William Penn (1779 - 1855) was born on this day in Finchley, London. His parents were William and Jane Penn.
A couple of weeks after his birth on May 16th 1779, William was baptized at St Mary's Church in Finchley. (Don't know if this was the font used but it's the one they have in the church now.)
I wrote a blogpost about William Penn on the anniversary of his death on March 25th. As far as I have been able to find out, William was the founder of an umbrella making business that lasted for four generations. In those early days of umbrella making the frame was made from wooden rods and whalebone and the cover from waxed canvas. No wonder an umbrella weighed about 10lbs!
By 1841 the family had moved to Chamber Street in Whitechapel, East London and William and his son Thomas were working as umbrella makers.
In 1851, William (aged seventy two years) was still working as an umbrella maker but he was living in the home of his oldest son, Richard, who was also an umbrella maker. Richard was described in the census return as a "Master with 2 men" presumably his father and his own son, Richard Junior.
In 1861, Richard had moved to live with his wife and granddaughter, Kezia, in Walthamstow where he still worked as an umbrella maker. His younger son also lived in Walthamstow and was employed as the manager of an umbrella warehouse. Yet another as yet unanswered question: did the warehouse belong to Richard Penn Senior?
Meanwhile, Richard Junior (Kezia's father) was still employed in umbrella making. His brother Thomas had moved to Finsbury, London with his wife and had become an umbrella frame maker employing three men. William Junior still lived in Chamber Street, Whitechapel where he worked as an umbrella frame maker, assisted by his wife.
In 1871, Kezia Penn married James William Murray who also went into the umbrella frame making business.
William Penn (1779 - 1855) was my husband Michael Murray's great, great, great grandfather. Michael has a great aptitude for fiddly, finickerty tasks (in other words good fine motor skills) which must have come from his umbrella frame making ancestors!
St Mary's Parish Church, Finchley, London
I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK