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How can I find my missing baker ancestor?

- Liz Stewart-Smith Alan Stewart

QMy great great grandfathe­r, William Farren (born 1811), was a baker. In the 1851 census, his first wife, Sarah, and son, Joseph James, are living in Stepney, but William is missing – I assume he’s at work. In 1841, baker Moses Stoneham’s household included Frances Carter (born 1819), William’s second wife.

Electoral registers for 1857/1858 list Moses at 17 Northampto­n Road. Was William working for Moses at this address in 1851? I can’t find it (I understand some pages of the 1851 Clerkenwel­l census are unintellig­ible).

AI used the address-search facility at Findmypast ( findmypast.co.uk) to find Northampto­n Road in the 1851 census. The house numbers are not given in the search results, so I looked at each record until I came to number 17. Moses Stoneham’s wife Elizabeth is there with their two sons, two daughters and a widow named Ann Billings.

Moses Stoneham, Frances Carter and William Farren are not at that address, however. Nor can they be found anywhere else in the 1851 census. I think you’re right that they would be working through the night (probably together), but not at 17 Northampto­n Road, which was probably the Stonehams’ private address.

By 1861, Moses and his family had moved round the corner to a baker’s shop at 11 Bowling Green Lane. Moses wasn’t there in 1851, however, when the occupier was a baker named Richard Fisher.

In the 1841 census, William and Sarah Farren and their son Joseph were living in South Street, Stratford, West Ham, Essex. Twenty years later, William was boarding with a married woman named Sarah Brien, the wife of a musician. William and another boarder are listed as journeymen bakers.

I suggest that you search trade directorie­s for the bakers between 1841 and 1861. Moses is at 11 Bowling Green Lane in the 1860 Post Office Directory on Ancestry ( ancestry.co.uk). TheGenealo­gist ( thegenealo­gist.co.uk) has London directorie­s for 1846, 1852, 1856 and 1859, and the free website specialcol­lections.le. ac.uk is also worth checking out.

 ?? ?? Liz’s ancestor William Farren with his wife Sarah
Liz’s ancestor William Farren with his wife Sarah

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