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Notes on Beckwith Family Tree 11a 

The offspring of Joseph Beckwith (b1776) & Jane Pittard 

(From / go back to Tree 11 Notes )

For Joseph's offspring with Ann Bartholomew, please see Tree 11b Notes


      Please Note - 

  • In order to avoid family details being unearthed during searches by potential employers etc, the current policy is to omit full details of those born after around 1950 and believed still to be alive. If you are not shown and wish to be included, please write to me at the address at the page foot.

  • Surnames underlined are those which apply following marriage & carry through to following generation(s)

  • We are desperately short of photos of this family branch - any contributions most welcome !  


Generation 8


Joseph Beckwith - b 25th (or poss 5th - torn page) March 1801 in Clerkenwell. Baptised June 30th 1801 at St James Clerkenwell. (PR) 

On 2 June 1825 at St Anne Limehouse he married Eliza Greenwood ANSELL, daughter of Thomas & Mary Ansell. She was b 28th August 1807 in Chertsey, Surrey and bap there almost exactly a month later. She was also bap on 28/2/1815 in Whitechapel, London after the family moved to Limehouse

Joseph died on 22nd Oct 1827 and there is an entry in the Parish Records Collection for the Burial of Joseph Beckwith of  Wilderness Row, aged 26, on 28 October 1827 at St James Clerkenwell. An IGI source quotes "Joseph died of rapid consumption Oct 22 1827 leaving at his decease two children who rapidly followed him to the deep and lasting regret of his deservedly attached family". 

The children referred to were 3 month old daughter Jane Ann on Dec 9th 1827 (b Sep 27, bap 2nd Dec, bur 13th Dec) and 15 month old son Joseph on 24th Dec.1827 (born 8th Sep 1826, bap 8th Oct 1826, bur 30th Dec 1827) (PR)  "Both children were interred with their father in St James, Clerkenwell". (IGI) 

Although widowed by the young age of 20, Eliza never re-married. She appears in the 1841 census in Nelson Terrace, Stoke Newington, as a female servant to Thomas Truman. She is shown as 'born in Middlesex' whereas in 1851, still a servant in the same household, 43 yr old widow Eliza G Beckwith is shown correctly as having been born in Chertsey, Surrey. She hadn't been positively traced in 1861 or 1871 but the only really plausible death record for an Eliza Greenwood Beckwith was in Sculcoates (suburb of Hull, E Riding of Yorks) in Dec 1874, aged 67. Although way out of her previous territory, the likelihood of there having been another Eliza Greenwood Beckwith of the correct age was considered to be doubtful. 

This discovery led to a re-appraisal of the previously discounted 1871 census for East Yorkshire, where she is in Sculcoates as Eliza G Beckwith, a widow living on her own as an "umbrella & parasol maker". Drawback is that her age of 58 is some 6 years younger than she really was (but not unknown for the female of the species !) while her birthplace had been transcribed as "Yorkshire". However, resort to the original manuscript census entry revealed the truth - her birthplace was written as "Churchsea" with no county given so this was the enumerator's attempt at phonetically spelling Chertsey whilst the transcriber helpfully thought that, with no county mentioned, it must be in Yorkshire. Must have been a cricketer. Hmm !   

She was equally difficult to track in the 1861 but, thanks to help from her great great niece, she was found at a different address in Sculcoates - with age over 20 years adrift this time - living with her spinster sister who seems to have been in the umbrella business since at least 1851 if not before. So, out of a job when her employer in N London, Thomas Truman, died in 1853, she migrated north to join her sister. 


Jane Elizabeth Beckwith b20/08/1805 in Clerkenwell, bap 15/09/1805 at St James Clerkenwell. (PR)    

Jane Elizabeth Beckwith b1805 On 24/12/1830 she married John MOLLETT who became a successful Russian Merchant and banker in the City and they had 11 children. 

Although the family latterly lived in Chalfont, Bucks, she died at 13 Northbrook Rd, Lee, S E London on 11th Nov 1888 and was buried 5 days later in Norwood Cemetery.

For more information on Jane & John as well as their offspring, please see their great great granddaughter Rosemary Dearman's excellent website

Photo pinched from Rosemary's webpage

Henry Samuel Beckwith b26th Feb 1809 in Aldersgate, bap 26th March at St James Clerkenwell. (PR) 

On 10th Aug 1833 at St John Clerkenwell he married Maria Chapman ALLEN, b1814 (PR). In 1841 the couple are in the Hackney district with children 'Jane' (5) and 'Ann' (2) while their eldest child, Joseph Henry (7) was away at school in the Chilterns with his cousin John Mollett jnr. The inverted commas around Jane and Ann above are because, in a move to confuse future genealogists, these were presumably the names by which they were known within the family as distinct from their registered names which were Maria Jane Susan Beckwith and Mary Ann Beckwith respectively. During the 1840s three more children were added - Henry in 1842, Frances Caroline ('Fanny') in 1846 and then Jane E in 1848 who has led some to believe that the earlier 'Jane' had died.. 

In June 1850 Henry Samuel embarked the ss. Washington at Southampton bound for New York where he arrived on 5th July to sound out the situation there and, if positive, prepare for the arrival of the rest of the family. It obviously was positive but Joseph Henry, by now in gainful employment with his uncle John Mollett, decided to stay in England even so. Hence it was just Maria and the other children who voyaged from Liverpool to New York that October aboard the brand new Cunard paddle steamer Asia (the largest ship built on the Clyde up to that time which carried 130 1st class passengers plus 30 2nd class). After arriving on 23rd October they took up residence in Brooklyn, Kings, New York to start a family association with Brooklyn lasting at least 120 years. In the 1855 NYC census and all thereafter, the two eldest girls are shown by their originally registered first Christian names - Maria J and Mary A.

[ It had been thought that Henry's younger brother George followed to the USA in big brother's footsteps but the reverse is actually true - George emigrated to the northern tip of New York state between 1841 and 1845 then took up residence in Brooklyn in the early 1850's. Whether they were in contact with one another or that both wound up in Brooklyn by coincidence is currently unknown.]

According to Dawn Sorensen, Henry achieved considerable fame as an engraver in the USA, his work still in demand at auction houses. Meanwhile the family further expanded but due to the paucity of available BM&D records for New York, some of the following information that is recorded in Dawn Sorensen's family bible cannot currently be corroborated by official records. Firstly there was John born Feb 14th 1851 but he died on July 26th 1852 aged 1; secondly George born June 15th 1855, died died July 26th the same year and finally Jessie Gertrude Sep 11th 1859 (when Maria was 45) 

With the two infant deaths in the 1850's then both Joseph Henry and Henry (Harry) having died in 1867/68, the male Beckwith line had died out by 1870 but all 5 girls survived into maturity and some were relatively long-lived.  There is also some confusion and mystery over a Robert G Willett (b1864) because he appears in the 1880 census as 16 yr old Robert Beckwith but it is sufficient to say here that Robert was not Henry & Maria's. 

Another mystery is when Maria died. She is at home with Henry in 1880 (ages 66 and 75 respectively) but not in the 1892 census (when it is just Henry and daughter Jane E) so it is being assumed that she died between those two dates. Henry died in Brooklyn in 1895. For more details of their children, please see 9-8.43 below 


Mary Ann Beckwith b 25/08/1811 at Wilderness Row, bap 12th March 1812 at St James Clerkenwell. (PR) 

Married Francis William TOPHAM (family bible). "He was an engraver born in Leeds (Yorkshire) and he did some nice pieces for the Illustrated Views of London but later turned his hand to watercolour at which he was very successful." (GD) He was born on 15th April 1808 to Richard Topham and Elizabeth nee Rawson, christened at St Peter in Leeds on 8th June 1808 (IGI)..


Sample engravings (l) the Thames from Greenwich (r) West India Docks 


Favourite subjects in later years were rural life in Wales, Ireland & Scotland

In the 1841 census the couple are shown in Brecknock Place, Kentish Town with three children Mary Ann (b1836), Francis (registered in Sep qtr 1838 at St Luke's as Frank William Warwick) and Henry Richard (Mar qtr 1840 in St Lukes). In 1851 the family is shown in nearby 32 Fortess Terrace with 'James Topham' as its head, Mary Anne and now 6 children, the youngest three being Alfred Charles (Jun qtr 1845), Lilla (Mar 1847, but listed here as 'Ellen') and Bessie (June qtr 1849), all registered in St Pancras. Daughter Frances Jane (b St Pancras Dec qtr 1842) is missing from the list as she was staying with her cousins the Molletts at 1 Hanover Park, Peckham (then part of Camberwell parish). Two further daughters were added during the 1850's - Alice Jane (Sep qtr 1851) and Grace (Dec qtr 1854), again both registered in St Pancras.

Attempts to trace the family in 1861 had failed but most of the children have now been found in Llanwrst in Denbighshire where, abnormally, no head of the household is shown. 'Frank W W Topham' is listed an 'Artist Painter' in his own right aged 23 but as a 'Visitor' whereas his siblings - Marianne I (24), Frances J (18), Alfred C (16), Alice J (9) and Grace (6) - are all shown as son or daughter of Artist Painter. Also visiting were two Molletts - Jane E (nee Beckwith, 55) and William H C (13). Of the three children missing, Bessie had died in Islington in 1856, Henry (shown as Henry W) aged 21 was lodging near Wolverton, Bucks, while working as an "Engine Fitter" in the famous railway works there and it was Lilla's turn to be chez the Molletts at 13, The Terrace, Peckham Road, Camberwell (plus her mother, Mary Anne, shown as age 94 rather than 49 which explains why she was difficult to trace). Father Francis William has been found in Redhill ("Reigate Foreign"), Surrey, listed as Brother-in-law to the host family by the name of Jacobs.  

Mary Ann died in 1871 while Francis died in 1877.


George Beckwith b 6th Sep 1816 at Wilderness Row, bap 3rd Nov 1816 at St James Clerkenwell. (PR)  His Christening also appears in the records for St John, Clerkenwell, same day.

No apprenticeship has been traced for him as a silversmith or indeed of his applying for Goldsmith's Freedom. Instead there is strong evidence that he was the mystery third George Beckwith "age 20" listed in the 1841 census entry in Edinburgh with his uncle George (1786-1844) and 15 yr old cousin George. With the 1841 census rounding ages down to the nearest 5 yrs, 24 yr old George would indeed have been shown as age 20. Makes a bit more sense than certain American family trees which claim that head of the household George (snr) had two sons concurrently living with him both named George !

George married Mary Ann (frequently appearing in US records as Marion or even Marianne) Wightman (ditto as Whiteman) in the USA on 4/2/45 (according to Paul Beckwith's 19th century book on the Beckwiths) though no evidence has yet been found to prove or disprove  the date but it is eminently feasible given the birth of their first child in New York in late 1846.  Mary Ann was born on 5th Nov 1826 in London to George Wightman & Mary Ann Poole. This is confirmed by her New York burial record (see below, with license needed for the spellings given by the family informants) while her 4th son James born in 1865 had the middle name of Poole (as did Mary Ann's brother James (Wightman) who lived with the family in the USA for most of his life). 

Currently no immigration record or ship manifest has been found showing when George Beckwith emigrated but it was probably around 1843. Sadly the same also applies to the Wightmans - in 1841 they are in Middx but 1850 in Buffalo, Erie, New York. 

Note - According to the Google edition of Paul B's book, Marianne's surname was Wigaman but this may be a mis-typing, an OCR problem, or a misunderstanding because the rest of her family are universally spelt Whiteman from 1850 onwards. Paul B also quotes Erie Pennsylvania as the birthplace of their first children but I think that this could have been a wrong assumption by Paul because in the 1850 census, both the Beckwiths and the Wightmans are living next to one another in Buffalo, the main city in Erie County which is in New York state, some 100 miles north east of the town of Erie, PA. However, an explanation could be that  the family DID move to Erie PA some 40 years later (and descendents are still there today !) which would have been about the time Paul wrote the book.  

In the 1841 census in Scotland George is listed simply as a clerk but the US records more explicitly quote him throughout his life as a Bookkeeper, a vocation also taken up by his eldest and youngest sons..

It is currently believed that he had seven children - see 9-8.45 below for details.

George died in New York died 18th July 1894 aet 78 (a year before his elder brother Henry) and was buried 3 days later Cypress Hills cemetery, Brooklyn while Marianne died 27th Sept 1908 in Brooklyn and was buried the following day.  

George Beckwith - death 1894 

Images courtesy of and with thanks to LDS Family Search Org

8.46? A burial record has been found in St James Clerkenwell for a Robert William Beckwith, infant, 24th April 1819 with address at time of death " St John St". Given that St John Street is the one at the west end of Wilderness Row, it does very much look as if this was Robert William & Ann's first child and after he died, the next boy was similarly named. However, because this Joseph & younger brother Robert William lived and worked very close to one another, if not in the same properties, and no birth or Christening record has yet been found for the infant, his parentage has yet to be conclusively proven. Please also see discussion under Robert William in Notes-1

Generation 9


Offspring of Henry Samuel Beckwith & Maria Chapman Allen (8.43)

Further information about and any photos of this family most welcome, please !
9.30 Joseph Henry Beckwith b 13th June 1834 in E London, bap Clerkenwell St John 16th Jul 1834. This set the pattern for future family baptisms because although the births of his siblings are recoded in Hackney, baptisms found so far have been in St John Clerkenwell. 

In 1841 Joseph Henry is at school in Chalfont (Bucks) with his 1st cousin, John Mollett jnr while in 1851 he is not only working for John Mollett snr as a "clerk to a Russian Merchant" but also living with his family in Camberwell district. He has yet to be traced in 1861 - perhaps he was abroad on Mollett business - but he died unmarried in Camberwell district in 1868, probate being granted to Arthur Robert Mollett, a son of his employer and sibling Fanny's future husband.

9.31 Maria Jane Susan Beckwith b May 19th (Dawn Sorensen's Family Bible) 1836 in Hackney (BMD)

Appears in 1841 census as just "Jane" then from 1850, when she landed in New York, as Maria or Maria J. Last noted in the 1855 NYC census thence no trace. 

9.32 Mary Ann Harriet Beckwith  b Aug 1st (DSFB) 1839 in Hackney (BMD)

Appears in 1841 census as just "Ann" then from 1850, when she landed in New York, as Mary Ann. Last noted in the 1855 NYC census thence no trace. 

9.33 Henry Beckwith (aka Harry) born 1st Dec 1841 (DSFB) in Hackney

Emigrated with the others in 1850 and present at home with family in the 1855 census but not thereafter. Believed to have died in Brooklyn aged 25 on 30th July 1867

9.34 Frances Caroline Beckwith (Fanny) born Feb (25th ?)(DSFB) 1846 in Hackney. 

Fanny did emigrate with her siblings in 1850 as she is clearly shown in the 1855, 1860, 1870 and 1875 censuses with the family in Brooklyn but she must have returned to England soon after 1875 because in Oct 1878 at the age of 32 she married her 1st cousin Arthur Robert Mollett in Buckinghamshire. Arthur was the son of John & Jane (8.42 above) and although the marriage is shown as being in Amersham district, it was probably in Chalfont where John Mollett had a stronghold.

In 1881 the couple are in another parental stronghold - Lee in S E London - where his mother (and her aunt), Jane Elizabeth Mollett nee Beckwith, was living whilst in 1891 they have moved to the Clapham area of South West London but they then say farewell to England to go and live in foreign parts - Newport Monmouthshire - where they stayed for the rest of their lives, Fanny dying there in Jul 1914, age 68, and Arthur on 22nd Nov 1922, aged 77.

No children appear in any of the censuses but in 1911 there is evidence of an afterthought - the form was originally completed for Fanny with 'none/none/none' for number of children born, number still alive and number died. However, the first and last 'none' entries have then been crossed through and replaced by 'one', possibly indicating a baby who did not survive for very long. A birth has been found in Lewisham district (which covers Lee) in Q2 1881 for a Lewie Mollett followed immediately by his death. This confinement would explain why the couple were with his mother in Lee while 'Lewie' is a possible misunderstanding of Lewis which does occur in the Mollett family.

9.35 Jane Elizabeth Beckwith b April 1st (DSFB) 1848 in Hackney

Registered originally as plain Jane, she emigrated with the rest of the family to Brooklyn where she gained her second initial and, certainly from 1880 onwards, lost a couple of years off her age at each opportunity. Hence she is 30 in 1880 and just 40 twelve years later in 1892 when, still unmarried, she's the last one left with her father. No marriage or death officially traced but a handwritten note in the family Bible quotes June 22nd 1922.

One Ancestry family tree alleges that she is the mother of Robert G Willet who was born in 1864 (when Jane was just 16) because he appears in the 1880 census as Robert G Beckwith. That census entry could easily be explained as a "plague of the dittos" because the Willets lived with or close to the Beckwiths for many years before 1880 and, in true Beckwith, Mollett & Topham style, the children were often "interchangeable". However, the 1875 New York census quotes the then 11 yr old Robert Willet as a 'grandson'. Watch this space for the real story, meanwhile young Robert Willet died in 1881 aged 17.

9.36 John Beckwith b Feb 14th (DSFB) 1851 Brooklyn, Kings died 26th July 1852  age 1, same location. The State record gives a date of 31/7/52 but this could well be the burial rather than death.
9.37 George Beckwith b June 15th 1855, died 26th July same year (DSFB) 
9.38 Jessie Gertrude Beckwith b Sep 11th 1859 (DSFB) in Brooklyn, Kings NYC. The guess that the G of her middle name stood for Gertrude (after Jessie Gertrude Mollett) is borne out by the Bible entry ! 

With parents in 1870, 1875 and 1880 censuses in Brooklyn. On 11th Sep 1888 (her birthday) she married Joseph Webster in Kings district who was just a year her senior. She died on 21st Feb 1927 (DSFB & Ancestry) in Brooklyn but no death for Joseph has yet been traced - he was certainly at home with Jessie and their two children in Brooklyn in 1925. Those two children were -

  • Edith Beckwith Webster b 2nd Oct 1889 (DSFB) - still single in 1940 census in Brooklyn. Poss died 1970 in Brooklyn

  • Thomas Beckwith Webster b 13th Nov 1897 (DSFB). Before the family Bible entry was found, it was just Edith B and Thomas B but a hunch that the B stood for Beckwith was proven by a Google search which found the announcement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on 16th April 1931 of his engagement to Miss Ruth Wyllys BLISS of 404 Jefferson, both "old established Brooklyn families".  The couple were last noted in 1940 - still in Brooklyn - with Thomas aged 42, a salesman, and Ruth 40 with no children.

Back to parents Henry Samuel Beckwith & Maria Chapman Allen (8.43)

9-8.45 Offspring of George Beckwith & Mary Ann Whiteman (8.45)
Further information about them and any photos of this family most welcome, please ! 

Because a confusing variety of names was used for the 3 girls, it looks as if Paul Beckwith transposed two of them and others since have followed suit but hopefully they are correct below ! 


Thomas D Beckwith b 15th Nov 1846 in Erie, Penn (Paul B) - prob Erie County NY as discussed elsewhere but the 1850, 1855 & 65 censuses just say New York (MGS). Moved to Brooklyn with his family by 1865 but after marriage to Mary Gilmour in 1874 he moved back up north ... to none other than Erie, Penn. 



Joseph Henry Beckwith


Jane Beckwith ('Jennie' during her marriage)


Mary A / Marion (Polly) Beckwith


Maria Allen (Minnie) Beckwith


George Beckwith


James P Beckwith


Back to George Beckwith & Marianne Whiteman (8.45)


Generation 10 


Offspring of 


Offspring of 


Generation 11

 Offspring of 

Generation 12

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