Edward Willis

Author: Gerald Soper
Date published: 25/01/2022

            Edward Willis (1839 – 1869)

                                    Harriet Willis (1820 – 1912)

                              Daug. Sarah Ann Willis (1863 – 1863)

                              and sons Edward and William


Edward Willis was born circa 1839, probably in Midgham which was recorded as his place of birth in the 1861 census. According to his marriage record his father was Thomas. He was probably with his parents Thomas and Hannah and sisters Ann aged 9 and Sarah aged 7 in Alms Houses in Thatcham in the 1841 census, Thomas was recorded an agricultural labourer. No trace of Edward in the 1851 census.


Edward married Harriet Eggleton on 19 November 1859 at St Mary in Speehamland. Harriet was born circa 1820 in Shaw, although her year of birth varied considerably from the ages given in the censuses. According to the marriage record her father was Francis Eggleton a labourer. No trace of Harriet in the 1841 and 1851 censuses. Harriet had a daughter Kate who was born in Newbury in 1857.


In the 1861 census Edward and Harriet were living in Speenhamland with Harriet’s daughter Kate aged 4, and their son William aged 4 months. Edward was an agricultural labourer.


A daughter Sarah Ann was born in February 1863. Sadly, Sarah Ann died aged only 3 weeks and she was buried in Newtown Road Cemetery on 9 March 1863.


Edward died in March 1869 aged 30. He was buried at Newtown Road Cemetery in Newbury on 2 April 1869.


Two years later in the 1871 census Harriet was living in Northcroft Lane in Newbury with children Kate aged 13, William aged 10, twins Elizabeth Ann and Edward aged 4 and Ellen aged 1. Harriet was recorded as a char woman.


Ten years later in the 1881 census Harriet was still living in Northcroft Lane in Newbury with children Kate aged 23, twins Elizabeth Ann and Edward aged 14 and Ellen aged 11. Harriet was still as a char woman, Kate a domestic servant, Edward an errand boy and Elizabeth a dressmaker.


Harriet was living with daughter Ellen at 5 Church Almshouses, Newtown Road in Newbury in the 1891 census. Harriet had no occupation and Ellen was a laundress. Harriet was also recorded at the same address in the 1901 and 1911 censuses. In 1901 she was living by herself but in 1911 she had a lodger, Mary Turton.


Harriet died 20 November 1912 while still living at 5 Church Almshouse and she was buried at Newtown Road Cemetery on 23 November 1912.


Two sons of Edward and Harriet were buried at Newtown Road Cemetery Edward on 2 January 1908 and William on 11 November 1942.



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