Sarah Ruffell was born circa 1789 in Little Horkesley, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom to Jeffrey Ruffell (c1756-1830) and Jane Strand (1749-1805) and died circa 1875 of unspecified causes. She married Thomas Kent (c1791-1877) 14 May 1813 in Wivenhoe, Essex, England, United Kingdom.

Sarah Ruffell was born circa 1789 in Little Horkesley, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom to Jeffrey Ruffell (c1756-1830) and Jane Strand (1749-1805) and died circa 1875 of unspecified causes. She married Thomas Kent (c1791-1877) 14 May 1813 in Wivenhoe, Essex, England, United Kingdom.

Sarah Ruffell was born in approximately 1789. Later census records list Little Horkesley in Essex as her place of birth, but a baptism for her is yet to be located, and might never be, as the section of the Little Horkesley Baptism Register that would contain her details is missing (the years from 1784-1797).

She is assumed to be the child of Jeffrey and Jane Ruffell (nee Strand) by the timing and location of her birth, and the naming of one of her children as 'Jane Strand'.

Siblings

Sarah had four siblings that have been located in baptism records - Mary, Frances, Susanna and Jeffrey. There are likely to be one or two more siblings born in the same period for which the Little Horksley Baptism Register is missing.

Marriage

Sarah married on the 14th May 1813 at Wivenhoe in Essex to Thomas Kent. Thomas was a mariner who is believed to have been also born in Wivenhoe. Witnesses to the marriage were Geoffrey Ruffell, Joseph Sadler and Deborah Martin.

The couple settled in Wivenhoe and had seven known children – a son William who was born in 1820 had died by the year 1836 when another son of the same name was born. It is also likely that the couple had a few more children die in infancy early in the marriage, as eldest recorded daughter Sally was not born until 1818.


Name Birth Death
Children of Thomas and Sarah Kent


Sally baptised 19/4/1818
baptised Wivenhoe, Essex
Mar Q 1894
Lexden District, Essex


William baptised 11/6/1820
baptised Wivenhoe, Essex
before 1836


Jane Strand baptised 31/8/1823
baptised Wivenhoe, Essex
Dec Q 1876
Lexden District, Essex


Mary Ann c1827


Thomas Ruffell baptised 12/4/1830
baptised Wivenhoe, Essex


Mahala baptised 5/5/1833
baptised Wivenhoe, Essex
23/8/1902
Stepney, South Australia


William c1836
Colchester, Essex

1841 census

In the 1841 census, Sarah and family are living at East Street in Wivenhoe. Thomas is recorded as a 50 years old mariner, wife Sarah is aged 52, daughter Sally aged 23, daughter Jane aged 18, daughter Mary Ann aged 14, son Thomas aged 11, daughter Mahala aged 7, and son William aged 5.

1851 census

The 1851 census, showing Sarah's birthplace as Little Horksley

In the 1851 census, Sarah and family are again recorded at East Street in Wivenhoe. Thomas is recorded as a mariner, aged 60, while wife Sarah is recorded as aged 62. Only 3 of their children remain living with them at this time – son Thomas, who is now a 20 year old mariner, daughter Mahala aged 18 and son William aged 14. All the children are recorded as being born in Wivenhoe.

1861 census

The 1861 census is the only census in which Thomas is not located with his family in Wivenhoe. Being a mariner, it is likely that he was at sea at the time.

The most likely candidate that this author has found for him is a Thomas Kent, mate aboard the ship Sophia at the town of Lowestoft Roads. Marshall Twaddell is the captain of the ship, and the crew include two men by the name of Henry Chapman and William Andrews. He gives his year of birth as 1790.

Everything matches our Thomas with the exception of his place of birth. This is recorded as Borden, Suffolk. On all other census documents, it is recorded as Wivenhoe. Further evidence is required to determine if this entry does belong to the Thomas Kent of this family.

Sarah is recorded at East Street, Wivenhoe with daughter Mary (a charwoman – aged 33), son Thomas (a fisherman – aged 31) and grandchildren Emma E H Kent (aged 9) and Mary Ann M Kent (aged 1). It is not known who are the parents of these children are at this stage, but the likelihood is Thomas or Mary Ann, who were at the house at the time.

1871 census

In the 1871 census, Thomas is recorded with the family again at Wivenhoe. He is listed as an 81 year old mariner and wife Sarah is listed as 82 years of age. Son Thomas is living with them, recorded as a 40 year old unmarried mariner. Grandchildren Mary A Kent (aged 11) and Mahala A Gardener (aged 18 – a child of eldest daughter Sally – and a tailoress) were also at the house at the time of the census.

Death

Thomas Kent's death certificate

Thomas died in Wivenhoe on the 6th May 1877, aged 87 years. No matching death entry for Sarah has been located at this stage. Because she has not been found in the 1881 census, it is assumed that she died between that census and the 1871 census.


Footnotes (including sources)

¶ Death
  • Estimate - after 1871 census and before 1881



Eramophla, Robin Patterson

References

  • IGI
  • Wivenhoe parish records
  • UK census for 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871
  • Free BMD
  • Death certificate of Thomas Kent
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