This is the gravestone of John and Prudence Orland, occupying a prominent position near the entrance to the church at Winwick.
The copy of the church register entry here records their marriage on April 23rd 1781.
Notice how it actually appears that Prudence has married a John "Holland"?
Well, with the birth of their first son William a year later, the register records this....
....and as can be seen, "Symonds" has been crossed out and "Orland" substituted after the Curate had discovered his mistake of using the mother's maiden name, with which he was evidently more familiar, instead of the new family name. Thus, the link between the Simonds and the Orland names was proven.
For me, this ancient and very fortunate mistake was far beyond any good luck that I could ever have hoped for. Without having seen the Symonds and Orland names together in this way, I would always have had a nagging doubt in my mind about the name "Holland", even though the timing of John and Prudence's marriage in relationship to the birth of their seven children was perfect.
It was most common then of course, for a first-born son to be named after his own father but it appears that a mutual respect existed between John and his brother William in Creaton. Seven years earlier, William named his first son John and it seems that his sibling here in Winwick reciprocated that gesture.
It is also notable that Prudence's maiden name was spelt in various ways. On the register above, one of the witnesses was her older brother, Daniel, who signed himself "Simons" whilst the Curate spelt their surname "Simonds". On another register, Prudence's other brother, John was married with the name spelt as "Symonds".
Of course, two centuries ago, very few ordinary folk could read or write and were unlikely to challenge the spelling (or misspelling) of the local clergy, who were usually the only educated or literate members of the community. This led to many variations of people's names being recorded and probably wasn't helped by the strange accents of new arrivals to the area.
The record shown above is typical of this, with both John and Prudence 'signing' the register with a cross next to their names. In future years, it became apparent that Prudence had learnt to write. She appeared on several people's marriage records as one of the witnesses, each time signing her own name. This may indicate that she was a popular person, but I will risk a little speculation here and guess that she may have held a prominent post within the community such as a Verger, Church Warden or similar duty.
Staying with the Simons family briefly, we can look back one more generation on Prudence's side with the record of the marriage between Prudence's parents John Simons and Ann Collis on 29th September 1754 in Winwick. Ann came from West Haddon just down the road and died only eight months after their daughters wedding in 1781.
Altogether, John and Prudence had seven children. They were....
The entry for John here was found further down the same page of the register as his older brother, William, above.
On the Winwick page is a little information on each of these children.
Whilst it is common to find baptism records in a church register, we have the luxury here of having a record of the actual dates of birth for each of their offspring.
This information came from a surprise source..... the U.S.A. !!
After sending our family tree file to the familysearch.org web-site to be added to their searchable database, our records were noticed by a very helpful lady who wrote to me from Ohio. Her name is Jean Hardy.
It turns out that John and Pru's sixth child, another Prudence, married George Newman in 1929, and their grandson, Frederick moved to the States and continued the family there. Two generations later, some of the Newman family moved back to England which was where Jean was born but her branch of the family returned to settle in Ohio.
One of Jean's cousins in the U.S. still had some original hand-written notes from her great-grandfather and it was these that contained the dates of birth of John and Prudence's seven children. The ability of the world-wide-web to connect people together, who otherwise would not even have known of each other's existence, really is amazing!
Back now to the Orland line.... It was John and Prudence's second son John (1785) who was my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather! In 1805 (Trafalgar year) John married Elizabeth Garret and proceeded to have six children.
Below is their correctly spelt marriage record.
Their children were as follows:
*On William's baptism entry here, once again the name Holland has been mistakenly written by the new Curate of the village. The established Rector, James Williamson who had performed many Orland ceremonies, had recently died.
On 3rd June 1833, William married Elizabeth Dunkley in Bitteswell, Leicestershire. It seems that he was working in that area at that time although they still settled to have their family in Winwick.
William and Elizabeth only had one child, Thomas, who was baptised on 29th September 1833.
On 30th March 1857, Thomas married an eighteen year old Jane Kenney in Clifton, Warwickshire. They stayed resident in Winwick for the birth of their first child, William on 1st May 1857, but before they had Elizabeth Jane in 1859, they had moved to the nearby larger village of West Haddon where they also had a second girl, Mary Ann in 1862.
Soon after that, Thomas' life came crashing down around him. His young wife Jane died on 28th April 1863 of Pleurisy and Pneumonia, aged just twenty four. Two weeks later his mother died, too, of chronic Bronchitis.
He did marry again three years later to a lady named Mary Langton who had also been married previously but Thomas did not have a happy end to his life. He saw out his days in Daventry Union Workhouse and died of Alcoholism and Epilepsy in 1896, aged 62.
Meanwhile, his son William had married Alice Vause on 14th March 1878.
William and Alice had four children:
Herbert John and his wife, Elizabeth, were the first of our branch to make the move into Warwickshire, getting married in Rugby in 1902.