Tag Archives: rusper

Ancestral Profile: Jane HAYBITTLE (1827-1905)

15 May

Jane HAYBITTLE was one of my 3x great-grandmothers. As is fairly typical of many of my female ancestors most of what is known about her relates to her role as a wife and mother, rather than as an individual in her own right.

Jane was born in 1827 in Ashurst, Sussex and was the daughter of John and Harriet HAYBITTLE, she was the third of nine children (six daughters and three sons). She was baptised at St. James’ Church, Ashurst on the 16th December 1827.

In the 1841 census the thirteen year old Jane is living with her parents and four siblings in Ashurst at Little Wood Ease. Her father is recorded as an agricultural labourer.

On the 3rd November 1847 Jane married Henry TROWER in St. Peter’s Church in the neighbouring parish of Henfield, Sussex. The TROWER family had been resident in Henfield for about 200 years by this time.

It seems quite likely that they began their married life living at the TROWER family home of Harwoods, on the western edge of the parish of Henfield, very close to the boundary with Ashurst. In 1851 the couple are living with Henry’s parents, William and Mary TROWER and his older brother William Luther.

By 1851 Henry and Jane had three children and they would go on to have another ten children together. Their first child, Abraham, was born on the 29th February 1848, a little under four months after the couple were married.

  1. Abraham TROWER (baptised 9th April 1848)
  2. Anne TROWER (baptised 15th May 1849)
  3. Isaac TROWER (baptised 11th May 1851)
  4. Mercy TROWER (born Q3 1852)
  5. Faith TROWER (born Q1 1854)
  6. Luther TROWER (born Q1 1856)
  7. Mary TROWER (born Q1 1858)
  8. Sarah TROWER (born Q2 1859)
  9. Jane Kate TROWER (born Q3 1862)
  10. Ruth TROWER (born Q4 1864)
  11. Ebenezer TROWER (born Q1 1866) [my 2x great-grandfather]
  12. Martha TROWER (born Q4 1867)
  13. Eliza TROWER (born Q3 1870)

It appears that all the children were born in Henfield, but I have only found baptism records for the first three. During this time the family were still living at Harwoods Farm. After the death of Henry’s mother (in 1855) and father (in 1875), Henry and Jane took over farming at Harwoods Farm. Jane’s own father died in 1874 and her mother in 1879, both were buried in Ashurst churchyard.

The family remained at Harwoods Farm for many more years, they are living there in 1861, 1871 and 1881. At some time between 1881 and 1891 Henry and Jane moved to Rusper, Sussex. In the 1891 census they are living at New Barn Farm and Henry is listed as a farmer, their eldest son Abraham and his family are living at Harwoods Farm. Abraham and his family appear to have moved back to Henfield (from the Brighton area) between 1885 and 1887, and this may have coincided with Henry and Jane’s move to Rusper.

Henry and Jane were back in Henfield by the time of the 1901 census, they are not at Harwoods Farm but living nearer to the centre of the village at Rose Cottage in Church Street. By this time Henry appears to have retired because his shown as living on his own means, he was aged 77 and Jane was 73 years old.

Jane died on the 14th October 1905 aged 77 years old. Less than two weeks later her husband died. They were both buried in Henfield Cemetery, Jane on the 17th October and Henry on the 28th.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Henry and Jane TROWER of Henfield, Sussex.

29 Jan

I have already written quite a bit recently about the various children of Henry and Jane TROWER of Henfield, Sussex. Henry TROWER and Jane HAYBITTLE were my 3x great-grandparents, they married in Henfield on the 3rd November 1847.

Henry was the son of William TROWER and Mary TIDEY. He was born on the 26th April 1823 presumably at Harwoods Farm, Henfield and baptised not in Henfield but at the Providence Chapel, Brighton. His parents going through a non-conformist phase at the time.

Jane HAYBITTLE was the daughter of John HAYBITTLE and Harriett WOOD. She was baptised on the 16th December 1827 in the neighbouring parish of Ashurst, Sussex.

They seem to have spent almost all of their married life in Henfield, mostly at Harwoods Farm, but in the 1891 census they were living in Rusper, Sussex where Henry was still farming as he had always been whilst in Henfield. By 1901 Henry had retired and they were back in Henfield, living in Church Street.

I have mentioned Mercy, Martha, Mary and Jane in past posts, but there were thirteen children altogether. I shall try and cover each of them in a bit more detail, but in brief their children were:

  1. Abraham TROWER (1848-1930)
  2. Anne TROWER (1849-1920)
  3. Isaac TROWER (1851-1911)
  4. Mercy TROWER (1852-1929)
  5. Faith TROWER (1854-1870)
  6. Luther TROWER (1856-1912)
  7. Mary TROWER (1858-1918)
  8. Sarah TROWER (1859-1930)
  9. Jane TROWER (1862-1922)
  10. Ruth TROWER (1864-1950)
  11. Ebenezer TROWER (1866-1956) my 2x great-grandfather
  12. Martha TROWER (1867-1942)
  13. Eliza TROWER (1870-1940)

Jane died on the 14th October 1905 aged 77 years and was buried in Henfield Cemetery on the 17th October. Henry’s death followed shortly afterwards on the 25th October (aged 82) and was buried on the 28th October. I have featured a photo of their gravestone in a previous post. Their grave was on un-consecrated ground, presumably as a result of Henry’s non-conformist baptism.

I have been unable to find a will for either Henry or Jane. Abraham had already taken over farming at Harwoods Farm many years ago, and there was probably nothing else left to worry about.

The lives of Henry and Jane TROWER seem quite mundane and what I considered to be quite typical of my ancestors lives. However, once I started looking at the lives of their children all sorts of more interesting stories started to appear.

Time never stands stills in genealogy

26 Jan

Whilst going through my files and getting everything up to date I turned my attention to the SUMMERFIELD family. The family connection is through another TROWER, this time it was Martha, who was sister of Mercy and Mary, who I have mentioned many times already.

It didn’t seem that long ago that I last did some research on James and Martha (although I see it was back in May 2008 that I visited Felbridge, Surrey in search of gravestones), but so much more information is available online now in such a short time, that my research has been left behind.

Starting with their marriage, although James was from Rusper, Sussex and Martha was from Henfield, Sussex the marriage took place in London (it looks like Martha must have been working up in London). Previously I only had the GRO BMD index reference for the marriage, but now of course the London Parish Registers are available on Ancestry.co.uk, including the entry for James and Martha.

The 1911 census has added even more information to their stories. In 1911 they were living in Newdigate, Surrey with their two children Sidney Ambrose (born 1894) and Raymond James (born 1907). The census also revealed that there had been another child who had died by the time of the census, so I have added the task of find him/her to my to-do list.

The eldest son Sidney Ambrose was killed during the First World War, although apparently not whilst on active service. Fortunately his service record survived and is now available on Ancestry.co.uk, although as you can see below it didn’t escape unscathed.

Burnt Documents

It is not going to be easy to pick out the details from these scraps of paper, but it is going onto my to-do list. Hopefully I can find out the details surrounding Sidney’s death.

There are still the updated GRO BMD indexes to search on Ancestry.co.uk, hopefully they will enable me to find descendants of the surviving son Raymond James (possibly even living descendants), another item for the to-do list.

I was surprised that so much more needs to be added to my family tree in such a short time, and it worries me what else needs updating. It also makes me think I need to establish some sort of regular review, either once each new database goes online or after a fixed period of time.

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