common law wife

Records tagged with Keywords: common law wife

Jean Stephen

d 1848

Jean Stephen was born in Inverurie. She was William Thom's second common-law wife. The couple had three daughters, Agnes (b approx 1844) Marion (b approx 1846), both born in London, and Rosanna (Rosie), (b 1847, Kintore). William Thom died in Dundee in February 1848. Provost Thoms noted that "He had left behind him a widow who, from all that he could learn, was a most deserving and excellent person, together with a young and helpless family" and a committee proposed raising funds for them. Queen Victoria donated £10 to the fund, and Charles Dickens also subscribed.

Staffordshire Advertiser 15 July 1848
(Queen Victoria's donation)
Dundee, Perth and Cupar Advertiser 7 March 1848
(Late William Thom's family)
Dundee, Perth and Cupar Advertiser 21 October 1864
(Winding up fund, as all the girls had reached the age of 16.)

Jean Whitecross

d November 1840

Jean Whitecross was born in Kirriemuir. She lived with William Thom, enduring extreme poverty, and journeying with him when he sought work. The couple had four children; Elizabeth (Betsy), William, James and Jeanie. Jeanie died during a period when the family had little food, and had slept outside on a cold, wet night.

William Thom wrote of her dark eyes and sweet singing voice.

Jean Whitecross died at 23, North Street, Inverurie, in childbirth. She is buried in an unmarked grave in Inverurie.

"Far from her native Tay she sleeps, and other waters lave

Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand Loom Weaver
by William Thom
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