My Paternal Family
Grtx2 grandparents: Samuel and Elizabeth (nee Ward) Fairey
Although Samuel Fairey, the son of the labourer, John Fairey and his wife Jane was baptised at Kings Walden, Herts on 9 October 1825, he had been born around six years earlier in 1818/19. He was one of four of John and Jane’s children to be baptised on the same day when the family was living at Ley Green, which was a mile and a half west of Preston:
Elizabeth was the daughter of William Ward ( a labourer) and Ann Braddin(g). She was born at Preston and baptised at St Marys, Hitchin on 19 June 1812:
In the summer of 1840, the couple were living at Preston and they married at St Marys, Hitchin on 5 September 1840. Their witnesses were John and Mary Fitzjohn:
Samuel and Elizabeth lived their whole lives at Back Lane, Preston most probably in the same small, tumbledown cottage (H)
Their first child, George, was born either shortly before or shortly after their marriage - his birth was registered in the quarter that ran from 1 July to 30 September 1840. When the census was taken on 6 June 1841, George was said to be nine months old. He was baptised at St Mary’s Hitchin on 28 October 1840. Might this have had some bearing on why their next four children were christened at Kings Walden?
In February 1856 and June 1857 Samuel was before Hitchin magistrates. William Winch played a part in both cases - and since his testimony resulted in Samuel having a later case dismissed, one might suspect collusion and elaborate, clever fabrication:
The story of the century’s censuses is unremarkable - except to note that Elizabeth supplemented Samuel’s wages by straw plaiting. Samuel and Elizabeth claimed no religious affiliation in 1886. Samuel (71) died in the late spring of 1890. The 1891 census recorded Elizabeth living with her son William Fairey and his family at Leggatts Farm Cottages - which are between Preston and Ley Green. There she died in February 1893. She was buried at Kings Walden on 22 February. For much of her life, her age was said to be six or seven years too young. However, she was certainly baptised in 1812. - and so was around eighty years old when she died.
The children of Samuel and Elizabeth Fairey
George Fairey (1840 - 1903) George left Preston between 1851 and 1861. He is next found in 1901 when he was living with his brother, William Fairey and his family, at Leggatts, almost a mile west of Preston. He was single and a farm labourer. Earlier, in May 1898, with his cousin, Charles Fairey (born 1858) he had been before Hitchin magistrates charged with vagrancy:
Mary Fairey my grandmother - see link: Mary Fairey Richard Fairey (1845 -1921?) After being a straw plaiter at the age of five, the movements of Richard are somewhat of a mystery - like his older brother. He emerges in 1891 as living at the four-roomed 1 Victoria Avenue, East Barnet and married to Charlotte who was born at Tring, Herts in around 1850. This will come as a surprise to a score of Ancestry subscribers, several of whom killed him off at Hitchin in 1863. The ‘give-away’ is that after declaring that he and Charlotte were born at Aylesbury, Bucks in 1891, he told the 1901 enumerator that he was a bricklayer’s labourer and born at Preston Herts:
George died in Hitchin Workhouse and was buried at Kings Walden on 6 September 1904:
With this information, more of Richard’s life can be discovered. He was living at Victoria Avenue between 1891 and 1911. Charlotte died in the Barnett RD in the summer of 1906, and Richard was confirmed as a widower in 1911. He may have died at Edmonton/Tottenham, London in early 1921. However, I can’t find his marriage to Charlotte in any of the usual sources. Maybe it didn’t happen.
Alfred Fairey (1848 - ?) In 1870, Alfred, and his brother, Amos, Fairey were fined for using a dog to take game in 1870. Alfred was also twice found guilty of poaching in 1872 and was sent to gaol for four months. When Alfred was nine years old he was indicted with another ‘urchin’ for ill treating a lamb. They had ridden it and beaten it with a stick. The lamb died. His companion was whipped. Alfred’s story as an adult is similar to Richard’s. He was at Barnet in 1891 and I can’t find his ‘marriage’ to Elizabeth. Alfred was an agricultural labourer at Preston in 1861 (aged 13) and in 1871. He next appears twenty years later at 3 Hope Cottages, South Mimms, Barnet with a wife, Elizabeth (born 1850, Church Coven, Surrey) and three children - Elizabeth (born 1879c, London), Albert (1870c, Church Coven) and Amos (1888c Barnet, Herts). Ten years later, he was a rag and bone man at Wandsworth, London and a widower:
Amos Fairy, Albert’s son, married at Wandsworth on 19 February 1911, saying that his father was a gardener
The census which followed a few months later places him at 48 Lyddon Grove, Wandsworth and a Marine Stores dealer (ie rag and bone man). But his father, Alfred, again disappears from view…..
Amos Fairey (1853 - 1932). Amos was working on a farm, aged nine, in 1861 and was noted again as an agricultural labourer in 1871. In May 1869, when he was about sixteen years old, Amos and John Jenkins made a gruesome discovery :
The census enumerator noted the couple as living in the cottage between The Wilderness and Rose Cottage at Butchers Lane, Preston in 1881. They had moved from there to the nearby hamlet of Charlton by late 1881 because a son, Frederick George was born there towards the end of that year (The Preston School logbook said he had ‘intellectual weakness’ in December 1889), Then when two more children were baptised at St Marys, Hitchin on 7 August:
Florence Jane was born in late 1883 and Ada Elizabeth in early 1886. Tragedy struck as their mother, Elizabeth, died in the late spring of 1888. In 1891, Amos (now a woodman) and his three children were living with his sister, Mary Currell at Back Lane, Preston:
Amos married Elizabeth Halsey who was born at Munsden, Herts but living in Gosmore at Ippollitts on 13 October 1879. His sister Lizzie was a witness:
In late 1892, Amos married Mary Isaacson at Hitchin. They quickly produced two sons - Martin Henry Fairey (born 1894 at Preston) and Hugh Wilfred (born 1898 at Gosmore). In 1901, the family had moved to 70 Bancroft, Hitchin:
A decade later, in 1911, and Frederick, Florence and Jane had flown the coup and Amos and Mary with their three children (Arthur Heber Fairey being born in the summer of 1901) were living at 5 Penn Yard, St Andrews Street, Hitchin:
Amos died in Hitchin during the summer of 1932, aged eighty. Mary was in Hitchin’s Union Road Public Assistance Institution in September 1939, aged eighty-one, but saw out WW2, dying in the town in the spring of 1946, aged eighty-seven.
Lizzie Fairey (1864 - 1940) It will come as no surprise that Lizzie was living with her parents at Back Lane, Preston in 1881 - but it may be somewhat surprising that she was also a plaiter in 1871 when she was aged four. She married Frederick Young (who was nine years her junior) at St Marys, Hitchin on 11 April 1887:
Frederick died in December 1889:
Lizzie married Arthur Palmer at St Marys on 3 October 1891:
The couple were living as neighbours of Lizzie’s sister, Mary Currell in a two-roomed hovel at Back Lane, Preston in 1901 with two children in 1901:
They had moved to Hitchwood Cottages by 1911 and in 1921 they were next door to my grandparents at 4 Chequers Cottages, Preston where they were still residing in 1939 - Arthur always being described as a roadman [with Herts CC]:
Lizzie was buried at St Martins, Preston on15 July 1940. Arthur joined her in the graveyard on 20 September 1945. Both sons were also later buried at St Martins.
William Fairey (1856 - 1934 ) William was a farm worker by the time he was thirteen. He married Mary Currell, the daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann Currell, at St Marys, Hitchin on 26 September 1885. (Mary brought a son with her into the marriage, Albert Currell who was born in early 1882.) Their witnesses were my grandfather, Alfred Wray, and William’s sister, Lizzie Fairey:
From 1891 until at least 1911 William and Mary lived in the four-roomed Leggatts Farm Cottage, although looking at its inhabitants, living conditions must have been cramped - 1901 census:
William and Mary had four children that I can see: Annie (born 1886), Margaret (1887), George (1890) and Daisy (1895). They declared in 1911 that they had had five children. Possibly this means that they were including Albert Currell - which may mean that William was his father.
William died in the Hitchin area in the spring of 1934.