#52Ancestors Week 31 ‘Large’

Welcome to Week 31 of my Genealogy challenge, from the wonderful Amy Johnson Crow, of writing something about your Ancestors for a whole year, #52Ancestors in 52 weeks. This week’s prompt is ‘Large’.

The origins of my Chiddicks family have been well documented in my previous entries, I can track their origins from a tiny Village in South Fambridge, in Essex. From this tiny Village, they spread across the different farmlands of Essex, with one main Family line settling in South Ockendon (my line) and another moving towards the ‘smoke’ and moving to the edges of London, where they settled in Barking, in Essex (East London).

My family Tree has a sprinkling of what I would call medium sized Families, given the time period, I don’t have, what I consider to be, too many ‘Large’ Families, apart from one. Samuel Chiddicks, my 3 x Great Uncle, who went on to Father 16 children, from two Wives.

This Biography is my first departure from my direct line Great Grandparents and 2 x Great Grandparents, so although not as thorough as some of my other research, it at least gives an insight into Samuel’s life and his extremely ‘Large’ family.

Samuel Chiddicks began life on 21st January 1841, born in South Ockendon in Essex to James Chiddicks and Eliza Brewer. His Birth certificate shows that his Father was an Agricultural Labourer at the time of Samuel’s Birth.

Samuel Chiddicks Birth 1841


He was Baptised at The South Ockendon Independent Chapel on 21st February 1841.


1841 Census

Samuel and his parents were counted in the 1841 Census for South Ockendon and living at home at the time with him and his parents, was his older Sister Sarah, aged 4.

1851 Census

By 1851 the family are still living in South Ockendon and living at home with Samuel and his parents are his Brother, Matthew aged 7 (My 2 x Great Grandfather) and his Sister Eliza aged 4.

1861 Census

Samuel is still living at home in 1861 with his parents at Little Mollands Hall in South Ockendon, although no occupation is listed, the likelihood is, that Samuel would have been an Agricultural Labourer, working the Farmlands of Ockendon, like his Father.

On 27th July 1861 Samuel Marries Harriett Burt, who was born in Westhanhger, in Kent in 1843. Harriett had moved across the River, from her home in Kent and was working as a Domestic Servant in Grays, Essex in the 1861 Census, so it was presumably how the couple met.

The Marriage took place at St. Nicholas Parish Church in South Ockendon.

Samuel Chiddicks:Harriet Burt Marriage

Samuel Chiddicks Harriet Burt Marriage 2

The couple went on to have 8 children between 1861 and 1878.

George Chiddicks (1863-1863)

Emma Chiddicks (1864-1864)

George William Chiddicks (1865-1871)

Jane Chiddicks (1867-1932)

Eliza Ann Chiddicks (1869-1934)

James (1872-1873)

Annie Chiddicks (1873-1940)

Samuel Chiddicks (1876-1878)

Sadly only 3 of the girls made it to Adulthood.

1871 Census

By the time of the 1871 Census, Samuel and Harriett were living at 1, Jedison Cottages, in South Ockendon, with Jane, Eliza and George and Samuel is listed as an Agricultural Labourer.

Sadly the next entry for Samuel is the Death of his first wife Harriet aged just 38 years and she was buried at St. Margaret’s Parish Church, in Barking, Essex on 10th November 1878.

At some point between the Birth of Samuel and Harriet’s last child together, Samuel Junior, in 1876 and Samuel Junior’s sad Death in February 1878, we can track the movement of Samuel and his family from South Ockendon to Barking.

Samuel remarries on 15th February 1880 to Elizabeth Eliza Johnson at St. Margaret’s Parish Church in Barking, Samuel is listed as a Widower and Elizabeth a Spinster, both their addresses are given as Barking.

Samuel Chiddicks Elizabeth Johnson Marriage 1

Samuel Chiddicks Elizabeth Johnson Marriage 2

Samuel and his new Wife Elizabeth, also go on to have 8 children of their own between 1880 and 1892.

Elizabeth Chiddicks (1880)

Eliza Chiddicks (1881-1964)

Emma Elizabeth Chiddicks (1883-1884)

Henry William Chiddicks (1884-1915)

Alfred Samuel Chiddicks (1886-1944)

Mary Ann Chiddicks (1888-1964)

Martha Chiddicks (1890-1972)

Samuel Chiddicks (1892-1912)

1881 Census

By 1881 we see Samuel and his new Wife Elizabeth living at Wellington Buildings in Barking, at the time there is no occupation listed for Samuel.  Jane, Anne, Elizabeth and Mary Ann are all listed at home with their parents.

1891 Census

The 1891 Census shows Samuel and his Family living at 21, Back Lane in Barking and Samuel is listed as being a Labourer and seven of the children are also listed as living at home with their parents.

1901 Census

The 1901 Census brings a career change for Samuel, as this time he is listed as being a ‘Gas Worker’ and the family are residing at 1, Grace Cottages, Hart Street, Barking and 5 of the children are also still living at home. Gas works were opened in Barking in 1836, and by 1841 the streets were lit by gas. In 1867 a new company, the Barking Gas Co., was incorporated and they continued to supply Barking with gas until 1912, when it was absorbed by the Gas Light and Coke Co. The Gas works were subsequently sold and used for other purposes. In 1870 the Gas Light and Coke Co. had opened the Beckton Gas Works, which lie partly in Barking, and after 1912 Barking was supplied from these works. The change from the use of the Barking Creek from being a heavily Fishing based Industry area, to an Industrialised Chemical and Gas Works, was a gradual change and during 1860’s.

1911 Census

By 1911 our Samuel has reached the grand old age of 70 and he is listed as a general Labourer at the Beckton Gas Works, a major employer in the area at the time. Living at home at the time are two of his Sons, Harry and Alfred, who are both listed as working at a Chemical Works, emphasising the major industry in the area at the time.

Samuel lived a further 11 years before sadly passing away on 21st June 1922 at the grand old age of 82 from Senile Dementia. His place of Death was I, Oldchurch Road, Romford and the informant at the time of his Death was an S.R. Hamblin of the same address. Samuel’s address at the time of his Death was 59, Abbey Road, Barking, Essex

Samuel Chiddicks Death Certificate

He was buried at Rippleside Cemetery in Barking, on 28th June 1922, Grave reference – R/S/E/749 and is buried alongside his Son, Henry William Chiddicks and his Niece who sadly only lived for one year.

Before we finish Samuel’s story, there are a couple of references to him in the local newspapers:

From Newspaper Article dated December 12th 1856:

James Salmon and Samuel Chiddick, boys of South Ockendon, were summoned by Charles Sturgeon, Farmer, for throwing fireworks on the public highway on the 5th November and fined 1s costs 7s.

Samuel Chiddicks South Ockendon Scan 120750007-20

From Newspaper Article dated January 12th 1877:

Samuel Chitticks, labourer, of Stifford, was summoned for trespassing in search of Game on land in the possession of Mr.R.B.Wingfield Baker, at Stifford, on Sunday 31st, but not appearing in answer to the summons, a warrant was issued for his apprehension.

Chitticks Stifford Scan 120750007-19

Was he a bad lad? I don’t think so do you? Boyhood pranks and high spirits can account for his first brush with Authority and maybe just difficult and desperate times for the second incident.

I am sure that there is more to discover and uncover about Samuel’s life, but as my first full biography away from the main trunk of my tree, we certainly have had a little glimpse into Samuel’s life and his rather “Large” Family!


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8 thoughts on “#52Ancestors Week 31 ‘Large’

  1. It is so sad that many children back then died in infancy! I know the same thing about my ancestors. My great-great-grandmother married at 14 (that’s the Jewish part of my family). and she had 16 births, and a half of them were either stillbirths or a baby would die within days. Only four of her children made into adulthood, and it was not unusual.

    Liked by 1 person

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