I'm still working my way through the maiden names for births before 1911 in the GRO Registers for England & Wales. One long, long, list for the name Staines caught my eye. Emma Mary Gidley nee Staines, born in Deptford in about 1848, had no fewer than 13 children. None were multiple births, so Emma was bearing children for over 21 years.
The list is as follows:
1. Richard Abel Gidley 1869-1910
2. William Thomas Gidley 1871-1887
3. Arthur Gidley 1872-1872
4. Frank Gidley 1873-1874
5. Selina Gidley 1875 ( married Alfred Ernest Reynolds)
6. Jesse Gidley 1877-1878
7. Effie Gidley 1878-1879 (death registered as Euphemia Gidley)
8. Henry Gidley 1880-1937
9. John Gidley 1882-1882
10. Ada Gidley 1883 (married William Charles Wall)
11. George Gidley 1884-1885
12. Albert Gidley 1887-1887
13. William John Gidley 1891-1951
|Nelson's Buildings (behind the tram)|
Emma's husband was Richard Gidley, born in 1843 in Plymouth, Devon. His parents were Jesse Gidley and Mary Westington, who had moved from Egg Buckland in Devon to Plymouth, but died there in 1849 aged only 28, leaving a wife on parish relief and three children. But the two sons got themselves trades - Richard was a wheelwright - and in the 1860s Richard moved to Deptford, where he married Emma Mary Staines in Rotherhithe in 1868.
The family prospered in a minor way, as Richard branched out into coach building. They lived in several addresses in Greenwich and Deptford. By 1911 he is recorded as a coach builder, carriage & coach building, living at 22 Nelson Buildings, Thames St, Deptford. He died just after the end of the First World War. Emma does not seem to have been worn out by the constant childbearing, and lived until the age of 81 in 1929, leaving many grandchildren, of whom it appears the oldest was born only three years after her youngest child. Emma was buried on 17 August 1929 in Greenwich Cemetery.
Leave a comment if you know of any larger (or as large) Gidley families with one mother.