Friday, March 2, 2012



Susannah CANWELL was baptised at Wisbech St. Mary, Cambs, on 3 Nov 1816. Her parents were John and Mary CANWELL.

After her mother's death in 1819, Susanna and her father John moved across the county boundary to the Downham Market area (where father John lived as a farrier until 1846).

Susannah married twice. Firstly to John CATCHPOLE on 12 Aug 1849 at Downham Market. She had four (illegitimate) children before her marriage and six after but child #2 onwards took John's name. All these children stayed in Norfolk apart from one (George, more on him another day). Their daughter Eliza was my great grandma. John CATCHPOLE died in 1863.

Susanna married William CHAPMAN on 15 Sep 1866 at Stow Bardolph church. They had no children together (after all, Susanna was 50 at marriage)'s where it gets a bit complicated. (This took me ages to fathom when I was first researching my family tree!) As William's son Robert from his first marriage married John & Susan's daughter Eliza, Susan was my 2x gt grandmother on 2 counts. Susan died in 1901 and is buried at Stow Bardolph, Norfolk aged 85.


SheilaMatilda said...

Naughty Susannah. Was she not free to marry the father of all these illegitimate children? I wonder if her neighbours knew she wasn't married or if she kept up appearances of being so. Things were so different then it is hard to know what people thought. I have several cases where the marriage was not very long before births.

Sheila Pratt said...

What a strong woman Susannah was! It's really amazing how many people think women did not follow their passions back then.