Thomas Goddard, baptised 12th March, 1775 at Findon. Buried 6th March 1827 at Angmering.


James, baptised 26th June 1803
John, baptised 8th March 1807

Both children were baptised at Angmering.

Note: Thomas was also born during the reign of George Ill, the same reign as his father. The year he was born Capt. Cook set sail for the Pacific on his 3rd voyage, and discovered Hawaii. Three years later the American Revolution started, and the French Revolution occurred when he was still a young man.

I have searched for many years, and have spent many hours seeking the marriage of Thomas with Sarah, who is given as the mother of James and John. Their marriage does not appear in the Sussex Marriage Index, which covers the whole of Sussex up until 1837. Omissions and errors do occur, but it is hard to know where else to look. One can only assume that they were married – Sarah is given as ‘Sarah Goddard’ on the baptismal registers. There do not appear to be any other children of this marriage being baptised. I was distracted for some time by a Thomas and Sarah Gallop who were baptising children in the neighbouring parish of Sullington during this period, and who buried one child as ‘Gallop-Goddard’, but as they were also baptising children at the same time as James and John were baptised, I have come to the conclusion that they are nothing to do with this family. Sarah Goddard, aged 50 years, was buried in Angmering on the 6th March 1827. Thomas was buried on the 31st May, 1827, also at Angmering, and his aged was ‘must be about 50 years’.

The children

It is disappointing not to know more about this family. I think that it is quite possible that there were other children of this marriage, but it has not been possible, so far, to prove it. Robert Goddard married Elizabeth Clements on the 16th March, 1832, and the witnesses were James and Sarah Goddard, and a William Goddard and his wife Sarah were having children baptised in Angmering at the same period. I think that it is quite likely that these two were brothers to John and James. As there is no trace of a marriage for the parents, perhaps they had an aversion to church services and didn’t get all the children baptised. I have not found a marriage for John, although Ann, wife of John, was buried in Angmering on the 13th April, 1844.

In 1832 a John and Robert Goddard emigrated to Canada under a scheme, whereby they were paid to go by the local Parish Council. There was obviously a great deal of unemployment in the parish, and there was a lot of discussion at the Vestry Meetings about raising money to fund emigration. In March 1832, it was recorded in the vestry minutes that a loan of £100 was taken out ‘upon the parish rates’ they being ‘empowered to grant the sum of Eleven Pounds to any individual who shall at any future time volunteer to emigrate’. John and Robert must have taken advantage of this. Robert’s wife is not listed amongst those who volunteered to go, and Ann Goddard, wife or John was buried in Angmering in 1844. Did they set sail, hoping to make their fortunes, and expecting to send for their wives later? They sailed from Portsmouth, and I hope that one day I shall be able to established whether they were part of Thomas’ family or not. William Goddard was buried on the 12th February 1833.