When I registered the name of Swadling with the Guild of One Name Studies in 2003. I was unaware of the many benefits my Guild membership would bring me. One longstanding benefit is a Guild project called Marriage Challenges. Marriage Challenges is a project in which guild members volunteer to search for marriage entries in Parish Registers for a particular registration district for a time period between 1837 and 1911. Guild members submit the know entries for their registered name and hopefully receive details of any marriages for their name once all the available registers have been checked for that particular area.
Earlier this year I was the grateful recipient of information from seven marriages that had taken place in the registration district of Bradfield in Berkshire. The earliest certificate was dated 11th August 1838. The groom was George Swadling and his residence was Englefield in the county of Berkshire. His bride was Elizabeth Wise and her residence was Burghfield.
I checked the 1841 census and found George and Elizabeth and their two daughters Charlotte and Mary living with George’s parents, Joseph and Jane in Englefield. Also living in the house were George’s older brother Richard and his younger brother Thomas.
Joseph Swadling was born in Brightwell in Berkshire in 1781 and was the son of Thomas and Phoebe. He married Jane Sims in 1804 in Tilehurst and they had five sons and 1 daughter between 1804 and 1815.
John was born in Tilehurst in1804 and baptised on 8th April 1804. He moved to London before 1828 when he married Mary Ann Millard. In 1841 John and Mary Ann were living in Doris Street, Lambeth with their two sons William and George. Sadly John died in 1845 and Mary Ann died in 1846. In 1851 William and George were still living in Doris Street but were now lodging with Sarah Pearn and her daughter. William married in 1860 but George died in 1853 at the age of 20 and was buried at St Mary Lambeth.
William was born in 1806 in Englefield. He also seems to have moved to London and on the 1851 census he was living on Margaret Street and was employed as an officer in a House of Correction. The census also states that he was married to Margaret who was three years older than him. I cannot find any record of their marriage. William probably died in 1856, as there is a death registration for a William Swadling in the March quarter of 1856 in the Clerkenwell district. I can’t find any trace of Margaret after 1851.
Martha was born in 1809 in Englefield and there is a slight possibility that she married a William Higgs and had seven children. There is a death registration records for a Martha and William Higgs in 1853 in the Bradfield registration district. On the 1861 census their children are being cared for by various relatives.
Richard was born in 1810 and baptised in Englefield along side his brother William and sister Martha on the 17th June 1810. Richard was still living at home in 1841 but by 1851 he had also moved to London. He was living in Southwark with his wife Elizabeth and two children, Jane and Joseph. In 1861 he was residing at Farm House Lodging House with Elizabeth, Jane and Joseph and four more children, William, Richard, Edward and Mary Ann. Between 1861 and 1869 three more children arrived, Emily, John and Thomas. I couldn’t find any of the family on the 1871 census but Richard and Elizabeth both died of Typhus within three days of each other in the Stockwell Fever Hospital in 1873. Richard was 63 years old and Elizabeth was only 53. Their youngest son Thomas was only 4 years old.
George was born in 1812 but unlike his brothers he stayed in the village of Englefield. He married Elizabeth Wise in 1838 and they had twelve children of which only five married and had children. Four of their children died as children. The other three died in their late teens and early twenties. Elizabeth died in 1862 and George married Sarah Brookman in 1867. George died at the age of 80 in 1892. Sarah survived him by 5 years and died in 1897 at the age of 81.
Thomas was born in 1815 and he also stayed near home. He married Sarah Hannah Gibbs in 1845 but while giving birth to their only daughter, Sarah Hannah died in or shortly after childbirth and was buried on the 13 April 1847. Their daughter Harriett Jane died when she was four years and 9 months. Thomas married Elizabeth Palmer in 1849 and they had one daughter Ann the following year. Ann married John Wickens in 1871. Elizabeth died in 1870 and Thomas died in the Bradfield workhouse in 1883 at the age of 69.
Joseph Swadling had moved his family from Tilehurst to Englefield before his son George’s wedding in 1838. He and Jane shared their home with not only their children but two of their daughter in laws and some of their grandchildren. Jane died in June 1852 after suffering a sudden stroke and Joseph had the medical condition of paralysis for three months before he died in August of 1852. They are both buried in the churchyard of St Mark’s church Englefield.