Having done a bit more research in the library this afternoon, I believe I have discovered the dates of birth and death of Lydia Stevens’ husband John.
I know he died before Lydia (1822) and that he was alive in 1777 when his son William was born. Looking through the parish registers for St. Martin’s (the parish in which Lydia lived at the time of her death) I discovered a John Stevens who died in 1803 at the age of 66. This would put his birth year at 1737: Lydia, his widow, was born in 1734/5 which leads me to think that this is indeed my John.
I then looked at their children and found the following, all baptised in the same parish:
- Lydia Stevens (Jan 18 1765)
- John Stevens (Dec 26 1765)
- Samuel Stevens (Jan 29 1767)
- James Stevens (Oct 23 1768)
- Frances Stevens (May 15 1770)
- Mary Stevens (Sep 28 1771)
- John Stevens (Aug 20 1773)
- John Stevens (Dec 1 1774)
- Samuel Stevens (Apr 4 1776)
- William Stevens (Dec 31 1777)
Given that there are 3 Johns and 2 Samuels, one can assume that the first John died some time before 1773 and that the second John died before 1774. Clearly the name John was important which leads me to believe that John’s father might have been called John as well.
The first Samuel must have died some time before 1776 when my direct ancestor was born.
Looking again at the wedding of John and Lydia, I found that the witnesses were Sam Borton and Mary Stevens. I’ve no idea of course what their relationship was to the couple; Sam could have been Lydia’s father or brother, but clearly the name Samuel or Sam was important and seems to have come from that side of the family. Mary Stevens might have been John’s mother or sister. The couple’s third daughter was named Mary so I’m no clearer on whether this was John’s mother’s name or not.