Last week I received a comment on this blog from Patricia Tennent in Australia, who is a descendant of Alfred Webb, brother of the George Webb who I’m fairly convinced is my great grandfather (see these posts). Pat has sent me some new information that challenges my theory that my great grandfather was the fourth in an unbroken line of George Webbs.
For some time I’ve been looking unsuccessfully for evidence of the marriage of George Webb senior (my great great grandfather) and his wife Elizabeth. There were a number of suggestions on other family trees at Ancestry, but none of them quite rang true. Then Pat got in touch to say that she had a copy of Alfred Webb’s birth certificate, which confirmed that Elizabeth Webb’s maiden name was Knight. Furthermore, there was a record of a marriage between George Webb and Elizabeth Ann Knight, daughter of lighterman William Knight, at St Thomas’ church, Stepney, on 2 October 1865 – which would fit perfectly with the existing dates we have for the Webb family (the couple’s first daughter Susannah was born in 1866).
The only problem was that, according to the certificate, George’s father was John Webb, a cooper, and George himself followed the same occupation. This was out of keeping with what we know of George’s later work as a bricklayer and house decorator, and as already mentioned, it didn’t fit with my theory of George’s ancestry. I began to wonder if we were talking about two different Webb families.
However, Pat has now sent me a copy of Alfred Webb’s birth certificate, which clearly states that he was born on 18 March 1884 at 83 Cornwall Street, the address that I have for ‘my’ Webbs at other dates (see last post). What’s more, his father’s name is said to be George Webb, bricklayer. The certificate gives Alfred’s mother’s name as Elizabeth Webb, formerly Knight. It’s most unlikely that there were two Elizabeth Ann Knights married to two different George Webbs in Stepney in the mid 19th century, so the marriage certificate must belong to ‘my’ George and Elizabeth.
Since receiving Pat’s email, I’ve been able to find out a little more about Elizabeth Ann. She appears to have been born in 1848 in the parish of St George in the East (which would fit with the later census records we have for Elizabeth Webb) and baptised on 27 February at Christ Church, Watney Street. The baptismal record describes her father William as a mariner. I’ve yet to find any census records for Elizabeth and her family, but it’s possible that her father is the William Knight who married Susan Taylor at St. Dunstan’s, Stepney. in 1846.
John Webb has proved more elusive. Pat has a birth certificate for George Webb for May 1846, which gives his parents’ names as John Webb and Margaret Clark, but I’ve yet to find any other definitive records for either of them.