William and James Smith

William Smith (1832/4) and James Smith (1830) both born Clerkenwell, Middlesex. 

These are my notes on who were William and James Smith.

I don't know whether they are related.  They both have the same surname although of course it is Smith, both are from Clerkenwell (from censuses), and both end up in the Berkeley, Halmore, Purton, Hinton area of Gloucestershire at the same time and end up living next door to each other in Halmore.

William is the father of James Davis Smith, born 1857, my great grandfather.

William consistently gives his age on the censuses as being born in 1834.  His father was Timothy Smith, labourer, from his marriage certificate in 1857 to Emma Davis, in Clifton, Bristol.  

Witnesses were William and Georgina PURDY. (see below).

Georgina Elizabeth Purdy born 1834 Marlebone, Mddx., married at Clifton as well (husband Golman), younger brother William born Bath (see Alan Purdy family tree, there is an uncle born 1807 in Hayes - John Purdy).  

Did his mother marry John Purdy when Timothy died????

24th Feb 1835 St Mary, Bryanston Square, London, John Purdy and Sarah Smith

There is a possible birth and baptism for William in 1832 in St. Andrews, Holborn (but see census age for William - 1934).

A possible marriage for his parents are Timothy Smith and Sarah Davis at Clerkenwell St. James in 11 Feb 1827.  Timothy is a widower and Sarah a spinster.

There is an earlier marriage of a Timothy Smith, widower, and a Elizabeth Robertson, Widow, on 24th June 1812 at Clerkenwell St John, Islington.

St. Andrew, Holborn, Middlesex

William Smith born 31st July 1832 to Timothy and Sarah, baptised 14th October 1832, Timothy Labourer, 5 Mount Pleasant.

Islington, Middlesex

Mary Ann Smith baptised 25th July 1830 born to Timothy and Sarah, George Street, White Conduit Fields, Labourer.

James Smith baptised 20th April 1828 born to Timothy and Sarah, White Conduit Fields, Labourer. 23rd March 1828.

Baptism for John Purdy, 20th January 1836, St Marys Marylebone, 20 St John Street North to John and Sarah Purdy born 17th November 1835.

James marriage certificate says his father is James, a Brewer, so it is unlikely that they are brothers. Unfortunately there are lots of James Smiths baptised with father James but I cannot see an obvious one in Clerkenwell except the one above.

In 1841 James is living near Purton, near Berkeley, with Walter and Mary Davies/Davis. Walter and Mary are the grandparents of Emma Davis who marries William in 1857.

In 1841 William (8) is living in Salter Street, Berkeley with Sarah Purdy (34) her son John (6) and her daughter Amy (2).  William and John were not born in Gloucestershire.

Amy Purdy and Elizabeth Purdy were baptised in Berkeley, 3rd March 1839 and 24th October 1841, father John, Groom, and mother Sarah.

John Purdy, a groom, is not with them on the census and it appears according to Scribes Alcove that he died in Berkeley in 1842 aged 34 years.

According to Scribes Alcove Purdy does not appear to be a Berkeley family prior to Amy 1839.

I wonder whether something has happened to Timothy and Sarah has married John Purdy and the family have come back to Berkeley. 

There is a Timothy Smith buried in Clerkenwell 12 Apr 1835 (RG4_4366).

Sarah was born in Berkeley in 1807-1809 according to the censuses but we do not know her maiden name. Her son John was born in London according to the 1851 census in 1836. Her daughters were born in Berkeley. 

In 1851, Sarah (42) and her children John (15), Emma (12) and Elizabeth (10) are living in Queens Head Yard, St Benedict, Huntingdon. Sarah is a pauper and the children are at school.  In 1861 Sarah is employed as a nurse in a household in Great Stukeley, Huntingdonshire.  John Purdy born 1835 in London is back in Berkeley with a family.

In 1851, William (18) is a servant in Purton with Farmer James Summers Davis and his wife Eliza Davis and their daughters Emma (13), Ellin Jane (10), Elizabeth Mary (7) and Kizia (3). James (22) is a visitor.  For good measure there are two tramps in an outhouse.

James marries Esther/Hester Cook in Berkeley in 1852.  In 1841 Hester Cook (8) is living with her mother Martha Cook (30) and a Jane Cook (25) and James (25) and Eliza (25) Davis and their children Emma Davis (4) and Eleanor Jane Davis (3 months) in Hinton.  William marries Emma Davis in 1857 in Bristol.  (William is my second great grandfather.  My great grandfather James Davis Smith was born out of wedlock in 1856 hence the double-barrelled name).

I considered the possibility that the Sarah Davis who married Timothy Smith was the same Sarah who married John Purdy and who was born in Berkeley in about 1807-9.  

There is a Sarah Davis baptised in Berkeley in 1807 daughter of Walter, a cordwainer of Sanigar in Hinton.  

Ancestry gives only three Sarah’s baptised in Berkeley in 1807. Ruther, Hitchens, Davis.

There is no wedding or death in Berkeley for such a Sarah Davis born in 1807 nor for any of the other two.

Sarah Purdy died in Huntingdon in 1880.  Her age was given as 73.  Her estimated birth year was 1807.

Walter Davis of Sanigar married Mary Summers in Berkeley in 1806.  Sarah was born in 1807.  Other children was possibly Walter 1811 and James Summers Davis 1814.  

William Smith married Emma daughter of James Summers Davis. If Sarah was a Davis then he married his cousin.

© Barclay Barrell 2014