Eliza WHEELER 1836
It was bitterly cold as Mary followed William Wheeler through the little gate and up the path to the church in Swerford. Her husband had done his best but even she could not say he looked elegant. Life was not easy for any labourer in 1836 and William had no best suit or shoes for church so he had brushed the worst off and could do no more. Not that she looked much better for the dress in which she had baptised Martha three years ago was looking decidedly the worse for wear and washing had made it thin. So she tightened her shawl, held her second baby tight and braved the North Oxfordshire wind until she reached the cover of the church.
It was a plain church but she liked it for its simplicity. Situated in the middle of the rather scattered village, it provided a haven of comfort every Sunday even if it was cold on December days like this. It was nice, she thought, to have her baby baptised just a week before Christmas with the church decorated for the forthcoming services. Pity though that she had not borne William a son. Two girls would not contribute much to the family income but perhaps next time?
The vicar's question brought her out of her daydream abruptly. She confirmed that the baby was indeed a girl and she was to be named Eliza. Choosing a name for Martha, who had now started tugging at her skirt, had been easy. Hard to believe that it was three years ago. With both William's sister and her own sister called Martha they had both agreed immediately. Eliza had been her choice. William did not object, perhaps because he had his mind set on a boy.
The ceremony did not take long. Richard Aris and his wife, Mary's sister-in-law Martha, were the godparents. They made their vows and the vicar blessed the baby and named her Eliza. So her second daughter was received into the church and into the community that comprised the residents of the little village situated between Chipping Norton and Banbury.
William thanked the priest and his father Tom led the way home declaring that it was time to wet the baby's head, apparently oblivious to the ceremony that had just taken place. Mary's mother, Sarah, muttered that a nice cup of tea would be more appropriate and thus Eliza was launched into a life that was to lead her through numerous adventures and hardships and was to end in a suburb of that great capital city, London, in the third year of the Great War eighty-one years on....
1 Thomas Wheeler Born: 1775 in Deddington m. Ann Allibone (?) 1773 - 1848 Born: 1773 Married: March 14 1797 Pillerton Priors/Pillerton Hersey Died: June 11, 1848 in Swerford, Oxfordshire 2 Martha Wheeler Born: 1797 in Deddington Died: October 18, 1880 m. Richard Aris Born: in Middleton Cheney (?) Married: November 10, 1818 in Swerford 2 Elizabeth Wheeler Born: 1800 in Deddington 3 Daniel Wheeler 1822 - 1822 Born: 1822 in Swerford Died: April 1822 2 William Wheeler 1810 - 1861 Born: 1810 in Swerford Died: Before 1861 (probably in Kilburn) m. Mary Collingridge 1813 - 1881 Born: July 1813 in Wroxton Married: August 20, 1832 in Wiggington Died: Before 1881 (probably in Kilburn) 3 Martha Wheeler 1833 - in Swerford 3 Eliza Wheeler 1836 - 1917 Born: 1836 in Swerford Died: March 1917 in Willesden m. William Denham 1840 - 1888 Born: December 29, 1840 in Kilburn Married: November 24, 1861 in The Church in the Parish of St James, Westminster Died: Probably Dec 1887 Hendon 3 Ann Maria Wheeler Born: 1843 in Swerford 3 Emily Wheeler Born: 1848 in Swerford 3 Sarah Elizabeth Wheeler Born: 1851 in Swerford 2 Thomas Wheeler Born: February 1815 in Swerford, Oxfordshire m. Sarah A Born: 1831 in St Pancras 3 John Wheeler Born: 1865 in St Pancras