The varied life of Ann Weaver (1830-1885)

The churchyard pathway at Curry Rivel, Somerset, leads out onto the Green
The churchyard pathway at Curry Rivel, Somerset, leads out onto the Green

My 3 x great-grandmother, Ann Weaver, has been an enigma for quite some time but more recently I've made some progress with a little help from another family historian along the way.

Ann was born in 1830 in the village of Curry Rivel in Somerset. She was the daughter of a cordwainer or boot and shoemaker. She gave birth to my 2 x great-grandfather, William Henry Weaver (known as Harry), in 1848 when she was eighteen and unmarried. I still don't know who Harry's father was as he isn't recorded in any documents.

Ann appears to have lived with her parents until 1856 when she married a soldier, John Willshire, who had previously fought in the Crimea. They married in nearby Taunton and then left the area and were living in barracks in Canterbury shortly afterwards. Harry remained in Curry Rivel with his grandparents. John and Ann had a son in 1858 but sadly Ann was widowed in 1864. John had been medically discharged from the army three years beforehand due to phthisis pulmonalis, otherwise known as tuberculosis of the lungs. Their son attended the Royal Military Asylum in Chelsea to complete his schooling.

Ann married again in 1866. Her second husband was Charles Cleverly who was almost ten years her junior. He had various occupations ranging from a farmer's boy, a carter, groom and omnibus driver. Charles and Ann lived in the Saint John area of Westminster. For some reason Charles was not with her in 1881 when the census was taken but Ann had her youngest son at home and was making a living as a shirt maker, something it seems she'd been doing for at least a decade.

Ann died of apoplexy (a stroke) on 17th May 1885, aged 54. She'd only suffered briefly and her husband, Charles, was with her when she died. Charles remarried in 1887 and was still alive in 1891 but he disappears from the records after this.

What became of Ann's sons? Harry followed in his grandfather's footsteps and, after a short time working as a journeyman shoemaker in Drimpton, Dorset, he returned to Curry Rivel where he lived and worked until he died in 1944 at the ripe old age of 95.

Ann's younger son, William John Willshire (probably known as John), stayed in London and worked as a clerk. The London lifestyle was likely much less healthy and he died aged 40 having married his second wife less than two weeks beforehand.

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Category: Ancestors Corner

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