Joseph, 1781

1781 (Buckland) – 1850 (Broadway)

Our 1st cousin 6xremoved Joseph Pitman, son of William Pitman and his wife Ann (née Bloxham) was baptised at Buckland on 27 May 1781, and presumably had been born either there or the nearby hamlet of Laverton (although his father was originally from Didbrook a few miles to the south). When Joseph was three years old his father William died, at the age of just 44, and Bigland’s transcript of his gravestone in Buckland churchyard tells us he was “of Laverton”.

Laverton: the old school and schoolhouse

Laverton: the old school and schoolhouse

In November 1789 James Sperry of Laverton left £10 in his will to “Joseph Pitman the Son of Widow Pitman” in order that he should be apprenticed, with a further £10 when he had “served his time to a handicraft trade”. Probate was granted in March 1790, and all the evidence suggests that Joseph was apprenticed to William Wheatly a cordwainer in Weston Subedge in August 1791 (Weston Subedge being about 5 miles north-east of Laverton). The apprenticeship had at least one hitch, according to this newspaper notice from 1794, but seems to have been completed as Joseph is described as either a cordwainer or a shoemaker in the baptisms of his children at nearby Broadway, where the family lived, as well as in the 1841 census.

Joseph married twice, and had ten children in all, five of whom died in infancy. His first marriage was in 1805, to Elizabeth Evans, and took place in Stanton (a village close to Buckland). They apparently took up residence in Broadway soon after, and their six children were all baptised there. Elizabeth died in 1823, and Joseph married again, we believe to Mary Allcroft, a widow, at St Peter’s church in Worcester in February 1825. Joseph and Mary apparently had four children (although we have not found baptisms for them all). Two of them died as babies, another when just a teenager. Joseph himself died at Broadway on 19 June 1850, at the age of 69. Curiously, despite having these details we have been unable to find his burial.

The church of St Eadburgha, Broadway, where Joseph's children were baptised

The church of St Eadburgha, Broadway, where Joseph’s children were baptised

Elizabeth Evans    19 November 1805    Stanton

William        1806 – 1863
Ann              1809 – 1891
Thomas       1811 – 1880
Elizabeth     1814 –
James           1817 – 1822
Sarah           1821 – 1822

Mary Allcroft (née ——)    23 February 1825    Worcester (St Peter)

Charles        1825 – 1826
Joseph         1827 – 1827
Joseph         1830 –
Mary          c1831 – 1843