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Born: 1803 Wisborough Green
Married: 1822 Wisborough Green James Steer
Died: 1860 Wisborough Green
Rebecca was born 6 October 1803 Wisborough Green the third child and second daughter of James Miram and Ann Williams. Between 1806 and 1810 the family moved to Pulborough. However Rebecca had returned to Wisborough Green where she married 2nd October 1922 James Steer, the marriage was witnessed by William Cooper and Hannah Tickner, the latter making her mark as did James and Rebecca. Rebecca died New Year’s Day1860 of heart disease. The death notified on 5/1/1860 by Sophia Harwood present at time who made her mark Sophia Harwood born 1798 as Sophia Slaughter in Pulborough was wife of John Harwood labourer and they lived in the village, Wisborough Green. Her daughter Eliza married James and Rebecca’s son Mark. By 1861 Sophia was widowed, John having died 1859 and she was lodging with Mark & Eliza in Wisborough Green. In 1871 she was lodging with daughter Emily Covey at Farmgates, Pulborough and 1881 living with her two unmarried sons James & Albert, Mare Hill Common Pulborough. She died 1884. Was she really present at Rebecca’s death, were they close and had she helped nurse Rebecca or was she just helping out her son-in-law and his family by registering the death?
Rebecca’s children didn’t stay with her long. The 1841 census lists George 9, James 6, Eli3 and Ann one (the youngest Stephen was born the following year. William 18 and mark 16 were both in the village; William as a lodger with a miller and Mark at Loves Farm. Their sisters Mary and Jane were also listed as farm servants living on farms in the area.– Mary with Sarah Luff farmer and Jane with William Parsons farmer. This pattern in rural areas of children leaving to ‘live-in’ with employers was the norm. At the time of her death only married sons Mark and William were living in the village, Sons James and Eli were single young men lodging in Billingshurst and Rudgwick respectively, George and daughter Mary were in Horsham. Surrey had an attraction for Rebecca’s children. William and Mary eventually settled in Guildford and Eli in Leatherhead. At the time of Rebecca’s death Jane was probably temporarily living in Surrey too in Monersh (although she was to return to Pulborough). Mark moved to Pulborough.James to Lancing . George moved around Sussex parishes in the Horsham area.
A marriage witness
On the 28 July 1836 Rebecca was witness to the marriage of William Steer to Lucy Pacey (born 1808 Wisborough green). This is a piece of circumstantial evidence to identify William as her husband’s brother. The problem is that four William Steers were baptised in Wisborough Green in 1795! William worked in wood, as a carpenter, sawyer and cleaver. He lived in Loxwood (1841 census) and later the village of Wisborough green itself, for a while he was a lathe turner in Littlehampton (1851 census), leaving his wife and sons George, Isaac and Edwin behind, with son William then aged 11 with him. He died in 1878 and Lucy in 1875.
No more Rebeccas
Rebecca was blessed with 19 grandaughters, but none carried on her name. Rebecca was not the most common of Christian names for girls but it continued consistently in the 19th century. Wisborough Green on the 1841 census had seven and in 1881 eight Rebeccas. Perhaos Rebecca disliked the name and discouraging her children passing it on. Or, and I wouldn’t like to think this, Rebecca was a poor mother?
Children: William Steer b 1823 died 1889 married 1847 Ellen Mann
Mark Steer b 1825 died 1894 married 1854 Eliza Harwood
Mary Steer b 1827 died 1904 married 1849 Charles Butcher
Jane Steer b 1830 died 1908 married 1850 Frederick Puttock
George b 1832 Wisborough Green died 1901 married 1856 Fanny Saunders
James Steer b 1834 Wisborough Green died 1918 married 1871 Jane Steer
Eli Steer b 1837 died 1919 married 1864 Mary Worsfold
Ann Steer b 1840 died 1845
Stephen Steer b 1842 died 1927 married 1871 Hannah Moore