A map of Birmingham from the 1750s shows that it was no larger than most other towns of the area and was surrounded by countryside. By the mid 1800s it was expanding rapidly as rural migrants like our Millington ancestors headed in from the Shire counties in search of employment.
We know very little about William’s other sister, Sarah, except that she had left the family home in New Street, Wellington by the time of the 1821 Census when she would have been aged 17.
We do however have good information relating to both the youngest child James and to William himself.
James, of course, was cited twice in the court judgements of both 1833 (alongside his father Andrew) and 1834 with his older brother William.
We know that he married a Mary Edwards in Wellington on 4th August 1834 and we have already learnt that James and Mary lived in New Street, Wellington in 1841 with James’s brother John. Soon after the 1841 census, it seems that the couple moved to Cregoe Street in Lee Bank, Birmingham where James worked as a shoemaker and where they brought up at least four children: Mark born in 1841/2, Alfred in 1844/5, Alice in 1848 and Lucy in 1849.
James’ wife Mary died before 1876 and at the age of 66 he remarried a widow from Woolwich in Kent, named Elizabeth Smith, on 24th August 1876 at Birmingham St Luke. James and his second wife are listed in the 1881 census living at Back 0+ Mott Street. In 1881 he was 70 years old, listed in the census as a stone grinder born in Wellington, Shropshire. Elizabeth is recorded as aged 65, born in Woolwich.
James died in Birmingham in 1887 aged 76.
The children of James Millington
We have already mentioned that James Millington the bootmaker had four children: Mark, Alfred, Alice and Lucy (Louisa). The family are recorded in the 1851 census, living at 36 Cregoe Street in Lee Bank. All of the children were born in Birmingham according to the census, except the oldest child Mark who was born in Wellington in 1842.
There is a record indicating that James Millington’s oldest son Mark married an Elizabeth Cox at All Saints church in Birmingham on 25th July 1869. The death of a Mark Millington is recorded in 1910 in Aston, aged 69 (therefore born in 1841).
James’s second son, Alfred Emanuel Millington, married Sarah Davy at St Peter’s church, Dale End, on 29th January 1871. On his wedding day, Alfred was recorded as a 26 year old jeweller born in Birmingham, the son of James Millington, a boot maker. Sarah was 22, a spinster of Birmingham and the daughter of a farmer named John Davy. The couple were residing in Birmingham but no address is provided. The witnesses to their marriage were James Millington and Louisa Millington (Alfred’s sister, also known as Lucy?)
Alfred and his family are recorded in the 1881 census living at 18 Northwood Street. Alfred was a 36 year old jeweller born in Birmingham, his wife is recorded as Ann Millington, 44 years old from Tamworth. Their children are recorded as Alfred aged 9, a scholar, Florence aged 4, Howard aged 2 and an infant aged 4 months.
Obviously there is an irregularity in the first name and age of Alfred’s wife in the 1881 census record, compared with her name and age when they married ten years earlier. I don’t know how to explain this at the moment although I still believe that this is the correct record for Alfred’s family for various reasons. There is an absence of other references in various indexes for an Alfred Millington of the same age, profession and general profile and a record for the 1879 birth of the third child Howard shows that his full name was Howard Emanuel – a significant coincidence in that he shares the same unusual middle name as his father.
There are no other marriage records for an Alfred Millington to an Ann of any maiden name between 1865 and 1881 which fit Alfred’s profile (i.e. age, profession, father’s name), so my guess is that Sarah Davy was actually nearer to 32 when she married Alfred, not 22 and that her second name may have been Ann. The fact that the spouse named Ann came from rural Tamworth whilst the father of the person named Sarah was a farmer may also be a clue to the fact that they are the same person.
In any case, the same couple are also recorded 20 years later in the 1901 census, I don’t have an exact address at the moment but do have a listing of a family in Birmingham which included Alfred Millington aged 56, a house painter born in Birmingham, his wife Ann aged 63 from Tamworth, Howard aged 22, a brass burnisher and Ernest aged 20 a brass worker.
Returning to the other two children of James Millington, the two sisters of Mark and Alfred to whom we have just referred, I have no records at the moment for the marriage of the third child of James Millington, Alice, but there is a record appertaining to the fourth child Lucy (Louisa). A Louisa Millington, aged 25 married 24 year old Alfred Preston at All Saints church, Hockley on 9th September 1877. Her father James Millington was recorded as a boot maker, as was Alfred’s father, Thomas Preston. The couple resided at Ford Street and the witnesses were James Millingon and Emma Genelia Smith.
William Millington marries Phebe Jenkins
The oldest of Andrew and Elizabeth’s children was William. William Millington was a shoemaker (a journeyman) and at the age of about 20 he moved away from Wellington to Birmingham. There is a shoemaker named William Millington listed in the Wrighton‘s Triennial Directories of Birmingham for the years 1823 and 1825, working at 89 Weaman Street in the centre of Birmingham. I do not know for definite that this was him because it is only a listing with no additional evidence to substantiate the speculation.
We do know for certain that our ancestor William Millington married a Birmingham woman named Phebe Jenkins on Christmas day 1821 at St Peter and St Paul’s church in Aston (the church next to the Aston Villa football ground). According to the marriage record, the couple were both living in the parish and their witnesses were John Flevy and Mary Betts. Unfortunately no addresses, ages or professions were listed in this marriage record.
There is a baptismal record for a Phebe Jenkins whose Christening took place at St Philips in Birmingham on 3rd March 1797. It is quite likely that this was our own Phebe for three reasons. Firstly her age was about right, the unusual spelling of Phebe without the ‘o’ was consistent and finally the connection with St Philip’s was to be continued when some of her own children were baptised there and she herself was buried there in 1858.
Incidentally, the parents of the baby baptised in 1797 were William and Ann Jenkins. A couple named William Jenkins and Ann Whenlock married at St Peter and St Paul’s in Aston on 17th April 1799. If these records are all linked to our own Phebe Jenkins, it raises the possibility that she was born two years prior to her parent’s marriage.
I would like to find more definite evidence to prove that our own Phebe was the daughter of William and Ann Jenkins.