John & Dow and his two wives

John and his two wives are buried in plot 3 of the Baptist graveyard at Oak Tree Close. He was born in Martham in about 1810. His surname on the grave quite clearly shows as Dow in three places but the odd thing is that for most of their lives they were recorded as being called Dove (and sometimes Dowe as in the 1841 census). In every census from 1851 to 1881 John was called Dove. He married Charlotte Pollard on 6th October 1829 at St Mary’s.  The register entry shows he could not write and made his mark. His surname looks as if it is Dow but the writing is poor and it could be Dove. He probably could not write throughout his life and consequently had no way of checking how his name was recorded.   For most of his life he was an agricultural labourer living at Cess. John & Charlotte raised at least seven children:  Charlotte (b1831); Ann (1835 to1845); Naomi (b1838); Elizabeth (b1840); Martha (b1844); Samuel (1847 to 1847) & Anne (b1848). Their births were registered under a mixture of Dow and Dove but their parents name and census returns clearly identify them. Charlotte died on 9th July 1863 aged 54 and John married again in 1864 to Harriett Green from Catfield. John and Harriett lived out their years near the church in Rollesby where he was a gardener and groom. Harriett died on 14th December 1885 and John on 18th October 1886. Despite living in Rollesby they must have continued worshipping as Baptists at Martham.

Plot 3

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