George WILLIS

George WILLIS

Male 1821 - 1875  (54 years)Deceased

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  • Name George WILLIS  [1, 2, 3
    Born 1821  Barham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Christened 20 May 1821  Barham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    • Barham Parish Records describe Mary Willis, George's mother as 'Spinster' and George as 'base born' (i.e. illegitimate)
    Gender Male 
    Census 30 Mar 1851  Charlton Green, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation: Labourer 
    Census 7 Apr 1861  25 Union Road, Buckland, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation: General Labourer 
    Occupation 8 Feb 1864  Buckland, Dover Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation recorded as 'Workman in a Brewery' on daughter Clara's death certificate.  
    Census 2 Apr 1871  St Radigund's Road, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation: Labourer 
    Died Dec 1875  Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Person ID I444  WILLIS01
    Last Modified 9 Jan 2018 

    Father UNKNOWN 
    Mother Ancestors Mary Anne WILLIS,   c. 06 Dec 1801, Barham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children
    +1. George WILLIS,   b. 1821, Barham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 1875, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years)
     
    Notes 
    • I always knew the link between my 2 x Great Grandfather George Willis and his mother's husband George Benefield was tenuous and unproven.

      Baptism records show that George was born in Barham in 1821 to Mary Ann Willis. No father is mentioned on the records, and Mary is listed as a 'spinster' and George is described as 'base born' (ie illegitimate). However, there is a record of a Mary Ann Willis marrying George Benefield just two years later

      George Willis' marriage certificate from 1846 contains no information about his father either. Census records for 1841-1861 show Mary and George as the head of a family. I reasoned that Mary would name her first-born after his father.

      However, after conversations with Peter Driver I have revisited that assumption. For the following reasons:

      If George Benefield was the father of George Willis, then why did he keep the surname Willis? In those days before the Adoption Acts were in place, many children used the surname of theirs mother's husband, even if they were not his child, especially if they were very young at the time when their mother married.

      Peter has checked the "Parish Chest" notes of Barham which contain quite a few references to children born to unmarried women. Back then a woman who was not married and had a baby were called before the parish council so they could try to find out who the father was. Then the parish would not have to support the mother and child financially.

      As yet no reference to Mary Willis and son George has been found. Mary was aged 20 when George was born, and George Benefield aged 23. He lived in Womenswold, and Mary in Barham. It's likely that if George was his baby he would have married her as soon as he was able and given the child his surname.

      When Mary's mother died in 1820 (aged just 40) Mary had to take over the position of running the family, including looking after her siblings. This must have been a great strain on her, she was 19, and no doubt had little time for herself, I do not wonder that she fell for one of the village lads who took advantage of her (probable depression), the baby the result. [6]
    Family ID F192  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Spouse / Partner Ancestors Mary Ann SUTERS,   b. 1821, St James the Apostle, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1904  (Age 83 years) 
    Married 28 Mar 1846  St Peter & Paul Parish Church, Charlton, Dover, Kent Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. George Robert WILLIS,   b. 1847, Charlton, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jan 1922, 21 Astley Avenue, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
    +2. Mary Ann WILLIS,   b. 4 Mar 1848, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Before 1911  (Age 62 years)
     3. Emma Elizabeth WILLIS,   b. 1849, Charlton, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    +4. Maria WILLIS,   b. 1851, Charlton, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +5. John William WILLIS,   b. Jun 1853, Charlton, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Clara WILLIS,   b. Aug 1855, Charlton, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Feb 1864, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 8 years)
    +7. Louisa WILLIS,   b. 1857, Charlton, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Dec 1879, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 22 years)
     8. Charles Henry WILLIS,   b. 1859, Buckland, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Feb 1876, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 17 years)
    +9. Alfred Thomas WILLIS,   b. May 1864, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Dec 1934  (Age ~ 70 years)
     10. James Augustus WILLIS,   b. 1865, Buckland, Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Queensland, AUSTRALIA Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID F105  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1821 - Barham, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChristened - 20 May 1821 - Barham, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Occupation recorded as 'Workman in a Brewery' on daughter Clara's death certificate. - 8 Feb 1864 - Buckland, Dover Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Dec 1875 - Dover, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Census Records
    1851 - WILLIS George
    1851 - WILLIS George
    1861 - George & Mary Ann Willis (page 1)
    1861 - BENEFIELD, John & WILLIS, George
    1861 Census return for George & Mary Willis of 25, Union Road, Buckland, Dover, Kent, England (page 1)
    1871 - WILLIS, George & Mary Ann [SUTERS]
    1871 - WILLIS, George & Mary Ann [SUTERS]
    1871 Census return for George & Mary Ann Willis at St Radigund Road, Buckland, Dover, Kent, England.

    BMD Records
    MARRIAGE - WILLIS, George & SUTERS, Mary Ann - 1846
    MARRIAGE - WILLIS, George & SUTERS, Mary Ann - 1846
    Baptism record - George Willis - 1821
    Baptism record - George Willis - 1821

  • Sources 
    1. [S02] **1871 England Census, Class: RG10; Piece: 1011; Folio: 32; Page: 32; GSU roll: 827261.
      Name: George WellisBirth Date: abt 1821Birth Place: Barham, Kent, EnglandResidence Date: 1871Residence Place: Buckland, Kent, England
      http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=uki1871&h=12620721&ti=5538&indiv=try

    2. [S03] **1851 England Census, Class: HO107; Piece: 1632; Folio: 199; Page: 27; GSU roll: 193534-193535.
      Name: George WillitsBirth Date: abt 1822Birth Place: Barham, Kent, EnglandResidence Date: 1851Residence Place: Charlton, Kent, England
      http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=uki1851&h=3160840&ti=5538&indiv=try

    3. [S07] **1861 England Census , Class: RG9; Piece: 550; Folio: 102; Page: 32; GSU roll: 542659.
      Name: George WillisBirth Date: abt 1822Birth Place: Wingham, Kent, EnglandResidence Date: 1861Residence Place: Buckland, Kent, England
      http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=uki1861&h=7450157&ti=5538&indiv=try

    4. [S08] International Genealogical Index [IGI], The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    5. [S13] FreeBMD - Death Index: 1837-1983, http://www.freebmd.org.uk, 1875 DEC Dover 2a 545 .

    6. [S28] >DRIVER, Peter , 5 Mar 2014.
      Taken from email correspondence between myself and Peter Driver.