The Plumb Family
At least a few generations of my ancestors were born in Meldreth, and as I have done a fair bit of research into my family tree, I thought I would share what I know. Please feel free to add a comment below.
My great great great grandfather, James Plumb was born in Meldreth in 1799 and died in 1872. In the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses he was listed as a carpenter. By the 1871 census, however, his occupation was listed as “formerly carpenter” and he was described as an imbecile. He married a woman named Lydia, who was born in Meldreth c.1805 and who died in 1891. According to the census returns, they lived in the High Street in Meldreth. They had four children – Sarah (1826/7-?), Edward (1829/30-?), Ann (1832/3-?) and John (1837-1909). All of the children, with the possible exception of Edward, were baptised in Holy Trinity Church, Meldreth. In the 1851 census, Edward was listed as a wheelwright and John as a carpenter. In the 1861 census, Ann was listed as a servant in Shilton, Warwickshire.
In 1862, John married Ann Gatward (1832-1890), who was born in Orwell or Little Eversden, Cambridgeshire. They had five children – Mary, known as Polly (1863-?), Martha (1863-?), Walter James (1865-1936), Sarah Ann, known as Sally (1866-?) and Emily (1870-?), all born in Meldreth. According to the 1871 census, they all lived in the High Street and John was a carpenter. In 1881, John, Ann, Martha, Walter and Emily lived at High Street, Meldreth. In 1890, Ann was found drowned in the village and in the 1891 census, John was a widower living with Mary, Martha and Emily in the High Street. The following year, he married Sarah (1833/3-1917) b. Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. By 1901, John, Sarah and Martha were living in Queen’s Road, Royston, Hertfordshire whereas Emily was a domestic housemaid in Beckenham, Kent. John died in 1909 and in the 1911 census Sarah and Martha (listed as “feeble-minded since birth”) still lived in Queen’s Road.
According to the 1891 census, my great grandfather, Walter James Plumb (1865-1936) was a Dray Man, living at 6 Station Road, Biggleswade, Potton. By 1901, he was married to Sarah Ann Peters (1865-1910) b. Reigate, Surrey, and had three children – Edward James (1892-1940), my grandfather, William Ernest (1893-1969) and Dorothy Sarah (1896-1903), all of whom were born in Camden Town. According to census information, Walter was a Stableman Groom in 1901 and a Horsekeeper (Railway) in 1911.
Walter, on retiring, moved to Bassingbourn with his third wife, Florrie. They lived in a cottage next to a sawmill, where he worked as a farm labourer until he died. He is buried in the Kneesworth-cum-Bassingbourn cemetery, next to his second wife!