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So tempted to claim her...


Staff member
Yes, the famous Susan Riches. I am sooooo tempted to add her but I worry if I am taking a gamble. Lots of circumstantial evidence.

Here is a recap on her.

My ancestor was Susan Riches who wed Henry Helsdon in May 1725 at All Saints, Norwich, Norfolk England. They had 5 known children, Robert in 1725, Eliz in 1727, Dennis in 1729, Eliz in 1736 and Eliz in 1739. (seems the first 2 Elizabeth's died in infancy). The first 2 of their 5 children were baptised at All Saints and the 2nd 3 at the neighbouring St Peter Parmentergate parish. Henry died in 1750 and left a will, he was a weaver and mentioned wife Susannah, children Dennis, Henry and Elizabeth. Henry Jnr was from his first marriage. Susannah Helsdon died in 1762 and was buried at All Saints where her husband Henry Snr was buried. No age listed on burial record.

A Susan Riches was baptised in 1702 at St James Pockthorpe, about a mile away but a Susan Riches died in the same parish in 1762 aged 59. Marital status not given but for other people buried if they were married it said "married woman" or "widow".

2 Susan Riches baptisms seem to be more likely.

Susan Riches daughter of James and Deborah baptised at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich in July 1691.
Susan Riches born 30 April 1694 baptised at St Michael At Plea, Norwich that year, daughter of Isaac Riches and Elizabeth. No evidence of a burial as an infant or young child or older.

A Susan Riches wed in 1707 in Norwich to Nathaniel England and a Susan Riches married in April 1710 to John Titchwell in Norwich, at Norwich Cathedral.

Isaac Riches, father of Susan born 1694 lived in the All Saints/Timberhill area from at least 1721 (according to window and land tax records) to his death in 1751, the same area my Susan got married at in 1725. All Saints and Timberhill churches are just 20 years from one another, quite close.

I can find no evidence that Isaac left a will. The burial register states Isaac was a widower. Not yet found his wife's death. Isaac was a weaver and I am sure he had a brother Edmund who was a baker. Edmund left a will as did his son Edmund Jnr born 1693, I checked the wills and no mention of any nieces or cousins. Isaac and Edmund are listed as collectors of monies in a 1715 window and land tax record for St Stephen, Norwich, a parish next to All Saints.

Henry and Susan Helsdon lived in All Saints then Parmentergate in the 1730s and 1740s. Interestingly an Isaac and Edmund Riches appear in the window and land tax records for Parmentergate in 1738 to 1746. I assume it was Edmund Jnr as Edmund Snr, the baker, died in 1740. Edmund Jnr died in 1750. Also Henry and Susan's grandson Henry born 1773, son of Dennis born 1729 had a son Isaac Helsdon in 1798. I doubt though if you would name a child after a great grandfather, a parent maybe or grandparent but great grandparent?
I agree with Steve. Pencil her into your tree but keep on looking. She'll be easy to remove should you find something more concrete and at least this way you won't forget the details.

The Susan Riches born 1691 was probably the one who married in 1710. She was baptised as Susana. The 1694 one was baptised as Susan and my Susan married as Susan Riches. But Susan is short for Susannah but I have come across instances of Susan and Susannah as two names in their own right like Elizabeth and Eliza.

Yes, pencil her in and keep a note, while looking for more info. It does seem likely that the 1694 one is mine.
Could well be that the Susan born in 1691 (daughter of James) was a cousin of the 1694 one (daughter of Isaac). I think I have traced Edmund and Isaac back to North Norfolk and their father Thomas left a will in 1692, mentioning children John, William, James, Edmund and Isaac and daughter Susan Akers. Out of the James Riches, the father of Susan born 1691 seems to be the likeliest fit to be the son of Thomas. Cannot find any other candidate for James yet.

In 1716 Isaac, Susan and Lydia Riches appear in a rate book for Norwich. I believe it to be the Susan born in 1694 daughter of Isaac. A Lydia Riches wed in 1726 in Timberhill, a year after my ancestor Susan Riches wed Henry Helsdon.