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.
Other members of the family, living in the High Street, were sons John (21) and George (19), clay-cutters earning 10 shillings, and daughters Hannah (17), Ann (11) and Sarah (7). Hannah and Ann were both knitters earning 4 shillings. Another son, Robert, was 14 and earned 4 shillings as a labourer. The family was on parish pay.
Hannah and John had another son, Shadrach, born in 1771, so the family seems to be connected to the other Shadrach Stockleys in the area but there is more work to do on that.
Sarah was to become Ari’s 6x great-grandmother so she will feature in a post of her own.