William Orchard was Ari’s 5x great-grandfather. He was born in the Dorset village of Langton Matravers on 8 Sep 1813, and baptised on 10 Oct.
We first see him in the 1841 census, after his marriage to Sarah Welch. The couple are living in West Street, Corfe Castle, with Sarah’s mother. They have an eight-month-old daughter living with them, as well as a three-year-old child called Edna Toop. William’s occupation is ‘labourer’, and in the 1851 census he is a general labourer. By 1861, he is still in West Street but now working as a clay digger. By this time they have seven children: Susan Ann, Emma, Henry, Elizabeth Sarah, Lucy Mary, William and Edna.
According to the Purbeck and Mineral Mining Museum website, “The clay industry was a major employer in Corfe Castle and the surrounding villages from the end of the 18th Century. At times half of the population of some villages were supported by clay work.”
This photo shows West Street with Corfe Castle behind it (shame about the car!).
William died in 1891 and was buried on 28 Sep in the old cemetery at Corfe Castle.