Issue 11

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Chawleigh

William Stentiford

Caroline Western's Journal

 

In our November Issue, we are pleased to welcome Sandra Ditzig as our guest contributor. She brings us a story full of hope and inspiration - the story of Eliza Stentiford and the man she married - Samuel Western.

As an illegitimate child growing up in Coldridge, Eliza would have felt the full force of the Poor Laws of the time, from the moment the Parson wrote the words "base born" after her name in the Parish Register, through the request for her first petticoat or pair of boots (paid for by the village) to her apprenticeship when she was bound into service until she was 21. Treating illegitimate children with incredible harshness and turning them into second class citizens was supposed to deter women from bringing such children into the world - in Eliza's case, this certainly failed for her mother went on to have three more. At least one of Eliza's sisters was born in the Workhouse - the end of the line for the poor and needy.

To rise above such a start in life so that your own children grew up to mix socially in the elite circles of their day could not have happened in England at that time - what Sandra has to tell, through the pages of her Great Grandmother's Journal, could only be an American story - not quite rags to riches, but very definitely the tale of an escape to a  totally different lifestyle, full of hope and opportunity.

The village of Chawleigh also features in this Issue. It was a more prosperous place than Coldridge and offered more opportunities for work to our ancestors. In Issue 2, we featured the sad story of William Stentiford and Elizabeth May, six of whose children lie in the quiet churchyard there -  in future Issues, we hope to write about other Stentifords whose lives were bound up in that place.

Keep in touch.

Richard and Muriel 

 

Link to Office of National Statistics for information on how to obtain copies of Birth, Marriage and Death certificates.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/registration/default.asp

To return from the ONS site, close the window in which it appears.

Chawleigh

William Stentiford

Caroline Western's Journal

 

 

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  Last modified:
30/09/2005