So, in London during the 19th Century there were two families called Besch who were tailors. I have held a firm belief that the two older members, John Besch [who is Lilian bond’s Grandfather] and Frederick Besch, were brothers but have been unable to find their baptism records so far although, according to the census, both were born in Westminster.
There is an entry in Pallott’s Marriage Index for a John Besch and an Elizabeth Keitch at Stoke Newington in 1793. On our John Besch’s marriage certificate for his second marriage [I have yet to find the first in the parish records], it states that his father was also called John Besch and was deceased. I believe that this entry is for his parents’ marriage.
I decided to have a day trawling thoroughly through every available set of parish records to find them. So yesterday was spent at the Westminster Archives. I systematically went through every church’s baptism records between 1795 and 1804 [Frederick was born c1797 and John c1801/2] with no luck. It was during this that I began to wonder if they were not part of the established church. I considered Catholicism as I thought that the elder John Besch might be German and that was a possibility but, as both John and Frederick’s children were baptised Church of England, this seemed unlikely.
So, I looked for a non-conformist church that might fit the bill. What I found was St Mary’s German Lutheran Church of the Savoy. Worth giving it a go I thought, especially as they have the records in both English as well as German and an index.
In the third volume, I found them!
The text of the entry is as follows:
On the 23th of December 1808 were baptized in the house of Mr J. C. Rentz, Nr. 36. Great-Poultrey Street 4 chidren which had not been baptized before, and received the following names
- Frederick Besch, born July 22th 1796.
- Isabella Besch, born Feb 12th 1798.
- John Besch, born Nov 9 1799.
- Joseph Besch, born March 24 1803.
Their father is dead. His name was John Besch, a native of the Kingdom of [illegible] Hamburg. Their mother is still alive and was present at their baptizm. her name is Elizabeth Besch.
The sponsors were:
- Joana Catherine Rentz
- John Christian Rentz
- John Henry Frochlich
As you can imagine I am thrilled about this! It also cleared up another mystery. In the census of 1851, John’s daughter Clara turns up living with her auint and uncle in Beaminster, Dorset. I had no idea whose sibling the aunt or uncle was but now I know! The Aunt is called Isabella Frampton. So Isabella Besch married John Purchase Frampton. They had two daughters, the first, Eliza Henrietta, died in infancy but the second, Jane Besch Franmpton, married George Stocker. Clara herself married John Stocker! I love it when it all comes together. 🙂