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Sarah Brain. From Oxfordshire to Essex. A story.

benny1982

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#1
Hi

My great, great, great grandmother was Sarah Brain born in December 1842 in the village of Bletchingdon in Oxfordshire. She was the daughter of Thomas and Maria Brain.

Maria Brain died in 1848 when Sarah was 5. The 1851 census shows the Brain family living in Bletchingdon. Sarah is aged 8 and "at home". her fathers cousin is the housekeeper. Thomas Brain sadly died in 1854. Sarah was orphaned aged 12. Herself, her 2 sisters went into service and her brother joined the Army.

Sarah probably left Bletchingdon in about 1857 or 1858 to move to Oxford City where she moved in with her employer Henry Ladd, a fancy stationer at 10 High Street, Oxford City. Sarah is an 18 year old servant at that address in the 1861 census, born Bletchingdon.

Now, here is something interesting. In about 1862, Sarah Brain and Henry Ladd left Oxford and the county. An 1863 directory lists a Henry Ladd as a stationer at High Street, Spalding, Lincolnshire. There is no one that matches that in the 1861 census for the entire Lincolnshire.

It is likely that Sarah Brain moved to Spalding from Oxford. In October 1863, Henry Ladd married in London and was of Camberwell. That is interesting as Sarah Brain was to marry in nearby Lambeth later on.

By 1865, she was dating Essex born John Wallaker, a Thames waterman. They married on the 21st February 1866 at St Mary, Lambeth, London and were of Catherine Street, Lambeth.

It certainly looks as if Sarah moved around with her stationer employer Henry Ladd 1861-1863 from Oxford, to possibly Spalding then to South London.

After Sarah Brain married, she moved to the peaceful island of Foulness in Essex, her new husbands birthplace, 40 miles east of Camberwell and a good 80 miles from her birthplace. My great, great grandmother was born in July 1866 in Foulness Island.

Sarah settled there, after a decade of moving around the country. The 1871 census has her at Foulness with children Gertrude and Mary Ann. She is on the 1881 census at Great Stambridge, Essex with her husband John and further children Edgar and Alice.

By 1886 Sarah had been an Essex resident for 20 years. She is on the 1891 census at Great Stambridge. Her husband was out at sea at that time. Sarah died in December 1896 aged 54, of which I have not yet obtained her death certificate. Thus ending a colourful life. She was buried on the 30th December 1896 at Great Stambridge.

What a story.

Ben
 

benny1982

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#3
Hi Leefer

Its amazing that she ended up living a long way from her birthplace. But many people did and if they met people from there, often their spouse would take them to their birthplace to be nearer their family.

I am now awaiting Sarahs birth cert and her death cert which I ordered last night.

I do need to try and research more of Henry Ladd from 1861-1866. If he was her employer, this might help build a good picture of her. I have his 1863 marriage cert which says he was of Camberwell.

If he was in Spalding in 1862ish, then it is likely that Sarah was with him wouldnt you think? Especially if she was living with him in 1861 in Oxford and by 1864 ish they were both in London.
 

benny1982

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#5
A lot of my ancestors stayed within close proximity of their birthplace. I find it very interesting when they move far away. Even though Sarah lived in Spalding and London inbetween, going from Oxfordshire to Essex in the 1860s would have been like flying to Australia today. It would probably have taken a day to travel, whereas now it would take about 2 hours.
 

nainmaddie

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#7
Hi again
Just posted a new thread re William Whiteway. The son and wife who lived in rural Devon were both living and working in Greenwich ,London at the age of 23 years. I wonder why they moved so young ? Perhaps not enough work for them. Even now there are pockets in Devon which really are rural.

Some Devonians have never been outside their nearest town even today. My late husband saw many patients whose first visit to the hospital was the first time they had travelled to foreign parts

Maddie
 

benny1982

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#8
Hi

I think Sarah Brain would more likely have stayed in Oxfordshire if she hadnt have been employed by Henry Ladd in the 1861 census. He moved from Oxford, probably to Spalding then Camberwell in London as he was a stationer. If she was his servant, she no doubt went with him. He had relatives in Camberwell.

Henry married in 1863 and Sarah in Feb 1866 in London so she went where he went if she was employed by him. Then she met an Essex native and ended up there. A very eventful life. Bletchingdon to Oxford, then Spalding, then Camberwell/Lambeth then Foulness and Stambridge in Essex.

Ben
 

benny1982

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#9
Hi

UPDATE:- I recieved her birth and death certs this morning.

Born 25th December 1842 in Bletchingdon, father Thomas Brain, mother Maria Brain formerly Butler. That is a slight fly in the ointment as a Hannah Woodcock was living with the Brain family in 1841 aged 60, and a Mary Woodcock was born in 1811 in Bletchingdon. I thought she was the mother but it looks like it is not now. Hannah was probably a lodger or aunty.

Sarah died on the 30th December 1896 in Little Stambridge, Essex, aged 54 of cancer of the uterus. Her daughter G Taylor, my great, great grandmother registered the death.

Ben
 

JMR

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#10
Hi Ben,

Another interesting piece of family history from your research. Mostly mine stayed put, which is a blessing when your not close to the archives for closer checks of records etc.

I can track most of my family lines to within a 10 mile radius of Bradford. In fact my Gt Grandmother never ventured outside Bradford her whole life. Some of my family lines moved, but not within England, they tended to emigrate to the USA and Canada.

Thanks for sharing another story,
Jill
 

benny1982

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#11
Hi Jill

Yes. It is sad that she died of cancer as she would have been in quite a lot of pain. At least she died in a peaceful village. Her husband outlived her by 20 years.

I do find it interesting when an ancestor moves a long way from their birthplace like Sarah died.

Ben
 

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