Edward Skilton, senior, was born in 1694 in Effingham, Surrey, England to father James (1651-1727) and Mary Skilton (1656-1714). Effingham is five miles from Abinger where his son Edward was born.
Edward was baptised on 12 January 1694 at St Lawrence, Effingham in Surrey. Edward was the last of six children born to James and his wife.
Edward was a husbandman, or farmer of Effingham.
The village stands 3¾ miles southwest of Leatherhead, and 4¼ miles north west of Dorking. The population in 1871 was 633, in 122 houses.
Most of the population lived in the village centre, as Effingham was an ‘open village’ where villagers worked on strips in the open fields, growing arable crops and using the downs for sheep grazing (wool was an important source of wealth) and the commons for timber and some animal grazing. The village was largely run by the farming families as the lords of the manors tended to be absentee landlords.
On 22 September 1720, 25 year old Edward married Mary Walder at her home parish of Ilfield in Sussex, 17 miles away.
His marriage registry entry states ‘Edward Skilton of Effingham, a farmer, and Mary Walder of this parish were married by licence September 22, 1720″.
Mary Walder was born in 1700 in Charlwood, Sussex and was baptised at St Nicholas, Charlwood in Sussex, 3 miles from Ilfield.
She was the daughter of John Walder (1665-1749) and Susannah Matthew (1667-1765). John and Susannah were married at nearby Nuthurst, Sussex on 20 May 1692.
Edward and Mary had four children –
- Mary b 1721 & d 1722 Abinger, Surrey
- Elizabeth b 1722 & d 1799 Abinger, marr Samuel Francis 1742
- Edward b 1729 & d 1796 Abinger, marr Mary Dennis 1757 – 12 children
- Ann b 1729 d 1729 Abinger, Surrey
Edward and Mary farmed firstly in Effingham, but their four children were all baptised at St James, Abinger, just six miles away.
Edward died at the age of 65 years in January 1760 and was buried at St James, Abinger on 26 January 1760.
Mary lived for another five years, and passed away in 1765, also at the age of 65 and was buried at St James on 9 May 1765.