The Holdsworths: from Sowood to Stepney via South Weald

As often happens in genealogy, I’ve found out that someone else has got there first. In the last post, I wrote about the connection between Eliza Holdsworth (b. 1798) and Rev. Joseph Fletcher, Independent Congregational minister at the Stepney Green Meeting. Searching for more background on the Holdsworths at Ancestry, I discovered that my fellow family historian Adrian Holdsworth had already found out that his ancestor Joseph Edward Holdsworth (b. 1802) was a member of the Stepney Meeting. So it doesn’t seem unlikely that his cousin Eliza might have been too.

Joseph Edward was the youngest son of another Joseph Holdsworth (b. 1770), brother of Eliza’s father John Holdsworth (b.1786). It’s probably time to spell out the connections between the various Holdsworths to be found living in East London in the early nineteenth century. To save confusion, it might be simpler simpler to start with the earlier generations and work forward. I’ll be doing that in the next few posts.

One again I’m grateful to my fellow family historians and distant relatives, and particularly to Adrian Holdsworth, for sharing the results of their researches and enabling me to build on them.

Yet another Joseph Holdsworth was born in Yorkshire in 1735, the son of John Holdsworth and Mary Mortimer, who presumably are the couple whose 1725 marriage is to be found in the Nonconformist records for Northowram, near Halifax. John lived at Sowood House, and Mary was the daughter of John Mortimer of Shelf.

Joseph married Elizabeth Greene (born 1732) and at some point moved to South Weald in Essex, where he was a farmer. There’s a record of him serving as a parish councillor  there in 1766, when he was 31. In the following year Joseph was sworn into the local Leet Jury. And there is a land tax assessment from South Weald which mentions Joseph as a tenant.

South Weald parish church, 1895

Joseph and Elizabeth had nine children: Elizabeth, born in 1764 but died in 1780 aged 16; John, 1765; Henry, 1766; Sarah, 1767;  Joseph, 1770; William, 1771;  and Godfrey, 1773. All of these were born in South Weald. Joseph senior died in 1795 and his wife Elizabeth in 1809. The latter died in Stepney, where according to Adrian’s family tree she is buried in the Greene family tomb. Does this mean that the Holdsworths moved to Stepney to be close to Elizabeth’s family, or did Joseph meet Elizabeth in Stepney and move to Essex later?

As for the children of Joseph and Elizabeth, this is what became of them:

John Holdsworth (1765) married Eliza Ann Webb and was in Stepney at the time of the 1841 census. However, before then, John and Eliza lived in Oxfordshire. They had the following children: Ann (no details, except that she may have married someone with the surname Mosley); Eliza, born 1798; John, 1800; Sarah, 1804 (?) Keziah, 1804; and Joseph, 1809. Eliza and John were born in Chipping Norton, and Keziah and Joseph in Oxford.

I have no more information for Henry  Holdsworth (1766). Sarah Holdsworth (1767) married William Parker and in 1841 was living, age 77, in Staines.

Joseph Holdsworth (1770) married Margaret Miller in 1792 and they had these children: Sarah, born 1793; Elizabeth, 1796; Godfrey, 1798; and Joseph Edward (1802). All of these were born in the Stepney/Whitechapel area.

William Holdsworth (1771) married Lydia Evins (1770) at St. Botolph without Bishopsgate in 1792 and they had the following children: Isaac, born 1792;  Samuel, 1795; Phoebe,1796; Eliza, 1801; Edward Porter, 1803; Sarah Ann, 1806. The last two were born in Mile End Old Town and City of London respectively, but all the others were born at Marmaduke Street, Stepney.

Marmaduke Street just visible to the right of this section from Horwood's 1792 map

Godfrey Holdsworth (1773) married Diana Cam in 1793 at St Paul’s and they had these children: Sarah, born 1795 in Reading;  John Henry, 1799, Whitechapel; Charles, 1800; Godfrey, 1801, Middlesex; Edward, 1806, Mile End Old Town; Elizabeth, 1809, Mile End Old Town; Diana and Joseph (dates and places unknown).

In future posts, I will attempt to trace the lives of these Holdsworth siblings and their children in East London and beyond.

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5 Responses to The Holdsworths: from Sowood to Stepney via South Weald

  1. Pingback: William Holdsworth and Lydia Evins « Martin Robb’s Family History Blog

  2. Pingback: Joseph Holdsworth and Margaret Miller « Martin Robb’s Family History Blog

  3. Pingback: John Holdsworth and Eliza Jane Webb « Martin Robb’s Family History Blog

  4. Pingback: The family of Diana Holdsworth (1802 – 1884) « Martin Robb’s Family History Blog

  5. Joel Stokes says:

    Hi Martin

    I am checking our family history back from a Sarah Holdsworth (born Mile End approx 1834 died 1903) and listed in census’s as daughter to Godfrey Holdsworth (born 1801 and listed in 1841 as Plumber/Painter at Temple Terrace, Bethnal Green).

    In your blog on page http://tinyurl.com/6azl797 you have:

    1798 – Godfrey Holdsworth born to Joseph and Margaret (nee Miller) in Stepney

    1801 – Godfrey Holdsworth born to Godfrey and Diana (nee Cam) in Mile End Old Town

    Just checking the IGI Index – page http://tinyurl.com/6bdcmkq – I find the following:

    1798 – Godfrey Holdsworth born to Godfrey and Diana and christened 09 DEC 1798 Saint Dunstan, Stepney, London, England

    Could you let me know if you have seen the actual records for the birth/christening of either (or both) of the Godfrey Holdsworths (1798 and 1801).

    I would just like to be sure of the parents of each of these Godfreys.

    Best Regards

    Joel Stokes

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