Market Lavington Museum

Market Lavington’s oldest person in 1911

The well known genealogy site, Ancestry, has been updating its access to the 1911 UK census. Recently, Market Lavington joined the list of places which are indexed.

If you go to Ancestry’s UK census collection and just enter Market Lavington, Wiltshire, England in the ‘Lived in’ box you’ll get a list of every person in the village, in age order. It becomes easy to see that the oldest person in the village was Rebecca Last.

Rebecca was born in 1818. The census page gives the details.

Rebecca Last was Market Lavington's oldest inhabitant in 1911

Rebecca was living with her son, Charles and his wife, Emily. Charles was a gardener and he and his wife had been married for thirty years and had had no children. Rebecca, our oldest inhabitant, was 93. The whole family had come from Suffolk.

Charles has signed the census page and we see that the Lasts lived in 6 roomed Clyffe Hall Cottage.

Rebecca's son, Charles Last was a gardener at Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington

Our curator got quite excited about this Last family, for he has Suffolk ancestors with that surname. However, Charles comes from Barham, near Ipswich and his mother, our Rebecca, is from Baylham, just a few miles from Barham and not all that close to where Rog’s relatives came from.

Rebecca was born as Rebecca Smith (or Smyth) in about 1818. She married William Last in 1848 and the couple had five children. We can find Rebecca in the Barham area of Suffolk until the 1871 census. By then she was widowed and had her elderly father with her.

In 1881 Rebecca lived with a married daughter in Westminster, London. In 1891 she was with a different married daughter in Wandsworth, London.

In 1901 Rebecca was with her son, Charles at a Hampton Court cottage.

So, it was late in Rebecca’s long life before she came to Market Lavington.

Rebecca died in 1912 and is buried in Market Lavington churchyard. Charles and Emily are also at rest at St Mary’s.