The Early Wrights – Part 4

Robert (October 20, 1866-October 9, 1948)
Robert had two illegitimate children by a girl named Jeanette Manning. Jeanette’s parents were drowned when travelling home in their punt down the River Blackwater from Maldon Hythe to Heybridge Basin in 1877. Jeanette and her older sister Julia were sent to the Halstead Industrial School for Girls where they received a religious and moral education as well as industrial training.
The Prince Albert on the corner of Weedington  Road and Marsden Stree

The Prince Albert on the corner of Weedington
Road and Marsden Street

Their first child, a girl, died aged 10 months, but the second, a boy named Robert Wright Manning survived. Although Robert had promised to marry Jeanette this didn’t happen and he left Maldon to live in London.
Robert later married Alice Sarah Jacobs from Bethnal Green in 1891, and they had nine children, of whom four survived infancy: Mary Isabella, Grace Evaline, Robert James, and Harold. The children were all born in north London, excepting Robert Jr, who was born in Southend on Sea.

At one time Robert ran a public house in north London, at the corner of Weedington Road and Marsden Street, what is now Talacre Road and Marsden St.  (In September 2000 on a trip to the London Metropolitan Archives we discovered that Robert had been the licensee of the “Prince Albert” for only one year – from 14th April 1897 to April 20 1898. The owner of the premises was The Camden Brewery Co. of Hawley Crescent. ) The building was destroyed in the blitz.

The family went to the US on the S.S. Philadelphia in the autumn of 1902, and it seems that William Charles had lined up a job with Singer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for Robert. They all lived out their lives in Pittsburgh. He sold life insurance door to door and bought a 78 acre farm in Saxonburg, PA where he lived for the rest of his life. Robert became a US citizen on December 29 1922.

Alice WrightAlice Isabel Wright (June 11, 1869 – Dec 15, 1944)
Alice married Robert James Nisbet, a civil engineer at All Saints Church, parish of St. Peters in Maldon on 19 August 1897. Both were 28 at the time, and stepsister Grace Hayes was a witness. At some point they lived in Cairo. Alice and Robert had three children, Robert Hayes Nisbet, Grace Murrell Nisbet and Thomas Nisbet. Daughter Grace Murrell Nisbet (March 26, 1900 – Jun 3, 1986) became a controversial television producer as detailed in the following extract from the “Dictionary of National Biographies”
Grace Murrell Nisbet was born 26 March 1900 in Arisaig, Inverness, the second child and only daughter of Robert James Nisbet and Alice Isabel Wright. Her father was a civil engineer who worked in Egypt for a time and her first school was the Convent of Notre Dame de Sion in Alexandria.
The family returned to England in 1916 and Grace was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College. From there she went to Bristol University where she obtained a 1st class honours degree in history in 1921. She went on to Somerville College, Oxford where she earned 2nd class degrees in philosophy, politics and economics.
For the next three years she taught history at Brighton and Hove School. She married Frank Wyndham Goldie, a handsome film actor, in 1928 and they lived in Liverpool for six years, where Grace wrote the book ” Liverpool Repertory Theatre 1911-1934″.
In 1934 they moved to London and for the next seven years she wrote radio criticism for “The Listener”.
From 1942 until 1944 she worked for the Board of Trade and then in 1944 she joined the BBC. In 1948 as a young radio producer, Grace Wyndham Goldie was offered a post in the television service; at the time she was working for the prestigious and highbrow Third Programme. Despite discouragement from two senior radio executives, it was Gerald Cock who encouraged her to defect to television. Goldie was to become the single most important personality in the development of British current affairs television, overseeing the development of programmes such as Panorama and Tonight–precisely the kind of programmes that Cock had envisaged as the sine qua non of television programming.
She was awarded the OBE in 1958.
Grace died in her London flat on 3 June 1986
William Charles Murrell WrightWilliam Charles (April 1, 1871 – June 11 1929)
William Charles moved to the US before Robert. He lived at 884 Van Buren Street, Brooklyn, NY in 1915, and later at 2372 Jamaica Avenue, Richmond Hill, Queens. Subsequently he moved to Long Island, NY. He married Marcella Dandurand and had four children Harold, Charles, Marcella, and Grace.
The 1900 Federal census for Pittsburgh shows William Charles Wright, listed as a merchant, living at 4601 Butler Street . He was born in April 1871, age 29 and had been married for 6 years to Marcella E Wright. She was born in New York in July 1877 and was aged 22 at the census. Her mother was born in New York as well. They had at the time two children – Charles O. Wright, born February 1896 and Grace I. Wright born August 1897. Both children were born in New York.
William also confirmed that he was an American citizen in 1900 and that the year of emigration was 1891.
The following information was found from the 1920 census for New York:-
William Charles was living at 1145 Jamaica Avenue with his family. He was born in England, aged 47 and migrated to the US in 1893. (1900 census said 1891). He became a naturalised citizen in 1898 and worked as a salesman for a sewing machine company. His wife was Marcella E Wright aged 42, born in New York. Her father was born in Canada (mother tongue French) and her mother was born in Charleston (mother tongue English). Children living at home were Grace I Wright aged 22, born in New York and working as a stenographer in an export house, Harold E Wright aged 18, born in Pennsylvania and working as a clerk in a steel company and Marcella C Wright aged 12, born in Pennsylvania.
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The Early Wrights – Part 3

Edwin James (Feb 9, 1860 – Dec 24, 1921). Born in Wantz Road, Maldon, Essex. Granddaughter Dorothy Olive, remembers him saying he was born in Wants and had been living in Wants ever since.

In the 1891 Essex, census he is shown as a gasfitter, aged 30 who lived at 3 Albion Villas, Brewery Road, Southend on Sea, with his wife Emily, aged 30, Edwin J., his son age 10, born in London, Winifred E., his daughter, age 7, born in Southend, Isabel, his daughter, age 4, born in Southend, Grace, his daughter, age 1, born in Southend, Alice Wright, his sister, age 22 (acting as servant), born in Maldon, and Hannah Briton, a servant aged 15, born in Cold Norton.

Isabel and Grace died in infancy from diphtheria.

Richmond Avenue

Home of the Wrights from 1884 to 1964

Edwin married Emily Esther French who was born in Colchester, on June 15, 1880 in Brentford, Middlesex. He lived at Holly Lodge, Grove Road in Southend for a time and then moved to Richmond Avenue. His granddaughter Dorothy tells that he ran a bicycle shop at 1 Richmond Avenue, off the High Street, in Southend on Sea in the 1880s. He made & rented cycles and gave lessons. He gave lessons to a young girl, Mary Ann Burles, who fell in love with his son Edwin James Jr., and married him on February 20th, 1905 in Rochford, Essex.
Edwin Sr. opened a pram and pushchair hire service in 1884, supplying these items to the public as well. The cycle factory was on the opposite side of the road from the shop. The shop was still run by his grandson Herbert Henry Wright when it was demolished to make way for a ring road in the 1960s. The road was never built and a car park now stands on the site.

Henry Robert (June 12, 1862 – Dec 18, 1937). He married Ellen Morten at Colchester St Giles on October 9 1884. He is listed in the 1881 census as a bicycle maker in Maldon. Grandson Pearson reports that Henry & Ellen kept a tobacconist & newsagents business in Dover, and retired to Southwick, Sussex where he died.

Henry & Ellen had four children, George, Hayden, Kathleen, and Pearson Wright. George was a talented flautist, who lost his hearing and was severely shell-shocked in World War I. He never married and was a conservationist and nature lover. Hayden, a civil engineer married Maggie, and they had two sons, William and Bernard. William emigrated to Australia and went into radio & TV production, and Bernard became a Church of England vicar in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kathleen never married and was a teacher in Braintree, Essex.

Wright's SignPearson married a widow named Marion, and they eventually moved to Orchard Croft, Victoria Avenue, Shanklin. Pearson, Jr. was born February 13, 1926 and his brother Robert Henry in 1932. Marion died in 1938 and Pearson Sr. married again in about 1941 to Laura , a Canadian Methodist missionary/teacher returning to her Toronto home from 23 years on the China India border. The second marriage failed, although a daughter Annabelle was born when Laura was 47. Pearson senior died aged 92.

Henry Robert emigrated to Tasmania about 1948, married another emigrant and had two daughters. Pearson junior married Eileen King on 19 February 1945 and had two children Anthony John ( born 1945) and Marion (born 1947).

John George (Sept 14, 1863 – May 24, 1938). He seems to have been known as George, not John George. There was a George Wright who was a witness at Edwin James’s wedding. His birth record lists him as the son of James Wright and Susanna Wright, formerly Murrell (this must be an error).

John George married Julia Adelaide Raven in 1892 at Hampstead Registry Office and they had at least three children.
In 1901 they lived at 26 Burton Road, North Brixton – RG13/422/106/44 333
John G Wright Head aged 37 Company Secretary & Solicitor Clerk born Essex Maldon
Julia A Wright Wife aged 33 born Essex Purleigh
Stanley G Wright Son aged 8 born London Kilburn
Percy E Wright Son aged 6 born Essex Maldon
Jack A Wright Son aged 2 born Essex Leyton

John George was one of the executors of his brother Henry’s will.

We have the death certificate for John George Wright, solicitors clerk, who died 24May 1938 aged 74 from carcinoma of the colon. The death was registered by his son J. Wright who was present at the death at 21 Akerman Road, Brixton, SW9. There was a will which left effects to the value of £119- 8 shillings to his wife Julia Adelaide Wright.

Annie (March 9, 1865 – April 9, 1940). We know little about Annie. She lived at one time in Barking and gave elocution lessons. The following was learned in January 2003 from Keith Nisbet, a descendant of Annie’s sister Alice. Annie had two daughters, Isabel Mary and Irene. Annie was married twice, firstly to a Charles Nathaniel White with whom she had two daughters, and then to a chap named Joseph Downes.

In 1901 at 13 Heigham Road, East Ham RG13/1603/150page 3 Annie White, widow aged 33 living on own means, born in Maldon, Essex
Irene Florence White, daughter aged 9 born in Willesden, London
Isabel Mary White, daughter aged 6 born in Willesden, London

Annie’s daughter Isabel Mary “Belle” White (Sept 1,1894, – June 24, 1972) became Britain’s first Olympic diving medallist with the bronze medal in 1912, and was also Britain’s first European champion 15 years later at the first championships in 1927.

Between these successes she was 4th in 1920 and 6th in 1924 at the Olympic Games and she was to compete at a fourth Games in 1928. The first ASA championship for women’s diving was not held until 1924, but White won each year from then until 1929. She had, however won the Ladies Plain Diving Bath championship organised by the Amateur Diving Association (which became part of the ASA) nine times from their first championship in 1916.

She was an official and administrator for the rest of her life, and the Belle White Memorial Trophy is now presented each year to Britain’s most successful club in women’s competitions

Belle died of congestive cardiac failure and broncho-pneumonia in 1972 at 11 Rookfield Close, Muswell Hill. Taken from Guinness All-Time Greats of British & Irish Sport by Peter Matthews and Ian Buchanan.

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The Early Wrights – Part 2

Children of James & Isabella Wright:

All of James & Isabella’s children were born in St. Mary’s parish, Maldon.

William Charles (Oct 8, 1854 – Oct 28, 1856) He died of scarlet fever.

Harriet (July 6, 1856 – Nov 11, 1919). Harriet was living with her uncle William Charles Murrell at Dockhead, Bermondsey in 1871, working as a domestic servant.
She married Thomas Stapleton Bate on October 23, 1877 in the parish of St. John the Evangelist, Middlesex. The Bate family had a bicycle shop in Maldon. Robert, William & Henry Wright lived with Harriet Bate in 1881 according to the census, whilst Alice and Annie lived with Isabella and Thomas Hayes.
Harriet and Thomas had 12 children, all of which survived to adulthood.

Harriet died at West Hill House in Maldon of malignant disease of the liver. Her husband was still alive and he registered the death.

Mary Ann (March 16, 1858 – Nov 26, 1930 Mary Ann Wright was born on 16 March 1858 at St Mary Maldon according to a certificate that we have. It is possible that this is the wrong birth certificate as in 2004 we have discovered that on the 1891 census she was calling herself Marion. She was also Marion on her marriage certificate to Charles Eusden Broughton. On all the censuses 1861-1901 it also states that she was born in Bermondsey, not Maldon, another indication that we have the wrong birth certificate.

ThisMary Ann Wright is “Popsie” who is remembered by Dorothy Wright as living in Westcliff in the 1920s and visiting her brother, Dorothy’s grandfather Edwin James, in Southend.

In 1871 Mary Ann was living with her Uncle Henry Murrell and his family at West Road, West Mersea acting as a general servant. The census shows that she was 13 years old and was born in Middlesex.

Mary Ann married grocer Charles Eusden Broughton at the parish church of St Philip, Lambeth, on February 16 1885. Charles had been married previously to Mary Elizabeth Winter, born about 1859 in Islington, but according to the 1881 census for 1 Oval Road, Lambeth, Charles E Broughton, grocer, was living alone on census night. Having searched the 1881 census for a Mary E. Broughton, married but not with her husband I can only assume that the following is her. In Bethlehem Royal Hospital, Southwark ref RG11/0531/104, Mary E Broughton, insane patient, married aged 22, a gutterwoman born in Islington.

In 1891 at 14-16 Oval Road, Lambeth RG12/399/49 page 38 Charles E Broughton aged 33, a provision dealer, born in Westminster
Marion Broughton his wife aged 32 born in Bermondsey
Gretchen Broughton his daughter aged 5 born in Lambeth
Hayden E Broughton his son aged 3 born in Lambeth
Natalie G Broughton his daughter aged 1 born in Lambeth

In 1901 at 4 Cranbrook Mansions, Lambeth – RG13/415/20 page 32
Marion Broughton aged 37, a widow living on her own means, born in Bermondsey
Gretchen Broughton her daughter aged 15, a theatrical artiste born in Lambeth
Hayden E Broughton her son aged 13 born in Lambeth
Natalie G Broughton her daughter aged 11 born in Lambeth

The fact that Marion was calling herself a widow in 1901 would assume that Charles her husband had died but he was in fact living with his widowed mother and sister at 40 Vincent Square, Westminster.

Mary Ann Broughton, widow of Charles Eusden Broughton, a retired general stores merchant, died aged 72, of myocarditis and chronic bronchitis at 8 Park Hill, Richmond, Surrey. The informant was H E Broughton, son who was present at the death.

Mary Ann’s daughter Gretchen Broughton (1886 – ?) married Clinton Seymour Peterson, an American in 1901. Clinton, from the turn of the century through the 1920s enjoyed a remarkable career as a vaudeville star, working in a trained horse act, later branching out into acrobatics, first as Auer and DeOnzo then with his wife Gretchen as The Auers and finally, as the Novelty Clintons famous for extraordinary jumping.

Gretchen Broughton and Clinton Peterson

Gretchen Broughton and Clinton Peterson

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The Early Wrights – Part 1

For several years, since we started researching our ancestors, we believed that James Wright born 17 May 1828 was the son of Jacob Wright
and Sarah Reeve but new evidence has shown that James was in fact the son of James Griggs and Mary Ann Blackwell. He was baptized in Woodham Ferrers as James Griggs on 8 June 1828 and later adopted the surname of his stepfather Jacob Wright.

Jacob Wright, married Sarah Reeve (she signed Reeves), on October 20, 1818 in Woodham Ferrers, with Sarah Wright and Samuel Cable as witnesses. Sarah Wright signed her name; Cable wrote an “X”. Both Jacob and his wife signed their own names.

They had two children in nearby Rettendon, Jacob who was baptized Jan 10, 1820 and David, baptized 8 November 1821 and buried 16 January 1822.
Sarah Reeve Wright died in December 1821 and was buried in Woodham Ferrers on 19 December. In 1833 Jacob married widow Mary Blackwell Griggs.

Early Griggs
The earliest member of the Griggs family that we know of is Thomas Griggs. He married Judith Guy on 21 July 1775 at Woodham Ferrers although neither Thomas nor Judith was baptized in Woodham Ferrers.

They had at least the following children:

Thomas Gregs (sic) baptized 29 September 1775 at Woodham Ferrers, (described as the daughter of Thomas and Judith).

William Griggs baptized 4 July 1784 at Woodham Ferrers, (described as the son of Judith), the register also states that her husband was living abroad. [Does this mean that the child was illegitimate?]

Judith then had a number of illegitimate children:

Isaac Griggs, baptized 3 February 1788 at Woodham Ferrers, (described as the base son of Judith Griggs). He may have died in 1844, aged 62 years, and was buried at Woodham Ferrers on 5th October 1844.

Milly Griggs, baptized 21 March 1790 at Woodham Ferrers, (described as the base son of John Timor and Judith Griggs)

James Griggs, baptized 20 April 1794 at Woodham Ferrers, (described as the base son of Judith Griggs).

Judith Griggs died in 1843, aged 91 years, and was buried at Woodham Ferrers on 5 November 1843 .

Our direct forebear James Griggs (born 1794) married Mary Ann Blackwell, who was born in Chelmsford, on 28 April 1820 at Woodham Ferrers. Witnesses to the marriage were Mary Griggs, Jacob Griggs and Joseph Rickner. Only Joseph Rickner could sign his name.

They had the following children:

James Griggs (1) Baptized on 1 February 1824 at Woodham Ferrers. He died in August 1824, aged 7 months, and was buried in Woodham Ferrers on 30 August 1824.

Sarah Griggs Baptized 1 May 1825 at Woodham Ferrers.
On 23 January 1853 she married William Perry at Woodham Ferrers. Sarah and William were bachelor and spinster, both of full age. Sarah’s father was James Griggs, a labourer and William’s father was John Perry, also a labourer. Both Sarah and William came from Woodham Ferrers and neither could sign their names.
William Willis and Elizabeth Perry witnessed the marriage.

James Griggs (2) Born on 17 May 1828 and baptized at Woodham Ferrers on 8 June 1828. After his mother re-married in 1833, James assumed his stepfather’s name of Wright.

James Griggs (senior) died in December 1828, aged 39 years and he was buried on 16 December 1828 at Woodham Ferrers.

Mary Ann Griggs (nee Blackwell) married for the second time on 6 January 1833 to Jacob Wright, an agricultural labourer, at Woodham Ferrers. She died in Woodham Ferrers on December 6, 1857 aged 55.

Her husband Jacob Wright died aged 90 and was buried in Woodham Ferrers on March 11, 1885.

Children of Jacob & Mary Griggs Wright (Half Brothers & Sisters of James Wright.

Thomas (baptized December 22, 1833)
Mary (baptized July 26, 1835 – buried December 13, 1840)
Joseph (baptized June 18, 1837)
Naomi (baptized March 28, 1841)
Hannah (born Dec 28, 1847, baptized Jan 28, 1850).

Judith’s illegitimate son Jacob Griggs married Mary Cliff in Woodham Ferrers on 19 October 1818. They had the following children who were baptized in Woodham Ferrers:
Samuel Griggs, baptized 29 August 1819.
Jacob Griggs, baptized 12 November 1821.
Mary Ann Griggs, baptized 16 March 1824, died in 1831, aged 7 years, and was buried at Woodham Ferrers on 28 August 1831

Joseph Griggs, baptized 7 Jun 1829, died in 1848, aged 18 years, and was buried in Woodham Ferrers on 15 March 1848.

William Griggs, baptized 15 May 1832, died in 1833, aged 1 year, and was buried at Woodham Ferrers on 5 August 1833. Alternatively he could have died in 1845, aged 13 years, and was buried at Woodham Ferrers on 14 December 1845.
John Griggs, baptized 19 April 1835.
Jacob (senior) was described as a labourer at the time of each baptism.
Mary Cliff Griggs died in 1847, aged 52 years, and was buried at Woodham Ferrers on 29 October 1847 .
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A brief history of the Murrell’s in our family

William Murrell, grandfather of Isabella Murrell

William Murrell married Sarah Horlock at St. Catherine Cree Church, Leadenhall Street, London in the 4th quarter of 1789. The Archbishop of Canterbury granted them a marriage license on 27 October 1789, which was rather a high level authorisation. While he lived inside the City of London, she was from Rettendon in Essex and in order to avoid a three week delay while banns were called in both parishes, the couple obtained the license from the archbishop. We do not know why William and Sarah chose this speedy means rather than waiting for banns to be called.

We don’t know where William Murrell was born or any thing about his family.

Sarah Horlock, grandmother of Isabella Murrell

Sarah Horlock was the daughter of a merchant family involved in barge traffic on the rivers of Essex and the Thames. The family dates back to Richard Horlock, born in the London parish of Hammersmith about 1650/70. He was a barge owner, wharfinger, and boat builder. He married and had seven children. His son Samuel (1694-1742) married and had five children. His son
Samuel (1729-1799), who was Sarah Horlock’s father, continued in the shipping business, married and had a the following legitimate children – Robert (b. 1770), Elizabeth, Mary, Elianor, Sarah, Richard and Hannah, as well a several illegitimate children. We believe Sarah was
born in Hockley.

This second Samuel branched out to Rettendon, near Battlesbridge, on the River Crouch about 1750. The Maldon Ship registers show that he owned several sailing barges between 1786 and 1840. He probably came across this village while trading on the East Anglia coast and decided it would be a good place to set up business.

Another source says: About 30 barges were owned in Maldon about 1790. The first to be built in Essex seems to be the “Experiment” built for Samuel Horlock at Rettendon in 1791. The Maldon ship registers show that Samuel owned several square-sterned sailing barges between 1786 and 1798 – The “Henry & Robert” 52 tons, “Sally” 44 tons, “Industry” 64 tons, “Charlotte” 45 tons, and the “Experiment” 63 tons.

A descendant, R J Horlock, believes that the Experiment was built in Hockley by Samuel Horlock since he had obtained a working knowledge of boat building from the Hammersmith yard and also owned a wharf in Hockley.

When Samuel died in 1798/9 he had a established a very good business. He owned quite a lot of farming land in the area; coal yardsin Rawreth, lime kilns in Rettendon, wharves at Hockley, a wharf at Hammersmith and the above mentioned barges. The combination of farming and barging has always been fairly common in Essex because of the extensive network of tidal creeks and rivers and in this case provided the colours for the family ‘bob’. This was a triangle with blue at the top and yellow beneath; blue for the sea and yellow for the corn.

The main trade for Samuel’s barges seems to have been in coal, manure, and chalk being converted into lime for the heavy Essex soil. The return trip to London was probably with corn and hay and straw for the thousands of horses in the city. William Murrell inherited half of his father-in-law’s business when Samuel Horlock died in 1798/9.

William Murrell and Sarah Horlock had 11 children, of whom four lived to a full age.

William Charles Murrell – Isabella’s father

William Charles Murrell (circa 1792 – 1853), seems to have followed in his father’s footsteps. He was the eldest son of William Sr. & Sarah and was born and likely raised in Hockley. He married Harriet who was born 3 July 1800 in Orsett. We know that Harriet was born in Orsett from the 18
51 census. We also know that Harriot (sic) Robinson baptised in Orsett on 3 July 1800 was the daughter of Ralph & Ann Robinson. William Charles’s brother Robert, born 1803 married an Isabella Campbell Robinson and she too stated in the 1851 census that she was born in Orsett.
We are sure that Harriott and Isabella Robinson were sisters.

The marriage of William Charles & Harriot took place on 12th Feb.1828 at St Botolph’s Without, Aldgate, city of London, William Charles Murrell (Bachelor of this parish) and Harriot Campbell (widow of Hockley, Essex)

Harriot had previously been married to John Fearnhead Campbell from St Giles Cripplegate, City of London. He and Harriet were married by licence and with the consent of the mother of Harriot at Orsett on 8 July 1819. Witnesses were William Robinson, Ann Robinson, Richard Watts and Mary Butterfield. John Fearnhead Campbell died in 1821 and was buried 30th September 1821 at St Giles Cripplegate. He was aged 39 years.

On the 1841 Census William Charles Murrell and his family appear in Battlesbridge, near Rettendon, as follows:
William Murrell aged 40 (49) a mariner.
Harriet aged 30 (40)
William aged 13
Harriet aged 10
Charles aged 9
Samuel aged 7
Isabella aged 6
Robert aged 3
Henry aged 1

On the 1851 Census William Charles Murrell and his family appear under the name of Morrell and they were living at Church Street, St. Mary, Maldon as follows:

William Morrell, Head, married, age 59, Mariner, born Hockley.
Harriett Morrell, Wife, married, age 50, born Orsett.
Mary Morrell, daughter, unmarried, age 8, born Maldon.
Isabella does not appear.

William Charles and Harriet are buried in St. Mary’s churchyard in Maldon. The death records shown them as William Charles Murrell, sailor, age 61, who died in Maldon on May 5th, 1853 (burial May 16th) and Harriet Murrell, age 67, who died on November 26th 1867 (burial December 3rd) in Maldon. On his death certificate William Charles was listed as a “mariner”, and on Harriet’s certificate she was listed as the “widow of William Murrell, bargeman”. On Isabella’s marriage record, her father was listed as William Murrell, sailor. On Isabella’s remarriage certificate, her
father is listed as William Charles Murrell, master mariner.

Isabella’s Brother and Sisters

Isabella Murrell Abt 1835 - 1914

Isabella Murrell Abt 1835 – 1914

Isabella’s eldest brother, William Charles Murrell, married Mary Handley (both were minors at the time), on September 17, 1846 in the Maldon St. Mary’s Registration District. Witnesses were Charles Murrell Handley & Harriet Murrell and the groom’s father was listed as William Charles Murrell, mariner.

The groom was also a mariner, and continued the family shipping business through “Murrell’s Wharf” in Bermondsey. We find a Mary Murrell, age 3, living with Charles Murrell Handley & his family as a visitor in 1851. This is the daughter of William Charles Murrell and Mary Handley, but they
are not at this address or on the Maldon census at all.

Mary Handley Murrell died in the first quarter of 1875 at age 48 in the Lambeth registration district. In the 1881 census, in Lambeth, William Charles Murrell appears as a coal merchant & widower, aged 52 who was born in Hullbridge, which is about 10 miles from Southend on Sea. He had a daughter Isabella aged 23, born in Bermondsey and other children Edith (22), Robert (20), Samuel (19), Grace (18), and Clara (16), all born in Bermondsey.

William Charles married again in the third quarter of 1886 to an Elizabeth, who was the executrix of his will. William Charles became financially overextended in 1889 by guaranteeing his son Robert’s debts and declared bankruptcy. He died in St. Saviours registration district in Southwark in the 4th quarter of 1892 aged 63 and was listed as a coal merchant.

Samuel Murrell was a mariner and married Mary Raven in the first quarter of 1860 in Maldon, St. Mary’s. He died in Salcott in the second quarter of 1892, aged 48 and was listed as a hay and straw merchant.

Robert Murrell was a master mariner and married Esther Rawlinson, a widow and sister of Mary Raven in the 3rd quarter of 1866 in
Bermondsey. He was the licensee of the “White Hart” in Virley, from 1874 to at least 1882. He died in the 3rd quarter of 1889 in Virley and was listed as an innkeeper. His wife died there in the first quarter of 1893 aged 54.

Henry Murrell was also a mariner and he married Sarah Sutton from Heybridge about 1867. Henry and his wife and six children were aboard the vessel “Denton” at Halling on Medway, Kent at the time of the 1881 census.

We know of Charles Murrell from the 1841 census but have no other information about him.

There is a Harriet Murrell on the 1851 census living in Maldon, who was born in Hockley and aged 21. She was working as a domestic
with no other family at this address. This is probably Isabella’s sister Harriet. Harriet later appears on the 1881 census as Harriet Allan, aged 51, married to Andrew Allan of Fife, Scotland, a cooper, age 50 living in Bermondsey, Surrey with 3 daughters.

Harriett was still alive in September 1902 as she is mentioned as staying with her sister Isabella in Maldon in a letter (dated Sept 1st) written by Isabella to her son Robert just before he left for America.

Ann Murrell appears in the 1881 census as Ann M. Worth, aged 36, wife of Moses Worth, age 39. They were farmers in Denver, Colorado, owning 160 acres of land, butappear as visitors in the home of Moses’ brother Peter in Siddington, Cheshire at the time of the census.

Ann died in England of cancer on 17 June 1881 in her 37th year and is buried in Maldon St Mary’s churchyard next to the grave of her parents. Moses returned to America after Ann’s death.

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Family Trees

5 Willingales @ Willingale Village

5 Willingales @ Willingale Village

Most of the family names I’m interested in come from Essex, making it very easy to research them as I live in Essex (although I must admit my Mother has done most of the research 🙂 ). The main exception to this is Stein, which is of course German. My Stein ancestors seem to have originated in Koblenz, which is roughly midway between Cologne & Frankfurt. By the 1880’s they had moved up to Yorkshire & Lancashire in the UK.

Willingale is very Essex, their being a small village midway between Chelmsford & Ongar of that name, which is unique in having two Churches in the same churchyard. Our research has proved that ALL Willingales are related.

There are a few famous Willingales: Thomas Willingale (1799-1870) was one of the key figures that saved Epping Forest from enclosure, a school in Loughton is named after him.

Betty Willingale was a noted script editor who worked on key BBC drama series and serials in the 1960s and 1970s, including North & South and I, Claudius. She went on to form a strong working partnership with producer Jonathan Powell, script editing many of Powell’s most successful drama serials including the hit adaptations of A Christmas Carol, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Barchester Chronicles and The Old Men at the Zoo. Willingale produced the BBC adaptation of Mansfield Park in 1983, later going on to produce the critically acclaimed adaptations Testament of Youth, Tender Is the Night as well as Bleak House and Fortunes of War, both of which earned her BAFTA nominations. Subsequently she worked on Fry & Laurie’s version of Jeeves and Wooster. But perhaps she is best known for Midsomer Murders as a script editor, producer & consultant.

Australians may remember Bernie Willingale, who was the leader of the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen, during a period of industrial unrest in the 1980’s.

This website contains 4 family trees in two separate databases:

The Red database :

Wright & Savill – My maternal ancestry plus my direct Willingale ancestors & steins
Pattinson – My Step Fathers family tree

The Blue database : Willingale Genealogy

Willingale One Name Study – All Willingales linked to a common ancestor in the 1570’s
Unconnected Willingales – Willingales which we cant place in the above tree


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