The marriage of John’s son, John, was not registered in England or Wales, but his first two children were baptized at the church of Charles the Martyr, Plymouth:


“18 Feb 1848 Ellen Jane dau of John & Elizabeth Tapson, Gibbon Street Wheelwright”


“7 Nov 1849 Mary Ann Elizabeth dau of John & Elizabeth Tapson, Gibbon Street Wheelwright (born 22 Aug 1849)”


John would have been 33 at the time of the 1851 census, when he appears in the return for the Plymouth parish of Charles the Martyr:


“6 Duke St John Tapson Head Mar 32 Wheelwright BORN Devon, Plymouth


Elizabeth Tapson Wife Mar 32 BORN Cornwall, Torpoint


Mary Ann Tapson Dau 1”


Ellen Jane, missing from this return, was staying with her maternal grandparents, and is listed in the return for the Plymouth parish of St. Andrew (PRO HO107/1879 Fo. 630):


“40 St Andrew Street John Colepack Head Mar 68 Navy Pensioner Hampshire, Gosport


Susanna Colepack Wife Mar 68 Kent, Gillingham


Ellen Tapson Grnddau 3 Devon, Plymouth “


So, unless her mother remarried, Colepack must have been the maiden name of John’s wife, Elizabeth.


The year after the census Mary Ann Elizabeth was buried at Plymouth, St Andrew:


“11 Nov 1852 Mary Ann Elizabeth Tapson Catherine Street 3”


Another child was baptized at Plymouth, Charles the Martyr:


“30 Dec 1855 John Charles son of John & Elizabeth Tapson, Guilford Street

Wheelwright (born 12 Aug 1853)”


Then Ellen Jane was buried at Ford Park Cemetery:


“7 Mar 1858 Ellen Jane Tapson Tavistock St., Plymouth 10”


Nearly ten years later there was another Ford Park burial:


“1 Nov 1868 Elizabeth Tapson Well St, Plymouth 53”


Although her age, to be consistent with that given in the 1851 census, should have been recorded as 49 or 50, this Elizabeth must have been John’s wife; for she had died before the 1871 census, when John was shown as a widower in the return for Plymouth, St. Andrew:

“4 Graham St. Ann Jermyn Head Wid 44 Annuitant BORN Devon, Clovelly


Mary A. C. Jermyn Dau Un 13 Scholar BORN Cornwall, Bude


Thomas C. Jermyn Son Un 9


John Tapson Boarder Widr 52 Wheelwright Devon, Plymouth”



Just over a year later John was buried at the Ebenezer Wesleyan Burial Ground:


“17 May 1872 John Tapson 4 Graham St., Plymouth 55”


John would have been in his 55th year. It is surprising that, although John was buried in the family vault at the Ebenezer burial ground, neither his two daughters nor his wife had been interred there.

Also unexplained is how the property situated in Saltash Street and Mill Lane, which John’s father had bequeathed jointly to his widow and his son, was in the possession of his second daughter, Mary Ann, when she later made her will. A possible explanation is that this came about because her step-mother remarried (once more) after John’s death: no burial was ever registered of a Mary Ann Tapson that could refer to John’s widow, but the marriage was registered in 1860, just over two years after John’s death, of a Mary Ann Tapson (Plymouth R.D.); the marriage certificate might resolve the problem. Perhaps the property went to Mary Ann, rather than to her elder sister, because Jane Coram had expectations from her aunt with whom she was living in 1851.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s