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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 CHARLE LADD.  Charles says in the 1851 census that he was born in Banstead. This stands on the North Downs 5 miles SW of Croydon. The old four-mile Epsom racecourse passed close to it.

His age has been transcribed as 57, which would give him a birth date of 1793-4. No baptism has been found for him then. Examination of the handwritten return shows that his age could be 51. This matches much more closely with the age of 40 given in the 1841 census, when adult ages were rounded to the nearest 5. Elizabeth appears to be significantly older than him then, which was not true in 1851 if his age was 57 and hers 56.

His date of birth would now be 1799-1800. Charles says in every census that he was born in Banstead. There is only one baptism in the Banstead registers for Charles Ladd.

Baptism. Banstead.
1798 Feb 11  Charles Lad son of Edward Lad and Elizabeth.
His mother was Elizabeth Harris.

 Charles was the second of five children.

His father was an agricultural labourer, and Charles followed in his footsteps.

The North Downs were not productive farmland. They were mostly given over to sheep-rearing.


ELIZABETH COPPER was baptised seven miles away in Bletchingley on 22 Jun 1794. She was the daughter of Edward Copper and Sarah Bysh. Her teenage parents had married when they found that her mother was pregnant with Elizabeth.

She had one younger sister.

Bletchingley stands on a ridge, on the road from Godstone to Redhill. It was formerly a market town, but had declined to a village.

Charles Ladd married Elizabeth Copper in Coulsdon on 25 Nov 1826. Both were of this parish. Coulsdon is a small town three miles east of Banstead. It is likely that Elizabeth had moved from Bletchingley to find work.

They began their family in Banstead. Four children were born there.

Baptisms. Banstead.
1828 Jan 6  Caroline
1830 Mar 21 Maria Elizabeth
1832 Jun 17  Edward
1835 Sep 6  John

In the 1841 census they are living with these four children at Tadworth, a village in the parish of Banstead. Tadworth stands on the south east corner of Epsom Downs, which are part of the North Downs and is also close to the Epsom race course. It did not get its own parish church until 1912, so the Ladds may have been living there when their children were baptised in Banstead.

Tadworth, Banstead, Epsom, Surrey.
Charles Ladd       40      Ag lab                   Y
Elizabeth Ladd    45                                  Y
Caroline Ladd      13                                  Y
Maria Ladd           11                                  Y
Edward Ladd         8                                   Y
John Ladd             6                                   Y

Some labourers had continuous employment on the same farm; others were only taken on for a year. It was a precarious existence. They would present themselves at the annual hiring fair, not knowing what the next twelve months had in store for them. Single labourers were sometimes given accommodation in the farmhouse; married men were usually provided with a cottage. It meant constant moves. They would pile their meagre possessions on a cart and take them from cottage to cottage, in the same village or a neighbouring one.

The next baptism is in Kingswood. 2 miles south of Banstead, though the Ladds are still living in that parish.

Baptism. St Andrew, Kingswood.
1841 Sep 5  Elizabeth  Charles & Elizabeth Ladd  Banstead  Labourer

By 1851 the Ladds’ address is Banstead Newton. This is an older name for Tadworth making it hard to tell whether they had moved or not. They are now living in the Old Workhouse. This appears to be what it says it is, and not the current workhouse. Five families are living there. Only one of them are paupers. There is no suggestion that the Ladds are. None of their children died in infancy, as we would expect in the poorest families.

 1851 Census. Old Workhouse, Banstead Newton, Banstead.
Charles Ladd  Head    Mar      51        Ag lab                           Banstead
E Ladd            Wife     Mar      56                                             Bletchingley
M Ladd            Daur    U         21                                             Banstead
J Ladd              Son      U         15        Ag lab                           Banstead
E Ladd             Daur                9         Scholar                           Banstead

By now, Caroline has left home and gone into service.

In 1856, their 15-year-old daughter Elizabeth gave birth to a son.

Baptism. St John, Reigate.
1856 Nov 2  Francis  Elizabeth Ladd  Union

This meant that she had given birth in the workhouse, a common resort for unmarried mothers.

In 1861, Elizabeth junior married the labourer Frederick Charlwood. Her father is Charles Ladd, Labourer.

By the next census, the Ladds had moved to Chipstead, 2 miles east of Banstead. This village lies on a curving valley of the Downs.

1861 Census. Chephouse, Watkins Green, Chipstead, Reigate, Surrey.
Charles Ladd       Head       M      60   Ag lab              Banstead
Elizabeth Ladd    Wife       M      62                           Bletchingly
Maria Ladd           D            U       30   Ag lab              Banstead
Francis Ladd         Son        U       4    Ag lab              Reigate
Thomas Bashford  Boarder   U       15   Ag lab              Blades?

It would appear that Charles and Elizabeth are raising Francis as their son, rather than their grandson.

Elizabeth senior died before the next census. There is a registration for Eliza Ladd in the Epsom District in the 2nd quarter of 1864, which may be hers.

By the next census, we find Charles in the workhouse.

1871 Census. Reigate Union Workhouse, Earlswood, Red Hill, Reigate, Reigate Foreign.
Charles Ladd         Pauper    Widowr     77      Farm Servant       Banstead
He was actually 73, but ages are often inaccurate with older people.

Reigate Workhouse, Red Hill

 Reigate had two workhouses, one in Reigate itself, and another at Red Hill, serving the rural area around Reigate. The latter survives as the rear of the Hatch pub and a veterinary surgeon’s.

By the time he died, Charles was no longer living in the workhouse, but back in Chipstead. He had probably been taken in by one of his children. In the 1871 census, his daughter Elizabeth, her husband Frederick Charlwood and their family were living in Chipstead at Charles’s old address, Chip House.

Elizabeth’s son Francis is now living with them. The gap between his birth and Elizabeth’s marriage suggests that Frederick was not his father.

Charles was buried in the churchyard of Chipstead.

Burial. St Margaret, Chipstead.
1878 Dec 1  Charles Ladd  Chipstead  82.
His true age was 80.





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