Charlotte Gay was born in St Nicholas, Gloucester in October 1857. She used her mother’s name as she was born illegitimate.
Her mother Mary Ann Gay went on to marry a William Daniel Perkins, who we believe to be Charlotte’s father and have seven more children with him. Both parents were farm workers around the Gloucestershire / Worcestershire border.
Charlotte’s mother Mary Ann Gay was born in St Aldates, Gloucester in 1830 to James Gay and Mary Cox.
The first time we pick up Charlotte is in the 1861 census of Staunton in Worcestershire. She is 4 years old and living with her 29-year-old mother Mary Ann (now Perkins) and William Perkins, who is 23. Both parents are farm workers. Charlotte’s mother died, aged45 in July 1875 in Gloucester.
July the 9th 1876 saw the marriage of Charlotte to Joseph Brown. Charlotte put no name on the certificate for her father. William Perkins left his mark as a witness. She was 19.
Charlotte and Joseph had 15 children. Not all of whom survived. Though the 1911 census showed her as having has 13 children, 9 of whom were still living.
She had a fearsome reputation resulting from her strong character. Family stories say she was a person who, if set against you, would throw you out the house. And there was a story telling of her chasing her son, William Charles, down the street with a kitchen knife. Not a lady to be messed with it seems.
June 1932 saw the death of Charlotte aged 74. She is buried in Yardley cemetery, Birmingham with her husband Joseph who pre-deceased her in August 1924. Both died in 140 Havelock Rd, Washwood Heath, Birmingham.
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