Geoffs Genealogy Update 07 January 2014

Tuesday January 7th, 2014 | Geoff

The Christmas and New Year period is a busy time for all of us, but in spite of this I still managed to squeeze in a bit of treeing this month, with some very satisfying results.

My grandmother was Alice Louisa (Holliday) Smith (1891-1982). She was a Londoner, and a daughter of Charles Holliday (1864-1915) and Alice Butler (1867-1935).

Many years ago I learned that my nan’s Butler grandparents were William Butler and a laady named Sarah, both born circa 1831, but my many efforts to find William’s marriage had always come to naught – that is, until now.

As I’ve mentioned umpteen times previously on this blog, new records are continually being added to the family history websites on the internet, so it is a good idea to keep going over the same searches periodically, to see whether that entry that you could not find previously has now appeared. In this case my recent search of the London Metropolitan Archives records on the Ancestry website resulted in me finding the following marriage:

St Luke, Old Street, Finsbury, 1856
No 95. March 24th
Groom Name: William Butler
Age:  Full
Marital Status: Bachelor
Trade: Cabinet Maker
Abode: Gt Mitchell Street
Father:  James Butler
Father’s Occupation: Organ Builder
Spouse: Name: Sarah Robins
Age:  Full
Marital Status: Spinster
Trade: Blank
Abode: Gt Mitchell Street
Father:  William John Robbins
Father’s Occupation:  Lighterman
Married by Banns.  Bride & Groom signed, as did the first witness: Henry John Hobbs . The second witness – Harriet Hobbs – made her mark.

Could this be the entry I had sought all these years?

If so, how to prove it?

After a little thought a strategy emerged. The witnesses were both named Hobbs, and it seemed reasonable to suppose that (a) they were probably related to one another and (b) they may possibly be related to Sarah Robins. To start this research I looked for a relevant census entry, and found Henry and his spouse – Harriet – on the 1861 Census, living at 3 Clarence Place, in the parish of St Luke, Old Street (TNA source ref RG9/204, Fo 84, p 417 Sch 106). They were listed with six children, and the fact that the eldest child listed – Henry W Hobbs – was 11 years old indicated that the couple were likely to have married before 1850. I therefore searched for the marriage of Henry John Hobbs and Harriet around 1849, and it didn’t take long to find what I wanted:

St Luke, Old Street, Finsbury, 1848
No 51. Novr 20th
Groom Name: Henry Hobbs
Age:  Full
Marital Status: Bachelor
Trade: Blacksmith
Abode: John’s Row
Father:  John Hobbs
Father’s Occupation:Sawyer
Spouse: Name: Harriet Robbins
Age:  Full
Marital Status: Spinster
Trade: Blank
Abode: John’s Row
Father:  William Robbins
Father’s Occupation:  Lighterman
Married by Banns. Bride & Groom signed, as did witnesses: [J] Baker & [……] Hobbs

This record proved beyond reasonable doubt that the 1856 marriage I had traced was, indeed, the marriage of “my” William Butler, and also established that his bride’s name was Sarah Robbins.

This discovery led on to lots of other finds to do with the Robbins and Hobbs families. I found a London Freedom record dated 1819 for William John Robbins, Lighterman, and used that to estimate his birth date as circa 1805.  This source named his father as John Robbins, and I then traced John’s London Freedom, which was obtained by Patrimony in 1807. At a guess, John was probably born circa 1787. This record named John’s father as William Robbins, Baker of Battersea.

I traced the marriage of William John Robbins to Harriet Nicholls in 1827 at St Stephen Coleman Street, London, and then set about researching their children. This showed me that Sarah Emma Robbins was born on 24 November 1831, and had at least five siblings. Harriet, the later wife of Henry Hobbs, was Sarah’s elder sister.

William John Robbins died in 1839, and his widow wasted little time if finding another spouse. Harriet Robbins married Robert Cupit in 1840 at St.Nicholas, Chiswick, Middlesex.

I have also done quite a lot of research into the Hobbs family, and found out what became of several of their nine known children. There is too much information on these people for me to include it in this post, but contact me if you are interested in this family and I’d be glad to share these finds with you.

A prosperous and healthy new year and happy hunting  to all our readers!

2 responses to “Geoffs Genealogy Update 07 January 2014”

  1. Hi Geoff,
    For the better part of 20 years I have been working on Cheadle-related papers bearing upon the Halcomb family which was related to the Blagg family.

    I found very useful information you supplied of Emma Blagg’s wedding. A very important person for me is Fanny Blagg, wife of Charles Blagg of Greenhill. A photo for instance would be wonderful if you had one.

    I have a high resolution version of the photo you presented of Greenhill, if that was something you might like to have.

    Thanks for your attention.

    • Geoff says:

      Hi James

      Many thanks for your comment re the Blaggs. Unfortunately I can’t help you with a photo of Fanny Blagg, buti’ll let you know if I ever come across one. I am grateful for your offer of a high resolution image of Greenhill, however, and thank you ver much. That would be very useful.

      The Blaggs are a rich seam for research, and I’ve enjoyed working on them for quite a while now. I have no connection to them, other than via the marriage of Arthur Ackland Hunt. If I can help you with any other information re the Hunts let me know.

      All the best.


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