Tree showing lineage from William Smeed to daughter Sarah Smeed
William Smeed was the son of Elizabeth Smeed, christened January 30th, 1791 at Otford, Kent. The entry in the parish records of St Bartholemew’s, Otford stated that he was the base born son of Elizabeth Smeed baptized January 30th & received into the congregation of February 13th.
William married Caroline Turner at St. Michael & All Angels, Withyham, Sussex on November 2nd 1814. Caroline was christened at St. Mary’s Church, Hartfield, Sussex on December 9th, 1796, the daughter of Sarah Heat and Joseph Turner. Caroline had given birth to a daughter, Mary Turner, prior to her marriage to William, the baptism of Mary having taken place on June 4th, 1812 at St Michael’s, Withyham, Sussex.
William was recorded as a labourer from Blackham in the Parish Register of Cowden in 1815 & 1817. He was described as a farmer at Cowden from 1819-1831
By 1832 William & Caroline had moved to East Grinstead & were living at Brooklands Farm, Hammerwood according to Sussex Online Parish Clerks. William was a tenant farmer.
In 1841 William and Caroline were living at Brooklands Farm, East Grinstead, Sussex, where William was a farmer. There were 10 children living at home – Thomas (20), George (20), Sarah (15), James (15), Robert (13), Anne (11), John (9), Charles (7), Edward (5) and James (1). Living at the next farm, Bower Farm, were John Fry and family which included son Samuel Fry [f.2.6] who was to marry Sarah Smeed in 1842.
Son John died at Brooklands Farm in 1850, aged just 19 years, and was buried at St Swithin’s Church, East Grinstead.
William and Caroline were still farming at Brooklands Farm in 1851, a 78 acre farm. Sons George, James, Charles and Edward were all working on the farm. Daughter Anne was still at home and described as a house servant. Little James (aged one in the last census) was still with them and was now described as grandson. James, who was born in Lambeth Surrey, was in fact the illegitimate son of William & Caroline’s daughter Elizabeth. Visiting the Smeeds was 6 year old granddaughter Phoebe Fry, child of daughter Sarah and Samuel Fry.
By 1861 William and Caroline had moved to Fairlight Farm, East Grinstead. William was now a farmer of 260 acres employing 6 men. Sons James (noted as being deaf), Charles and grandson James were at home and working on the farm. Daughter Anne was still at home and they had a house servant Mary Wickenden (15). Living next door at Fairlight Cottage was son Edward, now married to Sarah Ann, with 11 month old son Edward. Edward was described as farmer’s son.
In 1871 William and Caroline were still at Fairlight. William was still farming at the age of 80! Son James and daughter Anne were still at home as was grandson James. Another grandson Edward Smeed (10) was with them at the time of the census. Edward was the child of son Edward, who was still living next door at Fairlight Cottage. William and Caroline had 2 servants.
Caroline died on July 11th 1871 at East Grinstead, aged 75, and was buried at St. Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent.
William died May 7th, 1880 at Fairlight Farm, aged 89, and was buried May 12th at St. Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent. His will was proved on July 10th, 1880 by Joseph Turner, an appraiser, and son James Smeed, gentleman. His personal estate was valued at less than £3,000.
The children of William Smeed & Caroline Turner were:
sm.1 William Smeed born January 10th, 1815 at Withyham, Sussex; died February 15th, 1871 at Lambeth, Surrey
sm.2 Elizabeth Smeed christened January 12th, 1817 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent; buried January 19th 1898 at St John the Evangelist, Sidcup, Kent
sm.3 Thomas Smeed christened May 9th, 1819 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent; died February 2nd, 1905 at Hedgecourt Farm, Horne, Surrey
sm.4 George Smeed christened June 10th, 1821 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent; died November 3rd, 1897 at Belle View Cottage, East Grinstead
sm.5 Sarah Smeed born August 11th, 1823 & christened September 21st, 1823 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent; died February 15th, 1895, aged 71 at Brookshill farm, Hartfield
sm.6 James Smeed christened June 12th, 1825 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent; died December 1st, 1889 at Glen-vue, East Grinstead
sm.7 Robert Smeed christened August 19th, 1827 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent; died February 15th, 1904 at 31 Billington Rd, New Cross, Surrey
sm.8 Ann Smeed christened June 7th, 1829 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent; died June 11th, 1912 at the Star Inn, Felbridge, Godstone, Surrey
sm.9 John Smeed born April 7th, 1831 at East Grinstead & christened June 5th, 1831 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent; died June 25th, 1850 at Brooklands Farm, East Grinstead
sm.10 Charles Smeed born April 15th, 1833 at Brooklands Farm, East Grinstead & christened May 26th, 1833 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent; died November 21st, 1916 at 86 High St, East Grinstead
sm.11 Edward Smeed born January 3rd, 1835 at East Grinstead & christened March 22nd, 1835 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent; died July 17th, 1917 at Great Lodge, Tonbridge