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)

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WILLIAM HAYNES. William says in every census that he was born in Abbotsley in Huntingdonshire, and his age gives him a birth date of 1802-3. We have been unable to find a convincing baptism for him. There is one in the right year in nearby Roxton, but this child died in infancy.

We do not yet have access to the Abbotsley registers, but have to rely on indices of baptisms, etc, which may be incomplete.

Abbotsley is in the former county of Huntingdonshire. In 1974 it became part of the county of Cambridgeshire, and now forms a large portion of the east of that county, bordering on Bedfordshire.

The village is 3 miles west of St Neots. The High Street is fringed with 17th-century thatched cottage, farm houses and fields, 18th-century brick buildings, the former village school, a pub and the village green.

The church above the green is dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch. Its tower is ornamented with the figures of four kings.

St Margaret’s, Abbotsley

Like so many others, William became an agricultural labourer. It is highly likely that he came from a family of farm workers.

There was much rural poverty in the early 19th century, though skilled workmen like plough-team leaders or experienced cowmen might secure higher wages.

As the century progressed, there was a move away from annual hiring fairs, where a man could be engaged for a year, to more casual work for a day or a week, with no pay on wet days if work was not possible.


 ELIZABETH CULLIP. The census returns give Elizabeth’s birthplace as Yelling in Huntingdonshire and her date of birth as 1806-7. This matches the following.

Baptism. Yelling
1807 Mar 29  Elizabeth daughter of William and Elizabeth Cullip

She was the sixth of ten children. The first five are recorded with the surname Caleb, but from Elizabeth onwards it is spelt Cullip. There was probably a new clergyman, who heard it differently.

Her mother was Elizabeth Peters.


The Haynes’s first child was born in 1830. This gives us the following marriage.

Marriage. Eaton Socon.
1828 Oct 29  William Haynes and Elizabeth Cullis

Cullip is an alternative spelling of Cullis. In a few records for this family, the name is spelt Cullips.

Eaton Socon is just south of St Neots. It is 4 miles from William’s birthplace of Abbotsley and 6 from Elizabeth’s birthplace at Yelling. Weddings usually took place in the bride’s parish, so Elizabeth may have moved to find work there.

They set up home in Bourn, ten miles further east. This had grown from the medieval village in the wooded valley of the Bourn Brook and was now centred along the High Street near the church.

Five children were born here.
Baptisms. Bourn.
1830 Apr 24  George
1832 May 12  William
1834 Mar 30  John
1837 Jul 23  James
1840 May 10  Ann

At all these baptisms, William is said to be a labourer, and the family are living in Bourn, meaning in the village and not in the surrounding countryside.

All five children survived infancy

 1841 Census. Butlers End, Bourn, Caxton & Arrington, Cambs.
William Haynes        36             Ag lab        Y
Elizabeth Haynes     35                               Y
George Haynes           12                               Y
William Haynes         10                               Y
John Haynes               8                                Y
James Haynes             4                                Y
Ann Haynes                1                                Y

Two years later, their youngest child was born.

Baptism. Bourn.
1843 Oct 27  Elizabeth daughter of William and Elizabeth Haines, of Bourn, labourer.

 1851 Census. Caxton Road, Bourn, Caxton, Cambs.
William Haynes     Head      M      48     Ag lab                  Abbotsley
Elizabeth Haynes   Wife                44                                  Yelling
George Haynes        Son        U       21     Ag lab                  Bourn
James Haynes          Son                  14     Ag lab                  Bourn
Elizabeth Haynes   daur                 7                                   Bourn

20-year-old William junior was already married, but living in Caxton workhouse. There is no mention of his wife.

 1861 Census. Paradise Street, Bourn, Caxton.
William Haynes     Head           Mar       58          Ag labr                     Hunts, Annerley
Elizabeth Haynes   Wife           Mar       54          Labr wife                 Hunts, Yelling
John Haynes            son             Un         27          Labr son ag              Cambs, Bourn
James Haynes          son             Un         23          Labr son ag              Cambs, Bourn

In the next census, the enumerator has misspelt William’s birthplace.
1871 Census, Caxton Road, Bourn, Caxton.
William Haynes     Head           Mar       68          Ag lab     Habbotsley, Huntingdonshire
Elizabeth Haynes   Wife           Mar       64                          Yelling, Huntingdonshire

William continued to work into old age. There were no state pensions then.

1881 Census. Gills Hill, Bourn, Caxton.
William Haynes     Head           Mar       78          Ag lab     Hunts, Abbotsley
Elizabeth Haynes   Wife           Mar       74                          Hunts, Yelling

William died just before the next census.

Burial. Bourn.
1891 Mar 28  William Haynes of Bourn aged 88

Elizabeth went to live at Railway Cottages, Bourn, with her son James, who was a railway signalman. In the 1891 census she is living there with James, his wife and their four children, whose ages range from 19 to 9. Elizabeth is an 84-year-old widow.

The Bedford to Cambridge railway line, which passed through Bourn, had been opened in 1862.

Elizabeth died four years later.

Burial. Bourn.
1895 Mar 28  Elizabeth Haynes of Bourn aged 88




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