I was excited to discover that the June 22, 1854, will of Thomas Trewin (the elder) is available online through the UK National Archives.
The document is very difficult to read but so far I have been able to make out the names of three sons—William, Thomas (my ancestor who immigrated to the US with wife Mary Anne Phillips and children in 1857), and John. The fact that a William was listed seems to confirm a previous post’s suspicions that the William Trewin born in Gosport, Hampshire, to a Thomas and Sarah Trewin and christened at the Wesleyan Church there, was indeed the William of this family. Previous research I did showed that Thomas and Sarah had four children who died as infants: two sons, John (the 1st) and Joseph, and two daughters, Mary and Sarah, and that all fits with the three brothers being the sole surviving heirs:
- William Trewin b. 23 Jan 1812, c. 23 Feb 1812, Wesleyan Church, Middle Street, Gosport, Hampshire, England
- Thomas J. Trewin b. 12 Aug 1817, Woolwich, Kent, England, c. 7 Sep 1817, Wesleyan Methodist Church, William St, Woolwich, Kent, England, d. 19 Sep 1875, Elizabeth, Union, NJ, bur. 22 Sep 1875, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ
- John Trewin b. 17 Aug 1827, c. 14 Aug 1831, Wesleyan Methodist Church, William St, Woolwich, Kent, England
Age-wise they would have been 42, 38, and 26 when the will was drawn up. The document was proved several years later on 12 November 1857. By then the “boys” would have been 45, 40, and 30. Thomas would have left for Quebec City, Canada, on the ship Ion, with his family some four months prior to that, in July 1857 (they later relocated to Jersey City, NJ. See previous posts for details on the circumstances and journey). I have yet to see mention made in the will of Thomas Sr.’s wife Sarah. It seems likely she predeceased him.
In any case, I am going to try to transcribe the will for posting here. It mentions properties in Plumstead and Woolwich (neighboring areas) and a gift to the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Woolwich. It will take some head-scratching, but I will do my best to decipher it.
I would love to know what brought Thomas Sr. and Sarah from Gosport to Woolwich; I presume it was work-related–perhaps to work at the Royal Arsenal or to help build the Wesleyan Chapel in Woolwich. I’d also love to know what happened to William and John, whether they remained in the Woolwich area, moved elsewhere, or also emigrated to North America. Are there any descendants out there?
So there is plenty more to learn, but the will provides wonderful new evidence of their lives in Woolwich. Stay tuned…
SEE FOLLOW-UP POST: https://chipsofftheoldblock.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/thomas-trewin-will/
*Map is in the public domain and available for sharing for non-commercial purposes under Creative Commons.