William Hunnisett (1785 - 1851) labourer of Westham

William, the first child born to James and Mary after their marriage, was born on 31 May 1785 and baptised on 19 June in Westham. He married Winifred Manser (1798-1869) also from Westham on 6 March 1821 and they had nine children baptised there:


4 Aug 1822


29 Aug 1824


18 Jun 1826


25 May 1828


9 Mar 1831


25 Jun 1833


7 Feb 1836


14 Oct 1838


6 Nov 1842

William was an agricultural labourer and lived in Blackness, a hamlet in the parish of Westham. The 1851 census shows William and Winifred and their three youngest children; Joseph, Samuel and Caroline. Also with them were two grandchildren; John, shown as their son but actually Elizabeth's illegitimate son, and Esther, shown as their niece but really the daughter of Thomas and his wife, Mary.

Their daughter Esther was buried on 8 October 1843 aged 17. William died aged 66 and was buried on 12 September 1851. Winifred lived to be 71, died in 1869 and was buried on 2 January 1870. All were buried in Westham. The Sussex Express for 4 January 1870 carried a report of the inquest into Winifred's death from which it appears that her son (un-named but almost certainly Thomas) had found her to be dead when he arose in the morning.

Of William and Winifred's children:

  • Thomas married Mary Funnell and they lived with their children in Westham. This is my line of descent.
  • Elizabeth had an illegitimate son John, born at the Union House, Eastbourne, on 18 April 1847. By 1851 she was working as a servant at 8 Cornfield in Eastbourne, and John was being brought up by his grandparents in Westham. In 1860 she married John Turner in Glynde and they had a daughter Winifred. They later lived in Salehurst where Elizabeth died in 1885.
    • John married Harriett Hook from Robertsbridge and they lived in Salehurst with their children.
  • Benjamin lived in Westham with his wife Louisa and their children until about 1872 when they moved to Ripe.
  • Joseph married Sophia Reed in 1858 and they had a son, Joseph James, in 1859. Sophia died in 1861 so Joseph married again (to Frances, Sophia's sister) and had five more children. Joseph and Frances lived in Bexhill.
  • Samuel married Eliza Buckfield, had five children and lived in Hooe, Whitesmith and Steyning.
  • Caroline married a blacksmith, Frederick Fairall, and they lived mostly in Salehurst.