William Edward Backler was the brother of Charles the Bootmaker of Shipdham – see separate blog page. The page about Charles has more information on Shipdham and the antecedents of William and his younger brother Charles and their younger brother George identified below.
William was born 7th May 1806 in Shipdham and baptised the same day. He was a boot and shoemaker, following in the family tradition. He married Mary Ann Mower in Westfield, Norfolk on 2nd October 1827 and the witnesses were Charles Frost and Elizabeth Cordy. Mary was born in Westfield on 11th February 1807 then baptised a few days later on St Valentine’s Day and she was the daughter of James Mower and Mary Cordy. William died in the second quarter of 1863 in Holborn. I was provided with the original of Mary’s death certificate by Barbara Meredith who writes the http://www.backlers.com blog. Mary Ann died on 9th January 1858 at 1 Lanes Court, Clerkenwell, aged 51 from asthma and dropsy. Ann Backler (presumably daughter Mary below) was present at the death and she was noted as living at the same address. William Edward and Mary Ann had eight children as follows:
- William Edward Backler was born 1st June 1828 and baptised in Shipdham on 22nd June. In the 1851 census he was living with George Backler, who was also a bootmaker born in Shipdham in 1817. He was an uncle and younger brother of William Edward senior and Charles. In the census William Edward junior was recorded as a niece instead of a nephew. George married Mary (born 1816 in Oxfordshire in 1829 and in 1851 they were living at 7 Prospect Place, Leyton Road, West Ham. William Edward junior died in the third quarter of 1871 aged 43 in Wandsworth. He married either Sarah Kemble or Elizabeth Brooks in the last quarter of 1866 in East London, but I have not been able to find any more information about him.
- James Moses Backler was born 1830 in West Bradenham. In the 1851 census James was living with his wife Alice (nee Jackson) aged 23, a dressmaker born in Wycombe, at Little Warner Street, Clerkenwell. They had a son, William Backler, born 1851 in Clerkenwell. By the 1861 census the family were living at 1 Kings Head Court, Shoreditch and their name was mis-spelt as Bachler. They had two daughters, Alice Backler aged 1 and Mary Ann Backler aged under 1, both born in Shoreditch, as well as 10 year old William. James and Alice were married in the third quarter of 1850 in Shoreditch. James died in Poplar in the first quarter of 1896, aged 67, and Alice died in the third quarter of 1883 in Kensington, aged 56. In the 1871 census, William had left home and his two sisters were still living with their parents.
- George Frost Backler was born 3rd March 1832 in East Bradenham and baptised the next day. He either died in the first quarter of 1859 in Shoreditch or in the third quarter of 1879 in Holborn and I need to try and establish the correct date.
- Mary Backler was born 1834, about whom I have found nothing else.
- John Cordy Backler born 7th January 1837 in East Bradenham and baptised on 26th February. In the 1871 census he was living at Albion Street, Islington, with wife Eliza Matilda Reed (born 1840 in Devon) and son John William Backler aged 3 (born third quarter 1867). They were married in the third quarter of 1862 in Shoreditch. In the 1881 census they were living at 1 Whitefriars Dock, London. They had a daughter Mary A Backler, born in 1871 and their niece Minnie Backler, born in 1874, was also living with them alongside John William. Mary A married Robert Lawrence in Islington in the last quarter of 1896. John William married Jane Brookes in the third quarter of 1888 in Shoreditch and he died in the first quarter of 1923 in Whitechapel, London, aged 56. In the 1891 census, John William was shown as a railway carman and they had two sons, John William Backler aged 2 (born 1888) and George H Backler, who was under 1. They were living at Netherton Place, Islington. In the 1901 census, John William and Jane had two further children, Florence (Flora) Backler, born 1892, and Charles Backler, born 1898. They were living at 7 Sidney Place, St Luke, Holborn. By the 1911 census, the family were living at 17 City Garden Row, Islington and further children had arrived, Jane Backler, born 1902, Frederick Backler, born 1905 and Earnest Backler, born 1911. In the 1939 Register, John William was shown as living at 88 New Cross Road, Deptford and his date of birth was given as 9th November 1888. He was living with wife Mary, born 2nd October 1894 and the household had four other unidentified members. Three generations of John William’s may make this difficult to follow!
- Mary Ann Backler born 1837, about whom I have found nothing further.
- Hagar Backler born 1839 and baptised in East Bradenham, with nothing further known.
- Emily Backler born 28th July 1846, baptised 27th August in Bradfield. She was an inmate in Pentonville Prison aged 24 in the 1871 census. She married Matthew Henry Newsom in Shoreditch, London in the third quarter of 1867. I have not been able to find anything further, but it seems strange that she was an inmate under her maiden name, when it appears that she was married already, so there is room for error here.
This piece of research was prompted by the gift of the death certificate by Barbara Meredith, mentioned above, and it shows quite a dynasty of Backlers developing from Shipdham. There is much more research to do, but this gives a flavour of how William Edward widened the Backler locations into London from Norfolk. I would love to know how the Backlers arrived in Shipdham in the first place.