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The Wilding Family - and LittleChilds, Lagdens, Evans and Wickham
The Wilding family tree. Updated January 2004. This page is wildly out of date. If you view the Legacy Tree you will see considerably more information.
This is how the story goes. Around Christmas 2002, I was so impressed with a family tree created by my mother-in-law which goes back to 1066 (often on the female gender side), I became interested in doing something similar. The first hurdle was to get back before 1901 as very little detail is available after then - well, on the internet anyway.
I was quite surprised about how little information existed on the internet, even though there is masses, about what I needed to know, so like many of the excellent sites with 'Free' as part of their name, I decided all info that I discovered would be freely available to all. You may have noticed that there are certain sites where you pay for searching, some are respectable and earn their fee, some are a waste of space - I refer to some of these in my. Essex TOP TEN.
So to cut a long story short - yawn - I heavily trawled the 1901 Census site, bought a copy of the 1881 Census and spent many hours on FreeBMD, Ancestry and Rootsweb. Since then I have bought countless census and Parish registers. not always for where I should be aiming.
My father was also a great source of useful info, although he sadly died in March, unexpectedly. Here is the Wilding story as I have it so far.
The Wilding Search.
Grandfather was a Robert Wilding - my fathers father, and I remember him as a guy who spent vast amounts of time at his allotment growing rhubarb and other stuff. Does anyone really like rhubarb? My grandmother was a cuddly lady who lived next door for the early years of my formative life, and played Rummy with me on a 1930s table covered with a green baize table cloth. It is funny the things that you remember about people.
Around 1973, we and they were compulsory purchased by Havering council - we moved to Hornchurch. My grandfather died shortly before this, my grandmother died shortly after.
Thirty years later, I found a picture frame with a photograph of my grandfather and neatly tucked behind was an early photograph of my grandmother. She was indeed a beauty, and is now the background image to my index page for this site!
So who were they, and where did they come from?
Lets take a step back in time ( or is this forwards?) - I lived in Marks Road, Romford from an early age. My primary school was Mawney Road, Romford as was my fathers. My headmaster, a Mr Howell was also my mothers headmaster at Crowlands school, London road, Romford and my father also went to Mawney Road school. My parents married around 1948.
We lived at number 27 Marks Road from about 1960, and my grandparents lived at number 25. But, my father stated that he was born at number 61, Marks Road. Perhaps a search of Marks Road in Romford was in order!
Hey presto, my first great break was an entry in the 1901 census, where you can purchase actual original images for only 75 pence each:
We thus have a document from the 1901 census showing Mary Wilding, with four sons. This shows that Mary was born in Suffolk, at Raydon, and was allegedly 44 in the year 1901, which suggests a date of birth of 1857.
The four sons found from here are Frederick(1886), Herbert(1888), Robert(1890) and Stanley(1892). Robert is my grandfather.
So, now we have a rough year of birth for Robert, my grandfather and where he was born - well sort of!
But, wait a minute, this says 22 Marks Road! OK, so the family liked to move around, but not very far. As it turns out, they were not property owners, so they moved from one rented property to another. The birth place of Robert is shown as Chelmsford, but where abouts in Chelmsford?
My next step was a visit to the Essex Record Office - the first time - a virgin - and this is what I found out!
I saw the original document of my parents marriage in 1948. Cool!
In the 1891 census for Romford, this address (i.e. 22 Marks Road), is shown as uninhabited. As the four boys show in this census as having been born in Chelmsford, this would make sense! Mary is a widow, thus William is dead at this stage - not so.
I was still stumped, and could not find any mention of the Wildings being baptised in Chelmsford in any of the Parish registers - then my father died and as part of his documentation, I found this.
The birth certificate for Robert Wilding . It is a fairly large jpeg file, in case you are not that interested ...
Relevant detail is as follows, if your browser connection does not support large downloads:
Robert Wilding, boy, born 6th April 1889, Galleywood Common, Chelmsford.
Parents are William Wilding, an agricultural labourer and Mary Ann Wilding (formerly Cole). William is shown in the 1891 Census as being born in Suffolk, and this is the first guarantee of a birth place for him - although a little vague.
Some months later, I signed up for an Ancestry.com 14 day trial which is mainly just the 1891 census - as far as the British public is concerned. Not a complete waste of time, as I found some extremely useful info from this.
We now have a copy of the 1891 Census document showing Robert in Galleywood Road, Moulsham, Chelmsford which links all the details together. Interestingly Mary is shown as Margaret, but there is no doubt that these details are correct.
So we now know that Galleywood Common is meant to be Galleywood Road, in Moulsham, in South Chelmsford!!!
So here is a limited family tree trees/July4-2.bmp
Let us remind ourselves of what we have from the 1891 census:
William Wilding 37
John J. 16
Robert A. 2
Walter has a problem, and I am not clear as yet, what it is, but there is a mention on the 1891 census which reads something like' paralysed' and I cannot find him in the 1901 census, although this does not prove anything.
Now we take a major step back in time. I have Kettlebaston as the birth place for William, and I have Raydon as the marriage place for William and Mary Ann. What extra information can we glean from this? I am fortunate that William was born in Kettlebaston, as it is a small-ish place with never more than about 200 inhabitants - so a good place to start.
Also, there is the Cosford Database (by Ray Long), which absolutely seems with info. Loads and loads of it. I owe a lot to Ray, for his endless answers to my questions, well not too often, but he always comes up with an answer - I like all the Suffolk researchers, they are real stars.
So where do we go from here? Well, firstly, William was born about 1851, so who are his parents? Ray suggests they are Robert Wilden and Caroline Death, this sounds very acceptable to me, though i am going on his knowledge,
This is where it gets really interesting, as Caroline is one of three Death sisters who all marry into the Wilden/Wilding family. This makes great family trees. The other two marry two brothers, and Robert is son of a thirty year old Mary Ann who there is no further information, at present. Actually, on the 1841 census, Robert is shown as a Carlow. Mary is married to Robert Carlow. She is not 30, she is 51 according to the census.
Further detail is now at Kettlebaston page.
You can view all of this detail in my family trees - created lovingly in Legacy.
Then there is the Cole family of Raydon (in Samford). There are a couple of Raydons, so you need to be certain that you get the right one!
Fortunately, I now have the 1841 census for Suffolk, and also the 1851 indexes for Samford and Cosford areas. So, I am now in a position to compare the two. Mary Ann Cole is allegedly the daughter of John & Mary Cole, but I am following the John & Sarah Cole lead at the moment, as this seems more likely. I am maybe wrong, but I am doing some serious work on the Coles in Raydon at the moment. In fact, I am transcribing the 1841 census for Raydon - as I do - and doing more checks on the Cole family as I continue.
More detail is on the Samford Hundred page.
I would much rather show you a copy of the census document, but I am not allowed to due to security reasons.
Robert married the 6th of June 1919 to Ethel Maud Littlechild, of 26 Drummond Road. She was the daughter of William Littlchild.
We also know there is a Charlie Wilding somewhere, and he had a son, Ray, who died in the 2nd WW in the Royal Navy... and he was a friend of dads. They lived in Grove Road, Chadwell Heath, and Charlie was married to Annie. The following record actually fills in some of the gaps. Charles is shown in the 1891 Census as being born in Hemley, Suffolk around 1884 as originally estimated! Hemley is actually spelt Hembley.
There was a marriage in September,1901 between a Charles Wilding and a Fanny Elizabeth Ashley. This could match to Annie E A Wilding?
Interestingly, there are three children showing on this record from the 1881 census. If this is the correct family, which I am now certain it is , then there is a gap between 1880 and 1886 of no recorded births. This would suggest there are two more children to find in this gap (1882 and 1884). As there are now proven.
I cannot find John T Wilding or Walter Wilding in the 1901 census, but Kathleen is shown as a domestic servant at the age of 23, in the original 1901 census document. The good news is my father remembers visiting Kathleen in Herne Hill. So this all links together now. He remembers one sister and five brothers, i.e Kathleen, Charles, Frederick, Herbert, Richard (Dick) and Robert.
Then there is also a Kathleen Wilding shown as being married in 1901, in Ipswich. There are two possible grooms, either a William Podd or Frank Hart, or possibly another? Maybe she never married?
This is a census of part of Romford showing the head of the household in 1919. E.g.
Wilding, Herbert William No. 24 Catherine Road
Wilding, Frederick Last, No. 26 Drummond Road
Wilding, Robert Arthur, No. 61 Marks Road
Littlechild, William Arthur, No. 42 Salisbury Road
In the 1922 Kelly's directory, William is shown as being at 41 Junction Road.
My grandfather, Robert later moved to Number 38 Marks Road and then to number 25, and we lived at number 27 from 1960 to around 1973. The story goes that twelve semi-detached houses all belonged to one family and he offered these to the residents, my grandfather bought numbers 25 and 27 with residents at number 27 being in their eighties. When they died, we moved in!
Robert Arthur Wilding had his own business as a boot & shoe repairer. This was at 3, Mildmay Road, Romford and the story goes that he supplied all the Romford Fire Brigade with hand sewn boots. Details of this can be found in the Kelly's directories of 1929 and 1937, and probably others too.
He completed his apprenticeship in Mawney Road and went to Mawney Road school, as did my father and myself, intriguing isn't it?
Robert died in 1970, and a couple of years later, both our house and theirs were compulsorily purchased by Havering council. My grandmother moved to a smaller house, and died within three months, in 1973.
Herbert is also shown as being a hardware dealer, at 41 Catherine Road in the Kelly's directories.
My father was married to an Evans, who I at first thought was linked to the Evans families living in Romford.
In fact, she came from Carlingford Road, Tottenham, London. Her father was an Arthur John Evans, and married to a Julie (called Nellie). They moved to Romford in 1935, when my mother was 8.
Arthur ran an electrical wholesaling business in the East End of London, and died in 1949, a year after my parents were wed.
Arthur E. Evans has an unusual middle name 'Ejester' which is allegedly a family name, so this is a search key. But many documents show him as Arthur John Evans, I have seen an E crossed out, and a J inserted instead on many of these. On my parents wedding certificate, he signs himself as Arthur John Evans. Other members of the family were Alfred Ejester Evans, born 28 May 1928, died 1997 in Blackpool; and Constance Evans born 1931, died 26th December 2003. Plus other living relatives.
I hav now created a separate Wickham page, at Wickham family
Arthur Evans had a sister Bessie, married to a Reverend Norman McGee; and also a brother Harold. There was also another brother (no name as yet) whose son was also a vicar.
My parents were married in 1948 at St Andrews, Romford with the vicar at the time being a Father Stroud. But interestingly, they were married by the Rev Norman McGee who was their uncle. Witnesses were my grandfather, Alfred John Evans and their friend Pat Brelsford.
Norman was a curate in Romford - at St Andrews Romford. Following this he moved to St Peters, Stockport, Cheshire and then onto Lymm, Warrington and finally to rest at Lustleigh in Devon.
His son Peter McGee was the vicar of Ottery St Mary between 1978 and 1996. Peter also has two sisters, who were bridesmaids at their wedding.
The amazing story (This is true!), is of an American tourist wandering in to my fathers workplace as a travel agent in London, and asking how to get to LustLeigh in Devon. He was looking for a Norman McGee, a relative of his. It's a small world!
The other claim to fame is a William E Evans, who I believe was an uncle, although I am yet to prove this, and he was an RA artist. Can anyone verify this is a fact?
Check this site out, too. Great source of information about Romford, Essex.
Moving on to Suffolk.
There is a great deal of information to be found about Suffolk at this link:
There are also some good sources for the Wilding family here, but yet to be linked.
This shows clearly, the district of Raydon.
LittleChild links with Kelvedon Hatch.
Robert Wilding (my grandfather) married Ethel Littlechild. Ethel is the best link I have found so far to do a reasonable genealogy search. If you notice the picture of my grandmother, I have definitely fallen in love with a goddess of past-times.
A great link is at http://www.historyhouse.co.uk/tour.html which documents most of the Kelvedon Hatch history and has various census records. If you follow the tour at this site, it will explain why a family would move from a reasonably wealthy (?) background as a farmer with several workers to move into town, i.e. Romford/Dagenham. We are talking about the recession that hit English farmers around 1873, when cheap American imports became available.
More recently, I had contact with Stephen Littlechild. He has put me straight on many links, and he has also published at least two books on the histoy of the Littlechild family, of which I am now the proud owner of the later of these.
Both volumes are viewable in the Essex Record Office (in the oversize section).
Ethel is the daughter of William & Esther Littlechild (born in Kelvedon & Terling respectively). I have a document from the 1901 census site giving this information. Much more information regarding this is on the Littlechild pages.
Actually, if you look at the Parish records for Dagenham, the details are:
This shows the parents - William (born in Kelvedon in 1855) and Esther (born Terling in 1861). They were living in Whalebone Lane , Dagenham in the census. I have confirmed that this address is correct from my fathers recollections. This helps. Kelevedon, as it is spelt actually relates to Kelvedon Hatch as we shall see.
The eldest child was William and this record links to the entry in the 1881 census for a William Littlechild (born 1857) married to Esther born 1861) and William born 1881, who is Ethels' eldest brother.
Importantly when searching for these family members using say the 1881 Census, which is available on CD, you need to use Kelvedon to find Kelvedon Common, and Brentwood to find Kelvedon Hatch as they are ten miles apart, and in different districts.
Kelvedon 1861 census
And details of the 1861 census too.
Showing John Littlechild born around 1820 in Doddinghurst, and Elizabeth born around 1828 in South Weald (Brentwood).
John is again the son of John Littlechild, born around 1795 and married to a Sarah Lagden in 1819.
Much more on this on the Littlechild and Lagden pages.
The Essex Census Record Office.
I spent a great first day, at the Essex Record Office, in Wharf Road, Chelmsford. My first venture to the record office which is three years old, and a great place with very friendly and helpful staff. On entering the research area, a librarian showed me how to use the fiche and explained the indexing of portfolios and folio numbers and where to find the relevant information.
The other people searching were also helpful when trying to understand how to load a microfiche!
The records, fiche and micro-fiche are all available for use - with more than ample fiche viewers and computers etc. , and certain special collections (e.g. an old Parish record of St Andrews Romford) was viewable after a fairly short wait.
I have to say, I learnt very little new about my family, today, but I learnt not to look for Romford births when the said people were all born in Chelmsford! This will be the first trip of many.
Another great day spent at the Record Office on the 25th January, 2003. This time, I had enough knowledge to start double checking some of the detail I have amassed over a few short months, and proving/disproving its validity. And a few visits since!
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