Faulder Family Genealogy

30 August, 2020

Are We Related: George Willett (2. b ~1862 at Henham)

This post, and its pair, is in response to a comment about a possible relationship between the Willetts (from Colchester – “my ancestors” as researched elsewhere on this website) and a line of Willetts in the East End of London identified by Lee Willett. The key link seems to be a George Willett born around 1862 or 1863. Branches of the Colchester Willetts migrated to the East End.

The first post revalidated how I am related to the George Willett born in Whitechapel – a descendant of Everard Willett of Colchester. This post examines how Lee’s ancestors may be related to this George Willett.

Lee Willett’s Family Tree

Lee reported:

John Willett’s son George (1862 – 1936) is my Great, Great Grand Father.
And then his first son Arthur Willett (1890-1978) was my Great Grandad.

Quote from Lee’s earlier email

We are agreed that John Willett had a son George born in about 1862. Lee has a George born about 1862 married to Emily Smith, who had a number of children including Arthur born in 1890.

However Lee’s belief about George’s family would seem to conflict with what I have found of George, the son of John Willett – particularly that he was definitely single at the time of the 1901 Census and from the 1911 Census it would seem that he has a different family to that suggested by Lee.

Basically there are two George Willetts in the East End who were born in 1862.

This post tries to establish the ancestry of Lee’s George Willett – we may be related further back. I already have a major exercise to do to try and reconcile “Willetts in Essex” in an attempt to break-back to further generations.

George Willett and son Arthur

The previous post identified 5 possible George Willets in the 1911 Census (repeated below).

No.AddressNameRelation
-ship
Marital StatusSexAgeImplied Year of BirthOccupationPlace of Birth
11 New Road Denton
Newhaven
George WillettHeadMarriedMale511860PlatelayerEast Croydon
Surrey
2Victoria St
Littleport, Cambs
George WillettHeadMarriedMale491862Farm LabourerLittleport
Cambridgeshire
369 Water Ln
Brixton
George WillettHeadMarriedMale501861Carpenter And JoineryMiddlesex
467 E Av Manor Pk E,
East Ham
George WillettHeadMarriedMale471864General AssistantWhitechapel
Middlesex
5129 Manby Rd Cann Hall
Stratford
George WillettHeadMarriedMale481863Labourer RailwayHenham
Essex

1911 Census Possibilities for George Willett

No.4 was identified as the George Willett whose ancestry can be traced back to the Willets of Colchester. The family in Lee’s records – father George Willett (b~1862) and Son Arthur Willett (b~1890) would appear to be No.5 in the list.

These two individuals appear as a family unit in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 Censuses.

In 1911 they were at 129 Manby Road Cann Hall Stratford N T, Cann Hall

NameRelationshipMarital StatusSexAgeImplied Year of BirthOccupationPlace of Birth
George WillettHeadMarriedMale481863Labourer, RailwayHenham, Essex
Emily WillettWifeMarriedFemale471864Henham, Essex
Arthur WillettSonSingleMale201891Boiler makerStratford, Essex
George N WillettSonMale71904Stratford, Essex

1911 Census for George Willett b Henham Essex

In 1901 they were at 76, Maryland Road, West Ham

NameRelationshipMarital StatusSexAgeImplied Year of BirthOccupationPlace of Birth
George WillettHeadMarriedMale381863Loco Boiler ?Henham, Essex
Emily WillettWifeMarriedFemale371864Henham, Essex
Arthur WillettSonMale101891Stratford, Essex
Maud WillettDaughterFemale91892Stratford, Essex
Jane WillettDaughterFemale61895Stratford, Essex
Annie WillettDaughterFemale41897Stratford, Essex
William SmithBoarderSingleMale181883Engine CleanerPeldon, Essex
George SearleBoarderSingleMale221879Joint Makers AsstBishops Stortford, Hertfordshire

1901 Census for George Willett b Henham Essex

In 1891 they were at Crownfield Road, Wanstead, West Ham

NameRelationshipMarital StatusGenderAgeImplied Year of BirthOccupationPlace of Birth
George WillettHeadMarriedMale281863LabourerHenham, Essex
Emily WillettWifeMarriedFemale271864Henham, Essex
Arthur W WillettSonMale01891Stratford, Essex

1891 Census for George Willett b Henham Essex

This family would also seem to be an Essex rooted Willett Family; Henham consistently appears as a place of birth for George. Whether it is related to “my” Willetts – descendants of Thomas Willett (died 1808) of Colchester is not yet clear. However I don’t think George Willett (b~1862) is the common relative. I think mine was born in Whitechapel, Middlesex and Lee’s was born in Henham, Essex.

Essex showing Henham Parish
Essex showing Henham Parish
background orange colour indicates Essex
red boundaries and names indicate Registration Districts
brown boundaries and names indicate Poor Law Unions
light grey names indicate selected settlements
(from LDS: England Jurisdictions 1851 Map Data © Google 2020)

Henham parish is a few kilometres North of modern-day Stansted Airport and covers Henham Village and number of small hamlets; Little Henham, Woodend Green, and Plegdon Green. The Village of Elsenham lies just to the west of the Parish Boundary. If someone says they were born in Henham, Essex, (as opposed to Henham in Wangford, NE Suffolk) it is likely they were from the parish – rather than in some nearby place like Stansted. The parish is in Bishops Stortford Registration District which spans the Essex – Hertfordshire county boundary.

Ancestors of George Willett born 1862 Henham Essex.

Ideally George should be traceable back through another 2 censuses, 1881 and 1871 when he would have been 18 and 8 respectively. One if not both would probably show him with his parents. Unfortunately they do not show up on the main subscription sites.

George’s and Emily’s Births and Marriage are found on Free BMD.

EventDateNameDistrictVolumePage
BirthQ4 1862George WillettBishops Stortford3a197
BirthQ1 1864Emily SmithBishops Stortford3a213
MarriageQ4 1889George WillettEdmonton3a319
Emily Smith

Free BMD entries for George Willett (b Henham)

This would seem to be the only birth record reasonably consistent with census details seen for George.

Census YearNameRelationshipMarital StatusSexAgeImplied Year of BirthOccupationPlace of Birth
1911George WillettHeadMarriedMale481863Labourer, RailwayHenham, Essex
1901George WillettHeadMarriedMale381863Loco Boiler ?Henham, Essex
1891George WillettHeadMarriedMale281863LabourerHenham, Essex
1881/71Not (yet found)UnmarriedMale

Summary George Willett (b~1863 Henham) per Census records

Given that Henham is in the North East corner of Bishops Stortford Registration District, a search was also done on Dunmow and Saffron Walden Registration Districts for any further George Willet(t)s born 1862 +/- 2 years; both were unsuccessful on the GRO Birth Indices and the FreeBMD Indices.

Bishop Stortford RD and its Neighbours to the North and East
Bishop Stortford RD and its Neighbours to the North and East (background colour indicates Hertfordshire/Essex)
(from LDS: England Jurisdictions 1851 Map Data © Google 2020)

Edmonton RD (Registration District), where he was married in 1889 covered the following civil parishes:

  • Cheshunt, Hertfordshire
  • Edmonton, Middlesex
  • Enfield, Middlesex (but part in Hertfordshire from 1889 to 1894)
  • Hornsey, Middlesex
  • Tottenham, Middlesex
  • Waltham Holy Cross, Essex
Edmonton Registration District and ecclesiastical parishes (background colour indicates Middlesex/Hertfordshire/Essex)
Edmonton All Saints Parish
Southgate Parish
Upper Edmonton Parish
(from LDS: England Jurisdictions 1851 Map Data © Google 2020)

We therefore know the following locations for George:

  • 1862: Henham Essex – birth
  • 1889: Edmonton RD (as defined above) – marriage
  • 1891: Crownfield Road, Wanstead, West Ham (West Ham RD) – census
  • 1901: 76, Maryland Road, West Ham – census
  • 1911: 129 Manby Road Cann Hall Stratford N T, Cann Hall

His children are shown as being born in “Stratford, Essex” which is consistent with his locations in the census records of that time. Crownfield Road (1891) is about 1km north of Central Stratford and in the same modern day postal district of E15. Maryland Road (1901) is also E15 but even closer to central Stratford. Cann Hall (1911) is also Stratford.

Part of West Ham Registration District including parts of Stratford St John Parish
Maryland road is within the Parish
Crownfield Road and Cann Hall Road run just to the North of the Parish
(from LDS: England Jurisdictions 1851 Map Data © Google 2020)

No baptisms of George seem to appear on the subscription sites or Family Search or FreeReg.

We do know however that FreeReg is not yet a comprehensive transcription of a comprehensive set of parish registers. In particular the 1862 Baptismal Registers for the area of interest appear to be untranscribed as as 28 August 2020.

Essex Records Office hold the Parish Records for the Anglican (St. Mary the Virgin) and Congregational Churches in Henham. These would be the most comprehensive list of baptisms and they can only be accessed by subscription. (It is unlikely but possible that some records ended up in Hertfordshire Archives.)

Looking at the GRO Birth Indices (free access but registration required) shows a birth consistent with details seen for George in later Census Records and in FreeBMD (see earlier):

Name: WILLETT, GEORGE 
Mother’s Maiden Surname: –
GRO Reference: 1862 D Quarter in OF THE BISHOP-STORTFORD UNION Volume 03A Page 197

Details from GRO Birth Indices for “Willett (Soundex), George (male), b Bishops Stortford RD 1862 +/-2yr”

One of the benefits of the GRO Indices is that it gives the Mother’s maiden name (something which FreeBMD – and others – don’t do until the C20th). In this instance no mother’s maiden name is given; in other instances this has been found to be because no father is named. It might possibly be because the mother was widowed prior to the birth.

Buying the Birth Certificate (as a downloadable pdf) for this GRO entry reveals a little extra information:

Superintendent Registrar’s District: of the Bishop Stortford Union;
Registrar’s District: Stansted;
Year: 1862; Births in the District of: Stansted; in the county of: Essex;
No: 135;
When Born: Twenty Second November 1862, Henham;
Name: George;
Sex: Boy;
Name and Surname of Father: -;
Name and Maiden Surname of Mother: Ann Willett;
Rank or Profession of Father: -;
Signature and Description of Informant: Ann Willett, Mother;
Residence of Informant: Henham;
When Registered: Sixteenth December 1862;
Signature of Registrar: Henry Hockley, Registrar;

Details on the Birth Certificate of George Willett b Henham: GRO Reference: 1862 D Quarter in OF THE BISHOP-STORTFORD UNION Volume 03A Page 197
Birth Certificate of George Willett b Henham: GRO Reference: 1862 D Quarter in OF THE BISHOP-STORTFORD UNION Volume 03A Page 197
© Crown Copyright: Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

We learn that George was born on 22 November 1862, that his mother was Ann Willett (current and maiden surname) of Henham, but that his father is unrecorded. Unless Ann had married another Willett and was now widowed (which we have seen elsewhere), it is likely that she was unmarried.

We have already established that short of a visit to Essex Record Office (or a short paid online subscription) to examine parish registers we will not find baptism records for this George.

Ann Willett was probably born as Ann Willett in or around Henham and is likely to have been between 14 and say 44 at the time of George’s birth (that is she was born between the years of 1818 and 1848).

Searching FreeReg between 1818 and 1862 for Ann Willett gives a small number of records; none of which look particularly promising

PersonEventDatePlaceComment
Ann WILLETTBurial12 Mar 1821Wimbish : All SaintsBurial - not applicable
Ann WILLETTBaptism20 Jun 1822Wimbish : All SaintsTwo parishes away - unlikely
Ann WILLET
William DELLOW
Marriage14 Oct 1822Henham : St Mary the VirginIf married she would not be Ann Willet in 1862
Julia Ann WILLETTBaptism25 Jun 1826Wimbish : All SaintsTwo parishes away - unlikely
Mary Ann WILLET
Joseph PERRY
Marriage15 Apr 1828Shalford : St AndrewIf married she would not be Ann Willet in 1862
Ann WILLETBurial20 Mar 1834Henham : St Mary the Virgin34yo when buried therefore born outside the 1818 to 1848 time horizon
Ann WILLETT
Henry CORNELL
Marriage08 Dec 1834Thaxted : St John the BaptistIf married she would not be Ann Willet in 1862
Ann WILLETT
George ARCHER
Marriage08 Jan 1835Great Sampford : St MichaelIf married she would not be Ann Willet in 1862
Sarah Ann WAYLETTBurial17 Oct 1850Great Sampford : St MichaelBurial - not applicable
Aida Anne Alice WILLETTBaptism13 Jan 1856Saffron Walden : St Mary the VirginToo young to have been a mother in 1862

Looking for Ann Willett (b between 1818 and 1848) prior to end of 1862

From the above records the most likely are:

  • Ann Willett, bap 20 Jun 1822, Wimbish : All Saints (dau of John & Betsey Willett of Wimbish, Farmer)
  • Julia Ann Willett, bap 25 Jun 1826, Wimbish : All Saints (dau of Thos and Eliz Willett of Wimbish, Farmer)

Wimbish is North East of Henham with Debden parish in between.

If instead, we go back to census records and look in the area for an unmarried Ann Willett born say in Henham (or an adjacent parish) in the 1851 or 1861 census, we can tell if there are Ann Willetts who we have not yet found in transcriptions of baptismal records.

Two records are found:

  1. in 1851 for an 8yo Ann Willett (b~1843) with her parents, Newman and Mary Willett in Wood End Green, Henham.
  2. in 1841, 1851 and 1881 for a 7, 17 & 40yo Sarah Ann Willett (b~1834/41) with parents William and Mary in Wood End Green, Henham (single in 1841, “married” as Sarah Ann Willett in 1851, “widowed” as Sarah Ann Willett in 1881)

It was at this point that I found the Henham History Website. It has transcriptions of Census records and Parish registers (beyond those covered by FreeReg) and even two Willett family pages!

Checking for George (b~1862) in Henham, or for his mother Ann Willett on this website finds:

Willett, George, Son of Anne of Henham, bap 2nd July 1865 at St Marys, Henham

Extract from Transcription of Henham Parish Registers on Henham History Website

There are no other baptism records for a George where the mother is Ann(e) in the correct time frame. The delay of about 2½ years from birth is probably not significant. He was not baptised with any siblings – unless his siblings were born later and carried their father’s name.

There is also a single possible baptism for Ann(e) in the probable time frame (1818-1848)

Willet, Anne, Dau of Newman, Labourer & Mary of Henham, bap 4th December 1842 at St Marys Henham

Extract from Transcription of Henham Parish Registers on Henham History Website

The Census transcriptions on the Henham History website do not reveal any records for Ann(e) or George in the 1871 or 1881 Censuses at Henham.

It is possible that they were in the workhouse – which for Henham was the Union Workhouse at Haymeads in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. Searching the Hertfordshire census for these individuals (in workhouses often merely recorded as Initial and Surname – sometimes not even named) fails to show them in the workhouse. (Only one Willet(t) was found there; Thomas Willett – in the 1861 Census – an 11 year old born in Stockport.)

(There is however a Census entry in 1861 for an 18 year old (born Henham, Essex) Ann Willett at 15 Marlborough Place in Camberwell where she is a House Servant. This entry is consistent with the Baptism Register Transcript above – it was the only entry on theGenealogist.co.uk for an Ann Willett at Henham born 1842 +/-5yrs.)

It is also consistent with the 1851 Census for the family of Newman and Mary Willett in Wood End Green, Henham, referred to previously.

The other possibility that has to be explored is that Ann Willett subsequently married and if we can find her on either the 1871 or 1881 Census, we might also find George.

Searching FreeBMD for marriages of Ann* Will?t* from Q4 1862 (George’s birth when we believe she was single) to Q1 1881 (the limit of the proposed subsequent census search) in Essex and Hertfordshire, we get one Entry:

Bishops Stortford Q4 1864 (Volume: 3a; Page 292): 2 Marriages involving:

Bartropp Harriet
Bartropp Harriette
Collop Edward
Smith Arthur
Willett Ann
People involved in marriages matching the above search criteria

From Free BMD you cannot match Brides and Grooms. However an Edward Collop is found in the 1871 Census with a wife Harriet at Theydon Garnon, Epping, which encourages us to think that Ann Willett (if it is the right Ann Willett) married an Arthur Smith and it may be worth searching through Smith households in the Census for subsequent years.

Fortunately it is possible on TheGenealogist.co.uk to search for a family. Searching Essex Census records for Arthur Smith, plus Ann, born about 1843, yields no results. Doing the same for Hertfordshire records yield 3 results which have Arthur as the head of household and Ann b~1843 as his wife:

CensusNameAgeImplied YoBRelationBirth PlaceOccupation
1871 @ Old Meed Road, HenhamArthur Smith271844HeadThaxstead, EssexAg Labourer
Ann Smith281843WifeHenham, Essex
George Smith91862SonHenham, EssexAg Labourer
Emily Smith21869DaughterHenham, Essex
1881 @ Henham VillageArthur Smith381843HeadHenham, EssexAgricultural Labourer
Ann Smith391842WifeHenham, Essex
George - 191862SonHenham, EssexAgricultural Labourer
Emily Smith121869DaughterHenham, EssexScholar
Alice Smith81873DaughterHenham, EssexScholar
Elizabeth Smith21879DaughterHenham, EssexScholar
Mary Ann61875DaughterHenham, EssexScholar
1891 @ Debden RoadArthur Smith471844HeadHenham, EssexAgricultural Labourer
Ann Smith481843WifeHenham, Essex
Elizabeth Smith121879DaughterHenham, EssexScholar
Alfred Smith71884SonHenham, EssexScholar
Charles Smith41887SonHenham, Essex

Arthur Smith and Wife Ann (b 1843): Census records

This looks like the same family in both years. If we lookup the children’s births in the GRO Index we will discover their mother’s maiden name:

QuarterNameMother's Maiden SurnameReference
George SmithNo Matching Results Found
Q2 1869Emily SmithWillettBISHOP STORTFORD UNION Volume 03A Page 231
Q3 1873Mary AnnWillettBISHOPS STORTFORD Volume 03A Page 271
Q2 1875Alice SmithWillettBISHOPS STORTFORD Volume 03A Page 282
Q1 1879Elizabeth SmithWillettBISHOPS STORTFORD Volume 03A Page 335
Q2 1883Alfred SmithWillettBISHOP STORTFORD Volume 03A Page 412
Q1 1885Charles SmithWillettBISHOP STORTFORD Volume 03A Page 428
Q2 1885 (Death)Charles Smith, 0yoBISHOP STORTFORD Volume 03A Page 213
Q1 1887Charles SmithWillettBISHOP STORTFORD Volume 03A Page 456

Arthur Smith's Children in GRO Indices

(Alice and Mary Ann seem to have their ages on the Census records switched)

This would seem to confirm that an Ann Willett married an Arthur Smith. There is also a Smith:Brett marriage which has some children of similar names – but this marriage accounts for all the names apart from George – who we believe was registered as a Willett. In 1881 the actual census schedule (as opposed to the transcript) has George recorded without surname (not even a — do –).

In 1871 George is listed as “George Smith”, Arthur Smith’s son (not step-son). This could be for a number of reasons.

  1. He was Arthur’s son and Arthur was recognising the fact on the census, having formally or informally adopted George.
  2. He was his wife’s child by a previous relationship, but Arthur thought it was none of the enumerator’s business to know that.
  3. Ann was the person who gave the enumerator the information, and George was her son.
  4. I have got this all wrong and George was genuinely Arthur’s son born after their marriage but I have not found the right records. (I do feel that given the weight of evidence that this is unlikely.)

I can’t find a George Smith b 1862 +/- 2 years in Henham in census records after 1881. Neither can I find a burial in Henham records or a promising death in FreeBMD for a George Smith b 1862 +/- 2 years who died in Essex or Hertfordshire. There are a number of “possibles” but no promising “probables”. An exhaustive purchase and examination of death certificates could probably eventually confirm that the “George Smith” has no death record.

If I am right that this George Smith was born George Willett, it is possible that he reverted to his original surname – particularly if he was about to marry an Emily Smith in 1889.

This strongly points to Ann Smith being the mother of the George Willett who went on to marry Emily Smith. This was not his half-sister; George’s wife was according to the 1891/1901/1911 Census records an Emily Smith born in Henham in 1864.

The GRO Index for Emily Smith born in Henham in 1864 gives the mother’s maiden name:

QuarterNameMother's Maiden SurnameReference
Q1 1864Emily SmithHandscombBISHOP-SHORTFORD UNION Volume 03A Page 213

Emily Smith b 1864 Bishops Stortford

It’s the only Emily Smith born in Bishop Stortford for 1864 +/- 2yrs.:

Returning to the Henham History Website we can now look for the corresponding Smith Marriages and Baptisms.

EventDateNameParents or SpouseNotes
MarriageQ4 1864Arthur SmithAnn Willettout of time frame for Register Transcription
BaptismGeorge SmithNot Found - is this George Willett?
Baptism2 Jul 1865Frederick SmithArthur, labourer & Anne of HenhamPer GRO: BISHOP-STORTFORD UNION: Q1 1865; Volume: 03A; Page: 221;
Buried 13 Sep 1870
Baptism25 Aug 1867Harriet SmithArthur, labourer & Anne of HenhamPer GRO: BISHOP STORTFORD UNION: Q2 1867; Volume: 03A; Page: 247;
Buried 13 Sep 1870
Baptism26 Jun 1870Emily SmithArthur, labourer & Anne of HenhamPer GRO: BISHOP STORTFORD UNION: Q2 1869; Volume: 03A; Page: 231;
Baptism30 Nov 1873Mary Ann SmithArthur, labourer & Anne of HenhamPer GRO: BISHOPS STORTFORD: q3 1873; Volume: 03A; Page: 282;
Unless the transcription is wrong this is not the Mary Ann buried 25 Mar 1875
Burial13 Sep 1870Harriet Smith4yo per PR & GRO THE BISHOP STORTFORD UNION Volume 03A Page 195
Burial27 Sep 1870Frederick Smith5yo per PR & GRO BISHOP STORTFORD UNION Volume 03A Page 195
Burial25 Mar 1875Mary Ann Smith5yo per PR 6yo per GRO BISHOPS STORTFORD Volume 03A Page 217
Baptism24 Jun 1877Ada SmithArthur, labourer & Anne of HenhamPer GRO: BISHOPS STORTFORD: Q1 1877; Volume: 03A; Page: 311;
Dies Q4 1878 per GRO
BaptismAlice SmithNot found in PR with Arthur & Anne as parents
Per GRO: BISHOPS STORTFORD: Q3 1875; Volume: 03A; Page: 282;
Baptism25 May 1879Elizabeth SmithArthur, labourer & Anne of HenhamPer GRO: BISHOPS STORTFORD: Q1 1879; Volume: 03A; Page: 335;
Baptism11 Nov 1883Alfred SmithArthur, labourer & Anne of HenhamPer GRO: BISHOP STORTFORD: Q2 1883; Volume: 03A; Page: 412;
BaptismQ1 1885Charles SmithPer GRO: BISHOP STORTFORD: Q1 1885; Volume: 03A; Page: 428;
Not found in PR - dies Q2 1885
Baptism2 Oct 1887Charles SmithArthur, labourer & Anne of HenhamPer GRO: BISHOP STORTFORD: Q1 1887; Volume: 03A; Page: 456;

Smith selected Baptisms, Marriages and Burials at Henham

Apart from Alice all the children found in the family of Arthur and Ann Smith seem to have baptisms – except of course George Smith.

Summary

The trail for George Willett:

  • The 1911, 1901 and 1891 Census records consistently point to George Willett being born in Henham in about 1863.
    • There appear to be no other entries in these censuses for a George Willett born in Henham in about 1863.
    • The name, place of birth and approximate year of birth would appear to uniquely identify a single individual.
  • There is a baptism for a George Willett, son of Anne of Henham, in July 1865 at Henham.
  • There is a GRO Index entry for the Birth of a George Willett in Q4 1862 for Bishops Stortford Registration District (which covers Henham).
    • The Birth certificate for this entry shows:
      • the Mother as Ann Willett (of Henham); no father’s details are recorded.
      • The Place of Birth is Henham
      • The date of birth is given as 22nd November 1862 – which is consistent with the calculated year of birth in the census records.
  • This is strong evidence that this is the birth of the George Willett in the 1911, 1901 and 1891 Census records and that Ann Willett is his mother.
  • We have to assume a birth date for Ann on the basis of her being an unmarried mother; assuming a range from 1818 to 1838, means she would have been between 14 and 44 when George was born.
  • Looking for an unmarried Ann Willet(t) born between 1818 and 1838 in Henham (which is a reasonably safe assumption – but an assumption none-the-less) we find two census records and a baptism record which are mutually consistent:
    • 1861, 18 year old House Servant in Camberwell (born Henham)
    • 1851, 8 year old living with parents Newman and Mary Willett in Wood End Green, Henham
    • 4th December 1842, baptism of daughter of Newman and Mary Willet at St Marys, Henham
      • This would mean that Ann(e) Willet(t) was about 20 when George was born.
  • This is moderately strong evidence, that in the absence of alternatives, would lead us to believe that George’s mother was the daughter of Newman and Mary Willet of Henham born around December 1842.

The Trail for Ann(e) Willett, mother of George

  • Finding Ann(e) Willet(t) with George in the 1871 and 1881 Censuses would help confirm Ann’s year and place of birth.
    • Looking for marriages of Ann Willett after the birth of George reveals a marriage to Arthur Smith in 1864.
      • This is the year before “Ann Willett” is listed as the mother of George Willett in the Henham baptism records.
    • The family of Arthur and Ann Smith are found in the 1871, 1881 and 1891 Censuses.
      • The search was done for “Arthur Smith” and “Ann Smith” using the birth year (+/- 1) of the suspected mother of George Willett.
      • All the children are listed as born in Henham, as is their mother Ann.
      • Looking up all these children (except one) in the GRO indices indicates that the mother’s maiden surname was Willett
      • The exception is the child George Smith b 1862 in 1862 who appears as “George” (son) in 1881 and “George Smith” (son) in 1871
      • With the exception of George and one other, all the other children’s baptisms are found in the transcription of the Henham Baptismal Register.
    • By 1891 this George Smith seems to have disappeared.
    • This would tend to support the hypotheses:
      • that the George Willett that we are searching for was born to Ann Willett as described on the birth certificate, but until his marriage, took his step-father’s surname.
      • that this Ann Willett was born in 1842, and is therefore the daughter of Newman and Mary Willett of Henham.

Tracking down Newman Willett is complex because there are a number of Newman Willett marriages in Henham and probably a number of Newman Willetts. Sorting this out will be another exercise.

1 Comment »

  1. […] post, and its pair, is in response to a comment about a possible relationship between the Willetts (from Colchester […]

    Pingback by Are We Related: George Willett (1. b ~1862 at Whitechapel) « Faulder Family Genealogy — 30 August, 2020 @ 9:16 pm

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