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Henry BOULT (1794-1877) butcher of Winkfield, Berkshire
The search for Henry John's father, started with Henry John's marriage certificate. This documented his father as Henry Boult, a butcher. I could find only one Henry Boult, butcher in the censuses and he was born in Winkfield in Berkshire about 1794. (As argued on the ancestry in Berkshire page, he was probably born on 2 Jan 1793.) Fortunately, from the point of view of the research, he lived during three censuses, so it was relatively straightforward to find out more about him. His wife was Rachel, born Arborfield, Berkshire, and the couple had the following known children, where the additional details come from censuses and the IGI:
- John Boult born about 1827 in Bray, Berkshire. No baptismal record in the IGI.)
- Henry John Boult born about 1828 in Clerkenwell, then Middlesex, now north London. No baptismal record in the IGI.
- William Boult born 4 Aug 1830 in Bray, Berkshire, baptised 19 Sep 1830 in Balsildon, Berkshire.
- Louisa Boult born about 1832 in Bray, Berkshire. No baptismal record in the IGI.)
- Harriot Boult born about 1835 in Bray, Berkshire, baptised 18 October 1835 in Bray.
- James Boult, baptised 8 Jan 1837 in Bray. No record with John and Rachel in censuses, so he may have died young.
- Eliza Boult born about 1838 in Bray, Berkshire, baptised 1 April 1838 in Bray.
- Zachariah Boult born about 1842 in Bray, Berkshire, baptised 27 March 1842 in Bray.
- Thomas Boult born about 1843 in Bray, Berkshire, baptised 15 March 1843 in Bray, but born in Fifield, Berkshire. Disagreement on birthplace between census and IGI.
- Charles Boult born about 1846 in Bray, Berkshire. No baptismal record in the IGI.)
- Abraham Boult born about 1848 in Bray, Berkshire - a shoemaker in 1871. No baptismal record in the IGI.)
- Elizabeth Boult born about 1850 in Bray, Berkshire - a machinist in 1871. No baptismal record in the IGI.) She married George Lusty on 25 May 1874 at Holy Trinity, Bristol.
All the children except Henry John appeared at some point in censuses with their parents Henry and Rachel and were recorded as born in Bray, Berkshire, a few miles from Winkfield (although other records suggest that the enumerator was not fully informed on the details of the birthplaces of all the children). Henry John, on the other hand, never appeared in a census with his parents and was, according to his own census submissions, born in Clerkenwell, then Middlesex, now London. Consequently, it would be fair to question whether he really did belong to the family. In fact it is beyond doubt for the following reasons which, also shed light on Rachel's ancestry.
- 'Henry Boult, butcher' is documented as the father of the groom on Henry John's marriage certificate - and I have been unable to find any other Henry Boult, butcher in the censuses.
- Only one marriage record for the marriage of a Henry Boult and Rachel are in the on-line records and that is not for Berkshire. Pallot's Marriage Index gives Henry Boult marrying Rachel Johnson, 1830, Clerkenwell - i e the birthplace of Henry John. So Henry and Rachel did have a presence there. There are no further details in the record. The 1830 date would make Henry John and his older brother John born out of wedlock, which may have been the case, although the lack of a full date does smack of a parish clerk frantically writing up a backlog of records from incomplete or illegible notes.
- Henry John was in Bristol in 1961. The change of location from London only makes sense in the light of the census data for his parents which showed that they retired there.
- Henry John was again in Bristol as the informant of Henry's death and was documented as Henry's son on Henry's death certificate.
- In a time when it was customary to pass names on in families, one would expect Henry's sons to be named after members of his family. His eldest son was named John (and the possibility of Henry's father being a John is examined on the Boult ancestry in Berkshire page). The name of Henry would thus have been in line for the next son, yet without Henry John it would not have been passed on.
The IGI gives a baptismal record for Rachel Johnson in Arborfield, which is in the country of Berkshire. Her parents were Richard Johnson and Sarah. Yet the date of Rachel's baptism is puzzling - 6 April 1806. It made her 36 in 1841 against the census data of 33; 46 in 1851 against the census data - which was difficult to read - of either 42 or 44; 66 in 1871 against the census data of 63. (The couple seem to be missing in 1861.) Errors of a few years are understandable in 1841 when ages of adults were supposed to be rounded down into five year groupings, which not all enumerators seem to have understood, but the later errors cannot be explained this way. Presumably Rachel or Henry had their own reasons. Careful examination of the records refutes any possibility that two different Rachels were involved.
The last census entry for Henry and Rachel is in 1871 for 11 Seal Street, Bristol where he at 77 was listed as a retired butcher. The move to Bristol was presumably to be with the family of their youngest daughter Elizabeth who were based there.
Henry died on 8 March 1877 age 84 of senile decay in Bristol. Much of the death certificate is difficult to read but what can certainly be made out is that (1) he was documented as a retired butcher and (2) that the informant was Henry John Boult, son. All that can be made out of Henry John's address is 20 (?) King Street, ..., London, West. Henry's Bristol address seems to be L ... House, Upper E ....
Rachel survived Henry by seven years, dying on 13 Oct 1884 in Barton Regis, now Clifton, Bristol. Her death certificate gave her as age 76, widow of Henry Boult, butcher, senile decreptitude, general paralysis (12 months). Present at the death was George Lusty, son-in-law, of 1 Philip Street, Marsh, Bristol.
Incidentally Henry Boult may have met John Best (1776-before 1841) professionally, as both were butchers. This could have set up family friendships instrumental in the meeting and subsequent marriages of Henry's great granddaughter, Lucy Amy Boult, and John's grandson, Frederick Barrington Best.