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

Showing posts with label Ayres. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ayres. Show all posts

Friday 24 May 2024

John Rookley and Mary Ayres

Kentisbeare : Priest Hill
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -

John Rookley married Mary Ayres on 24 May 1820 in Kentisbeare, Devon

Baptism records in Kentisbeare, suggest John and Mary had 12 children:
  1. Mary Ann Rookley bap. 8 Oct 1820 (Residence: Picksey Pool)
  2. John Rookley Jnr b. 1822 (No baptism found)
  3. Jane Ayres Rookley bap. 18 Jan 1824 (Residence: Little Silver)
  4. James Rookley bap. 20 Aug 1826 (Residence: Crosses)
  5. Elizabeth Ruckley (sic) bap. 13 Feb 1831
  6. William Rookley bap. 3 Feb 1833 (Residence: Town)
  7. Sarah Ruckley (sic) bap. 24 May 1835 (Residence: Little Silver)
  8. Henry Ruckley (sic) bap. 18 Jun 1837 (Residence: Crosses)
  9. Thomas Rookley b. 1839 J Quarter in TIVERTON AND DULVERTON Volume 10 Page 257 bap. 14 Apr 1839.
  10. Thomasin Rookley b. 1841 M Quarter in TIVERTON AND DULVERTON Volume 10 Page 258 bap. 28 Feb 1841
  11. Eliza Rookley b. 1843 J Quarter in TIVERTON AND DULVERTON Volume 10 Page 250 bap. 30 Apr 1843
  12. Anna Rookley b. 1845 J Quarter in TIVERTON AND DULVERTON Volume 10 Page 266 bap. 1 Jun 1845
All Civil Birth registrations list the surname as Ruckley (doubtlessly, as a result of illiteracy and the Devon accent - on William's baptism the curate has written "Rookley, or as they say Ruckley") and the mother's maiden name as Ayres. On the baptisms of Mary Ann, Jane Ayres and James, John Rookley's occupation is described as a Husbandman (a person who cultivates the land; a farmer), obviously employed casually, but on those of Elizabeth, William, Sarah, Henry, Thomas, Thomasin, Eliza and Anna, he's a Labourer.

In 1841, John Ruckley (45) - closely agrees with his age given at other times - was languishing in the Devon County House Of Correction, in St David's, Exeter, having earned a 6 month holiday at Her Majesty's pleasure for Larceny. Mary and the children don't appear anywhere on this census that I can find.

We do find the family in 1851, when they are listed, unhelpfully, as living in "Village, Kentisbeare". John Rookley (56) is a Farmer of 22 Acres, with the household consisting wife Mary (52), William (19) and Henry (12) Employed on the farm; Thomas (10), Thomasin (8), Eliza (6) and Hannah (Anna) (4).

Mary Rookley died, age given as 59, in 1859 J Quarter in TIVERTON Volume 05B Page 282 and was buried on 27 Apr 1859 in Kentisbeare churchyard.

In 1861, listed as John Rockley (sic) (67), widowed, Retired Farmer, was living at Gaddford Hills, Kentisbeare, Devon.

In 1871, John Rookley (78), Farm Labourer, was living at "Moor, Kentisbeare" (Kentis Moor) in the household of James and Thomasin Ridgeway

John Rookely died, aged 78, and was buried on 14 May 1871.

Monday 25 September 2023

Elnathan Ayres and Martha Travally

The east end of St. Katharine's Church, the chapel of the hospice founded by Queen Matilda.

Elnathan Ayres (b. 1724), bachelor, married Martha Travally (b. 29 Jan 1716), spinster, daughter of Thomas Travally and Rachel Winnall at the Collegiate Church of St Katherine By the Tower, on 25 Sep 1748. (St Katharine by the Tower on map c. 1720. The church was destroyed in 1825 to make way for the new St Katharine Docks.) The licence says that Elnathan was 24 years old, and a Shipwright from the parish of St Anne's Limehouse. He paid a bond of £200, a huge sum at that time. Martha's age was listed as twenty-five. 

The only record of a child of this couple was their son:

  1. Elnathan Ayres b. 17 Jul 1752, bap. 19 Jul 1752 son of Elnathan Ayres, Shipwright of Pump Yard (Pump Yard, Ratcliffe cross, was parallel to Narrow Street, as shown on the map here at In Search of Old Ratcliffe) and Martha, at St Anne, Limehouse (2 days old)
There is a burial of a Martha Ayres at St James, Piccadilly on 6 Mar 1755, which may relate. I've found no further records for Elnathan Ayres Snr.

Elnathan Ayres (Jnr), Bachelor, married Elizabeth Perry, Spinster, at Saint Mary, Whitechapel, Whitechapel High Street, both of that parish, on 3 Oct 1771. Witnesses were William Dalton and Sarah Dalton, Esther Travally and an Ann Perry. Sarah Dalton (née Travally) was Elnathan Ayres' cousin, daughter of Winnall Travally and Elizabeth Benbow; Esther Travally was either his aunt or cousin. As both father and son were shipwrights and since the Daltons later lived in a house built by John Perry (shipbuilder), founder of the Blackwall Yard, which built ships largely for the East India Company, one wonders if Elizabeth Perry was related - so much circumstantial evidence suggests it, just haven't found proof. John Perry's mother was an Ann.

Elnathan Ayres had at least six children with Elizabeth Perry:
  1. Elnathan Boulton Ayres b. Saturday, 5 Dec 1772, son of Elnathan, Shipwright of Queen Street and Elizabeth, bap. 30 Dec 1772 at St Anne, Limehouse (at 25 days old). Elnathan Ayres of Queen St, aged 2 years, 6 months, was buried at St Anne, Limehouse on 4 Jun 1775.
  2. Elizabeth Ayres (dates unknown, mentioned in will as eldest daughter)
  3. George Ayres (dates unknown, mentioned only in will)
  4. Martha Travally Ayres bap. 8 Oct 1780 at St Mary, RedcliffeBristol
  5. Charlotte Ayres bap. 9 Jun 1784 at St Mary's Church, Rotherhithe
  6. Sage Boulton Ayres bap. 2 Jun 1786 at St Mary's, Rotherhithe
Eldest son and daughter Sage, were given the middle name Boulton, which has to be significant. Richard Boulton was one of four partners - all retired sea captains who had worked for the East India Company and were members of London's shipping community - who owned the Blackwall Yard (The Ownership of Blackwall Yard, 1724–79). Boulton, was a London merchant and an important figure in the East India Company, of which he was a director from 1718 to 1736 and on the Committee for Shipping from 1723 until 1726. He was also a member of the Honourable Company of Shipwrights.

The will of Elnathan Ayres is an eyebrow-raiser and probably creates more mysteries than questions it answers, but highlights include:

In the Name of God: Amen: I Elnathan Ayres, Ship Wright of the Town of Calcutta Bengal being in bodily Health, and of sound and disposing memory; and considering the Evil, Dangers and other Uncertainties of this transitory life, do (for avoiding Controversies after my Decease) make, publish and declare this My last Will and Testament, in manner following:- that is to say, first I recommend my Soul to God, who gave it; and my body I commit to the Earth, or Sea, as it shall please God to order; and for and concerning all my Worldly Estate, I give bequeath and dispose thereof as followeth; that is to say; First I Will, that all my just Debts and funeral Charges be paid and discharged by my Executors hereinafter named and Secondly that my House and all my Effects be turned into ready money as soon as conveniently may be and Disposed on the manner following, Viz, I leave and bequeath to my son James Ayres, born in Calcutta the Sum of Sicca Rupees [1] three thousand five hundred to be laid out by my Executors, at Interest on good Security, for his Education (which is not to be under the charge of his mother), the principal not to be given to him untill (sic) he becomes of Age the remainder of my property I leave to my Wife Elizabeth Ayres of the parish of St Mary's Rotherhiethe (sic) London and in case of her Death to be equally Divided between my four children in England, Viz: George Ayres, Charlotte Ayres, Sage Ayres and Martha Ayres, of the parish Aforesaid and to my Oldest Daughter Elizabeth Ayres, I only leave one Rupee and in case of the Death of my son James born in this country before he becomes of age, then the property left him to go to my Children in England, to be equally Divided as above, and I do hereby nominate and appoint James Horsburgh and George Watson of the Town of Calcutta to be Guardians of my Son James and Executors of this my last Will and Testament ... dated 7 Jul 1708.

[1] Sicca Rupee - a rupee issued in Bengal before 1836 weighing more than the rupee of the British East India Company.

Elnathan Ayres died, on 9 May 1812, in Calcutta. The Executors produced an immensely detailed inventory of his possessions, right down to teaspoons and six pairs of cotton stockings and even a bag with salt. It also showed that Elnathan Ayres' estate totalled £8282 3s 6d (well over a million pounds now), of which almost £5,000 was to be paid to the Ayres Family in England. Clearly he was no ordinary shipwright. Probate was granted on 2 Apr 1816. 

It appears that Elizabeth Ayres had died, aged 61, and had been buried on 6 Feb 1815 at St Anne, Limehouse, so probate had followed her death.

Even with this detail, I'm sure there's a much bigger story yet to uncover.

But I'm reading from that Will that Elnathan Ayres was acknowledging and giving his name to a, presumably illegitimate, child he fathered in Calcutta with someone other than his wife. Even without the details of his estate, we had to know he was wealthy enough to do so. We'll never know who the mother was. Alas, I don't know what happened to young James either. One also wonders what eldest daughter Elizabeth had done to deserve the indignity of being left only 1 Rupee. Indeed, most of them I'm unable to follow forward, except:

Sage Boulton Ayres married Benjamin Searle Spar Masters in the parish of St Mary, Newington, London in Jan 1808. Sage, 35 [so presumably around 1821], widow of Benjamin of Rotherhithe had petitioned Trinity House, so we can assume Benjamin was a mariner. Sage Boulton Masters then married Uriah Wackrill again in the parish of St Mary, Newington on 26 Apr 1833. (Uriah Wackrill was the son of Uriah Wackrill and Susannah Stone, both from Essex, who had married in Chichester, Sussex on 5 Dec 1797. In 1841, they were in the Hamlet of Bicknacre, Danbury, Chelmsford, Essex.)

In 1841, Uriah Wackrill (35) Gardener was at Knights Hayes Farm, Tiverton, Devon with Sage B Wackrill admitting to being 45 - she was then actually 55 - and George Branfield (15) M.S. [Male Servant].

Published in the London Gazette and local press of the time: "Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership between the undersigned, Uriah Wackrill and John Gath, in the trade or business of Brewers and Maltsters, Tiverton, in the county of Devon, and elsewhere, under the firm of Wackrill and Gath, was this day dissoled by mutual consent; and in future the business will be carried on by the said Uriah Wackrill on his separate account; and who will pay and received all debts owing from and to the said partnership in the regular course of trade." 25 Oct 1845. Wackrill & Gath (& brewers), were in Bampton Street, Tiverton, according to Pigot's Directory of Tiverton in 1844.

In 1851, Uriah Wackrill (47) Gardener from Danbury, Essex was living in Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, with Sage B Wackrill (claiming to be 52 - she'll have been 65); Hannah Wackrill (9) Niece and K Austin (24) Visitor, Governess, from Honiton, Devon.

Sage Boulton Wackrill died, age estimated as 71 (close, 73), in 1859 S Quarter in WANDSWORTH Volume 01D Page 281.

In 1861, Uriah Wackrill (58) Head Gardener was living at Bolingbroke Farms, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth with Hannah Wackrill (19) Niece. 

Uriah Wackrill of 2 Lime Cottage, Battersea, died aged 69, on 2 Feb 1872 (1872 M Quarter in WANDSWORTH Volume 01D Page 377) and was buried, in Battersea on 7 Feb 1872. He left his effects to his brother, Edward Stone Wackrill of Cox Green, Bray, Berkshire, Gardener.