Leigh Sinton is a parish in the Malvern Hills, Worcestershire where “the inhabitants are wholly engaged in agricultural pursuits” (The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1868).

geograph-1429173-by-Philip-Halling
Sixteenth century memorial in St Edburga’s church, Leigh.

One of Ari’s 3x great-grandmothers, Mary James, was born there on 5 Mar 1857 and baptised on 5 Apr 1857. (It helps to know that the parish was called Leigh with Bransford, and the civil registration district was Martley.) Knowing her parents’ names (John and Ann) from the baptism, I then found Ann’s maiden name (Amphlett) from the GRO records, which led me to their marriage in 1849.

In the 1861 census the family are living in Leigh, and the address suggests they are next door to a chapel, Lady Huntingdon’s Connexion. Mary is 5 and at school, as are two brothers (John and Charles) and a sister (Matilda), while her brother Thomas (10) is a waggoner’s boy, and there is also two-year-old William.

The chapel is mentioned in this account of smallpox in the village, from the Worcester Journal of 16 Nov 1872 (on Findmypast):

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Mary married George Thomas Waters on 20 Apr 1879 at Grafton Flyford. In 1881 they are living in Himbleton village, with baby daughter Martha James Waters.

geograph-846682-by-Philip-Halling
Ancient wooden south door to Himbleton church.

In 1891 they are in Neight Hill, Himbleton, with six children, and the 1911 census shows that they have had nine altogether. (The youngest, Florence May Waters, married Alfred John Sheppard and will have her own page as Ari’s  great-great grandmother.) Their house had three bedrooms and two living rooms.

The final record for Mary before her death in 1940 is the 1939 Register, where she is still in Himbleton and living with her daughter Dorothy Winifred.

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