Inherited CrazinessA place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Jane Middleton

Knowstone: Beaple’s Moor
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Martin Bodman -

Jane Middleton, baptised on 15 Mar 1829 in Knowstone, Devon, daughter of Robert Middleton and Elizabeth Baker, was my 2x great-grandmother. 

By 1841, then aged around 12, Jane had already left home and was working as a farm labourer for John Bucknell at Beaple's Barton. The still-important farmhouse is about one mile south west of Knowstone village, bordered to the south by Beaple's Moor and to the north by Beaple's Wood. 

Listed among the workers at Beaple's Barton at the same time was Thomas Baker (20), who may well have been a relative of Jane's mother. 

South Molton: The Square from the SE corner
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Martin Tester -

In 1851, however, Jane (20), is a Pauper inmate of The Workhouse in Church Lane, South Molton, along with her son, Robert, aged 1. Presumably, this was the only place she could go as a single mother and clearly she was either still there or back there in 1853/4 when she had her second son, William.

Jane actually had 4 children out of wedlock. Only one survived.
  1. Robert Middleton, born 1850, baptised on 3 Mar 1854, record marked 'dead' (abode given as 'Union', i.e. Workhouse) and buried on 6 Mar 1854 in Knowstone, aged 4 years. 
  2. William Middleton, born 1853, baptised 9 Feb 1854, record marked 'dead' (abode given as 'Union', i.e. Workhouse), buried 5 Mar 1854 in Knowstone, aged 8 months.
  3. Frederic Middleton, born 1858 and baptised (posthumously) on 3 Oct 1858 in West Anstey, and buried 20 Jan 1858 at St Peter’s ChurchRose Ash, Devon, aged 2 months.
  4. Emma Middleton, born 6 Aug 1862, bap. 5 Oct 1865, in West Anstey.
In 1861 Jane Middleton (32), is a House Servant in the employ of John Micks at Woods, Hill, West Anstey. (Woods Farm?) And 10 years later, in 1871, Jane (34) is Housekeeper to William Short (66) at Rowry, Molland, South Molton, Devon, with her daughter Emma (8) listed as a Boarder. 

Molland Panorama (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 12:49, 8 May 2013 (UTC))

Jane Middleton later married William Flew, widower, who was then aged 38, back at her own parish of St Peter's, Knowstone on 2 Sep 1875. On the record of the marriage, Jane is said to be 30. She was actually 46. 

However, only one year into the marriage, William Flew died, aged 40. He was buried on 5 Mar 1876, at All Saints Church, Rackenford. William also left four children from his first marriage; Thomas, Jane, Sarah and William. 

Jane Flew then married John Howe (or How) in the first quarter of 1877.

St Margaret's Church, Stoodleigh
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Derek Harper
John How, born 12 Mar 1842 to John How and Mary Ann Broom (who married in 1837 in Oakford, Devon), was baptised on 3 Apr 1842 in Stoodleigh, Devon. 
In 1851, at Hasswells Cottage, Stoodleigh, John was the second of six children; Mary Ann (11), John (9), Matilda (7), Ellen (5), Robert (2) and William (0). John's maternal grandmother, Mary Broom, widow (78), born in 1773, lived with the family.
John How Sr had been baptised on 13 Mar 1810, in the wonderfully named village of Huish Champflower in Somerset, the son of Nathaniel Howe and Joan Rogers, who had married on 25 Mar 1805 in Chipstable.

In 1881, John and Jane How were living at Babcott Cottage on the Stoodleigh Estate, Stoodleigh. John, an Agricultural Labourer, was 38. It says 49, but Jane was 52. John's parents, John and Mary Ann How, also lived in Stoodleigh at 1, Little Coleford. (Perhaps a cottage on Little Coleford Farm?)

In 1891, living at Habridge Cottages, Steart Road, Stoodleigh, John How (49) and Jane How (49 again, really 62), are joined by John's mother, Mary Ann (76), widow - John's father had died in 1887 - and William Henry Middleton (2), described as 'Wife's Daughter's Son'. My dad just called him Uncle Bill.

When my father had hand drawn a family tree for me some years ago, he had added John and Jane Howe with some of their dates, unlinked, at the bottom of the page. Clearly he knew of them (he was a small boy when John died), but didn't know who they were: that Jane was his great-grandmother.

By 1901, John and Jane Howe had moved to Manley Cottage, 2, Halberton - near to the Manley Bridge on the Grand Western Canal (here's what the property at 1 Manley Cottages looks like). John was 59 and Jane had clearly become tired of lying about her age, as she's listed accurately at 71. 

Jane Howe died in November 1905, she will have been 76.

In 1911, John Howe (69), Widower, is a boarder in the household of George Cockram at Marsh Cottages, Bolham Road, Tiverton, close to where Jane's daughter was living. John Howe died on 31 Mar 1927 at the age of 85.

Manley Bridge, Grand Western Canal, from the west
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Christine Johnstone -

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Robert Middleton and Elizabeth Baker

At the west end of Knowstone village, the road narrows to a cart's width between the cottages.
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Jonathan Billinger -

Another pair of my 3rd great-grandparents, Robert Medelton (sic) married Elizabeth Baker on 21 Sept 1821 in the parish of Knowstone, Devon. 

Spellings are always variable, but none more so than with Middleton / Medelton and it's variations, which I'm sure is as a result of the officiator writing down what they heard said in a thick West Country accent. 

Robert and Elizabeth had seven children, all of whom were baptised at St Peters Church, Knowstone, but only four survive infancy: 
  1. Elizabeth Medelton (sic) bap. 19 Jan 1823 (buried 23 May 1824)
  2. William Medelton (sic) bap. 13 Mar 1825 (buried 5 Jun 1825)
  3. Robert Medelton (sic) bap. 4 Jun 1826
  4. Jane Medelton (sic) bap. 15 Mar 1829
  5. Maria Middleton bap. 22 Jan 1832 (buried 21 Sep 1834)
  6. Harriot Medelton (sic) bap. 4 May 1834
  7. Thomas Middleton bap. 25 Jul 1841
In 1841, Robert (50), an Agricultural Labourer, and Elizabeth (40), are living, as are many other families, in "Part of Lower High Building" in Knowstone, with Harriet (7) and Thomas (0). By that point, Robert Jr was working, also as an Ag Lab, for William Follett at Bransford, Knowstone, while Jane (12), was similarly employed by John Bucknell at Beaple's Barton. 

It appears that Robert Middleton Sr died in the 1840s and we lose track of Elizabeth in the 1850s and 1860s, but catch up with her again in 1871, when Elizabeth Middleton (71), widow and annuitant, is a lodger in the household of George Bawden at Bawden Cottage, Knowstone. Elizabeth Middleton died, aged 73 and was buried on 31 Aug 1873, at St Peters Church, Knowstone.

St Peters Church, Knowstone
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Roger Cornfoot -

James Ridgeway and Mary Ann Lock

Ashbrittle Village with Court Place Farm (foreground left)
Photo © Lewis Clarke (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The very first record I can find for James Ridgeway and Mary Ann Lock, another pair of my 3rd great-grandparents, is that of their marriage, on 29 Apr 1833, at the Church of St John the Baptist, Ashbrittle. The witnesses to this marriage were Henry Vickery and Elizabeth Webber.

The couple appear to have seven children, with records existing only for the baptisms of first two children; Mary in 1833 and James in 1835. Once civil registration had been introduced (in 1837), there are no more baptism records for the subsequent five children, but neither are there civil registrations for most (only for the sixth child, John, in 1847), just listings on the census.
  1. Mary Ridgeway bap. 28 Dec 1833
  2. James Ridgeway bap. 25 Oct 1835
  3. Jane Ridgeway born 1839
  4. Harriot Ridgeway born 1841
  5. Thomas Ridgeway born 1844
  6. John Ridgeway born 1847
  7. William Ridgeway born 1850
In 1841, James (32) and Ann (33), are living in Ashbrittle Village, with children; Mary (7), James (5), Jane (2) and Harriot (0). 

Bridleway to Little and Great Tadbeer
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © David Smith -

And in 1851, still living in Ashbrittle Village, we find James (45) and Ann (45), with Harriot (10), Thomas (7), John (4) and William (1). 

Mary (19) had already left home and was working as a Servant in the household of William Sweet at Appley Court, Appley, Stawley; James (15) had also left home and was working as a Servant in the household of Robert Venn at Little Tadbeer Farm, Ashbrittle; while Jane Ridgeway (12), was a Servant in the household of Robert Johns of Kittisford at Stawley, Somerset. 

James Ridgeway died in 1854, said to be 44, and was buried on 18 Jun 1854 at St John the Baptist, Ashbrittle. In 1859 there is a marriage, in Kittisford, between James Mash and Mary Ann Ridgway (sic), but I haven't located either of them in 1861 or 1871, nor a record of a death for James Mash. 

In 1881, however, Mary Ann Mash (74), Widow, is living with her son, Thomas Ridgeway, in Whitnage, Uplowman and is listed as his mother. 

Uplowman: Whitnage
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Martin Bodman -

Monday, 22 February 2021

Edward Carpenter and Mary Winter

St Mary, Kentisbeare, Devon - Chancel
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John Salmon -

Edward Carpenter, baptised 31 May 1730, son of Hugh Carpenter and his wife Joan (maiden name unknown), married Mary Winter on 11 April 1748 at the Parish Church of St MaryKentisbeare. Edward and Mary were a pair of my 5th great-grandparents: my earliest ancestors in Devon [so far].

Marriages in 1748 | Edward Carpenter Mary Winter April 11th

Records suggest the couple had seven children: 
  1. William Carpenter bap. 1749
  2. Dorothy Carpenter bap. 1752 (buried 1752)
  3. Jenney Carpenter bap. 1755
  4. Thomas Carpenter bap. 1758
  5. Edward Carpenter bap. 1760
  6. Dolly Carpenter bap. 1764
  7. Hugh Carpenter bap. 1769
There's nothing in the records I've seen to date to suggest what occupation Edward had, neither has it been possible to find a record of his death. There are several deaths for a Mary Carpenter in Kentisbeare between 1774 and 1796, any of which could relate, but it hasn't been possible to identify which one it is. Likewise, trying to trace each of their children forward has either provided no further records beyond their baptisms, or where several records exist and no clues to narrow it down. Frustrating, but common problem.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway

Stawley from Ham Hill. Image: Chriscooke99, CC BY-SA 3.0

Henry Stone, son of William Stone and Mary Thorne, was baptised on 26 Oct 1828 in Langford Budville. In 1841, Henry Stone, age rounded to 10 (actually 13), is employed as a servant to the family of Richard and Martha Barton at Higher Wellesford, Langford Budville, Wellington, Somerset. 

"Richard Barton was born in Churchstanton, Somerset, in about 1817. I think that he was baptised at Otterford with his brother John Barton on 16th March 1817. He married Martha Surridge in Tiverton Registration District during 1841 and they were probably living at Langford Budville, Somerset, until at least 1844. At the time of the 1841 census Richard was farming at Higher Wellesford, Langford Budville. He was described as a twenty-year-old farmer, not born in the county of Somerset, and his wife, Martha, was aged twenty and born in that county." - Pedigree of the Bartons 

In 1851, Henry (21) is a servant (Farm Servant/Ag Lab) to the family of James and Elizabeth Talbot at Appley, Stawley, Wellington, Somerset.

Church of St John the Baptist, Ashbrittle
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © David Smith -

On 24 Jan 1854, Henry Stone married Mary Ridgeway at her parish of Ashbrittle. Daughter of James Ridgeway and Mary Ann Lock, Mary Ridgeway was baptised on 28 Dec 1833 at St John the Baptist, Ashbrittle In 1841, Mary (7) is at home with her family, living in Ashbrittle Village, but in 1851, Mary (19) is working as a servant in the household of William Sweet at Appley Court, Appley, Stawley. Working there as an Ag Lab at the same time is 15 year old James Sprague, who it may be reasonable to suspect is a relative of Henry's father, William's second wife, Elizabeth Sprague. 

Appley Court Farm
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Roger Cornfoot -

Appley, Stawley

Henry and Mary Stone, a pair of my 2nd great-grandparents, had nine children, the first, Frederick James, is listed as born in Stawley, Somerset and the rest in Ashbrittle, Somerset. (Information taken from subsequent census and other records: not found either birth registrations or baptisms.)

  1. Frederick James Stone born 1855
  2. Henry William Stone born 1857 
  3. John Stone born 1858 
  4. Mary Ann Stone born 1860 
  5. Thomas Stone born 1862
  6. Harriet Stone born 1864 
  7. Francis Stone born 1867 
  8. Charles Stone born 8 Apr 1870 
  9. Lucy Jane Stone born 1873
Court Place, Ashbrittle
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Roger Cornfoot -

In 1861, Henry (31) and Mary (27) were also living in a Private Cottage at Court Place, as were Henry's parents at that time. With Henry and Mary were the four children born to date; Frederick (6), Henry (4), John (3) and Mary Ann (1), along with Jane Ridgeway (28), Sister-in-Law.

In 1871, with their address merely given as Cottage, Ashbrittle, are Henry and Mary with Mary Ann (12), Tom (9), Harriet (6), Francis (3) and Charles (1). The first three boys having left home already. Living next-door-but one was the family of John Ridgeway (relatives of Mary's, obviously) and then that of John Vickery. These three families remain intrinsically linked. 

By 1881, the family has moved to Lands Mill, Uplowman with Henry (51) and Mary (49). At home are Harriet (16), Francis (14), Charles (11) and Lucy Jane (8). Also living with the family are granddaughter, Ellen Snow (2) and Sister-in-Law, Jane Vickery (43). Visiting are Mary Ann Tarr (27) and Jane Tarr (22), General Servants. Lands Mill (now demolished) was part of the Widhayes estate and, as Henry was an agricultural labourer, I’m guessing that he was employed by Edward Chave at Widhayes Farm. The stable block, barn, linhay, gate house and farmhouse at Widhayes are Listed Buildings

Some of the listed buildings at Widhayes

Greengate Cottage

Mary Stone died, aged 52, on 28 Dec 1885 and was buried on 3 Jan 1886 at Uplowman. In 1891, Henry Stone (63), Widower, was living at Greengate Cottage in Uplowman. With him are daughter Harriet (25), son Francis (23), granddaughter, Ellen Snow (12) and grandson Francis (3).

Henry Stone died, aged 72, on 26 Nov 1901 and was buried on 30 Nov 1901 at Uplowman. Both Henry and Mary have been buried in the same plot in Uplowman Churchyard along with their son, John who had died in 1882. 

Grave of John, Mary and Henry Stone in Uplowman Churchyard.