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)

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JOHN WILSON. Unusually, the 1841 census for Moulton gives the exact ages of adults. These are usually rounded down to the nearest 5. This tells us that John Wilson was born around 1793-4. But this is at variance with his age given at death, which puts his birth date around 1801-2.

We do not have access to the original parish register for his burial, so the age may be an error in transcription. If it were 53 instead of 43, this would give a birth date of 1791-2.

Unfortunately, the 1841 census does not tell us his birth parish.

The nearest baptism in age to tally with the census is in Holbeach, 3 miles east of Moulton.

Baptism. Holbeach.
1793 Mar 6  John Wilson son of James and Jane Barker Wilson.

His mother was Jane Barker Hempstock.

If his age at his burial is correct, then the nearest birth is recorded at the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Spalding.

Birth. Spalding Meeting.
1800 1mo (Jan) 4  John Pearson son of Thomas and Elizabeth Wilson of Bennington, Grazier.

This would put him in the same class as Sarah.

Bennington is 10 miles north of Moulton, making this one unlikely.

Between these two dates is a baptism in Moulton.

Baptism. Moulton.
1796 Jul 5  John Wilson son of James and Elizabeth Wilson

This James Wilson was a farmer, and in later baptisms a gentleman. Younger sons of farmers might become labourers, but it is very unlikely that the second son of a gentleman would

This leaves the Holbeach baptism, matching the census, as the most likely one..

John died before the 1851 census, which would have given us more details.

Assuming that the Holbeach baptism is correct, then John was the last of three children. His mother was buried 6 days after his baptism.

He had a sister and a brother.

 John became a labourer.


SARAH HARDY was baptised in Crowland in the closing days of the eighteenth century.

Baptism. Crowland.
1799 Dec 12  Sarah daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Hardy.

Her mother was Sarah Congreve.

Sarah was the fourth of nine children. Her father was a farmer. For most of her childhood they lived in Crowland.

Her father died when Sarah was 10. He was buried, not at Crowland, but in Whaplode. But this is long thin parish, reaching south to outskirts of Crowland.

He was then a farmer at Postland, an area just north of Crowland.


They were married in Crowland Abbey on 30 Sep 1823. John Wilson was of Moulton, and Sarah Hardy of Crowland. Both sign their names.
Witnesses: William Wilson, Elizth Jackson.

Crowland Abbey was a Benedictine abbey at the time of the Reformation. The majority of it was demolished, but the north aisle became the parish church.

Crowland Abbey and Church [1]

John and Sarah had 5 children, baptised in a variety of places. It was common for agricultural labourers to move frequently, often being taken on for a year at a time at annual hiring fairs.

Moulton. 1828 Oct 19  William. His father was of Moulton and a labourer.
Crowland. 1831 April 4  Jane Hesther,  of Moulton Bank, labourer.
Whaplode. 1834  Jul 13  Stephen,  of Whaplode
Whaplode. 1836 Jun 12  Susan,  of Whaplode Drove, Labourer.
Moulton. 1839 Nov 3  Abraham,  of Moulton, Labourer.
Abraham was buried in Moulton on 21 Apr 1841, aged 1.

The 1841 census finds John, Sarah and their four children on the Eaugate Road, Moulton. Molton Eaugate is a smaller village south of Moulton and north of Crowland.

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

John died in 1845  He was buried in Whaplode, between Moulton and Holbeach,  on Sep 1845, aged 43.

Sarah became a nurse. We find her in the 1851 census in the household of Robinson Elsdale, surgeon and apothecary, at Main Street, Moulton. With him are his wife and two children, a governess, a cook, a housemaid, a groom and Sarah Wilson, widow, aged 51, nurse, born in Crowland.

She moved from this to become a housekeeper.

The impression we have of Sarah is that she was a cut above the average labourer’s wife, as befits the daughter of a farmer.

1861 Census. Garner Dike, Moulton.
Clara Moody       Head    Un            42      Land Proprietor        Moulton
Sarah Wilson     Serv     Widow      60      House Keeper          Crowland

Her daughter Jane is living nearby with her husband Aaron Beeken and their children.

Sarah is still with Clara Moody in 1871. This time, the address is given as Garmandyke Road, but is probably the same as Garner Dike.

1871 Census. Garmandyke Road, Moulton.
Clara Moody       Head         Unmar    52   Annuitant                Moulton
Sarah Wilson     Servant     Unmar    69   General Servant       Crowland

Sarah is mistakenly entered as unmarried, instead of widowed.

In 1881, she is living with her daughter Jane and her large familly in Moulton Eaugate.

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

Sarah died two years later.

Burial. Moulton.
1883 Jan 29  Sarah Wilson of Moulton Chapel, aged 82.


[1] agefotostock




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