Oh, yes! Finally with lots of help from Gillian Wastell Ford and Howard Wastell, and spectacular research suggestions from Susan Goss Johnston, there is little doubt when and where John B. Wastell was born and who his parents were. After years and years and YEARS of looking, it was online databases that finally helped crack this mystery wide open.
The person that his descendants knew as John Barton Wastell was born John Bartlett Wastell on 8 March 1820, St. Dunstan, Stepney, Middlesex, London. John's parents were John Wastell and Martha Rebecca Lacey. The elder John was a M.?.O.I Revenue Officer.
Preliminary research has the following children born to John Wastell and Martha Rebecca Lacey:
• Charles Wastell, b. 22 Jun 1811, St. Dunstan, Stepney
• Ellen Wastell b. 2 Jun 1813, St. Dunstan, Stepney
• Louisa Wastell bapt. 28 May 1815, St. George in the East, Tower Hamlets
• Harriet Wastell b. 18 Sep 1816, St. Mary, Whitechapel , Tower Hamlets
• John Bartlett Wastell b. 10 Mar 1820 St. Dunstan, Stepney
• Elizabeth Wastell b. 27 Feb 1824 St. Mary, St. Marylebone Rd, St. Marylebone
A couple of key pieces of research to solving this mystery, were finding the first marriage record of John Bartlett Wastell and his first son's baptismal record. John Bartlett Wastell married Elizabeth Ann Barenger on 2 Aug 1846, The Holy Trinity Church, St. Margaret, Westminster, Islington. John's occupation was listed as teacher of music. Next, his son's John's baptismal record from 1 Aug 1852, John's occupation is listed as Dancing Master. Both were found on Ancestry.com.
What is not clear is if John Barton Wastell changed his name from John Bartlett Wastell or if his children or grandchildren recorded it wrong. There are still many unanswered questions about John B. Wastell. At this time, it appears that John left London sometime between 1849 and 1851 and came to either the United States or Canada. His wife, Elizabeth Ann, and son, John, remained in London.
Subsequent posts will discuss John's famous associates and those implications. Any Charles Dickens or Jenny Lind buffs lurking???