William Norman Rootes born 1794

Although not a direct ancestor of mine - he was a brother to my 3xgt grandfather George - William's life and descendents are interesting.

William was the seventh child of eleven born toThomas ROOTS and Lucy CRIPPS and was baptised at Framfield, Susex on 13th March 1794.
He was a blacksmith and married Sarah BURGESS at Benenden on 2nd July 1810, and they had a total of eighteen children!

In 1841 William & Sarah were living in Biddenden with the younger children, Edmund, Hannah, Iden, George, Frederick, Emily and Rebecca. They occupied a fairly big house house in Biddenden owned by Thomas Pile and William was assessed for rates until November 1843, but was legally excused payment from January 1842, presumably because he had emigrated to America.

The ship passenger list records William and Emily (Sarah?) both aged 50 with Iden 15, George 12, Frederick 10, Emily 6 and Rebecca 4 sailing for America in 1842. William appears to have died by 1851 when Sarah Roots, 60 born England was a midwife in Hamilton City, Ontario, Canada. Also in Hamilton City were Emily 16 and Rebecca, both single and born England. In 1871 Iden Roots was a baker in New Brunswic, Portland.

The older children stayed in England:

  • William died Q4 1876 Tonbridge Registration district
  • John (blacksmith) was in Benenden in 1851
  • Jane ?
  • Charles ?
  • *James (Ag Lab) mar Patience Potten Q2 1844 Cranbrook Registration District
  • Eliza ?
  • Thomas (blacksmith) lodging with brother John in 1851died in Frittenden in 1861
  • Edmund ?
  • Hannah married James Austen Button, illegitimate son of Sarah Button & James Austen. Nine children born in Tenterden registration district, all recorded with Austen as a second given name and BUTTON as the surname, but James and Hannah, (with their children) were enumerated on all censuses, 1851-1901 as James and Sarah AUSTEN. Sarah was widowed by 1891 when she was living in Marden with her youngest daughter Hannah and a granddaughter Emily SPICE. She was still with Hannah, and a granddaugher Kate AUSTEN in 1901.
  • *James ROOTS & Patience POTTEN lived in Benenden in 1851 and Goudhurst in 1861. They had at least six children including Edward Aylweer who married Ann JURY Q2 1869 Maidstone registration district. Edward was a civil engineer and had only one (known) child, William, born c1870.
    This William was a civil engineer/cycle manufacturer of Goudhurst/Hawkhurst. He maried Jenny CATT in 1892, Cranbrook registration district and they had two sons, William Edward born Q3 1894 and Reginald Claude born Q4 1896, both registered in Cranbrook rgistration district.
    William & Reginald became the co-founders of the Rootes Motor Company. They were both knighted for their wartime services in motor and aircraft production, and William became first Baron Rootes of Ramsbury in 1959. More info.