I’ve obtained copies of the birth certificates for two of the children of William and Fanny Sarah Robb (nee Seager) , my 2 x great grandparents. The latter were married in May 1836 . Their first child, Fanny Margaret Monteith Robb, was born in February 1838 but died in 1840, aged 2.

William Henry Robb was born on 7 April 1841 – at 11 a.m. according to the certificate. His father is described as a clerk and the birth took place at 12 Old Compton Street, in the sub-district of Saint Anne Westminster in the County of Middlesex. Two years later, on 1 December 1843, Fanny gave birth to Elizabeth Margaret. This time the birth took place at the City of London Lying-in Hospital, which I understand was in Old Street (the birth was registered in the sub-district of City Road, St. Luke). William is described on the certificate as a ‘law stationer’. I wonder if the location of the birth means that Fanny suffered complications?

It’s interesting to discover that William and Fanny were living in Compton Street as early as 1841 – perhaps they had been there since their marriage five years earlier? By 1851, when my great grandfather, Charles Edward was born, they were living at another house – No.33 – in the same street.

It seems unusual (for this period) for the couple to have waited so long between their marriage and the birth of their first child. Did Fanny have problems conceiving, or were there other reasons why the arrival of children was delayed? In an earlier post, I pointed out the oddity of William and Fanny being at different addresses for the 1841 census, and Diane Babington tells me that there are family stories of William being a gambler and a drunkard.

I’ll try to locate the birth certificate for the short-lived Fanny Margaret Monteith Robb, to see if that throws any light on their early married life.