3 Apr 2017

Mary's parents-in-law

Mary Squire's Almshouses

This is the sixth post in my series reporting my research into Mary Squire's Almshouses in Walthamstow, London, formerly in the county of Essex; and of Mary Squire herself. Official name: The Squire's Almshouses.

To complete the St Mary parish register records that I found at the Walthamstow Local Archive I'll next write about Mary's parents-in-law.

I found either four or even six children baptised at St Mary's Walthamstow whose oldest son looks to be William Squire who went on to marry Mary (all my research points to William being the right man, I have not found any contradiction).  The children were baptised, and probably born, between 1724 and 1731.

I then looked for the marriage of William's parents, i.e. Mary's parents-in-law.

It wasn't very surprising that this marriage was not to be found in the parish register of St Mary's Walthamstow.  People back in those days usually got married in the bride's parish, and if the bride wasn't from the same place as her husband-to-be, then that could be anywhere.

I looked at Essex parishes to begin with, because the village of Walthamstow was in the county of Essex in the 18th Century.  In family history research terms that might be called casting your net widely.  Thankfully I got lucky!

© Society of Genealogists

I went to the Society of Genealogists for their excellent collection of records. The SoG and its library is at 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA - just around the corner from  Barbican tube station.  To use the library you can either buy access time on the day or become a member (pdf form), which I can recommend.  The SoG has some records that are unique to them so this library is a great resource to check out. Have a look at the online catalogue SoGCAT to see what they have. The membership page gives more information on their holdings.

At the time of writing, their current fees are £5, £10 or £18 for 2 hours, 4 hours, or a day pass respectively. The annual subscription of £54 (plus a one-off joining fee of £10) is very good value. If you expect to go more often than three days in a year then being a member really pays off.

I found a marriage record that mentions Walthamstow as the parish of origin for William (and Elizabeth too!), so it is likely to be the correct marriage.  Mary herself did not mention anyone named Stubbing but then she didn't much refer to her husband's family in her will either.  She does list a nephew-in-law, and his sister.  More on them in a later post.

This marriage is at exactly the right time: a year before the oldest son William (Mary's future husband) was baptised in Walthamstow, and in roughly the right place, Essex.  Thaxted (Great Dunmow) is a village located a little North-East of Stansted Airport.  It is 37 miles from Walthamstow.

I don't recall how I found this specific marriage, I may have checked Boyd's Marriage Index, or just gone through all the Essex parishes.  The SoG has very good books on many Essex parishes that contain typed entries presumably transcribed from parish registers.

The marriage information is as follows (not verbatim):

Marriage on 11 Aug 1723 of William Squire and Elizabeth Stubbing - Thaxted, Essex, both of the parish of Walthamstow

Now it is a bit strange that they are both listed as 'of the parish of Walthamstow'.  Because of this phrasing, William must have lived there prior to marrying (I haven't found his origins yet: he wasn't baptised in Walthamstow, his children were), and I am fairly certain that Elizabeth Stubbing was not born in Walthamstow either.  At the London Metropolitan Archives I found a record of her baptism in Thaxted:

Baptism 13 Sep 1698 Elzabeth daughter of Richard and Frances Stubbing

The LMA reference is: ES/R 136 BAP 1660-1812
ES/R 72 also lists their marriage: 11 Aug 1723 William Squire & Elizabeth Stubbin
The family name is usually spelled Stubbings in Thaxted records and occasionally Stubbin.
In the handwritten ES/R 135 volume her name is also given as Stubbin but her first name is even more mangled as: ‘Elzabelh’. Go figure.

The reference to them both being of the parish of Walthamstow must mean that Elizabeth also lived in Walthamstow before she married William Squire Sr.  Thaxted was where she was from and I imagine that they married in Thaxted so her family could attend the wedding.

The marriage in 1723 took place before Elizabeth's 25th birthday (if she was also born in September when her baptism took place).  25 is quite an average age to marry even back then.

I have not found William Squire Sr's baptism.  It looks like he was not originally from Walthamstow and I am still looking for a sign of him and the two cousins I could identify: Henry (Croydon) and Thomas (boxmaker in the City of London). I may have found Thomas's father John who was a fruiterer.  No sign yet of William or Henry's parents.

I found records of two burials in the St Mary Walthamstow register:

William Squire buried 14 May 1742:

I believe that this must be Mary's father-in-law.  If this was William his son then he can't have been Mary's husband because he died in 1763 when he left a will leaving everything to Mary.  I am going with the father-in-law.  It makes sense too.

And Elizabeth Squire buried 23 Sep 1744:

Now this could be husband-to-be William's sister Elizabeth.  That this Elizabeth was not named a widow could potentially point to that.  I don't know if women were only referred to as widows if they had lived by themselves without family.  After her husband's death two years earlier, Elizabeth née Stubbings would have still lived in Walthamstow with her surviving children.  I believe this is the entry of her burial.  I can't know for sure though.

I believe that William moved to gthe city of London after his parents' death but I have not been able to find information on this, let alone when it happened or if any of his siblings moved with him.  He was 20 years old in 1744.

I do know that in 1743 his brother Thomas started an apprenticeship at 15 (a year later than usual) and this is what I'll write about next.

If you are wondering why I am writing about Mary Squire's Almshouses then have a look at this first blog post.

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