Emma Hazelton Barham (1832 - 1916)

Married two widowers

Emma was born on 21st October 1832 and baptised on 9th December. Like her older brother, Charles, she used her mother's name, Hazelton on official documents in later life.  Strangely none of her other siblings appeared to do this.

When her father died in 1846 she was 14 years old and was the eldest of the four "reputed" children recognised in his will to be supported until their 17th birthday. Whether the provisions of the will were enacted is not known, but it is clear from the 1851 census that all her siblings except the youngest, Thomas, were in some form of employment. The three daughters were all working in domestic service; Emma for Mr William Ford, a surgeon living in Crayford.

In 1859, at 26, she married another plumber from Greenhithe, John Reed.  John was 20 years her senior, a widower and originally from Erith.  The 1851 census shows that he was then living in Greenhithe with his wife Mary, but no children were present. The witnesses at Emma and John's wedding were her two younger siblings (Louisa and Frederick) and Elizabeth Hazelton.  The last witness could be her mother, but it is unlikely as she was always known as Elizabeth Barham., It is more likely that she was a cousin who is listed in the 1851 census living in Swanscombe with her parents Richard) and Harriett. 

In 1861 they were living in Greenhithe (where they had married) with one child William, born that year and two years later another son Charles was born there. Their next child, Louisa, was born in Gravesend in 1865, but by 1871 the census that year shows that they had moved to Islington, where John was working as a painter. Shortly after that they moved to Crayford where Emma had been working in service as a teenager. Another son, Frederick was born there in 1873 had and. they were still living there at the time of the 1881 census.

  • John
    b 1813

  • m
  • Emma Hazelton
    b 1832
family connector
  • William

    b 1861
  • Charles

    b 1863
  • Louisa

    b 1865
  • Frederick

    b 1873

John Reed died in late 1887 leaving Emma a widow at the age of 54. She did not stay single for long though as just one year later she married again on 24 September 1888 at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Stoke Newington.  Her husband was widower Joseph Wesbury, an upholsterer - a remarkable connection, as Joseph's late wife was Susannah Barham, almost certainly her half-sister.  (The mystery of Susannah's actual identity is discussed in detail in the account of her life) .So Joseph and Emma, having both married spouses 20 years their senior found themselves kindred spirits, single again within a year of each other and tied a knot that was to last another 22 years.

  • Joseph WESBURY
    b 1833

  • m
  • Emma
    b 1832

In 1891 the census that year shows that Emma and Joseph had moved to Erith and Emma's youngest son Frederick, now aged 18, was living with them. Frederick is described as Joseph's nephew which would seem to confirm the relationship between Emma and Susannah. The reason for the move to Erith is not clear, but there were connections for both of them. Emma's first husband, John, had been born there and her brother, Charles Hazelton Barham was now living there. Joseph was no stranger to Charles either as he had been a witness at his wedding. They were still in Erith in 1901. aged 67 and 68 and Joseph was still working ias an upholsterer.

 Joseph died in 1910 and Emma lived till 1916 when she died aged 82.  Unless her sister Louisa, of whom there is no record after 1861, survived her, Emma outlived all of her siblings.