GRANDADS FAMILY ANECDOTE 4: OMG, not another widowed Grandma?

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Grandad
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GRANDADS FAMILY ANECDOTE 4: OMG, not another widowed Grandma?

Post by Grandad »

I shall make this the last in this little series of backtracking my maternal line. Although I do have more reverse details they are as yet unconfirmed so it would be wrong to publish them.

Going back another generation I find George Madams 1836 my Great Great Grandfather, father of George Madams 1856 the subject of story No 3, married to Eliza Downes 1835 also born in Herne Kent.
They produced 7 children between 1856 and 1870, 2 boys and 5 girls. However there are questions arising about the parentage of one child which I shall explain later.
My Great Great Grandfather George was a seafarer like so many others in my maternal line. He must have been successful because by 1867, aged just 31, he is recorded as being the Master of the sailing Brigantine, Bethesda. Here is a picture of a similar brigantine. They carried a lot of sail and it is clear why the ship required a captain and 6 crew to man her.
Brigantine.jpg
On 26 March 1867 she was sailing in the English channel, off Portsmouth, when disaster struck. This newspaper report tells the sad story. :(
18670000 George Madams Bethesda shipwreck.jpg
So that event created widow number three in this line, also with young dependent children,

Returning to his and Elizas recorded family of 7 children; at the time of his death they had 5 children. The newspaper report quotes 5 with an additional child expected. So where did the seventh child come from.
The 1871 census records Eliza as a widow and 'head' of her household. 7 children are recorded, the youngest being just 8 months old. Also in the house is one Joshua Downes 32 years of age, an unemployed 'relative'.
There is work to do here because the indications are that Joshua may be the father of child number 7. He has the same surname as Eliza's maiden name. Could the child have been born from an incestuous relationship? Or does Joshua have the same surname from further back in the tree?
I have my sleuth's hat on now, work to be done......

As a footnote: So far three of my grandfathers have died young by the sea and all leaving widows with young children. But others died young as well. Georges wife Eliza died at 53. Georges mother died at 46 years and Elizas father at 43 years. And my grandmother Alberta who I have referred to earlier, was just 41 when she died. There is a very sad pattern emerging of early death in this my maternal family line.
Happy to say that ALL of my children are already older than any of those mentioned above, and are fit and healthy.
:up :up
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Re: GRANDADS FAMILY ANECDOTE 4: OMG, not another widowed Grandma?

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Very interesting story and also very interesting re: child #7. Hopefully you'll be able to sleuth out the real story of what all happened.
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