Wedding of Nelson Savage Jackson to Sarah Horne in Sundon 1847

The previous post was a short outline of Nelson and Sarah Jackson who emmigrated to Australia in 1855.

On 9th May 1847 Nelson married Sarah Horne b1827 at the Sundon Parish Church. He is listed as a labourer, and she is a spinster and they both live in Sundon. Sarah’s brother William Horne was a witness at their wedding.

Postcard of Sundon Church of St Mary, c1905 [2]
Marriage entry in the Sundon parish church register for Nelson Jackson and Sarah Horne, 9th May 1847. via [1] and via Ancestry.

A recent family history book by Narelle Parkes [1] has two exciting items. First, it has a copy of their wedding certificate – which must have been preserved in a family photo album – or it is a beautifully kept page from a family bible. (which is exciting in itself -that there is a family bible still in existance!)

There is also an early photo of Nelson and Sarah that Narelle Parkes has also located [1] . Its spectacular! It is either a wedding photo or a photo taken before they emigrated to Australia, in what must be their Sunday best. The photo below is a copy of inside a photo album, which again means there may be a whole photo album out there, full of treasures, safely kept by generations of relatives… Neither Narelle nor I have access, so we cant say what kind of photo technology was used (but its not a tin type), whether it seems to be a copy of another photo, if there is photographers information on the back etc. One day perhaps!

Sarah is shown seated, with a middle part and a hairband or hair net. She is wearing a small white lace collar and what looks like a thin cord necklace high around her neck and a matching jacket, bodice and skirt. The bodice is fitted with a line of white buttons down the front. She has a full skirt, and is wearing white glovers and holding a small (prayer?) book. Her jacket is similar to a bolero, with ruffled edges and looping embroidery on the off-the-shoulder arm seams and on the sleeve cuffs. The jacket appears to be a zouave jacket, a kind of bolero, fashionable in the late 1850s and 1860s [2]. The centre part and centre buttons are consistent with 1850, but the zoave jacket style suggests a bit later than 1855 (but expert advice welcome!). There is a picture in Jayne Shrimptons book of a very similar jacket with similar style ruffles around the edge of the jacket on p26 [1].

Nelson stands beside her in a long suit jacket with a single button quite high up (similar to this one from 1860), with a small white pocket square. He is wearing a white shirt and a dark waistcoat and trousers. His hair is slicked back and his beard is “chinstrap” style which was popular in the late 1850s. This pose is common for married couples in the era, including to commemerate weddings.

I wish we knew more about this photo and the album it comes from, but how exciting to see a photo of your 3rd great grandparents when they were a young couple!


[1] “The Jacksons at Lillian Rock. Children of James Jackson, Clara and Catherine Smith” by Narelle Parkes, May 2021. Self published. [email me at if you would like to get in touch with Narelle to request a copy)

[2] Jayne Shrimpton, “Family photographs and how to date them”, Countryside Books, 2008.

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