I was having a sift through some of my reseach notes today and double checking various things and in doing so I was looking at the family of John Read (1745 – 1804) and his wife Anne (nee Grace) (d. 1799). John is the nephew of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read.
John and Anne Read had five children but only one survived to adulthood. She went on to marry and have children of her own.
John and Anne’s first child was Robert born at Great Haseley, Oxfordshire in February 1769. He died four months later.
Their next child was Thomas, born at Great Haseley in July 1770. They must have been very pleased to find Thomas growing up out of his babyhood and becoming a toddler and on into his childhood. But, sadly poor Thomas died aged eight years. His parents must have been desolate to lose another child.
Their third child was a daughter, Rachel, born in 1772 at Great Haseley. John and Anne must have been on tenterhooks throughout Rachel’s childhood, wondering if they were going to lose her too. But, Rachel grew up and lived to a good age, 72 years. She married and had 5 children. (There is a little query about her last child as she was born four years after Rachel’s husband died but has the same surname as Rachel and her other children. But that’s another story)!
John and Anne Read had another son born in 1774 at Great Haseley. They named him Robert, the same name their first child had. Sadly, this second Robert died when he was only one month old.
Their last child was another daughter, Ann born in 1775 at Great Haseley. Ann only lived for 3 years.
All these children are buried in the churchyard of St. Peter’s at Great Haseley, Oxfordshire. I don’t know if there are tombstones or not for them, because when we went there several years ago, we found virtually all the tombstones were completely weatherworn and none had any inscriptions left, so although we knew these children were there and knew many of my ancestors lie there, we had no idea which graves were theirs.
Somewhere in that churchyard those four children are laid to rest. I can only imagine how sad John and Anne Read must have felt losing four of their children like that. Two of them more or less at the same time, both buried in June 1778. Just so very sad.