The Pettit Family 1823 - 2002

William Amos Pettitt b 6 August 1866 - d

Wife - Alice Son - Alfred Daughter - Jessie Daughter - Edith
Census Year Copy Found Certificate Type Copy Found Associated Locations  
1871 Yes



Place of birth (No map yet)
1881 No



Place of marriage
1891 No



1901 Yes        




Research Dates
5 Jul 06

5 July 06
William's story covers a long period of time, but is somewhat patchy.   There is a gap between the 1871 and 1901 census records, he does not appear in either the 1881 or 1891 censuses.   The reason for this is not yet apparent, but the 1901 census does reveal the he and his wife had three children, born around 1889, 1892 and 1900.   The certificates for these births will be obtained, they will hopefully reveal the reason why he cannot be found in the 1881 and 1891 census records.

Looking at his life chronologically, William was born of parents William and Sarah Ann Pettit, on the 6th August 1866, at 72 St Helens Street, Ipswich.   At the time of the birth, father William was a Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, so he must have belonged to the missing 'tall' branch of the family!   His height must have been inherited by William, as his job as found in the 1901 census would indicate.   The birth certificate was particularly useful, as it was the first document to reveal the maiden name of William's mother, it being Middleditch.

The next appearance for William was in the 1871 census, which was the record in which he was found.   The census shows him as being aged 4, living with his parents in St. George's Barracks, Charing Cross, London.   After that, his marriage to Alice Germain provides the next document in which he appears, his marriage certificate.   It shows that they were married in the Register Office in Blackburn, Lancs. on the 25th September 1886.   Quite why William had moved to Blackburn is not known, and probably never will be, but it seems that whilst working as a footman at 11 Gibraltar Street, he found and married Alice, who was also working at the same address as a dressmaker.

The final record in which William appears, to date, is the 1901 census.   At that time he and wife Alice had moved to 37 Sewardstone Road, Bethnal Green in London, with children Alfred, 12, Jessie, 9, and Edith, 5 months.   William was a police sergeant in the Metropolitan Police, which means that he must have been a tall man, as there were still height requirements in place at that time.

The search for further information relating to William will continue, although records other than his death certificate may prove hard to find.

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Birth Certificate

William's birth certificate has settled a number of mysteries, not least the date of his own birth! It also provides his mother's maiden name, until now unknown, and his fathers occupation, which will open other avenues of enquiry.
William came into the world on the 6th August 1866, born to parents William and Sarah Ann Pettit, at 72 St Helens Street, Ipswich. The provision of the exact address on the certificate is something of a rarity for me, and generates a number of questions. William Amos's father William was, at the time of this birth, a Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, so was the address in which William Amos was born a permanent address, or a hiring, and was William at home on leave for the birth?
Mother Sarah Ann's maiden name was found for the first time, it being Middleditch. She was also the informant for the birth, which was registered on the 31st August 1866, by William Hutchinson, Registrar.

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Marriage Certificate

The marriage certificate for William Amos and Alice shows that they were married in the Register Office in Blackburn on the 25th September 1886. William seems to have miscalculated his age, on the marriage certificate it is given as 21, but his birth date and the date of the marriage, both known facts, show that he was actually 20 at the time of his wedding. His occupation is given as a footman (domestic servant), and he was living at 11 Gibraltar Street at the time of his marriage. Father William Pettit is shown as a publican.
Wife Alice (nee Germain) is shown as being 22 years old, and a spinster. She was a dressmaker, living at the same address as William Amos at the time of the marriage. Her father was George Germain, a bootmaker by profession.
The marriage was witnessed by Joseph Wilson and Christine Wilson, both of whom are unknown. The marriage was registered by William Tyrrell, Registrar, and Henry Whittaker, Supt. Registrar.

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1901 Census

William seems to be absent from the 1881 and 1891 census records, but he does appear in the 1901, married to Alice, and they have children. William is now a police sergeant, the first member of the family ever found to be in the police. The family are living at 37 Sewardstone Road in Bethnal Green. With William (34) and Alice (36) are son Alfred, aged 12, born in Plumstead, London, and 2 daughters, Jessie aged 9 from Plumstead, London, and Edith, 5 months, born in Bethnal Green, London. Making up the household are a boarder, Betchley Thomas, and 2 visitors, Jessie Miller, 29 and Edith Miller, 4 months.

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