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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

William Payne Curtis of Warminster

One of Ari’s 5x great-grandfathers was William Payne Curtis, son of Thomas Curtis and Rachael Pain. He was born in Warminster, Wiltshire, in about 1802, and baptised on  September 19th at the church of St Denys.


On 14 March 1822 he married Elizabeth (Betsy) West, of the nearby village of Norton Bavant. The marriage was announced in the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette:

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(This is the only record I have found where he has the middle name Payne.)

In the 1841 census they are living in South Alley, Warminster, and William is working as a butcher’s labourer.

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Six children had been born by this date but the first daughter, Eliza (who would have been 9), is missing from this census. It looks as though another Eliza was born later that year.

There is some untangling to do with this family. In addition to the fact that William’s parents seem to have had 19 children, there is another William (born in 1790), and the later census records do suggest that William and Betsy had a ten-year age difference. I don’t yet have a reliable death date for William. Also, I have a note that William was in the Union workhouse in 1838 but I now have no idea where that came from. (Very frustrating, but a good reminder that keeping a note of sources is worth doing!)


The workhouse had been built in 1837 and was designed in a hexagonal shape. See more details here. It closed in 1929, and now provides some very nice-looking accommodation!


Ari, this is how you are related to William:

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