St Paulinus

St Paulinus

I drove through Crayford in north east Kent this morning, during a trip to Chatham, and took the opportunity to stop off at St Paulinus Church. This was formerly known as Crayford Parish Church and where my great-grandparents Sarah and Thomas Ames married on 16 July 1871.

Thomas, a bricklayer by trade, was born in 1842 in Smeeth and baptized at St Mary, Smeeth, on 20 June 1842.

Sarah was born in Upton, Bexley, Kent in 1833. She had married her previous husband, publican James Tutt on 14 June 1857 in Southwark. However he had died in 1866.

The April 1871 census lists Sarah as the head of the household at the Fountain Inn in Strood, with an occupation of licensed victualler and living with the children from her first marriage. Namely James Tutt aged 12, who was to become a renowned entomologist and author, Harry Tutt 10, Julia Tutt 9 and Minnie Tutt 5. Thomas is listed as a boarder in the pub along with a number of others.

The 1881 census lists Thomas (39) builder and licensed victualler as the head of the Inn, living with Sarah (48), now his wife, Minnie Tutt (15), and their children Thomas Ames (9) and Herbert Ames (4), plus servants Mary Marshall (43) and George Driver (17).

Herbert, born 1877, is my grandfather and the main survivor of Thomas and Sarah’s offspring. In September 1891 the eldest Thomas, then aged 19, drowned at sea (see my earlier post for more on this tragic event). Their two daughters also sadly passed away at a very young age. Laura died 17 November 1878 aged 3 years and 4 months while Sarah Ann died 13 August 1874 aged just 13 months.

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