John Stanton 1795 - 1837 was the sixth child of James and Elizabeth . He married Mary Edmunds on the 24th November, 1817 in the All Saints Church, Turvey. Their fourth child was......
Joseph Stanton ..........he was born in 1831, probably towards the end of the year as he was christened on the 1st of Jan, 1832.
Joseph's childhood was not an easy one. On the 29th December, 1832 his mother Mary died at the age of 36. Five years later he loses his father.............at 6 years old, Joseph and his three older siblings are orphans.
In 1841 Joseph and his sister, Ann, are living in High Street, Turvey with 69 year old Sarah Edmunds , his maternal grandmother and another young relation, Maria Edmunds, 25. His two brothers George (20) and James (13) are with Stanton relatives in Cranfield.
There is no male adult breadwinner so the household must have had to rely on the meagre earnings of the three women, all described as lacemakers.........and Joseph!. When I think of the little boys in our present day family and compare their lives with Joseph's I feel very sad. It is heartbreaking to see a 10-year-old described as an Ag.Lab. They must have been very poor and there was no room for childhood freedom or gaining an education.
I don't think Joseph would have had much, if any, schooling.
By the late 1840's Joseph has found a young lady of his own, Hannah Looms from Newton Blossomville. Although the young couple live in different counties the two villages lie on the border and there is only a short walk between them. Early in 1850 their first child, Ben John, is born and at some time during the last three months of 1850 Joseph and Hannah marry in the lovely old church of St Nicholas in Newton Blossomville.......
......and begin their married life living with Hannah's parents where they're all listed together in the 1851 census. Those cottages aren't very big and it must have been very crowded with Joseph, Hannah and Ben John, Hannah's parents and her five younger brothers and sisters.
Two more children are born during the next four years:
William in December of 1851
Sarah Ann in March of 1855
And at some point the decision to emigrate is made and the planning and preparations begin. Joseph and Hannah will be travelling with a group from Turvey. No doubt there are a combination of reasons why the decision to leave was made but one thing I feel may have had an influence was the Methodist Church who played a major role in the early settlements of New Zealand. It saw this new country as a land for the working people guided by a church who had the working man's welfare at heart. During the first half of the 19th century they travelled England holding meetings and open air gatherings to encourage young people to emigrate.
The English parish records all show that the Stantons were Church of England but they are buried in the Methodist Church cemetery in NZ and most of their children marry in a Methodist Church which does suggest a change of religious affiliation.
The Stanton's in Bedfordshire
The Life of an Agricultural Labourer