All credit for this blog goes to my lovely cousin Steve, he’s been delving deeper into the records of the Padfield, Pandfield and any other families that may have had a man that fitted to Wyndham Stuart Pandfield and his previous life before 1881. He puts forward a very convincing case for this man, who was baptised simply as Isaac Padfield on Christmas day 1826 in Holcombe, Somerset. Likely born sometime in 1826 to parents Samuel Padfield and Martha (Ashman). His father Samuel was the Parish Clerk. Has he cracked the mystery? What do you think?
Note. If you haven’t read the first two Blogs about this old photo and the Photographer, here’s the direct links: https://lynnswaffles.com/2021/03/02/who-was-wyndham-stuart-pandfield-of-the-bewdley-coffee-tavern/ and Part 2 here: https://lynnswaffles.com/2021/03/11/who-was-wyndham-stuart-pandfield-part-2/
Below here are Screenshots of the family tree that cousin Steve has compiled on Ancestry, and as you can see he totally goes off the radar and records after 1875.
Now as you can see from my family tree for Wyndham Stuart Pandfield, it actually starts exactly where Steve’s tree leaves off. Beginning with the birth of his son William Goderidge Pandfield at the beginning of 1880 in Southampton, Hampshire. Because as we now know Florence Bessie’s father was Jessie Stride and not Wyndham.
This was Steve’s first newspaper find from 1864:
They had one son George William Laneway Padfield born 23 May 1852, baptised in the Methodist Church at Pilton on 19 October 1852. George sadly died at the end of January 1855, not quite three years old.
In the previous 1861 census he is described as a Stone Mason? Staying at the home of his brother in law Silas Jewell.
MURDER Trial: I was going to give you just a round-up of the information contained in the newspaper reports but it’s much better to actually read them. So below are just a couple of these newspaper reports that Steve found to back up his research and wow, what a tale they tell! The Child Murder at Midsomer Norton. February 1875.
This is the most detailed report of the Inquest and Verdict reported in the newspapers, what a harrowing case to judge on, so very sad. Next we have the trial, again the most comprehensive report from the newspapers, again from the Bristol Mercury:
These newspaper reports make not just very sad reading, but are very damning for Isaac Padfield in so many different ways and would explain absolutely his wish to try and change his future. It also shows how even back then he was actually using different names to his birth name for various different reasons I would think.
There are some possibilities of these ‘extra’ marriages in Somerset and Wales, but without sending for all the marriage certificates we shall never know if what they said about him in the newspaper report above was correct. It would also be interesting to trace any of the children born too, maybe for another time…
These are some of Steve’s notes to me on his thinking: “It dawned on me Jas Stevens in the 1881 Census. Then in the press articles, he uses the middle name James and the woman in the articles uses Stevens as an alias, coincidence ??
Also in the 1871 Census Isaac Padfield is a photographer. The press stories are definitely a valid argument.
I enjoy trying to crack mysteries.
I try to think like them and wonder what would I do or what am I trying to run away from.
Isaac’s wife Sarah Jewel, her parents were George and Mary Jewel.
The only marriage I can find for them is 1813 in St Mabyn, Cornwall?
The occupation in 1871 being a Stonemason put me off for a bit, (as it did me!) but when I saw who he was visiting,
his brother-in-law, that swung it for me.
He definitely had the gift of the gab, especially when defending himself in court.
As I’ve often thought the past has already been written you can’t alter that.
You can make up your future as you go along but eventually, you will get found out.
It’s a lot harder to do that now, but back then there weren’t any identity checks.
If there’s a mystery to solve, I’ll do my best.”
I’m 100% sure Steve has got our man Wyndam Stuart Pandfield, at last, the large puzzle fits together. I am so chuffed, it just goes to show if you have the time and the patience lots of these Family History Brickwalls can be cracked! Huge thanks to Steve xx
I have started updating the family tree I made adding all of Steve’s information, here’s the direct link here to the Public Family Tree I have on Ancestry: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/tree/174436393/family?cfpid=152264655411
Steve also added a press story for Jessie Stride. (His father’s accidental death)
Till next time then……………