The theme for this week’s #52Ancestors is Teams. I don’t have any famous team players in my family, or even infamous ones. As I was struggling about this week’s subject I realised that every team, football teams anyway, have 11 members. How many families do I have on my tree that are a team with 11 members?
I have 42 families that had 9 children, mostly those of the 19th century but some in the 18th century too and most were agricultural labouring families in Sussex. I decided to pick one such family to look more closely at. I picked my Great x4 grandfather George Pilbeam and his first wife, Anne Weston.
George Pilbeam was born in 1784 baptised on 10 November 1784. His parents were Thomas Pilbeam and Hannah Eastwood and Thomas was a Shoemaker in Burwash. There were many families of Pilbeams in Burwash at that time and George would have grown up with many cousins from both sides, the Eastwoods were numerous in Burwash too.
Anne Weston was born 1783, baptised on 3 February 1783 also in Burwash. Her parents were John Weston and Ann Mabb. In 1806, Ann gave birth to a baby girl, Celia who was baptised at Burwash on 26 July 1806.
George and Anne were married on 21 November 1807 in Burwash Church. George left his mark but Ann signed the register witnessed by Hannah Pilbeam and Barbara Weston. Barbara was likely to be Anne’s sister.
The children born to George and Ann were:
Hannah baptised 18 April 1808 at Burwash
George baptised on 1 July 1810 at Burwash
James, my great x3 grandfather, was baptised at Burwash on 2 February 1812 and married Sarah Simmons
John baptised 22 Jan 1814 at Burwash, and died in March 1820
William baptised on 11 June 1815 at Burwash, William married Mary Ann Isted and they farmed at Brickells Farm in Hellingly near Hailsham.
Ann baptised on 22 March 1818 at Burwash and died November 1836
Harriet was baptised at Burwash on 15 October 1820. Harriet married Thomas Simmons who was brother of Sarah Simmons.
Thomas was baptised on 4 May 1823 at Burwash
and lastly Robert was baptised at Burwash on 8 January 1826.
George is recorded from the 1813 onward baptisms as a Labourer, presumably an Agricultural Labourer as by 1841 (as we know from my previous blog dated 22 February 2022 about George my Landed Ancestor) he was a Farmer. It looks very much as if he worked his way up and ended up renting Battenhurst Farm near Ticehurst with 120 acres according to the 1851 census.
I’ve not yet found out exactly when George moved to Woodsell where he was farming in 1841. Woodsell is at Dallington, down the road from Burwash and we know he was there in 1840 when Anne died, as she was buried at Burwash although her abode was noted as Dallington. I imagine him farming alongside at least some of his children.
At least 4 of his sons, George, James, Thomas and William followed in his footsteps and on various census returns are found farming in different parts of the area. I imagine some of the girls living at home till they married and helping on the farm too, it would have been all hands on deck at certain times of the year.
What of Celia, Anne’s illegitimate child? It looks like she was an accepted member of the team, the 1841, 1851 census have her living with George even after her mother’s early death. In 1861 after George’s death she is in Peasmarsh and marked as a confirmed Invalid. She died in 1864 and was buried as Celia Pilbeam in Burwash.
Robert, the youngest child died in 1860 leaving no wife or issue. Most of the other children married and had large families of their own, mostly farming and staying in the area. Another family for my ‘more research needed’ pile. I have not managed to find a marriage for either Hannah or George the two oldest children yet.