Jane George and John Watts

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Jane George and John Watts

Postby emacalister » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:09 pm

I feel like i have completely hit a brick wall with Jane George and John Watts, my GG Grandparents.
Jane was born in St Austell Cornwall around about 1836. This I have gleaned from the couple of census records I have been able to find. When her two daughters Rachel (1852) and Ellen (1854) were born she was still in the area. No father's name on baptism records.
In 1861 herself and her daughters are under the name Watts in Ardrishaig, Argyll living with John Watts (Born circa 1812). Jane is down as his wife but I have been unable to find any record of marriage.
At some point between then and 1866 they head to Liverpool and I know this due to some records of them in a workhouse there. When the last daughter is born, My Great Grandmother, Leah Maud WATTS, in 1876 it appears jane and Leah go to stay with daughter Ellen. John is not noted in this birth certificate but Jane gives her and the baby's names as Watts. When Rachel, Ellen and Leah get married John is down as their father on the marriage records and all their names are Watts.
I have a possible record for Jane living with her family in St Austell in 1851 aged 15 and possibly one for John in St Austell in 1841 aged 30 but not with his family.
From there the trail for both John and Jane goes cold. I can't find any further census information or death certificates. At the very least they must be somewhere in 1871.
In 1881 Leah is under visitor with her sister Rachel and 1891 under Daughter with her sister Ellen so I believe Ellen and her husband Abraham Bark brought her up, Leah eventually married one of Abraham's brothers.

Sorry for the lengthy post but I thought it best to get as much information in as possible. I would be very grateful for any help and leads.
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Re: Jane George and John Watts

Postby BC Wench » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:50 pm

The 1861 census must be the one you already have.

1861 Census: Mckillars Lane, Campbelltown Road, South Knapdale, Lochgilphead, Argyllshire
John Watts, Head.Mar, 45, Copper Miner 1816
Jane Watts, Wife, 54 1807
Rachel Watts, Dau, 8, Scholar 1853
Helen Watts, Dau, 5, Scholar 1856
(All born England)

Could this be the 1871 census for the Watts ladies?

1871 Census: George Hotel, Dale Street, Liverpool
Jane Watts, Servant.Wid, 40, General Servant, Tower Drith (Tower Drift?), Cornwall B: 1831

1871 Census: 67 Town Row, West Derby, Lancs (Index says Rachel A Witts)
Rachel G Watts, Servant.UM, 18, Domestic Servant, Plymouth, Cornwall B: 1853
Head of Household: William Bird
(Rachel marries John Donaghy 26 Sep 1880 Liverpool)

1871 Census: 27 Thomspon Street, Tranmere, Birkenhead
Ellen Watts, Servant, 15, Domestic Servant, St Austell, Cornwall B: 1856
Head of Household: Abraham & Betsy Shackleton
(Ellen marries Abraham Bark 4 Feb 1877 St Silas, Liverpool where she gives her Abode as Dale Street)
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Re: Jane George and John Watts

Postby emacalister » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:23 pm

Thank you for that. That certainly looks like our Jane and now raises a couple of possibilities I can pursue.
It narrows down John's death to between circa 1875 and 1881 if Jane was a widow by then. When Rachel and Ellen married they said John was a miner but by the time Leah married in 1896 she puts him down as mariner (deceased). I wonder if he is not on Leah's birth certificate due to either being at sea or perhaps he died while Jane was pregnant?
Perhaps the loss of her husband (although I have no marriage record) meant Jane had no choice but to take a live in position, leaving Leah with Ellen after she married the following year?
Yes, I saw that 1861 one and it surprised me because it seems to suggest they were living in Ardrishaig, which is the small village where my boyfriend is from. Quite a coincidence!
While there they also had a daughter named Anne Watts who dies in infancy. She seems to be the only child that has John on the birth certificate.
Thanks again.
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Re: Jane George and John Watts

Postby emacalister » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:27 pm

I've been having a think on this and now have a bit of a theory although not sure how to go about proving it.
If John was a mariner then might it have been possible that he went missing at sea or died and was burried at sea. Does anyone know if this was the case would records have been kept or would this explain why I have had difficulty finding a death record?
I'm also wondering if Jane died in the 1880s. This is because in the 1881 census Leah Watts, 5, is with her sister Rachel as a visitor then in 1891 she Leah Bark with her other sister Ellen, her husband Abraham Bark and their son. Could it be they unofficially adopted her after their mother passing?
This could be wildly off the mark but seems plausible with the evidence I have at the moment.
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