Part 1: The Young Ann Wheeler


Once upon a time, long, long ago in the later years of King George 4th's reign a baby girl was born that would become a cornerstone of a family in turmoil. She would nurture her abandoned grandson who would go on to become the father of a generation that we knew as our parents.

We need to go back to 1792 to find the earliest known roots of our great grandmother, Ann “Grannie” Musselwhite. In that year both Joseph Musselwhite and Lucy Wheeler were baptised and were both, presumably, born around that time; infant mortality was very high in those days and children were baptised very soon after birth just in case the worst happened.

Joseph Musselwhite was the son of John and Mary Musselwhite and he was baptised in St Mary’s, the parish church of South Stoneham on the 25th March 1792. Later that year, on the 30th December 1792, Lucy Wheeler, the daughter of James and Hannah Wheeler, was baptised in All Saints Church in Fawley.

At some point the Musselwhites probably moved to the Waterside because Joseph and Lucy met and were married in All Saints, Fawley on the 12th October 1813. Both the bride and groom were 21 years old when they married, the age when the consent of parents was no longer needed although that may be a total coincidence. On the 2nd March 1824 Joseph and Lucy’s first child, a son, Charles Musselwhite was baptised, again in All Saints, Fawley, so by this time the family were well established in the area. At the age of 25 Charles Musselwhite was a lodger at Stonehills farm where he worked as a labourer. Stonehills is the area just south of Fawley on the Calshot road and not far from Badminston farm which will become significant later in the story

By 1851 Joseph, then 59 and listed as an agricultural labourer, was living at Rollestone farm, Fawley (near Blackfield as we know it today) but sadly, there is no mention of Lucy who, by this time must have died. There were two children, Emily (aged 19) and Joseph (aged 17) living with Joseph. This means both Joseph (senior) and Lucy were about 42 when Joseph (junior) was born, this may have been too much for Lucy perhaps? There is no record of her death so we can only speculate. Joseph died in 1858.

The Ann Wheeler I mentioned in my opening paragraph was the daughter of William Wheeler who had married an Elizabeth Birt on the 4th April 1831 again in Fawley church. William Wheeler had been baptised on the 6th November 1809, the son of William and Charlotte (nee Bull). Ann Wheeler was baptised on the 8th March 1832 in Fawley, the first child of William and Elizabeth. By the 1841 census William and Elizabeth had five children and they lived at Stanswood, near Calshot and were still there in 1851. By then they had eight children with the eldest, Ann, still ‘at home’ aged 19 and the youngest being Thomas aged 4. At this time William Wheeler was an agricultural carter.

The event of real significant to the Orchard family history came in early 1861 when Charles Musselwhite (then 34) married our heroin, Ann Wheeler (now 30). The exact date and place of the wedding is not known as, strangely, there seems to be nothing in the All Saints, Fawley, registers revealing this. We do know that the couple were living in Badminston Road, Fawley. Badminston lies between Fawley and Calshot. The Fawley Power Station was build on Badminston Farm and Badminston Lane opposite the power station leads to Badminston Common and on to Langley via Mopley Pond. This is not far from Ann’s parents home at Stanswood. Charles was, like many of his family, an agricultural labourer. Charles and Ann were to have three daughters but that is the next chapter of the Orchard family history.


Printable Version: 

These are the people mentioned in the above story. Click the name of any person you want to know more about:

Name (Click to see details) Date of Birth Parents Date of Marriage Spouse Child Date of Death
Musselwhite, Joseph Sun, 25/03/1792 Tue, 12/10/1813 Wheeler, Lucy Musselwhite, Charles Tue, 26/02/1856
Wheeler, Lucy Sun, 30/12/1792 Tue, 12/10/1813 Musselwhite, Joseph Musselwhite, Charles Sun, 14/09/1879
Wheeler, William Fri, 21/07/1809 Thu, 04/08/1831 Birt, Elizabeth Wheeler, Ann Sat, 01/10/1864
Birt, Elizabeth Fri, 14/09/1810 Thu, 04/08/1831 Wheeler, William Wheeler, Ann Thu, 01/04/1897
Musselwhite, Charles Tue, 02/03/1824 Sat, 02/02/1861 Wheeler, Ann Musselwhite, Hannah Tue, 05/01/1909
Wheeler, Ann Fri, 09/03/1832 Sat, 02/02/1861 Musselwhite, Charles Musselwhite, Hannah Sat, 07/02/1925
Musselwhite, Hannah Sun, 23/03/1862 Thu, 20/03/1890 Orchard, Henry Orchard, Charles Sat, 01/06/1946


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