Person:William May (72)

William May
m. 28 Feb 1860
  1. William May1861 - 1911
  2. Kate May1863 - 1877
  3. Frank May1864 - 1886
  4. Amos May1866 - 1866
  5. Maude May1867 - 1941
  6. Elizabeth Mary May1870 - 1931
  7. Annie May1872 - 1953
  8. Hannah Mayabt 1874 - 1931
m. 24 Jun 1884
  1. William May1884 - 1884
  2. Winifred Kate May1885 - 1950
  3. Louisa May1887 - 1963
  4. Alice Maud Mary May1888 - 1938
  5. Frank May1889 - 1947
  6. Harry Hutchings May1890 - 1956
  7. William Richard May1891 - 1960
  8. Bertram Stanley May1895 - 1975
Facts and Events
Name William May
Gender Male
Birth[1] 19 Jan 1861 Devonport, Devon, England30 Pembroke Street
Christening[2] 26 Mar 1861 Devonport, Devon, EnglandSt Stephen
Census[3] 7 Apr 1861 Devonport, Devon, EnglandThe Jolly Bacchus, 30 Pembroke Street
Census[4] 2 Apr 1871 Plymouth, Devon, England29 James Street
Census[5] 3 Apr 1881 Plymouth, Devon, England10 John Street
Marriage 24 Jun 1884 Plymouth, Devon, EnglandRegister Office
to Louisa Kate Harry
Census[6] 5 Apr 1891 Plymouth, Devon, England11 John Street
Census[7] 31 Mar 1901 Plymouth, Devon, EnglandPear Tree Cottage, 21 John Street
Residence[8] 1906 Plymouth, Devon, England3 Pear Tree Cottages
Census[9] 2 Apr 1911 Plymouth, Devon, England1 Pear Tree Cottages, 21 John Street
Death[10] 13 Aug 1911 Plymouth, Devon, England


William May was born on 19th January 1861 at the Jolly Bacchus public house at 30 Pembroke Street, Devonport. He was the first child of a publican also named William May and his wife Ann Hutchings, who had married eleven months earlier in Ann's native Crewkerne in Somerset. Young William was baptised when he was a couple of months old at St Stephen's Church in Devonport. The family's next child, Kate, was born two years later at the Jolly Bacchus, after which the family left Devonport and moved to the neighbouring town of Plymouth. In Plymouth, they initially lived at the Portland Inn at 29 James Street. Between 1871 and 1881 they moved a short distance around the corner to 10 John Street. William would live the rest of his life at either 10 or 11 John Street (which were renumbered 19 and 21 John Street some time between 1891 and 1901) or at Pear Tree Cottages, which were behind those two houses.


As a young man, William became a compositor printer, assembling the blocks of movable type for printing. As literacy was increasing the demand for newspapers was growing. However, it could also be a volatile business, and at the time of the 1881 census William was described as a "compositor printer (unemployed)".

William was married on 24th June 1884 at the Plymouth Register Office to Louisa Kate Harry. She was three years older than him and had worked as a domestic servant before their marriage. She was the daughter of a shipwright called William Richard Harry, who was alive when they married but died shortly afterwards.

Less than a month after their marriage, Louisa gave birth to a son named William, but sadly he died as a small baby. William and Louisa went on to have another seven children together between 1885 and 1895 who all lived to adulthood. None of the children seem to have been baptised as infants, although some were baptised as teenagers.

In 1909, William saw his two eldest daughters marry - and both married sailors in the Royal Navy. In 1910, William's mother died. On 3rd January 1911 William became a grandfather, when his daughter Winifred had a son. However, this was to be the only grandchild that William would meet. In the 1911 census, taken on 2nd April, he described himself as an invalid and he was no longer working. He died four months later, on 13th August 1911, at 21 John Street. He was 50. His father outlived him by two years, and Louisa outlived him by over 21 years.

  1. Birth certificate, in General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration. (London: General Register Office), Primary quality.

    1861 BIRTH in the Sub-district of Clowance in the County of Devon
    No. 160
    When and where born: Nineteenth January 1861, 30 Pembroke Street
    Name: William
    Sex: Boy
    Father: William May, Victualler
    Mother: Ann May, formerly Hutchings
    Informant: X the mark of William May, Father, 30 Pembroke Street, Devonport
    Registered: Twenty fifth January 1861

  2. Baptisms register, in Church of England. Parish Registers of St Stephen's Church, Devonport, Primary quality.

    Baptisms Solemnized in the Parish of St. Stephen and Diocese of Exeter in the Borough of Devonport and County of Devon, in the year 1861.
    When Born. Jany 19th 1861 No.975
    When Baptised. March 26th 1861
    Child's Christian Name. William
    Parent's Name: Christian. William & Ann
    Parent's Name: Surname. May
    Abode. 30 Pembroke St.
    Quality, Trade, or Profession. Victualler
    By whom the Ceremony was Performed. George Mason

  3. General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) RG 9 General Register Office: 1861 Census Schedules, Class RG9; Piece 1450; Folio 11; Page 16, 7 Apr 1861, Primary quality.

    Address: The Jolly Bacchus, 30 Pembroke Street, Devonport, Stoke Damerel, Devon
    William May, head, married, male, 25 [1835/6], Victualler, b. Collumpton, Devon
    [page RG9/1450/12/17]
    Ann May, wife, married, female, 26 [1834/5], b. Crewkerne, Somerset
    William May, son, male, 2 months [1861], b. Devonport, Devon
    John Deacon, lodger, unmarried, male, 39 [1821/2], Seaman R.N., b. Greenock, Scotland
    Samuel Walker, lodger, unmarried, male, 37 [1832/3], Seaman R.N., b. Stokenham, Devon

  4. General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) RG 10 General Register Office: 1871 Census Schedules, Class RG10; Piece 2116; Folio 56; Page 2, 2 Apr 1871, Primary quality.

    Address: 29 James Street, Plymouth, Devon
    William May, head, married, male, 34 [1836/7], Beer House Keeper, b. Collumpton, Devon
    Ann May, wife, married, female, 35 [1835/6], b. Crewkerne, Somerset
    William May, son, male, 10 [1860/1], Scholar, b. Stoke Damerel, Devon
    Frank May, son, male, 6 [1864/5], Scholar, b. Plymouth, Devon
    Maud May, daughter, female, 3 [1867/8], Scholar, b. Plymouth, Devon
    Elizabeth M. May, daughter, female, 1 [1869/70], b. Plymouth, Devon

  5. General Register Office. Public Record Office (PRO) RG 11 General Register Office: 1881 Census Schedules. (The National Archives), Class RG11; Piece 2194; Folio 7; Page 19, 3 Apr 1881, Primary quality.

    Address: 10 John Street, Plymouth, Devon
    William May, head, married, male, 45 [1835/6], Publican & Hauler, b. Tiverton, Devon
    Ann May, wife, married, female, 45 [1835/6], Publican's Wife, b. Crewkerne, Somerset
    William May, son, unmarried, male, 20 [1860/1], Compositer Printer (unemployed), b. Devonport, Devon
    Frank May, son, male, 16 [1864/5], b. Plymouth, Devon, Imbecile
    Maud May, daughter, female, 13 [1867/8], Scholar, b. Plymouth, Devon
    Elizabeth M. May, daughter, female, 11 [1869/70], Scholar, b. Plymouth, Devon
    Annie May, daughter, female, 8 [1872/3], Scholar, b. Plymouth, Devon
    Hannah May, daughter, female, 6 [1874/5], Scholar, b. Plymouth, Devon
    Edmund Hutchings, father, widower, 70 [1810/1], Gardener, b. Crewkerne, Somerset

  6. General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) RG 12 General Register Office: 1891 Census Schedules, Class RG12; Piece 1726; Folio 14; Page 21, 5 Apr 1891, Primary quality.
    Address11 John Street, Plymouth (Charles), Devon
    Rooms occupied3
    NameRelation to headMarital statusSexAgeImplied birthdateOccupationStatusBirthplace
    William Mayheadmarriedmale301860/1Printers CompositoremployedDevonport, Devon
    Louisa Maywifemarriedfemale331857/8Dartmouth, Devon
    Winnifred Maydaughtersinglefemale61884/5ScholarPlymouth, Devon
    Louisa Maydaughtersinglefemale41886/7ScholarPlymouth, Devon
    Alice Maydaughtersinglefemale31887/8ScholarPlymouth, Devon
    Frank Maysonsinglemale21888/9Plymouth, Devon
    Harry Maysonsinglemale11889/90Plymouth, Devon
  7. General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) RG 13 General Register Office: 1901 Census Schedules, Class RG13; Piece 2103; Folio 11; Page 13, 31 Mar 1901, Primary quality.
    AddressPear Tree Cott[age], 21 John Street, Plymouth, Devon
    Rooms occupied4
    NameRelation to headMarital statusSexAgeImplied birthdateOccupationStatusBirthplace
    William Mayheadmarriedmale401860/1Letterpress PrinterworkerDevonport, Devon
    Louisa Maywifemarriedfemale431857/8Dartmouth, Devon
    Winifred Maydaughterfemale151885/6General Servant (Domestic)workerPlymouth, Devon
    Louisa Maydaughterfemale141886/7General Servant DomesticworkerPlymouth, Devon
    Frank Maysonmale111889/90Plymouth, Devon
    Alice Maydaughterfemale131887/8Plymouth, Devon
    Harry Maysonmale101890/1Plymouth, Devon
    William Maysonmale91891/2Plymouth, Devon
    Bertram Maysonmale61894/5Plymouth, Devon
  8. The Post Office Directory of Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse, 1906-7, accessed 24 Feb 2012, 1906, Primary quality.

    May W. 3 Pear Tree cotts

  9. General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) RG 14 General Register Office: 1911 Census Schedules, Class RG14; Piece 13001; Schedule 450, 2 Apr 1911, Primary quality.
    Address1 Pear Tree Cottages, 21 John Street
    Parish & CountyPlymouth, Devon
    Rooms occupiedFour
    NameRelationSexAgeImplied birthdateMarital statusFor each Married WomanProfession or OccupationBirthplaceNationality of people born abroadInfirmity
    Completed years the present Marriage has lastedChildren born alive to present marriageChildren still livingChildren who have diedOccupationIndustryStatusWhether Working at Home
    William Mayheadmale501860/1marriedInvalidDevonport, Devon
    Louisa Maywifefemale531857/8married27871Dartmouth, Devon
    Louisa Rimmerdaughterfemale241886/7married1nonePlymouth, Devon
    Alice Maydaughterfemale231887/8singlePlymouth, Devon
    Harry Maysonmale201890/1singleDomestic R.N.workerPlymouth, Devon
    Bertram Maysonmale161894/5singleErrand Boy (Printer's)workerPlymouth, Devon
  10. Death certificate, in General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration. (London: General Register Office), Primary quality.

    1911 DEATH in the Sub-district of Plymouth, South-West in the County of Plymouth (C.B.)
    No. 313
    When and where died: Thirteenth August 1911 21 John Street U.D.
    Name and surname: William May
    Sex: Male
    Age: 50 years
    Occupation: Printer - Compositor
    Cause of death: Cerebral Haemorrhage Cardiac failure Certified by Jno. A. Dawes M.R.C.S.
    Signature, description and residence of informant: Louisa Rimmer Daughter Present at the death 21 John Street Plymouth
    When registered: Fourteenth August 1911
    Signature of registrar: R.C. Davy Registrar