Isaac Fisher

When Isaac Fisher married Hannah Gubbins at Aldenham, in Hertfordshire, on 2nd December 1729, he was just 19 years of age, and recorded as ‘of Bushey.’ He had been baptised in Aldenham on 4th April 1710, the cleric noting it was also the day that he was born, the son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Fisher. As a result, three weeks after his wedding, and two days before Christmas, Isaac, his wife and a baby daughter, were removed from Bushey to Aldenham, the village in which his baptism him given him settlement. It was here that the baby, Elizabeth Fisher, was baptised on 20th March 1730.

Nevertheless, Isaac continued to regard Bushey as home, and the counties of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire were the territory he travelled, finally dying and being buried in Bushey in 1783, claiming to be 80 years of age, although actually about 73. He had returned to Bushey for the baptism of a son, John, in 1733, but after this Hannah seems to disappear from the records. She probably died, as Isaac is later found partnering a Sarah, with whom he baptised four more children, this time in Buckinghamshire. Margery was baptised at Crendon Underwood in 1745; Mary at Wing in 1752, when the parents are noted as vagrants; Martha in 1756; Joseph at North Marston in 1760

The Fisher family were often recorded as basket makers, later as chimney sweeps, but also worked for local farmers helping with the harvest. In Hawridge, Buckinghamshire, two members of this family can be found marrying in the later summer, where they travelled to do harvest work, but also to meet up with friends and family. On 29th August 1784 Isaac’s son, Joseph, married Anne Irons there, and one of their sons, Thomas, would follow suit some thirty years later. The only other marriage of one of Isaac’s children I have been able to trace is that of Margery Fisher, who wed Francis Beckett at Aldenham, both recorded as sojourners, in 1765 and Isaac witnessed the union, signing his name, if with some difficulty.

The first known child for Joseph and Anne is possibly the Joseph Fisher baptised at Tingewick, Buckinghamshire, son of Joseph and Ann, ‘vagrants.’ A daughter, Sarah, named after Joseph’s mother, is baptised at Hardwick with Weedon, Buckinghamshire on 14th March 1790; a son, Thomas, claimed birth in about 1792, and seven years later Catherine was baptised off their usual patch on 14th June 1799 at Chelmsford St. Mary the Virgin, Essex, where the cleric noted the couple were ‘of Bucks.’ In 1804, on 23rd September, a son, William, was baptised in Smeeth St. Mary, Kent, where Joseph was recorded as ‘of the Herts. Militia, belonging to Bushey, Hertfordshire.’ Another child, Martha, and probably their last, was recorded back in Bushey on 8th May 1808, ‘born 1st May.’ By this time Joseph would have been about 48 years old, Anne probably about four or five years younger.

Their daughter, Sarah, married Jeremiah Taylor on 7th April 1806 in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, where Joseph acted as a witness, and they would have a large family: Alice, Maria, Nathaniel, Jeremiah, Joseph, Plato, Ann, Stephen and Henry. Sarah remained close to her parents and siblings, baptising most of her children in Bushey, and was a witness at her brother’s marriage to Sabra Swift at Hawridge in 1814, where both bride and groom were recorded as harvesters. This couple, too, baptised their children in Bushey and named their first child Joseph, as a tribute to Thomas’s father; they also baptised Thomas, twins Isaac and William, and Jeremiah there, before Sabra’s early death, probably in childbirth. There are two burials, 20 days apart, in 1828 in Bushey – that of an infant, James Fisher, and a woman, ‘Isabella’ Fisher, who, at 36 years of age is exactly the age of Sabra Swift, baptised in Middlesex in 1792. Subsequently, Thomas Fisher, as a widower, remarried and Charlotte Andrews, with whom he had two sons, John and Edward in 1832 and 1833 respectively, and two daughters, Sarah, in 1835 and Sophia in 1836, although she died the following year.

In 1820 Joseph and Anne’s daughter, Catherine, married a journeyman carpenter, William Revitt, in Bushey on 27th November, where her brother, Thomas Fisher, and William’s sister, Diana Revitt, were the witnesses. Like two of her siblings, Catherine named a son Joseph, baptised on 10th November 1821 at Chalk Hill, Bushey, after her father; the couple also had Thomas in 1823, Hannah in 1825, Sarah in 1829, George in 1832 and William Thomas in 1834. Two more children, William and Henry, were baptised together on 26th March 1843.

Joseph Fisher, husband of Anne, was to die in 1838, and recorded as of Flint Hall, Chalk Hill, Bushey; his son, Thomas, of the same address gave notice of the death, which was said to be of old age, claiming he was 88 years of age, although actually only 78. His widow can be found in the 1841 census living with her married daughter, Catherine, and her family, where she is recorded as 88 – however, since she was young enough to have had a daughter in 1808, she had probably been born about 1765 and at her death, in 1844, means that she was, like her husband, in her late seventies.