[HOME]  [Strays] Sarah Windeatt

Sarah Windeatt, fl. 1850, St. Mary Church


On Friday, William LOVELL, of Winkleigh, labourer , was summoned by Sarah WINDEATT (a pretty looking girl, about 17 or 18 years of age), residing at Mary church, for neglecting to comply with an order (for the payment of 1s 0d. per week, towards the maintenance of her illegitimate child, he having been adjudged the father at Paignton in 1848.

The defendant had been imprisoned before for two months, for previous neglect, and since he came out 13 weeks' arrears had accumulated amounting to 19s. 0d., the sum now applied for by the complainant.  The defendant, who gave a pure specimen of the Winkleigh vernacular, stated that when he came out of prison

"Tho' (then) as he cuden write es zulf ha ax'd the kustable to rite ta new if hur'd gie up the cheel, ur maurry".

 And he had felt particularly easy as to the payment, expecting an answer.  He had since heard that her "banes" were in to be married.  The Bench asked if he could pay the 19s.0d. with 2.10s. 4d. the costs, and the defendant being unable to do so, he was committed to prison for three months.

The Bench told the defendant that the best thing he could do was to leave the country, as , as long as he was in England he would be imprisoned over and over again, and thus probably pass his life in prison, without the girl married, when he would be free from his obligation.  The Bench asked the girl if she was about to be married, and she stated that she was.  This would have no effect of releasing defendant from his present imprisonment.

- Trewman's Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser (Exeter, England),
Thursday, August 1, 1850; Issue 4417.

Birth Certificate

Birth in the Sub-district of Newton Abbot in the County of Devon 1847

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
12th October 1847 Union Workhouse, Newton Abbot James Boy Sarah WINGEATT x the mark of Sarah WINGEATT
Union Workhouse Wolborough
23rd October  1847

Who was Sarah?

We don't know for sure but thanks to the kind help of a correspondent on the DFHS Message Board, we think that she may well be the Sarah WINGATE who married Thomas MARDON in the September quarter of 1850 [Ref 10 299].  And in the 1851 census she appears with Thomas and living in St. Marychurch with a three year-old son, James:

1851 Census

Name Rel Status Age Occupation Where Born
Thomas MARDON Head M 22 Farm Lab StokeinTeignhead, Devon
Sarah MARDON Wife M 22 Laundress Teignmouth, Devon
James MARDON Son - 3 - Totness, Devon

Is she the mother of James who later ended up in London?

We think that the son, James, above may be the same James who ended up in London by 1881.

If this is the same James then we think he was living with grandparents in 1861 and had reverted to using the name, WINDEATT (or variant thereof).

1861 Census (taken 7th April) © Crown Copyright >

Name Relationship Mar Age Sex Occupation Birthplace Possible DOB?
Thomas WINDIAT Head M 68 M Seaman Marldon-DEV 1793
Grace WINDIAT Wife M 54 F   Chawley-DEV 1807
James WINDIAT Grnson U 13 F Painter St. Mary Church-DEV 1847
  Address: 26 Fore Street, St. Mary Church, Torquay, Devon.

What appears to be Sarah is living with her mother-in-law in StokeinTeignhead in 1861 with three further children, this time  by Thomas MARDON.  Thomas MARDON, himself has disappeared - away gold mining presumably . . . perhaps in California?

Name Rel Status Age Occupation Where Born
Mary MARDON Head W 65 Stocking Knitter StokeinTeignhead, Devon
Sarah MARDON Daughter in law M 32 Gold Miner's Wife Totness, Devon
Mary P MARDON Grandaughter - 9 Scholar StokeinTeignhead, Devon
Ann C MARDON Grandaughter - 7 Scholar StokeinTeignhead, Devon
George MARDON GrnSon - 4 Scholar StokeinTeignhead, Devon
John G BATCHERS Nephew U 17 Scholar Mary le, bonLondon

James is no longer living with her and this is consistent with him moving to his grandparents - perhaps because he was apprenticed or working for a house painter in St. Mary Church.

However, we don't have any evidence that Sarah is Thomas's daughter.  I haven't been able to find a birth record for her.  Possibly the marriage certificate for her and Thomas MARDON might help if she declares her father to be Thomas. 

1881 Census (taken 3rd April 1881) Crown Copyright

Here is what may be Sarah again - still in StokeinTeignhead with her mother in law and an umarried daughter. Dhe doesn't class herself as a 'widow' so presumably Thomas is still away and what looks like him appears in the 1880 US census, living in Bidwell, Butte, California, aged 52 and from England.  He is living with a Henery MARDON, aged 46, presumably a brother or a cousin, and a couple of other men, all give their occupation as 'Labourer' and their marital status as 'Single'.

 I wonder what Sarah and family were living on?  If it was just Mary's wages then they would have been very hard up.

Name Rel Status Age Occupation Where Born
Sarah MARDON Daughter in law M 52 Formerly Domestic Servant Totness, Devon
Mary E MARDON Daughter - 29 Dressmaker StokeinTeignhead, Devon
Mary MARDON Mother in Law W 85 Formerly Weaver St. Mary Church, Devon

James, her presumed eldest son,  was living in London in 1881 and gave his birthplace as Newton Abbot.  When he married he gave his father's name as William.

By 1901, Sarah's daughter, Mary A MARDON, was living alone - presumably her mother and grandmother had died in the intervening period (or Sarah might have married again).