they produced a daughter Hannah (2) who died shortly afterwards. They were still living at 31, Howard Road.

In early 1879 they produced a daughter Rebecca Ann in Hornsey.

In early 1881 they produced a son Frederick George in Edmonton.

The 1881 Census finds the family, including their five surviving children, living at 3, Osman Road in Edmonton. William (7)'s age is cited as 44, his birthplace as Milton in Kent and his occupation as ground workman. His wife's age is given as 38. Lodging with them was an unmarried plasterer named John Warren, aged 29 and born in Enfield (close to Edmonton). It is almost certain that this was William (7)'s nephew John (2) Warren, that is, the son of his sister Effield who had married John (1) Warren at Enfield in January 1851.

At this time Mary Ann's parents were living at 70, Morning Lane in Hackney. Her father Frederick is described as a general labourer aged "67" born in Kingsland and her mother Rebecca as aged "62" and born in Maidstone. Mary Ann's uncle may be the William Newcomb whom the same census finds living with wife Sarah at 5, Ottaway Street in Hackney, described as a former brick-maker aged "76" and born in Hackney.

The 1891 Census finds the family with just three children still living at 3, Osman Road. William (7)'s age is cited as "54", his birthplace as Sittingbourne in Kent and his occupation as general labourer. Mary Ann's age is given as "48".

He died aged "59" at Edmonton in 1896 [Death Index: Edmonton 3a 233, 1896 (March)].

The 1901 Census finds his widow Mary Ann aged "59" and two sons still living at 3, Osman Road. She was working as laundress on her own account.

She died at Edmonton aged "62" in 1905 [Death Index: Edmonton 3a 295, 1905 (March)].

Mary Ann's father Frederick died aged "82" at Edmonton in 1896 [Death Index: Edmonton 3a 245, 1896 (Dec)], and her mother Rebecca at Edmonton aged "90" in 1909. They were both buried at Edmonton Cemetery in Plot No. 2287, Section S [descendant's report].

His children by Mary Ann Newcomb

  1. Rebecca (1) Woodhurst
  2. Mary Ann (2) Woodhurst
  3. William Frederick (2) Woodhurst
  4. Frances Ann Woodhurst
  5. Edwin John (2) Woodhurst
  6. Hannah (2) Woodhurst
  7. Rebecca Ann Woodhurst
  8. Frederick George Woodhurst
  9. and possibly others ...