As part of my continuing review of what we know about the life of my ancestor John Blanch, I’ve drawn up a list of key dates and places associated with him (see below). These are the things we know for certain about John, assuming that he was, indeed, the son of James and Sophia Blanch.
A number of persuasive circumstantial factors connect John to this particular Blanch family. For example, when he married Keziah Holdsworth in 1827, one of the witnesses was Thomas Harrison, who is probably the person who married Mary Ann Blanch, eldest daughter of James and Sophia, in the following year.
Even more persuasive is the shared connection to the Ellis family. The 1851 census finds John and his wife Keziah looking after Soho-born ‘nurse child’ Mary Ann Ellis at their home in Green Street, Bethnal Green. She was almost certainly the daughter of carpenter and builder Richard Ellis and his wife Marianne. Two of their other daughters, Frances Marianne and Sophia Sarah, would marry sons of John’s younger brother David. John’s daughter, my great-great-grandmother Mary Ann Blanch, who married Daniel Roe, gave her son Daniel the middle name ‘Ellis’, and her son Joseph (my great-grandfather) continued the tradition, giving the same middle name to his son Walter.
The list of dates and places also confirms the Blanch family’s association with Mile End Old Town. John’s mother Sophia died and was buried there in 1821, and it’s likely that John was living there with his parents at the time. Six years later, he would set up his own home in the area – possibly in Wellington Street, where he can be found in the 1841 census – and remained there for at least the next fifteen years, before moving to nearby Bethnal Green.
Then again, John and Keziah’s final move, to Great Crown Court in the parish of St James, Westminster, is further confirmation of the connection to the family of James and Sophia Blanch. Their son David lived in nearby King Street (where James died in 1840), while the family’s coach works, run by David and Thomas, was in Great Windmill Street, which was very close to Great Crown Court – as well as being the street in which John’s daughter Mary Ann would live at one point, and where she would give birth to my great-grandfather, Joseph Priestley Roe.
Here is the list of key dates, places and events in the life of John Blanch:
1800/1801 Clerkenwell Birth
Aug 1802 Saffron Hill, Holborn Baptism
Apr 1804 York St, Holborn Baptism of brother William
Dec 1807 York St, Holborn Baptism of brother Thomas
May 1810 York St Holborn Baptism of brother David
Jan 1821 Mile End Old Town Death of mother Sophia
Jul 1827 Limehouse Marriage to Keziah Holdsworth
Dec 1827 Mile End Old Town Baptism of Mary Ann Blanch
Apr 1833 Mile End Old Town Baptism of Joseph James Blanch
Apr 1837 Mile End Old Town Baptism of Keziah Sarah, Eliza Maria
1839 Stepney Baptism of Sophia Holdsworth Blanch
Dec 1840 Mile End Old Town Burial of father James
Jun 1841 Wellington St, MEOT Census
1844 Bethnal Green Birth of John Holdsworth Blanch
Mar 1851 Green St, Bethnal Green Census
Mar 1858 Westminster Baptism of Louisa Emma Blanch (b. 1842)
Apr 1861 Gt Crown Court, Westminster Census
1869 Westminster Death