“We all grow up with the weight of history on us.
Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains
as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge
hidden in every cell of our bodies.”
I never knew how a name written upon a family tree, could consume my every waking moment, my sleeping moments to. They are no longer just names, they are amazing individuals who have not only taught me the struggles and joys of their history, but taught me more about myself than I ever thought possible.
I can see myself in them or in my husband and our children.
I can feel their pain, feel their happiness, as they enflame my imagination.
I picture their faces, their voices, their laughter, as their dna rushes through our blood. They are not only part of our history, they are an enormous part of our own characters.
I’m am proud and honoured to call them family.
And that’s why I can not let them be forgotten.
Most of them, lived simple, humble lives, just like you and me. They could easily be forgotten as time passes, as the people who’s lives entwined with theirs are slowly forgotten also.
They were not famous, inventors, politicians or royalty, they were just the same as you and I.
They had struggles, losses as we all do.
They worked hard, harder than we will ever comprehend.
They fell in love, married, multiplied.
They grew old and frail and said their goodbyes, as we all will have to do.
They were moaned and remembered by all who had the pleasure of having them in their lives.
And over time their memories, their stories, were no longer spoken, as new generations memories took their places.
And that’s why I have to do my upmost to remember the ones who were once somebodies everything.
Today I get to honour the humble life of my husbands, 3rd Great Grandfather, John Williams.
His life won’t be remembered in history books, and all that knew him, have all past. His life was a simple but humble one, but to me those are the most important lives to be remembered, as they are just the same as you and I.
So without further ado, I give you,
The Life of John Williams, through documentation.
John Williams was born about 1816, in Maddington, Amesbury, Wiltshire, England, to James and Elizabeth Williams nee Blewden.
James and Elizabeth, baptised John, on Sunday the 24th of November 1816, at St Mary’s Church, Maddington, Amesbury, Wiltshire.
Maddington is a small settlement and former civil parish on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England. It is on the River Till. Its nearest town is Amesbury, about 6 miles (10 km) to the southeast.
St Mary’s Church in the Maddington area of Shrewton, Wiltshire, was built in the late 12th century. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building, and is now a redundant church in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It was declared redundant on 29 December 1975, and was vested in the Trust on 26 July 1979.
Little is known about John’s life until, John, married Jane Smith, in The Church Of Orcheston St. Mary, Orcheston, Wiltshire, England, on Sunday the 24th of November 1839. John was a single man and Jane a spinster. John was residing at, Maddington and Jane at Orcheston St. Mary. Their witnesses were Charles and Elizabeth Dewey. John had followed in his Father James’s footsteps and was working as a butcher, at the time of their marriage.
St Mary’s Church, dates from the 13th century and is Grade II* listed. In 1971 the benefice was united with those of Chitterne and Tilshead, today the church is part of the Salisbury Plain benefice, which also includes the churches at Shrewton.
John and Jane were residing in Maddington, Amesbury, Wiltshire, England, on Sunday the 6th of June, 1841. Anne Williams and Sarah Sopp, were also residing with them. John was working as a butcher.
In the April to June quarter, of 1842, in the Devizes district of Wiltshire, John and Jane’s first Son was born, whom they named John Williams.
In the January to March quarter of 1844, John and Jane’s, second Son was born in the Amesbury district of Wiltshire. They named him, William Williams.
John and Jane, had their sons, John and William, baptised on the Friday the 3rd of May 1844, at Orcheston St Mary, Wiltshire.
Between October and December 1847, another son was born, whom they called Albert. He was born in the Bradford Union district, of Wiltshire.
Between April and June 1849, their Son, James Williams was born in the Amesbury district of Wiltshire.
On Sunday the 15th of April 1849, at St Mary’s Church, Maddington, Wiltshire, John and Jane, baptised, Albert and James.
On Monday the 3rd of February 1851, in Middington, Amesbury, Wiltshire, England, Jane gave birth to their Son, Richard Williams. Jane registered his birth on the 20th February 1851. John was working as a butcher, at the time of Richards birth.
John and Jane Williams lived in Maddington, Amesbury, Wiltshire, England, on Sunday the 30th of March 1851, with their children, John, William, Albert, James and Richard. John was working as a Butcher.
John and Jane, had Richard, baptised on Sunday the 8th of June 1851, at St Mary’s Church, Maddington, Wiltshire.
Sadly John’s wife Jane, died on Thursday the 3rd of May 1855. She died from Consumption, also known as Tuberculosis.
John laid her to rest on, Wednesday the 9th of May 1855, at Maddington, Amesbury, Wiltshire. John was left to bring up their five Childen alone.
Five years on and I’m sure a river of tears later, John remarried a lady called, Emma Harding. Emma is a good few years younger than John and I’m sure she must have been of kind character, to take on five children, especially at the age of 19.
John and Emma married on Wednesday the 15th of February 1860, at The Church of All Saints, Netheravon, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. Their witnesses were, Thomas Harding and Louisa Leach.
The Church of All Saints, is the Church of England parish church for the village of Netheravon, Wiltshire, England. A church has stood on this site near the River Avon since Saxon times. It has been designated a Grade I listed building.
On the Eve of Sunday 7th of April 1861, the census was taken, which shows John and Emma, residing at Maddington, Wiltshire. 3 of John’s and Janes, children, William, Albert and Richard are living at home with John and Emma. John is working as a butcher and William and Albert as architectural labourers.
Emma was in the family way as hers and John’s first child together, a son, whom they named Charles Williams, was born in the July quarter of 1861 in the Amesbury district of Wiltshire.
Charles was baptised at St Mary’s Church, Maddington, Wiltshire, on the 7th July 1861.
Two short year later, another son was born, whom they called Henry. Henry was born in the March quarter of 1863, in the Amesbury district of Wiltshire.
Henry was baptised at St Mary’s Church, Maddington, Wiltshire, on the 5th of April 1863.
In 1865, John and Emma had their first Daughter, Elizabeth Williams. Elizabeth was born in the December quarter of 1865, in the Amesbury district of Wiltshire.
Elizabeth was baptised at, at St Mary’s Church, Maddington, Wiltshire, on the 4th December 1864.
The following year, John and Emma have another Son, whom they name, Thomas Williams. Thomas was born in the July quarter of 1866, in the Amesbury district of Wiltshire.
Thomas was baptised on the 27th of May 1866, at St Mary’s Church, Maddington, Wiltshire.
A few short years later, Emma gifts John, a second daughter, whom they call, Fanny Williams. Fanny was born on the 31st December 1868. Her birth is registered in the January-March quarter of 1869, in the Amesbury district of Wiltshire.
John and Emma, baptised Fanny on the 21st September 1869, at St Mary’s Church, Maddington, Wiltshire.
Happy family life, is short lived because John died on Sunday the 21st February 1869 in Maddington, Amesbury, Wiltshire, England, when he was 52 years old.
John died from, Bronchistis of both sides, 5 days. Sarah Prangle was present and registered his death on the 23rd February 1869.
John’s family, laid him to rest at Maddington, Amesbury, Wiltshire, on the 24th February 1869.
His probate was finalised on the 17th April 1869. His probate reads,
Letters of Administration of the personal estate and effects of John Williams, late of Maddington in the county of Wiltshire Butcher deceased who died 21 February 1869 at Maddington aforesaid were granted at Salisbury to Emma Williams of Maddington aforesaid Widow the relict of the said deceased she having been first sworn.
RIP John Williams
You live on through your descendants.
I have brought and paid for all certificates throughout, Intwined.blog.
Please do not download or use them without my permission.
One thought on “The Life of, John Williams, 1816-1869.”
Great research well done