Sunday, December 26, 2010

Langley and Brightley

An interesting sideline to stalking dead people is researching the house in which your ancestors lived. This is particularly rewarding in situations where the house still exists, especially when the house goes on the market, as is currently the case with Langley Barton in Yarnscombe, Devon and Brightley Barton in Dolton, Devon.

In 1783, my gggg-grandfather George COOKE purchased Langley Barton for £1935 but did not take up residency until 1788. At the time Langley Barton was considered part of the parish of High Bickington. My ggg-grandfather, William COOKE, was born at Langley Barton in 1791 although he emigrated to Newfoundland in 1817. His older brother, Michael COOKE, inherited the property in 1821 and lived there until his death in 1866. Michael's son, George, then inherited Langley Barton, however, he sold the property in 1878 and retired to Bideford.

Langley Barton is a Grade II listed manor house believed to date from the early 17th century. The house was previously the home of the Pollard family and it is believed that the Pollards lived there from 1303 to 1732. The Pollard coat of arms are carved above the entrance and a concealed fireplace stone bears the initials RP (most likely Richard Pollard) and the date 1624. The house has a five bay south-facing front and retains numerous 17th century features including a staircase, panelled door and fireplace.

The property is currently listed at £799,500.

Brightly Barton in Dolton, Devon was the birthplace of my gg-grandmother, Elizabeth Tucker BUDD (1921), daughter of John BUDD and Elizabeth Southcombe TUCKER. It is not certain how long Brightly Barton was occupied by the BUDD family. In the 1842 Tithe Apportionments, John BUDD is shown as the occupier while Thomas OWEN is listed at the owner. John BUDD was at Brightly Barton at the time of the 1841 and 1851 Census but by the time of the 1861 Census was living elsewhere.

Brightly Barton is a Grade II listed farmhouse dating from the late 15th century but rebuilt with additions in the 17th century and 19th century. The house is of cob and stone and was thought to have been originally built as an open hall house with a central heath. It is currently listed at £965,000.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2Lt Geoffrey Plateras Lawson Jacques

Perhaps the most unusual name in my ancestry is my maternal gg-grandfather, Plateras Lawson Jacques (1828-1870) of Keighley, Yorkshire. The Lawson part of the name is fairly straightforward. Plateras's maternal grandparents were John Corlass and Alice Lawson (1767- ?). The Plateras part is a bit trickier, but is most likely a corruption of Playtress. Alice Lawson was the daughter of Robert Lawson and Mary Playtress.

My gg-grandfather died young, however, he did have two nephews named after him, as well as one grandson: Geoffrey Plateras Lawson Jacques. Geoffrey was the son of John Henry Jacques (1868-1939) and Marion Cane (1869) of Loughton, Essex. Geoffrey was born in 1898, two years after his cousin, my grandfather, Alfred George Jacques (1896-1939). Geoffrey joined the Royal Flying Corps during the Great War and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 3 Jul 1916. Unfortunately 2Lt Jacques died in a mid-air collision on 5 Oct 1916 while flying a Royal Aircraft Factory BE2 over Salisbury Plain. Although Geoffrey's death was a tragedy, accidents involving the BE2 were quite common. What was remarkable about this accident was the identity of the other deceased pilot, Captain Keith Lucas, inventor of the aeronautical compass.

2Lt Geoffrey Plateras Lawson Jacques was buried in the Loughton Cemetery and is commemorated on the Loughton War Memorial.

Monday, December 6, 2010

George Jacques and the National Probate Calendar

Recently, I discovered that Ancestry now has the National Probate Calendar online. The National Probate Calendar serves as an index to wills proved and administrations granted from 1858 until 1941. Using the calendar, I've been able to establish death dates and locations for many of my relations. Prior to this I had often only been able to establish the year of death using FreeBMD.

One of the more interesting finds in the National Probate Calendar is the entry for George JACQUES (1832-1895), a brother of my gg-grandfather Plateras Lawson JACQUES (1828-1870). Named after his uncle who is said to have died at the Battle of Waterloo, George began his career as a wool spinner in Keighley, Yorkshire. When the Waterloo Mills was built in nearby Silsden, George was one of the purchasers and soon became the sole owner. In the 1870s, George had a home called Springbank built on Howden Road in Silsden. Springbank is now a nursing home.

When George died in 1895, ownership of Waterloo Mills and Springbank passed to his son, Plateras Lawson JACQUES (1863-1935). According to the entry in the National Probate Calendar, George's estate was valued at just over £72,000. Today this would be worth over £4,000,000. When Plateras died in 1935 his worth had increased to over £350,000 (£13,000,000).

Plateras married late in life and had no children. He did, however, travel extensively. Records exist showing a passage from Japan to Vancouver in 1922 and a passage a few months from Quebec City to Southhampton.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Lymath Mysteries

Elizabeth Boorer and her daughters

My great-grandmother, Alice "Lily" LYMATH, was born in Banstead, Surrey on 28 Oct 1862. Alice was a twin, and one of five (or possibly six) daughters of George LYMATH and Elizabeth BOORER.

Alice's mother, Elizabeth BOORER (1830-1914) was the daughter of Frederick BOORER (1803-1865), a butcher living in Sutton, Surrey. Alice's father, George LYMATH (1817-1864), was a coachman who unfortunately died at the age of 47 at Westminister Hospital in London. Therein lies the mystery. Despite the unusual name I have not been able to discover George's origins.

Searches of the 1841, 1851 and 1861 Census have found no trace of George. I've also used Ancestry to do a first name search of the 1861 Census for Alice's older sisters, Jessie and Susannah, born in Banstead in 1858 and 1860 respectively. I think I've looked at every family in Surrey and Middlesex with children named Jessie or Susannah without success.

The 1857 marriage certificate for George LYMATH and Elizabeth BOORER records that George's father was a Thomas LYMATH, Schoolmaster.

After engaging in some lateral thinking, I started researching other families with the name LYMATH. After all, there are only 34 persons with that name in the 1881 Census. These 34 persons belong to three ancestral lines:

1. Descendants of Thomas LYMATH (1792-1866) of Deddington, Oxford but born in Chipping Warden, Northampton.

2. Descendants of George LYMATH of Overthrope, Northampton. His son John LYMATH (1833-1895) emigrated to the United States and settled in Platte County, Nebraska.

3. Descendants of Thomas LYMATH (d 1810) of Great Tew, Oxford. Thomas LYMATH may possibly be the son of Richard LYMATH baptised at Brailes, Warwick in 1750.

Given the preponderance of the name Thomas and George, it is almost certain that my gg-grandfather is connected to one of these lines.

The second mystery is whether George LYMATH had five or six daughters. On Elizabeth LYMATH's marriage certificate, George LYMATH, coachman, is listed as the father. Yet there is no birth registration for a Elizabeth LYMATH.

Elizabeth Steel BOORER, however, was born in Sutton, Surrey, England on 27 Oct 1854, Elizabeth was the daughter of Elizabeth BOORER, and was baptised at St Nicholas, Sutton on 19 Nov 1864. Apparently there is no mention of George LYMATH in either the birth registration or the baptism entry. So was Elizabeth the daughter of George LYMATH, or was she "adopted" by George when he married Elizabeth BOORER?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness

Utley Cemetery, Keighley, Yorkshire

Stalkers of dead people (genealogists) are an eclectic bunch. Some are exceptionally secretive and are reluctant to share their discoveries. Others are far more altruistic.

This past week I have benefited from two acts of genealogical kindness. For many years I have known that my gggg-grandmother, Angelique LEBRASSEUR, left Paspebiac, Quebec for the Channel Islands after the death of her husband, James DAY in 1833. Two of Angelique's daughters had married into the LUCE family of Jersey, and Angelique went to live with them in St Helier. What wasn't known was her date of death, although census data suggested she died between 1841 and 1851.

There are very few online resources for Jersey other than census data and St Helier baptisms, and the Jersey Archive in St Helier isn't exactly next door. There is an enquiries and research service but there is usually a price tag attached.

RootsChat has a board for Channel Islands lookup requests so I decided to post a query. A few days went by... then a week... then ten days. Finally a reply but not an answer. Just a promise to look. And then, three weeks after my initial query... gold! A death date for Angelique DAY, burial dates for her two daughters, and collection of information for some of her grandchildren. And so, to Jerseylily (whoever you are), for your random act of genealogical kindness—thank you.

Angelique LEBRASSEUR was born in Paspebiac, Quebec about 1773 and died in St Helier, Jersey on 29 Oct 1849. She married James DAY (1768-1833), son of James DAY and Ann BURT of the Isle of Wight.

The second act of genealogical kindness involves a Yorkshire cemetery enshrouded in mist. Over the past few years numerous people have contributed photographs of North Devon gravestones to my website. Most of these contributions were the result of queries to RootsWeb's Devon mailing list. Perhaps a similar query to the Yorkshire list would garner a photograph of the gravestone of my gg-grandfather, Plateras Lawson JACQUES of Keighley. I knew that he was buried in Utley Cemetery, and knew that he had a gravestone. I just didn't have a photograph.

RootsWeb has not one, but four relevant Yorkshire mailing lists, so I posted to each in turn. I received a number of replies. Several contained rather unhelpful suggestions. None contained an offer to photograph. Then I received an email from a gentleman in Halifax, Yorkshire, commenting on how I was "not having much joy at finding a photographer," and then offering to help.

Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty. This gentleman contacted the superintendent of Utley Cemetery, identified eleven graves related to my family, and obtained the relevant details from the cemetery's burial register. A few weeks later he visited and photographed each gravestone in weather that I know was less than comfortable. He also apologized for the delay in visiting the cemetery as he and his wife were celebrating the birth of their first English-born granddaughter.

Plateras Lawson JACQUES, the son of David JACQUES (1792-1831) and Elizabeth CORLASS (1794-1856), was baptised at St Andrew's, Keighley on 10 Nov 1828, and died in Keighley on 3 Oct 1870. He was buried at Utley Cemetery, Keighley, Yorkshire on 5 Oct 1870. At the time of his death, Plateras was a wire polisher. Plateras Lawson is named for his paternal grandmother Alice Lawson and her mother Mary Playtress. Plateras married Ellen JENNINGS (1831-1898), daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Jennings of Bradford in 1851. Plateras and Ellen had eight children, one of whom, Nellie, died at the age of five and is buried in Utley.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bulleid of Hatherleigh

BULLEID researchers might be forgiven for overlooking this gravestone at Hatherleigh, Devon. At first glance it would appear to be the gravestone of Emanuel John TUCKER and Emily TUCKER. A careful reading of the stone, however, tells a different story.

I photographed this gravestone in July of 2009 during my last trip to Devon. Because it was raining, I guess I was not inclined to read the inscription carefully. I suppose I took a photograph because the stone looked interesting. Over a year later, I finally took a close look at the photograph, read the full inscription, and discovered that the gravestone belongs to the children of Samuel BULLEID, brother to my ggg-grandmother Mary Field BULLEID (1809-1894). The inscription reads:

Suffer little children and forbid them not to come unto
me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matt XIX.14.
stone is erected as a tribute
of parental affection to perpetuate the
much loved memory of
who departed this life on the 25th day of April
1837 aged 10 years
Also to perpetuate the memory of
who departed this life on the 19th day of May
1837, aged one month.
Also to perpetuate the memory of
who departed this life on the 20th day of August
1838, aged 10 years
Children of Samuel and Patience Bullied
of this parish.
Also to perpetuate the memory of
who departed this life on the 4th day of January
1847, aged 14 years.
These lovely buds so young and fair,
Called hence by early doom:
First came to show what fragrant flow'rs
In Paradise would bloom

Samuel BULLEID, the son of Samuel BULLEID (1771-1848) and Eleanor Paddon BISSETT (1773-1843), was baptised at Dolton, Devon on 19 Jan 1803. A butcher like his father, Samuel moved to Hatherleigh, Devon and on 24 Apr 1826, married Patience TUCKER (1804-1885), daughter of Emanuel TUCKER (1764-1848) and Elizabeth HOOPER (1764-1859). Samuel and Patience had seven children. Emanuel was the oldest. In the Hatherleigh baptism register his name is recorded as Emanuel Thomas Tucker BULLEID, but in the burial register and on the gravestone his name is recorded as Emanuel John Tucker BULLEID.

The three surviving children of Samuel BULLEID and Patience TUCKER were John Samuel BULLEID (1830-1898), Samuel John BULLEID (1835-1908) and Janetta Jane Tucker BULLEID (1844-1931). John Samuel, a butcher, lived and died in Hatherleigh, while his brother Samuel John, also a butcher, moved to Torquay in the 1880s. Their sister Janetta married John Fry ROCKEY (1846-1930), a draper who founded the J.F. Rockey department store in Torquay.

Samuel BULLEID died on 3 Apr 1875. His wife Patience died ten years later on 12 Dec 1885. Both are buried at Hatherleigh.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Research Interests

Here are the family lines I'm currently researching divided by regions:

Quebec, Canada

COOKE - New Carlisle
DAY - New Carlisle
CHATTERTON - New Carlisle
BEEBE - New Carlisle

Ontario, Canada

MADGE - Usborne Township, Huron County
LEWIS - Steven Township, Huron County
BEEBE - Louth Township, Lincoln County and Oakland Township, Brant County
SECORD - Oakland Township, Brant County and Brantford Township, Brant County

Manitoba, Canada

LEWIS - Hamiota
SMITH - Hamiota

Devon, England

BRAGINTON - St Giles in the Wood
BUDD - Dolton
BULLEID - Dolton, Hatherleigh
COOKE - High Bickington, St Giles in the Wood, Otterton

DUKE - Otterton, Colaton Raleigh
LEWIS - Charles
LOVEBAND - Yarnscombe
MADGE - Meeth
MOCK - Braunton, Ilfracombe
ROLLE - Bicton, St Giles in the Wood, Petrockstowe
SNELL - St Giles in the Wood
STEVENS - Frithlestock, Little Torrington
TANTON - St Giles in the Wood
VICARY - Great Torrington
VODDEN - St Giles in the Wood
WALKEY - Great Torrington
WALL - Stoke Damerel
WEBBER - Meeth

Somerset, England

PITTAWAY - Watchet

Yorkshire, England

JACQUES - Keighley

Surrey, England

JACQUES - Sutton
BOORER - Sutton
LYMATH - Sutton

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stalking Dead People

Stalking Dead People is a somewhat unusual name for a blog but it makes sense since this is a blog about genealogy, also known as family history.

The title of the blog comes from a remark one of my middle school students made on a field trip to a cemetery last spring. She wanted to know why we were, "stalking dead people."

I began researching my own family history over a decade ago. Researching my father's ancestors has been relatively easy since a second cousin did much of the groundwork. Researching my mother's ancestors, however, has been brick wall after brick wall. Still, after ten years, progress has been made, and I have been able to identify all but two of my great-great-great-grandparents.

Over the past few weeks I have been updating my research on the ancestors of my grandfather, Alfred Harris COOKE (1897-1977). My grandfather, the son of Arthur COOKE (1865-1936) and Angelique Veneta DAY (1867-1948), was born in New Carlisle, Quebec. New Carlisle is located on the Gaspe Peninsula and was founded in 1784 by United Empire Loyalists. Arthur COOKE's mother, Judith CHATTERTON (1828-1912), was the granddaughter of two of the original settlers, Charlotte BEEBE (1767-1852) and Samuel CHATTERTON (1761-1845).

My great-grandmother, Angelique Veneta DAY, was the great-granddaughter of James DAY (1768-1833). James DAY, a shipwright, was born in England on the Isle of Wight and was hired by Charles Robin of Jersey to build ships at Paspebiac, Quebec, also on the Gaspe Peninsula. Two of James DAY's daughters married Jerseyman. It has been quite the experience tracing their descendants since relatively few records from Jersey are available online.

In addition to my own family history, I also maintain a website about the genealogy and history of five North Devon parishes: St Giles in the Wood, High Bickington, Yarnscombe, Atherington and Tawstock. I recently began transcribing 17th century burial records for Tawstock beginning with 1653. Work also continues on transcribing the monumental inscriptions located inside the church.