St Giles in the Wood is a short distance south of Great Torrington; the 1871 census records 65-year-old widower George Yeo living there [notes 1, 2].
This family takes some effort to unravel as not all the post-1837 births in this family were registered. Listed with George, who is recorded as a mason, are:
– His son Augustus Yeo (age 13) [note 3]
– His daughter Lydia E. Yeo (10) [note 4].
Apparently in the same house are:
– Henry May (age 21, a blacksmith) [note 5]
– Henry’s wife Eliza May (26) [note 6]
– Henry’s daughter Sarah M.C. Yeo (3) [note 7]
– Henry’s son William May (3 months).
Soon after this census was taken, Henry and Eliza emigrated to Canada. Eliza died there in 1925.
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1. George was baptised at St Giles in the Wood in 1806, an illegitimate son of Anne Yeo. He married Margery Cooke at St Giles in the Wood in 1834; she died in 1867 aged 51 – her death registration and burial records show her as Margaret Yeo.
2. The birthplace of all seven people in this 1871 return is given as St Giles, which was in the Torrington registration district.
3. Born 1857.
4. Baptised at St Giles in the Wood in 1860 as Lydia Ellen Yeo.
5. Henry was George’s son-in-law, but he is recorded as a lodger.
6. Eliza was George’s daughter, baptised at St Giles in the Wood in 1844. She married Henry May (recorded as William Henry May) at the parish church in St Giles in the Wood in 1870.
7. Sarah was born before Henry and Eliza married, and baptised as Sarah Margaret Cook Yeo at St Giles in the Wood in 1868.