William Smart who was born in about 1795, not in Essex (according to the 1841 census), worked as a blacksmith. He died in what might be mysterious circumstances in Leyton, Essex on the 9th October 1846; his death was not registered until 23rd February 1848 when the informant was Charles C. Lewis, Coroner, Brentwood (his patch would have covered all South West Essex up to the River Lea) and the cause is “in a natural way and not from any violence”. So somewhere there must be records of an inquest, and was a gap of nearly eighteen months between death and registration of the death normal?His wife Ann was born about 1793 in Linton in Cambridgeshire, but having not yet found their marriage, I do not know her maiden name. She lived considerably longer than her husband so makes it onto the more detailed later censuses. She died on the 28th March 1873 in the Almshouses in West Ham.Their son Thomas William Smart, was born in Wanstead in Essex probably in 1819 as he was baptised there on the 26th September that year. Wanstead is conveniently near the old road from Cambridgeshire - now the M11 - so this may have been a stopping-off point for his parents on their way to Hackney where their next three children, Sarah, James and Eliza, were born in the 1820s and baptised at St John's with addresses at Hackney Bay, Well Street and North Street. Two more sons, John and Joseph, were born in 1831 and 1834 and baptised in West Ham, so the family crossed back over the River Lea into Essex around 1830.In 1841 William Smart and his family - his wife Ann, and children James, Eliza, John and Joseph - are living at Chapel End in Walthamstow, Essex. William's son Thomas William is still in Hackney working as a Blacksmith in Church Street.By 1851 Thomas William Smart had moved to High Street, Bow and, like his father is a blacksmith. Living with him are his widowed mother Ann, and his siblings Sarah, James, John and Joseph. John is also a Blacksmith, while James is a Spring maker, and Joseph (at 17) is a Teacher of Music. Thomas William kept his links with Hackney for on the 26th April 1852 he married Anne Skinner there.Blacksmiths were obviously a mobile group, for Thomas William and Anne's first child - Annie Eliza Smart - was born in Limehouse on the 2nd February 1853. Their second - Sarah Ann - was born in 1856 in West Ham, Essex, and she was baptised along with her sister Annie Eliza on the 3rd February 1856 at St John’s in Stratford. In 1861 they are living at no. 5 Paul St., West Ham with his mother, and here they appear to settle. A son - George William was born here on the 8th April 1861 and a daughter Emily Jane in 1864. Anne Smart died from phthisis on 11 July 1865 in Leyton, probably in the infirmary attached to the West Ham Workhouse, though Thomas William “in attendance” gives his address as 5 Paul Street. She was buried as her father-in-law William Smart had been, in the graveyard of St Mary the Virgin in Leyton.On the 9th June 1867 Thomas William married Mary Blair, a widow, in Hackney. Both bride and groom give South Hackney as their residence, though they were both established in West Ham. The witnesses are Theodore Audoire and Sarah Price; Sarah was Mary’s oldest sister, and Theodore Audoire had married Ellen Still in Marylebone in 1864. Mary's Blair's maiden name was Still, and she had a niece, the daughter of her sister Tryphena, called Ellen, so Theodore was a relation by marriage. The 1871 census shows the Smart/Blair combined household at 9 Paul Street, West Ham. Thomas William is a blacksmith and his second wife Mary is a dressmaker. There are three Smart children, Sarah, George William and Emily Jane - Ann Eliza appears to be working as a servant in Mile End Old Town - and Sarah [Wilhemina] and William Thomas Blair, Mary's children from her first marriage.Thomas William Smart died at 8 West Ham Lane on the 23rd March 1880 from phthisis. His death was registered by "A.E. Griesel, daughter, present at death, West Ham Lane, Stratford". This is his oldest daughter Anne Eliza who had married Adam Griesel on the 14th January 1880 in Bethnal Green. His daughter Sarah Ann had married Joseph Bradley on the 16th December 1877 in Stratford, Essex. George William Smart married Mary Ann Elizabeth Carter on the 25th December 1881 in Bethnal Green, and Mary Smart, their stepmother, had married again by the end of June 1881, to John Hammond. I have found Anne Eliza Griesel and Sarah Bradley and John Hammond on the 1881 census, but no-one else in the immediate family. I know they must be in the East London/Essex area but have yet to find Mary Smart (née Still, formerly Blair), George William Smart and William John (or William Thomas) Blair.Mary and her new husband continued to live with her son William John Blair and his family. He married Annie Nicholls in 1886 and they carried on living in West Ham. In 1891 William John is a railway hammerman and they are living at 120, Vicarage Lane, West Ham; John Hammond died later that year. In 1901 they are living at 10 Frank Street, West Ham. William John Blair is a gas fitter and his son William Thomas (13) is a railway coach painter.The 1911 census throws up an interesting mystery: they are living at 34 Hayday Road, Plaistow but William John who fills in the form gives and signs his surname as Smart! I know this is him as his mother Mary Hammond is living with them, and the ages and places of birth all match. So why revert to the surname he had never used? The 1871 census is unclear on the children's surnames - I wonder whether William John (also sometimes referred to as William Thomas) was really the son of Thomas William Smart from before his marriage to Mary Blair, and also from before Anne Smart's and William Blair's (Mary's husband) deaths?
Bradley familiesThe Smart family of West Ham, Essex … and Vancouver & Seattle
Adam GrieselAdam Griesel was the first husband of Annie Eliza Smart. They married on the 14th January 1880 in Bethnal Green. On the marriage certificate they both say they are of full age and resident in Bethnal Green. Adam’s occupation is Baker, and he says his father is Ludwig Griesel, a Smith.They appear on the 1881 census living at 11 Livingstone Road, Stratford, with a son George, aged 1. Adam is 29, a Baker and his birthplace is Germany. I believe he also appears on this census at his place of work, 228 Hackney Road, Hackney. His employer is Charles Gravenstede, a Master Baker born in Waren, Germany, and employing one man. Charles’s wife Emma gives her birthplace as Zeity (?), Saxon Prussia, while Adam Grissel [sic], Journeyman Baker, aged 29, gives his as Gudensburg, Germany.Adam died on the 29th December 1881 at the German Hospital in Dalston from pneumonia crouposa. On the death certificate he is described as a Baker of 22 Cadell Street, Hackney Road. The informant is Chr. Feldmann, the Steward of the hospital. Annie Eliza was expecting their second son at the time, and she gave birth to Ernest Joseph Griesel in the second quarter of 1882 in West Ham, where she had probably gone to stay with her married sister Sarah Ann Bradley.Every now and then it’s worth re-visiting family names to see if new data has appeared on the internet, so I googled Ludwig Griesel Gudensberg. What showed up was, not surprisingly, a German genealogy site: http://gedbas.genealogy.net/person/show/1141769883. So here was a Ludwig Griesel in the right town, producing a daughter, Elisabeth in 1848 (Adam’s birth was in 1851/52) and he is a Schlossermeister, which depending on where you look for a translation is either a Master fitter, Master metal worker, or Master locksmith, which would become in abbreviated form on an English marriage certificate, “Smith.” If this is Adam’s father, then his mother was Anna Elisabeth Kaufunger. There are still Griesels in Gudensberg today, and on this web site from the mid-18th century.