An Elusive Wife

William James WHEELER was still a young man when his wife Sarah died. She left him with four children aged seven down to a few months. He didn’t rush to find a second wife. Indeed, on the FamilySearch Shared Tree, he appears not to have married again.

In 1871 he is living with his in-laws and three of his children in Mosey’s Yard, Filey. James is away on census night. Lodging with the family is George LEWIS, 24, from “Rubeary”, Norfolk. (Ruberry Hill, possibly.)

In 1881, William has a wife called Jane, a couple of years his senior – and also from Norfolk, giving her birthplace as Tilney All Saints. (This village is about forty miles from Ruberry Hill.) They are living in Seamer and have a boarder, railway clerk David YOUNG, 17.

In 1891 there were just the two of them at home on census night.

In 1901 they have another railway clerk boarding, plus a very young visitor – Arthur WELBURN, 7.

1n 1911, William’s wife from Tilney All Saints is called “Jeminah” but he writes on the form that they have been married 35 years and have had four children. One is still living.

Just William married Jemima EARNISH in Scarborough in 1875 but I cannot find any births to a woman with this maiden surname. A woman born VASSALLI had four Wheeler children in Scarborough between 1886 and 1894 but I haven’t had time to check if three died in infancy. For now, William (who is William James now and then) must remain once-married on the Shared Tree.

William James is an uncle to Mary WHEELER Crimlis, common ancestors being William Wheeler and Mary DENT.

Landscape 158 · Cayton Bay


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