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Tracing Gypsy Families Back Despite the Lack of Records. FIFTEEN: John and Ann Orchard

Eric Trudgill    -    26 July 2014

Joseph Lee was baptised in Hatfield, Herts in 1797, the child of Solomon (son of the famous Duke Lee) and Keziah. He had two known brothers: Solomon Lee junior who married Mary Lovell in Shoreditch, Mdx* in 1816 with Joseph one of the witnesses; and John Lee, baptised in Heston, Mdx in 1801.

Joseph married a Susanna (born in Chelmsford, Essex), and had two short-lived sons, Joseph junior and Solomon, who were buried jointly in Edmonton, Mdx in 1821, aged five and three, their father of Hatfield, Herts. He and Susanna then had at least eleven more children, born and based for the most part either in what’s now East London, not so far from Hatfield and Edmonton, or near Wimbledon, Sry, not so far from Heston. All of these eleven children married, some more than once, two into well-known Gypsy families, the others mostly into gorjer families, and there were plenty of grandchildren (I’ll be referring only to the grand-children for whom I’ve found baptisms).

John Lee was baptised in Wadhurst, Sussex in 1819 (vagrants), and married (son of Joseph, tinplate worker) Eliza Debman in Bethnal Green St Philip, Mdx in 1844.

Caroline Lee was baptised in Shoreditch in 1823, and married Riley Lovell son of Hezekiah (and presumably connected with the Mary Lovell who had married Caroline’s uncle, Solomon) in Bethnal Green St James in 1864, having christened two children in Shoreditch, two in Chiswick, Mdx, one in Bethnal Green St Philip, and four in Turnham Green, Mdx.

Rhoda Lee was baptised in Shoreditch in 1824, and married John Kimbling in Bethnal Green St Matthias in 1842, and christened two Kimbling children in Shoreditch, two in Bethnal Green St John and two in Turnham Green.

Riley Lee was baptised in Tottenham, Mdx in 1826 (brazier): he married first Rosanna Hearn

daughter of Meshach Hearn and Alice Taylor, and christened two children as Hearns in Chiswick and one in Kensington St James, one as a Lee in Shoreditch, and two in Kensington St James; Riley married second a widow, Susan Howard, in Bethnal Green St James in 1868.

Keziah Lee was baptised in Wimbledon in 1828 (travelling cutler), married George Craig son of George in Bethnal Green St Matthew in 1844, and christened five Craig children in Shoreditch and three in Bethnal Green St Matthias.

Selina Lee was baptised in Wimbledon in 1831 (travelling cutler of Shoreditch): she married first Thomas Holles in Bethnal Green St James in 1850, and then had a number of children by George Chambers, two christened in Shoreditch and three in Bethnal Green St Matthew.

Matthias Lee was baptised in Hoo St Werburgh, Kent in 1833 (lab of Hatfield, Herts), married Elizabeth Blackman in Bethnal Green St Matthew in 1851, and christened four children in Bethnal Green St Philip and one each in Shoreditch and Bethnal Green St James.

Sampson Lee was baptised in Wimbledon in 1835 (travelling cutler), and married Jane Sophia Brandon (christened in Shoreditch in 1836 the daughter of a hair curler) in Bethnal Green St James in 1851, with George and Selina Chambers witnessing. Sampson and Jane christened four children in Shoreditch or Bethnal Green St Matthias, who all died young, then another seven in four different Bethnal Green churches, at least two of whom also died young.

James Lee was baptised in Tottenham in 1837 (brazier), married Ann Fred in Shoreditch St James in 1863, and christened four children in Bethnal Green St Philip and one in Bethnal Green St Matthias.

Joseph Lee junior was baptised in Shoreditch in 1840, and married Ann House in Shoreditch St James in 1861.

And Edward Lee, the last of Joseph and Susanna’s children, was baptised in Shoreditch in 1843, married Ann Huard in Shoreditch St James in 1862, and christened children in Shoreditch, in South Hackney St Augustine, Mdx, and in Newington St Mary, Mdx.

Joseph Lee’s family, being so contained geographically, has been relatively easy to trace and therefore relatively uninteresting, but in a holiday month it has offered a break from all the tricky ones.

*All Shoreditch citations refer to Shoreditch St Leonard unless otherwise specified.

Copyright © 2014 Eric Trudgill