Louisa PEARCE b1853

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Ms Janet K H
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Joined: Saturday, 25-07-2020

My family is from Yorkshire, where I grew up. I now live in France.

When researching my family tree I found that my paternal great-grandmother Louisa PEARCE was born in Shropshire in 1853. On the 1871 handwritten census it states she was born in Ludlow and on the 1881 typed out version of the census it says she is from Seaton Shropshire. (This might be a typo as I can't find a Seaton anywhere in Shropshire.) At age 18 she was on the 1871 census, working as a servant in a large house in my home town in Yorkshire. 

My father had talked about her briefly saying that she was 'the illegitimate child of the Squire of Ludlow.' After he died I also heard the same thing from his cousin who assured me it was true and also knew a few anecdotes about her as a child, for example being given money every week by a man on horseback. I have no idea of any connection between Shropshire and Yorkshire at that time so I don't know how she ended up working there as a servant. 

I haven't found any definite record of her being born in 1853 in Shropshire because I don't know exactly where she was born or her mother's first name, and no mention anywhere of a Squire of Ludlow!

Can anyone help please? I have no idea how to proceed.

Michael J Hulme
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Last seen: 5 hours 33 min ago
Joined: Saturday, 4-06-2011

Hello Janet

Your G Grandmother Louisa PEARCE was baptised on 6th January 1851 at Culmington Parish Church, Shropshire.  The original register entry states she was the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth PEARCE of Siefton Batch Spinster.  You can see the original register image on the Find my Past (subscription) web site but if you don't have a subscription try your local library / archives when they re-open.  Many have a subscription.

Siefton is about 5 miles north of Ludlow and about 3 miles east of Craven Arms.

I'm not sure whether there was a 'Squire of Ludlow' but it is quite possible that if the father was a local gentleman who took his responsibilities seriously he may well have paid towards the cost of Louisa's upbringing.  Whether there is any documentary information about this is another matter but if anything survives it will be in Shropshire Archives in Shrewsbury.

It is interesting that the 1861 census for Corve Street, Ludlow (RG.9/1835 folio 108 page 7) shows Louisa and her mother lodging with Joseph EDWARDS.  Also in the house were George PEARCE age 9 and Kathleen PEARCE age 8.

Mike

Ms Janet K H
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Last seen: 2 days 11 hours ago
Joined: Saturday, 25-07-2020

Hi Mike,

Thank you so much for that! I'm thrilled to learn this information. The story is that Louisa's mother was a servant who worked for the man who was her father.

I'm still baffled as to how she ended up in Yorkshire at 18 ish and what the connection was but this is a wonderful start.

Thank you again.

Janet