I was so pleased to find your posting. Thomas Whitbread and Jane Papworth were my mother's maternal grandparents. (Their daughter Emma Maryann Whitbread and her husband Edward Augustus Holyoke were my grandparents). I have
a copy of Thomas's obituary from the Syracuse paper and a copy of their marriage certificate.
Whether or not he was related to the brewery Whitbreads has always been something of a mystery in our family. On their marriage certificate Thomas's father John is described as a "servant", and Jane's father, also John, as a "publican", so he owned or managed a tavern. I did not know that Thomas's mother's name was Elizabeth. The parish records in Great Paxton, Hunts., where this Papworth family lived, describes them all as labourers, or certainly working class, however they became quite well off financially in Syracuse where he was a prominent merchant. My great uncle Thomas Whitbread visited England many years ago and while there toured the Whitbread brewery, so he evidently believed there was a connection, but he did not bring back any proof and soon dropped the subject. The families came from adjacent villages, however, and Thomas was born just a few miles from the Whitbread country house. I sometimes think that he may have been a poor or disgraced relation, or even an illegitimate one. Who knows.
You mentioned that he had a brother who also lived in upstate New York. I don't have the names of any of his siblings and would love to learn what you know of them. I do know, however, that Jane Papworth Whitbread had an older half-brother, Amos Papworth, who preceeded them to Syracuse and raised a large family there.
I would very much like to exchange information with you,
Susanna Holyoke Houston
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