Alan March’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back many generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Alan’s as (1)

March Tree



WILLIAM LADD. A younger William Ladd brought up his family in Sutton in Surrey, but was not baptised there. The following baptism is the nearest we have found for him and the date matches his age at his burial.

Baptisms. St Mary, Barnes.
1696 born Dec 6, bapt Dec 26  William son of William Lad by Abigail his wife.

In early records the surname is often spelt Lad.

The older William was born in Barnes 34 years earlier.

Baptism. St Mary, Barnes.
1664 Dec 29  William son of Richard Lad by Jane his wife.

William was the second of three sons.

Barnes was then a village between the arms of the River Thames, which makes a sharp loop northwards opposite Hammersmith. Richmond lies to the west and Fulham to the east.

William became a husbandman. In later years this became a synonym for an agricultural labourer, but earlier it meant someone who farmed a small plot of land. It is likely that William’s father did the same. From the 16th to the 20th century, market gardening was the most prominent activity in Barnes. There was rich meadowland near the river, but low-lying parts that were liable to flood.


ABIGAIL BROOMSGROVE. We have not found Abigail’s baptism in Barnes, or anywhere else. The date of her marriage would lead us to expect a birth date around 1663.

In the 17th century, there are variations of this surname in Clerkenwell and Willesden. The only entries for Broomsgrove are in Westminster, where John and Jane Broomsgrove were raising a family between 1678 and 1690.

Abigail’s baptism may be on a damaged or illegible page of an existing register, or in a parish whose records do not go back that far, or have not yet been digitised.

By the time of her wedding she was living in Barnes.

William and Abigail grew up in the years following the Restoration of the Monarchy after the Civil War.

 Marriage. St Mary, Barnes.
1688 Nov 1  William Lad and Abigail Broomsgrove both of this parish by banns.

The couple had three children before Abigail died.
Baptisms. St Mary, Barnes.
1691 May 7  Hannah
1693 Jul 16  Ann
1696 born Dec 6, bapt Dec 26  William son of William Lad by Abigail his wife.

Abigail died two years later. She was probably in her thirties.

Burial. St Mary, Barnes.
1698 Nov 30  Abigail Lad

Two years later, William married again. This time it was a clandestine marriage at the Fleet Prison.

Marriage. Fleet Prison.
1700 Feb 18  William Ladd and Elizabeth Cock , both of Barnes. Husbandman widdoor and widow Agarner.
We have not been able to interpret the word following ‘widow’.

From 1695 onwards, parish priests were penalised for marrying couples without banns or licence, but a legal quirk meant that this did not apply to clergy conducting marriages at the Fleet Prison in London. This was also cheaper than a parish wedding.

Many couples took advantage of this, until the Marriage Act of 1753 made it illegal. By the 1740s more than half the weddings in London took place at the Fleet.

In this case, the Fleet register provides us with the information that William was a husbandman, something missing from the Barnes register at this period.

The widow Elizabeth Cock is probably the former Elizabeth Jones, who married John Cook in Barnes in 1688. He died in 1695.

Five more children followed.
Baptisms. St Mary, Barnes.
1701 born Aug 29, bapt Sep 7  Alice
On 1 Oct 1704 William’s daughter Ann, by his first marriage, was buried. She was 11.
1704 born Dec 9, bapt Dec 18  Judith
1707 born May 28, bapt Jun 11  Mary
On 27 Dec of that year, Elizabeth, daughter of William Ladd was buried. We have not found her baptism. It is possible that her birth was the cause of Abigail’s death.
1710 born Jul 21, bapt Aug 3  James and Sarah
James lived only a month. He was buried on Sep 8. Sarah died a month later and was buried on Oct 16. Twins were often born prematurely, and without the post-natal support they needed to survive.
Tragedy struck the family yet again in 1713, when 8-year-old Judith was buried on May 21. But this was not the end of the children’s deaths. Mary was buried on 7 Apr 1717, aged nine.
Of William’s nine children, only Hannah, William and Alice survived to adulthood. Such a high rate of child mortality usually means that the family were living in poverty.

St Mary, Barnes
Where so many of the children were buried,

There are three possible burials for Elizabeth Ladd in Barnes: on 24 Aug 1724, 20 Oct 1734 and 4 May 1745. The Barnes burial register at this period does not say whose wife the deceased was, or if she was a widow.

We have been unable to find William’s burial in Barnes. There was a burial for William Ladd in neighbouring Mortlake on 14 Jun1753. If this is the same William, he would have been 88.

William’s son, William junior, did not follow in his father’s footsteps. He became a lime burner and moved south to Sutton.




March Tree