My last few posts have reported on my efforts to identify William and Mary, the two grandchildren named in the will of my 8 x great grandfather, Captain William Greene of Ratcliffe (1626 – 1686). I’ve discovered a few families with children bearing those names, living in the Stepney area at about the right time, but so far have found no conclusive evidence that they were related to my ancestor.

In this post, I want briefly to discuss three more families – selected from the records because the father was a mariner, and because they had a child named William or Mary, though to my knowledge none of them had both.

1720 map of the Stepney area

1720 map of the Stepney area

On 31st December 1665, Edmond Greene of Wapping, mariner, and his wife Elizabeth had a son named William christened at the parish church of St John of Wapping.  This child, if he survived, would have been about 20 years old in 1685, when Captain William Greene wrote his will.

Six years earlier, in 1659, ‘a male child of Edmond and Elizabeth Green dyed of ye Convultions’ and was buried on 27th June at St John’s church. I’ve been unable to find records for any other children born to Edmond and Elizabeth.

I’m fairly sure it’s the same Edmond and Elizabeth who were married on 15th November 1633 at St Dunstan’s church in Stepney. Edmond was said to be 20 years old, and a mariner from Ratcliffe, while Elizabeth, whose surname was Lyne, was 19 and from the same hamlet.

The Ratcliffe connection makes a link to Captain William Greene more likely, though since Edmond was born in about 1633, he can’t have been the son of William, who was born only seven years earlier in 1626. But he might have been a brother, or a cousin.

On 2nd February 1676, Lawrence Greene of Wapping, mariner, and his wife Mary had a daughter named Mary christened at St John’s church. She would have been nine years old when Captain Greene wrote his will. However, I’ve been unable to find any further records for this family, so there is no way of determining whether they were related to ‘my’ Greene family.

In my last post, I wrote about Thomas Green, a mariner from Wapping, married to Mary. There was another mariner of the same name living at about the same time, first in Poplar and then in nearby Limehouse. On 21st May 1679 Thomas Green, a mariner from Poplar, and his wife Elizabeth, had a daughter named Mary christened at St Dunstan’s church, Stepney. On 15th June 1681 the same couple had a son named Joseph baptised at the same church: however, their address was now Limehouse. On 14th June 1683, they had a son named Thomas christened. At this time the family’s address was still Limehouse, but when the same child was buried on 13th May in the following year, the parish clerk at St Dunstan’s added the note ‘at Poplar’. To me, this suggests that the family didn’t change their address, but that their home was on the borders of the two neighbouring hamlets.

John Boydell's view of Limehouse in 1751

John Boydell’s view of Limehouse in 1751

Mary, the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Green, would have been six years old when Captain Greene died. However, the fact that this couple don’t appear to have had a son named William, together with the fact that both they and their son Joseph were probably still alive in 1685, seems to rule them out as relatives of my 8 x great grandfather.

In other words, the search for the grandchildren of Captain William Greene has proven (like so much family history research) inconclusive – for now, anyway. Perhaps further evidence will turn up that reinforces the case for one of these Stepney mariners, or one of the various Greenes that I’ve discussed in the last few posts, being the son of my ancestor.