Thursday, August 4, 2005

Sarah Bean Shearring

Donnette Smith wrote:

Howard Shearring in England is still keeping me interested in William Bean and his sister, Sarah Bean Shearring. I sent him my notes of early LDS British Branch membership records which show their address and ages at baptism. As their mother died in 1850, a year after they were baptized, Sarah went to live with "an aunt". And later she married Howard Shearring in 1861 in Bermondsey. 

Howard had been trying to figure out when and how the two met. He had thought she had lived in Poplar in the Isle of Dogs which is a loop of the Thames River until her marriage. The
LDS church records show how they moved around in the next year after the mother died. I had checked an index to those records years ago but now have ordered a film of the original records to see if I can pinpoint where Sarah was. We never have figured out who raised her. But there are a couple of records I have which say: 

Minnie Margett's File: a card index of the early British LDS church
membership records:
1. Sarah Bean - bap 13 Aug 1849 by Z. Derrich, Poplar, London Conf.,
British Mission
age 9 res. Poplar
Book 458 pg 687 line 126 

2.Sarah Bean - Branch Walworth, London Conf., British Mission [no date on
single - resident Smith Buildings
Book 425 pg 283 line 81

3.. Sarah Bean [the daughter]- Branch, Isle of Dogs, London Conference,
British Mission
rec. From Poplar Feb 21, 1850
Bk 458 line 365 line 9 

4. Sarah Bean - Limehouse, London Conf., British Mission
Received from Poplar Feb 21, 1850
Removed to Bermondsey Nov 8, 1852
Bk 425 pg 161 line 4 

I had no clue where Walworth was or anything about the Smith Buildings. I saw Sarah's records were sent to Bermondsey in 1852. I don't know whom she lived with. I would love to go through the 1851 census to see if I can see her. But that isn't indexed or online.

Howard said:
"Walworth is south of the Thames, about a mile south-west of Bermondsey and  Shearing Territory. Check the biography [of the Mayor, Sarah's son] and you will  see that her son, Patrick Henry was born at Smith's Buildings, Bermondsey in 1861 so she could have been very close to Henry Shearing about a decade 
earlier than thought. There could be more than one Smith Buildings but it is  too much of a co-incidence to ignore."

The next day he wrote:
"In 1861 there were 4 such buildings of which we can safely ignore one. This leaves the Bermondsey one; another at St Olave Southwark which I think  we can ignore and then 1 at Camberwell. Now I would not accept Camberwell is  Walworth BUT it is right next door to it so remains a possibility. I think you will find these places on the photocopied map I sent you with the 
biog....they are all very close to one another (by US standards they are on  top of each other)"
I also asked Howard how you pronounce "Bermondsey". He said all three syllables have equal stress and sometimes the D is left unspoken.

So. Howard is still interested in keeping in touch with me in spitemof the LDS connections. He sent me a copy of his great-grandfather's biography which he wrote, William Shearring son of Sarah Bean Shearring, but is revising it and he says he will send me a new copy about Christmas time. He has given me permission to give the family copies. In the meantime I'm trying to help him get details corrected and he is really helping me know more about that family.



If you have forgotten about this story - here it is again. 

If you want to see the picture of the Mayor and his family look at the CD of the Beans I gave you. There are two pictures of Sarah Bean Shearring with the early British pictures. Also the one of the Mayor is under the group: Are these Beans? as the family group picture. Those of you who haven't received the Bean CD yet, let me know and I'll try to get you a copy at Christmas when I can put Howard's biography of the Mayor on it, too.

Cynthia is a little confused about the correspondence I have been having with Howard Shearring. I will try to explain it a little better for everyone.

Richard’s great grandfather, William Bean was born in 1834 in the outskirts of London. His father died in 1846 after suffering TB for at least 3 years. In 1848 William’s mother joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then the next year William and his sister Sarah (age 9) were baptized. The next year, 1850, the mother died, also of TB, leaving William and Sarah and their little 5 year old brother as orphans.

William took little Alfred on his back, across London to live with his grandfather. Little Alfred died of TB three years later. His grandfather was so against William being active in the LDS Church he made him leave the home. So, at age 16, William had to go out and work and rent a room. He later married an LDS woman, Elizabeth Carr. They had to stay in England to care for her father, Thomas Carr, as Thomas had to stay in England to keep receiving his pension from the British Government for having been in the navy. The Bean family finally sailed to America and came to Utah in 1877 after Thomas Carr died.

When she was orphaned, the sister, Sarah Bean, went to live with an aunt, we are told, and didn’t have any more contact with the LDS Church. She married Henry Shearring in 1861. Sarah kept in touch with her brother, William Bean, and wrote to him and his children until her death in 1924. William Bean’s son, George Bean, had about five letters that came from Sarah Bean Shearring during World War I. I have a transcription of them
and sent a copy to Howard who was excited to receive them. He said that Sarah must have dictated the letters as she was illiterate.

In those letters Sarah told William’s family about her children and
grandchildren, many of whom were fighting in the war.. Her eldest child was William Shearring who became the Mayor of Bermondsey. This last winter Stuart helped me find Sarah and some of her children and grandchildren in the British 1891 and 1901 census. 

When we were looking at the census, I got wondering about William Shearring being mayor, and posted a query on a genealogical list. I received word from an archivist there, that William Shearring had been Mayor in 1917-18. Now, several months later, Howard Shearring of Kent, England, found my query on Google and wrote to me. He is writing a biography of his great grandfather, the Mayor, William Shearring, and is going to send me a copy. 

Howard told me that most of his family pictures were lost during WWII. When I sent him a copy of a picture of his great-great grandmother, Sarah Bean Shearring taken about 1900, he was overjoyed. And when I sent a copy of a picture of a family I was only guessing at, (because the picture was with the Bean pictures and there were the parents, one son and six daughter taken about 1905) he was stunned as he recognized the father of the group as the Mayor, William Shearring. Just looking at it at work where his computer is, he was guessing that the young man and woman in the back were his grandfather (he hadn’t had a picture of him taken before 1950) and the grandfather’s wife, Matilda. But after taking the picture home and looking at his records and thinking about the ages of the children, he decided that as his grandfather wasn’t married until 1908, it had to be just the Mayor and his wife and seven children. (As William wasn’t the mayor yet in 1904, Howard called him “The Future Mayor”.) 

I hope that clarifies the story. It is pretty interesting!!! It is super exciting to me that Howard recognized that picture which we inherited from Grandpa Herbert W. Smith. 

I am praying I can say the right things to Howard so he won’t be shocked about having Mormons in the family. I hope this can soften his heart toward the church. I also hope Howard can fill in for me more of the names, dates and places of descendants of Sarah Bean Shearring.


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