Ten years later, he appears in the 1861 English census for the same location, but with an address of 16 London St. Here, he is listed as a "Painter". Clearly, it seems he was following his father's profession and even more siblings are discovered herein.
At this point, he seems to disappear. Family folklore, unconfirmed, is that William Langstaff Gladden was conscripted into the British Navy, made landfall in The United States, and deserted. Family information lists his marriage to Zula Ann Neighbors, a girl from the very large Neighbors family in the hills in Virginia. The marriage date is listed as 3 July 1872, but I have no source for this date (but it is unchallenged).
After this time, he shows up in the U.S. Census records in Virginia, first in the 1880 census of Cave Spring District, Roanoke County, Virginia, taken on the 24th of June, 1880. Here, he is listed with a profession of "Painter" and already has four children, including my own great-grandfather.
The 1890 census record for Virginia was lost, but the 1900 record is intact. Herein, he is shown with an age that is off by about 5 years (maybe he lied to keep his identity secret?) Clearly, though, judging by the names of his wife and children, this is the same William. His profession is still listed as "Painter" but adds in parenthesis "House". All of his surviving children are listed on this one record. Here, again, he appears to lie about his age.
I can't seem to find a census record for 1910, but in 1920, I find him in the Cave Spring District in Virginia. He is renting a home there and appears to live alone with his wife. Note that here he actually lists his more approximate age (78).
From here, it is known that he passed away on 5 March 1925 in Roanoke, Virginia. A few questions remain:
-- What exactly were the circumstances of William's coming to America -- did he really jump ship or is that just family folklore? (Is there conscription paperwork from England somewhere out there?)
-- Why can't I find him in 1910?
Anybody out there know?!