John Backler and Keziah Radford Backler

John Backler (born 1796 Suffolk – 10th April 1859 Haverhill), a weaver living at Peashill Lane, Haverhill in the 1841 census, married Mary Ann Peacock (1797 – 1831) on 30th October 1815 in Bury St Edmunds (see the blog page The Descendants of Imri Backler and Frances Basham).  In the 1841 census, their son John Backler, aged 12, (1828 -1894) was living at home with his parents and his siblings; Arthur Backler, 20, a silk weaver, Charles Backler, 20, also a silk weaver, Elizabeth Backler, 12 (born 1829) and Mary Backler, 10 (born 1831).  With the rounding to the nearest 5 years of age in the 1841 census for those over 15 years old, we cannot be certain of the actual ages of Arthur and Charles.  I have further information on Charles that will feature in a later blog page.

John, a silk weaver, youngest son of John and Mary Ann, married Keziah Radford (born 1827), also a silk weaver, in 1847, and they lived at Chauntry Croft, Haverhill according to the 1851 census, with son John Backler aged 4 and daughter Sarah Backler aged 1.  By 1861, John and Keziah, had added William Backler, aged 8, Inkerman Backler, aged 5, Delhi Backler, aged 3, and Harriet Backler, aged 1, had joined John, now identified as a silk weaver, and Sarah.  Ten years later, Imri Backler, aged 8, Charles Backler, aged 6, and James Backler, aged 3, had joined the family.  By 1871, John had left home and William and Sarah were recorded as silk weavers.  Ten years later the children left at home were Harriet and Imri, both silk weavers, Charles, a cord finisher, and scholarly James.  Harriet was still at home by 1891, as was James, who broke with family tradition, becoming an ironmonger’s assistant.  A year after the turn of the century, Keziah was now a widow, being comforted at home solely by Harriet.

In the 1911 census, Keziah was still living at 5 Chauntry Row, Haverhill, aged 84 (born 1827 in Haverhill).  This census recorded that she had had 10 children, 8 of whom were still surviving.  By 1861, nine had been identified and Inkerman, who died in 1864, was the unfortunate soul, who reduced the total to eight.  I have not been able to identify the tenth child, who would have died between censuses.  Harriet was still living in the family home, now described as a hair weaver, which usually meant horse hair.

John’s and Keziah’s oldest son, John was born in the fourth quarter of 1846.  He was baptised on 13th March 1848 at St Mary the Virgin in Haverhill, and he later became John Backler Radford.  He started the Radford dynasty, when the Backler part of the name was dropped, probably incorrectly.  John married Emma Beeger in the fourth quarter of 1867.  She was bore in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland in 1847.  In 1881, the family were recorded as having the Backler surname, living in Withersfield Road, Haverhill.  Their daughter Lily was the same age as brother John, with both give as 11 years of age, so they could be twins, alongside siblings Sarah Ann 13, Alice 7, Kate 9, Jane 5 and Albert 3.  In the 1891 census they were living at 8 Broad Street, Haverhill and there were six daughters and two sons; Sarah Ann B 23, Kate B 19, Alice G B 17, Jane B 15, Albert B 13, Frank B 7, Florence E B 5 and Bertha B 4.  All of them had the surname as Radford and retained Backler as their penultimate name, so this name change took place between 1881 and 1891 for some unknown reason.  The four oldest daughters were all sewing machinists and Albert was an errand boy.  John Alfred was a machine mechanic who worked on looms.  In the 1911 census John Alfred Backler Radford aged 41 was living at 37 Eden Road, with wife Kate aged 42, daughters Lily aged 13 and Mabel aged 10 and son William John Backler Radford aged 3.  In the 1901 census additional sons Alfred Radford aged 9 and Hubert Radford aged 6 were identified.  In the 1901 census, John and Emma were at 16 Broad Street, with Alice, Jane, Albert, Florence and Bertha still at home, with the Radford name having been again dropped.  Kate had married a French born hairdresser, August J Mulard and they were living in Smith Street, Shoeburyness, Essex along with her younger brother Frank, who was listed as a hairdressers assistant.  Kate died in the Rochford district of Essex in the fourth quarter of 1936, aged 65, but her birth year may be wrong, as I suspect she was 63.  In 1911, the family were still at 16 Broad Street, with only Florence and Bertha left at home.  One of the ten siblings was no longer with us in 1911 and I need to find out which one it was and more about the Radford Backlers.

John’s and Keziah’s second son, William, was a silk weaver who married Sarah Alice.  They lived at 33 Eden Road, Haverhill.  In the 1881 census they had sons, William Bird Backler, aged 6, Frank Backler, aged 3, plus a sister Agnes Backler who was 6 months old.  In the 1891 census William Bird’s occupation was clothier’s assistant and the family had been extended by the arrival of Dora Backler, aged 5 and Minnie Backler, aged 3, both born in Haverhill.  In 1901 Agnes was recorded as a machinist – tailor and she was still living at home with Minnie.  By 1911 William was shown as the Town Hall caretaker and he had been married to Alice for 37 years.  It was noted that one of their children was not alive in the census and I need to find out who it was.

  • William Bird in the 1911 census was married to Minnie Maud, a dressmaker.  They were living at 3 Eden Road, Haverhill and it was noted that they had had a child who was no longer living and had been married 11 years.  In 1901 this child was recorded as William J A Backler, aged 2 months, when the family were living at 1 Chesterfield Corner, Cromer, Norfolk.
  • Frank, a clerk at the Co-op store, in the 1911 census was married to Flora, a dressmaker of the same age, who was born in Lavenham.  They had been married 12 years with 3 children, all of whom were living.  They lived at 23 Swan Terrace, Haverhill and their daughters were Dora Hilda Backler aged 11, Constance Gladys Backler aged 10 and Mildred Flora Backler aged 8.
  • Minnie, a dressmaker, was a boarder in Bridge Street, St Ives, Huntingdon in the 1911 census.

John’s and Keziah’s fourth son and fifth child was Delhi, a silk weaver, who married Lydia, a clothing machinist born in 1859 in Helions Bumpstead.  They were married in 1879 and by the time of the 1911 census, they had had five children, of whom four were living.  The family lived at 18 Eden Road, Haverhill and at home in the 1911 census were daughters, Ethel Backler aged 30 and Ivy May Backler aged 18, both of whom were clothing machinists.  In the 1881 census, Delhi and Lydia were living at Duddery Row with Ethel. Ten years later the family had added two sons, Frederick Backler aged 7 and Albert Backler aged 6 and had moved to Eden Road.  By 1911, Frederick was a bricklayer’s labourer and he was a lodger at 37 Dawlish Road, Tottenham, London.  In the same census, Albert too was a boarder, but at Holly Cottage, Crick, Warwickshire with the occupation of groom.

John’s and Keziah’s fifth son and seventh child was Imri, a silk weaver, born in Haverhill in 1863.  He married Mabel in 1902, who was aged 32, born in Millbrook Bedfordshire.   There was a 17 year age difference and she was his second wife.  In the 1911 census they were living at 20 Eden Road, Haverhill and there were five children, four of whom were still living.  In the 1891 census, Imri was shown as being married to Ellen Sarah, born 1863 at Great Wratting near Haverhill, with both of them aged 28.  They were living at 20 Eden Road and there were three daughters:  Edith Emily Backler aged 7 born in Great Wratting , Muriel Backler aged 5 and Rosie Backler aged 3, the latter two being born in Haverhill.  By the 1911 census, they had been joined by Constance Backler, aged 6.  Edith was a hair weaver and Muriel and Rose were clothing machinists.

John’s and Keziah’s sixth son Charles, lived with his wife Kate at 4 Mill Road, Haverhill in the 1911 census and they had been married 24 years.  Charles was a cloth cutter and Kate was a sewing machinist.  In the 1939 Register, Charles and Kate were living at 20 Broad Street, Haverhill.  Charles’s occupation was given as a retired clothier’s cutter, born 23rd April 1865 and his wife carried out unpaid domestic duties and she was born on 8th April 1865.  They had their daughter Mabel Gwendoline Backler, an elementary school teacher living with them, who was single, and she was born on 20th January 1887 in Haverhill, as were her parents.

John’s and Keziah’s youngest son was James, who lived with his wife Amy Louisa, five years his junior, at 4 Queen Street , Haverhill in the 1911 census.  They had been married 17 years and had two children living with them, Freda Maud Backler aged 14 and Gladys Backler aged 12, both born in Haverhill.  Somewhere along the line, they lost another child.  In the 1891 census, James was an ironmonger’s assistant, but by 1911 he was an outfitter shopkeeper.

This information needs checking and will be updated: Sally Backler (who married Scott).