11 April 2009

Hunt the Teapot

George Staden, my great-great-grandfather, was born this morning at 3am. In 1843. The fourth son of John and Salomey (nee Ongley) he came into the world at 7 Tay Fen Road, Bury St Edmunds and, for a while I thought he was a twin (because the time was specified on his birth certificate) but I've never found any proof.

By 1861 he was a telegraph clerk in March (the small market town in Cambridgeshire) where he probably met his future wife. He married Sarah Carter at the Lion Baptist Chapel in Whittlesey on 12th August 1867 and they next appear in St Ives for the birth of their first child two years later. In all they begat four children before Sarah's death from TB in 1873.

Sooooo . . . . with four young children to care for, what's a man to do but to marry his late wife's sister. Such a union was frowned upon by Canon Law at the time so George and Fanny nipped down to Islington to tie the knot. They had one daughter, also Fanny.

George remained in St Ives, with his family, until his death in 1928 and his Will sent me into the "Hunt the Teapot" mode of the title. He specifically bequeaths "my silver teapot" to his wife for her lifetime and then to daughter Fanny.

Fanny junior, in her will of 1948, then passes "all articles of sentimental value belonging to my father and mother" to her brother John, so I guess that's where I must look next!

More soon.

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