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)

March Tree



JAMES NEWMAN was one of the first children of the 19th century. He was christened on 27 February 1800 in the Cambridgeshire village of Bourn.

His parents were John and Mary Newman. His mother may be Mary Lawson of St Ives, now in Cambridgeshire, but formerly in Huntingdonshire.

There is just one caution. James Newman, aged 0, was buried in Bourn on 1 Feb 1801. Normally we would assume this was the same James, but the birth details fit exactly with the information James Newman gives in the 1851 census, and with his age at death.

We have no evidence of a second James Newman, and we do not yet have access to the parish registers, to see if the burial was mistranscribed.

James was the fourth of six children.

He spent the whole of his life in Bourn. This is a village 8 m WSW of Cambridge and 1 m east of the old Roman road of Ermine Street running north from London.

James grew up in a period when the commons of Bourn were being enclosed. There was much rebuilding of tenant cottages and farmhouses across the parish. The principal building material was brick, with thatch or tiled roofs.

James began his working life as a sawyer. He would either have worked in a sawpit, or cut wood resting on trestles.


MARY ANN TRIPLOW was born in Meldreth. This is a village 7 m SE of Bourn.
She was born on 3 Apr 1803 and baptised on 22 May.

Baptism. Meldreth.
1803 May 22  Mary Ann daughter of Joseph and Jane Triplow.

Her mother was Jane Adams.

She was the sixth of twelve children. An elder sister may have died before Mary was born.

In the 1841 census her father is an agricultural labourer.

It would have been hard to feed so many children on his low wages. Nevertheless, there seems to be a low rate of infant mortality in this family.

Meldreth was famous for its fruit production, with many orchards. It was particularly known for its greengages.

Brides are usually married in their home parish. The fact that Mary married in Bourn suggests that she had gone to work there before this.


Marriage. St Helen and St Mary, Bourn, Cambs.
1827 Dec 15  James Newman and Mary Triplow.

Their first child was born the following year.

Baptisms. Bourn.
1828 Nov 23  Ann. Her father’s occupation is given as sawyer.
1831 Apr 30  Joshua
1833 May 12  Caroline
1837 Sep 10  James.  Father a sawyer. James junior had been born two years earlier, and only brought for baptism when his younger sister was.
1837 Sep 10  Lydia. Father sawyer.

By the time of the 1841 census, James had changed his occupation to that of cooper.  He would have been making casks, barrels, buckets, etc, from wooden staves.

In the 1841 census we find the couple living in the village of Bourn in Cambridgeshire.

James Newman     40        Cooper                               yes
Mary Newman      35                                                  yes
Ann Newman         11                                                  yes
Joshua Newman     9                                                   yes
Caroline Newman   7                                                   yes
James Newman      5                                                   yes
Lydia Newman       3                                                   yes

Two years later their son  Joseph was born. He was their last child.

Baptism. Bourn.
1843 Jul 30  Joseph Newman.

His father’s occupation is given as labourer, but in the next census he is again a cooper.

1851 Census. Bourn, Caxton
James Newman     Head    Mar      51      Cooper               Cambs, Bourn
Mary Newman      Wife    Mar      50                                Meldreth
Joshua Newman     Son      Un       20      Ag labourer        Bourn
James Newman      Son      Un       16      Ag labourer        Bourn
Lydia Newman       Daur                14      Scholar              Bourn
Joseph Newman    Son                  8       Scholar              Bourn

James senior was buried in Bourn on 20 Sep 1857, aged 57.

The two youngest children continued to live with their widowed mother.

1861 Census. The Village, Bourn, Caxton
Mary Ann Newman Head    Wid   59      Cooper’s Widow                  Meldreth
Lydia Newman         Daur    Un     24                                         Bourn
Joseph Newman       Son       Un     18      Gardener’s labourer    Bourn

Mary did not quite make it to the next census. She was buried in Bourn on 14 Jan 1871, aged 68.





March Tree