The Belsham/Watts/Lucy Puzzle

I first came across the Watts family when John George Watts was a witness at the marriage of Frederick Seymour Banks to Elizabeth Belsham on 7 May 1870 at St Andrew Holborn, London. Elizabeth was a spinster, of the parish of Streatham, a daughter of James Belsham, a florist.

My grandmother, Jane Gertrude Wyborn who married Arthur Seymour Banks, a son of Frederick Seymour Banks and Elizabeth formerly Belsham, told me that the Banks family was connected in some way with the 'Fairfax Lucys'.

John George Watts, baptised 12 February 1826 at St Saviour Southwark, was a son of John Watts (born about 1798 in St George's Hanover Square) and Agnes Childry formerly Lucy (born about 1784 in Newington, Surrey), who married 1 June 1823 at St Olave, Southwark. They had 12 children, another of whom was Ellen Mary Watts.

In the 1861 census of The Plain, Epping, Elizabeth Belsham was aged 12 and born at Tawney, Essex. She (as cousin) was in the household of John J. Lucy (sic), aged 69, (born therefore about 1791) a retired fish salesman, born in Newington, Surrey, with his wife, Lucy E. Lucy aged 48 and born at Havant, Hampshire.

In the census of 1881, of 2 College Road Brighton, Mabel Lucy Banks, a daughter of Frederick Seymour Banks and Elizabeth Banks (formerly Belsham), was in the household of Lucy E. Lucy (a widow, aged 68, born Havant, Hampshire). Also present with Lucy E. Lucy was Ellen M. Watts, unmarried, aged 28. Both Mabel and Ellen were said to be nieces of Lucy E. Lucy (though I suspect that this needs to be interpreted rather loosely).

So, John George Watts had a mother, Agnes Childry Lucy (born possibly around 1784), and Elizabeth Belsham was a cousin of John J. Lucy (born about 1791). These were later found to be half brother and sister, children of William Lucy, both born in Newington, Surrey.

If the Lucy family can be traced back further there should be a link with the Belsham line. I should very much like to make further progress here.

Three of the children of John Watts and Agnes Childrey formerly Lucy were:

  1. Elizabeth Mary, born 25 May 1824 and baptised 20 June 1824 at St Saviour Southwark
  2. John George, baptised 12 February 1826 at St Saviour Southwark
  3. Ann Martha, baptised 6 July 1828 at St Saviour Southwark

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Posted January 2008