Callow, Mrs Emma

Collection date: Apr 1907

Area: Somerset - Taunton District


Mrs Emma Callow of West Bagborough (1834-1925): age 73, 6 songs (FT1339ff) on 9 Apr 1907: Emma sang 6 traditional folk songs (incl Barbara Allen, Outlandish Knight, William Taylor). In his field notebook (tunes CJS1/9/2/1907/6 p5) Sharp recorded that Emma and her cousin ‘cut a stick to see how many songs we could sing, I could sing 100, my cousin 104’.

She was born Emma Rogers and baptised at Bishop’s Lydeard church on 27/4/1834, daughter of Robert Rogers, labourer and his wife Hannah. On 23/11/1854, aged 20, she married widower James Parish, aged 48 and inherited 4 of his children aged 5-13. Quite a responsibility! James was an agricultural labourer and they moved to West Bagborough. They had 4 children together but James died in 1865 and Emma was on her own for the next 8 years with childcare duties. In 1871 she was listed as a ‘washerwoman’.

She married Seth Callow (registered as ‘Kellaway’ January qr 1873 Taunton district 5a 563) and they set up home at Stockham Cross, a hamlet 1 mile NW of West Bagborough. Seth was a road labourer. They had 3 children together and in the 1901 census (RG13/2279 f84 p10) he was 58, Emma was 66, with son Eli 23, a gardener. Seth died in 1920, Emma died 13/5/1925 (5c 371).

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