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 its original name of the Borough Arms.

He re-enlisted on 26 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 living in 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 ( 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.