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Craxford Lane: A Genealogy

by Alan D. Craxford


Craxford Road

The author at Craxford Road

One of the first things which caught my attention and which has continued to intrigue me since I started this research more than a decade ago is the street in a quiet village in northern Northamptonshire which bears the family name. No-one is quite sure when Craxford Lane was first so called and it is also not clear when the Lane was promoted to its current status as Craxford Road. Similarly no-one is also quite sure why the family were so honoured. One suggestion was that a number of streets were arbitrarily named after a few long term resident families in the mid nineteenth century. We do know that the first reference to Craxford in the records dates back to about 1620 but there is little evidence that through the generations any of them achieved high office or social prominence. Two names do come to mind. One, William Craxford (1728 - 1803: referenced below as {A}), became known as a Yeoman of Gretton. This signified that he was a farmer who worked his own land (either by freehold, leasehold or copyhold) rather than as a tenant of someone else. The other, William Craxford (1817 - 1900: referenced below as {B}) is noted in the Return of Landowners Register of 1873 (1) to be in possession of a smallholding of one acre 2 rods and 12 perches in the village amounting to a gross estimated rental of £7 11s.

Geographically Craxford Lane sits close to the centre of the village running in a south east to north west direction from the High Street to Town End (now Arnhill Road). There were a total of twenty odd cottages and small houses scattered along either side of the road. A census of the population of England and Wales was taken every ten years between 1841 and 1911 and these returns are available for study. The censuses for Gretton are notoriously difficult to follow as streets were usually not named and individual houses are not numbered. Families in these dwellings are listed by the schedule number (and with multiple occupancy there may be more than one schedule number per house) which was filled in by the official enumerator. The sequence of numbers largely depended on the route he took when walking his round. This meant that families living in the same house usually ended up with a different number from one census to the next. The schedule numbers of two establishments, the Hatton Arms public house and the bakery at the corner of Craxford Lane and Town End have been used as reference points. Craxford Lane appears as a distinct named entity in just two of the census returns for Gretton: those of 1891 and 1911. This information has recently been bolstered by a third source where Craxford Lane appears, namely the 1939 Register [see Footnote 2].

Hatton Arms

The Hatton Arms (6)

It has been noted before in these pages that during most of human history, people have lived in small, isolated communities of between three and five hundred people. In nineteenth century rural England the radius of the pool of potential spouses was about five miles which was the distance a man could comfortably walk twice on his day off when he went courting. This meant that after six generations or so there are only third cousins or closer to marry and have in fact probably been closer to the genetic equivalent of first cousins, because of their multiple consanguinity (2, 3, 4). The purpose of this study is to investigate the links and liaisons between the families living in Craxford Lane and test out this theory in microcosm. The most obvious linkages were the straightforward unrelated family marriages. Close behind numerically were the consanguineous unions: marriage between second and third cousins were quite common and two first cousin marriages were also found. We then came across the phenomenon of "affinal relinking" (5) - where there may be one or more intermediate marriages between the union of members of same family tree. In an attempt to assess these relationships in greater depth we have paid particular attention to female lines of descent and to what became of the quite large number of illegitimate children born within these familes. For an explanation of cousins, degrees and removals please have a look at our article A Glossary of Genealogical Relationships

The starting point has been the 1911 census where the street is clearly defined in the Enumerator's index and designated by schedule numbers 81 to 95 with five other properties (96 to 100) just around the corner. Each house is examined in turn to give a short account of the history of the occupants and their relationship with their neighbours on the night of the census, April 2nd 1911. A cursory glance says that there were no Craxfords living in Craxford Lane - but were there ... ?

81: Stretton

Ruth Craxford married agricultural labourer and widower John Stretton on May 15th 1876 but John died four years later aged 55. After the death of her husband, Ruth took up work as a charwoman. In 1881 she was living with her stepdaughter and an elderly nurse, Elizabeth, who was widow of Richard Wymant. Ruth had one son she named Richard, born in 1885. At the time of this census Ruth was aged 66 years. Her son, a farm labourer, was living with her and remained unmarried.

Ruth was the youngest of the seven children of William Craxford and his second wife Elizabeth Hull. With her twin sister Julia, she was born in Gretton in the summer of 1844. William's first wife was Sarah Smith. They married in October 1822 but she died soon after giving birth to their fourth child in 1831. John Stretton's first wife, who died after four years of marriage in 1874, was Sarah Ann Smith. There is very strong evidence to suggest that Sarah Smith was Sarah Ann's aunt.

Ruth's father, William, was the second oldest of the four sons of Robert Craxford and Sarah Briggs who were born in the village at the turn of the nineteenth century. Their stories appear in the articles in this section of the magazine, the first chapter being From Gretton to Barrowden 1: The Skin Trade. Ruth bore a relatively loose relationship to the two Williams named in the introduction: to William {A} she was a 2nd cousin 3 times removed and to William {B}, 4th cousin once removed

82: Ingram

Charlotte Ingram, born in 1863, was the daughter of Alfred and Elizabeth Ingram. Elizabeth was the oldest of the three surviving daughters of William Craxford and Elizabeth Hull. In 1871 the Craxford and Ingram families were next door neighbours. Alfred and Elizabeth were to have 9 children. Charlotte became a forewoman at a clothing factory and was living alone at the time of this census. She never married and died in 1940 having been admitted to the Kettering Union Workhouse.

Ruth Stretton (at 81) was Charlotte's aunt. Consequently, Charlotte bore a similar relationship to the two Williams named in the introduction: to William {A} she was a 3nd cousin 3 times removed and to William {B}, 4th cousin twice removed

Further entanglement 1: Alfred Ingram's mother was Mary Waterfield, who in turn was the daughter of Matthew Waterfield and Elizabeth Stanger. The Waterfield family provide several further linkages between the family trees of Gretton inhabitants. One of Mary's sisters, Susannah, married Edward Spence in 1838 and another sister, Catherine, married Robert Craxford in 1804. Robert was the son of William Craxford's bother, John and their story is told in the article The Gretton Craxfords: Chronicle I - The Tangled Trees

Further entanglement 2: Alfred Ingram's sister, Caroline married Matthew Lemon Woolley. Their son, Charles William Woolley married Edith Wymant (daughter of Charles Wymant and Mary Ann Boon) in October 1903. Charles Wymant was the son of William Wymant and Edith Craxford, who in turn was the second daughter of William Craxford and his first wife, Sarah Smith. Caroline's daughter, Emma Jane Woolley married Alfred Ingram (Alfred and Elizabeth's fourth son), her first cousin.

83: Boon

In 1911, Henry Boon and Martha Wymant were celebrating 30 years of marriage. Twenty years previously, Henry and Martha were resident in Old Chapel Yard on the corner of the High Street, which, although listed as a separate entity in 1891 was considered part of Craxford Lane in 1911. Henry and Martha had two children: Thomas and Rose. Thomas Boon was a gunner with the Royal Garrison Artillery. He died of wounds near Ypres, Belgium on September 7th 1918.

Henry had been married before, to Sarah Ann Smith in 1876. They had one son, John Henry Tee Boon, the following year. Sarah Ann's aunt, also Sarah Ann Smith, was the first wife of John Stretton, who subsequently married Ruth Craxford. Sarah Ann died in the early months of 1881. Prior to their union, 22 year old Martha Wymant had found herself pregnant when in service in East Carlton, a village about seven miles south west of Gretton. She had a daughter, Annie Elizabeth, in 1872. The little girl spent her early years with her grandparents.

Henry's parents were Thomas Boon and Susan Chapman. Henry's sister, Mary Ann Boon had married Charles Wymant in 1877. Martha and Charles were first cousins. As noted above, Charles' mother was Edith Craxford. Susan Boon, now a widow, was also living in Craxford Lane at (137) in 1891 with Henry's Brothers Thomas and John. Her daughter, Mary Ann, had died in 1883 and Charles Wymant had moved to Willesden, London leaving their daughters, Edith and Elizabeth, with her grandmother, Susan. Her grandson John Henry Tee was also lodging with her. Susan died in 1898.

Susan Chapman was the daughter of shepherd David Chapman and Catherine Lattimore. Susan's brother John, also a shepherd for a time, married Eliza Cox in Wakerley in 1856. Their daughter, Mary Ann Chapman married George, the third son of Alfred Ingram and Elizabeth Craxford. Susan Chapman's sister Eliza married Thomas Jacques. Catherine Lattimore's brother, Adam, had a son Robert Bell Lattimer who married Rose Weed. Their son Adam Lattimer married Rose Boon, his second cousin once removed.

84: Spence

In 1911, John William Spence and Alice Ann Pridmore were newlyweds. Living with them was Alice's half sister, Lucy. John's parents were George Edward Spence and Harriett Stanger. Harriett had been in service at the beginning of the 1870s in East Carlton two doors away from where Martha Wymant was working.In 1881, recently married George and Harriett Spence, who were second cousins, were next door but one neighbours to Robert and Catherine Craxford

Generations of the Stanger family had moved between Gretton and Caldecott, just over the border in Rutland. Harriett's father, Samuel White Stanger had been born in Caldecott and was the son of John Stanger and Ann Jane White. John Spence's maternal great grandfather was Matthew Waterfield who had married Elizabeth Stanger in 1804. John and Elizabeth Stanger were brother and sister, the children of Oliver Stanger. Their mother was Elizabeth Lattimore and Catherine Lattimore was her first cousin. Matthew Waterfield's daughter Catherine married Robert Craxford in 1841. Their daughter Sarah married William Readyhoff Pridmore in 1866. Alice Ann's grandfather James had married Alice Susan Readyhoff in 1853. Alice and William Readyhoff Pridmore were doubly 1st cousins once removed through both the Pridmore and Readyhoff lines.

85: King

Ernest King, an engine driver, married Clara Ellen Wymant, the oldest daughter of David Wymant and Mary Ann Fox, in 1905. Charles Wymant, brother of Sarah Jane (at 91) was staying with them. Charles, a private in the 2nd Northamptonshire Regiment, married Sarah Ann Spence at the Register Office in Uppingham on August 12th 1916. Sarah Ann was first cousin to John William Spence (at 84) and was the daughter of William Spence and Julia Craxford. Julia was the twin sister of Ruth Stretton (at 81)

The King family had spent most of the second half of the nineteenth century in the village of Woolley near Huntingdon where John King and Ruth Carter had raised seven sons and three daughters. However, by 1901, John had moved to Deene, about 5 miles east of Gretton, where he and his son Ernest were employed as agricultural labourers. Of interest, living in the neighbouring cottage, were John Henry Tansley and Harry William Tilley - members of similarly intertwined families with the Craxfords in the nearby village of Cottingham.

86: Coles

Craxford House

Craxford House

On her own in the house on census night was Sarah, the wife of Frederick Coles. She had been born Sarah Ann Fryer. In 1891 the couple were living on the corner of Craxford Lane (at 141) and had the 75 year old William Craxford {B} whose wife Elizabeth had died the year before, living with them. Ten years later their next door neighbours were William Tee Boon and his wife Elizabeth.

It has not been possible to compute a definite relationship between Frederick and the sons of Edward Coles and Susannah Spence, Thomas and Jesse Coles. These boys named their dwelling in Gretton 'Craxford House' in respect of their two grandmothers. Edward Coles' mother was Mary Ann Craxford (daughter of Robert Craxford and Catherine Waterfield). Susannah Spence's mother was Julia Craxford (daughter of William Craxford and Elizabeth Hull).

The Coles were another prolific family in the village, particularly prior to the opening of the nineteenth century. There many babies born close together to different branches and who were given the same first names. There many illegitimacies recorded in the Parish records. The most likely scenario is that Frederick's father, John, was the son of Ann Coles and Edward's grandfather, Thomas, was the daughter of Martha Coles. Martha and Ann were sisters - and their mother was Jane Wymant (1740 - 1812). In another, as yet unanswered, conundrum, Martha's daughter Mary Coles married Amos Waterfield from Lyddington in 1820. Two of their children married members of the Brewster family who feature in the article Auntie Nellie's story - Nellie Youle Swann (1894 - 1970). Recent research has shown Amos and Matthew Waterfield were fourth cousins.

87: Coleman

Arthur Coleman, a shoemaker from Barrowden in Rutland had been married to Annie Elizabeth Smith from Leicester for 10 years. They had no children. To date no relationship to the other residents or families has been discovered.

88: Lenton

Ephraim Lenton, who was born about 1866, married Elizabeth Warner in 1886. Their firstborn, Thomas, arrived the following year but was to spend most of his time with his grandparents. Over the next fourteen years they had another seven children (three girls and four boys) all of whom were still at home in 1911, their ages ranged between 22 and 7 years. Second son Sydney enlisted with the 7th Batallion the Northamptonshire Regiment during the first World War and was promoted to Lance Corporal. He died of wounds in France on April 30th 1916.

Ephraim was the son of Amos Lenton and Mary Boon, herself the daughter of Henry Boon and Ann Spencer. One of her brothers, John Boon married Eliza Stanger (another as yet unrelated individual of that name) in 1848. Their grandson John William Boon married Catherine Coles, daughter of Thomas Coles and Mary Ann Craxford. Amos, who was the son of Thomas Lenton and Mary Baines, had a brother, Joseph who married Ann Marlow in 1859. Their son, Joseph Lenton Marlow, married Sarah Jane Coles (sister of Catherine) in 1903. Sarah Jane's brother was Edward Coles who married Susannah Spence.

Amos and Mary Lenton lived at (138) Craxford Lane in 1891. They had Boon neighbours on either side. On one side (137) was the household of Susan Chapman, widow of Thomas Boon (Mary's first cousin). At (139) was Rachel Darker, the widow of John Boon (also Mary's first cousin) Amos started his working life on the land but with the coming of the railways became a plate layer. Mary died in the summer of 1909. Amos about twelve months later.

89: Morris

Ann Morris was born the daughter of William Tee Boon and Elizabeth Price in 1836. Many of her records refer to her birthplace as Glaston a hamlet in Rutland a mile or so east of Uppingham, which was where her mother came from. Ann married William Morris, a land owner, in 1861 who was 25 years older than her. Living with them in 1871 was Betsy Ann Barwell, Ann's stepmother's daughter. Their next door neighbours were William Craxford {B} and his wife Elizabeth. William Tee Boon died in 1873 without issue.

Ann's path over the next couple of decades is quite tortuous. William had a younger brother, Alfred, (by 15 years). Alfred married Sarah Bassett, a girl from Deptford, Kent in the autmn of 1852 and settled in London to become a clerk. In 1871 they were living in Kensington with their five children. Sometime in that year, Sarah died. It is apparent that, although he continued to live in London, he remained in close contact with his family in the East Midlands. It also seems likely that after his brother William died, he sought solace with his newly widowed sister in law. He and Ann were married at St Mary's Church in Leicester on June 23rd 1874. After the ceremony the couple returned to London and they were still living in Kensington in 1881. Alfred and Ann had moved back to Gretton by the time of the census of 1891 when they were living at (140) Lawn Cottage which was on the corner of Craxford Lane. Alfred's daughter Susannah was with them. Alfred died in 1905.

Now 75, Ann Morris was living in Craxford Lane helped by 17 year old Violet Florence Templer who was her third cousin once removed. Ann died in the winter of 1912.

Continued in column 2...

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90: Warren


Craxford Lane Cottage
Courtesy of Elisabeth Jordan

Thomas Warren married Betsy Ann Barwell in the village on July 19th 1877. Over the next ten years they had four children. Thomas was originally from Great Billing, a small village on the outskirts of Northampton. He had a number of jobs during his lifetime including being a policeman at the time of his marriage. In 1891 they were in residence at (136) Craxford Lane when he was a foreman at the local ironworks. By 1911, two of their adult children (Florence, 29 and George 24) remained with them.

Betsy Ann was the illegitimate daughter of Alice Barwell, born in 1855. Subsequent census returns suggest that she remained in the family home of grandparents Thomas Barwell and Ann Freer after her mother married. Thomas and Betsy Ann's younger daughter, Mabel Lilian married John Thomas Folwell in 1910 and set up home around the corner in Town End. John was the son of Thomas Folwell and Lucy Ann Liquorish and grandson of William Liquorish and Lucy Craxford.

The site next door to Old Chapel Yard at the corner of Craxford Lane and the High Street became a garage. This enterprise was started by George Warren initially as a bicycle sales, hire and repair shop. As motor vehicles became more popular and commonplace after the first world war, he diversified into cars and a petrol filling station. George lived in the house behind the garage.

Thomas and Betsy Ann's son, Arthur William Warren married Betty King from Yorkshire in 1910. In 1939 they were living at (138) Craxford Lane with two of their children. Two doors away, at (140), was his brother George Warren with his wife Eliza Rawson who he had married in 1914, and three children whilst his "permanently ill" sister, Florence, lived at (146).

91: King

James Henry King (using his middle name in this census) was the brother of Ernest King. He married Sarah Jane Wymant in January 1902 and by 1911 they had five children. Sarah Jane was the first cousin of Clara Ellen. Sarah Jane's younger sister, Gertrude Clara Wymant was staying with the family. Gertrude was to marry William Foode later in the year. Sarah Jane, Charles and Gertrude were all children of Fanny Wymant born after her husband had died in 1874.

Now a widow, Sarah Jane King was living at (144) Craxford Lane in September 1939. She had her two youngest and unmarried sons, Charles and Frederick, staying with her. Her son James Goffin King married Marjorie Constable in 1927. They had settled next door with their two children at (145). Their near neighbour at (142) was 52 year old Charlotte King, believed to be the widow of James Henry King's brother, Frederick.

92: Villette

Herbert Villette had married Agnes Martha Sims in the church of St Peter and St Paul in September 1910. He was the second son of the Villettes at (93)

93: Villette

William Villette, an ironstone labourer born in London about 1860, had married Charlotte Wymant (second daughter of Joseph Wymant and Fanny Clipson and older sister of Sarah Jane, Charles and Gertrude Wymant) in the village in 1886. By 1911, the couple had nine children, 8 of whom were still living at home. Eldest son Charles Sidney Villette was killed in action in Ypres, Belgium on April 7th 1917.

94: Wymant

John Wymant, born in 1869, was the oldest of the sons of Joseph and Fanny Wymant. He remained single but had fellow ironstone worker 23 year old Thomas Cooper living with him.

95: Almond

The Almonds had run a bakery in Gretton for over fifty years and at the turn of the century the property was listed as being in Bakehouse Yard ((132) in the 1891 census). Joseph Almond had married Susannah, the sister of William and Alfred (the two husbands of Ann Boon at (89)), Morris in 1849. Joseph and Susannah were witnesses at Ann Boon's marriage to William Morris. Their son William Almond, who married Beatrice Morris from Denford near Thrapston in 1897, took over the business from his father Joseph. There is no evidence to date that the Susannah and Beatrice Morris were related.

The Almond family originated in Lyddington, Rutland. William's uncle John Almond was married to Sophia Sarah Boon for six years before his untimely death in 1867. Sophia Sarah was second cousin to both William Tee Boon (widow Alice at 96) and George Tee Boon (114)

96: Boon

Alice Barwell was born in the village about 1829, the daughter of slater Thomas Barwell and his wife Mary Freer. In her younger days she found work as a lacemeker and as noted above, she had a daughter, Betsy Ann, in the summer of 1855. At the age of 37 years, she married widower William Tee Boon, who was 15 years older than her, in 1866. She was his second wife. At the time of this census and now a widow she was living with her unmarried daughter Mary Ann. Curiously the census form had been filled in on behalf of her absent son George who was living with his family in Towns End (at 117) just past the Hatton Arms public house.

William Tee Boon (born in 1816) had five brothers and three sisters. His youngest brother, also named George, was married to Ann, the daughter of Jonathan Jacques in 1857. Ann's brother, Thomas, married Eliza the daughter of David Chapman and Catherine Lattimore. Her younger sister, Sarah, married Robert, the youngest of the sons of William Craxford and Elizabeth Hull. Meanwhile, Thomas Boon, the son of Robert Boon and presumably a first cousin of William Tee Boon, married Susan, another of the daughters of David Chapman and Catherine Lattimore in 1849.

97: Templer

William Bradshaw Templer (at times spelled Templar) was the son of Jacob Templer, the village blacksmith. William married Sarah Ann Readyhoff Pridmore on Christmas Day 1878. Her brother George Robert Pridmore, their next door neighbour in 1911, acted as a witness.

William and Sarah Ann had seven daughters and one son. Charles Templer enlisted with the 1st Batallion Northamptonshire Regiment in 1916 and was killed in action in Flanders, Belgium on July 10th 1917. Third daughter, Elizabeth, married Thomas Boon, the son of Henry Boon and Martha Wymant (at 83). Thomas was killed at Ypres, Belgium on September 7th 1918. Elizabeth did not remarry. She was still living on the corner of Craxford Lane at (135) Jubilee Cottages in 1939 with her three sisters, Emily (now a bedridden invalid), Violet and Dorothy.

98: Pridmore

George Robert Pridmore, now a two times widower, was living alone. His first wife, Ann Warner, died of tuberculosis in 1885. They had three daughters: Alice, Eliza and Emma. Oldest daughter Alice married John William Spence (at (83) in 1911). George married again in 1889. His second wife, Alice Mary Timson, was his first cousins. She died of complications in the late stages of pregnancy in 1892. No child's birth or death has been registered and it is assumed it was stillborn. They had two other daughters: Lucy, who was living with the Spence family at (84) in 1911 and Sarah Ann. George lived on the the street until the outbreak of the second world war. He and his daughter Sarah Ann were living at (137) Jubilee cottages in 1939.

George was the second son of James Pridmore and Alice Susan Readyhoff. This was the second union of these two families as James' brother, Robert, had married Alice Susan's sister, Ann. The tragic circumstances of the life of Robert and Ann's son William Readyhoff Pridmore and his wife Sarah Craxford is recounted in the "Mrs Pridmore: Sarah" section of the article The Gretton Craxfords: Chronicle I - The Tangled Trees The family name had varied between this spelling and Reddihoof and many children were baptised with it as a second given name.

99: Weston

George William Weston, a platelayer for the railways, married Mary Elizabeth White from Barrowden in 1885. Over the years, they had 12 children. One son, Sidney, worked as an assistant for baker William Almond. George's mother was Mary Chambers. Her nephew, Thomas Chambers married Emily Maria Liquorish whose mother Lucy Craxford was the oldest half sister of Ruth Stretton (81)

George and Mary's oldest daughter, Kate, married William Wymant, a grandson of Thomas Wymant and Elizabeth Cox in 1916. He enlisted with the Royal Garrison Artillery during the war but was killed in action in Ypres, Belgium on July 7th 1917. Kate remained in the village. In 1939 she was living with her widowed elderly mother and spinster sister, Mary Weston, at (132) Jubilee Cottages.

100: Boon

William Boon declared his address to be Jubilee Cottage in his 1911 return (Jubilee Cottages were built on the north side of Arnhill Road. Originally three in number, one has been demolished, the other two converted into one). He had married Caroline Tiner in Kettering in 1985. They subsequently had two girls and a boy. Little is known of Caroline's origins. There is no record of a previous marriage but she had given birth to a daughter she named Edith Grice Tiner in Shrewsbury in 1885. No record of William or Caroline has so far been found in 1901.

William was the third son of John Boon and Eliza Stanger (again no link has so far been discovered with the other Stangers mentioned in this article). His oldest brother, John Henry Boon, had a son named John William Boon who married Catherine Coles. She was the youngest of the daughters of Mary Ann Craxford and sister of Edward and Sarah Jane.

Gretton Family 1: Wymant

There is a large diversity of spellings of this surname (Whyman, Whymant, Whymon, Wiman, Wimant, Wyman, Wymant, Wyment, Wymon, Wymond, Wymont) in the county of Northamptonshire but for simplicity this article will stay with the spelling given above. Although William, son of John Wymant, was baptised in Cottingham on March 28th 1654, the first found in Gretton was Ann daughter of Richard and Joan Wymant on March 15th 1741. Similarly, the earliest marriage in the vicinity took place in Cottingham between John Wymond and Elizabeth Dexter in November 1699. The first recorded in Gretton was between Richard Wimant and Jane Taylor on October 12th 1735.

Throughout most of the period covered by the census returns, there were at least four Wymant households in Gretton mainly derived from the offspring of Thomas Wymant and Frances Clipson. Firstly there were the sons of John Wymant and wife Sophia Cox, namely brothers David Wymant with his wife Mary Ann Cox and Joseph Wymant with his wife Fanny Clipson. Next there was Thomas Wymant and his wife Elizabeth Cox (their daughter Martha married Henry Boon). Then followed Richard Wymant and Elizabeth Smith (their son Joseph married Elizabeth Liquorish who was the daughter of William Liquorish and Lucy Craxford). Then there was William Wymant who married Edith Craxford (their son Charles married Mary Ann Boon). Finally there was daughter Martha who married William Cox. In the census of 1871, the families of Edith (now remarried to Benjamin Goode), Richard and Joseph were living in adjoining houses.

A grandson of David Wymant and Mary Ann Fox, William Henry married Martha Cunnington in 1934. At the outbreak of war, Martha was living with her parents at (134) Craxford Lane. Spinster daughters of David and Mary Ann Fox, Mabel and Florence, were living at (143) Craxford Lane.

of these, perhaps the most fascinating from a family history point of view is Fanny (Clipson) Wymant. She had four children with her husband Joseph before he died in 1874 aged 32 years. Fanny was already pregnant with her fourth daughter, Sarah Jane, when she was left a widow. She did not stop there for the census return of 1891 shows her living at (134) Craxford Lane with five more children all under the age of 14 years. Admittedly one of these, Jacob, was proved to be the son of her eldest daughter Mary born before her marriage of 1890, although a report in 1903 newspaper of his 'very serious injuries' at work described Joseph as the son of Mrs Fanny Wymant, widow, Gretton (7). The birth certificate proves youngest daughter Gertrude Clara to be Fanny's and all these children were baptised with her named as mother. Most curious is that when Sarah Jane married Henry King, the space for her father's name on the registration form was left blank.

The intermingling of lines even within the single Wymant family tree generates double or multiple relationships. For instance, Charles and Clara Ellen Wymant, staying at No. 85 in 1911, were both first cousins and fourth cousins through different lines of descent.

One further entanglement comes courtesy of Thomas Wymant's wife's sister, Elizabeth Clipson. Elizabeth was married to Matthew Woolley. After her death around 1805, he married again to Elizabeth Robinson. Their daughter Mary Woolley married Robert Craxford in 1834

Gretton Family 2: Boon or Tee Boon

The Boon family is another name which stretches back into the seventeenth century records of the village. The earliest noted Gretton baptism is of Mary, the daughter of William and Elizabeth Boone on March 3rd 1672. A cursory glance at the Victorian documentation and beyond suggests that there might be two distinct family entities at play: Boon, and an alternative Tee Boon. The latter can be confusing as the middle part sometimes appears as a second given name, sometimes part of the surname - which can be hyphenated - and sometimes merely as a middle initial. Even within this line, many times the Tee is dropped.

The general concensus amongst user contributors to and within the various genealogy forums is that the family lines do converge back to William Boon, born about 1725. His daughter, Frances Boon, had an illegitimate son who she called Thomas. Although not on the baptismal record, the 'Tee' started to appear in the early 1800s and it is assumed that Frances had a liaison with John Tee, a farmer for whom she was a servant, who she did not marry. The variant has been applied to descendants of Thomas after he had married Mary Fox in 1814. For continuity and simplicity of display, the author has recorded the 'Tee' when it appears in the records as a second given name. Frances had borne a previous illegitimate son, John Boon Rowlett, in 1788. She finally married William Stretton in 1798. They were to have four known children, one of whom was William, the father of John Stretton who subsequently married Ruth Craxford.

More family trees

Footnote 1: The census of 1901

Contiguous schedule numbers for 1901 show the following family neighbours which probably indicates the unnamed site of Craxford Lane: 102, William Almond (baker); 103, William Tee Boon (retired dealer); 104, Arthur Coleman (shoemaker); 105. Amos Lenton (Railway labourer); 106, Samuel Coles (Ironstone labourer); 107, Fanny Wymant (widow); 108, Thomas Warren (Railway labourer), 109, Alfred Morris; 110, Ephraim Lenton

Footnote 2: The 1939 Register

The 1939 Register was a record taken on September 29th 1939 of the civilian population of England and Wales after the outbreak of the Second World War. It was used to produce up to date population statistics, identification cards and facilitate ration cards when rationing was introduced in January 1940. The Register is stored at the National Archives and is available on line at Findmypast

A vote of thanks

The author would like to express his thanks for the help, comments and suggestions from the following in the construction of this article: Robin Fox, Elisabeth Jordan at Gretton Local History Society, Ken Stanger, Stephen Waterfield, and Contributors to the Northamptonshire Forum (including Kay99, Sandy Hall and suzard) at RootsChat.Com.


1. England, Return of Owners of Land, 1873: Northamptonshire at
2. Shoumatoff, Alex: The Mountain of Names: A history of the human Family with introduction by Robin Fox; Kodansha International, New York, USA (1995). ISBN 1-56836-071-1
3. Fox, Robin: "Kinship and Marriage: An Anthropological Perspective" (Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology): Cambridge University Press (1984): ISBN: 978-0521278232
4. Fox, Robin: "Marry In or Marry Out - Optimal Inbreeding and the Meaning of Mediogamy" in Handbook on Evolution and Society Routledge Handbooks Online (2015) ISBN: 978-1612058146
5. Structural Endogamy with Co-affinal Relinking in The SAGE Handbook of Social Network Analysis: Google eBooks
6. Hatton Arms: © Tim Heaton, and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
7. Serious Pit Accident - Grantham Journal October 24th 1903 The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.

Added: July 6th 2016
Last update: July 21st 2016

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