As I explained in my last post, I’ve come to the conclusion that my great grandfather, George Webb, born in 1874, was the son of George Webb (born 1844) and Elizabeth (1848) his wife, who lived in the Shadwell and Wapping areas and had eight or nine children. So far, I’ve been frustrated in my efforts to find a record of the marriage of George senior and Elizabeth (my 2 x great grandparents). There are a number of possibilities, but nothing conclusive.

However, as I was searching for records of George senior (the one who was born in 1844) , I came across a census record for 1851 which seemed to match. It has 7 year old George Webb, born in 1844 in Wapping, living on Wapping Dock Street with his father (also George, born 1821) and mother (another Elizabeth, born 1823), and younger brother William (born 1847).  The George born in 1821 was a lighterman, born in the parish of St. Clement Danes, while his wife Elizabeth was born in Rotherhithe. Both of their children – George and William – were born in Wapping.


Wapping Stairs

I’ve also found a baptismal record that appears to match the 1844 George (my 2 x great grandfather). He was born on 16th August at Green Bank, Wapping, and christened on 22nd September at the church of St. John, Wapping. The occupation of his father (the 1821 George – my 3 x great grandfather) is given as waterman.

To date I’ve been unable to find any trace of the family in the 1861 census. However, I may have found the 1844 George (my 2 x great grandfather) in the census for that year. A 16 year old dock labourer by the name of George Webb, described as a nephew, is living in Cinnamon Street, Wapping (which runs off Wapping Dock Street), with Thomas Webb (born 1831), also a dock labourer, his wife Ann (born 1840 in Shoreditch), and sons Joseph (1859) and Alfred (1860). Interestingly, Thomas is said to have been born in St Clement Danes – like George’s father (the one born in 1821).

I then came across a record in the 1841 census of the Webb  family of Green Bank, Wapping (the same street where the George of 1844 was born). Yet another George Webb (born 1796) and his wife Sarah (also born 1796) can be found living with their children: George (1821), John (1828), William (1830), Thomas (1831), Louisa (1833), Joseph (1835), Walter (12938) and Nancy (1840). In other words, George Webb (born 1821) and Thomas Webb (born 1831) were brothers, and their father was yet another George Webb.

horwood wapping

Wapping in Horwood's 1792 map, with St John's church and part of Green Bank visible

This means that I’ve traced four generations of George Webbs: my great grandfather (born 1874), my 2 x great grandfather (1844), my 3 x great grandfather (1821) and my 4 x great grandfather (1796). The next step will be to trace the family’s roots in Westminster, before they moved east to Wapping.