Ancestral Profiles from Essex: Goats, Lagdon, and Carter Family

Theme: #52Ancestors52Weeks – Begin with a vowel: A for Achievement

Essex in the Victorian Era

In the 1800s to 1900s, Essex was a county undergoing significant transformation, reflecting the broader changes occurring throughout England under the reign of Queen Victoria. This remarkable period, marked by rapid industrialization, urbanization, and social reform, greatly impacted the lives of those residing in Essex. The era brought about advances in transportation, communication, and infrastructure, as well as shifts in demographics and the workforce. As I delve into the stories of my Essex ancestors, it’s essential to consider the backdrop of this dynamic time in history, which indelibly shaped their experiences, choices, and legacies.


Delving into the rich tapestry of my past can be a fascinating and enlightening experience. In this post, I explore the captivating lives of three intertwined Essex families: the Goats, Lagdons, and Carters. Join me on this journey through time as I uncover family connections, occupations, life events, and personal stories that bring my ancestors to life.

Basic Information:

The Goats, Lagdon, and Carter families (people in my paternal ancestry) share deep roots in the picturesque county of Essex, England. The patriarchs and matriarchs of these families, Joshua Goats, Sarah Lagdon, and their children, including Eliza Goats and John Samuel Carter, leave a lasting legacy that spans generations.

Let me begin with what I know about my great-grandmother x 3, Sarah Lagdon.

Sarah Lagdon

Sarah Lagdon, was born in 1815 in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England. She was baptized on September 17, 1815, in Sawbridgeworth. On June 12, 1836, she married Joshua Goats in Saint Michaels, Bishops Stortford, Hertford, England.

Together, Sarah and Joshua had several children:

  1. Sarah Goats (born 1838 in Grays, Essex)
  2. Emma Goats (born 1841 in Grays, Essex)
  3. Mary Ann Goats (born around February 1842 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire)
  4. Eliza Goats (born 1844 in Bishopsford, Essex) (my great-grandmother x 2)
  5. John Samuel Carter (born 1847 in Grays, Essex)
  6. James Carter (born 1850 in Grays, Essex)
  7. William Carter (born 1853 in Stisted, Essex)
  8. Elizabeth Goats (born 1854 in Hertfordshire, England)
  9. Alice Carter (born 1856 in Orsett, Essex, United Kingdom)
  10. Ellen Goats (born 1864 in Hertfordshire, England)

Her first child, Sarah (named after her mother) was born when Sarah Lagdon was 23 years old. Her last child, Ellen Goats, was born when Sarah was 49 years old. This means that Sarah’s childbearing days spanned 26 years – that to me is an outstanding achievement.

Below is an old map of her local area.

Family Connections:

Tracing the relationships within these families, I found that Joshua Goats and Sarah Lagdon married in 1836 in Saint Michaels, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. Together, they raised a large family, including their daughter Eliza Goats, who later married Alfred Thomas Wright, and their son John Samuel Carter, who married Emma Ovell. The extended family thrived, with numerous children and grandchildren carrying on their lineage.

Eliza Goats

Eliza was born in 1844 to Joshua and Sarah Lagdon and she was baptised at Bishop’s Stortford on the 7th of July 1844.


  • Paternal: Unknown (grandparents of Joshua Goats)
  • Maternal: William Lagdon (born 1872) and Louisa Fear (born 1796)


  • Father: Joshua Goats (born 1815, died 1879)
  • Mother: Sarah Lagdon (born 1814, died 1879)

Siblings: Eliza Goats had several siblings,

  • Sarah GOATS 1838–1880
  • Emma GOATS 1841–1915
  • Mary Ann GOATS 1842–1867
  • Eliza GOATS 1844–1930
  • John Samuel CARTER 1847–1929
  • James CARTER Born 1850
  • William CARTER 1853–1902
  • Elizabeth GOATS Born 1854
  • Alice CARTER Born 1856
  • Ellen GOATS Born 1864


  • Alfred Thomas Wright (born 1840, died 1890) – Eliza married Alfred in 1868 at Stratford, Christ Church, Essex, England.

Parents-in-law (Alfred Thomas Wright’s parents):

  • Father-in-law: Benjamin Wright (born 1806)
  • Mother-in-law: Leydia Rule (born 1806)

Eliza and Alfred had eight children. Their first child Ellen was born outside of wedlock when Eliza was just 20 years old and their last child Isaac was born when Eliza was 36 years old.

1 Ellen WRIGHT1864–1922

2 Alfred WRIGHTBorn 1870

3 Joshua WRIGHT1871–1953

4 Harriet Priscilla WRIGHT1874–1955

5 Benjamin WRIGHTBorn 1875

6 Herbert Edward WRIGHT1877–1937

7 Albert Arthur WRIGHT1879–1931

8 Isaac WRIGHT1880–1940

Family Connections: marriages

The marriage records provided offer valuable information to verify the links between the individuals on my paternal family tree.

The first marriage record is for Joshua Goates and Sarah Lagdon, which took place on 12th June 1836 in Bishop’s Stortford. Neither Joshua or Sarah could read or write; their mark is shown on this record as X.

The archive for this record is held at the Essex Record Office with the reference number D/P 96/1/16.

The second marriage record is for Benjamin Wright (Alfred’s father) and Lydia Rule, which took place on March 8, 1827, at St. Andrew’s church in Halstead, Essex, England. Both Benjamin and Lydia were residents of Halstead at the time of their marriage. This record confirms their union and establishes them as a couple in your family tree.

The archive for this record is held at the Essex Record Office with the reference number D/P 598/1/8.

The third marriage record is for Alfred Wright and Eliza Geats, who were married on July 27, 1868, at Christ Church in Stratford, Essex. At the time of their marriage, Alfred resided at 33 Burford’s Road, while Eliza lived on Burfleld’s Road. The record also provides information about their fathers. Alfred’s father was Benjamin Wright, which directly connects him to the couple mentioned in the first marriage record. Eliza’s father was Joshua Geats, who was a salesman.

Occupation and Education:

The Goats, Lagdon, and Carter families had diverse occupations that reflected the opportunities and challenges of their time. Joshua Goats worked as a general laborer, while his son John Samuel Carter pursued a career as a brickmaker. John’s children found success in various fields, including gardening, bricklaying, dressmaking, and bootmaking.

John Samuel Carter

John Samuel Carter, my great-grandfather x 4, had an interesting life in terms of occupation and education. Although details about his early education have not yet been found, he had a diverse work background, as evidenced by the records.

In 1864, at the age of 17 years and 8 months, John Samuel Carter enlisted in the military as a gunner, joining the Royal Regiment of Artillery with service number 1490. The fact that he served as a gunner in the Royal Artillery can be considered a noteworthy achievement in his life.

By 1881, John Samuel Carter had transitioned to civilian life and was working as a brickmaker. The 1881 Census reveals that he was 33 years old, married to Emma Carter, and living at 4 Bridge Terrace, Grays Thurrock, Orsett, Essex, England. They had three sons at the time: Henry (11 years old), John (10 years old), and James (3 years old). Henry and John were attending school as scholars, indicating that education was valued in the family.

Brickmaking History

In 1881, brick workers were typically employed in the brick-making industry, which involved the production of clay bricks for use in construction. These workers were primarily manual laborers who were responsible for various tasks involved in the brick-making process, such as digging and excavating clay, mixing it with water to form a malleable paste,

Further research into Brickworks in the English counties of Essex and Kent drew me to the Benfleet Brickworks page.

Life Events and Milestones:

Throughout their lives, these families experienced numerous milestones, from marriages and births to personal achievements. One notable example is John Samuel Carter’s military service as a gunner in the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1864. Moreover, the families moved within Essex, living in various locations such as Grays Thurrock and Orsett.

John Samuel Carter

John Samuel Carter experienced several significant life events and movements within his parish, as evidenced by the various census records:

1881 Census: John was living at 4 Bridge Terrace, Grays Thurrock, Orsett, Essex, England. He was 33 years old and working as a brickmaker. His wife, Emma Carter, was 28 years old. They had three sons: Henry (11, scholar), John (10, scholar), and James (3).

1891 Census: John’s family had moved to 165 & 167 Bridge Road, Grays Thurrock, Orsett, Essex, England. John was 46 years old and worked as a general laborer. Henry, his eldest son, was 34 years old and worked as a gardener and domestic servant. John, his second son, was 20 years old and also worked as a general laborer. James, the third son, was 14 and still a scholar. The family had grown to include Annie (9, scholar), Stephen (7, scholar), William (5, scholar), and Emma Daisy (less than a year old).

1901 Census: The family had moved again to 13 Bedford Road, Grays Thurrock, Orsett, Essex, England. John was 54 years old and still working as a brickmaker. His son James was 25 years old and worked as a dock laborer. His daughter Annie was 19 years old and worked as a dressmaker. His son Stephen was 18 years old and worked as a bricklayer, following in John’s footsteps. His son William was 16 years old and apprenticed as a bootmaker. Daisy was 10 years old, and Ada was 8 years old.

1911 Census: John and his family were living at 94 Brooke Road, Grays, Essex, England. John was 65 years old and continued to work as a brickmaker. His wife Emma was 59 years old, and their daughter Ada was 18 years old.

Throughout the years, John Samuel Carter’s family grew, and his children pursued various occupations. Notably, his son Stephen followed in his footsteps and became a bricklayer.

Personal Anecdotes and Stories:


While specific anecdotes and stories may be difficult to unearth, I can imagine the experiences and emotions these families shared: the joy of welcoming new life, the pride in seeing their children grow and find success, and the heartache of saying goodbye to loved ones.

However, I did do some extra research into anecdotes from the history of Queen Victoria. You may find these as enjoyable as I did.


Historical Context:

The lives of the Goats, Lagdon, and Carter families unfolded against the backdrop of significant historical events, such as the Industrial Revolution and the reign of Queen Victoria. The development of new industries, transportation, and urbanization undoubtedly influenced their lives and choices, shaping their stories in profound ways.

John Samuel Carter and Emma Ovell lived through a period of significant change in England. While it is not possible to definitively say how historical events influenced their decisions or experiences, I can explore the broader context of their lives.

  1. Industrial Revolution: The period between the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries marked the Industrial Revolution in England, which led to a significant increase in urbanization and industrial activity. John’s occupations as a brickmaker and general laborer might have been influenced by the growing demand for labor in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
  2. Education Act of 1870: This Act established a framework for elementary education in England and Wales. The couple’s children were scholars according to the census records, suggesting that they valued education and took advantage of the opportunities created by the new legislation.
  3. Growth of Railways: The expansion of the railway network during the 19th century connected towns and cities across England, facilitating trade and travel. The family’s various moves within Grays Thurrock, Orsett, and Essex could have been influenced by the increased accessibility and opportunities that the railways provided.
  4. World War I (1914-1918): Although John Samuel Carter and Emma Ovell were in their 60s when World War I began, the conflict may have had an impact on their lives and family. It is possible that their children or grandchildren were involved in the war effort, either as soldiers or in support roles.
  5. Economic Conditions: Throughout their lives, John Samuel Carter and Emma Ovell likely experienced various economic conditions, including the Long Depression (1873-1896) and the beginning of the Great Depression (1929). These economic challenges could have influenced their decisions regarding employment, housing, and family size.

While it is not possible to pinpoint specific historical events that directly influenced John Samuel Carter and Emma Ovell’s lives, the broader context of their time, such as the Industrial Revolution, education reforms, the growth of railways, World War I, and economic conditions, likely shaped their decisions and experiences.

Sources and References:

Genealogical research relies on various sources to piece together the stories of our ancestors. For the Goats, Lagdon, and Carter families, crucial records include birth, marriage, and death records, as well as census records and parish registers. Military records, wills, and probate records also offer valuable insight into their lives.

Note: my source for my ancestral records is FindMyPast.

Photos and Visuals:

While photographs may be scarce for the early generations of these families, later descendants might have access to cherished family photos, providing a visual connection to their ancestors. Additionally, historical maps, illustrations, and paintings can offer a glimpse into the world these families inhabited.

This is a modern map of the Bishop’s Stortford and West Ham areas in Essex where these families resided.


The Goats, Lagdon, and Carter families’ rich history offer a captivating look into the past, revealing the intricate web of connections, experiences, and emotions that make up our ancestral tapestry. By exploring their stories, I have gained a deeper understanding of my own heritage and a greater appreciation for the lives that have come before me.

Note: parts of this blog post were created by Chat GPT through a series of prompts to build the pieces of the ancestral profiles shared above.

2 thoughts on “Ancestral Profiles from Essex: Goats, Lagdon, and Carter Family

  1. I wonder what life would be like if we had all continued to gave 8, 10 and more children. As with my families, they had a huge amount of children and somewhere, way back, we are all related.


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