Tag Archives: wren

Another late night with the WRENs

22 Sep

My quick bit WREN follow up research took longer than expected, the problem was that at this stage I didn’t want to get too drawn into the family, but it was very difficult to get to a point where I could stop without leaving things unfinished.

The particular problem was the fact that Charlotte WREN, my 4x great grandmother was living with her son Charles and his wife (and their family) on the 1881 census and with two of her grandchildren on the 1871 census. I couldn’t just record Charlotte and leave the rest of the family off.

So I added Charles and his wife Mary, but I couldn’t stop there I had to find her maiden name, interestingly it was GASTON one of the variants of my own surname, and details of their marriage from the GRO Marriage Index.

Then came the children, seven or eight of them altogether, with some very strange spellings of their christian names on a couple of them. I had to check the GRO Birth Indexes to see what the names were meant to be.

So what should have been a quick little exercise has taken me three or four times longer than I had planned, but I just couldn’t leave the job half done. Hopefully tonight I will be able to get on with some more filing and organising.

Stretching the branches of my tree wider

21 Sep

I couldn’t resist a bit of follow up work on one of the pieces of information I picked up at the West Sussex Record Office on Saturday.

It was the marriage entry for Henry HEMSLEY and Charlotte WREN (my 3x great grandparents) in Framfield, Sussex on the 25th February 1853. I was already quite confident about the details, but this confirmed the father’s names for both parties, Samuel HEMSLEY and Benjamin WREN.

It was Charlotte’s side that I decided to follow as I already had some details for Samuel HEMSLEY. I did the usual thing of tracing Benjamin and his wife Charlotte (and their children) back through the census. This threw up a couple of surprises.

According to the census Benjamin was born in Framfield around 1803, and according to the 1841 census he was an inn keeper. In 1851 he was just shown as a farmer. Now the interesting thing is that Benjamin’s son-in-law Henry HEMSLEY was later to become licensee of the Gun Inn at Blackboys, was this the same inn? Was it passed down from Benjamin to his daughter and/or son-in-law?

When I visit the East Sussex Record Office I need to see what licensing records exist from Framfield parish and also see whether Benjamin WREN left a will.

The second surprise was with Benjamin’s wife Charlotte. I am pretty certain that her maiden name was THATCHER, what I am not sure about is where she was born. Charlotte survived her husband by about 30 years so there are more census records, but each census year gives me a different place:

1841 – Same county, so she was born in Sussex

1851 – Cleavedon, Somerset

1861 – Bristol, Somerset

1871 – Framfield, Sussex

1881 – Somewhere in Somerset, which I can’t read

So Somerset wins three votes to two. It looks like one of the branches of my family tree now stretches out to Somerset, probably somewhere around the Bristol area. I will probably have to try out the new 1881 census images on findmypast.com to see if I can read that place name for 1881.

So I still have more work to do, especially with such conflicting data, but either way I have added another two 4x great grandparents to my tree, bringing the total to 42 out of 64.

Framfield Church postcard – another new addition to my collection

29 Jul

Just when you thought you had heard the last about my visit to Framfield, Sussex in May 2009, I have found another excuse to post about the subject. Below is a recently acquired postcard of the interior of Framfield Church.

Framfield Church (postmarked 20th March 1913)

Framfield Church (postmarked 20th March 1913)

It was published by John Frisby of Uckfield and the postmark is from nearby Uckfield and dated the 20th March 1913. It was sent to Mr F [Fred] WREN of Cliveden Gardens, Taplow, Bucks by his mother, and also mentions Mary and Bertie (possibly Fred’s sister and brother?) in the message.

Interestingly my 3x great grandmother was Charlotte WREN from Framfield (1832-1909) so I am going to have to do a bit of digging and see if I am related to these people.

Naturally the interior of the church hasn’t changed a great deal, here is a similar view taken during my visit in May 2009.

Framfield Church 9th May 2009

Framfield Church (9th May 2009)

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