For the Birds – My Finch Ancestors

Fannie Sarah Finch EvisonMy maternal great grandmother’s maiden name was Finch, Fannie Sarah Finch.

She was the first of my Finch ancestors to come to Canada, arriving first in New York City (USA) on 11 Apr 1892 and then travelling to Ontario (Canada) to marry my great grandfather, William St. Thomas Evison, on 28 Apr 1892, in Lambeth, Ontario (Canada).

Joseph and Hannah Pilborough Finch

With the help of distant Finch cousins in England (Tony Fraser in Ipswich) and in New York State (Camilla Los), I’ve been able to gather a lot of information and documents about my Finch ancestors.  I’ve reliably traced the family back to Fannie’s grandfather, Joseph Finch Sr.

Ipswich locationJoseph Finch Sr. was born in about 1805 in Ipswich, Suffolk County, England.  Ipswich is one of England’s oldest towns and is located on the River Orwell Estuary which empties into the North Sea.  It is approximately twelve miles from the coast & 70 miles north east of London (England).

Joseph Sr. married Hannah Pilborough in St. Margaret’s Church in Ipswich on 11 Sep 1831.    Joseph and Hannah had 5 children, all born in Ipswich:

  • Joseph Jr. (b: 1833), my great, great, great grandfather
  • William (b: 1834),
  • Sarah (b: 8 Feb 1836),
  • Edward Claydon (b: 18 Jun 1839)
  • and Jonadab (b: 7 Feb 1843).

Regent Street, IpswichIn 1841, the family is living on Regent Street in Ipswich.  Joseph Sr. is employed as a “sawyer” and Hannah as a “shoebinder”.   A shoebinder is someone who assembled the parts of the shoe, ready for stitching.  Workers were able to work on the shoes at home and bring them into the factory for finishing each day.

James St, Ipswich, EnglandBy the 1851 Census, the family moved from Regent Street to James Street in Ipswich.  All of the children are still living at home, including 18 year old Joseph (my ggggrandfather) who is employed in the same profession as his father — a sawyer.  But now, Joseph Sr. is also a grocer!!

1841 UK Census - Joseph and Hannah Finch and Family    1851 UK Census - Joseph and Hannah Finch and Family

1861 UK Census - Joseph and Hannah Finch and FamilyBy the 1861 Census, Joseph Sr. and Hannah have moved to Wimbledon, which is about 100 miles southwest of Ipswich.  In fact, by 1861, all of the family (except William) are living in Wimbledon.  Sarah and Jonadab are living with their parents.  Joseph Jr. and Edward Clayton are married and have started families of their own.  As of the date of this blog, I don’t know what happened to William after 1851.

Then at some point, Joseph Sr. and Hannah separated.

1871 UK Census - Joseph Finch SrIn the 1871 census.  Joseph Sr. is in London (England) living with son, Jonadab and his family, in the Samaritan Hospital for Women in Marylebone. The hospital became the first free hospital to provide beds for patients of limited means. For years, Jonadab was very involved in raising money for chariti1871 UK Census - Hannah and Sarah Finches — but more about him in a subsequent blog.

At the same time that Joseph Sr. was in London, Hannah was running a lodging house in Wimbledon.

Hannah Pilborough Finch died in Wimbledon at the beginning of 1879 when she was 65 years old.

Wimbledon_mapJoseph Sr. returned to Wimbledon from London and, in 1881, is living on High Street with his daughter, Sarah, and granddaughter, Fannie (my great grandmother).

1881 Census - Joseph, Sarah and Fannie FinchIt’s a long and complicated story about why and how Fannie ended up living with her grandfather.  That’s the topic of my next blog.

As I write this blog, I don’t know exactly when and where Joseph Sr. died.  I couldn’t find him in the 1891 Census, so I assume he died sometime between 1881 and 1891.

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One Response to For the Birds – My Finch Ancestors

  1. Pingback: The Fillmore Branch of My Family Tree, Part One | In Search of My Ancestors

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