One of Ari’s 4x great-grandfathers was Robert Butler, who was born in 1837 in Bredicot, Worcestershire. Bredicot is a small parish in the centre of the county, about 4 miles east of Worcester.
Conveniently, Robert was born in the year that civil registration of births became compulsory, so we know that his father was Thomas Butler and his mother was Elizabeth Reynolds. He was the first of their nine children, and was baptised on 5 October 1837 at the thirteenth-century church of St James the Less.
The 1841 census shows him with his parents and younger brother William, living in the hamlet of Libbery, in the parish of Grafton Flyford.
They were still there in 1851, and Robert now had three more brothers and a sister. He was now 13 and at school.
By the time of the next census, in April 1861, Robert was employed as a cow man at Upper Goosehill Farm in Hanbury.
Shortly after that he married Caroline Lumley in Evesham, and their first daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1862. The family had moved to Huddington by 1871, by which time Harriet and Annie (Ari’s great-great-great-grandmother) had also been born. Robert was now working as an agricultural labourer.
In 1881 only Annie was still at home with her parents, and a nephew, John Keen, was also living with them. They were now living in Lower Crowle.
Robert was widowed in 1895, and in 1901 his granddaughter, 15-year-old Kate Wilks, was living with him. She worked at home as a glove machinist, and he was still working as an agricultural labourer.
In the last census, of April 1911, he is on his own at the age of 73, and still working as a farm labourer. Robert died in December 1917, and was buried at Crowle on 18 December.
He was born in about 1806 in Huddington, Worcestershire, and married Mary Bishop on 15 August 1832 in Grafton Flyford. Their first son, Joseph, was born in 1840. In the 1841 census they are living in Sale Green, and Joseph is listed as an agricultural labourer.
Another son, William, was born two years later, and then a daughter, Ann.
Joseph’s death certificate shows that he drowned on 29 September 1848 at Tibberton, Worcestershire. He was 43 years old, and his occupation was given as labourer. The informant was W. S. P. Hughes, the coroner for Worcestershire, and the death wasn’t registered until 29 March 1849.
The inquest was reported in the Worcestershire Chronicle on 11 October 1848.
(The Plough Inn is still there, now called Speed the Plough.)
Mary did not remarry. When she died in 1892, her death certificate described her as:
Joseph was buried on 8 October at the church of St James in Huddington (recorded in the National Burial Index for England & Wales).
We visited the church for the second time in October 2017, but there are very few graves to be seen.
Joseph’s son William (Ari’s 4x great-grandfather) was only five when his father died. A very sad story.
Ari’s 7x great-grandfather William Day was born in 1735 in Huddington, Worcestershire and christened on 30 September, the son of John Day and Alice Robinson. The little church at Huddington is in the grounds of a fifteenth-century manor house called Huddington Court, famous for its connection with the Gunpowder Plot. You can read the story in this interestingly named AA walking guide!
You have to walk through the garden to get to St James’ church.
On 14 Oct 1762 William married Margaret Hartland in this church, and they had six children: Ann, Sarah, Susannah, twins John and William, and Margaret. Margaret was born in 1772, so William must have died after this date but I have not found out when and where he was buried.
Today we found the grave of William Sheppard, Ari’s 4x great-grandfather, and his wife Angelina. They are both buried at the church of St John the Baptist in Crowle, Worcestershire.
William was born in 1843 at Sale Green in Worcestershire, and christened on 24 Feb. at Huddington church.
William’s father Joseph died when he was just five years old. In the census for 1851 he is living with his mother Mary, a ‘pauper gloveress’, and older brother Joseph.
By 1861 Mary has become a shopkeeper, and 18-year-old William is working as an agricultural labourer. He married Angelina Tyler in 1863 and by the 1871 census they have five children: Esther, William Henry, Joseph, Fanny, and one-month-old Elizabeth. William is still an agricultural labourer.
All the children were christened at the church in Crowle.
By 1881 two more children have been born: James in 1872 and Mary in 1876. The family are living in Sale Green, next door to Angelina’s parents John and Sarah Tyler.
In 1885 William was fined 2s. 6d. for neglecting to send his children to school:
A slight change for William by 1891. He has become a groom and coachman, and all the children have now left home.
The last census for William is in 1901. He is living in Worcester Rd, Droitwich, and working as a domestic coachman.
Mary Bishop was Ari’s 5x great-grandmother, born in 1809 in Grafton Flyford in Worcestershire.
Mary was the seventh of eight children of John Bishop and Ann Willis, who had married in 1792. She was christened on 30 Dec 1809 at the church of St John the Baptist, and married at the same church at the age of 16. Her husband was a farmer, Joseph Sheppard (spelled Shepherd).
We can see Mary in the 1841 census living at Sale Green with her husband Joseph, an agricultural labourer, and a ten-month-old baby, also called Joseph. Living with them was 15-year-old Mary Allbut.
Mary and Joseph had two more children, William and Ann. Tragically, Joseph drowned in the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at the age of 42. In 1851, Mary (40) is living with her two sons Joseph (10) and William (8), and her occupation is given as pauper, gloveress (see my earlier post). I think Ann had died as a baby.
By 1861, Mary’s parents have both died and she has become a shopkeeper (we later see more evidence of this in a local directory for 1879). The small family are in Huddington, with both sons working and living at home. In 1871 she is listed as a provision dealer (61), the two sons have left home, and 19-year-old James Wells is sharing her home as a boarder (crossed out) / lodger. He is presumably the same person as the nephew James Wills (actually Willis) living with her in 1881.
By 1891, Mary is 80. She is still living in Sale Green, but now with two teenage granddaughters (Mary and Sarah, children of her son William) sharing her home. Mary died in January of 1892, and was buried on 12 Jan at the church of St James in Huddington.
William Henry Sheppard was Ari’s 3x great-grandfather, born on 3 Nov 1865 in Crowle, Worcestershire. His mother was Angelina Tyler (see my post of 17 July 2017).
From the various national censuses we know that William started out as a farm servant (indoor). In 1881 he was on a farm at Dunhampstead, Himbleton. By 1891 at the age of 25 he had married and was the head of his own household, listed as one of several families living at Malt House, Crowle, with his wife and their four-month-old daughter, Agnes Emily. His occupation is agricultural labourer and place of birth Grafton Flyford.
In 1901 he is living at Sale Green, Huddington, and working as a railway labourer. Four children are living at home. By 1911 he is listed as a plate-layer (someone who lays and maintains railway lines), with six of the couple’s nine children living at home.
The 1939 Register on Findmypast shows him at the age of 74 as a widower with his son Lewis, living at Sale Green. He is described as a retired permanent way labourer:
(According to this handy list, this means a plate-layer who is engaged in maintenance work instead of construction work.)
William Henry died the age of 86. His grave at the church of St James in Huddington says:
In loving memory of William Henry SHEPPARD
Died April 10th 1952, aged 86 years
Ari, this shows how you are related to William Henry Sheppard: