William Mays was the first child of William May & Mary Cox christened July 9th, 1837 at East Grinstead, Sussex.
In 1841 William & his younger sister Mary & their parents were living at ‘part of Great Surreys’, East Grinstead .
In 1851 William was still at home which was now ‘part of Hollywich House’, Hartfield, Sussex. William had 2 younger sisters & a brother & was working as an agricultural labourer at the age of 14.
William married his cousin Elizabeth Mays [m.5.1] in Oct-December 1860, the marriage being registered at Sevenoaks, Kent. Elizabeth was born March 26th, 1839 at Streatham & christened April 28th, 1839 at St Leonard’s, Streatham, Surrey, the daughter of Lydia Walker & Charles May [m.5].
At the time of the 1861 census William & Elizabeth had a 2 week old son Arthur. They were living at Chiddingstone, Kent where William was a carter.
By 1871 William & Elizabeth had moved to 12 Portland Place, New Rd, Cuckfield, Sussex. William had become a gardener & they had 4 sons at home – Arthur, Charles (8), Frederick (3) & George (1).
William & Mary were living at Mill Cottage, Cuckfield in 1881 & William was now described as a general labourer. At home were Arthur, Frederick John, an agricultural labourer, George Henry, Alfred Ernest (8) & a daughter Elizabeth Mary (3).
By 1891 William had returned to being a jobbing gardener & Elizabeth was now working as a laundress. They were living at 33 New England Rd, Haywards Heath, Cuckfield. At home were Alfred, Elizabeth & they had a boarder, a 16 year old telegraph boy, Walter Fowler.
In Oct-December 1899 son Alfred married Rebekah Holden in at Cuckfield.
William died at New England Rd on February 19th, 1900, aged 62, & was buried on February 23 or 28th at Hayward’s Heath.
In 1901 widowed Elizabeth was a laundress still living at New England Rd & with her was son Charles, a hair dresser, & his wife Lydia & their 2 children, George & Beatrice. There was also an 8 year old boarder, Joseph W Boden from London.
Daughter Elizabeth Mary married William Davis Abbott in April-June 1903 at Cuckfield.
Elizabeth continued to live at New England Rd & in 1911 she had 4 lodgers in her 6-roomed house. It was noted on the census that Elizabeth had had 8 children, only 6 of whom were still alive. One of the lodgers with Elizabeth was William Goldspink, Elizabeth’s adopted son (see below).
Son Alfred & his wife Rebekah were living at 6 Windermere Rd, off New England Rd, Haywards Heath in 1911 & Alfred was a jobbing gardener. They had a daughter Dorothy Mary (9) & a son Harry (5). Rebekah’s sister, Harriett Holden (46), was with them at the time of the census.
Daughter Elizabeth & husband William Abbott were living at Western Rd, Haywards Heath in 1911 & William was a gardener. They had a new born baby daughter Doris.
Elizabeth died aged 79 in November 1918, her death being reported in the Mid Sussex Times of November 12th, 1918. It was noted that Elizabeth was the widow of William who was known as the Old Huntsman because of his association with the local hare hunts. The paper stated that Elizabeth had lived in Hayward’s Heath for almost half a century had died at 1 Woodbine Cottages, New England Rd. She was buried at St Wilfred’s, Hayward’s Heath. One of the floral tributes was sent by ‘son’ Bill who was serving in France as a driver with the Royal Engineers. Bill was in fact William Goldspink, born c1875 in Croydon, Surrey, who had been adopted by William & Elizabeth when he was 10 years old. Bill had lived with members of the family ever since, latterly with daughter Elizabeth Abbott at Western Rd, Hayward’s Heath. He joined the army as a young man & served with the 1st Border Regiment during the South African war. He was a gardener by trade & was for many years employed by Sir James Bradford (entrepreneur & philanthropist) & prior to his death in 1938 had been caretaker of Hayward’s Heath Cemetery. (Mid Sussex Times November 1st, 1938)
The children of William Mays & Elizabeth Mays were:
m.4.1.1 Arthur Mays born July-September 1861 at Chiddingstone, Kent; died 1935 at Cuckfield, Sussex
m.4.1.2 Charles Lambton Mays born in 1863 at Markbeech, Nr. Cowden, Kent & christened April 12th, 1863 at Cowden, Kent; died 1946 at Chichester, Sussex
m.4.1.3 Frederick John Mays christened February 2nd 1868 at Hartfield, Sussex
m.4.1.4 George Henry Mays christened August 29th 1869 at St Wilfrid’s, Hayward’s Heath, Sussex
m.4.1.5 Alfred Ernest Mays christened August 31st, 1873 at St Wilfrid’s, Hayward’s Heath, Sussex; buried on January 23rd, 1941 at St James, Rowledge, Southampton
m.4.1.6 Bertha Ellen Mays christened February 20th, 1875 at Hayward’s Heath; buried February 24th, 1875 at Hayward’s Heath, Sussex
m.4.1.7 Elizabeth Mary Mays born April 14th, 1877 at Cuckfield, Sussex