Finding Edward and Alice Sheepwash


When I first began my family history research about 15 years ago one of the main sources  available was the 1881 census. I bought a set of the CDs and went about finding as many of my ancestors as I could, and I was relatively successful.

One person that puzzled me, though, was my great grandfather, Edward Neville Sheepwash.  He appears on the 1881 census living at Fitts Rents, Nuthall Street, Shoreditch with his widowed mother, Mary Ann Sheepwash, three of his siblings and his uncle, William Harding.

The odd thing was that Edward had married Alice Miles in 1879, yet here he was listed as “unmarried” and there was no sign of Alice anywhere.  Over the years I have thought about  this oddity  from time to time, searching the various online resources as they became available,  but I had no luck finding Alice.

Then a couple of weeks ago I decided to try to tidy up some of the loose ends in my research.  I posted a question on Rootschat, asking whether anyone could help me find Alice.

Within an hour or two, three researchers were on the case and by the following day they had found Alice with Edward, enumerated in the census at 40 Great James Street Hoxton.  This street was just across the main road from Nuthall Street.  Both roads were very close to the Shoreditch workhouse which had been completed in 1866.

Edward and Alice Sheepwash

Edward and Alice Sheepwash

Edward Nevill    26 – walking stick maker
Alice Nevill    20 – wife
Louisa Baker    5 – visitor

I have no idea why they couple were listed under the surname Nevill – was it an error or a deliberate deception? At the moment I don’t know who Louise Baker was or her connection with the family. That’s research for another day. But for now the mystery is solved,  thanks to Rootschat and especially the three members who helped me find Edward and Alice.


About familyhistoryfootsteps

I have been researching my family history for several years. I'm particularly interested in social history and enjoy learning about, and trying to understand the context of our ancestors' lives. From the mid 1800s onwards most of my direct ancestors lived and worked in London.
This entry was posted in Miles, Neville or Sheepwash family, Shoreditch and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Finding Edward and Alice Sheepwash

  1. Hi,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Lee Kiddell says:


    My Nan was Margaret Neville, I think she had 3 brothers Freddie, Jackie and Teddy and a sister Maud. They had stalls in walthamstow market it must be the same family.

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