Bodley, Martha

Also known as: Martha Badley

Singer

Collection date: Aug 1907

Area: Somerset - Bridgwater Surrounds


Martha Bodley of North Petherton (1855-1937): age 52, 5 songs (FT1386ff) on 8 Aug 1907: Sharp’s handwriting is a little ambiguous and has been read as ‘Badley’ but Martha’s surname is definitely ‘Bodley’.

She was born Martha Boobyer and baptised at North Petherton church on 11/3/1855, 6th child of William Boobyer, labourer and his wife Caroline. Martha had 2 children out of wedlock – a boy Mark (bp 28/12/1871) when she was just 16 (Mark died in the Bridgwater workhouse 1877); and a girl Florence (bp 26/8/1877) who was with Martha in the 1881 census. Martha was then 26 and listed as a ‘servant’; Florence was 5.

On 19/11/1881 Martha Boobier married Joseph Bodley at North Petherton church. Florence went into domestic service with Mrs Wilkins, a widow (1891 census). According to the 1911 census the couple had 18 children, 10 of whom died young. In 1901 census (RG13/2281 f124 p4) Joseph was aged 57, a labourer (brickmaker); Martha was 45 and 6 children were in her care. Martha died January qr 1937 aged 81 (5c 435) – a survivor!

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