John May = (1st) Charlotte Fisher
(1797/8 - 26.2.1878) [m. 10.8.1819] (10.1794 - 4.4.1837)
  = (2nd) Rebecca Vickers nee Kitchenman
  [m. 1840]  
 
Born in Ostend, Belguim. The family moved to Southwark, London in the late 18th century.  He worked at the Spitalfields market and Billingsgate market, across the Thames River from where they lived.  He was a Butter Merchant, (Salesman) and sometimes travelled as far afield as Australia, presumably on business, but also because he was a keen fisherman. The father of his second wife, Rebecca Vickers, nee Kitchenman, was a Fishing Tackle Manufacturer in the City of London. Our branch of the family descends from his second marriage.

John May spent his last7 years of life at the Bendigo Benevolent Society. He had arrived in Australia in 1860, spent time at the Iron's hotel Deniliquin. Travelled to the mining camps in the eastern states of Australia - was buried in a 'common' grave in the White Hill Cemetery on 1st May 1878. On the death certificate he claimed 23 children. He had a bank account with the Union Bank where he was entered as 'a Brewer'. His address on 23.2.1861 was 93 Great Bourke St. East Melbourne and on 2.3.1887 it was c/o Nelson Jones Esq., Adelaide Brewery Sandhurst, Bendigo, Victoria.  
At one time we possessed copy of a newspaper cutting showing an article concerning his fishing trip up the Murray River in South Australia, on a steam paddleboat, but this seems to have been mislaid.  Peggy Groves had the original cutting and she recorded when she wrote on 8.12.1971 that she had a letter written by John May to his daughter, Charlotte, in 1861 and a cutting from the 'Pastoral Times' of February 8th 1861.  The latter read: "FISHING IN THE EDWARD. - The fish in the river at Deniliquin are now promised a little rest.  Mr. May, who has been stopping at Iron's Hotel, having left.  Mr May managed to bag some tons during his stay of three months, sometimes taking 150 lbs. weight per diem.  Surely it is worthwhile of some of our labouring population not otherwise employed to turn their attention to catching and selling fish."
 
John May claimed to have caught one codfish weighing 50 lbs, one 40 lbs, the others averaging 10 to 25 lbs, all good fish (NoKips); even 300 to 400 lbs in one day, principally Codfish, Golden Perch, Bream and so on.  The river abounds with turtle and crayfish and the lagoon with small crayfish [maron?].  Mrs. Iron, owner of the hotel 'The Highlander Inn, in South Deniliquin, New South Wales, kindly supplied two hospitals and part of the township with the fish he caught. He writes very well of Mr. and Mrs. Irons and their hotel, saying they  "are a comely pair and keep a first class table" and so on.
 
In his letter, John May mentions Henry Fisher, [his brother-in-law, in England] and James Fisher, son of Henry, who was concerned in a brewery in Australia, with whom he stayed.  Referring to Charlotte's sons he writes: "I was pleased to hear your William had a situation, but sorry that Martin [Charlotte's unmarried brother-in-law who lived with the family] had broke [?] out again.  Give him my best respects and tell him that if he has any respect for himself that he must refrain from drink or bad will be the consequences.  I respect him very much and should he lose his present situation he will find great trouble to get another." And for Charlotte herself: "I do not think that at the present time there is any opening for you here, there being so many here [in Australia] looking after the same thing."
 
Of general interest are the market prices he quoted, Fat Bullocks from 800 to 1200 lbs are not worth more than four pounds; Fat Weather[Whether?] Sheep at thirteen shillings each, adding "they do not know what to do with them so they must boil them down for Tallow."
In 2006 Pam Allsop kindly supplied us with some further details regarding John May and his daughter, Charlotte and her family including the note: "John May was a very keen fisherman. The father of his second wife, Rebecca Vickers, nee Kitchenman, was a Fishing Tackle Manufacturer in the City of London. That is probably how they met in the first place.".
 
John May married (1st) Charlotte Fisher on 10.8.1819 at St. George The Martyr and they had ten children:
 
M1/4.[3]A Charlotte Elizabeth May, born 1820 and died 1.7.1908 She married Paul White (Poulterer and son of Peter White, a tailor) at St.Bride's Church, Fleet Street 5.8.1845.and they had two children; William Richard White and John Ernest White
 
M1/4.[3]B William May, was drowned and no dates are available. Possibly about the time his father visited Australia.
 
M1/4.[3]B2 Mary May.  According to the 1841 Census Return, she and William are both stated to be 15 years old and therefore,  there is a good chance that they were twins. Mary May married Henry Watkins (Order Collector and son of John Watkins) at St. George the Martyr, Southwark, on the 21st September 1845.
 
M1/4.[3]C Katherine May, no dates available.
 
M1/4.[3]D Jane May, no dates available.
 
M1/4.[3]E Margaret May, born 1829.
 
M1/4.[3]F Louisa Matilda May, born 1831 and she ran a fruit shop in   Lyme Regis.
 
M1/4.[3]G Adelaide Eliza May, born 1834 and she opened a shell-fish shop, but it had closed by 1861. She married John Hotine (Fishmonger and son of Samuel Hotine,  a cabinet maker) at St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street, on the 15th November 1851.

M1/4.[3]H John May, born 1837 (his name may have been John Framton May).  No record has been traced of a marriage, but he may have had a son, [? This date is confusing- see  William Walter May born in this same year of the second marriage}

 
M1/5.Ha James May, who was living in Australia sometime later and nothing more has been traced of him or his descendants.  However, nowadays there are a number of people with the surname May living in the Eastern States of Australia
 
M1/4.[3]I Another son (?), who died in December, 1860 of dysentery.  He may have been from the second marriage as John May writing in 1861 mentions the death of a small son without naming him.
 
John May then married (2nd) Rebecca Vickers nee Kitchenham, between April -June1840. 
Rebecca was previously married, in 1832, to William Vickers at St. Gregory by St. Pauls, Southwark. [Source: Pallot's Registration] also Civil Reg. Southwalk (She had two daughters) 
There were five children of this marriage:
 
M1/4.[3][4] Charles John May (1840-1918) who married Caroline Amelia Glessing, and from whom our family are descended, see section M1/4.[3][4] below.    
M1/4.[3]K Alexander May, born 1842/3 who married Sussanah Victoria Walker.  See separate section below.
 
M1/4.[3]Elizabeth May (Eliza), born (1845-1922) who married John Augustus Biesel. See separate section.
 
M1/4.[3]M Grace May,  born before 24th June, 1849 (22.3.1849), Christened on that date at St. Botolph without Algate [Source IGI. CO25559].  No further information.  May have died young.
 
M1/4.[3]N William Walter May,  born before 24.6.1849 (31.3.1847) who married Alice Mary Allport; christened 24.6.1849, St. Botolph without Aldgate [Source IGI. CO25559]. 
 
M1/4.[3]O Arthur Wellesley,  who was born in 1853 and died in 1910.  He married Mary Ann ??? in 1851 and they had four children:
                       
M1/5.O[A] Augustus William May
 
M1/5.O[B] Edith May
 
M1/5.O[C] Jack May married and had one daughter.
 
M1/5.O[D] Amy May married ??? Mair and they had a son.

 

M1/3.[2][3] John May

=

(1st) Charlotte Fisher

(1797/8 - 26.2.1878)

[m. 1819 ]

(Oct. 1794 - 4.4.1837)

 

=

(2nd) Rebecca Vickers nee Kitchenman 

 

[m. 1840]