Sophia Goff was born 1788 in Frensham, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom to William Goffe (1742-1810) and Mary Mitchel (c1743-1837) and died 15 February 1873 Union Workhouse, Hanwell, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom of apoplexy.

Early Life

Sophia Goff was born in Frensham, Hampshire, probably shortly before her christening there on 9 January 1788. She was born rather late in her parents marriage - William Goff and Mary Mitchel had married on Boxing Day 1766 in Headley. Sophia's siblings were Elizabeth (1770), Hannah (1774), Charlotte (1776), Richard (1778), Henry (1780), and Frances (1783). William was "of Churt", which is just over the Surrey border.


Sophia was 21 when she married Edward Penfold on 14 March 1809 in Thames Ditton. Nothing is known about Edward's life before marriage. The couple lived in Sunbury-on-Thames, where Edward worked as a maltman.

Possible reference to her husband's family: - he may be the Edward Penfold born in 1787.


Offspring of Sophia Goff and Edward Penfold (-1824)
Name Birth Death Joined with
George Penfold (c1810-1861)
Mary Penfold (c1812-1879)
Edward Penfold (c1815-1878) 1815 Twickenham, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom 1878 Dorking, Surrey, England, United Kingdom Susannah Sturmey (1822-1892)
Elizabeth Penfold (1817-1853) 1817 Twickenham, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom June 1853 Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom
John Penfold (1819-1881)
Henry Penfold (1820-)
Eliza Penfold (1822-)

Later Life

Widowed in her thirties in 1824, Sophia raised her children alone. She worked as a charwoman into her fifties. Two of her children remained unmarried and lived with her all their lives: Elizabeth, who was deaf and died in 1853; and George, a farm worker and carter, who died in 1861. For many years Sophia lived in Thames Street, Sunbury-on-Thames. The 1851 and 1861 census show a nurse child living with the family, suggesting Sophia took on nurse children regularly.


A SELFISH SON. - Henry Penfold was charged with illegally detaining a variety of household goods, the property of his mother. - Mrs. Penfold said she was 87 years old and had let her son have the things on condition that he paid her 9d. per week for them. Her son had not paid her any money for a long time, nor would he give up the things to her. - The Bench made an order on the defendant to give up the things, and also instructed P.S. Foy to see that the old lady had her goods back again.[1]

After her son George died Sophia was left alone, and moved into an alms house on Nursery Road, Sunbury. She passed away on 15 February 1873 aged 85.

Census returns


Thames Street, Sunbury, Middlesex

  • Sophia Penfold, 45, char woman, not born in county
  • Elizabeth Penfold, 20, born in county
  • John Penfold, 20, born in county
  • Henry Penfold, 20, born in county
  • Joseph Bourne, 10, born in foreign parts
  • ___ Johnson, 30, butcher's ___, born in county


Thames Street, Sunbury, Middlesex

  • Sophia Penfold, head, widow, 63, alms parish, born Surrey Godalming
  • Elizabeth Penfold, daughter, unmarried, 32, alms parish, born Middx Twickenham, deaf
  • George Penfold, son, unmarried, 42, farmer's man, born Middx Isleworth
  • John Freeman, lodger, unmarried, 37, farmer's man, born Laleham
  • William Gardener, lodger, unmarried, 22, farmer's man, born Middx Hanworth
  • Edward Ornamort, visitor, unmarried, 30, farmer's man, born Berks Reading
  • Charles Johnson, nurse child, 7, scholar, born Middx Sunbury


Thames Street, Sunbury, Middlesex

  • Sophia Penfold, head, widow, 73, born Hampshire Frensham
  • George Penfold, son, unmarried, 52, carter, born Middlesex Isleworth
  • John Nichols, nurse child, 8, scholar, born Middlesex Brompton
  • George Edwards, lodger, married, 50, painter, born London


Alms Houses, Nursery Road, Sunbury, Middlesex

  • Sophia Penfold, widow, 83, born Surrey Godalming

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
  1. ^ Surrey Advertiser, 19 February 1870.