The Cheeseman Family

(Last updated: 12 October 2012)

Life in England

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John Cheeseman convict

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Life in England

The Cheeseman line of the family comes from the area around the adjoining villages of West Hythe and Lympne (pronounced 'Lim') in southeastern Kent in England. Both villages have long histories. During Roman times much of the area now known as Romney Marsh comprised tidal flats that at high tide were covered by the sea. The Romans established a harbour town and associated military base (called Lemanae) at the mouth of the River Limene (or Rother) which ran into Romney Marsh from the hills bordering its northern reaches. Over time the river silted up and the offshore island where the town of Romney is today became connected to the mainland. A large and shallow harbour was thus formed which was called New Haven by the Saxons who by then had replaced the Romans.

The Saxons established a fishing village, named Hudanfleot, on the northern reach of New Haven harbour and gradually drained the surrounding marshlands. This led the old port of Lemanae (now known as Lympne) to become gradually landlocked. As the waters of the harbour receded the village of Hudenfleot also spread eastward and eventually divided into two: the original Hudenfleot (known first as Old Hythe and then as West Hythe) and a new harbourside village called Hythe (whose name derived from the old English word hyo , meaning landing place). During the reign of King William I, Hythe was incorporated into the confederation of Cinque Ports even though it was more a fishing village than a port.

west hythe parish churchWest Hythe remained a non-corporate member of the Cinque Ports operating under the overall control of the Hythe authorities. In the 1790s a visitor to West Hythe reported that 'there is no village; but there are about fifteen straggling houses, and the ruins of the church [pictured on the left], at the foot of the hill, close to the marsh grounds. Several large thriving elms grow near the foot of the hill, going down to the church; a tree very rare indeed near this place'. The village's population in 1801 stood at 81. This grew to 237 (and 21 houses) in 1841 but in the following decades the number again declined to be 123 in 1871. Although small, the village 'sought to retain its separate identity under the descendants of those who did not desert the original homestead, together with the old but humble parish church' of St Mary. In his history of West Hythe, Douglas Welby notes that among the village's more notable inhabitants in the late 1790s was a grazier named Stephen Cheeseman.

hythe in 1837During this time Hythe had developed into a picturesque market town replete, as Pigot's 1840 directory enthralled, 'with romantic scenery' and 'numerous pleasant walks and rides'. This was especially so during the bathing season when the township and its three 'excellent inns' swelled with visitors who would amble over the surrounding hills--from where, on a clear day, they could see the coast of France--visit the local military barracks that had been established there during the Napoleonic wars, and take advantage of Hythe's well-stocked public library and reading rooms. The very circumstances that made the town attractive to visitors, however, operated against those among the lower orders who needed to work all year to support their growing families. During the long winter months, when seasonal gales lashed the coast and the houses of the gentry were closed down, the opportunities for even skilled artisans reduced dramatically. For unskilled workers like Benjamin Cheeseman, the winter months were particularly hard imposing on many the added indignity of having to seek assistance from the Parish Chest, or worse, having to place their loved ones into the Elham or Romney Union Poor Houses. Little wonder the lure of colonial life with its temperate climate, plentiful food and above average wages was felt so strongly by the labouring classes of southeast England.

west hythe 2002Parish registers and other data show that there have been Cheesemans in the area of West Hythe, Lympne and Hythe since at least the late 1500s. A John Cheesman, John Chisman and William Chessman married Eleth Haman, Agnes Andrew and Margaret Labourer in Hythe in 1593, 1602 and 1606 respectively. Subsequent marriages included John Cheesman to Alice Beane in Hythe in 1629 and John Cheeseman to Aoict Slaint in Lympne in 1633. Between 1649 and 1700 at least a further 14 marriages involving different Cheesemans took place in Hythe, Lympne and the adjoining villages of Burmarsh and Dymchurch. The name and associated families were spreading.

There is little indication of who these Cheesemans were or what they did. One exception was John Cheeseman, a fisherman of Hythe who on 30 September 1658 signed (with a cross or 'mark') an agreement with the Hythe corporation and its clerk, John Browne, to purchase a 'piece of pasture land known as the Hither Wayfield'. This was said in the record of conveyance to be 'located in the parish of Hythe at a place known as West Hythe Wents and in the [present] occupation of James Pashley'. The land abutted the lands of Sir Thomas Honeywood (to the east); St Bartholomew's Hospital (south); Thomas Cullen (north) and the High Street of West Hythe (west). The agreement applied to 'John and his heirs', covered a minimum period of twenty-five years, and involved the payment of a 'competent sum of money'. It is possible, although not yet proven, that our line of the family descended from this John.


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Benjamin's grandparents

Although still to be proven, we think that Benjamin's grandparents were Stephen Cheeseman (c1765-1841) and Sarah Bejent (1762-1819) who were married at Lympne on 11 February 1783. While Sarah, who signed the register with a cross, was 'of this parish' Stephen was from the parish of 'Sellinge'. The wedding was witnessed by a John Daniels and a Benjamin Ferris. According to Andy Begent, Michael Gandy's East Kent marriage index shows that Sarah was also 'a widow of Hythe' when she married Stephen. Unfortunately he has no other details of her, 'she remains one of many "strays"'. The bishop's transcripts for Sellindge (located a few miles north of West Hythe) have no record of a Stephen Cheeseman being born there although they do show that an Elizabeth and James Cheesman were baptised in the parish in 1758 and 1760 respectively. Their parents were said to be Philip Cheesman and Elizabeth Bull who had been married at Sellindge on 1 January 1751. Rory Paddock of New Zealand and Dave Dixon, who runs the faded genes website, believe that Philip was born at Canterbury in Kent in around 1732, the son of Philip Cheesman snr (a cordwainer and Freeman of the City of Canterbury) and Rosamond Brice. They add that Philip and Rosamond, who were married at Elham in 1722, had seven children at Canterbury: Stephen (1723-78), Mary (1725-29), Elizabeth (1727-29), Mary (1730-49) Philip (1731-31), Philip (1732-70) and Rosamond Cheesman (1734-37).

Our Stephen was said to be the son of Philip's older brother Stephen Cheeseman (1723-1778), also a cordwainer and freeman of Canterbury, and Angelica Allen (1730-82) who he married at Ashford in Kent on 3 December 1752. After their marriage Stephen and Angelica lived for a time at Canterbury where they had five children in addition to our Stephen: Philip (1753-53), William Allen (1755-58), Mary Ethel (1756-57), Ann (1757), Rebecca (1760-60) and Angelica Cheesman (1763-69). All were baptised at the local St Mildred's Anglican Church and four - Philip, William, Mary and Rebecca - were buried there. In around 1766 Stephen and Angelica and their two surviving children, Ann and Stephen jnr, moved to Dymchurch where they had and lost three further children - Elizabeth (1768-68), Rosamond (1769-82) and Amy Cheesman (1771-71). The Dymchurch parish records show that Stephen and Angelica's only surviving daughter, Ann Cheesman, married Jacob Wratten at Dymchurch on 30 October 1777. The following year Stephen snr died and was buried at Dymchurch. His wife Angelica died there in 1782, a year before her son Stephen's marriage to Sarah Bejent.

After their marriage at Lympne in 1783, Stephen Cheeseman jnr, who worked as a labourer, and his wife Sarah lived at West Hythe and had seven children we know of there: Rose (1783), Sarah (1784), Stephen (1787), William (1790), John (1793), Amy (1795) and Angelica Cheeseman (1799). I'm assuming at this stage that John - described below - was Benjamin's father although that has not been proven. Click here for details of Stephen and Sarah's other children. In 1790 Stephen, who was described in the roll as a 'labourer of Hythe' was granted Freedom of the City of Canterbury by virtue of being a son of his freeman father Stephen snr (who had been granted freedom of the city in 1744 by virtue of being apprenticed to his father, Philip Cheesman).

Sarah Cheeseman (nee Bejent) died in West Hythe on 11 July 1819 aged 57 years. Her death was the subject of a coronial inquest which found that she collapsed and died from 'a visitation of God' while walking along the road from Dymchurch to West Hythe. In evidence to the inquiry Thomas Wren, who found her body, stated that there were no marks of violence nor were her clothes out of order. She appeared to be in 'perfect health' and was thought to have 'fallen in a fit and died accidentally'. The coroner, the mayor of West Hythe James Shipton Esquire, agreed with this view and found accordingly. Sarah was buried at Dymchurch in the 'western part' of the churchyard. Her monumental inscription states: 'Sarah wife of Stephen CHEESEMAN died 11 July 1819 aged 57. Left issue six children: Rose, Sarah, Stephen, William, John and Angilica [sic]'.

In 1824 the by then 64 year-old Stephen was included in a 'Recognizance of John Avieton', a victualler, of West Hythe. Stephen, described as a 'looker of West Hythe', and Stephen Weatten of Lympne gave a surity that 'good order [would] be kept at the inn the Botolph's Bridge [located in West Hythe and pictured above], for which licence has been transferred from Lydia Horton to John Avieton'. On 29 April 1841 Stephen, aged 80 years, died of 'old age' in the New Romney Union House. According to the union house index of births and deaths, he was 'from West Hythe' but was buried at Dymchurch where the coffin was paid for from the West Hythe Coffin Fund.

Benjamin's parents

Benjamin's wedding certificate states that his father's name was John Cheeseman, a labourer. The certificate does not give his mother's name although the 1841 census shows Benjamin, then aged 12 years, living at West Hythe with a Mary Cheeseman (aged 40), Stephen Cheeseman (25), Amy Cheeseman (20), Alfred Cheeseman (14) and Mary Cheeseman (10) where all had been born within Kent. The 1851 census shows Mary, described as a 'labourer's widow' aged 62 years who had been born in Icklesham (a small village about 12 miles southwest of Hythe and near the town of Rye), living at 17 Carpenter's Arms in the town of Hythe. With her were her son Alfred (24), daughter Mary Elizabeth (21), and granddaughter Mary Elizabeth (5, New Romney - the illegitimate daughter of Mary's oldest daughter Amy Cheeseman). The parish records for Lympne and West Hythe show that a John and Mary Anne Cheeseman were the witnesses for the marriage of Angelica Cheeseman to John Waddell at St Stephen's Lympne on 16 January 1819. I'm assuming that this John is Angelica's older brother. It also suggests that he and Mary Anne were married sometime before 1819.

Although still to be confirmed, we now think that Mary was Mary Masters who, according to the Mid-Kent Marriages Index 1754-1911, married a John Cheesman at New Romney on 9 January 1814. We further think that Mary was 'Mary Mastus' who, according to the LDS IGI, was baptised at Icklesham on 21 June 1795. The daughter of William and Elizabeth Mastus, Mary's known siblings included William, John and Elizabeth Mastus who were baptised at Icklesham in 1797, 1799 and 1801 respectively. The LDS IGI also shows that William Mastus snr (then described as William Masthouse) was baptised at Icklesham on 14 March 1773. His parents were Robert Masthouse (or Masters) and Mary Hicks who were married at the Icklesham parish church of All Saints on 20 February 1770. Mandy Willard's website tells us that both Robert and Mary died and were buried at Icklesham in 1819, she on 23 October and he on 1 November.

According to the Romney Marsh Baptism Index John and Mary had nine children all of whom were baptised at Burmarsh in Kent: John (on 27 November 1814), Stephen (25 February 1816), Amy Hambrook (8 March 1818), William Masters (20 February 1820), Sarah 'Bryant' (26 May 1822), Charles (14 March 1824), Alfred (6 November 1825), Benjamin Langford (18 November 1827) and Mary Elizabeth (8 August 1830). The parish records for West Hythe show that two of these, Sarah Bejent and Charles Cheeseman, were buried there on 14 April 1823 and 6 March 1825 respectively.

As described above, the UK censuses indicate that Mary lived at West Hythe until sometime between 1841 and 1851 when she relocated to Hythe (probably following the death of her husband John). Sometime after 1851 Mary went to live with her daughter Amy George nee Cheeseman at St Margarets at Cliff outside Dover. She died there on 29 September 1860 and was buried at Lympne on 3 October the same year. Her death certificate, which was witnessed by Amy, states that Mary was then 70 years old and was the widow of John Cheeseman, a shepherd. We are less certain about when and where Mary's husband and Benjamin's father, John Cheeseman, died. The parish records and BTs for Lympne and West Hythe show that a John Cheeseman, aged 30 years from St John's Hospital in London, was buried in the parish on 8 December 1829. This may have been our John although his age and the birth dates of the couple's children suggest otherwise. We do know that John was not with Mary and their children in 1841 and was said to be dead by the time of the 1851 census. The Catherine House Records show that a John Cheeseman died in the Elham registration district of Kent in the June quarter of 1844.

st stephen's church lympne

St Stephen's Church of England and cemetery with Lympne Castle in the background, 2004

Benjamin Cheeseman and his siblings

Benjamin Langford Cheeseman (1827-c1856) m. Jane Bass (1826-88)

st leonards hytheThe youngest son of John and Mary Cheeseman, Benjamin was baptised at Burmarsh on 18 November 1827. The 1841 census shows Benjamin, aged 12 years, living at West Hythe with Stephen Cheeseman (an agricultural labourer aged 25), Mary Cheeseman (40), Amy Cheeseman (20), Alfred Cheeseman (14) and Mary Cheeseman (10). When he was 21, Benjamin married Jane Bass (then aged 22 years) in the St Mary's parish church at Dover on 3 December 1848. The wedding was witnessed by William and Eliza Bass and all parties signed the certificate with a 'mark' or 'cross'. Benjamin and Jane were both living on 'Queen St' in Dover at the time and were described respectively as a 'bachelor' and a 'spinster'.

The 1851 census shows Benjamin (23) living at Hythe with his wife Jane (also 23) and sons Alfred (2) and Herbert (2 months). The parish records for West Hythe and Lympne show that Alfred was baptised John Alfred Cheeseman at Lympne on 15 April 1849. His parents were recorded as being Benjamin Langford and Jane Hannah Cheeseman. Herbert was baptised Herbert William at Hythe on 8 February 1851. Benjamin and Jane had a third child before emigrating to Australia in 1853. This was Frances Mary Hannah ('Annie'), Cheeseman who was born at Hythe on 13 December 1852 and was baptised there on 5 January 1853.

Soon after Frances Mary was baptised, the family emigrated to Australia as assisted passengers on the sailing ship CALLIOPE. A description of Benjamin and Jane's life in Australia is contained at Life in Australia

John Cheeseman (1814-88) m. 1) Mary Ann unknown (1814-84); 2) Christina Stewart nee McDonald (c1816-68)

John and Mary's eldest son, John Cheeseman, was baptised at Burmarsh on 27 November 1814. We think he and a Mary Ann were married in around 1832 and had two children baptised at Hythe: Charles (in 1 September 1833) and John Cheeseman (20 April 1835). On 24 June 1837 John Cheeseman snr was tried in the Hythe Quarter Sessions for sheep stealing and found not guilty. The following year he was convicted of stealing potatoes and transported to Australia on the convict ship the JOHN BARRY which sailed from Sheerness and docked at Sydney on 22 March 1839. John spent the rest the rest of his life in Australia living and working in and around the New South Wales town of Wagga Wagga. Click here to read what we know about his life and times in the Antipodes including his marriage to Christina Stewart at Wagga in 1853.

The 1841 census shows John's two sons as inmates of the Romney Union Workhouse (where Charles died of mesenteria in 1843). His older brother John survived and, by the time of the 1851 census, was working at Bowling in Yorkshire where he was living with his stepfather William Webb (born at Nailsea in Somerset in 1814) and his mother Mary Ann Webb (born in Waltham in Kent in 1815). In 1853 John married Ann Walton, the 21 year-old daughter of Joseph Walton, a miner, at Bradford in Yorkshire. John was said on the wedding certificate to be working as a puddler and was the son of John Cheeseman a shepherd. He and Ann lived first at Bowling and later Marske-by-Sea in the West Riding of Yorkshire and had three children: 1) Albert Cheeseman (1854-92) who married Mary Sleightham in 1876 and had eight children; 2) John Cheeseman who married Mary Jane Picknett at Marske in 1887 and had two children; and 3) Mary Cheeseman who married John William Angwin in 1883 and had two children we know of.

John Cheeseman died at the South Skelton Mines at Slanghorn in Yorkshire on 21 April 1897 as a result of 'injuries accidentally received by a set of wagons'. He was 63 years old. The death was the subject of an inquest held by the Guisborough coroner on 23 April 1897. Although still to be confirmed, we think his wife Ann Cheeseman nee Walton died in the Hunslet district of Yorkshire in 1907.

Stephen Cheeseman (1816-1898) m. Grace Tyrell/Tearall/Terell (1820-1862)

lympne castle 1830Stephen was baptised at Burmarsh on 25 February 1816. The 1841 census shows him, single and aged 25, living at West Hythe with his mother Mary and siblings Amy, Alfred, Benjamin and Mary. They would have been in view of Lympne Castle (pictured on the left in around 1830).

Stephen married Grace Tyrrell, the daughter of William and Mary Tyrrell, at Rye in Kent on 31 October 1841. Their marriage certificate states that they were both of full age and both were living at Rye at the time of the wedding. Stephen was a bachelor shepherd and Grace a spinster. Her father, William Tyrell, was said to be a labourer. No details of Stephen's father were provided. The wedding was witnessed by a George 'Shetter' and a Sarah Sainster (?). Both Grace and Sarah signed the certificate with a cross.

The UK censuses indicate that Stephen, who worked as a shepherd and later a grazier, and Grace spent all their married lives at West Hythe and had four children we know of there: William Masten (or Master) Cheeseman (baptised at St Stephen's at West Hythe on 3 Sep 1843), Charles Tearall Cheeseman (25 Dec 1846), John Cheeseman (25 Mar 1853) and Stephen Cheeseman (born at West Hythe in around 1850). Click here to read about the lives of Stephen and Grace and their children and descendants including those who emigrated to North America.

Amy Hambrook Cheeseman (1817-1882) m Burvill George (1809-1883)

Born in West Hythe in around 1817, the 1841 census shows Amy, single and aged 20 years, living at West Hythe with her family. The index of deaths and births at the Romney Union Workhouse (1836-1914) shows that she gave birth there to an illegitimate child, Mary Elizabeth Cheeseman, on 18 September 1844 (the LDS IGI shows that Mary was baptised at Lympne on 8 December 1844 and her mother's name was Amy Hambrook Cheeseman, Hambrook being the surname of Amy's married aunt Rose Cheeseman). st margaret's at cliffThe records of the Hythe Court of Petty Sessions held on 1 October 1844 state that 'Richard Ladd appeared pursuant to summons to answer the complaint of Amy Cheeseman charging him with being the father of her female bastard child born on the eighteenth day of September last. When on hearing the evidence and statements on both sides the said Richard Ladd is adjudged to be the father of the said bastard child and is ordered to pay to to the said Amy Cheeseman 2 shillings for the first six weeks after the birth and 2/- per week thereafterwards and 27% of the costs'.

Amy (listed in the census return as Amy H. Cheeseman) was working as a general servant in Dover at the time of the 1851 census (her daughter Mary Elizabeth was with Amy's mother in Hythe). In 1853 she married Burvill/Burvell George of St Margarets at Cliffe (pictured on the left). Burvell was born at St Margaret's in around 1806. The 1841 and 1851 censuses show him living there with his widowed mother, Mercy George, on her 10-acre farm (Mercy died in 1860). The couple's marriage certificate shows they were married after Banns at the Parish Church at Folkestone on 6 November 1853. Burvill was a bachelor and Amy a spinster and both were said to be of full age. Burvill worked as a labourer and was living at Folkestone at the time of the wedding. His father was said to be Thomas George, a labourer. Amy was also from Folkestone, her father was said to be John Cheeseman a labourer. The wedding was conducted by Richard Glover, Senior Curate, and was witnessed by James William and Sarah Amy Newman. Sarah and Burvill signed their names with a cross.

Amy George died in the union workhouse at Buckland in East Kent in 1881. The Catherine House records indicate that Burvill died there the following year. it seems the couple had lived all their married lives at St Margaret's and had three children we know of there: William Burvill George (1854-55), James George (1857-63) and Alfred Ernest George (1859-83). As shown, their first two boys died young. Their third son, Alfred Ernest, married Mary Jane Dixon from West Langden in Kent at Dover in 1879. At the time of the 1881 census, Alfred and his wife and daughter, Mary Jane George, were living at St Margaret's at Cliffe. The Catherine House records show that Alfred, then aged 24 years, died in 1883 (the same year as his father).

Alfred's widow, Mary Jane, married William Frederick Benny, a bricklayer's labourer who came from Deal in Kent in 1884. In 1891 William and Mary were living at Deal with Mary's three children from her first marriage - Mary Jane, Martha and Alfred George - and two boys she had had with William. I have not as yet been able to find the family in the 1901 census other than Mary Jane George, then aged 21, who was working as a barmaid at the Hotel du Paris in Dover.

William Masters/Mastus Cheeseman (1819-87) m. Betsey Ann Lewis nee Bowen (1817-86)

The LDS IGI and Dover St James marriage records sent to us by Dave Dixon show that a William Masters/Mastus Cheeseman, the son of John Cheeseman a shepherd, married Betsey Ann Bowen, daughter of a stonemason, Richard Bowen, at Dover on 11 August 1861. Although she had claimed to be single, the LDS IGI shows that Betsey (or Ann as she now called herself) had married John Lewis, a fly driver, at Dover on 14 May 1843. The UK censuses show they lived at Dover after their marriage and had at least four children there - John (1844), Ann (1845), Elizabeth (1848) and William Henry Lewis (1850) - before John's death in 1852 (he was buried at St Mary the Virgin on 23 July that year).

The 1871 census shows William, who had been born at West Hythe in Kent in 1819, living at 115 St James Place in Dover with his wife, Ann (54 and born at Canterbury) and stepdaughter Elizabeth Lewis (22, Dover). He and Ann were still living at Dover at the time of the 1881 census (his step-daughter Ann Lewis had by then married William's nephew, Stephen Cheeseman). It is interesting that the 1861 census shows William lodging at the house of a James and Mary Hobday and family at 154 Dolphin Court in Dover (we think that William's older brother, John Cheeseman, may have married a Mary Hobday before he was transported to Australia). William Mastus Cheeseman was buried at Dover in 1887 (the burial record showed him living at Hougham where he was working as a labourer). His wife, Betsey Ann Cheeseman nee Lewis nee Bowen, had pre-deceased him by a year and was also buried at Dover. We don't think they had any children of their own.

Sarah Bejent Cheeseman (1823-1823) and Charles Cheeseman (1825-1825)

The parish records for Lympne and West Hythe show that a Sarah Bejent Cheeseman, an infant, was buried at West Hythe on 14 April 1823. The same records show that two years later Charles Cheeseman, an infant 'of West Hythe', was buried at Lympne on 6 March 1825.

Alfred Cheeseman (1827-1855) m. Ann Clerk (1834-99)

While I have not been able to find an entry in the parish registers or Bishop's Transcripts, the census data indicates that Alfred was born at West Hythe in around 1827. The censuses show him working and living at West Hythe with his mother and siblings until he married Ann Clerk at Burmarsh on 17 January 1852. Ann was born at Burmarsh in Kent in around 1833. Her father, John Clerk a farmer's labourer, was born at Saltwood in Kent in 1801. Her mother, Jane, was born at Dymchurch in Kent in 1809. Alfred and Ann's wedding certificate shows he was a bachelor 'of full age' and she a 19 year-old spinster who was living at Burmarsh. The wedding was witnessed by Daniel Webb and Mary Clerk where all parties signed the certificate with a cross.

The 1861 census shows Alfred, aged 34, living next door to his brother Stephen at West Hythe with his wife Ann (27). With them was a 'visitor': Albert Thomas James Clerk (aged 4 years old and born at West Hythe). The 1871 and 1881 censuses shows Alfred (now working as a carrier) still living next door to his brother Stephen at West Hythe. Also there in 1871 were Ann (38), George (9), Ellen Jane (6) and Walter James (4) and in 1881: Ann (48), George (19), Walter (14) and Alice (8).

Alfred died of pneumonia in West Hythe on 14 February 1885. His death certificate states he was 60 years old. The informant was his son George who was present at the death. The 1891 census shows Ann, a 57 year-old widow and dressmaker, still living next door to her brother-in-law Stephen Cheeseman at West Hythe. With her was her 19 year-old daughter Alice Cheeseman. The Catherine House records show that an Ann Cheeseman, aged 66 years died in the Elham registration district late in 1899.

The parish records for Lympne and West Hythe show that Alfred and Ann had at least six children baptised at West Hythe: Alfred (baptised in 1857 and died 17 months later), Louisa Eliza (27 Aug 1860 who died the same year), George Arthur (15 Dec 1861), Ellen Jane (15 May 1865), Walter James (19 Aug 1866), Edith Annie (19 Sep 1869 and died the same year) and Alice (who was born at Burmarsh in 1873.

Alfred and Ann's son George Arthur Cheeseman lived with his parents at West Hythe until his marriage to Flora Eliza Goldup in the Dover registration district in 1887. The LDS IGI shows that a Flora Eliza Goldup, daughter of Thomas and Ann Laura Goldup, was baptised at Wye in Kent on 6 November 1864. In 1871 Flora, aged six years, was living at Brook in Kent with her parents and sister Fanny Kate (9). Thomas was born at Eastwell in Kent while his wife came from Ireland. The 1891 census shows George Cheesman (29 year-old general labourer born at West Hythe) and his wife Flora (26, Wye Kent) living on Village St at Ringwould near Dover. With them was their four year-old daughter Mabel who had been born at West Hythe. I have not as yet been able to find them in the 1901 census.

Alfred and Ann's daughter Ellen Jane Cheeseman was working as a general servant at 30 Harleyford Road, Lambeth in London in 1881. In 1884 she married William James John Conley, the son of Silas Conley and Ann Tearall, at Lympne. The LDS IGI shows that a William James John Conley was baptised at Saltwood in Kent on 7 November 1858. The 1891 census shows Ellen and William living at West Hythe next door to Ellen's brother Walter. With them were their three children: William (5), Alick (3) and Nelley (10m) and a boarder George Chitterden, 59 farm labourer from Burmarsh. In 1901 the family was living at 3 Church Hill Hythe. By then William and Jane had five children: William (15, shop assistant), Alec (13), Nellie (10), Elsie (8) and Edith (4) where all but Edith were born at West Hythe (Edith was born in Hythe). Ancestry's WWI service records show that William James Conley of 29 Church Hill in Hythe enlisted in the British Army on 13 December 1914. He was then 44 years old, was working as a labourer and had previously served in the 1st East Kent Buffs. His NOK was Ellen Jane Conley nee Cheeseman who he had married at Lympne on 27 September 1884. He seems to have served in France in 1914 and was then transferred to the Class 'Z' Army Reserve, serving in the 'Remount Service ASC'.

Born at West Hythe, Walter James Cheeseman (1866-1936) was living with his parents there at the time of the 1871 and 1881 censuses. On 22 September 1890 he married at Lympne Annie Keeler (1869-1949), daughter of John Keeler (1838-99) and Elizabeth Jane Shrubsole (1834-79). John and Elizabeth had been married at St Mary's Marylebone in London in 1865. Although born at Westminster in London, Annie was living at Lympne with her married aunt Emily Tibbles (35, Lympne) and widowed grandfather Stephen Keeler (71, Lympne) at the time of the 1881 census. The 1891 census has Walter (a 24 year-old general labourer) and Annie (22) living at West Hythe. The 1901 census shows Walter, then working as a traction engine driver, living in the civil parish of Ringwould Entire in Kent. With him were his wife Annie (32) and three children: Dorothy Violet (9 and born at West Hythe), Herbert John (4, Ringwould Kent) and Ellen Kathleen (11 months, Folkestone). Dave Dixon's Faded Genes website tells us that Walter and his wife and family were living at Temple Ewell in Kent in 1911 and at 1 Brook Cottage in Temple Ewell in 1919. It adds that Walter and Annie had by then two more children, both born at Temple Ewell: Walter George (1903) and Enid Iris Cheeseman (1908).

Walter and Annie's second daughter, Ellen Kathleen Cheeseman, aged seven years, died in the Dover RD of Kent in 1907. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records show that their eldest son, Herbert John Cheeseman, a 19 year-old private soldier in the 1st Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) was posted missing, presumed killed in action, in Belgium on 14 July 1916. Like so many others, he is commemorated on the Menin Gate. His military record shows that he was single and working as a labourer when he enlisted on 2 April 1915 and that he then had three siblings: Dorothy Violet Stokes (28), Walter George Cheeseman (16) and Enid Iris Cheeseman (11) all of whom were all then living at 1 Brook Cottage.

As noted, Walter and Annie's eldest daughter, Dorothy Violet Cheeseman, had married William C. Stokes in the Dover RD in 1915. Their son Walter George Cheeseman married Jessie Mary Igglesden in the Dover RD of Kent in 1931. According to the 'Austin Heritage 04-12-10' family tree on Ancestry.com, Jessie was born at Dover in 1906, the eldest daaughter of Robert Walter Igglesden (1862-1936) and Mary Elizabeth Dixon (1865-1935). Their youngest daughter, Enid Iris Cheeseman, married Everard Ernest Worster in the Dover RD in 1927. Sally Isaacs' Family Tree on Ancestry shows that Everard was born in the Dover RD in 1902, the son of Alexander Worster (1865-1922) and Elizabeth Mary Bayley (1870-1921). According to the Catherine House records, Everard E. Worster, aged 65, died in the Swindon RD of Wiltshire in 1968 and Enid Iris Worster died there in 1971. We don't know if they had any children.

Mary Cheeseman (1831 - )

Mary was born at West Hythe around 1831. The 1841 census shows her living at West Hythe with her mother and siblings. The 1851 census shows a Mary Elizabeth Cheeseman, unmarried and 21 years old, living at West Hythe with her mother Mary, brother Alfred and five year-old niece Mary Elizabeth Cheeseman (Amy's illegitimate daughter). Mary is working as a servant and was born at West Hythe. I have as yet found no record of Mary Elizabeth's marriage or death.

Last updated: 12 May 2011

Photo sources:
'West Hythe and Lympne', 'Botolph's Bridge', 'St Stephen's Lympne', 'St Leonard's Hythe', private collection.
'William Masten Cheeseman' and 'Grace Terrel Tobin (nee Cheeseman) and daughter Grace Cheeseman Tobin', courtesy of Jane Fox.

 

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