On the 28th of July 1867, Josiah Dudley, aged 20, and Sarah Mucklow, aged 18, exchanged their marriage vows before John Heath Sykes, the vicar, in St. Mary All Saints Church in Haselor, Warwickshire. Both Josiah and Sarah signed their names. James and Elisabeth Sadler signed their marks as witnesses. The church sits high on a hill between the villages of Haselor and Walcote, accessible today only on foot or all terrain vehicles, along well-trotten paths. Did Josiah and Sarah stop as they left the church as newlyweds to marvel at the land below and to wonder what life together would bring them?
Start of the path to Haselor Church
© Copyright Helen Steed and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Sarah was baptized the 16th of September in 1849 in the Church of Holy Trinity in Arrow, Warwickshire. She was the fourth child of John Mucklow and Hannah James.
Holy Trinity Church, Arrow, Warwickshire
This quiet church photographed in the afternoon sunlight.
Like her husband Josiah, a story has been passed down in the family about Sarah. It has been said that she had 22 children that included three sets of twins and two sets of triplets. So far, I have been unable to prove this. There are gaps in the known births so it is quite possible that she had other pregnancies. Of the four who survived to live to adulthood, only one remained in England.
Bertha was their first child that I have found. She was born 12 February 1869 but was not baptized until 10 March 1871 in the Parish Church of Alcester. She appears on the 1871 census with her parents but is not shown in the 1881 census. It would appear that Bertha Ann died in 1875 in Derbyshire.
The next known child is Josiah Gilbert born according to his United Sates Naturalization 21 November 1875, but his World War I Registration gives the same date but 1874.
Sarah had another son while they were still living in Derbyshire: Charles Henry Dudley. She gave birth to him in Matlock, Derby 22 February 1877.
Some time after Charles was born, the family moved again and this time they went to Birmingham, where they are found in the 1881 census living at 19 Court 2nd House Bromsgrove Street. When my grandmother, Emily Lily was born 31 January 1884, the family was living at 31 Inge Street. Five years later, Sarah gave birth to Rose on the 8 May 1889. In 1891, they were living at 16 Butler Road. Josiah Gilbert was no longer living at home. Sarah was working as a dressmaker. Emily was going to school.
The following year, Josiah Gilbert left England for Rhode Island.
1901 was a sad year as Sarah's husband died when he was only 56 years old. They had moved again and were living at 2 Back 6 Little Green Lane. This place had only three rooms. Charles was no longer living at home.They were still living there when Emily Lily married William George Iles in 1903. Two years later, Emily, William and their baby, May, left for Canada.
Rose married Noble Cavanagh in 1908. Also that year, Charles sailed to the United States and arrived in Boston 23 July 1908 on board the Saxonia.. Noble was killed in action during the First World War. Rose married his brother, Sydney in 1919.
The place they were living in 1884 when Emily Lily was born is located very close to where there is now a National Trust Museum showcasing the last remaining back to back houses during several time periods but not during the time our relatives lived there, but it would still be interesting to see it. [See references below].Their place in 1901 had only three rooms.
If Sarah had as many children or pregnancies as suggested by family lore, it must have been so very difficult to lose these children. To have three of her children leave for North America must also have been hard breaking but she likely hoped that life would be good for them.
Josiah Dudley -- Sarah Mucklow marriage Church of England. Parish Church of Haselor p. 26 FHL 557286 item 1
Bertha Ann Dudley baptismal record Alcester Warwickshire Parish Records. FHL #0537290
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Index to New England Naturalization Petitions, 1791-1906 (M1299); Microfilm Serial: M1299; Microfilm Roll: 40.entry for Josiah Gilbert Dudley.
Registration State: Rhode Island; Registration County: Providence; Roll: 1852406; Draft Board: 6 for Josiah Gilbert Dudley.
Back to Back houses - Wikipedia
Back to Back houses - National Trust
Back to Back houses - BBC
© 2014 Janet Iles