William Crisp

William Crisp (also known as William Crisp Martin) was the sole child of John Crisp, and the oldest of the six children of Mary Tingey of Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.

William was born about 6 weeks after his parents married, but within 9 months, his father had died at the age of 27 years.

This left newly-wed Mary with an infant child to support. She re-married to widower James Martin in 1850.

Whilst William appears as 'William Crisp' on his first census in 1851, by the time of the next one in 1861, he's appearing as a 14 year old Farm Labourer and appears as 'William Crisp Martin', having taken on his step-father's family name.

He appears to leave home after marrying Tabitha Large, and by the 1871 census, the couple are living in Tabitha's native Isleham, Cambridgeshire, England, with their 2 month old son. The couple remain here and continue to become parents 8 times, until William dies in early 1886, aged 38 years.

Family Rumours

Whilst I do not know the cause of this early death, one family story suggests that the family was obliterated by Measles, and this killed William and some of their children. Whilst it might have some element of truth, a death certificate will be needed to confirm this rumour. The story has already incorrectly suggested that William's wife was called Selina.

Details where this story proves true, are claims that the family went to Rochdale, and that they returned, somewhat reduced by the Measles, to Soham.

Several of the details have turned out to be correct: as William's widow remarried in 1889 to fellow Isleham native, George Butcher. The newly formed Butcher family, with several of the Crisp children, head to Milnrow, near Rochdale, Lancashire, England, where they are employed by the woolen mills. By 1911 though, both Tabitha, George, and at least James Crisp, have returned to Soham. James then marries a Selina in 1896.

Tabitha died in Soham, on 29th June 1911, about 35 years after William.

Life Events


  • 9th October 1846 in Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 23rd May 1847 at St. Leonard's Church, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • Tabitha Large (1852-1921) on 20th May 1869 at St. Andrew's Church, Isleham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • John Crisp (1871-?)
  • James Crisp (1874-1944) married Selina Collen (1876-1956)
  • Rosehetter Crisp (1876-?)
  • Eliza Ann Crisp (1878-?)
  • Susan Crisp (1879-?)
  • Mary Crisp (1881-?)
  • Isaac Crisp (1883-1960) married Mary Marie Wells (1886-1961)
  • Albert Alfred William Crisp (1886-?)

Census and Residence

  • 1851: 4yrs, 100 Foot Bank, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1861: 14yrs, Second Drove Rail, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1871: 24yrs, Lark Farm Cottage, Isleham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1881: 30yrs, West Bank, Isleham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 1861: Farm Labourer
  • 1871: Labourer
  • 1881: Agricultural Labourer


  • circa February 1886 in Cambridgeshire, England, aged 38yrs.


  • Not yet known, but not in Little Downham.



  • John Crisp (17??-18??)
  • Not yet known.

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