Kezia Key was the eleventh child of twelve born to John and Phoebe Key. Only six of the children survived into adulthood, and they lost their father when Kezia was three years old. Mercifully as a child she would probably have been unaware of this tragic history. She may have had memories of her youngest brother, Josiah, who died when she was five.
Kezia’s childhood experience would have been as the youngest child in a single-parent family. Her eldest brother Richard, who was fifteen years older, must have been something of a father-figure to her.
When Kezia was fourteen, her mother re-married. Whether the family continued to live with their mother and step-father is something we cannot know. All were of an age to live independently; even Kezia could have found a place on one of the neighbouring farms.
We do know that all the Key children married and stayed within Lincolnshire. Kezia herself settled in Scampton, only 7km away from Hackthorn.
Was Kezia’s stepfather, Francis Ward, related to her husband, William Ward? Impossible to know with such a popular surname but it would be nice to think that the family connection was preserved.
Kezia had eight children and I’m pleased to say I have found no infant deaths in this generation. She had only one girl, Phoebe, who must have been kept busy helping with her five younger brothers!
Kezia lived to be included in the 1841 census, when she was with her son William and his wife Sarah. William was a shoemaker in Branston, about 20 km from Hackthorn.
There is a record of death for Kezia Ward in the Lincoln district in the last quarter of 1846. If this is our Kezia, she was 81 years old.
Baptised on 18 August 1765 at Hackthorn, Lincolnshire
Married William Ward on 29 May 1787
Died in 1846