This photograph invokes happy memories of 15 years of ancestor hunting. It was taken during a beautiful day at Sea Palling in Norfolk. That year we decided on a UK holiday with the intention of combining it with some genealogy research. At least I did. The other members of my family rolled their eyes and went along with it as usual.
We drove into Sea Palling and had a pleasant lunch in the Old Hall Inn. Then we wandered up to the churchyard of St Margaret of Antioch where I found to my great satisfaction, a completely readable tombstone for my ancestor.
John Corben was born in Bridgham Norfolk in 1759. He married Sarah Moore in Cromer in 1787. They moved to Waxham in 1789. The Norwich Mercury records him as a gamekeeper in the employ of Sir G H Grograve Bt. in 1801.
Sarah Corben gave birth to 9 children but only six survived to adulthood. Her daughter Mary was born in 1799 but she only lived for a few weeks. In 1804 her youngest children, twins Mary & George were born. Mary survived but George died aged 5 months in 1805. Sarah’s 15 year old son William tragically drowned the same year while bathing in the sea. John, Sarah, George & William share the same grave.
John Corben died suddenly in 1815 leaving a brief will in which he left all his assets to his wife Sarah. Fortunately Sarah left a far more comprehensive will when she died in Sea Palling in 1850. This will proved beyond doubt that John, George & Charles Corben of London were her children.
Sarah was 92 years old when she died. The majority of her life was spent in Sea Palling. Having visited it I can easily see why she remained there.
• More on Sea Palling: [subscribe2]