Friday, 22 April 2011

Silvester Read 1815-1879 and Isabella Child 1815-1857

Silvester Read was born in 1815 in Willenhall, a small town near Wolverhampton in Staffordshire, England. He was the son of Thomas Read and Ann Hill, and was baptised on 9 July 1815.

On 1 December 1833, Silvester married Isabella Child at Edgbaston Parish Church in Birmingham, Warwickshire. Isabella was born on 18 September 1815 at Navigation Street, Birmingham, the daughter of brass founder John Child and his wife Susanna Shore.

The couple settled in central Birmingham and had 11 children together:

Thomas Read 1834-1843
Isabella Read 1836-1909
Sylvester Read 1838-1895
John Read 1840-1843
Ann Read 1842-1844
Catherine Read 1844-1906
Thomas Read 1846-1848
Ann Read 1848-1850
Sarah Read 1850-1920
Elizabeth Read 1854-1921
Arthur Read 1856-1911

In the early years of the marriage, Silvester worked as a curry comb maker (1833-1838), but by 1840 he was working as an iron plate worker and he continued in this work for the next couple of decades.

Isabella died on 11 August 1857 after a long illness, leaving six children aged from 21 down to 1 without a mother.

Silvester remarried just over a year later, on 29 September 1858. His new wife was a widow, who had six children of her own. Ann Allen had been born Ann Terry on 20 January 1823 in Birmingham. She married Thomas Allen in late 1842, and lived with him in Aston (a suburb of Birmingham). Thomas died in 1855 (I think), leaving Ann to care for her children alone.

Initially, Silvester continued to be an iron plate worker. However, by 1861 the couple had moved in with Ann's mother-in-law, Catherine Allen, who ran a pub called the Fox and Grapes on Freeman Street, Birmingham. On the census, Silvester was listed as a licenced victualler (by this time the sale of alcohol was illegal without a licence) working beside Catherine.

Silvester and Ann had five children together:

Charles Abraham Read 1859-1935
Emma Lucy Read 1862-??
Alice Read 1863-1928
William Read 1865-??
Mary Read 1867-??

The couple continued to run the Fox and Grapes until Silvester's death on 15 September 1879. His will left legacies of £50 each to the surviving children of his first marriage, with the residue left to support his widow. Anything left after Ann died was to be divided between the children of the second marriage. Ann ran the pub alone until well into the 1890s, and died in 1897.

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