Avis Tall

Avis Tall (later Avis Martin and Avis Wisbey) was the second of the four known children of William Tall and his wife Esther James of Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England.

Avis Wisbey (formerly Avis Martin, née Avis Tall).
Above: Avis Wisbey (formerly Avis Martin, née Avis Tall). Photo: Andrew Martin.

In 1812, Avis married Robert Martin of Little Downham, but unusually they married away from their native villages - instead choosing a remote church miles away in West Norfolk. It is unclear why this church was chosen (was Robert working near here, or were they avoiding parental objections?).

Either way, together they went on to have approximately six children until Robert died in 1826, at just 41 years old.

The following year, Avis re-married to Mr James Wisbey of Little Downham.

By 1830, Avis and her second husband appear in the parish church at the baptism of their son Henry, and they appear again on census night in 1841 as living at Oxlode/100ft Bank in the remote fenland just North of Little Downham.

In February 1837, Avis assumes the care of her infant granddaughter Matilda Johnson, when her daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and James Johnson are both suffocated during their sleep. Matilda only survives due to being tucked under the sheets, and being on the side of a draughty window.

After James Wisbey's death (date unknown), Avis moved to Second Drove, Little Downham and lived near to her son's family until her own death in 1858.

Life Events


  • circa 1788 at Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 28th November 1790 at St. George's Church, Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • Robert Martin (1785-1826) on 3rd February 1812 at Wiggenhall St Mary Magdelene Church, Norfolk, England.
  • James Wisbey (1793-18??) on 12th August 1827 at St. Leonard's Church, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.


Census and Residence

  • 1841: 35yrs, 100 Foot Bank, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1851: 58yrs, 100 Foot Bank, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 1851: Outdoor Labourer


  • 3rd August 1858 at Second Drove, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England, aged 70 years. Cause of death: 'Natural decay - certified'.


  • 6th August 1858 at St. Leonard's Churchyard, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • William Tall (1764-?)
  • Esther James (17??-?)


  • William Tall (17??-?)
  • Mary Westwood (1738-?)
  • Not yet known.
  • Not yet known.

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