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John Pyman - the Married Man

Back in December I wrote about great great grandmother Jane Burch who lived in Stowupland, Suffolk and had nine illegitimate children, and never married. I hinted that I knew who their father might be. This time I’m writing about my theory. I had two clues, two vague clues to go on, maybe three:


1. One of Jane's daughters, her fourth child, named her father as “John Pyman, a dealer” on her marriage certificate, she was the only child of Jane’s who wrote a name that made sense.


2. An elderly lady who I met many years ago in Stowupland, who knew Jane when she was a child and Jane was an old lady, told me that the story was that she used to visit someone in London.


3. I did an Ancestry DNA test and came up with a match with someone with a Pyman from Stowupland in their family tree.


Just like the Burch family, there were also a lot of Pyman’s in Stowupland at this time, and there was one John Pyman, five years older than Jane, and in the 1851 census, at the time of the birth of Jane’s first child, he was living in Stowupland with his parents, and he was a pig dealer.


Sometime in the next six years he went to London, and he became a coachman around Westminster and Kensington, he married a Sarah Norman, a shotgun wedding as their oldest child, Martha, was born around the time they married, they then went on to have two sons. During this period when Jane would have been having her babies too, John Pyman and his wife Sarah drop off the 1861 and 1871 census completely, then surface again from 1881.


Then the other slightly interesting thing is that Jane’s oldest, my forbear, John stayed in Stowupland and became a pig and poultry dealer, and seven of Jane’s nine children all moved to London for work and settled there. One son became a carman in London, horse drawn delivery driver, and one son, Henniker Hipperson was a horseman in Suffolk all his life. Maybe they had an affinity with horses like their father.


Anyway, I wonder if John Pyman looked like this:


Or probably more like this:


Whatever the true situation was, life was not a bed of roses for Jane, and despite the twinkle in her eye in her photo as an elderly woman, and the fact that she managed to raise all nine children to healthy adulthood, mostly alone, I imagine she had more than her share of disappointment in love.

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