The Tragedy of Joseph Finch Jr. and Mary Ann Fillmore

My great, great grandfather, Joseph Finch Jr. , was born in 1833 in Ipswich, Suffolk (England), the oldest child of Joseph Finch Sr. and Hannah Pilborough.

Joseph Jr. had four younger siblings: William (b: 1834) , Sarah (b: 1836), Edward Claydon (b: 1839), and Jonadab (b: 1843).

Christening - Joseph Finch Jr.For reasons unknown, Joseph and Hannah delayed the christening of  Joseph Jr. until he was 4 years old.  He was christened on 25 Jun 1837 at the same time as his brother, William, and sister, Sarah.  Their baptism took place at St. Helen’s Church in Ipswich.

The Finch family lived in Ipswich until about the middle of the 1850s, when they moved to Wimbledon, Surrey (England).

Marriage - Joseph Finch and Mary Ann Fillmore

Joseph Jr. lived with his parents until he married Mary Ann Fillmore, daughter of George Fillmore and Mary Ann Beadle.  They married by banns on 11 Aug 1856 at the parish church in Wimbledon.

Joseph and Mary Ann Fillmore FinchJoseph Jr. and Mary Ann’s first child, Fannie Sarah (my great grandmother), was born in Wimbledon in July of 1857.  A son, William Frederick, followed in September of 1860.

1861 Census - Joseph and Mary Ann Finch and FamilyIn the 1861 Census, the family is living at 4 The Terrace in Wimbledon.  Joseph Jr. is employed in the same profession as his father — a sawyer.

Their house must have been large because boarding with them were four adults and three children!

Life I imagine was very idyllic for the Finch family — but everything was about to change!

Christening - Edward Charles Finch

In May of 1863, Edward Charles Finch was born to Joseph Jr. and Mary Ann.  He was christened on May 13 in Wimbledon.

Burial - Edward Charles FinchSadly, Edward died shortly after he was christened and he was buried on May 27 in Wimbledon.

Then, tragically in November of 1863, Mary Ann died!  She was Burial - Mary Ann Finchonly 27 years old.  She was buried on November 21, likely with Edward.  I know that they are buried in Wimbledon but I don’t know exactly where.  But I assume that that they are buried in the graveyard of St. Mary’s church as I think that St. Mary’s was the only church in the parish of Wimbledon in 1863.

1871 Census - Joseph, William and Fanny FinchMary Ann’s death left her husband a widower, with two young children to raise.  Fannie was 6 years old and William was only 3.

Marriage - Joseph Finch and Sarah Thornett HoldenOn 26 Dec 1871, Joseph re-married to Sarah Thornett, daughter of Joseph and Amy Thornett.  This was also the second marriage for Sarah.  Her first husband’s name was John Charles Holden.

Sarah is the sister of Emma Thornett who married Joseph’s brother, Jonadab!  So two sisters ended up marrying two brothers.  This is the first of many examples that I have found in the Finch and Evison families of “inter-marriage” like this!

1881 Census - Joseph and Sarah FinchAfter his marriage to Sarah in 1871, I’m uncertain about what happened to Joseph and Sarah.  The record that I could find that most closely matches is an 1881 Census for a Joseph and Sarah Finch living in Marylebone, London (England).  The places of birth match those for Joseph and Sarah but both are listed as 41 years old.  In 1881, Joseph would have been 48 (b: 1833) and Sarah, 50 (b: 1831).  This Joseph Finch is a carpenter whereas my ancestor was a sawyer.  I suppose that’s possible because both professions have something to do with wood but —

I do not know when and where Joseph Finch Jr. and Sarah Thornett Finch died.

History and Antiquities of the Parish of Wimbledon, SurreyArchive.org is an incredible resource for antiquities and family histories.

They are scanning old books that are out of copyright and uploading them to the internet.  I found one called, The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Wimbledon, Surrey which was published in 1865 — exactly the time period that the Finch family was living in Wimbledon!

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3 Responses to The Tragedy of Joseph Finch Jr. and Mary Ann Fillmore

  1. Marg Cleven says:

    Fascinating Bobby. It’s exciting to be able to go back into the lives of your ancestors.

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

  3. Pingback: The Daughters of William and Ellen Evison, Part Three | In Search of My Ancestors

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