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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ISAAC RODWAY. We have few details for Isaac and even fewer for Ann.

We know that in 1774, Isaac Rodway was apprenticed to John London, coachmaker, of Norton Folgate in Middlesex.

In 1736, rebuilding began on the site of No. 33 Folgate Street, where there were “two Brick

Coach houses Roomes and Chambers over the same and stabling for six horses”. The house was then occupied by John London, coachmaker, who added warehouses and a counting house.[1] As an apprentice, Isaac may well have slept in one of those rooms over a coach house.

Findmypast tells us: “The life of an apprentice was completely dependent on the master. Apprentices relied on their masters for food, shelter and clothing. During their years of training, they were not allowed to marry, gamble or visit public houses. However, what they were to be taught was not specified. Some masters spent very little time with their young apprentices and only gave them menial tasks to complete, instead of developing their skills.”

At the end of his apprenticeship, Isaac would have become a journeyman, licensed to practice the trade of coachmaking.

John London’s were not the only such premises in Folgate Street. In 1726, John Winn, variously described as stable-keeper, inn-keeper or coachmaker,  occupied Nos. 23 and 25, and in 1757 he acquired the lease of Nos. 13 and 15.


Folgate Street is north of the historic Spitalfields Market.

Eighteenth century Spitalfields was known for the influx of Huguenot refugees from France. They set up a flourishing silk weaving industry.

The date of 1774 could either be when the indenture was entered into, or when it was registered for tax purposes.

The former seems unlikely, since apprenticeships usually lasted for seven years, and four years after this Isaac was a fully-fledged coachmaker, married and fathering a child.

The master had to pay tax on the premium paid for the apprenticeship. This had to be done not more than one year after the end of the apprenticeship. It is more likely that 1774 is the date when John London paid the tax on Isaac’s premium, but is still rather late for the end of his apprenticeship, if we have the correct baptism. It may be that the early death of Isaac’s father meant that he entered an apprenticeship later than usual, when he had saved money for the premium.

This apprenticeship links him to the following baptism, four years later.,,

Baptism, Christ Church, Spitalfields, Stepney.
1778 Apr 21  William Rodway son of Isaac Rodway and his wife Ann, Coachmaker. Residence: Pearl Street.
William was 8 days old.

Pearl Street and Christ Church are further east than Spitalfields market.


An Isaac Rodway who is probably this father, was baptised in London in 1747. He was one of twins.
Baptism. London.
1747 Jun 7  Isaac and Sarah Rodway children of Robert and Elizabeth Rodway.

This would make him 31 at the time of William’s christening, which is certainly credible, and the coincidence of the distinctive name and occupation make it likely that the apprenticeship is his.

The previous year, 1746, there is a marriage for Robert Rodway and Elizabeth Stanton in Westminster, only 4 miles from Spitalfields, who must be Isaac’s parents.

Isaac had a twin Sarah. We have no information about other siblings.

There is a burial for Robert Rodway in 1749, in Finsbury, which is even closer to Spitalfields. This would explain why there are no more children.

It would appear that Isaac lost his father at the age of two.


ANN. William’s baptism is the only evidence we have for Ann. We do not have the record of her marriage to Isaac, so we do not know her maiden name, or the family she came from.

We have found no more baptisms for this couple, and no burial for Isaac. There are a number of burials for Ann Rodway in the late 18th century, but these are transcripts, with no personal details to distinguish between them.

Most of our information comes from transcripts, which are often incomplete. More should become available when we have scans of the parish registers.


[1] The St John and Tillard Estate: Folgate Street. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol27/pp73-81
[2] Honeywill & Co., coach-makers | London Street Views




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