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

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

On the origins of Presidents, Pilgrims and Dissenters

Stapleford church on a winter morning. The remains of President Barack Obama’s ancestor might rest in this cemetery near St. Andrew's church in Stapleford, England. Mine certainly do.
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John Sutton - geograph.org.uk/p/2841826

So here we are on very the day of the Inauguration of the 46th President of the United StatesJoe Biden, who, as we know, was Vice President to Barack Obama. Having just finished writing about the third of the three Wilton brothers, Henry, Richard (my 3rd great-grandfather) and Joseph, last night I decided to do some research into the area where their ancestors had come from. 

What's the link? Apparently, both Barack Obama and I can claim links back to the same two villages in CambridgeshireGreat Shelford and Stapleford

Barack Obama's link to Stapleford is, according to genealogists (please understand, I haven't seen or checked their research for accuracy), as a direct descendant of one Thomas Blossom, who grew up there towards the end of the 16th century before emigrating to the Plymouth Colony in 1629The Blossoms, it seems, had lived first at Great Shelford, then possibly in Little Shelford, and moved to Stapleford, probably about 1582. My Wilton ancestors may well have been there at the same time. A baptism record from 1695 shows we were in the village of Stapleford then and later ones were in Great Shelford. 

Six degrees of separation? If I have to have a claim to a celebrity connection, this one could not be better. It might even Trump (pun intended) Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family. True or not, the timing though was, frankly, eerie.

The earliest records I can find for my ancestors [so far], are for the baptisms of the children of Henry Wilton & Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) - that's 10 generations: they were my 7th great-grandparents - in Stapleford:

  1. Sarah Wilton bap. 14 Jul 1695 (presume died in infancy)
  2. Martha Wilton bap. 27 Dec 1696
  3. Sarah Wilton bap. 14 Apr 1700
  4. Henry Wilton bap. 12 Apr 1702
  5. Richard Wilton bap. 7 Oct 1705

Elizabeth Wilton died and was buried on 15 Oct 1705. (I think we can guess the cause.) Henry does not appear to remarry and there are no other children listed born to a Henry in that period with a different mother. Henry Wilton Snr died and was buried on 30 Jun 1726, in Stapleford, Cambridgeshire.

Towards Bury Farm on the Babraham to Stapleford bridle way
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John Sutton - geograph.org.uk/p/6608202

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