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

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

William Crow and Judith Doe

St Mary's, Great Canfield, Essex

William Crow married Judith Doe, daughter of Henry Doe and Elizabeth Stones, on 17 Mar 1814 in Great Canfield. Of that much, I'm sure. I think. Otherwise, this family is causing me the most trouble I've had with any of them so far.

There are, confusingly, several people in the area called William Crow, born around 1791, as our William Crow was. One of the others was born in Little Waltham, in 1791, who I can trace, later appearing in other places, so I know that one is definitely not our man. Unfortunately, on some websites online, the distinction has not been spotted and the two clearly conflated. Likewise with children: There is at least one other marriage of a William Crow and a Judith. In the other case, the wife's maiden name is Hay. However, I've found no less than 17 children attached to William Crow and Judith Doe in one location and detached one because the mother's name was clearly given as Judith Hay. Most, however, just list her as Judith, so it's not proving easy to separate them. 

Here are the ones I am pretty confident about: 
  1. Elizabeth Crow bap. 7 Aug 1814 in Great Dunmow
  2. William Crow bap. 24 Dec 1816 in Great Canfield
  3. Henry Crow bap. 6 Apr 1817 in Great Canfield
  4. Charlotte Crow bap. 25 Apr 1819 in Great Dunmow
  5. Eliza Crowe (sic) bap. 18 Jun 1820 in Great Dunmow
  6. Stephen Crow born 1837 (see 1861 census below)
Haven't been able to find them in 1841 and the 1851 Census returns for both Great and Little Dunmow are missing.

In 1861, we find William Crow (70) Agricultural Labourer, wife Judith (69) and son Stephen Crow (24) Agricultural Labourer living at Philpot End, Great Dunmow. The location is consistent with where we know these families were living and, equidistant to the churches at Great Canfield or Great Dunmow. 

There are other children who could fit into that gap between 1820 and 1837, but I cannot actually link any of them with any confidence until I can identify more precise locations of births or baptisms. The other thought that crosses my mind with 1837 being so late, is that Stephen could be a 'mid life surprise' or equally a daughter's son, being brought up as the grandparent's offspring to hide an illegitimacy, although that doesn't seem to have bothered people half as much as our modern sensibilities imagine it did, even in Victorian times. 

It appears this William Crow died in the last quarter of 1861, in Great Dunmow.

Judith Crow died and was buried on 20 Feb 1868 in Great Dunmow.

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If you're related to any of the people written about, I'm guessing you'll recognise them from the surnames. If you are, do please get in touch.