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Matthias & Ann Duck
of Wiltshire

Matthias Duck, son of Cain, a baker, and Elizabeth, was born in Blackland, Wiltshire, in about 1820. In 1841 he was staying with his uncle, Abel Duck, in Pickwick, Corsham. Both Abel and Matthias were shown as carpenters. On 27 November 1844, ay the age of 24, Matthias joined Wiltshire constabulary.

Ann Adams, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth, was baptised in Chisledon, Wiltshire, on 11 April 1830.

Matthias, a police constable, and Ann married in Swindon parish church on 6 August 1849 and their known children were:

Louisa bap. 25 Aug 1850 Wootton Bassett, Wilts, born 2 Aug
Agnes bap. 19 Dec 1852 Wootton Bassett, Wilts
Albert Tudor bap. 11 Nov 1855 Wootton Bassett, Wilts
Walter Sydney reg. Q3 1859 bapt. 12 Jan 1862 Wootton Bassett
Elizabeth Ellen reg. Q4 1861 bapt. 12 Jan 1862 Wootton Bassett
Annie reg. Q2 1864  
Ruth reg. Q3 1865 Lemley, Wiltshire
Edwin Nathan reg. Q1 1872 Ramsbury, Wiltshire
view of the Boorough Arms
the 'Castle and Ball' now the 'Borough Arms'

Matthias was promoted to sergeant on 13 February 1850 and the 1851 census shows the family living ‘in Coxtalls’ in Wootton Bassett. 

However, he resigned on 24 March 1858 and the 1861 census shows him as a baker and innkeeper at the ‘Castle and Ball’, in Wootton Bassett High Street with their first four children. The Castle and Ball has since reverted to it’s original name of the Borough Arms.

He re-enlisted on 26th June 1864, giving his age as 39yr 6mths, when in fact he was 43/44. The upper age limit of  the constabulary was 40. His service record shows that he had a dark/florid complexion, dark eyes and was 5'9"/5'10" tall.

In 1871 he was again shown as a police sergeant, this time living in Ramsbury High Street, along with all their children apart from Agnes, who was in service as a nurse, and Louisa, who was staying as housekeeper to two uncles and her grandmother, Elizabeth Duck, in Stockley. 

Matthias was dismissed from the police force on 13 March 1875 with no reason given. On Louisa’s marriage certificate in 1879 Matthias’ occupation was given as carpenter.

Matthias’ death, aged 59, was registered in Bristol in the first quarter of 1881.

At the 1881 census Ann was shown as a coffee house keeper livingin New Passage Road, Henbury, Gloucester, apparently between Darks Cottage and Salt House, with Elizabeth, Ruth and Edwin.

In 1891 Ann was living at 6 Berwick Street, Bristol, with her son Edwin.  She appears to have died before the 1901 census.

Of their children:

  • Louisa married William Newns, a Methodist minister, in 1879.
  • Agnes was a servant in Ramsbury in 1871 and in 1881 she was in Swindon with a 2-year-old son William, probably the son of Robert Williams, hairdresser, for whom she was working as a housekeeper.  She must have died as by 1891 Robert had moved to Ramsgate, married and was bringing up William as his son William Williams.
  • Albert was a foreman railway porter in 1881 living in New Passage Road with his wife Rosa (born ca. 1851, Redwick, Glos, marriage reg. Barton Regis Q4 1880).  They are known to have had four children:
    Albert Mathias Q4 1881 Pilning, Glos.
    Rosa A ca. 1883 Pilning, Glos.
    James Edwin  Q1 1886 Pilning, Glos.
    Walter Ernest Q4 1887 Bristol, Glos.
    By 1891 Albert had become a passenger train guard for the Great Western Railway and they were living at 40 Winstanley Street, Bristol. By 1901 they had moved to 141 William Street in Swindon. Albert was still a guard and his son Albert was a locomotive fireman. Rosa was a board school pupil teacher and James was a railway clerk. In 1911 the family were still in Swindon living at 76 Rosebery Street. Albert died later that year, aged 56.
  • Walter was a gardener in 1881 lodging in Llandenny, Monmouthshire.  Later that year he married Elizabeth Martin and then went to live in Maidstone, Kent, her home town. Walter worked as a gardener in Maidstone Cemetery and they lived at 1 Pheasant Cottage, just off Loose Lane with their children, all born in Maidstone:
    Walter Sydney ca. 1881  
    Louisa Q4 1883  
    Ruth Maud  Q2 1885 died Q1 1901 aged 15
    Lizzie Agnes Q1 1887  
    Albert William Q2 1889  
    Bertha Q4 1891 died Q1 1892
    Edwin Q3 1892 died Q3 1893
    Emily Q2 1894  
    Ann Mabel Q2 1902  
    Eva May Q2 1905  
    By 1911 they had moved to 2 Sherwold Villas in Loose, near Maidstone, and Walter was working as a domestic gardener. Their married daughter, Louisa, and daughter-in-law Minnie, Albert’s wife were visiting them, both with children born in Ontaria, Canada.
  • Elizabeth was a dairy maid in 1881 and in 1888 she married her mother’s cousin, Albert Gosling, who had been living in Wanborough with Elizabeth’s grandmother, Elizabeth Adams.  Albert was a farmer and he and Elizabeth lived in Wanborough and still had Elizabeth Adams living with them until she died in 1907, aged 99.  Albert died in 1906, aged 56. Their children were:
    Albert Tudor Q4 1888 Wanborough
    Frances John Q3 1890 Wanborough
    William Q4 1892 Wanborough
    Annie Louisa Q4 1895 Wanborough

    In 1911, Elizabeth was running Artes? Farm in Swindon Road, Wroughton, along with her three sons. Elizabeth died in 1922.

  • Ruth married John Phillips, a cabinet maker from Pembrokeshire, in 1888 and in 1891 they were living at 5 Lansdown View in Bath. They had one child:
    John Henry W Q4 1892 Bath
    Ruth had died by 1901.
  • Edwin became a railway porter and married Susan Trask in 1892.  In 1901 they were living at 4 Wolseley Road in Bristol with their two children:
    Ellen Louisa (or Louisa E) ca. 1892 Eastville, Bristol
    George Edwin (or Edwin G) ca. 1894 Eastville, Bristol
    By 1911 they had moved to Chippenham and were living at 20 Park Lane and their son George was also working for GWR as a bookstall clerk.

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