Stoker Wilson's Family History Page

The Pitmans from Midhurst

The website for the Family History of Stoker & Lynn Wilson

The Pitman Family

The Pitman family are ancestors of my wife Lynn.

The Pitmans were a family living in Midhurst, West Sussex in the 18th & 19th century. For four generations they were shoemakers. Starting from Henry (c1730), the earliest Pitman traced so far, they grew into a sizable family in the 19th century, so that at one time their were no less than three Pitman shoemaking families in the village. They appear in trade directories all though the mid 1800s. But by the time of the 1891 census their were no Pitmans in Midhurst.

Henry Pitman (c1730-77) was Lynn's 5x Gt.Grandfather married Jane Boxal (1733-1806). Their children were Mary (1762-), Henry (1763-1864), William (1764-1886), John (1766-), Richard (1768-1812), Christopher (1769-), Anne (1773-1840), and Mark (1775-).

The line of descent passes to the eldest son Henry (1763) who married Hannah Eldridge (1769-1853). Their children were Mary (1792-), Henry (1795-) , James (1796-96), Anne(1797-), William (1798-), John (1801-), Richard (1804-64), Jane (1807-),Charles and Eliza (1810-) who were twins. James died in infancy. All the brothers were trained as shoemakers. Henry and Richard in particular traded in Midhurst, together with their cousin Richard Henry Pitman.

We've already seen something of Richard Pitman, who married Charlotte Challen (c1805 -66). They had Charlotte (1830-), Eliza (1833-), Richard (1836-), Caroline (1839-), Elizabeth (1842-1920) and William (1845-).

Henry Pitman (1795-) married Sarah (c1793). They had James (1821-48), Henry (1823-54), Sally (1824-), Alfred (1826-), Emma (1829-), Ellen (1831-), Arthur (1833-54) and Frances (1837-58).

The third brother is William Pitman (1799-.) In the1871 census where he is listed as 71 year old living in Kingston upon Thames with his daughters Fanny (aged 25) and Ellen (aged 4yrs). He too is described as a Shoemaker from Midhurst.

Next in line is John Pitman (1801-) who married Sarah (c1805-). Their children are Frances (c1839-), Louisa (c 1842-) and Frederick (c1844-). The 1851 census has them living in Lambeth London. John is described as a "messenger in customs" - a break from the family line.

Jane (1807-) married Job Tickner (c1817). The 1851 census shows Jane living with Job and her mother. Job was a school teacher and various census through to 1881 show him and Jane moving around the country in various teaching posts until they retired to Chichester.

The youngest son is Charles Pitman (1810 -) a twin to Eliza about whom we know nothing other than her baptism. He married Margaret (c1811 -) and they had Alfred (c1841 -), Walter (c1842 - ) and Frederick (c1850). The 1851 census lists Charles living with the family in Hillingdon, Middlesex, where he is described as carpenter from Midhurst. Poor Charles seems to have fallen on hard times, because by 1871 we find him in the Union Workhouse at Uxbridge while Margaret in living elsewhere and working as a dressmaker.

Richard's daughter, Elizabeth, was apparently called "Betsy". She is the direct link with our family. In 1861 she is found working in domestic service in London with her elder sister. She is part of a very grand household in Gloucester place, that of Colonel Henry B Dalzell. His entourage is an extensive one including his wife, Isabella, three children, a Cook, a Butler, a Ladies maid, a House maid, a Footman, a Coachman with his wife and child, and Elizabeth Pitman, the kitchen maid.

I speculate that Elizabeth met her future husband William Foster (from St.Albans) probably in London where maybe he was working. The wedding took place on 23rd September 1863 in Midhurst. From there they began a journey north possibly following work. By 1871 they were living in Ferry Hill, Co. Durham. And by 1881 they had moved to South Shields, Co. Durham, where the family settled down.

Note: For those persons deemed to be living no personal details except their names and relationships are excluded from this site.