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The Mystery Moonlighter

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            More Link to John WINDEATT - George's father
     George J. H. WINDEATT =(1)Harriet CALL        =(2)Maria MILLMAN     =(3)Hannah ELLIS
  __________________________|_______              |_____________
  |               |                |              |            |
George J.H.    Harriet        Frederick       Sarah A.      Emma T

Linked names lead to more information further down the page. 
lead to the next section of the tree on another page. 

George (Josiah Hoskin) WINDEATT (1812-1873)

Two men called George?

There are several traces of a George WINDEATT in Exeter in the nineteenth century and also of a George Josiah Hoskins WINDEATT.  Are they the same person?

George Josiah Hoskins WINDEATT
appears in the 1851 Census as a plasterer, aged 39, married to Hannah, aged 48 and the father of three daughters: Harriet, Sarah Ann and Emma T.  His birthplace is given as Horrabridge.
appears in the 1851 Census as a watchman at the Devon County Gaol. His age is given as 39 which means he was born in 1811 or 1812. A George WINDEATT, Warder at the Devon County Prison, died on 2nd January 1873, aged 61.

Are these two George's the same person? And if so , why was he moonlighting at the Gaol?

The George at the gaol is the same age as George Josiah Hoskins, his profession is also given as "plasterer" and his birth place as "Horror Bridge" which is presumably "Horrabridge" - where George Josiah was born.  It seems likely that they are one and the same person and he was counted in the census twice - probably because he was out on night shift and was counted both at home and at work.

More about George

George was unusual in that he and his immediately next younger brother, William, were the only ones of the family not to move on down to Torquay or West Teignmouth the coast.  George stayed on in Exeter for the rest of his life.  He did, however, change his profession and like his father and several brothers left the building trade.   He became a prison warder while his brother, William, also left plastering to become a porter at the female penitentiary.

cd. 12/1/1812 in Sampford Spiney
m. (1) 17/11/1831, in Exeter St. Sidwell to Harriet CALL
m. (2) 17/03/1840 in St. Matthew Goldsmith to Maria MILLMAN
m. (3) 17/05/1847, in St Pauls, Exeter to Hannah ELLIS
d.   02/01/1873, Exeter

Parents & Siblings

John WINDEATT (of Horrabridge) and Tomazine Hoskins (of Sampford Spiney) who were married in 1802.
George was the third son but his older brother William died and so the next son was called William as a replacement.
[ More . . .


George had two surviving sisters and six surviving brothers.
[ More . . . ]

Wives:  Harriet CALL, Maria MILLMAN and Hannah ELLIS

George married three times

1. Harriet CALL 

He married Harriet on 17, November 1931 at St Sidwell's, Exeter. She must have died sometime between the birth of Frederick in 1837 and the marriage to Maria Millman in 1840.  
[LATER - 29/05/06: I have just found the death of a Harriet WINGEAT on Free BMD in the March quarter of 1939.  This is probably her.  When I feel like spending the money, I will buy the certificate and check].

A Mary CALL, a dress maker aged 25,  was living with George (now remarried) in 1841 so this was almost certainly Harriet CALL's sister and I think she is the same Mary CALL who married George's younger brother Edwin in 1845.

1841 Census (taken 6th June 1841) © Crown Copyright

George and family were sharing a house in Paris Street, Exeter, with five other households. It must have been crowded.

Name Age (rounded down) Occupation Born in County
George WINDEATT 25 Plasterer Yes
Maria WINDEATT 20 Seemstress [sic] Yes
George WINDEATT 9   Yes
Sarah 9 months   Yes
Mary CALL 25 Dress Maker Yes

Little Harriet, George and Harriet' CALL's daughter, is missing - she would have been about eight.  Was she just left off the census by mistake?  Or was she being looked after elsewhere?  Maybe she was already apprenticed out somewhere?  Poor children - and Harriet would have been classed as an orphan after her mother died - were often apprenticed out at a very young age.

2. Maria MILLMAN

On March 17th 1840 George married Maria MILLMAN in Exeter, Devon.. She couldn't write and made a mark on the register.  Her father is given as Joseph MILLMAN, labourer. 

Marriage solemnized at The Church in the Parish of All Hallows Goldsmith in the County of the City of Exeter

Date Name & Surname Age Condition Rank or Profession Residence at the time of Marriage Father's Name and Forename Rank or profession of Father Witnesses
17/3/1840 George Josiah Hutchins WINDEATT full Widower Plasterer Residing in this Parish John WINDEATT Plasterer John WINDEATT


Maria MILLMAN full Spinster Servant Residing in this Parish Joseph MILLMAN Labourer

All signed the certificate except the bride who made her mark.

She died just four years later of Erysipelas in 1844.  The family were living in the parish of Matthew Goldsmith at the time of the wedding but had moved again when Maria died. 

1844 - Death in the District of St Sidwell in the County of Exeter

When & Where Name Sex Age Occupation Cause of Death Signature, description and residence of informant When registered
21st  November 1844
The College
 The Close
Maria WINDEATT Female 31 years Wife of George WINDEATT, Plasterer Erysipelas Mark of
Elizabeth WESTHEAR
Present at the Death,
6 Paris Street, St. Sidwell.
21st November 1844


3. Hannah ELLIS

George married Hannah  on May 17th 1847.  The family were then living in Paul Street. She was a laundress, born about 1803 in Rewe, Devon and she appears as a laundress aged 48 in the 1851 Census.  Her father was William ELLIS, a labourer, and she too couldn't write her name but made a mark in the register.  As she was 11 years older than George, one might suspect that he married her to look after the kids and do the housework?  I think she was probably too old to have any more children - certainly Emma at eight was the youngest mentioned in the household in the 1851 Census.  Hannah died in the June quarter of 1876 aged 71 this would make her birth date about 1805 but death certificate ages are notoriously inaccurate: the census date of 1803 is likely to be more correct.

Marriage solemnized at the Parish Church in the Parish of St. Paul in the County of the City of Exeter

Date Name & Surname Age Condition Rank or Profession Residence at the time of Marriage Father's Name and Forename Rank or profession of Father Witnesses
17/5/1847 George Josiah Hoskin WINDEATT full Widower Plasterer Paul Street John WINDEATT Plasterer John WINDEATT

Prudence JONES

Hannah ELLIS full Spinster Laundress Paul Street William ELLIS lABOURER
All signed except the bride who made her mark.  We don't know if the witness, John, was his father or elder brother.

1851 Census (taken 30th March) © Crown Copyright

Here they are living in Mint parish:

Name Relationship Mar Age Sex Occupation Birthplace Possible DOB
George WINDEATT Head M 39 M Plasterer Horrabridge 1811
Hannah WINDEATT Wife M 48 F Laundress Rewe 1802
Harriet WINDEATT Daur U 17 F Servant Exeter 1833
Sarah A. WINDEATT Daur - 10 F Scholar Exeter 1840
Emma T. WINDEATT Daur - 8 F Scholar Exeter 1842
John WINDEATT* Vist M 73 M Mason Buckland Monachorum 1777

 *John Windeatt:  I assume this is George's father, John, who died a couple of days later.  Hannah was the informant.

1861 Census transcription

Now at 2 Bennetts Court, St. Sidwell.  George is still working as a plasterer but it looks as though Hannah has 'retired'.

Name Relationship Mar Age Sex Occupation Birthplace Possible DOB
George WINDEATT Head M 49 M Plasterer Devon: Sampford Spiney 1811
Hannah WINDEATT Wife M 55 F Former Laundress Rewe 1805


With Harriet CALL

1. George Josiah Hoskin WINDEATT (married Elizabeth KELLY née RICHES)

Baptised in Exeter in 1833 - (IGI) married in Bethnal Green in the March quarter of 1857 [refce 1c 460](aged 22) to Elizabeth KELLY.  Sadly he died at Holborn in 1860 and I do not know if they had any children.  He was a tinplate worker like his uncle Edwin, the whitesmith. Edwin had married his mother's sister and probably taught the boy his trade or secured him an apprenticeship.  Here is his marriage certificate:

Marriage solemnized at the St.John's Church in the Parish of Bethnal Green in the County of Middlesex

Date Name & Surname Age Condition Rank or Profession Residence at the time of Marriage Father's Name and Forename Rank or profession of Father Witnesses
5/01/1857 George Josiah Hoskin WINDEATT full Bachelor Tinplate Worker 8 Abbey Street George Josiah Hoskin WINDEATT Slater Sarah GILBERT


Elizabeth KELLY full Widow Servant 8 Abbey Street Robert RICHES Carpenter

Both bride and groom and the witnesses signed the certificate.

If you know any more about this family, please get in touch and leave a message on the Message Board.

2. Harriet WINDEATT (married Edwin COWLISHAW)

Born in 1834 (the IGI has her baptism data as 07 DEC 1834) - a daughter who was seventeen at the time of the 1851 Census and working as a servant.  She does not appear as living with them in 1841 census (see above).  Where was she?

I originally thought that Harriet was the girl referred to in the Court Case in Torquay in June 1852 who accused her employer of assault but a more detailed report of the court case reveals that this was a quite different Harriet Windeatt who was born in 1835 to Thomas WINDEATT and a Mary Ann.

However we still think she was almost certainly the Harriet who sailed to Australia in October 1856 aged 21 under the Assisted Package scheme?

Family Name Given Name Age Month Year Ship Book Page

Lois Vivienne Whimpey Willis's website of her family history lists Harriet as being married to Edwin COWLISHAW, when they had their son in 1864.  He was also called Edwin (Edwin Windeatt COWLISHAW) and born, in Prahran, Victoria, Australia   Lois has informed me that according to the Edwardian Index Harriet Cowlishaw nee Windeatt died in 1907 in Cunninghame, Victoria aged 73. She was recorded as the daughter of George James Windeath and Harriet Coles (near enough I suppose and certainly quite different from Thomas and Mary Ann who were the parents of the other Harriet).

With the usual allowances for mistranscriptions and misspellings, I think the information is sufficiently corrobative to make us fairly certain that this is the same Harriet.  If you know anything about the COWLISHAWs or are descended from Harriet, please get in touch via the message board.

Spouse: Edwin COWLISHAW

I think this is Edwin, aged 12, living with what may be his maternal grandparents, John and Ann DAFFIN.  Where were his parents?

If so this could have been his parents' marriage:

M 1824 sep 10 COWLISHAW Ann(Wirksworth)/DAFFIN John Witnesses: Daniel WILSON,Thomas PICKARD
from the same site: Parish Registers' index for COWLISHAW.

It also looks as though his grandfather, John, may have died in 1841 and his mother, Ann, in 1850, which could explain their non-appearance in the 1851 census: from the same site: Parish Registers' index for DAFFIN.  I cannot find anything more about his parents - perhaps they had already emigrated to Australia in 1851 and he followed them when his grandmother died?

3. Frederick WINDEATT

Born in 9.08.1837 - who does not appear on the 1841 or 1851 Census. Did he die before 1851? Frederick was registered on August 13th as "male" but the name added later in column 10 was Frederick. This is the same name as the Registrar. Could they not decide what to call him and asked the Registrar for his name? Or was there a family dispute over the name which was settled by calling him after the Registrar? Frederick disappears from our lists after his birth in 1837 and probably died in infancy.

With Maria MILLMAN

4.  Sarah Ann WINDEATT

Born on 3rd October 1840 in Paris Street, a daughter who was 10 and a scholar at the time of the 1851 Census. She disappears after that - although there was a Sarah who died in 1919 in Axbridge (probably Weston Super Mare) aged 80, which could have been her if she never married.

George must have moved on quickly from his first wife's death in the March quarter of 1839 (if indeed she died then).  This seems to have been a common pattern amongst widowers left with motherless children.

1840 Birth in the District of St Sidwell in the County of Exeter

When & Where Name Sex Name and Surname of Father Name, surname and maiden surname of mother Occupation of father Signature, description and residence of informant When registered
3rd October 1840
Paris St.
Sarah Ann Female George Josiah Hoskins  WINDEATT Maria  WINDEATT formerly MILLMAN Plasterer Mark of
Maria WINDEATT Mother
Paris St
St Sidwell
4th November 1840


5. ?1842 - Emma T (Tomazine?)

A daughter who was 8 and a scholar at the time of the 1851 Census. According to information received she may have been an Emma who married a William DREW in Whitestone, Devon 18 Jan 1863 (or another who married at St. Thomas's Exeter). If she was the Emma who married William DREW, this is probably her living in Exeter again in the 1881 census:

1881 Census (taken 3rd April 1881) © Crown Copyright

Name Relationship Mar Age Sex Birthplace Occupation DOB?
Emma DREW Head W 37 Female  Exeter, Devon, England Charwoman  1843
Elizth. DREW Daur U 15 Female Whitestone Serv Genl 1865
Thomas DREW Son   14 Male Whitestone Baker's Assistant  1866
Mark DREW Son   12 Male Whitestone Scholar  1868
Sarah A. DREW Daur   9 Female Whitestone Scholar  1871
Emily DREW Daur   3 Female Exeter, Devon, England Scholar  1877

Again, according to information received, her husband, William died in 1874 but Emma had two more children after  his death - George in 1876 and Emily in 1878.  It looks as though George must have died too because he doesn't appear on the census.  However, I have not seen any relevant BMD certificates so this information all needs confirmation.


 NOTE: We are  not sure if George Josiah WINDEATT has any surviving descendants. f you are a descendant or can correct or add to any of the information on this page I would be very grateful.  Please leave a message on the Message Board.

Lists: A list of all the Births, Marriages and Deaths of Windeatts from 1837 to the present day. This list was originally compiled by another researcher, but has been added to, edited and further researched by Peter WINDEATT who sent it to me and sparked off the initial interest.