The Shakespeares of
The Shakespeares of
The earliest record of a Shakespeare in Polesworth is Joseph Shakespeare who married Judith Smith 13 November 1774. Their descendants are dealt with seperately.
Bev Shakespeare, of New Zealand, has provided details from the Polesworth Parish Registers:
|Baptisms 1779 - 1837|
|Marriages 1754 - 1837|
|Burials 1770 - 1837|
Sorting out the relationships of these Shakespeare families is proving problematical, which is surprising given the small size of the village!
An Edward Shakespeare is first recorded in 1793. At first glance it might appear that there were two different individuals of this name - one married to Hannah and one married to Dorothy - however inspection of the parish registers reveals a Hannah Shakespeare buried 24 May 1793, six days prior to the baptism of Hannah daughter of Edward and Hannah. The seems to be the mother, who quite likely died in childbirth. It seems that Edward remarried just over six months later to Dorothy Holmes. This is followed by baptisms of five of their children over the next twelve years.
Edwards age at death in 1843 (from his death certificate) would place his birth around 1759. This would make him of about the right age to be a son of the Joseph mentioned above, from a possible earlier marriage - assuming Joseph to be of the same age, or older than Judith Smith who he married in 1774. It is also just conceivable that Edward might be a much younger sibling. Either of these hypotheses would fit the appearance of these two individuals in the small village of Polesworth.
Edward Shakespeare seems to be the one who married Hannah Heeling in 1788 in Walton Upon Trent, Derbyshire, and the baptism of their son William is recorded there the following year. This is consistent with the age of William whose children (with his wife Sarah) were recorded as being baptised at Polesworth between 1814 and 1826.
|However, there are three entries on
the IGI for children of an Edward and 'Hanner' Shakespeare at Kingsbury,
One anomaly with William is that the 1851 census gives his birthplace as Walsall (no County given). Is this the census enumerator recording what he thought he heard as Walsall (which is nearby in Staffordshire) and with which he was probably familiar, as opposed to Walton (in Derbyshire) which he may not have heard of?
Current research on Edward Shakespeare is as follows (assuming that William born 1789 is in fact the son of Edward Shakespeare and Hannah Heeling):
A separate section details the Burials and Monumental Inscriptions at Polesworth.