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Finding Sarah

My great grandmother Sarah Elizabeth Newham Price has always been an intriguing mystery. When my father was researching his English roots, the trail went cold at the Newhams.

My dad knew his Grandma Price and remembers her with love and admiration. According to him, while her husband Big Bill made an art of the Deadly Sins, it was she who turned the family of six sons into a working enterprise. Behind "W.J. Price & Sons, Carpenters" was Sarah's firm hand.

Today I found Sarah. I'll say this from the start. Big Bad Bill married up.

As I concluded yesterday, the Prices were dirt poor, with James being simple laborer and miner his whole life, although it looks like his wife Ann had a turn at being a shopkeeper at the time of the 1881 census.

It was in this same 1881 census that I saw Bill as a 22-year-old carpenter still living with mom and dad. If his first child was born in 1883, I figured his future wife might be nearby.

I searched for Sarah E. Newham in the 1881 Staffordshire census and, my gosh, up she popped, living just around the bend in the river in Burton upon Trent at 161 Shobnall Street. 20-year-old Sarah was working as a laundress and living with her brother Charles Edward and his wife Ruth. Charles was a tailor. Their brother Samuel H. also lived with them. He worked as a brewer's labourer.

The three siblings were born in Wytham on the Hill (aka Witham on Hill) in Lincolnshire, a county on England's east coast.

I focused my next search on 1861 in Lincolnshire. Sure enough, there was the family: Samuel Newham was a master tailor who employed a journeyman tailor, who lived with the family in Wytham on Hill. His wife Frances had 3 young children and the mother-in-law Elizabeth Bennett was visiting at the time of the census. Elizabeth was a dressmaker.

Had I found the right Sarah? Finding a pair of marriage records cinched it for me. Sarah Elizabeth Newham married William James Price during the 3rd quarter of 1881 in the Bourne district of Lincolnshire, where Wytham on Hill is located. So, Sarah met Bill while working in Burton on Trent, then they went to her family's home for the wedding.

I haven't figured out yet where Bill and Sarah started their family. They had two children, William and Mary Ann, before they set out for America around 1883.

More about the Newhams and Bennetts

Another small mystery:

In the 1871 census, when Sarah was 11 years old, she is not listed with the family. The English do their census all on a single night and everyone is counted where they are, whether they are home or not. So maybe she was staying with a friend or relative. A loose end...



5.19.05 (revised)


Sarah's husband and children

More about the Newhams and Bennetts