Collection date: Sept 1907
Rebecca Holland at Stafford Common, nr Colyton East Devon (c1826-1913): age 82, 2 songs 2 Sept 1907: It took a week for Sharp to track down Rebecca Holland (grandmother of Betsy). She was born Rebecca Orchard c1826 and in several censuses gave her birthplace as Gloucestershire. She married Joseph Holland in Jan qr 1845 (reg Honiton vol 10 p191). By 1861 census (RG9/1602 f107 p20) they were listed in a ‘Gypsies tent’ at Cutcombe, Somerset with 7 children, all born at various locations in Devon but the youngest James was baptised at Withycombe Somerset on 29/6/1862, confirmed as son of ‘Joseph Holland, gipsy and wife Rebecca’.
In 1881 census (RG11/2368 f93 p57) at Coal Orchard, Taunton St James all previous children have left home but there are 4 ‘new’ children – Laura 17, Faithful 15, Willie 9 and Frederick 3. All are shown as Rebecca’s children, even though she must have been aged 50+. Faithful Holland was baptised at Crowcombe church on 4/4/1866, daughter of Joseph & Rebecca Holland, of no fixed abode, ‘travelling hawker’. In 1891 census Joseph & Rebecca were in a caravan at Pinhoe, Devon with son William 18 and Frederick 15 (listed this time as ‘grandson’). In 1911 Rebecca was a widow, 88, at ‘Stafford Common’, Colyton district (RG14/12521 sch 5) with bachelor grandson Fredk 38. Rebecca died in Jan qr 1913 (Axminster 5b 13).