Family History - tales around the tree
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Names

Blundell - Wigan & Wirral Boniface - Sussex Bradley - Suffolk & Essex Bustin - Oxford Campleman - Hull & SE England Catt/Cattley - Kent & London Courtney - Wirral & Liverpool Cox - Dorset & Sussex Coyne - Ireland & Chester Curtin - Ireland, Midlands & USA De Normanville - France, London & South Australia Divall - Sussex & Lewisham Foot - Dorset Greenway - Sussex & London Griesel - Germany, London & Essex Grubb - Lewisham Holbrook - London & Essex Hopkins - North Shields, Wirral & Liverpool Hurst - Hounslow & Rhyl Laird - Surrey & London Lovel - North Shields Milleman - Holland, Kent, London & USA Molnar - Hungary & London Morgan - Devon Murray - Kincardineshire, London & South Australia Paver - Hull & London Pearl - Suffolk & Essex Rankin - Glasgow, Midlands & Canada Robson - Lewisham & London Skinner - Essex Smart - Essex, London, Canada & Seattle Starr - Norfolk & Westminster Still - Kent/Sussex, Essex Tales around the tree unrelated stories I’ve come across in the course of research and too good to ignore The Gallery revived School photos, Midhurst and Birkenhead & more
Monday 16th May 2022 - Coppings in Margate I’d always been a bit doubtful about the apparently well-accepted birthplace of Borden in Kent for my 3x great grandmother Hannah Copping, as in each census she appears in she says she was born in Margate. So when two DNA matches on Ancestry led me back to a Susannah Copping born in Margate in 1791 I thought I’d look again at Hannah and found her baptism under the surname Cuppen - one of the less likely versions of the surname in the register. Born on the 24th November 1789 and baptised on the 12th of January 1790, her parents, like Susannah’s, were Thomas and Mary; and there was another sister, Elizabeth, born in 1787. Hannah’s birthdate now matches her ages in the censuses and her age when she died in December 1861. Another DNA match points to another sister, Ann, who was born in Ickham in 1786, and who married John Holmans in Sandwich in 1805. Hannah married the widowed William Milleman in Margate in 1812. Her sisters also married in the town: Susannah to William Solley in 1817 and Elizabeth to John Pointer in 1816. Before she married John Pointer, Elizabeth had an illegitimate daughter Mary Burley Coppin born in Faversham in 1810; when this Mary married William Savin in Margate in 1838 her father’s surname has been corrupted to Berby, but she does give his name as David Berby, a mariner, on the marriage certificate. This cleared up another mystery: Mary Berby Savin is a witness at the marriage of Charles Henry Murray and Caroline Augusta Milleman (William and Hannah’s daughter) in Margate in 1841; as Elizabeth’s daughter she is Caroline’s cousin. Who were the original Thomas and Mary Copping who had the three daughters in Margate? They both died in Margate, Mary in 1833 and Thomas in 1836, and their ages in the burial register put both their births in 1761. Ancestry would suggest that they are the Thomas Copping and Mary Stannard (Stanred) who married in Adisham on the 21st November 1785; according to the family trees here Thomas was born in Barfreston, and Mary in Ash. Thursday 24th March 2022 - The Rickling Skinners I have a group of DNA matches that I've labelled the Rickling Skinners. As far as I can see at the moment they have nothing to do with my Witham Skinners who either stayed in Witham or moved down the A12/old London-Colchester road through Hatfield Peverel and the Walthams to West Ham. The Rickling group are descended from a William Skinner who married Elizabeth Stubbings in Wendens Ambo on the 19th October 1790 and settled in Rickling, and their descendants stayed there and in neighbouring Quendon. Elizabeth Stubbings was born in Debden in 1764 and was the daughter of John Stubbings and Hannah Stanley. Born in Debden in 1726/27 Hannah was the daughter of James Stanley and Anne Scotcher, and so the sister of my four times great grandmother, Martha Stanley who married John Smart. William Skinner was a native of Rickling and a lot older than Elizabeth Stubbings; having been baptised in Rickling in 1748 to parents William and Ann (née Knight) who had married in Quendon in 1744. It's possible that William's marriage to Elizabeth in 1790 was a second marriage. He died in Rickling in 1822 but was buried in neighbouring Quendon on the 7th July aged 77. William and Ann's first two children were baptised in Quendon: Mary in 1745, and Robert in 1747; they had five more children, including William, baptised in Rickling. The Essex Record Office have a settlement certificate in Rickling in 1747 for William Skinner of Newport, a carpenter and his wife Anne and family, and this sounds very much like the right family, which takes this Skinner line back to Newport. Is this William Skinner senior (b. c1720) related to the Edward Skinner (1746?-1824) who was a carpenter in Newport during the 1770s? William Skinner junior and his wife Elizabeth Stubbings had two daughters, Mary and Sarah, who both produced illegitimate children before settling down to married life. Mary was baptised in Rickling on the 23rd October 1791, and had a daughter Keziah baptised on the 14th April 1811. A bastardy order identifies her father as William Perring the younger, labourer, of Rickling, and Keziah used his surname when she married John Wratten in Cambridge in 1834. Mary went on to marry William Bell of Debden in Rickling on the 24th October 1815. Sarah Skinner, baptised in Rickling on the 30th June 1793, had three illegitmate children born in Rickling: Lucy in 1812, William in 1815 and James in 1817; only James is the subject of a bastardy order, and his father is named as James Bond of Stansted Mountfitchet, labourer. Sarah married the much older Edward Reid in 1819 in Rickling and they had a daughter Jane before he died in 1823. Sarah appears in the censuses as the wife of a George Reed, but I can find no obvious marriage for this couple. Tuesday 8th March 2022 - Jagger to Smart When Thomas Jagger, a blacksmith of Newport in Essex, wrote his will on the 11th October 1830, he left, after all the usual payments "all the rest residue and remainder of my monies securities for money goods & chattels stock in trade personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever" - sworn value under £300 - to his wife Elizabeth. He died aged 74 on the 9th November that year, and this Elizabeth was his second wife, a widow whom he had married in Newport on the 28th December 1808. There were no children from this second marriage, but from his first marriage to Elizabeth Smart on the 9th December 1782 in Debden he had at least five who had survived to adulthood and who by this time were all married with children of their own, some still living in Newport. Wills are usually a good source for identifying family relationships, but in this case you could be forgiven for thinking that Thomas Jagger was childless, or had already made substantial settlements on his offspring. His first wife Elizabeth Smart died in 1806 in Newport, and two of his daughters married there in 1808, just before his second marriage. His daughter Martha married Henry Beckwith who was the son of his soon to be second wife Elizabeth Beckwith, née Ware. The Beckwith family can be traced back as blacksmiths in Newport to at least the early 1600s, as can the Jaggers as blacksmiths in nearby Wendens Ambo, so this was a double linking of two families in the same working tradition. So why do none of these offspring appear in his will? I think it hints at a major family rift, instigated by the death of his first wife and his second marriage. His oldest son William Jagger, baptised in Newport on the 14th August 1791, worked as a blacksmith, probably his trade learnt from working alongside his father. By 1812 when he was 20 he was living in Linton in Cambridgeshire when he married Anne Baldwin on the 31st January. They had three children born in Linton: Thomas who was born and died in 1812; Eliza born in 1813; and Emma Elizabeth born in 1816. While having these children William managed to attest for the 48th Foot Regiment in Cambridge on the 1st February 1814. He is described as being 5' 7¼", having a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair, with an oval "form of visage"; and he's a Blacksmith, born in Newport in Essex. Whether his military career took him anywhere is not clear - perhaps he was just kept on as a reservist, or did he desert? He next appears, with his family in Wanstead in Essex, when he and Anne have a baby baptised as Thomas William Smart (my great grandfather) on the 26th September 1819, and the family would continue to use the surname Smart - his mother's maiden name - from now on. If he was a military deserter that could explain the name change, but it doesn't explain why his brother James - Thomas Jagger's only other son - had also assumed the surname Smart by 1827 when he married Amelia Brill in St George Hanover Square. Between 1819 and 1831 William and Anne were living in Hackney where they had three children baptised, with William working as a blacksmith all this time. By 1831 they are in West Ham when their son John was baptised in All Saints church. There is no obvious baptism for the Joseph Smart who appears as their son in both the 1841 and 1851 censuses; born apparently in West Ham in about 1834, I wonder if he had been absorbed from some other part of the family, and assumed the surname Smart. William Smart and Anne and children James, Eliza, John and Joseph are living in Chapel End, Walthamstowe in 1841, not far from their Smart cousins, the children of their mother's brother Thomas Smart, who, born in Debden, are working nearby as gardeners. According to this census, where William’s age is rounded down to 45, he - along with the rest of his family - wasn't born in Essex; perhaps he didn’t consider Newport to be in Essex, but two of his sons were supposedly born in West Ham. William Smart died in Leyton in 1846, probably in the West Ham Union workhouse infirmary, before the more detailed 1851 census. His brother James however, now a shoemaker living in West Ham, reveals that he was born in Newport and is 52, so, he says, born in 1799; he was actually born in 1797 and baptised in Newport on the 20th August that year as James Jagger. William's family is lodging in Bow in 1851, with his sons Thomas William and John now working as blacksmiths. Living in West Ham in 1861 Anne gives her place of birth as Linton in Cambridgeshire; she is now living with her son Thomas William and his family. In 1871 Anne is living in the West Ham almshouses, and she died in West Ham in 1873 aged 80. It wasn't really a surprise to find that the Baldwins were also blacksmiths. Centred on Linton they moved between the villages on the Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Hertfordshire borders. Sadly I can find no baptism for an Anne Baldwin in Linton or any of the surrounding parishes in the early 1790s, though DNA matches point me in the direction of the family of Joseph Baldwin who married Hannah Wright Cooke in West Wratting in 1785. Joseph's parents were Joseph Baldwin and Elizabeth Challis who had married in Balsham in 1761 and who had seven children in Linton. Joseph senior is probably a master wheelwright there in 1784 and it seems that two of his sons, and several grandsons went on to become blacksmiths. His son Edmund married in Haverhill in 1785 and had five children there before moving back to Linton to have a further six; one of these was a daughter named Ann, but she was born and died in 1797. Joseph and Hannah had one son Joseph - baptised as Joseph Cooke in West Wratting in 1785, nine days before they married - before moving back to Linton where they had two more sons - Samuel in 1795 and Thomas in 1797. They also had a daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1793 and for whom I can find no further record; did she assume the name Anne later in memory of her mother Hannah? Of course the DNA link could be through Hannah Wright Cooke; she was born in West Wratting in 1765, the illegitimate daughter of Sarah Cooke and - I would strongly suspect - with a father surnamed Wright. Apart from the recently discovered DNA links to the Debden and Newport Smarts, I'd already suspected that William and James Smart were related in some way. Their familes both ended up in West Ham, and James's wife Amelia was one of the witnesses to the marriage of William's daughter Eliza to John Phillbrook in Bow in 1852. A hint to the family name change came from James’ son, James: he was baptised as James John Smart in 1829 in All Saints West Ham, but when he married in Shoreditch in 1853 he states his name as James Jagger Smart. William and Anne's daughter Emma Elizabeth Jagger born in Linton in 1816 also assumed the name Smart. She never married and lived out her life in Leyton, acquiring along the way two illegitimate sons: William born in 1847 and Henry in 1852. She died in 1866 and was buried in St Mary's Leyton where her father had been buried twenty years earlier. In 1851 she, with her son William, is lodging with the family of Richard and Catherine Hemingway; in 1861 she is described as Housekeeper to the now widowed Richard living in Leyton High Street, and both her sons are with her. For more on the next generations of Smarts but some needs updating now. Thursday 18th November 2021 - Sidney Tuffrey 1865-1961 Read more … Thursday 2nd September 2021 - Wolvercote - Balls, Busbys and Bustins Read more … Friday 27th November 2020 - Curtins & Rankins Read more … Tuesday 5th October 2020 - Charlotte Cox Read more … Tuesday 29th September 2020 - Jessie Mary Woodward Read more … Tuesday 4th August 2020 - The Queen’s Arms near Dartington, and the Alsop family of Newton Abbot Read more …
With family members from most of the counties of England (also Scotland, Ireland and continental Europe, and probably Wales and the Isle of Man) this is a collection of stories about people whom I have found interesting. This page reflects my current research and the sidebar lists the main names already researched to a greater or lesser extent.