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Robert Froom WINDEATT (1832-1887),
Jeweller and Goldsmith

THIS PAGE: [Tree] [Parents] [First Wife ] [Children] [Second Wife] [Death] [Acknowledgement]
  Arrow up to more about John and ThomasineMoreArrow up to more about John and Thomasine
Robert Froom WINDEATT = (1)married 1854 Hellen NAYLOR               = (2)married 1885 Ellen GAIN 
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Robert J.   James E.   Mary Ann  Frederick C.  Tom     Ellen     Ernest Robert

Parents and Early Life

Robert was the eldest of the ten children of John WINDEATT and Mary Ann WINDEATT (née FROOM).    Usually, in this family, the first son was called after his father but we are not sure where this first name, Robert, came from.    In 1851 when he was 19 Robert was still living at home with his parents and working as a jeweller, perhaps for one of his uncles:  George Turner or Richard Windeatt

But he must have moved to Clerkenwell, London within the next couple of years or so because he married Hellen Naylor there in 1854.

Move to London and First Marriage to Hellen NAYLOR

We don't know exactly when or why Robert (probably called Bob) moved to London but information from a kind correspondent is that a lot of FROOM relatives had moved from Devon to Clerkenwell so he probably followed them there and, if he followed the usual pattern, he probably left on completion of his apprenticeship when he was 21 -so probably in 1852.  Perhaps he went with his cousin, George TURNER, junior, who had also left home by 1861?

Spouse: Hellen NAYLOR (?1835-1883)

1854 -  Marriage solemnized in the Register Office in the District of Clerkenwell 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
5/12/1854 Robert WINDEATT 23 Bachelor Jeweller 26 Sekforde Street


Hellen NAYLOR 20 Spinster - 27 Sekforde Street
Thomas NAYLOR (deceased) Brush Maker

Signed by the Registrar and the Superintendent Registrar (probably because Hellen was under age). 

We know little about Hellen NAYLOR except what appears on the marriage certificate (see above) and the fact that the 1871 census reveals she was born in Wiltshire.  Information from a kind correspondent on the Devon Family History Message Board is that an IGI record exists for an Ellen NAYLOR baptised on 21/6/1835 at Westbury, Wilts to Thomas and Mary Ann NAYLOR.  This is likely to be her because our Ellen gives her father's name as Thomas on the marriage certificate.

1856-1868 Children with Hellen NAYLOR

1856 - 1.  Robert John WINDEATT (1856-?)

Robert John WINDEATT was born in the March quarter of 1856 in the Clerkenwell Register Office District [GRO 1b 526], married in 1880 in the St Pancras Register Office District and buried in Wandsworth.  His father followed the family naming patterns with his first son, calling him after, first, himself and, second, his father.  A kind correspondent has sent this transcription of his marriage certificate.  Allcroft Road is in Camden Town, London.

1880 Marriage solemnized at the Parish Church in the Parish of St Andrew Haverstock Hill 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
March 29 1880 Robert John WINDEATT 24 Bachelor Jeweller 94 Allcroft Road Robert Froom WINDEATT Jeweller Frederick HARREY


Emma Ann MAYLEY 25 Spinster - 94 Allcroft Road Thomas William MAYLEY Bricklayer

[HO.107/220/16 Folio. 12 Page.17]

1858 - 2. James Edward (1858-?)

James Edward WINDEATT was born the March quarter of 1858 in the Holborn Register Office District [GRO 1b 448].  We know he was still alive in 1885 when his younger brother, Tom, records him as a sibling when he joined the army (see below).  It's not know what happened to him later nor why his parents chose those unusual family first names.

1860 - 3. Mary Ann (1860-1861)

Mary Ann was born in the March quarter of 1860 in the Holborn Register Office District [GRO 1b 480], and died Sept quarter 1861, Newington.  Again, following this family's naming patterns, her father called her after his own mother. 

Here they all are in the 1861 census living at no. 1G Elizabeth St. in the parish of St. Mary's, Newington, Lambeth.

1861 Census (taken 7th April) © Crown Copyright

Name Status Marr Sex Age Occupation Birthplace
Robert Froom WINDEATT Head M M 29 Goldsmith & Jewller Exeter, Devon
Ellen WINDEATT Wife M F 26 - City of London
Robert John WINDEATT Son U M 5   "
Mary Ann WINDEATT Dau U M 1   "

Living at the same address but marked as a different household are William GILBERT (33), a ?Cooper, and his wife, Sarah Jane (a Boot Binder aged 30) and their twelve-year old daughter Caroline.  William and his daughter were both born in Devon and Sarah in Exeter.  I wonder if Sarah is a relation but I cannot find any obvious candidate?  The GRO index has a 'Sarah Annie WINDATT' who married in Stoke Damarel in the December quarter of 1854 but that is a bit of a long shot.

Sadly, Mary Ann, the baby daughter aged one above, died only a few months after this census but Robert John survived and so did James.  But where is James? He should have been listed above aged three.

1861 A trip to Devon for James to stay with his  grandparents

Well he was down in Devon with his grandparents, John and Mary Ann WINDEATT, and three of their children, another grandchild (Sarah J. SANDERS) and three boarders.  Why was he there?  Perhaps Mary Ann, his baby sister, was already very ill and his mother, Ellen/Hellen was finding it difficult to cope.  Perhaps he was recovering from illness and was recuperating down on the Devonshire coast.  Teignmouth with its beautiful scenery, beaches and reputation as a convalescent centre would have been a paradise for a child compared to smoky South East London.  [Link to Beautiful Devon website as an illustration]

1862 - 4. Frederick Charles (1862-1925)

Frederick Charles WINDEATT was born in the September quarter of 1862 in the Newington Register Office District, and married in the September quarter of 1884 St. Saviours to an Ada ECKERSLEY.  A kind information has provided us with a transcription of the Banns called at All Saints Walworth..

Banns of Marriage between
Frederick Charles WINDEATT, Bachelor of the Parish of Camberwell and
Ada ECKERLEY, spinster, of this Parish.
1st, on Sunday June 15 by OM
2nd on Sunday June 22 by OM
3d on Sunday June 29 by OM

 Frederick Charles WINDEATT died in 1925 in Hitchin

1865 - 5. Tom (1865-1937)

Tom was born in the June quarter of 1865 in the Birkenhead Register Office district [GRO 8A 434], married Mary Ann GRUNDY in 1892 [GRO REF 1d 1371]Camberwell, died 1937, aged 72, in Birmingham.  He was probably called after his grandfather on his mother's side: Thomas NAYLOR.

There is a bit of a mystery about Tom's birth.  He was born in Birkenhead in 1865 and yet the family were living in London both before and after that date.  Why Birkenhead?

1868 - 6.  Ellen WINDEATT (1868-?)

There is a GRO index record for Ellen's birth in the September quarter of 1868 [GRO: Camberwell 1d 648] which accords with the 1881 census information given - presumably - by her parents.  Ellen married and had a family.  There is more information about her on a separate page.

1871 Census (taken 2nd April) © Crown Copyright > (taken 2nd April 1871)

Details courtesy of kind correspondents on the Devon Family History Society Message Board and the Lancashire UK Gen Forum.

Here is the family, still in South London, now at 22 Westmoreland Road, St. Mary, Southwark, Surrey in 1871.  But there has been an odd event in the intervening ten years.  Robert and Hellen/Ellen had a son, Tom, who was born in Birkenhead (near Liverpool) in 1865.  What were they doing up there?  Had they planned to sail to America or Australia and then had cold feet and returned?  As far as we know, there are no family connections in Birkenhead although there are some distant ones in the Liverpool area (a second or third cousin, Sally, born about 1835 and who grew up in Shaldon just across the bridge was probably living in the West Derby area of Liverpool about then).

Name Status Marr Sex Age Occupation Birthplace
Robert Froom WINDEATT Head M M 37 Goldsmith & Jeweller's Assistant Exeter, Devon
Hellen WINDEATT wife M F 35 - Wiltshire
Robert WINDEATT son U M 15 Errand Boy London
James WINDEATT son U   13 Errand Boy London
Tom WINDEATT son U F 6 Scholar Cheshire
Hellen WINDEATT dau U M 3 Scholar Walworth

Where's Frederick?

James was missing from the family ten years earlier at the time of the 1861 census but this time it's Frederick, who would have been about 9, who is absent at the time of the census.  Thanks to a kind correspondent, we now know that Frederick Charles WINDEATT was in hospital at the time of the census.  He was found as a patient in a patient in St Thomas Hospital,Southwark, listed as  'Fredk Chas Windiett' and 8 years old.   However, he recovered and went on to marry an Ada ECKERSLEY 13 years later.

1881 (taken 3rd April 1881)

Here's Robert and his family in 1881 living at 26 Hollington Street, Camberwell, Surrey, England [RG11/0694/133/43]

Name Status Marr Sex Age Occupation Birthplace
Robert F WINDEATT Head M M 50 Goldsmith & Jeweller Exeter, Devon
Ellen WINDEATT Wife M F 47 - Clerkenwell
Frederick WINDEATT Son U M 20 Brass Finisher Camberwell
Thomas WINDEATT Son U M 17 Labourer Cheshire
Ellen WINDEATT Daur U F 13 Scholar Camberwell
William USHER Visitor U M 18 Labourer Greenwich, Kent


According to Booth's London Survey, Hollington Street was not a very nice place to live in 1899.  Let's hope it was more pleasant two decades earlier.

The eldest son, Robert John WINDEATT, who was now 25, had left home and was married already (see above),  James, who would have been, 23, has also left home - we don't know where he went but he was still alive in 1885 according to his brother's Army Joining-up papers.  They had, presumably, stopped having any more children since the birth of Ellen twelve years earlier.

1885 - Second Marriage to Ellen GAIN

1882 - Death of First Wife: Ellen NAYLOR

It appears that Ellen née NAYLOR died in 1882 because there is a GRO index of a death of an Ellen WINDEATT, aged 48, in Camberwell in the September quarter of 1883 [reference 1d 429) which is likely to be her.  And according to the GRO index a Robert Froom WINDEATT married in the December quarter of 1885.  This would have been a couple of years after the death of the first Ellen.  Thanks to a kind correspondent we now have a transcription of the Marriage Certificate:

1885 - Marriage to Second Wife: Ellen GAIN (?1832-?)

Marriage solemnized at the St. John's Vicarage in the Parish of St John, Walworth in the County of Surrey

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
Nov 21 1885 Robert Froom WINDEATT 53 Widower Jeweller 18 Camden Street John WINDEATT Plasterer* William Charles ELLIOT

Elizabeth GAIN

Ellen GAIN 52 Spinster - 18 Camden Street William GAIN Coachman

*Plasterer:  I think I have read this correctly but it is a strange occupation for him to have entered.  Robert's father, John, had had many many occupations in his life but was only a plasterer in 1841 .  For the past few decades he had been running an Eating House in Teignmouth.  John had either just died or was about to die shortly [December quarter of 1885.]  This rather suggests that Robert F. WINDEATT hadn't been in touch with home for some time.

Ernest Robert GAIN, later WINDEATT - Another Mystery?

Ellen GAIN, although she had never married, had had a son in 1869 whom she named Ernest Robert. He is recorded as having been born in the March qtr of 1869 in Camberwell [GRO Ref 1d 631 ].  There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Robert Froom WINDEATT was his father, indeed, he may not even have met her until well after his first wife had died.  However, it is observed that Robert and his first wife Ellen NAYLOR stopped having children at about the time that his second wife, Ellen GAIN, had her illegitimate son to whom she gave the second name of Robert.  We will never know unless there were enough descendants willing to be DNA tested.


Robert Froom Windeatt died in the September quarter of 1887, aged 55, only very shortly after his second marriage.  We don't have the death certificate but the GRO index is: St. Saviour 1d 109.  His widow, the second Ellen, survived him and appears in both the 1891 and the 1901 census (see link to the page about Ellen GAIN).


This page has been updated (February 2010) thanks to information received from a descendant, Frances Lees, and other kind correspondents. If you have any further information on this family please leave a message on the Message Board.

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