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)(1)
ROBERT RODWAY and MARY LAWRENCE (10)
ROBERT RODWAY. This is as far back as we can go with the Rodway family.
Robert Rodway married in 1712, so we should expect a birth date around 1687. Two possibilities stand out:
Baptism. St Katharine by the Tower.
1685 Apr 26 Robert son of John and Margaret Rodway.
Baptism. St Stephen’s, Coleman St.
1689 Apr 21 Robert son of Robert Rodway.
There is no way of choosing between these two. There are others earlier and later, and there may be more in registers now lost.
There are Rodways in the London registers from 1561. The records start with a single family. In 1561 Richard Rodway married Ellen Evans. We have the baptisms of ten children. It is quite likely that most of the subsequent Rodways in London are descended from this large family.
Nationwide, over the following centuries there were 10 times as many Rodways in Gloucestershire as there were in London. It may be that Richard Rodway, or his immediate forbears, had moved to London from there in Elizabethan times or earlier.
Richard Rodway was a Merchant Tailor. This is a repeated pattern over the coming centuries. Most of the male Rodways we know about are craftsmen and members of craft guilds. They include haberdashers, a tallow chandler, a cook, a clothworker, turners, a goldsmith, an innholder, a woollen draper and a coachmaker. There were also a serving man and one who died in the workhouse, but these were the exceptions.
Richard Rodway died in 1630. He did not make a formal will, but his neighbour, Mr John Melhuish visited him on his deathbed and asked how he wished to dispose of his estate. Richard replied, twice, that he wished it to go to his wife and children. John Melhuish and Richard’s wife Ellen affirmed that this was so, and Ellen was granted probate.
The church Richard Rodway used was St Mary Aldermary, near St Paul’s Cathedral. This is only half a mile from St Giles without Cripplegate, where, a century and a half later, Robert Rodway married and had his children baptised. Robert may well be descended from Richard and Ellen.
MARY LAWRENCE. There are too many baptisms for Mary Lawrence for us to identify the right one. The greatest number are in Stepney, but there are two at St Giles without Cripplegate, where Mary was married.
One was on 8 Jun 1879, the daughter of Thomas and Martha Lawrence. The other was on 18 Aug 1696, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Lawrence.
The first would have been 33 at the time of her wedding, and the second 16. These are older and younger than would be expected.
It is impossible to pinpoint Mary’s baptism with any certainty.
They married in 1712, towards the end of Queen Anne’s reign.
Marriage. St Giles without Cripplegate, London.
1712 Sep 11 Robert Rodway and Mary Lawrence.
St Giles without Cripplegate was, as its name suggests, just north of the city walls, outside the Cripple Gate. It was one of the few churches to survive the Great Fire of London in 1666.
It has several claims to fame. Oliver Cromwell was married there in 1620. John Milton was buried in the church in 1674. John Bunyan attended St Giles. And Daniel Defoe was buried there in 1731.
St Giles without Cripplegate 
We know of four, possibly five children from this marriage.
Baptisms St Giles without Cripplegate, London.
1713 Dec 30 John
1714 Dec 10 Robert
1718 Apr 25 Robt Rodaway son of Robt Rodaway.
1721 Dec 15 John
There was also a child Samuel, son of Robert and Mary Rodway, baptised in London on 17 Oct 1725 and buried on 28 Oct. As yet, we do not know in which church, but we have no evidence of another such couple having children baptised in London at this time.
It would appear that the first two children died.
The couple probably moved. We have been unable to find burials for Robert and Mary at St Giles, and there is nothing to identify them in other parish burials.
We find their son Robert junior in the nearby parish of All Hallows on the Wall.
 St Giles Cripplegate Church.
NEXT GENERATION: 9. RODWAY-STANTON