This blog page details my direct ancestors that have been traced back to Haverhill, Suffolk. On my 4 X great grandfather Henry’s first marriage certificate to Ann Offer in Bristol, his father was recorded as Samuel, a shoemaker of London. Nothing further is confirmed about Samuel Backler, but I have research that suggests that he married Martha in Haverhill, Suffolk and that they are my 5 X great grandparents. The records of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers in London could yield further information on Samuel.
Samuel and Martha had seven children with these baptism dates all in Haverhill, Suffolk: Elizabeth Backler 12th September 1773, Martha Backler 5th March 1775, Mary Backler 25th August 1776, Samuel Backler 4th October 1778, Sarah Backler 22nd April 1781, John Backler 23rd June 1782 and the youngest, my 4 X great grandfather, Henry Backler 3rd April 1785. Henry relocated to Bristol – see the blog page My Line of Backlers in Bristol.
I know nothing further about Elizabeth, Martha, and John. Mary married Thomas Adams in Withersfield on 16th April 1801. Samuel married Elizabeth Wiffin on 27th September 1810 in Withersfield.
Sarah married George Ager in Wixoe, Suffolk on 6th April 1829. She appeared to be 20 years older than him and died in 1840, aged 59, so there is room for error here. They had a son Abram born 1831 at Birdbrook, Essex, near Haverhill, who was 20 in the 1851 census and they had a daughter Caroline born 1826 (prior to their marriage) at Bridbrook who was 35 in the 1861 census, with the married name of Barnes. In both censuses George is shown as a widower. In the 1881 census George’s occupation was ‘former coachman’ when he was aged 79, so that was probably his role at Moyn’s Park Estate, Birdbrook in later days, because prior to that he was an agricultural labourer. George had married Eliza aged 53, and by then they were living at Barnardiston, near Haverhill, and had three children all born there, William 15, Ruth 14 and Christopher 9.
This connection to Birdbrook is interesting, because Ernest William Backler, a descendant of Thomas Backler and his wife Margaret Wakeling, was employed there as an estate carpenter in the 1911 census at the age of 40, so there may have been family connections to the earlier generation recorded above. As usual, further research is needed. This blog page cannot prove that Samuel originated in Haverhill, but it is a good bet, because all seven of his children were born there, including my 4 X great grandfather. I now need to carry out further research, to see if there were any other family connections in the Haverhill area.
UPDATE 7th October 2021: Two paragraphs above, I suggested that Sarah married George Ager, whilst noting that she was 20 years older than him and so there was room for error. This has proven to be the case. Sarah Backler 1806-1863, did indeed marry the above George Ager in 1829, but she was not the Sarah who was my 4 X great grand aunt mentioned above. This younger Sarah Backler was the daughter of Stephen Backler 1783-1833, who married Sarah Hymus on 31st July 1806 in Horseheath, Cambridgeshire. After Sarah (nee Backler) died, George moved to Barnardiston and married Eliza Chapman in 1865. Stephen was the son of Samuel Backler 1751-1833 and Jane Parmenter, who married in 1773. Furthermore, there was another George Ager of the same vintage who married Caroline Taylor and they had a daughter Caroline and son Abram, with no Backler Connections at all. Because there were two George Agers of the same age, living in the same area, my initial research in the above final two paragraphs has mixed up their families.
I have heard from Mark Hunter who is a descendant of Ernest William Backler and he has provided proof that Ernest William had a daughter Mary M Backler, born in 1920, who married Harry Hunter in 1942. Ernest William was the son of Harriet Backler, born 1849. Harriet’s parents were Thomas Backler born 1816 and Mahala Smith born 1827, who were married in 1841. Thomas was the son of Thomas Backler born 1781, who was featured in my 1911 Census – Backler Families blog page (at number 11 in the list) and Margaret Wakeling. They were married in 1812. Ernest William married Laura Mason in 1897 and there was no father recorded on his marriage certificate, so we can safely conclude that he was born out of wedlock. So the first conclusion from this additional detailed research is that there is no connection between the Sarah in my line to the Sarah who married George Ager, and a second conclusion is that neither Sarah is connected to Mark Hunter’s line through Ernest William. Mark and I may possibly be distantly related, but we are unable to prove this either way without DNA testing.