3 Sep 2011

Part 1: The Story begins .........

Kirkby Mallory church
Thomas Swinfield, my great-great-grandfather, was baptised at Earl Shilton on 21st August 1808 as the third child of what would eventually be eight issue of Thomas Swinfield senior by his wife, Sarah Toon. They had married in the church of the adjacent parish of Kirkby Mallory in 1803. By then, his father was 33 but his mother was about seven years younger. The penultimate child, George, had, according to the parish records, been “burnt to death” aged just over 2 in 1820! What effect must that have had on his mother? Sarah lasted less than two more years, being buried on 1st October 1821 when her last child was just 18 months old. Her husband was left with seven surviving offspring to care for. By the time that he passed away 12 years later in 1833, two more of the brood had died before their 21st birthdays. However, Thomas senior had lived long enough to see three of his children married and to celebrate the births of three grandchildren.
Trowell Church 
Thomas Swinfield junior had produced two of those children from his marriage to Sarah Hewitt. That wedding took place on 25th January 1829 nearly thirty miles to the north in the church of Trowell in Nottinghamshire (a place probably only notable today to most people for its motorway service station). Thomas was “of Earl Shilton”. He could sign his own name, unlike his bride who was two years his senior and heavily pregnant. No wonder that they married by licence, there being no time for the banns to be called.
Marriage in 1829

Thomas and Sarah settled in Earl Shilton and the parish registers record the baptisms of three of their children. They were Jane on 8th March 1829(!)  followed by Mary in 1836 and William in 1838.

1841 census of Keet Lane, Earl Shilton

By 1841, the census shows Sarah and what would appear to be her four children living at Keet Lane in the parish. Working as a seamstress, her two older issue were Ann and Richard, who were 9 and 7. They had not been baptised in Earl Shilton church. Where, I hear you ask, was Jane, who was then aged 12? More of her in another episode of the saga! William, the youngest child, was just 5 months old. He was to become my great-grandfather. His older brother, also named William, had died, aged just 10 months. Another tragedy for the Swinfield family.

Where was Thomas, the father, in 1841? Find out in the next instalment!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"