Sunday, 7 January 2018

Elizabeth Duff Butchers 1833-1896






The oldest photo I have of any of my Ancestors, this is my paternal Great Great Grandmother Elizabeth Duff Butchers.

Elizabeth was the 2nd of 10 children of Alexander Duff Butchers (1804-1891) and Maria Crowhurst (1812-1888).   Elizabeth was born in Winchelsea in 1833 and baptised at St Mary the Virgin, Rye on 20th December 1833.  At the age of 8 she was living in Camber with her parents, her father Alexander showing as a Master Mariner, he later became a customs officer at Camber.  Smuggling was rife along this part of the coast at this time, with numerous stories of derring-do.


By the 1851 census at the age of 18 she is shown living and working at Royal William Inn, Camber, which was run by her Grandmother Elizabeth Butchers (1785-1860) and step Grandfather William Morris (1781-1858) which was ultimately taken over by her father Alexander around 1860 after  the deaths of his mother Elizabeth Butchers and her husband William Morris.   The first licensee was William Morris, landlord from 1807 to 1858. Prior to 1807 he was a carpenter on a ship called the Royal William.  Unfortunately the original Old Billy as it was affectionately called was burnt down in the 1890's


On 27 March 1852 Elizabeth married Thomas Wood (1826-1907) a “looker” from Midley (Romney Marshes) at St Thomas’ Winchelsea, Sussex.  They went on to have 15 children over 25 years all living into adulthood and spreading the Wood family far and wide.  Their first child was William (1852-1869) who was baptised 30th May1852 in East Guldeford just 2 months after their March marriage, he unfortunately died of typhoid at the age of 16.  Elizabeth’s second son Thomas (1854-1904) took an assisted passage to Australia after a disagreement with his father (see transcription of letter below) emigrating in the late 1870’s he married in Australia 1882.  Their eldest daughter Elizabeth (1861-1925) married and had 3 children and at the ripe old age of 49 emigrated with her whole family to USA in 1911 finally settling in California.

All 15 of Elizabeth's children were
William Wood (1852-1869)
Thomas Wood (1854-1904)
Henry Wood (1855-1929)
Edmund Wood (1857-1931)
Joseph Wood (1859-1932)
Elizabeth Wood (1861-1925)
Sarah Ann Wood (1863-1916)
Alexander Wood (1865-1939)
Julia Wood (1867-1899)
Caroline Wood (1868-1933)
Eliza Wood (1870- ?)
Kate Wood (1872- ?)
Maria Wood (1873-1939)
Louisa Wood (1875-1965)
Charlotte Wood (1877-1918)

Elizabeth lived in the same house from 1859 until her death. It was at the west end of Lydd High Street, pictured in this postcard, the house is the one far left, only William (Winchelsea), Thomas, Henry and Edmund (all Midley) were not born in this Lydd home. 







Elizabeth died in Lydd in April 1896 at the age of 63 and was buried in Lydd on 22 April 1896, she was survived by her husband Thomas who died 11 years later

The Transcript of the letter to Thomas from his mother

My dearest son,
I received you affionate letter and was very thankful to receive it. Dear son I should very much like to see your dear face again before I die but thank god I am very well as when you left home. Your brothers and sisters are all very well - they are nearly all out now I have only got 3 at home now. Your Father was very much put out to think you did not mention his name in your letter. He says he has forgiven you freely dear son. Your Father seems a different man altogether he his very stirdy now he his on the road working 2s 3d a day. Your Fathers best love to you he says he will write to you. we are all the same as when you left we still live in the same old house were you brought your little dog up stairs to the children.  dear son I have such a lot of news to tell you if you get them all dear son I should like to have a Austria [sic] Paper if you cant not answer my letter directly. Paper in return if you can. I must just ask about my new daughter name and baby and hope you are comful.  my baby is 6 year old now Charllotte. I must now end with your brothers and sisters love they all wish to be remember to you my son. We ar all alive and kicking still. They all say give my love to poor Tom. Harry has still got your scarf what you used to wear at the Lydd club he says he will never part with it as long as he lives. I feel as if I could write forty letter to night you my dear son but I must end now. good night from your ever loving and affionate mother Elizabeth Wood
god bless you all








NB.  A looker is the name shepherds were given on the marshes

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