Tag Archives: baptism

St Andrew’s Church, Nuthurst, Sussex

19 Apr

Here are a few photos of St Andrew’s Church, Nuthurst, Sussex. I took these on my visit last week, when I passed through the parish on my way to Horsham.

St Andrews Church, Nuthurst

I have previously posted a postcard of Nuthurst Church and as I commented at the time, not a lot has changed, there are of course fewer headstones and fewer trees now in front of it now.

Nuthurst Church

Burials are still taking place in the churchyard, to the west of the church. I found the view of the western end of the church was quite striking, but I am not quite sure why.

Interior Nuthurst Church

The interior of the church was equally striking, I certainly wasn’t expecting to find such a highly decorated interior, although of course my photo doesn’t really do it justice.

Nuthurst Font

I couldn’t leave without getting a photo of the font, my 3x great-grandfather Thomas GASSON was baptised here in May 1831, along with four more of his siblings in subsequent years. According to the church guide and history it is made of Purbeck marble and may date back to Saxon times.

Some progress in tracing “the old druggist”

8 Mar

Last Saturday I came away from the West Sussex Record Office with copies (and transcriptions) of two wills, one for Richard GEERING and one for his wife Mary GEERING (possibly “the old druggist”) probably my 6x great-grandparents from Hailsham, Sussex.

The information in them is not conclusive, Richard was a shopkeeper but no mention of what it was he sold. Both wills mention three children: James, Mary and Ann. In Mary’s will her daughter Mary has married someone with the name Baily.

So I have some useful clues to follow up here, I know what happened to James and Ann (remained in Hailsham), but I have no idea what happened to Mary. I have a baptism record for James, but not one for Mary or Ann.

It would appear that James left no will, or it wasn’t needed, but Ann did leave a will (according to the National Probate Calendar) and her niece Jane was her executrix. I need to order a copy of that will to see if any other family members are mentioned. It doesn’t appear that Jane left a will when she died in 1874.

It seems likely that Jane was the daughter of James (my 5x great-grandfather), because there is no indication of another son, so unless Mary or Ann had an illegitimate daughter there doesn’t appear to be any other option. I need to try and find her baptism somewhere.

I really would have liked to find a will for James GEERING, that made the connection to my 4x great-grandfather Richard GEERING in Lewes, Sussex. I don’t think I am going to find conclusive evidence unless he is mentioned in his aunt Ann’s will.

Now I have all this information to integrate into my research, and several baptisms to locate, also a marriage to find (and possibly some children). I then need to assess what other records I can hope to find at East Sussex Record Office.

Another birth certificate and more questions than answers

8 Dec

The birth certificate for Rebecca BATEMAN arrived yesterday, and it wasn’t quite what I expected, in fact it has given me more questions than answers.

It should have been quite simple, Rebecca BATEMAN was the daughter of my 4x great-grandparents Thomas and Rebecca BATEMAN, born in Ford in the parish of Temple Guiting, Gloucestershire on the 10th December 1839. The reason for ordering this particular certificate was to find out the maiden name of Rebecca.

I had suspected it was TOWNSEND, based on the most likely marriage entry I could find on the International Genealogical Index (IGI). The birth certificate however gives her maiden name as TOWNLEY. Quite close, but not really close enough to be explained away as a transcription error or a mis-spelling.

As there is a baptism in Temple Guiting (also on the IGI) for a Rebecca TOWNLY at about the right date, coupled with the fact that the marriage I was looking at wasn’t in Temple Guiting, but about ten miles away, makes me think that the registrar was correct. I am clearly going to have to do some more work in this.

The other anomaly is the birth date (or baptism date). The certificate says that she was born on the 10th December 1839, yet there is a baptism record for Rebecca BATEMAN in Temple Guiting on the IGI, with a date of the 4th December. Either there is a transcription error on the IGI (most likely) or Thomas and Rebecca lied about (or couldn’t remember) their daughter’s exact birth date. Again more work needed on this family in the original parish registers.

So I think I have the maiden name of my 4x great-grandmother, which leaves only one 4x great-grandparent with no maiden name and three missing completely. Hopefully next year I can pay a visit to the Gloucestershire Record Office and do a bit more research on these branches of my tree. I have enough of a start to make it worthwhile visiting now.

Which WREN is which?

30 Nov

I was updating the details for my 4x great-grandfather Benjamin WREN last night, when I came across another potential stumbling block with the identity of his parents.

I knew from the census that Benjamin was born around 1803 in Framfield, Sussex. In the Sussex Family History Group Data Archive there is a baptism for a Benjamin WREN in Framfield on the 7th Jan 1803. His parents were Thomas and Sarah WREN, so whilst I was there I looked for other children of Thomas and Sarah.

I came up with another ten children, the earliest was Mary, baptised in 1768, and the last child was Hannah, baptised in 1810. I cursed my ancestors for giving me so much work to do when I wanted to get to bed, but something didn’t seem right.

The forty year time span seemed unlikely, and the last two entries were for Thomas senior and Sarah. So, much like the situation with the HOLMANs in Burstow, Surrey, it seemed like I had a couple of different Thomas and Sarah’s here producing children at the same time.

When I checked the Sussex Marriage Index things became a little clearer. There are three marriages of Thomas WREN to a Sarah around that time in Framfield. Firstly a Thomas WREN married Sarah HARTFIELD in 1764, then a Thomas WREN married Sarah CORNWALL in 1783 and lastly Thomas WREN married Sarah COLEMAN in 1800. The final marriage was by licence, which reveals more helpful information. Thomas WREN was a widower aged 60 and Sarah COLEMAN was a widow aged 36, both were from Framfield.

So it looks like Thomas WREN married Sarah HARTFIELD, had several children including a Thomas in 1772, but he was not the middle Thomas. Then Thomas’ first wife died and he married Sarah COLEMAN who was many years younger than him, carried on having children.

The question is which set of Thomas and Sarah’s were the parents of my Benjamin WREN? I can rule out Thomas WREN and Sarah HARTFIELD, as presumably she had died before Benjamin was born, because Thomas had re-married by then, but it seems like it could be either of the other two.

My next step will to have a look at burial records for Framfield, and hopefully the burials for Sarah WREN will help separate the two. There is also the possibility that one of the Thomas’ left a will which might help differentiate between the two.

Susannah POCOCK: could this be her mother (option three)

20 Nov

Susannah TAYLER/TAYLOR of Micheldever, Hampshire

There is a baptism in Micheldever, Hampshire on the 26th February 1809 for Susannah the baseborn (illegitimate) daughter of Susannah TAYLER/TAYLOR.

Why this might be Susannah’s mother

The right christian name, about the right date (a little later than I was expecting) and an unknown father who could have been a POCOCK, or perhaps Susannah TAYLER/TAYLOR later married a POCOCK who may or may not have been the father of my Susannah POCOCK.

Why this might not be Susannah’s mother

Despite much searching I have found no evidence to link Susannah TAYLER/TAYLOR to anyone by the name of POCOCK.

What do I need to do next?

I need to trace what happened to both mother and daughter, hopefully to find some connection with the name POCOCK, or at least to rule them out of the picture.

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