Share this page

James Dighton Junior

Eric Trudgill    -    3 January 2015

James Dighton junior was baptised in Tonbridge, Kent in 1824 son of James Dighton and Eliza Lee, and died on Mitcham Common, Surrey in 1906. He was married concurrently to two daughters of Clark and Delevi Boswell: Duaney Boswell, who was baptised in Eldersfield, Worcs in 1822 and died, as Duana Dighton, in Croydon, Surrey in 1897; and Miseretta Boswell, who was baptised in Tibberton, Worcs in 1825 and died, as Mizerotta Dighton, in Mitcham in 1888.

Census records give James junior the following children: Byron Nathan christened in Farningham, Kent in 1843; Solomon born in Plumstead, Kent in 1846; Eliza christened in Plaxtol, Kent in 1848; Noah born in Plumstead in March 1850 and christened in Beckenham, Kent in 1871; Oliver born in Plumstead in March 1851; Andrew and Deliah born in N Woolwich, Kent about 1855 and 1857; Phoebe and William born respectively about1859 and 1861 and christened jointly with Noah in 1871; Walter born on Tooting Common, Surrey in 1863; and Priscilla born in Wandsworth, Surrey about 1865. To these we can add Owen Diting christened in Plumstead at two weeks in 1853, who either died young or changed his name to Andrew.

Census records, however, don’t make clear which of James junior’s two wives bore which children. Byron Nathan’s baptism gives his parents as James and Mary Ann, Solomon’s and Walter’s birth certificates give theirs as James and Duana, as do Eliza’s, Noah’s, Owen’s, Phoebe’s and William’s baptisms, but the short gap between Noah’s and Oliver’s birth suggests the latter may have been Miseretta’s child. The fact that James’ youngest child seems to have been the Priscilla (christened in Battersea St John, Surrey in 1865 daughter of Henry and Elizabeth, gypsy hawker), who in 1895 in Cranbrook, Kent was present at the death of her seven year old daughter, Meserette, only compounds the uncertainty

Identifying the partners and offspring of James junior’s children is also sometimes straightforward and sometimes not.

Byron Nathan (sometimes John) married Urania Smith (daughter of Cornelius Smith and Clara Boss and presumably baptised as Lionel in 1845) and had the following children: Noah born about 1866, who married (son of John hawker) Flora Ladd (daughter of William hawker); Clara baptised in Beckenham, and buried six months old in Mitcham,in 1873; Agnes christened in Mitcham in 1874; Macey born about 1875 and baptised in Bromley, Kent in 1878 with Alice born about 1878;Liney born about 1881; Ocean born about 1884, who married (daughter of John deceased hawker) Frederick Cooper son of Spicer; and Eliza and Amelia born in Kent about 1887 and 1890.

Solomon, James second child, married Urania Smith’s sister Patience (sometimes Mary), baptised in 1848, and had the following children: Deliah born in Suffolk about 1871, who married Henry Beckley; Celia christened in Shirley, Surrey in 1875, who married Frederick Walter Smith son of John deceased hawker; Albert and Lavinia born in Mitcham in 1877 and 1880 and christened jointly in Croydon St John in 1880 (Albert married an Alice and Lavinia married Charles Marchant); Genty and Ben Ammi christened, if we can trust Family Search, jointly in Croydon in 1886 (Genty married Sidney Lobb); and Urania (Reynie), born in 1887, and Florence Emily, born in 1891, who were christened jointly in Croydon St Saviour in 1892 (the first married Timothy Grace and the second married Richard Scott).

Eliza, James’ third child, married Charles Lee son of Edward and Charlotte, baptised in 1846, and had the following children all recorded as Lees: Patience and Charlotte born in Kent about 1870-73; Barbara (named after Charles’ grandmother) and Eliza Rebecca christened in Deptford, Kent in respectively 1876 and 1878; Duenna (named after Eliza’s mother) christened in E Greenwich, Ken in 1881; Lemuel and Sylvanus christened in E Greenwich jointly in 1883; Martha and Walter born in Greenwich about 1884 and 1886; Charles born in Footscray, Ken about 1888; and Gentilla born about 1890 and christened in Bexley, Kent in 1892.

Noah, James’ fourthchild, married the sister of his elder brothers’ wives, Lydia Smith daughter of Cornelius and Clara, baptised in 1851, and christened the following children: James in Shirley, Surrey in 1876, who married Genty Smith daughter of Thomas; Amy in Bromley in 1880, who died when she was two; Walter in Mitcham in 1880,Sansby in Mitcham in 1882, who married Nelson Smith son of Major, and Cornelius in Mitcham in 1884;Justina in Croydon St John in 1886, who died when she was nine; William and Fanny jointly in Crockenhill, Kent in 1892; and Joseph and Noah jun in Crockenhill in 1893 and 1895 respectively.

Identifying the partners and offspring of James Dighton junior’s first four children is straightforward. But I know virtually nothing as yet about his other eight children apart from William and Walter, who each seem to have married a Fanny.

William and Fanny had the following children: Major born in Mitcham about 1884 and Walter in Mitcham in 1890; Patience christened in Mitcham in 1892, Andrew in Orpington, Kent in 1894 and Phoebe in S Croydon St Augustine in 1896; Lydia born in Croydon about 1898; Lenda christened in Mitcham in 1901; Sanspy born in Surrey about 1903; and Ada born in Chelsfield, Kent about 1905.

Walter and his Fanny had the following children: Solomon born about 1888, who married a Louisa; Noah born in Croydon about 1890; and Walter jun christened in Croydon St Saviour in 1892. Thanks to a birth certificate I’ve received in a treasure trove of documents from the invaluable Bob Collins, I now think Walter Dighton, born in 1863 son of James jun, took as his second wife his cousin Rainey Boswell, christened in 1868 daughter of Zachariah Boswell (brother of Duaney and Miseretta) and Justinia Dighton (sister of James jun). Admittedly Rainey was recorded as a Smith when she and Walter christened children in E Wickham, Kent in 1896 and 1901, but she was formerly Boswell when they registered the birth of an Andrew in E Wickham in 1902 (Walter’s cousin Andrew Dighton, son of Andrew, christened five children in E Wickham 1897-1908).

As always I’d be delighted to hear from anyone willing and able to share information with me: I’d like to publish a Family Tree booklet on these Dightons before I croak.

Copyright © 2015 Eric Trudgill