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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Sarah Welch from Corfe Castle

Sarah Welch was Ari’s 5x great-grandmother. She was born in Corfe Castle in 1817, the seventh child of a tailor, Henry Welch, and his wife, Sarah Stockley. She was baptised on 22 June.

Sarah’s father died when she was just eighteen, and two years later she married William Orchard.

Their first child was Susan Ann, who was born in time to be recorded in the 1841 census. The family were living in West Street with Sarah’s mother. As well as baby Susan, aged eight months, there was a three-year-old child called Edna Toop. Susan Ann married a shoemaker called George Stockley, and died in 1915.

Sarah’s next child was Ari’s ancestor, Emma. Then came Henry in 1845. In 1865, he was charged with stealing salt fish and sentenced to seven days’ hard labour in Dorset County Gaol.

Western Gazette, 24 November 1865

Next was Elizabeth Sarah, who married a hairdresser called William Strange. Then Lucy Mary, born in 1851. She married a railway porter called William Mumford in Lambeth, and died aged only thirty the following year, perhaps in childbirth. Sarah’s next child was William, born in 1855, who also died young, in 1891. The youngest child was Edna, born in 1858. She left home and went to work as a draper’s assistant to John Chibnall Brice, a master draper in Peckham. She then married a tobacconist called John Leonard Thackway and moved to Hereford.

Sarah was still living in West Street, Corfe Castle, in 1881, next door to her husband’s brother Thomas, who was a coal merchant. Her son William was living next door with his wife and young son.

Sarah died on 11 July 1883, with the cause of death given as phtisis, certified by Dr William E. Humble, who was coroner for the borough. Her daughter Susan Ann was present when she died. Her funeral took place on 15 July at the Old Cemetery in Corfe Castle. When we visited the cemetery in 2017 we found her gravestone lying flat on the ground.

Ari, this is how you are related to Sarah:

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