William Joseph Spry Yeo was born in Devon but the 1841 census records him in prison in Guernsey. He had been baptised at the parish church of St Andrew, Plymouth on 9 May 1813; the record of this baptism names his father as John Yeo, a dock labourer and his mother as Ann Yeo.
John Yeo, William’s father, was originally from Launceston, but had moved to East Stonehouse by 1800 and married Ann Ellis there. John’s parents were Thomas Yeo and Mary Featherstone, and he had a direct line of descent from John Yeo and Frances Holman, who married at Poundstock in 1616.
William married Elizabeth Nicholson at Stoke Damerel on 28 September 1840. According to research carried out by Sheila in 2004, William and Elizabeth had three children in Guernsey, where William worked as a shoemaker:
– James William Yeo, born 1839
– John Thomas Yeo, born 1841
– George Henry Yeo, born 1843.
The family later moved to London; the 1881 census records William and Elizabeth in Battersea. No-one else is recorded in the household, but they also appear to have had a daughter, Elizabeth Sophie Yeo (who married Jabez Brimley in Battersea in 1878).
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