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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

52 Ancestors: #1 Richard Tillin (1825-1884)

I've decided to take up the challenge set by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog to have one blog post each week in 2014 devoted to a specific ancestor. It's called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

For my 1st post I've chosen Richard Tillin - he is the 5xGreat-Grandfather of my children. Richard is one of a few ancestors I have found in newspapers.

Richard was born and baptised in Ruislip in 1825. His parents were Richard Tilling and Mary Barker. He appeared on the 1841 census as a printer in the city of London. He married Sarah Lewis in 1847 and had 6 children - Thomas, John, George, Eli, Ann and Sarah. He appeared on the census for 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1881 in Berkshire as an agricultural labourer. He died in 1884.

Unfortunately Richard's entry in the Reading Mercury is a tragic tale as it describes his "Fatal fall from a load of hay at Padworth".

"British Newspapers 1710-1953", [database on-line], ( : accessed 7 Jan 2014) Reading Mercury Saturday 13th September 1884

 Richard presents 2 puzzles for me.

I wonder why Richard was born and baptised in Ruislip but his brother's and sisters were baptised in Beenham, Berkshire. The only theory I can come up with is that Richard Tilling (Richard's father) may have returned to Berkshire because his mother Elizabeth Tillin (nee Bernard) died in 1826 and maybe he was needed by his family?

In 1841 Richard could be found in the Allhallows the Great in London. If his occupation was a printer then he would have had to belong to a guild - maybe this one? But then a few years later he was back in Berkshire and then spent the rest of his life as an agricultural labourer. I would love to be able to find out what twist of fate led to this change in his life.


  1. It's those questions that make me want to be a time traveler! I can relate as I have any number of ancestors whose steps I can trace, but I want to know WHY they made certain choices.

    1. Diana
      That is so true!
      I think that's why I keep digging away in case I find a note/letter that might give me some clues
      Thanks for taking the time to read the blog and commenting

  2. What a tragic death but very interesting account.

    1. Wendy
      It is a bit of a sad story but I'm pleased that it was written up in the newspaper for me to find nearly 130 years later. It's quite amazing that he fell 7ft then got up, finished the job and went home!
      Thanks for stopping by my blog

  3. So interesting and sad to read. Richard was the father of Thomas who married my great grandmother Clara Monger. Richard could possibly be my great-great grandfather, but there's so many questions regarding Thomas' life and death.