Ancestors of Mandy Willard

Number of pages

in this site:


Please bear this in mind when you contact me, as I can not always remember what I've said where.  It would be really helpful if you could tell me the page title or URL you are contacting me about.


Links to other pages in this site or other websites are in BLUE or RED.


Family History is my hobby.  I am not a professional genealogist.


Thank you for taking the time to view my humble effort.  Also, a very BIG THANK YOU to all those who have kindly contributed information.


Please check the data for yourself against original sources.


Tip:  You may need to hit your F5 key to see any changes to the page since your last visit.




John Simmons BACK (1843-1898)

and Jane SPICER (1842-1885)


St. Nicholas, Brighton - from Simmons Back and Jane Spicer were my 2x Great Grandparents.  (Click here to see their place in my pedigree chart.)  They married by banns on 18 June 1864 at St. Nicholas in Brighton, Sussex.  John was a 20 year old bachelor and bricklayer of 13 Oxford Street, Brighton (this was also his Aunt Jane's address in 1865).  His father's name was not recorded on their marriage certificate.  Jane was a 22 year old spinster of 2 Sion Gardens, Brighton.  Her father was named as William Spicer a boatman.  The witnesses to the marriage were Thomas Phillips and Susannah Philips.  The bride, groom and witnesses all signed their names.  I do not know if the Phillips were friends or relatives.  When the 1881 census was recorded a 54 year old Thomas Phillips and 49 year old wife Susannah Phillips were living at 13 Cannon Street in Brighton.  Thomas was a carpenter and Susannah a charwoman and they had both been born in Brighton.

John Simmons was born on 27 November 1843 at 6 Sion Gardens in Brighton, Sussex.  He was the son of John Simmons and Ann Back (1824-1847).  He was baptised as John Simmons Back on 22 September 1844 at St. Nicholas, Brighton and this time he was said to be the son of John Back and Ann, who were of Dorset Court in Brighton.  John was just 3 years old when his mother died and nothing more is known of his father.  I believe John was raised by his mother's sister Jane Back (1827-1902).  In 1851, 7 year old John was living at 23 Gloucester Lane, Brighton with his Aunt Jane and her husband.  He was also living with Aunt Jane in 1861 and 1891.  In 1861 they were living at 14 Oxford Court in Brighton and John was a 17 year old bricklayer's labourer.  On 2 September 1867 in Brighton, John was a witness to the marriage of his brother-in-law Thomas Spicer (1847-?).  His surname was recorded as Back in the 1851-1891 census.  John may have died aged 54 years on 16 March 1898 in the Battle Union Workhouse.  He was then said to have been a bricklayer.  The cause of death was concussion and contusion of the brain from injuries to the head caused by an accidental fall.  An inquest was held on 19 March 1898 by Charles Sheppard, coroner for the Hundred of Battell.  (I don't know for certain that the John who died in Battle Workhouse was the one born in Brighton in 1843, but from the various census 1843 John would seem to be the only candidate, and the occupation of bricklayer is consistent.)

Jane Spicer was baptised on 3 July 1842 at St. Nicholas in Brighton.  She was the eighth child and second daughter of William Spicer (1809-1868) and Sophia Dixon (1809-1862).  At the time of her baptism the family were living in Great Russell Street, Brighton.  Her father and several earlier generations of Spicers were fishermen.  Her birth does not appear to have been registered, although her cousin Jane Spicer born in February 1842 was and I have her birth certificate in error.  Jane died aged 42 years at 6 Gardener Street, Portslade on 20 May 1885.  Her cause of death was post partum haemorrhage convulsions, which I assume was a result of the birth of a ninth child.  When the 1861 census was recorded she was living at home with her parents and siblings at 2 Sion Gardens, Brighton and she was then a needlewoman.

When the 1871 census was recorded the family were living at 87 Coleman Street, Brighton.  They were sharing a small mid terrace "2 up, 2 down", with John's aunt Fanny Gambling, nee Back, and her husband and daughter.  In 1881 the family were living at 74 Clarenden Road, Hove.  John's occupation was not given in the 1881 census.


John Simmons Back and Jane Spicer had 8 known children:

  1. Jane Back was baptised on 10 October 1864 at St. Nicholas, Brighton.  Her birth was registered in the third quarter of 1864 in the Brighton registration district.  In 1881 she was a domestic servant aged 16 years living at 11 Goldstone Villas Road, Hove in the household of John Foley a tobacconist from Ireland.

    Jane married Andrew Grey in the third quarter of 1888 in Brighton.

    Andrew was born about 1865 in Basingstoke, Hampshire and was the son of William Grey (c1821-?).  He died aged 67 years and his death was registered in the second quarter of 1933 in the Steyning registration district.  In 1881 Andrew had been living with his widower father and siblings in Alexandra Terrace in Hove.

    When the 1891 census was recorded the family were living at 4 Woodland Terrace in Portslade and Andrew was a clerk.  In 1901 Andrew was a clerk at the gasworks and the family were living at 6 Colebrook Terrace in Southwick, Sussex.

    Andrew and Jane had 2 known sons:

    1. William Andrew Grey was born in the fourth quarter of 1888 in Portslade.  He was 2 years old when the 1891 census was recorded and 12 in 1901.

    2. John James Harold Grey was born in the fourth quarter of 1889 in Portslade.  He was a year old in 1891 and his name was recorded as Harold.  In 1901 he was 11 and his name was recorded as John J. H.

  2. Sophia Back was born on 29 May 1866 in Preston, Sussex and baptised on 21 July 1871 at the Church of Annunciation, Brighton.  As Sophia Beck she married Alfred Nathaniel Leggett White in 1887.  (They have their own page.)

  3. John Back was born on 29 October 1868 in Preston and baptised on 21 July 1871 at the Church of Annunciation, Brighton.  He died aged 70 years and his death was registered in the second quarter of 1939 in the Worthing registration district.

    As John Beck he married Louisa Woodgate in the third quarter of 1889 in the Bethnel Green registration district.  She may have died aged 80 years and her death registered in the fourth quarter of 1950 in the North Eastern Surrey registration district.

    Louisa was born about 1869 in Brighton (see notes below).

    In 1891 the couple were living at 3 Gardener Street, Portslade, he was a 22 year old bricklayer and she was 21.  When the 1901 census was recorded John was a master builder and the family were living at 101 Old Shoreham Road, Portslade.  His household then comprised of his wife, their 5 children, his sister Kate and a 14 year old cousin, Rose Barney who was born in Hove (I think her name should have been recorded as Rose Dorney and she was Louisa's niece rather than a cousin).  Their surname was recorded in the 1901 census index as Becton, but on the actual census it looks like Becln.  In 1911 the family were living at 14 Wolseley Road, Southern Cross, Portslade.  John was then a 42 year old Bricklayer and Louisa was a 41 year old shopkeeper.  With them on census night were 5 of their children.

    During the 1920's my father thinks John kept pigs in Mile Oak, Portslade and that he owned one of the first motor cars in the area.

    John and Louisa had 6 known children:

    1. John Back was born on 7 January 1891 and baptised on 5 April 1891 in Portslade.  In 1911 he was an unmarried 22 year old railway labourer.

    2. Jane Back was born 1894 in Hove.  In 1911 she was a 16 year old domestic servent.

    3. Charles Back was born 1896 in Hove.

    4. James Back was born 1897 in Hove.  He was a 15 year old farm labourer in 1911.

    5. Rose Back was born 1898 in Hove.  In 1911 she was 13 years old and at school.

    6. Kate Back was born 1900 in Hove.  In 1911 she was 11 years old and at school.

  4. Annie Back, my Great Grandmother, was born on 30 March 1871 in Brighton.  She married Willard Charles Willard in 1891.  (They have their own page.)

  5. William Back was born on 13 June 1873 in Brighton.  His birth was registered in the third quarter of 1873 in the Brighton registration district.  He was baptised on 20 October 1873 at the Church of Annunciation, Brighton as William Beck.

    William married Louisa Knight in the fourth quarter of 1894 in the Brighton district.

    In 1901 William Back was a 28 year old bricklayer and he and Louisa, aged 31, were living at 12 Aldis Street in Tooting Graveney, London.  Louisa then gave her place of birth as Lambeth, London.

  6. Charles Back was born on 25 July 1875 in Brighton.  He was baptised on 18 October 1875 at the Church of Annunciation, Brighton as Charles Beck.  When the 1891 census was recorded he was living in the home of his great aunt Jane along with his father and younger sister and he was then a 15 year old labourer.  According to the 1901 census index a Charles Beck aged 23 years and born in Brighton was living in Leamington Priors, Warwickshire as a tennis professional.  No family stories have been passed down about there having been a tennis player in the family, so I don't think they are one and the same.

  7. Susan Back was born in the first quarter of 1878 in the Brighton registration district.  She died aged 71 years and her death was registered in the second quarter of 1949 in the Worthing registration district.

    Susan married Abraham Sherlock in the third quarter of 1899 in the Lewes registration district.

    Abraham was born about 1875 in Beddingham, Sussex and was the son of Abraham Sherlock (1836-1919) and Mercy Ansell (1842-1920).  He died aged 82 years and his death was registered in the third quarter of 1956 in the Worthing registration district.

    When the 1901 census was recorded the couple were living on Toy Farm in Beddingham and Abraham was an agricultural labourer.  In 1911 the couple, together with their son and nephew Clement Willard, were living at 81 Edburton Spring in Small Dole, Sussex.  Abraham was then a 36 year old shepherd on a farm.  Susan was then 33 years old.

    (My mother remembers that her parents had a friend called Chub Sherlock, but she doesn't know any more about him and his family.  Annie Back, above, was my father's grandmother.)

    Abraham and Susan had 1 known son:

    1. Abraham Sherlock was born about 1903 in Beddingham, Sussex.  He was 8 years old when the 1911 census was recorded and living with his parents in Small Dole.

  8. Kate Back was born in the second quarter of 1880 in the Steyning registration district.  My dad remembers her as his dad's Aunt Kit.  She died of cancer aged 52 years in the second quarter of 1932 in the Steyning district.  She was 11 months old when the 1881 census was recorded.  In 1891 she was a 10 year old scholar.  The 1901 census records that 21 year old Kate was a laundry maid living with her brother.  However, the 1901 census index also records that there was a 21 year old Kate Beck an ironer living in Brighton.

    As Catherine Beck she married Mark Goatcher on 20 December 1902 in Portslade.  Mark was a carter and Catherine a laundress.  The witnesses were John Beck and Rose Dorney.

    Mark was born about 1878/9 in Portslade and was the son of Mark Goatcher (1846-?) and Emma Gower (1837-?).  Mark died in 1962.  In 1901 he was an unmarried 22 year old farm carter living with his parents at Stonery Cottage in Portslade.

    When the 1911 census was recorded, Mark was a 32 year old carter for a contractor and he and his 30 year old wife Catherine and daughter, were living in Mill Road, Fishersgate.  Also with them on census night was 3 year old niece Nellie Back and 20 year old nephew Charles White.

    Mark and Kate had the following child:

    1. Constance Goatcher was born about 1908 in Fishersgate.  She was 3 years old in 1911.





The witnesses to Kate Back and Mark Goatcher's 1902 marriage were John Beck, who was most probably Kate's brother, and Rose Dorney, who the sister of John's wife.

The 1901 census records that 34 year old Rose Dorney was a widow and laundress who had been born in Brighton.  She was then living at 117 Livingstone Road, Hove along with her 2 children:

  1. Louisa Dorney was born about 1891

  2. Albert Goble Dorney was born about 1899.

At that time she also had a boarder living with her; 34 year old  Albert Goble.  (He was the brother of another of my Great Grandmothers.)  Albert Edward Goble and Rose Hannah Dorney married in the second quarter of 1901 in the Steyning registration district.  He was the son of Edmund Goble (c1841-1911) and Lydia Charlotte Pearson (1837-1899).

A Rose Hannah Woodgate married Alfred William Dorney (1866-1897) in the fourth quarter of 1886 in the Steyning district.

In 1881 Rose Woodgate was a 14 year old servant in the household of Richard Gillam at 22 Goldstone Road, Hove.  Her sister Louisa Woodgate was then a 12 year old living at 10 St. Catherines Place, Hove in the home of her step father John Dine (1851-?).  Rose and Louisa's parents were James Woodgate (1838-?) and Hannah Attwood (1841-?).


At one point I had thought that Jane Back (further above) born in 1864, had married Frank Blaber (1863-?) in 1887, but now realise that the Jane who married Frank was born about 1862 in Lewes.  For details about Frank, please visit the Blaber Family Genealogy Project.



1871 Census - 87 Coleman Street, Brighton, Sussex (RG10/1078, folio 62, page 57)

Elizah Gambling, Head, Mar, 34, Bricklayer, born Linchmere, Sussex

Fanny Gambling, Wife, Mar, 35, Ironer, born Brighton, Sussex

Jane Ann Gambling, Daur, Unm, 17, Domestic Servant, born Brighton, Sussex

John Simmons Back, Head, Mar, 28, Bricklayer, born Brighton, Sussex

Jane Back, Wife, Mar, 28, born Brighton, Sussex

Jane Back, Daur, Unm, 7, born Brighton, Sussex

Sophia Back, Daur, Unm, 5, born Preston, Sussex

John Back, Son, Um, 2, born Preston, Sussex

Annie Back, Dau, Unm, 4d, born Brighton, Sussex

(2 families sharing 1 small terraced house)


1871 census - 29 Cresct Cottages, Brighton, Sussex (RG10/1073, folio 97, page 5)

James Woodgate, Head, Mar, 33, Brewer's Lab, born Sussex, Heathfield

Hannah Woodgate, Wife, Mar, 26, born Sussex, Heathfield

Stephen Woodgate, Son, 8, Scholar, born Sussex, Brighton

George Woodgate, Son, 7, Scholar, born Sussex, Brighton

Rose H. Woodgate, Daur, 4, Scholar, born Sussex, Brighton

Harry Woodgate, Son, 2, born Sussex, Brighton

Louisa Woodgate, Daur, 1, born Sussex, Brighton


(The death of 37 year old James Woodgate was registered in the third quarter of 1875 in the Brighton registration district.)


1881 - 10 St. Catherines Place, Hove, Sussex (RG11/1098, folio 19, page 32)

John Dine, Head, Mar, 30, Labourer, born Sussex, Brighton

Hannah Dine, Wife, mar, 35, Laundress, born Sussex, Ha--field

George Woodgate, Step Son, Unm, 17, Lab, born Sussex, Brighton

Louisea Woodgate, Step Dau, Unm, 12, Scholar, born Sussex, Brighton

William Woodgate, Step Son, 7, Scholar, born Sussex, Brighton

James Woodgate, Step Son, 5, born Sussex, Brighton


1891 census - 51 Ellen Street, Hove, Sussex (RG12/819, folio 95, page 28)

Hannah Woodgate, Head, Wid, 46, Laundry Work, born Sussex, Heathfield

William Woodgate, Son, 16, born Sussex, Brighton

James Woodgate, Son, 15, Baker, bron Sussex, Brighton

Ellen Woodgate, Daur, 10, Scholar, born Sussex, Hove

Hannah Woodgate, Daur, 9, Scholar, born Sussex, Hove

Alice Woodgate, Daur, 7, Scholar, born Sussex, Hove

Edward Woodgate, Son, 4, Scholar, born Sussex, Hove

John Woodbine, Boarder, S, 32, Labourer, born Sussex, Brighton


1901 census - 78 Conway Street, Hove, Sussex (RG13/938, folio 82, page 43)

Hannah Woodgate, Head, Wid, 55, Monthly Nurse, bonr Heathfield, Sussex

Ellen Woodgate, Daur, S, 20, Laundress, born Hove, Sussex

Hannah Woodgate, Daur, S, 18, Laundress, born Hove, Sussex

Alice Woodgate, Daur, S, 16, Laundress, born Hove, Sussex

Edward Woodgate, Son, 14, Scholar, born Hove, Sussex

John Dine, Boarder, S, 48, Bricklayer, born Brighton, Sussex

Harry Morgan, Boarder, S, 21, Painter, born London

Charles Cowley, Lodger, M, 47, Gas Labourer, born Wadderdon, Bucks

Harriet Cowley, Wife, M, 57, Cook, born Lyndhurst, Hants


1911 Census - 14 Wolseley Road, Southern Cross, Portslade, Sussex (RG14PN5206 RG78-N230 RD80 SD3 ED3 SN90) Enumeration District 3

John Beck, Head, Married, M, 42, Bricklayer, born Brighton, Sussex

Louisa Beck, Wife, Married, years married 22, F, 41, Shopkeeper, born Brighton, Sussex

John Beck, Son, Single, M, 20, Railway Labourer, born Portslade, Sussex

Jane Beck, Daughter, Single, F, 16, Domestic Servant, born Hove, Sussex

James Beck, Son, M, 15, Farm Labourer, born Hove, Sussex

Rose Beck, Daughter, F, 13, School, born Hove, Sussex

Kate Beck, Daughter, F, 11, School, born Hove, Sussex


1911 Census - 81 Edburton Spring, Small Dole, Sussex, (RG14PN5228 RG78PN231 RD80 SD4 SN216) Enumeration District 2 (transcript)

Abraham Sherlock, Head, Married, M, 36, Shepherd on Farm, born Beddingham, Sussex

Susan Sherlock, Wife, Marrried, years married 11, F, 33, born Brighton, Sussex

Abraham Sherlock, Son, M, 8, born Beddingham, Sussex

Clement Willard, Nephew, M, 13, School, born Portslade, Sussex


1911 Census - Mill Road, Fishersgate, Portslade, Sussex (RG14PN5212 RG78PN230 RD80 SD3 SN294) Enumeration District 9 (transcript)

Mark Goatcher, Head, Married, M, 32 Carter for Contractor, born Upper Portslade, Sussex

Catherine Goatcher, Wife, Married, years married 8, F, 30, born Hove, Sussex

Constance Goatcher, Daughter, F, 3, born Fishersgate, Sussex

Nellie Back, Neice, F, 3, born London

Charles White, Nephew, Single, M, 20, Baker, born Portslade


BACK          SPICER

This page was updated on 3 June 2012