Tag Archives: Sarah


Sarah Tearle, 1823, Toddington, UK

In the 1841 census of Toddington, William 1796 and Catherine nee Fossey, along with Sarah, Moses and John are all bracketed as “Ag Lab” which simply means general workers of one sort or another, no matter how skilled the work might be. In 1843, Sarah had her own son, Joseph 1843 in Toddington, and he was baptised by her on 16 Apr 1843. In the 1851 Toddington census, the 8yr old Joseph is listed as “grandson” in William’s family of Catherine, Sarah, John and Joseph.

1851 = William 1797 Stbg Catherine 52 Sarah 26 John 18 Joseph gs 8 in Tod

Even at 8yrs, little Joseph is already a “Platter,” making Bedfordshire straw into little strips and then plaiting it into bundles to be made into hats.

Sarah married John Garner of Toddington on 03 Nov 1856 in Toddington and in the 1861 census they are living in Parsonage End, Toddington.

1861 = Joseph 1843 Tod w John and Sarah Garner in Tod

John and Joseph are classified as Ag Lab and Sarah is a laundress.

The 1871 census image is corrupt and won’t load, but in 1881 Joseph is out on his own (we’ll catch up with him shortly) and Sarah and John, still living in Parsonage End, have been joined by their 9yr old niece Martha. She is the daughter of Sarah’s brother, John 1831 Tod.

1881 = Martha 1872 Tod niece to John Garner 58 Sarah 56 in Tod

In 1891, same address, Martha and Sarah are both listed as laundress. Without rubber gloves, and with only Victorian soap to use (my mum used to make it herself, so I suppose they did, too) one can only imagine the state of their hands. This is not trivial.

1891 = Martha 1872 Tod niece to John Garner 71 in Tod

In 1901, now 78yrs old, Sarah is living in Station Road, on one side the blacksmith Harry Holman and on the other Ann Worthington, 74 of “own means.” On census night she records a visiting Washerwoman, Eliza Ann Smith 25. The enumerator notes that Sarah is “nearly blind” and there is no occupation recorded for her – not even parish relief.


Sarah Tearle nee Bishop, 1829, Oxon, UK

I am now going to have a look at the story of Sarah Bishop b1829 of Little Milton, Oxfordshire. I don’t have the 1841 census return because she would have been 12 so possibly at home in Little Milton and there are three Sarah Bishops there. Without the marriage certificate, I can’t be sure I have the right one.

HOWEVER – in 1851, Sarah is a servant for a farmer in Slapton, Bucks and there she meets our handsome John.

1851 = Sarah Bishop 1829 Oxon servt to Thomas Ginger Slapton

In 1861 Sarah and John have a lovely family, John is a maltster and Sarah looks like she can afford to stay home and look after the children.

1861 = John 1825 Dagnall Sarah 32 William 8 George 6 Jabez 5 Sarah A 3 Louisa B 1 in Slapton

John dies in 1867 and times get very difficult. William goes to live with Uncle George in Watford (John’s brother) while George becomes apprenticed to a grocer in Dunstable. By 1871 Sarah is called a victualler and has only Jabez, Sarah and Anna left at home, while Louisa is a nursemaid in the household of Alfred Gurney, a malster of Slapton. Perhaps he works for Sarah… But I suppose there is more than one pub in the village. Sarah is running the Carpenter’s Arms.

1871 = Sarah 1829 Oxon Jabez 16 Sarah A 13 Anna F 7 in Slapton

In 1881, Sarah is a publican and grocer. Another example of just how strong and determined our Victorian mothers were. It looks as though the business has grown. Sarah Ann is a dressmaker, possibly working from the store, as is Louisa, now back home with Mother. Anna is a pupil teacher. In the 1880s a pupil teacher was a teacher apprentice (sort of) and was working to get onto the teaching staff as opposed to an assistant teacher, who helped out, but would never become a teacher.

1881 = Sarah 1829 Oxon Sarah A 23 Louisa B 21 Ann T 17 in Slapton

In 1891, Sarah and dau Sarah Ann are running the business in Leighton Rd, Slapton in a property called a “public house and grocer” by the census enumerator. Sarah Ann is running her dressmaking business from the premises, probably helping Mother in busy times. Sarah calls herself an Innkeeper and grocer. She is 62, still working.

1891 = Sarah 1829 Oxon Sarah A 35 in Slapton

In 1901 Sarah and Sarah Ann are in Ivinghoe! Sarah, at 72 is now a retired grocer and Sarah Ann is still a dressmaker “on own account” meaning she is not on parish relief. They are living next door to George and Susan Ginger. He is a lock-keeper on the canal and I wonder if it is this pair who has drawn Sarah to Ivinghoe. We may never know, but Sarah has well deserved a quiet and gracious retirement.

1901 = Sarah 1829 Little Milton Oxon Sarah Ann 43 in Ivinghoe.

Here is the last chapter in the story of Sarah nee Bishop. Pat Field sent me this picture from the Ivinghoe Churchyard. She says:

“Have today found a Tearle Gravestone in Ivinghoe. The details on the stone were “In Loving Memory of Sarah Ann Tearle who died Aug 19th 1910 aged 52yrs also Sarah Tearle Mother of above who died Oct 5 1915 aged 87yrs.”

She certainly did have a nice long retirement.

Sarah Tearle headstone, Ivinghoe

Sarah Tearle headstone, Ivinghoe