Lucky Days

This Suffolk couple has yet to start a family on the Shared Tree.

Ann’s death at age 35 was recorded in the same quarter of 1846 as the birth of George junior, her fifth child and third son. George senior married a woman over twenty years his junior in 1852 and he probably considered himself fortunate to have someone to help raise his children and give him a few more. Six boys duly appeared at intervals somewhat longer than the Victorian norm – three or four years rather than the usual two. William was first, followed by Lucky – by name but not by nature. He did not reach his second birthday. Boy Three was also Lucky. At 20 he was an agricultural labourer, at 30 a beer cask washer, at 40 a brewer’s drayman and at 50 a brewer’s labourer. Perhaps he liked his beer too much to consider marrying but he had an intriguing long-term relationship with the widow BACON.

Mary Ann BETTS married James Bacon, a carman, in 1862. They appear to have had ten children in 21 years. When Lucky was first recorded as a boarder with Mrs B in 1891, she was a widow. Her youngest child, Ada May, was then five years old, but the birth had been registered almost three years after James had died. Lucky was sixteen years younger than Mary. They chose not to marry but were still together as a “widow” and “boarder” in 1911. Mary wrote on the census form that she’d had eleven children and ten were still living. Ada May had not been enumerated with the family in 1901. There is a death registration in September 1900 in London City for Ada May Bacon aged fourteen.

Lucky died in the spring of 1918 aged 55 and Mary departed towards the end of 1920 aged 76. (The GRO Index gives Lucky’s age at death as 59, a “clerical error” perhaps. Lucky the First’s birth was registered in 1859.)

Lucky may have lived in Suffolk all his life but his half-brother George (junior) married a Filey woman. The eldest daughter of George and Mary née WATKINSON married John WILLIS, a fisherman who drowned from Wild Rose a hundred and twenty years ago. (See Men Overboard.)

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