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A GAGGLE OF GANDERS

 
   
 

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1.7 FURTHER THOUGHTS ON THE ORIGINS OF WILLIAM GANDER

ome consideration will now be given to his possible Surrey or City of London origins briefly touched on in Part 1.1.

1. Surrey Origins - was he possibly the son of Thomas and Sarah Gander, baptised in Cranleigh on 3 Apr 1774?:

No date of birth is stated on the baptism entry. It would be reasonable to assume he was born about a month before this date and allowing for this he would have only been about 51 years and 9 months when he was buried on 24 Nov 1825.

This does not quite tie in with the stated age of 52 when buried in All Hallows the Great churchyard but as it is obviously another person who gives the age at death the information is frequently inaccurate. Birth certificates were non-existent before 1837, illiteracy was common - William's wife Ann Susan 'made her mark' in the register of marriages instead of a signature when they married in 1812 - and one wonders how accurately these people knew their exact ages, especially when they no longer possessed their baptism certificate or family bible where such events were sometimes recorded.

Also as can be seen later (in Part 4.1
) with the wife of one of William's grandsons, adult baptisms were not that uncommon and so without a stated date of birth in the register of baptisms there is always the possibility this William may have been born some years before 1774 and so not 'our man'.

Apart from William, Thomas and Sarah Gander had two other sons, James and

 

Thomas, as well as 4 daughters. Unfortunately vital information such as father's occupation was not recorded on any of the 7 baptisms although if he had been a hoopbender (or more likely a cooper) this would not have been unusual: F.E. Manning in 'Surrey Past and Present' states:

 

St.James Garlickhithe, Garlick Hill, City of London c. 1820's

St.James Garlickhithe,
Garlick Hill, City of London c. 1820's

'of all the Surrey industries the most enduring is brewing..... during the 19th century every large town such as Kingston, Guildford, Leatherhead and Farnham had two or three breweries and there were others in small villages like Cranleigh, Shelford, Bramley, Egham and Albury'.

There are indications from the parish registers that this family or grouping of Ganders were 'poor', certainly by the 1790's. Unfortunately the Parish Overseers of the Poor Accounts Books, which may have shed more light on this, do not seem to have survived.

It is also possible this William Gander was also the same man who married a Hannah Fuller in 1800 in Dorking, less than 6 miles away. If so, this is definitely not the right William as our man's marriage entry of 1812 in Newington states he was a bachelor.

The other link to Surrey must be William's friendship with the Wesson's who originated from Dorking but possibly the Gander's met up with this family when moving, or returning to, Wandsworth.

 
 
 

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