This page explores the life of my great great great grandmother Caroline Vowles of Wedmore, born Caroline Hickman.
|Caroline Hickman was the mother of Amelia Hickman who married Joseph
Fisher. She was thus my great great great grandmother.
Caroline was born about 1784 in the wider Wedmore area in the village of Elborough. This information comes from the 1851 census, as no baptismal record has yet come to light. Consequently we know nothing of her parents. Two records document that she also went by the name of Catherine.
She bore several illegitimate children, by different men:
Then suddenly Caroline's wayward ways ceased. At the age 36 on 27 Mar 1820 she married - at of course St Marys Parish Church in Wedmore. The groom was George Vowles, and the match was rather a surprising one as he was 15 years younger than her. The couple went on to have three children:
The age of 41, after bearing six children, saw the end of Caroline' childbearing years. The census records of the wider family show that she and the Fishers stayed close to one another. On 15 Apr 1847, it was she who notified the death of her grandchild Jane Hickman Fisher. She gave her name as Catherine, which she had probably decided to use to avoid confusion with other Caroline Vowles in the area. The 1851 census, too, documented her as Caroline.
In spite of the large age gap between Caroline and her husband, she survived him. George Vowles died on 5 Aug 1853 at Wedmore, after a life as an agricultural labourer. He was 53. She was 69.
The 1861 census showed Caroline still at Wedmore, living with her daughter Eleanor as a pauper aged 77. Due to what must have been an administrative oversight, she also appeared in the household of Joseph and Amelia Fisher in the same census.
As Caroline was not the only Caroline Vowles in the wider Wedmore area at the time, several death records could be hers. However, none seem particularly likely. If she were the "Vowles, Caroline, Deaths 79 June 1891 Axbridge, Somerset 5c", she would have lived to 105. Unlikely as this seems, no more likely records have shown up. Even if I were to go to the expense of buying all the possible death certificates, they probably would not help to identify 'our' Caroline because there is no way of knowing who she would have been living with at the time.