Peasants to Puddles
My Family History - By Nicky Rowberry

The Whittingtons

Elizabeth Whittington was one of my 4x great grandmothers. She was born in 1777 the fourth known child of William Whittington and Elizabeth Newball. In 1796 she married William Shepherd in Sileby, Leicestershire and they went on to have 10 children, the youngest of whom was my 3xgreat grandfather George Shepherd. Elizabeth's husband William Shepherd was probably about 15 years older than her and died in 1823, leaving her a relatively young widow. Fortunately she married again (to John Stocks, this time a much younger man) and lived well into her eighties. In 1851 John & Elizabeth were living in Barrow upon Soar, with 2 of Elizabeth's grandchildren. The table below gives a transcription from the 1851 census (HO107 Piece 2087 Folio 154 Page 35):

Parish or Township of Ecclesiastical District of City or Borough ofTown ofVillage of
Barrow upon Soar      
No. of Schedule Name of Street, Place, or Road, and Name or No. of HouseName and Surname of each person who abode in the house, on the Night of 30th March, 1851Relation to Head of FamilyCondition AgeRank, Profession or OccupationWhere Born
153 Bridge StreetJohn StocksHeadMarried 58Ag LabourerLeics, Hoton
   Elizabeth StocksWifeMarried 73 Leics, Sileby
   Ann TopleyGrandauUnm20Dress MakerLeics, Barrow
   Mary TopleyGrandauUnm16Dress MakerNotts, Wysall

Elizabeth died in 1861 having sadly outlived both her husbands, even the younger one. To read more about Elizabeth's descendents click here:

Elizabeth was the fourth known child of William Whittington and Elizabeth Newball who had married in Walton on the Wolds in 1763. Elizabeth's brother William Whittington married Mary Henson and remained in Sileby producing at least 7 children, so there are probably a lot of Whittington descendants out there. Their father, William Whittington senior, had been born in nearby Seagrave to Thomas Whittington and his second wife Mary Bayley. Sadly Thomas Whittington died when William was only about 4 and his mother remarried. Unusually Thomas left a will; I say unusually because he was only a labourer and very few of those left wills as they didn't have enough possessions to warrant it. In it he leaves all his clothes to his oldest son Andrew Whittington (from his first marriage to Margaret Woollerton), apart from his grey coat and waistcoat which he left to William (with the instruction they be made into clothes for him as they were presumably way too big for a 4 year old!). He leaves his daughter Ann (from the first marriage) a bedstead and covers, blankets, pillows and flaxen sheets which had belonged to her mother. He then leaves all his sheep (that are alive at clipping day) to be divided between his 4 surviving children. His wife Mary got his cows, cattle and anything else that was left. It may not seem a huge amount, but for a labourer he was probably doing quite well. He signed the will with just a mark, so presumably couldn't read or write.

I've traced families for some of the children of William & Elizabeth Whittington as can be seen on the tree below. There must be an awful lot of descendants out there - it would be lovely to hear from some of you.

The family tree below summarises what I know about the Whittington family. It is hopefully reasonably accurate, but if you spot any errors, or any relatives, please feel free to E-mail me

Please click on one of the red links on the tree to move to a different page.

If any of the above is of further interest, please feel free to contact me at:

Nicky Rowberry 2020

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Peasants to Puddles - My Family History. By Nicky Rowberry