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Children of Henry WILLIAMS
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 27/06/2021 - 16:21

I need help to sort out the children of Henry WILLIAMS who was Weston Worthy No 39.  He married three times. First to Martha May MARCHANT in 1842 in Bridgwater and their children were born in Bridgwater and then Weston-super-Mare. After her death he married Emma SHORNEY and they had one daughter. His third marriage to Harriet Eland BRYANT produced three more children. It's his children by Martha MARCHANT born in Weston who are causing the problem. I think they were non-conformist so there are no christenings and the birth registrations do not match the census entries.

  • Were there two children called Ellen or Helen Georgy? 
  • Was Louisa on the 1851 census registered and buried as Helen in 1851?
  • Who was Marina on the 1861 census?
  • Who was the 5 month old Laura Emma WILLIAMS who was buried at Emmanuel 12 Oct 1853 - was she one of theirs? 

Thank you!

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Comments ..


Submitted by daveerasmus on Tue, 29/06/2021 - 22:15

Well, Pat, this is a real Curate’s egg, isn’t it? This is what I see although the picture is far from clear:


1.     Like you I haven’t found any christenings for any of the children born in Weston.


(H)ellen Georgy Williams


2.     The GRO has births registered in Axbridge RD for Ellen Georgy Williams in 1849 Q4 and Hellen Georgy Williams in 1851 Quarter 2. In each case the mother’s maiden name is recorded as Marchant. Findmypast has both births but in the case of Hellen Georgy Williams no maiden name is recorded for the mother.


3.     Ellen G Williams aged 1 is in the 1851 census. This must be the girl whose birth was registered in 1849.


4.     There is a death record registered in Axbridge in 1851 Q2 for Ellen Georgia Williams. She was buried at Weston Emmanuel on 4 April 1851 aged 16 months. This is 5 days after the date of the 1851 Census.


5.     It is possible that Ellen and Hellen were the same girl. It is also possible that their mother was “with child” when Ellen died and gave the newborn girl virtually the same name as her deceased sister. I think you would need to obtain both birth certificates (or at least the second one) to be sure one way or the other. But there is another possibility…


Louisa S Williams


6.     …Louisa S Williams is aged 1 month at the time of the 1851 Census. I haven’t been able to find any birth record in that name with a mother’s maiden name of Marchant. This raises the possibility that when her birth was registered her parents changed her name to Hellen Georgy Williams in memory of their recently deceased daughter.


Marina Williams


7.     I cannot find a Marina Williams in the 1861 Census record. There is a Miriam aged 7 born in Weston. But I can’t find a birth record in that name with a mother’s maiden name of Marchant.


8.     There is a Miriam A Williams born 1854 in Weston living in Barcombe, Sussex in 1871. She is living with 2 sisters both born in Weston. They are Georgiana E Williams aged 19 and Laura E Williams aged 13. Georgiana E Williams must, I think, be (H)ellen Georgy Williams.


Laura Emma Williams


9.     The Laura Emma Williams buried in 1853 might indeed be a member of this rather chaotic family. According to the burial record she was 5 months old. I cannot find a birth record for her. But there is another in the 1861 Census and, as I said above, in the 1871 Census. She, of course, was a daughter of Emma Shorney.

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Submitted by Pat Hase on Tue, 29/06/2021 - 23:48

Many thanks Dave!  You have also spotted my deliberate mistake - for Marina read Miriam!  That 1871 census entry is new to me so I'll investigate that further.  Thanks for that.  The rest is exactly what was confusing me - and I was beginning to draw similar conclusions.  When he married Harriet it was at a Baptist Church which I think may explain the lack of christenings.  I'm really grateful for your opinion on this - Thank you.

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