Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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Robert WILLARD (1810-1884)

and Eliza BOWERS (c1814-1885)


Robert Willard married Eliza Bowers on 26 March 1832 in St. Saviours, Southwark, Surrey.  (They were not my direct ancestors.)

Robert Willard was born about 1811 in Beeding, Sussex.  He may have been born on 5 August 1810 and baptised on 2 December 1810 in Ifield, Sussex.  If so, he was the son of Charles Willard (c1780-1854) and Mary Andrew (1778-1843).  (Ifield borders Lower Beeding.)  His death was registered as 75 year old Robert Willard in the fourth quarter of 1884 in the Dorking registration district.

Eliza Bowers was born about 1814 in Capel, Surrey.  Her death was registered as 72 year old Eliza Willard in the fourth quarter of 1885 in the Dorking registration district.

At the time of the 1841 census the couple and 2 children were living in part of Crown Court in Capel.  Robert was a 30 year old journeyman shoemaker and Eliza was 25.  Also with the family was 25 year old journeyman shoemaker James Palmer.

When the 1851 census was recorded the couple and 4 children were living in Capel.  Robert was then a 40 year old journeyman shoemaker and Eliza was a 37 year old dressmaker.  He gave his place of birth as Beeding and she as Capel.

In 1861, Robert was a 46 year old married post office messenger and he was lodging in the home of 46 year old widow Mary Snelling at the Ram Inn, East Street, Dorking.  He again said he was born in Beeding.  Eliza and 4 children were living in Capel Street, Capel.  She was then a 47 year old dressmaker.

By 1871, Robert was a 58 year old rolling messenger.  He was said to have been married although his wife was not with him.  He was again lodging in the home of 55 year old Mary Snelling at the Ram Inn in East Street.  Eliza was a 57 year old married dressmaker and living in Capel Street, Capel along with her daughter Julia.

In 1881, Robert and Eliza were living together in Capel.  He was a 68 year old post office messenger and she a 67 year old dressmaker.  Also with them was their 9 year old grandson Albert H. Skilton.  Next door was 64 year old Ann Willard who was an unmarried annuitant, who said she had been born in Ifield, Sussex.

Mary Bowers married Alfred Snelling on 8 April 1837 in Crawley, Sussex.  Mary gave her place of birth as Crawley in the 1861 and 1871 census.  Mary may have been born on 7 June 1815 and have been baptised on 30 December 1821 at the Providence Independent Chapel in Cuckfield, Sussex, the daughter of Robert Bowers and Jane Woodger who had married in Crawley in 1810.


Robert Willard and Eliza Bowers had 7 known children:

  1. Eliza Willard was baptised on 24 November 1833 in Capel.  In 1841 she was 7 years old.

  2. Kate Willard was baptised on 12 June 1836 in Capel.  In 1841 she was 5 years old.  When the 1851 census was recorded she was a 15 year old servant and housemaid in the home of 53 year old David Jones, a General Practitioner, in Capel Street, Capel.  Also part of the household was Ann Willard, an unmarried 36 year old servant and housekeeper who had been born in Horsham, Sussex.

  3. Arthur Willard was baptised on 6 November 1842 in Capel.  He was an 8 year old scholar in 1851.  In 1861 he was an 18 year old blacksmith.

  4. Alfred Bowery Willard was baptised on 5 January 1845 in Capel.  He was an 5 year old scholar in 1851.  In 1861 he was a 16 year old carpenter.

  5. Clara Ann Willard was baptised on 2 January 1848 in Capel.  She was a 3 year old scholar in 1851.

  6. Isabella Willard was born about 1850 in Capel and baptised there on 1 February 1852.  She died aged 70 years and her death was registered as Isabella Todman in the second quarter of 1919 in the Lewes, Sussex registration district.  At the time of the 1851 census she was a year old.  In 1861 she was 11 years old.

    Isabella married William Todman in the second quarter of 1870 in the Croydon registration district.

    William was baptised on 9 January 1846 in Yapton, Sussex and was the son of Henry Todman and Emily Sturt.

    When the 1871 census was recorded the couple were living at the Royal Oak Inn in Walberton, Sussex, with his 53 year old widowed mother, Emily Todman, who was the innkeeper.  William was a 25 year old wheelwright and Isabella was a 21 year old barmaid.

  7. Julia Willard was baptised on 1 February 1852 in Capel.  She died aged 73 years and her death was registerd as Juila Skilton in the first quarter of 1925 in the Epsom registration district.  In 1861 she was 9 years old.  In 1871, she was a 19 year old dressmaker and living with her mother.

    Julia married Henry Skilton by banns on 13 November 1871 in Arundel, Sussex.  She was a 21 year old spinster and he a 24 year old bachelor and bricklayer.  Their fathers were named as Henry Skilton a labourer and Robert Willard a shoemaker.  The witnesses to their marriage were Henry Sergant and Isabella Stedman (Stedman in the transcript of the Arundel register, but I assume this should be Todman).

    Henry and Julia had the following children:

    1. Albert Henry Skilton was baptised on 12 May 1872 in Capel.

    2. Frank Ernest Skilton was baptised on 10 August 1873 in Capel.

    3. Grace Julia Skilton was baptised on 14 February 1875 in Capel.

    4. Olive Alice Skilton was baptised on 12 November 1876 in Capel.

    5. Blanche Emily Skilton was baptised on 14 April 1878 in Capel.

    6. Lily Lina Skilton was baptised on 1 July 1884 in Leatherhead, Surrey

    7. Mabel Frances Skilton was baptised on 3 June 1885 in Leatherhead.

    8. Elzie Clare Skilton was baptised on 3 July 1887 in Coulsdon, Surrey.


Might Robert have had the following siblings:

Ann Willard born about 1815 in Horsham or about 1817 in Ifield (as mentioned above, as being part of the same household as Kate in 1851 and living next door to Robert and Eliza in 1881).  In 1841 she may have been living with Charles Willard in Guildford, Surrey.

Charles Willard (c1815-1848) married Sarah Berwick (c1814-1898) by banns on 9 July 1839 in Albury, Surrey.  They named a daughter Kate Clara in 1840 and a daughter Emily in 1845.

Joseph Willard (c1815-?) and Mary Willard (c1815-1899) married by banns on 18 December 1836 in Brighton.  They were both said to have been born in Beeding, Sussex.  They named a daughter Emily in 1850.  A sister Kate Willard was living with them in 1851 and she was born in Horsham in about 1822.  A Katherine Willard had been baptised in Horsham in 1817, the daughter of James Willard and Mary Elliott.



This page was reviewed on 9 April 2012