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)
AARON BEEKEN and JANE ESTHER WILSON (5)
AARON BEEKEN came from a family of artisans. His father was a shoemaker and his mother was a tailor’s daughter. But Aaron, like so many others, became an agricultural labourer.
Aaron’s father died in Feb 1840, aged 54. By then the family was living in the nearby village of Moulton, which was also Jane Esther’s home. Aaron was 13.
We find him in Moulton in the 1841 census. At fourteen years old he is working as a farm servant.
1841 Census. Queens Bank, Moulton, Spalding.
Joseph Grundy 24 Farmer Y
Susannah Grundy 50 Farmer Y
Joseph Slator 20 M S Y
Aaron Beekon 10 M S Y
Ann Baxter 15 F S Y
Ages in the 1841 census were rounded down to the nearest 5.
S. denotes Male Servant. Aaron would have been doing farm work.
Queen’s Bank formed part of the northern boundary of the lands of Crowland Abbey.
In the same census we find his mother Ann living in Moulton with two of Aaron’s younger brothers. She is a” publican widow”. At the baptisms of his children, Aaron’s father is never listed as a publican, but it was not unusual for a business to be licensed in the husband’s name, but run by his wife. Aaron may have been living in a small hostelry.
In 1846 Aaron’s mother married again, this time to a labourer.
JANE (H)ESTHER WILSON. In every census, Jane gave her birthplace as Moulton, a village east of Spalding in Lincolnshire. But she was christened at Crowland, nearly ten miles south.
Baptism. St Mary, St Bartholmew and St Guthlac, Crowland.
1831 Apr 4 Jane Hesther daughter of John and Sarah Wilson, Moulton Bank, Labourer.
Her mother was Sarah Hardy.
This elaborately named parish church stands in the north aisle of the ruined Crowland Abbey.
We have not found a settlement named Moulton Bank. There is a Moulton Mere Bank, which is part of the flood defences of this reclaimed fenland. It would have been nearer to use the church at Moulton Chapel, Moulton Eaugate or Cowbit. But Jane’s mother came from Crowland and her parents were married there, so that may be the reason they returned there for this christening. Or Jane may have given birth at her mother’s home.
They were living in the village of Whaplode,, a mile east of Moulton, when her siblings John and Susan were born.
We next find the family living on the Eaugate Road leading south from Moulton.
1841 Census. Eaugate Road, Moulton, Spalding.
John Wilson 47 Ag. Lab. Y
Sarah Wilson 40 Y
William Wilson 12 Y
Jane Wilson 10 Y
Stephen Wilson 7 Y
Susanna Wilson 5 Y
Jane also lost her father when she was in her early teens. He died in 1845, when Jane was 14.
Her mother became a servant, and later a housekeeper. Jane, too, entered domestic service, in the nearby village of Weston St Mary. It was there that she met Aaron, who was also working in Weston.
Aaron and Jane married in Weston St Mary’s, a mile from Moulton, on 1 Oct 1849. Both were living there at the time.
Aaron Beeken was a bachelor aged 22 and a labourer. His father was John Beeken, shoemaker. Esther Jane Wilson was a spinster aged 19 and a servant. Her father was John Wilson, labourer. Both bride and groom were residents of Weston St Mary’s. Both Aaron and Jane signed with their mark X. The witnesses were William Wilson, who again signs with his mark, and Elizabeth Ground, who manages to sign her name a little clumsily.
The bride’s name is mistakenly given as Esther Jane. She was, in fact, Jane Esther.
Their son John was born in Weston 12 Jan 1851, but not baptised until nearly three years later.
1851 Census. Weston Marsh, Weston, Spalding.
Aaron Beakon Head M 23 Ag. lab. Spalding
Jane Beakon Wife M 21 Moulton
John Beakon Son 2m Weston
Susannah Willson Visitor 15 Moulton
15-year-old Sarah Willson is Jane’s younger sister.
William was born the following year.
Baptisms. Weston St Mary.
1852 May 2 William son of Aaron and Esther Beacon Weston St Mary’s Labourer
John was eventually baptised in Nov 1853, when he was nearly three.
1853 Nov 27 (born 12 Jan 1851) John Aaron and Jane Beacon Weston St Mary’s Labourer
By the following year the family had moved to Moulton Chapel. This was a small village with a chapel of ease, that the Beekens would have used. The entries for christenings here were recorded in the register of the mother church, All Saints, Moulton.
Baptisms. All Saints, Moulton
1854 May 14 Martha Ann Beeeton Moulton Chapel Labourer
The Beekens next moved to Cowbit, where their first pair of twins were born. Farm labourers were often hired for a year at a time, resulting in frequent moves between farms.
Cowbit was the birthplace of Jane’s mother.
1856 Apr 30 Stephen and Biddy Cowbit Labourer
Both twins died in Cowbit. Biddy was buried on 21 Apr 1857, aged 1, and Stephen on 16 Jul 1858, aged 2. A note beside his entry says: “1st child near ye school wall”.
Twins were sometimes born prematurely, and they may have been frailer than their siblings.
Aaron junior was born in Cowbit in the first quarter of 1858. We have not found a baptism for him.
The family then moved to Moulton Eaugate, where Aaron and Jane were to remain for the rest of their lives.
A second pair of twins was born.
Baptisms. All Saints, Moulton.
1860 Oct 25 George and Sarah Ann Aaron and Jane Beeken Moulton Eaugate Labourer
1861 Census. Moulton Eaugate, Moulton, Spalding.
Aaron Beeken Head Mar 34. Ag. Lab. Spalding
Ester Jane Beeken Wife Mar 30 Moulton
John Beeken Son 10 Scholar Weston
William Beeken Son 9 Scholar Weston
Martha Ann Beeken Daur 6 Scholar Moulton
Aaron Beeken Son 3 Scholar Cowbit
Sarah Ann Beeken Daur 5 m Moulton
George Beeken Son 5 m Moulton
Five more children followed: another Stephen in the second quarter of 1863, Jane Elizabeth in the third quarter of 1864, Susannah Jane in the first quarter of 1866, Thomas in the first quarter of 1868, and Robert Henry in the second quarter of 1870. We have found no baptism for these children.
Susannah is later said to be ‘crippled from birth’.
1871 Census. Eaugate, Molton, Spalding.
Aaron Beeken Head Mar 44 Farm labourer Spalding
Jane Beeken Wife Mar 40 Wife Moulton
John Beeken Son Unm 20 Farm labourer Weston
Aaron Beeken Son Unm 13 Farm labourer Spalding
Sarah Ann Beeken Daug 10 Scholar Moulton
George Beeken Son 10 Scholar Moulton
Stephen Beeken Son 8 Scholar Moulton
Jane Elizabeth Beeken Daug 6 Scholar Moulton
Susanah Jane Beeken Daug 5 Scholar Moulton
Thomas Beeken Son 3 Moulton
Robert Henry Beeken Son 1 Moulton
Before the next census, another three children have been born: Mary Ann in the first quarter of 1872, Fred in the fourth quarter of 1873 and Rose Alice in the third quarter of 1875. Again, we have no baptisms for them.
We know that before the end of their lives, Aaron and Jane had joined a non-conformist church. This was almost certainly the Baptist Church. The Baptists do not practice infant baptism. There would have been a register of the births of members’ children, but this is not available.
The new Connexion church was formed in 1797 by seccession from the Wesleyan Methodists. The New Connexion church in Moulton became a General Baptist church.
They probably joined the Baptist church before Aaron junior was born, since we do not have a baptism for him. The fact that they then had their second pair of twins baptised may be because of the early death of the first pair. Aaron and Jane may have feared the risk of these second twins dying unbaptised.
In the next two censuses the family are still at Moulton Eaugate. In 1881, Jane’s elderly mother is living with them.
1881 Census. Moulton Eaugate, Moulton, Spalding.
Aaron Beeken Head Mar 54 Ag. Lab. Spalding
Jane Beeken Wife Mar 50 Moulton
Stephen Beeken Son Unm 18 Ag. Lab. Moulton
Susanah Beeken Daur Unm 15 Scholar Moulton
Thomas Beeken Son 13 Scholar Moulton
Robert H Beeken Son 11 Scholar Moulton
Mary A Beeken Daur 9 Scholar Moulton
Fred Beeken Son 7 Scholar Moulton
Rose A Beeken Daur 5 Scholar Moulton
Sarah Wilson Wife’s mother Wid 80 Boarder Crowland
1891 Census. Moulton Eaugate, Moulton, Spalding.
Aaron Beeken Head M 64 Agricultural labourer Spalding
Jane Beeken Wife M 62 Moulton
Jane Beeken Daur S 25 Moulton
Thomas Beeken Son S 23 Agricultural labourer Moulton
Rose Beeken Daur S 15 Moulton
The daughter Jane here is not Jane Elizabeth, who was by then married and living in Croydon, but Susannah Jane, their disabled daughter born a year later.
Aaron Beeken was buried at All Saints, Moulton, on 17 Nov 1897, aged 70.
The entry in the burial register is accompanied by the words: “as certified under the Burial Laws Amendment Act of 1880”.
This amendment stated that notice may be given that burial will take place in a churchyard or graveyard without the rites of the Church of England. Notice must be given beforehand, and the service carried out in a decent and orderly manner.
This usually indicated that the person buried in a non-conformist. The funeral service was performed by a Free Church minister, but in an Anglican church, and burial took place in the churchyard.
The Methodist Church in Moulton had its own graveyard, but the Baptists did not.
One other burial on that page of the register bears the same note.
It is significant that Jane Elizabeth was married in a Baptist church in South Norwood.
All Saints, Moulton, churchyard 
The widowed Jane Esther provided for herself and her disabled daughter by running a sweetshop in the village.
1901 Census. Moulton Eaugate, Village, Moulton, Spalding.
Easter J Beeken Head Wid 71 Sweet shop At home. Moulton
Susannah Beeken Daur S 35 Moulton Cripple from Birth
Robert H Beeken Son S 31 Soldier on furlough Worker Moulton
Elizabeth Beeken G. Daur S 14 Moulton
Esther Jane Beeken was buried in Moulton on 19 Aug 1901. She was aged 72 and had been living in Moulton Eaugate.
Her burial also carries the words: “as certified under the Burial Laws Amendment Act 1880”.
In her case, no other burial on that page bears the same notice.
There were many people who were not practising members of the Church of England, yet used their services for baptisms, weddings and funerals. Aaron and Jane’s non-conformity evidently meant a great deal to them.
We might have wondered what became of the disabled Susannah, without either of her parents. In fact, she died the year after her mother. Her funeral service was also taken by the Baptist minister.
Burial. All Saints, Moulton.
1902 April 12th Susan Jane Beeken Moulton Chapel 36 years
As certified under the Burial Laws Amendment Act 1880.
Moulton Chapel lies between Moulton and Moulton Eaugate, to the east of Spalding. Susannah may have had a sister living there, or was taken in by a member of their church.
 Family Search. Moulton. Lincolnshire Genealogy.
NEXT GENERATION: 4. MONK EVANS-BEEKEN
PREVIOUS GENERATIONS: 6. BEEKEN-SKUPHAM