William Good (1812 - 1886)


Birth and Christening

William Good was born the son of Moses Good and his first wife Elizabeth Brown on May 1812 in Plymouth, Devon. His parents had been married at Stoke-Damerall Church in 1808. We first learn of William's birth in the records of Saint Peters Daniel Street-Wesleyan church in Portsea where William and his older brother Thomas were christened on August 30th, 1815. We are not aware of any other children born to Moses and Elizabeth prior to these 1815 christenings but it is possible that other children were born and did not survive.

Christening of Thomas and William Good:

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"Thos. Son of Moses & Elizth Good of the Parish of Portsea; born Nov 10, 1810;baptized Aug 30, 1815"
"Wm. Son of Moses & Elizth Good of the Parish of Portsea; born May 4, 1812;baptized Aug 30, 1815"

This record was microfilmed by the LDS church and has reference So: 595456 (RG4 563)

We have limited information on William, such information as we have being limited to documentary evidence of his life.

Marriage to Jane Fry

Chronologically the next information we have on William is the record of his marriage to Jane Fry on 2 May 1831 at St. Marys, Portsea. This marriage is recorded in the International Genealogical Index (IGI). There are other marriages of a William Good in Portsmouth (for example one to Eliza Bidwell in November of 1831) but we can be fairly certain that the marriage to Jane Fry is the one we seek, as will be shown below. The final proof of this union will wait on further documentation being retrieved, as detailed below.


  Spouse:  Jane FRY
  Marriage:  2 May 1831
    Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire, England


Jane FRY
Sex:  F
Christening:  12 May 1811
Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire, England
Father:  Jeremiah FRY
Mother:  Elizabeth
Jane FRY
Sex:  F
Christening:  14 Feb 1813
Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire, England
Father:  John FRY
Mother:  Maria

Jane FRY

Sex:  F
Christening:  22 Feb 1821
Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire, England
Father:  James FRY
Mother:  Harriett

1851 Census

The entry for William Good and his family in the 1851 census appears below:

William appears in the 1851 census living at 135 Union Rd(?). He is listed as being a butcher and as being a widower.

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The address at which the family lives is 135 Union Rd. The information in the census return is shown below:

Name relationship marital status age occupation birthplace
Wm Good Head W 48 Butcher Plymouth
do  do[1] Son   13 Scholar Hants, Portsmo.
Edmund do do   10 do do  do
Jane M. do Daugh U 19 Housekeeper do  do
Emma Good do U 17 Shop do do  do
Sarah Anne do do   15   do  do
Victoria do do   7 Scholar do  do
Julia do do   5 do do  do
Laura N do do   3   do  do


[1] 'do' is short for 'ditto'; in this case there is a second William Good in the family, namely a son. similarly the children all have the surname 'Good' and all are born in Portsmouth, Hampshire (Hants).
[2] William indicates here that his birthplace is Plymouth; that ties him in with the William Good who is the son of Moses.
[3] the children have names such as Edmund and Sarah, linking William to his siblings; it is interesting to see the name Julia here as it may link to Julia, Sarah Good's daughter.
[4] we see, that with the death of her mother (William is a widower) the daughter Jane has taken on the responsibilities of housekeeper for the family.

In this census return we see that William is a widower living in a home with eight children, the oldest of whom, Jane M. is fulfilling the roll of housekeeper. The census gives us a list of the children, when they are born (approximately) and where they are born. With this information it is possible to search the IGI to see if we can find records of the christening of these children. Such a search produces the following results:

Jane Maria GOOD
Christening:  2 Mar 1832
Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire, England
Sarah Ann GOOD
Christening:  8 Nov 1835
Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire, England


Emma Caroline GOOD
Christening:  8 Nov 1835
Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire, England


William GOOD
Christening:  20 Aug 1837
Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire, England


Julia GOOD
Christening:  14 Sep 1845
High Street-Presbyterian Or Unitarian, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England

While not all of the children listed in the 1851 census are accounted for in this list there are suffficient number to determine the following:

  1. all children were those of William and his wife Jane -- this supports the above assumption that Jane is, in fact, Jane Fry.

  2. it is interesting that William and Jane appear to have changed churches from the established (CofE) church to the Presbyterian or Unitrian Church.

  3. the listings give us second names for some of the children -- names which help in tracing the family tree.

Death of Jane

Jane died 18 Jan 1850 leaving William a widower. By the time of her death Jane had borne many children and she did so every three years or so. We have not seen the death registration for Jane but it is quite possible that her death was related to childbirth.

Marriage to Frances Marsh

William married Frances Marsh at some time in the 1850s. She was his junior by about 14 years and would have been between 25 and 35 at the time they married. However, they did not have any children together.

1881 Census

At the time of the 1881 census William is living at 14 Hampshire Terrace which is in Landport and an extension (the next block) to Landport Terrace. William, now aged 68 classifies himself as a cattle dealer and is living with his wife (second?) Frances who is 13 years his junior.








William GOOD  




Cattle Dealer


Plymouth, Devon, England

Frances GOOD  





Sussex, England

Beatrice HAWKINS  




Domestic Servant


London, London, Middlesex, England

Source:    FHL Film 1341283 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 1157 Folio 80 Page 19 (LDS)

It is interesting that Willliam and his wife have a servant girl of age 17 working for them. This generally would be the indication, as well as the location of their home, of a fairly affluent family -- one with an income of perhaps at least £150 per annum. By this time Moses Good, his father, was dead and William may have inherited significant holdings from his father. He may also have been a successful cattle dealer and have acquired wealth in this manner. The servant Beatrice Hawkins was born in London. However Hawkins was a prominent name in Devon and there are many records of marriages between Goods and Hawkins over the years. It may be that Beatrice was a relative, and it may be that she came to the family as a result of contacts by a brother (name as yet undetermined) who was in London.

It is worth noting that the link between this William Good and our family is substantiated by the Plymouth birthplace and also by the occupation of cattle dealer which was mentioned by Lillian Scott, grand-daughter of William's sister Sarah, in her notes.

The Death of William Good

William died of apoplexy at the age of 74 years on 18 Jul 1886. At the time of his death he was living at 14 Hampshire Terrace, Portsea.

Research Required:

[1] Gerry Fry who lives in Waterlooville traces his ancestry to a William Good and this is likely the person involved. Additional substantiation is apparently included in wills of which he has copies. Gerry has promised these to me but they have not yet been recieved.
[2] Obtain church entry for marriage of William Good and Jane Fry.
[3] Obtain a birth registration for one of the children born after 1837 to confirm maiden name of mother
[4] Obtain marriage registration for William and Frances Knight in the second quarter of 1876.
[5] Obtain the death certificate and wills for William Good..

His son William is also listed as a cattle dealer in the 1881 census.  


[1] IGI of the LDS
[2] parish records microfilmed by the LDS for Daniel St Wesleyan Church
[3] FreeBMD database of vital records.
[4] census records recorded by the LDS for 1851 and 1881.

İKenneth Scott and others

last modified 19 January 2002