Gosport, Hampshire

Thomas & Sarah Trewin Family of Woolwich, Co. Kent, England

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

Section of an 1832 map* of London; see Woolwich & Plumstead on the right, well beyond what were then the borders of the city and surrounded by marshes and fields. You can see the Tower of London along the river (upper left corner).

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.

Categories: Death, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Gosport, Hampshire, Jersey City, Hudson Co., Last Wills and Testaments, Quebec City, Quebec, The Ion, Trewin, Wesleyan Methodist, Woolwich, Greater London | 4 Comments

Trewin Ancestral Plot Thickens

Some recent digging on the Family Search website helped me find some siblings for Thomas J. Trewin (b. 1817) whose apprenticeship papers appeared in the last post: Sarah, John, Mary Ann, and John. And the search confirmed that baby Joseph was definitely Thomas’s brother. (Last June, I’d written a post about the condolence letter written to Thomas (Sr.) and Sarah Trewin by someone named Featherstone on the sad occasion of Joseph’s passing in 1833. At the time I had been uncertain as to whom baby Joseph belonged.) Parents Thomas and Sarah were Wesleyan Methodists and all the children mentioned above were baptized in the Wesleyan Methodist Church on William St. in Woolwich (Greater London). We know from biographical information that Thomas (Jr.) took part in the construction of one of London’s first Wesleyan chapel. Whether it was the Woolwich chapel or one elsewhere, I do not yet know.

Early 19th century image of Gosport, England (from http://www.sopse.org.uk)

I have always wondered about parents Thomas and Sarah’s own origins since the Trewin surname seems to have originated in Cornwall in Southwestern England, and at one time, most Trewins were concentrated there. So my curiosity was piqued when during my search I found a William Trewin, born in 1812 to a Thomas Trewin and a Sarah Larsen. Now, I can’t be sure that those parents are our Thomas and Sarah, at least not yet, but the fact that William was baptized in the Wesleyan Church–albeit on Middle Street in Gosport, Hampshire (located near Portsmouth on England’s south coast)–is intriguing. Could it be that the couple migrated from Cornwall to Hampshire, had William (and perhaps some other children) there, and then sometime between 1812 and 1817 traveled up to the Woolwich area, perhaps for work reasons or to join other Wesleyan Methodists, and ended up settling there?

Royal Arsenal, Woolwich (no known copyright restrictions per Wikipedia)

I did find a marriage record for a Thos. Trewin and Sarah Larcom (Larcom and Larsen are close; same number of letters; both begin with “Lar”; perhaps the discrepancy boils down to differing interpretations during document handwriting analysis) dated 27 February 1811. They were married in Alverstoke, Hampshire, which is just two miles from Gosport. This would certainly fit with William Trewin’s birth in Gosport about eleven months later. Now, if only we can prove that this Thomas and Sarah are indeed our Thomas and Sarah who lived in Woolwich–that would be quite something!  Hopefully it won’t take a trip to Alverstoke to figure this out! Anyone with information on the Trewins in Alverstoke or Woolwich, please get in touch. [see update posted on 6/15/12.]

1-Thomas Trewin 
 +Sarah
|--2-William Trewin b. 23 Jan 1812, c. 23 Feb 1812, Wesleyan Church, Middle
|    Street, Gosport, Hampshire, England
|--2-Thomas J. Trewin b. 12 Aug 1817, Woolwich, Kent, England, c. 7 Sep 1817,
|    Wesleyan Methodist Church, William St, Woolwich, Kent, England
|--2-Sarah Trewin b. 29 May 1822, c. 23 Jun 1822, Wesleyan Methodist Church,
|    William St, Woolwich, Kent, England
|--2-John Trewin b. 10 Jun 1824, c. 4 Jul 1824, Wesleyan Methodist Church,
|    William St, Woolwich, Kent, England
|--2-Mary Ann Trewin b. 23 Nov 1825, c. 9 Apr 1826, Wesleyan Methodist Church,
|    William St, Woolwich, Kent, England
|--2-John Trewin b. 17 Aug 1827, c. 14 Aug 1831, Wesleyan Methodist Church,
|    William St, Woolwich, Kent, England
|--2-Joseph Trewin b. 22 Jul 1831, c. 14 Aug 1831, William St, Wesleyan
|    Methodist Church, Woolwich, Kent, England, d. 9 Apr 1833
 
Categories: Alverstoke, Hampshire, Gosport, Hampshire, Phillips, Trewin, Wesleyan Methodist, Woolwich, Greater London | 2 Comments

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