The Paternal Grandfather (Baker) tree

Sidney James Baker

Other Family Tree pages

Overview of the tree

Figure 1 The Paternal Grandfather Tree generations 1 to 5 (asterisks indicate continuation of the tree in figure 3)

The first five generations of the paternal grandfather tree are given in figure 1. The entries are centred on three broad locations – Lichfield, Dudley and an area of rural Worcestershire around Fladbury. Of these the Lichfield thread is the deepest   and the Fladbury thread the shallowest. In what follows we firstly consider the events that caused my ancestors to move from the Lichfield area to the Dudley area and their life there, and the confusion within the possible Fladbury tree. We then consider the details of the tree within Lichfield itself – the Baker thread and the Walton thread.

From Lichfield to Dudley 

James Baker (4.1) was born in 1821 in Lichfield, baptized on the 8thof November in St Chad’s church, and got married there 24 years later to Anne Lees (4.2), two years his senior, from Blithemarsh in the potteries. Between 1821 and his marriage, James lived with his parents in Stowe Street in Lichfield, working as a labourer. Anne was, in 1841 living in Stoke, and was working as a potter. At their marriage, bride, groom and witnesses all made their mark, indicating they were illiterate, and after their marriage they lived in Tamworth Street in Lichfield. They had two children – Thomas (3.1) born in 1846 and Charles born in 1848, and both baptized at St Chad’s. Their marriage was not to last long however, and James died sometime between the 1851 and 1861 censuses, and Anne died in 1858. This of course left two early teenage sons to be looked after in some way. As was usual at that time, they were quickly put to domestic service, presumably by their relatives. In the 1861 census, Charles was a servant in Burton-upon-Trent to Charles and Sarah Hetcher, who were earthenware dealers, so presumably contacts or friends of Anne Lees’ potter family. Charles later married Elizabeth Kelly in Toxteth, Liverpool and in 1881was an earthenware hawker in Hereford. The elder son Thomas’ journey, with whom I am most concerned here, was not dissimilar. In 1861 he was a domestic servant to Thomas and Hannah Wyatt, earthenware dealers at 77 King Street in Dudley. The Wyatt’s seem to have been childless. It is then possible to follow Thomas’s life through the census records. He married Jane Evans (3.2), the widow of Thomas Vickers in 1867 and they lived successively at 16, Bond St, Dudley (1871), 53, Oxford St, Dudley (1881), 10, Wellington Rd Dudley (1891 and 1901). In terms of occupation he is described as Licensed Hawker (1871), a Traveller (1881) General China Dealer (1891), and a General Dealer (1901). His family also grew at this time. He inherited one son from his wife’s previous marriage, and was later to father another seven of his own. In 1881 he was prosperous enough to employ a domestic servant of his own. He died in 1907, and his wife Jane then went to live with her brother at 7, Waterloo Street. She died in 1913. See Figure 2 below for the location of these houses.

Thomas’s eldest natural son Samuel James (2.1) (but more regularly appearing in the record as James) was born in 1868 and seems to have gone into his Father’s business and ultimately inherited it. In 1891 he is described as a China salesman, in 1901 as a General Dealer and in 1911 as a China salesman. He married Ellen Clarke (2.2) from Fladbury in Pershore in 1893 and they are recorded as living at 9 Waterloo Street in 1901 and 1911 – very close to his mother and father’s house on Wellington Road.  Ellen’s family will be discussed further below. 

Figure 2 Wellingon Road and Waterloo Street in 1900

Fladbury confusions

Samuel James Baker (2.1) married Ellen Clarke (2.2) from Fladbury near to Pershore in 1893. She had moved to Water Street in Kingswinford with her family sometime in the 1870s where her father Charles (3.3) was a ”frame maker” and her mother Esther (nee Walters)(3.4) was a glover. In 1891 she was in service at 111 King Street in Dudley and it was in that context that she must have met Samuel. Charles Clark’s father and mother were Henry (4.5) and Cathrin (4.6) and seem to have lived in Moor, near Fladbury all their lives with Henry working as an Agricultural Labourer.  That area was intensely rural, with the villages of Lower and Upper moor and the hamlet of Hill forming the parish of Hill and Moor, between Pershore and Wyre Piddle to the west and Fladbury to the east. All these locations appear on census returns and marriage records of the Clarke and Walters families. 

There is however a complication. Clearly the families in that area felt it appropriate to use a very restricted set of Christian names for their children, and as a result there is much potential confusion. Specifically the line of descent could be confused because a daughter of a John Clarke, born in 1838 from parents William and Ann, was also called Ellen and born in 1874. In 1891 that Ellen was still living in the Pershore area, and it is conceivable that she could have met Samuel James as he was touring the area hawking his earthenware products. In addition this John Clarke had an older brother called Charles born in 1834 (the same as the Charles above) who could possibly have been the father of Ellen. Whilst the information presented in figure 1 is in my view the most likely it is thus difficult to be precise about the Clarke family relationships. The thread is in any case a short one and runs out in the early 1800s. 

The Baker and Walton threads in Lichfield

Figure 3. The Paternal Grandfather tree  generations 5 to 9 (continuations from  figure 1)

Generations 5 to 9 of the Paternal Grandfather tree are shown in figure 3. The thread in the Lichfield area is in some ways quite straightforward. It can be followed through the parish registers of St Michaels, St Marys and St Chads. There is however much variability as to where baptisms, marriages and burials took place. St Mary’s was the main City Centre church, but had no graveyard, so no burials could be registered there, and for much of the 19thcentury, the churches of St Michaels and St Chads were serviced by curates from St Mary’s. It is thus perhaps wrong to think of them as separate parishes at this stage, at least in terms of registrations of baptisms, marriages and burials. 

James Baker’s father was Joseph Baker (5.1) who married Jane Walton (5.2) in 1820. There was thus a considerable age difference, and the 1841 census would suggest that Joseph was an army pensioner – presumably having served in the Napoleonic Wars. Otherwise his occupation is simply given as a labourer. One of the witnesses at the marriage was Elizabeth Walton, who would go on to marry Joseph’s much younger brother Samuel (b 1794). 

Joseph’s father was John Baker (6.1) and his mother was Anne Woodfield (6.2), about whom only the barest biographical details can be found. They were however very prolific in producing children (11 can be traced). John and Anne was buried in St Michael’s churchyard and the list of St Michael’s monumental inscriptions gives the very simple entry.

2022 John Baker 17/9/1822 also Ann Baker

Whilst the location of the grave is known (figure 4), the headstone has been moved (as part of the churchyard management regime) and cannot now be located. 

John’s Father was one Henry Baker (7.1). In his period, the parish records become increasingly sporadic, and the only Henry Baker that can be identified was born in Sedgley in 1721 to John (8.1) and Elianor Baker (8.2). This identification however cannot be regarded as very firm. 

Figure 4 Location of grave of John and Ann Baker in St Michael’s graveyard in Lichfield

Figure 5. The Paternal Grandfather Tree generations 9 to 11 (continuations from figure 3)

As noted above, Joseph Baker (5.1) married Jane Walton (5.2) in 1820. The Waltons are a long established Lichfield family, and this thread in my family tree was very prolific in terms of producing children. This is shown in figures 3 and 5. Thomas Walton (6.3), Jane’s father was a publican living in the Stowe Street area of Lichfield and earlier generations (as recorded in the King Census of 1695) also seem to be from that area. Certainly all family baptisms seem to have been consistently at St Chad’s church in Stowe. The thread can be traced back through the parish records to a William Walton (11.65) born around 1600.

However the main interest in the Walton thread lies in the much earlier references to the Walton family in a variety of historical records, including “The History and Antiquities of the Church and City of Lichfield” by Thomas Harwood, and various records from the National Archives. From these we can glean the following information.

1276    Adam de Walton was Precentor and Chancellor at the cathedral. He died in Aug 1303 and was buried in this cathedral

1344    In 1344 William Walton of Lichfield gave 3 a. in Lichfield for 200 years to a group described as parishioners of the chapel of St. Michael and to William Meys, keeper of the lights and fabric of the chapel. The gift was made to provide a light in the chapel on feast days for William during his lifetime, and after his death for his soul and the souls of his wife Margaret, Master Adam Walton, and Isabel de Rokeby. It was also for the support of a chaplain celebrating on 6 February, the morrow of the feast of St. Agatha. The land was worth £11 8s. 3d. net in 1549.

1376    Gift by Agnes de Draycok and William de Strethay to Richard de Walton of Lichfield and Thomas le White of Lichfield of an acre of land with appurtenances in Lichfield in a field called Burghay between the land of Alan de Keyworth on one part and the land of William Administon on the other.

1393    In 1393 Thomas Walton, prebendary of Freeford, claimed jurisdiction over people living in the portion of the city within his prebend. Bishop Scrope, called in to arbitrate, upheld the dean’s rights over the whole city. 

1397    Richard of Walton was Master of Guilds in the City 

1408    In 1408 Thomas Parker, a canon of the cathedral, and three other clergy were licensed to found a chantry in St. Chad’s and endow it with 14 houses and 70 a. in Lichfield. A chaplain was to celebrate daily at the altar of St. Catherine at the east end of the north aisle for Parker, for Margery, widow of Richard Walton, and for Richard’s soul. The foundation was evidently in fulfilment of Richard’s wishes. The dean and chapter were the patrons, but on several occasions they instituted candidates nominated by others: a chaplain instituted in 1433 was the nominee of one of the clergy involved in the foundation in 1408. The value of the chantry was given as £10 7s. 8d. net a year in 1546 and £11 8s. 3d. in 1548, and the priest’s salary as £9 7s. 2d. and £10 18s. 3d. respectively. At its suppression the chantry had silver-gilt plate and some ornaments, worth in all 1s. 10d. The priest was assigned a pension of £6. 

1486    From Peter Frye alias hardewareman’ of Lichfield To: Henry Wyllugh’by, esq for a burgage or messuage and 1 acre of land called ‘le Stonyacr” in Lichfield. The burgage lying in Conduit Street with the burgage of St Mary the Virgin to south, a cottage of the vicars [choral] of Lichfield Cathedral to north, the well called ‘Burg” late of Peter to west and Conduit Street to east. The acre of land lying in ‘leefeld’ between the land late of Isolda de Meysham and the land of Richard de Walton’ and the land of Richard de Walton’ and the lane called ‘lee lone’. 

It is thus clear that the Waltons were an ancient, and prosperous Lichfield family. There is of course more than a century’s gap between the latest of these records, and the rather more humble thread in my tree. Nonetheless it seems likely that there is some sort of connection, although it is unlikely that this will ever be proven. The Walton thread thus represents the oldest, and perhaps most distinguished of the threads in the Baker family tree. A photograph of the effigy of William Walton who endowed a chantry in St Michael’s church is given in Figure 6.

Figure 6 The William Walton effigy at St Michael’s Lichfield (including dog)