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.

Mile End Old Town and Bethnal Green, from Greenwood's 1827 map (Wellington St is near Stepney Green, north of Wellington Place, and Green Street is east of Bethnal Green itself)

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