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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 JOHN LADD raised his family in Sutton, a small town 6 miles west of Croydon.

His was only the second generation of Ladds to do so. Records for the Ladd surname begin in 1725 with the baptism of Elizabeth, daughter of William Ladd and his first wife Elizabeth Hazel, who had married in Croydon. There is no evidence of any other family of this name.

It is reasonable to assume that John is William’s son.

Elizabeth senior died in 1736, but there is baptism in 1743, seven years after her death.

Baptism. Sutton.
1743 Oct 6  John s. of the woman yt lives with Wm Ladd, p.b., brt to Ch 10.

“p.b.” means that he was privately baptised and brought to the church to have this ratified on Oct 10. Normally, a child was privately baptised if it was feared that it might not survive. It could be done by a lay person, such as the midwife. The large number of private baptisms at this period in the register suggests that a clergyman may not always have been available in Sutton.

So who was “the woman yt lives with Wm Ladd”? On Dec 14 of that year William Ladd, Lime burner, of Sutton, went to the Fleet Prison in London to marry Elizabeth Owder, spinster. She is probably John’s mother, though this raises the question of why the couple did not marry before John’s birth. Her real name is probably Clowder, a common surname in neighbouring Croydon.

The Fleet Prison was a popular venue for what were known as “clandestine marriages”. These were valid ceremonies, but without some of the restrictions of a parish church wedding and greater privacy.

There is one caveat about this identification of John’s birth. The age given at his burial would mean he was born in 1736-7. In the days before birth certificates, ages of elderly people were often not accurately known, but a discrepancy of 6 years is greater than usual.

But if this child is not the John who raised his family in Sutton, it begs the question of what happened to him. We have found no alternative burial, marriage or baptisms of his children. We conclude, therefore, that this second-generation John Ladd was the son of the first-generation William Ladd.

John had four half-siblings from his father’s first marriage, but we have found no full siblings.

His father was a lime burner, extracting lime from limestone in a kiln.

The nearest marriage we have found for John is in Lambeth, thirteen miles to the north, in 1767. This is further away than we would expect, but fits well with the baptism of their first child in 1768.

Marriage. St Mary, Lambeth.
1767 Aug 12  John Ladd and Elizabeth Allwinckle   both of this parish.

It is not clear why John was living in Lambeth, but his father had moved a similar distance from Barnes to Sutton.

This identification is strengthened by the fact that the nearest baptisms we have found for the Lambeth couple are those in Sutton.


ELIZABETH ALLWINCKLE. Elizabeth was of the parish of St Mary’s, Lambeth, when she married, and her age at death gives her a birth date of around 1746-7. Her unusual name makes it almost certain that hers is the following baptism,

Baptism. St Margaret, Westminster.
born1747/8 Mar 8, bapt 1748 Apr 17   Elizabeth daughter of John and Ann Allwinckle.

Westminster is just across the Thames from Lambeth, with Westminster on the north bank and Lambeth on the south.

Elizabeth’s mother was Ann Saint.

She had one younger sister.

The couple raised their family in Sutton.

In the 18th century the road through Sutton from London to Banstead Downs was a haven for highwaymen. In 1755 the prosperity of the town was greatly increased by two turnpike roads that crossed in Sutton. One ran from London to Brighton, the other from Carshalton to Ewell.

The London to Brighton stagecoach opened in 1760, with the Cock Hotel as its 9 am breakfast stop. The increased traffic led to the expansion of businesses in Sutton.

The Cock Hotel 1790[1]

It was during this period of increased prosperity that John and Elizabeth raised their children, but this did not prevent them from falling into poverty at one stage.

 Baptisms. Sutton.
1768 Aug 7  John
1769 Oct 8  William
1771 Mar 24  Elizabeth
1773 Jan 10   Edward
1777 Jun 18  Thomas and James
1779 Sep 19  Sarah Ann
1781 Sep 16  Joseph
1783 Aug 30  Robert. Robert was buried on 2 Aug 1784, aged 1.
In the next register the dates of births are shown.
1786 Jun born 10 bapt 11  Mary
By the next year, the family had fallen on hard times.
1788 born Jan 31 bapt Feb 24  Richard.  Pauper.
The difficulty was evidently short-lived. The word “Pauper” does not appear again.
1790 Jan born 15 bapt 17  Ann
1792 Jan 1 Susanna

Both John and Elizabeth lived into their 80s.
Burials. Sutton.
1821 Nov 11  John Ladd S  84
If we are right about his baptism, his true age was 78. His wife and children may not have known how old he was.
S stands for Senior.
1828 Mar 23  Elizabeth Ladd S  81.
Elizabeth’s age is more accurate. In fact, she was 80.


[1] The Past on Glass: The Sutton Milestones




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