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Eric Trudgill    -    29 September 2017

James and Sarah Hoadley incontestably baptised three children: Horatio Michael in E Farleigh, Kent in 1827 (licenced hawker of no fixed abode); Sarah in Hartley Wintney, Hants in 1829; and Walter in Gussage All Saints, Dorset in 1833 (hawker). They also registered a short-lived Noah and a George as born respectively in Eastwood Essex in 1840 and Gt Baddow, Essex in 1842, in each case James said to be a hawker and Sarah formerly Formeger. And they provide us with a text-book illustration of the importance of recurring locations, distinctive forenames, joint baptisms and in-law marriages, in establishing siblings where baptisms are doubtful or totally absent.

For example, can we assume the well-known William Hoadley who married Britannia Buckley, daughter of Hiram, was a son of James, even though he was recorded as son of William at his wedding? Almost certainly, because he and Britannia married in Barking, Essex, in 1844, like James’ Horatio and Drusilla Coleman in 1846, James’ Sarah and Edward Camfield in 1851 and James’ Walter and Matilda Coleman in 1854; because he and Britannia witnessed Sarah’s wedding; because his first son was a Horatio; and because at the baptisms of his daughters Naomi and Levithan in 1846 and 1850 he was a hawker of Totham, Essex, like the first Horatio when baptising a child in 1853. Was he the William Hoadley baptised in Biddenden, Kent in 1825 son of James and Sarah (James a labourer of Pearsmarsh, Ssx)? Possibly yes, as this William was baptised two years before and in the same county as Horatio (and eight months after Hiram Buckley’s Britannia).

Can we assume the Alice Hoadley who married Benjamin Tapsell in 1854 was a daughter of James and Sarah? Yes, because she married in Barking daughter of James, and christened two children in Birmingham St Martin, Wks in 1866 jointly with no less than six of Sarah Hoadley’s children by Edward Camfield. Was Alice baptised as Alice Hadley in Brentwood, Essex in 1835? Probably yes, because she was 20 daughter of James at her wedding, and gave her birth in the 1871 census as about 1835 in Orsett, Essex, not far from Brentwood.

Can we add to James’ children, without a baptism, the Aquilla Hoadley, born about 1838 between Alice and Noah? Yes, because in 1861 he married (23 son of James) Ellen Camfield, sister of Edward, Sarah Hoadley’ husband; because his unusual forename was given to a son of James’ Walter, christened in 1855; because he christened two children in 1866 jointly with children of James’ daughters, Sarah Camfield and Alice Tapsell; and because he said in the 1871 census he’d been born in Totham (like William, husband of Britannia when baptising daughters in 1846 and 1850, and Horatio, husband of Drusilla, in 1853).

Can we add to James’ children the Sampson Hoadley baptised in Leytonstone, Essex in 1844 and the Annie Elizabeth and Alice Hoadley baptised there jointly in February 1846, all children of James and Priscilla? No, because although the James here, married to Priscilla Botton, was recorded on both occasions as a licenced hawker of Totham, he was surely James and Sarah’s oldest son: his and his wife’s age in Kettering, Northants in the 1861 census are hard to read but look like 38 and 39); and none of James senior’s children by Sarah are present or the children baptised in Leytonstone, who seem to have died (James junior has a Sampson but he’s only 9 months).

Can we add to James’ children, without baptisms, the Bathona and Job Hoadley, who both claimed to have been born about 1848? Yes, because Bathona was recorded as daughter of James at her wedding to Arthur Durrant in Norfolk in 1869; and because her rare forename had already been adopted by William and Britannia Hoadley for one of their daughters. Yes, because Job was recorded as son of James at his wedding to Matilda Toogood in Durham in 1870 (where his witnesses were Aquilla and Ellen Hoadley); and because he and Matilda were travelling in Durham in the 1871 census with James’ son Walter and his Matilda.

Finally can we add to James’ children, without baptisms, the James Hoadley, born about 1823, who married Priscilla Botton in 1841? Yes, because he was married (son of James) in Barking, like five of James and Sarah’s children 1844-54; because he described himself, like three sons of James and Sarah, as a hawker of Totham when baptising and birth-registering at least six of his children; and because he named at least three after children of James and Sarah (one an Aquilla).

Once again I’m obliged to Bob Collins for greatly improving a draft of this article.

Copyright © 2017 Eric Trudgill