Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Mary Wilton and Charles Prior

Shops in Great Dunmow
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Stephen McKay -

Somehow I sensed that we hadn't finished with the family monopoly of Great Dunmow High Street and, it turns out, I was right. My goodness, we're more like the mafia! First there was Henry Wilton, uncle to HenryRichard (my 3rd great-grandfather) and Joseph, who all had their presence in this retail therapy thoroughfare, but their eldest sister, Mary, had preceded them. 

Eldest daughter of Stephen Wilton and Elizabeth Hankin, Mary Wilton married Charles Prior (b. 1812) in Great Dunmow on 24 Dec 1833. In 1841, they were in the High Street, Great Dunmow. Later records show that Charles Prior was a Basket Maker. Mary and their daughter, Elizabeth, were Straw Hat Makers.

Not only were they in the High Street, after a further study of the census returns, I can see that they were actually next door, John and Elizabeth Prior, who, in turn, were next door to Mary's brother, Henry Wilton (who had a Henry Prior in his household, who was an apprentice tailor). The other side of them was uncle Henry Wilton; the other side of him, a pub and then my other relative, Robert Hockley. There must be every chance that Henry Prior was a relative of Charles, apprenticed to either Robert Hockley, or the other brother, Joseph Wilton, both tailors. And, living the other side of Charles and Mary Prior, was my 3rd great-grandfather, Richard

Charles and Mary Prior had four children: 
  1. Henry Prior born 1835
  2. Mary Prior born 1st quarter of 1838
  3. Elizabeth Prior born 1840 - later straw bonnet maker
  4. Ann Prior born 2nd quarter of 1842
Mary Prior (née Wilton) died in the 3rd quarter of 1887, aged 83. Charles Prior died in the 4th quarter of 1891, aged 79, both in Great Dunmow.

Now, I realise they're hardly the Bennet Sisters (also from Hertfordshire), but the Wilton girls - who were born between 1804 and 1819 - will have come of age between 1825 and 1840 and it helps to look at the styles of their age.

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