In a recent post I wrote about Stepney-born tobacco pipe maker John Orgar (1798 – 1866), who I believe married Sarah Anne Schofield of Barking, Essex, sister of Mary Ann Schofield who married my 3 x great grandfather John Londors.

In this post I want to fill in some more details in the life of their son, another tobacco pipe maker named John, who also moved between Barking and Stepney, and whose story may help to provide some context, and some clues, to the lives of my Londors ancestors.

John Orgar, eldest son of John Orgar and Sarah Anne Schofield, was born in Barking in about 1818. He married Sarah Hippisley Shean in the Romford area (probably in Barking) in 1840. To date, I’ve been unable to trace John and Sarah in the 1841 census records, but they must have moved to London early in their married life. By 1847, when their first child William was baptised at St. John the Baptist, Hoxton, they were living in Union Street, off Bishopsgate. William was christened on 18 June 1847, but the record notes that he was born three years earlier, on 9 July 1844, and later census records claim that he was born in St. Luke’s (the parish located around the Old Street/Bunhill Row area, to the west of Shoreditch).

St. John the Baptist, Hoxton

Their second child, Emma Amelia, was born in Shoreditch on 12 June 1846 and baptised a year later, at the same time as her brother William. Henry John Orgar was born on 10 April 1848 and christened on 25 May at the same church as his older siblings. The family was still living in Union Street at the time. By the time their fourth child, Eliza Mary Ann, was born in January 1850, the Orgars were living in Clerkenwell, though I haven’t found a baptismal record that might tell us exactly where.

For the 1851 census, the Orgars were back in Shoreditch, but now living at 11 Meeting House Court. William was now 6, Emma, 4, Henry, 2, and Eliza, 1.  (Incidentally, the census clerk mistakenly places Southwark, the birthplace of Sarah Orgar nee Shean, in Essex rather than Surrey.)

John and Sarah Orgar would have two more daughters: Mary Ann, born in the first quarter of 1852 and Sarah Ann born in the last quarter of 1857, both in Shoreditch. Sarah Ann Orgar would never know her father. John Orgar died in the second quarter of 1856 in Shoreditch. He was about 38 years old.

At the time of the 1861 census his widow Sarah was still living at 11 Meeting House Court with Emma, 14, Henry, 12, Eliza, 11, Mary Ann, 9, and Sarah Ann, 5. I haven’t been able to find a record for William at this date.

On 23 May 1864 Emma married boilerplate roller Joseph Welch, son of a mariner of the same name, at St. Philip’s Bethnal Green. He was 22, living at 2 John’s Place; she was 18, and still at Meeting House Court. The witnesses were Emma’s aunt Mary Ann Hopkins nee Orgar and William Hopkins, presumably a relative of Mary Ann’s by marriage. Joseph and Emma would have two daughters: Eliza, born in 1865, and Sarah Ann, born in 1875.

Eliza Orgar died in 1868, at the age of 18.

In 1871 Sarah Orgar, now 53, was still at Meeting House Court, and now working as  a needlewoman. With her were son Henry, 22, a potman, and daughters Mary Ann, 19, and Sarah Ann, 15, who are described as (silk) ‘flower makers.’

Silk flower makers

At the same date son William, 27, was working as a porter in his uncle Samuel Shean’s ironmonger’s shop in Crawford Street, Marylebone. Two years later, in December 1873, he married his second cousin Sarah Ann Londors, daughter of my great great grandfather John Schofield Londors. See my earlier post about Sarah Ann and William for further details.

In July of the same year, William’s younger brother Henry had married Maria Mann in the City of London. They would have seven children: Eliza Hippisley (born in 1875), Henry Samuel (1877), William John (1880), James Arthur (1883), Frederick (1886), Grace Maria (1888), and Daniel Victor (1891).

On 4 August 1878 Mary Ann Orgar, 26, married French polisher James Joseph Benson, also 26, at St Botolph’s Bishopsgate. The couple were said to be living at 4 Acorn Street, the address also given by William Orgar and Sarah Ann Londors at the time of their marriage. (William and Sarah appear to have been the witnesses at the marriage of Mary Ann and James.) The record wrongly gives the name of Mary Ann’s late father as Henry John Orgar. James and Mary Ann Benson would have one daughter, Esther Hippisley, born in 1880.

On 4 July 1880 Sarah Ann Orgar, 24, married warehouseman William Smith, also 24, son of house decorator George Smith, at St. Botolph’s Bishopsgate.William gave his address as 4 Acorn Street, while Sarah was said to be living at 1 Bushfield Street. The witnesses were a George Smith and Eliza Welch, the latter probably being the 15 year old daughter of Sarah Ann’s sister Emma Welch nee Orgar. I don’t know if William and Sarah had any children.

In 1881 Sarah Orgar the elder, now 63, was living at 16 Appleby Street, Haggerston, as were her widowed daughter Mary Ann Benson, a silk flower maker, and her daughter Esther, 1; son Henry, now a housepainter, his wife Maria and their three children; and boarders Eliza and Sarah Welch, daughters of Emma Amelia Welch nee Orgar.

Emma Welch died in 1890. In 1891 Sarah, 73, was still in Appleby Street, supposedly with a ‘Henry J. Benson’, widower of 39 and silk flower maker, which I think must be a mistake for daughter Mary Ann Benson. Also present are Esther Benson, now 11, and Sarah Welch, now 16 and working as a book folder. Another household at the same address is headed by compositor Thomas Gill, husband of Sarah’s granddaughter Eliza Welch, and includes Eliza and their three young children.

The 1901 census for Appleby Street restores the rightful name to Mary Ann Benson, 49, now described as an artistic wreath maker; her daughter Esther Hippisley, 21, is working as a stationery packer. Mary’s mother Sarah is now 83. Sarah Welch, 26, is still working as a book folder, while Eliza Gill, 15, a book machinist, is still at the same address, though the rest of her family have moved elsewhere.

Sarah Hippisley Orgar nee Shean died in the last quarter of 1905 at the age of 88.