Wolvercote - Balls, Busbys and Bustins Frances Ball who was born in Wolvercote in Oxfordshire in 1792 married twice. Her first husband was Thomas Busby and they had five children born between 1815 and 1821, one of whom, Jane Busby, is one of our greatx2 grandmothers. Most Wolvercote girls married local men either from Wolvercote or from Oxford, but although there are local Busbys I can't place a suitable Thomas. If his origins are obscure so is his fate. Thomas Busby seems to have left the scene shortly after the birth of their daughter Elizabeth in 1821. In 1824 Frances gave birth to a daughter who was baptised as Caroline Hudson Busby and Frances is described as a widow, with no father named. In 1828 she had a son baptised as Frederick Busby, who is described as "base born". In 1831 in Wolvercote she married John Hodgson and it is almost certain that Caroline (Hudson being a mishearing - perhaps wilful - of Hodgson) and Frederick were his children; in later life they both used the surname Hodgson, and referred to John as their father. So if Frances was a widow in 1824 why didn't she marry John Hodgson till seven years later? Is this the "seven-year rule" again? If Thomas Busby had absconded and abandoned his family and apparently vanished without trace, then his death would have been assumed after seven years and his "widow" would have been free to marry again. Perhaps at the baptism of Caroline in 1824 it was still possible for her to have been a posthumous child, so charitably not "base born", unlike her younger brother. After their marriage Frances and John moved away from Wolvercote to near Brinkworth in Wiltshire, where he worked as a mason and lock keeper on the Seven Locks, a job, and location, that was taken on by Frederick after his parents' deaths, and who describes himself in 1861 as "Toll collector, Wilts & Berks. Co. and Mason" - this was after serving as a constable with the Oxford University police. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_University_Police. In 1841 the family is living on the canal in Grittenham near Brinkworth with the surname Hudgson: John, aged 60 and a mason; Frances aged 50; Jane [Busby] aged 20; Susannah [Busby], 20; Caroline, 15; and Frederick, 14. Of Frances’s other Busby children, her oldest son, Joshua, has moved to London, and her two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, both died as infants. While Susannah and her mother and step-father all stayed in Wiltshire, Jane, Caroline and Frederick all soon made their way back to Oxford. Jane married Richard Bustin in Wolvercote in May 1844; Caroline married Samuel Loveday - another University police constable - in Oxford in 1847; and Frederick married Elizabeth Thompson in Oxford in 1855. Richard Bustin, on his marriage certificate describes both himself, and his father, also called Richard, as “Boatman”. The Bustin line can be traced back in Oxford to the 1680s and they seem to have mostly been ordinary urban tradespeople. Richard’s grandfather, John Bustin, though, was also a boatman and this work tradition was reinforced after the marriage of Richard Bustin senior to Elizabeth Markham. The Markhams had set themselves up as coal dealers in Wolvercote and the Bustin sons were enrolled to work their boats on the canal probably delivering some of the 100 tons of coal a week required to run the steam engines at the Wolvercote paper mill which supplied paper to the Oxford University Press and Jackson’s Oxford Journal. As usual many thanks to Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolvercote https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke%27s_Cut
The Bustins - Oxford boatmen