The Wilkeys of Stepney from 1823
William Tavenor Wilkey christened in St. Mary's, Bathwick, Bath on 23 March 1821 moved to the civil parish of St Anne, Limehouse, in Stepney prior to the birth of his first child William in 1858. In the parliamentary borough of Tower Hamlets, he was the son of William and Mary Anne Wilkey. A brewer by trade, the family lived in the ecclesiastical parish of St John, Stepney. His wife Mary Anne Wilkey (b.1839) was sixteen years younger than her husband and originated from Buckingham (spelt Buckenham in the census).
William's brother Ambrose Wilkey also moved to London during the same period.
The air must have been good in this part of London as the Stepney Wilkeys seemed to have thrived, and at least two of their four children (Frederick (b.1860) and Charles (b.1863)) had large families. Frederick seems to be listed as a 'Carman' by trade, working on own account and Charles a 'Stone maker' or perhaps 'mason'.
Here are the family details from the 1871 census:
The eldest son William married a woman by the name of Alice and he had at least three children by the time of the census in 1901. Alice was born in Stepney like her husband and they lived in the civil parish of Poplar, in the ecclesiastical parish of St Saviours.
William became a clockmaker or watchmaker, here are the details from the 1901 census:
A further son, Frederic Wilkey was living in the same house but is recorded separately in the census as he had just started a family.
Frederick's family records (below) from the 1901 census shows that he had no less than eight children, they lived in the Limehouse area of Stepney like the father:
Charles married a woman called Caroline who was born in the administrative district of Shadwell, also in London. A marriage is recorded in the administrative district of Poplar in the Mar qtr of 1886 of one Charles Ambrose Wilkey, it is believed that this is the same Charles Wilkey. This certainly fits with the birth of their first child Caroline a year later.
Here are his family details from the 1901 census, which shows that the family lived in the same street as his brother Frederick:
Walter Tavenor Wilkey, Willam and Mary Anne's second son has been difficult to trace in the census, not merely because his name has been misspelled 'Wilkie' but because he also remarried and doesn't seem to appear in the 1901 census. His first wife, the former Mary Dillon whom he married on the 28 February 1881 died at quite a young age, however, according to the 1891 census they did have a family:
Ambrose Wilkey was christened in St Mary's, Bathwick, Bath on the 8 September 1823 and was the son of William and Mary Anne Wilkey. He was a butcher like his father William (his brother Richard was a butcher's assistant) and moved to London between 1855 and 1860 judging from the birthplaces of the children.
He married Caroline Smith on the 1 May 1853.
In the 1871 census there is some confusion on the ages of Ambrose and Caroline Wilkey as they do not indicate a 10 year gap when compared to the 1881 census. This is not unusual although it is probable that Ambrose was fairly literate, as he was a tradesman. The children's ages compare favourably though. Ambrose and Caroline's prospective birth years would have been in the period just prior to the introduction of registration for births, marriages and deaths.
Here is the 1871 census showing the full family unit:
George Wilkey appears to have been born William George Wilkey and his birth registered in the Sept qtr of 1854. However, there is another William Wilkey born in Pancras in the Mar 1863 qtr, but this does not square with his age as given in the census of 1871 above, which is 7 years adrift.
The 1871 census also shows James at home whereas by the 1901 census his family was truly established and he was living at 46, Appleby Street, Haggerston.
Daughter Caroline may also have married and moved out as she is not listed at the address in the 1881 census 10 years later.
Here are the family details from the 1881 Census:
The 1901 Census shows that Ambrose was reaching a good age, however, his beloved wife Caroline had predeceased him. Two of the daughters had not married and were living with him at the time of the census, Agnes had some small status as a forwoman and Mary Ann continued to be a fancy shell box maker. The name of Wilkey is misspelled 'Wilker' in the census return.
James Ambrose Wilkey lived in London in the ecclesiastical parish of St Mary's, Haggerston (Civil parish of St Leonard's, Shoreditch) with his father Ambrose.
Not wishing to follow his father in the butchery business he became a police constable and for a while up until his marriage he lived at the police station at 17, Kingsland Road, London, Middlesex where he reported to police inspector Henry Parker. Thirty-two other police constables were based at the same police station. James was 26 years old when he was based here at the time of the census in 1881, and it is not long after this that he married Charlotte Pescott who was 32 at the time and was born in Chichester, Sussex c.1849. She was the daughter of one Thomas Pescott, a brewer. They were married on the 20 July 1881, the marriage being registered in the administrative district of Portsea.
A niece who was born in Portsmouth was also staying with them at the time of the 1901 census. Here a the family details from the 1901 Census: