13 April 2010


Let me introduce you to my great-great-great grandfather James Webb. He was the son of Thomas & Mary (nee Gunn) and was born in the Cambridgeshire village of Landbeach in 1814. In 1841, he and his brother Charles married on the same day at the parish church, to Hannah Lowton and Ann White respectively.

And, yet again, this complicates my family tree. He's another one who is related to me twice - in his own right and as his wife's husband or, more correctly, as my great-great-great grandmother's husband. But before you start worrying about this family, we're almost sane . . . . .well, no-one has a certificate to prove otherwise!

Moving on . . . James appears in the 1851 and 1861 census returns as a publican, then moves across to Burwell as a farmer of 147 acres, which he increased to 177 acres by 1881. He and Hannah produced nine children between 1842 and 1864 and Hannah died in 1886. She's buried in Landbeach.

Leaving a reasonable time, James remarried in 1889 - this time to widow-woman Sophia Levitt, who happened to live just up the High Street in Landbeach. They married at the Register Office in Cambridge, both giving the same address in Thompson's Lane in the city. Why? Maybe the locals, back in Landbeach, weren't terribly keen on the idea? Who knows?

Interestingly, though, for a man who had been a blacksmith, farmer and publican, he doesn't appear to be able to sign his name as that part of the marriage certificate bears his mark X. Amazing the things that leap at you from a piece of paper!

Of his offspring, oldest son James moved to Cambridge, became a blacksmith, married his first cousin once removed and produced five children; Frederick, born in 1845, died at the age of twelve; Henrietta married blacksmith Walter Greenall and had seven children - including one who was born four years after his father's death (good trick if you can do it!); Susan married farmer's son Jabez Peachey who became a missionary after Susan's death in 1885; Walter, born 1853, seemed to spend his life as "lodger" or "boarder" in and around his siblings, and died in 1916; George (1855-1934) married twice - first to Rose Peachey (1856-1916, quite possibly the sister of the aforementioned missionary Jabez) with whom he doesn't appear to have had any children, and then to Ivy Greenall , with whom he has eight. Oh, and just to complicate the tree further . . . . Ivy was George's great-niece.

Back to James and Hannah's children - Ann (1859-1916) married Henry Orpwood who was a prison officer and, four children later, they're in Shepton Mallet in 1901, returning to Cambridge by 1911. Her sister Ellen had the shortest life, being born in 1861 and dying 2 years and 11 months later in Landbeach. And finally, the youngest child, Frederick, was born in 1864, married Mary Ann Thulbourn and followed his father's trade of brewer/farmer in Landbeach. In 1929 Kelly's Directory lists him as a farmer, living at Glebe House in the village.

So, there you have a potted guide to James Webb and offspring; I think I managed to mention twenty three people by name and referred to a further twenty four. Not a bad few minutes work!

More soon.


Jeff said...

Jane, I just stumbled upon a tweet of yours from 2013 where you said "Need to wake up as have loads of data to add to my Moores in #Landbeach. #genealogy"

You haven't mentioned Landbeach for a long while on your blog so perhaps it's no longer of interest to you. However, I thought I'd drop you a line to let you know that I live in a house in Landbeach that used to belong to Bill and Dorothy Moore. I can't tell you much about them but if you have any burning questions, please let me know and I'll try to help.

Best regards,

Jane Freeman said...

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for posting; I certainly haven't lost interest in the Landbeach branch, it's just that I try to rotate through the various bits of the tree! However, you have neatly brought me back to the Moores so I shall dig them out and have a look :-)