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18 year old Emma Binding who was living in East Brent, first appeared in the records of the Axbridge Union workhouse in 1840, when she gave birth to her first son Joseph. No doubt she was placed there  because of her pregnancy.
Below is insight into Emma's life and perhaps the story of many an unmarried mother at the time.
I am indebted to Marion Lowe for this information.

Emma BINDING was born in 1822 in Lympsham, the 3rd illegitimate child of Sarah BINDING (who had 7 illegitimate children in total).  Emma's father is reputed to have been George HAYES.

Joseph, her first child, was born in the Axbridge Union Workhouse.  He died in early 1841 in Worle, aged less than 1 year.  His father's name is not known.

Emma married 3 times: firstly to Ephraim CHANDLER, who was another illegitimate youngster who had been placed by the overseers as an apprentice thatcher when he became the responsibility of the parish.  They had two children but Ephraim died only 2 years after the marriage, at the age of 24.  One of these children also died in infancy.

Secondly she married Richard HAM, a poor labourer from Upper Weare.  She was, by then, living in Weston Super Mare.  Richard also died young, after only 4 years of marriage, leaving Emma with two more surviving children.

Thirdly Emma married George FISHER, a widowed fisherman with several children of his own.  Emma had two more children with George, a total of 8 children, 5 of whom survived infancy, and she outlived her third husband by 22 years, dying at the age of 80.  She lived most of her life on or below the poverty line and must have had a very tough life.  

I am descended from Emma's half-brother James, who was the 6th of Sarah's illegitimate children, and I'm always interested to hear of any BINDING sightings.

Marion Lowe

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Emma Binding  A Nineteenth century unmarried mum!