This time around, I’d like to turn my attention to Mark Wetherell, my great-great-great-great grandfather. He was the father of Martha Wetherell, who married George Stead (owner of the famous goose-who-laid-nine-eggs). If you find that confusing – another way to look at it was that he was Herbert George Carter’s great grandfather:
I don’t know much about Mark’s early life. I haven’t yet discovered where he was born or who his parents were – but, thanks to a newspaper article, I do know that he turned out to be a rather grumpy and eccentric old man:
It’s too bad I can’t go back in time and talk to Mark’s wife, Martha (my great-great-great-great grandmother). I would love for her to have a chance to refute the “bad wife” statement. I have a feeling she wouldn’t be all that complimentary about her husband!
By the way, I can’t say with 100% certainly, but I have a strong suspicious that the daughter Mark was trying to leave penniless is my great-great-great grandmother, Martha. As far as I can tell, Mark and Martha only had two children (no wonder, eh?!): Mary Ann (born 1814) and Martha (born 1817). I haven’t been able to trace Mary Ann beyond her baptism, but, in the 1841 census, Martha is living in Danby Wiske with her husband, George Stead. Around 1845 though, she and George move to Little Langton. Little Langton is the small village (approximately sixteen houses) where Mark Wetherell is living at the time. Martha and George Stead arrive in the village around the time that Mark’s wife dies, so it seems quite plausible that Martha moved to the village to look after her father. And, in fact, Martha and George appear to be living in the very same section of the village as her father.
The perplexing thing is why Mark’s daughter, Martha, would decide to name her oldest son “Thomas Wetherell Stead” (born 1840ish). Why give her son her father’s last name (as a middle name) when her father “took no notice” of her? Was she simply honoring her heritage? Or was she trying to get back in her father’s good books? If it’s the latter, it doesn’t seem to have worked judging by the fact that, even on his death bed, he was determined not to leave his £150 to her (that’s £13,900 in today’s currency)!