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Thomas White and Eliza Sear – Fred White’s Grandparents

Thomas White and Eliza Sear were both born in Steppingley, Bedfordshire, England and according to family records were both christened on August 24, 1817, which appears incorrect. Thomas was the son of Sarah Joy [lace maker was her occupation per the 1851 Census] and Thomas White [Senior] [farm laborer in 1851 Census]. Eliza Sear was the daughter of John Sear and Anne Robinson.

Thomas and Eliza were married on October 23, 1838, in Ampthill. They had seven children that were born in either Steppingley, Ampthill, or Eversholt, all in the same Shire. Jane was their first child who was born in 1839 and who died in infancy. Ephraim was born in 1840 in Steppingley. Jonas was born on April 1, 1843, in Ampthill. Ann was born in 1867 in Eversholt. Alfred was born on May 22, 1848, in Eversholt. Ruth was born on October 2, 1851, in Ampthill. John White [our great grandfather] was their last child and was born on March 17, 1858, in Ampthill.

Eliza became an invalid after John’s birth, spending 27 years in a wheelchair. The family lived at No. 29 Woburn Street in Ampthill. [Ampthill lies twenty-five miles southeast of Northampton]

Thomas was remembered as being very strict with his children, so much so that his son Alfred left home and his whereabouts remained unknown to the family. His son John had to “toe the mark”. If John was not home by a certain time, he was sent to bed without his supper. Thomas was a farmer and later a brewery man. Thomas was an Elder in the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Ampthill, England. He was a very religious man and taught his children to honor the Sabbath and attend church. Later, they lived in London where Sarah Holton, their daughter-in-law, visited them. Sarah remembered Thomas as being kind and jovial, and [Sarah] had an amiable relationship with Thomas.

Eliza Sear died on July 23, 1885, and was buried in the Ampthill Churchyard. Thomas White was killed in a traffic accident on April 1, 1895, and was buried in Numhead Cemetery, London.

Written by Florence White

This is a view of Steppingley where Thomas White (Jr.) and his father Thomas
This is a view of Steppingley where Thomas White (Jr.) and his father Thomas White (Sr.) were farm laborers.
The Ampthill Methodist Church was completed in 1884. Thomas was a Methodist Elder.
The Ampthill Methodist Church was completed in 1884. Thomas was a Methodist Elder.
Ampthill, England in the early 1900’s.
Ampthill, England in the early 1900’s.
Ampthill is south of Bedford and southeast of Northampton.
Ampthill is south of Bedford and southeast of Northampton. The map includes Steppingley, just south of Ampthill and Eversholt, just south of Steppingley.
The name of the home was over the door.
The name of the home was over the door.
The family lived at 29 Woburn Street in Ampthill.
The family lived at 29 Woburn Street in Ampthill.