My great-great-great-great grandfather William Keast was baptised on 12 November 1775 in Duloe, Cornwall. However by the time he was 35 he was living in East Stonehouse (now Plymouth).
He married locally in Duloe in 1805 to Mary Rendle and they had 3 children together, Elizabeth (1805 Duloe), Philip (1807, also Duloe) but then must have moved through to East Stonehouse as Ann Grace was born there in c1810.
His second wife, Rebecca Holt, born in 1789, was from Okehampton in Devon and they married in St George’s Church, East Stonehouse on 14 June 1813.
By the time their daughter Rebecca was born in 1816 William was working as Clark to the Chaplain at the Royal Naval Hospital in East Stonehouse. What I’m not sure about is whether this was in a lay-religious capacity [his children were baptised as Methodists] or a paid capacity as in the 1841 census he was listed as a labourer; I’d like to find out more about the his role at the Hospital.
This website Navy and Army Military Life 1900 – 1914 around Plymouth (mostly!), kindly flagged up for me by Plymouth History Magazine, looks really promising, although focussing on a time period a few decades after William worked there. It will definitely be useful for later generations!
He and Rebecca had at least 9 children. What I’m not sure about is whether they had 11. The 1841 census records two further children but they’re so young – 4 and 2 – that I really hope for William and Rebecca, then approx 65 and 50 respectively, that they were grandchildren and that poor Rebecca wasn’t still having babies in her 40s! But without reliable contraception, one of the most empowering developments ever for women, it was entirely possible. There were Mary, William, Rebecca, Jane, Robert, Maria, Ann [my ancestor], Mary and Leah, plus the two young ones Elizabeth and William.
William died in 1849 and was buried in Ford Cemetery, Plymouth.
© Text copyright Lynne Black 26 March 2014