Angelina Appleton: A Victorian Bigamist

Angelina Appleton, born 1848 Bigamist of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and my 4th great aunt  Angelina Appleton was baptised on 30th April 1848, the fourth child of William Appleton, gardener of Leigh-on-Sea, and his wife Elizabeth.  Her older sister, Harriet, was my great great great grandmother, and the wife of Henry Downing, the subject of my last … Continue reading Angelina Appleton: A Victorian Bigamist

Henry Downing: the effect on a young family of the death of a parent

Henry Downing, 1847-1898 Painter and Decorator of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and my great great great grandfather In the 19th century,  the death of a parent could spell financial disaster for a previously comfortably-off family, like the Downings.  Families needed a father to bring in money, and a mother to look after the home and children.  A … Continue reading Henry Downing: the effect on a young family of the death of a parent

Frederick Allen Downing: finding the father of an illegitimate child

Frederick was an obvious choice for a starting point for this blog.  His parentage was the biggest mystery in my family tree, and at one point, I thought it an unsolvable mystery.  It turned out the answer was staring me in the face all along. Read more...