Over the last few years whilst researching my family in Sussex I have begun to build a library of local history books about Sussex. I will include them here for interest as I see them as a useful tool in any research into family history in Sussex. Some are out of print but may be found through websites such as www.abebooks.co.uk/
Dallington “six miles from everywhere” The History of a Sussex village
Karen Bryant Mole published December 1999
Victorian Village, The diaries of the Reverend John Coker Egerton of Burwash 1857 - 1888 edited by Roger Wells, published in 1992 by Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd
Judith Glover published 1997 by Countryside Books
Blacks 1861 Guide to Sussex
published by Country books
Around Heathfield in old photographs
collected by Alan Gillet and Barry K Russell, published in 1990 by Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd
From Pyecombe to Cuckfield
Mark Dudeney and Eileen Hallett, published in 1999 by Mid Sussex Books
A Detective in Sussex
Donald Maxwell, published in 1932 by The Bodley Head
Burwash and the Sussex Weald “An English History in Miniature”
James Goodwin, The Courier Printing and Publishing Co Ltd
Made in Sussex, Sussex Crafts and Industries Past and Present
Elizabeth Wright, published in 2000 by S B Publications
People and Places of the High Weald, East Sussex
Brigid Chapman, published in 1999 by S B Publications
Sussex Folk and Sussex Ways, John Coker Egerton
Edited by Henry Wace, published in 2005 by Country Books
Around Hailsham in old Photographs
Barry K Russell and Alan Gillet, published in 1998 by Budding Books
A Historical Atlas of Sussex
Published in 1999 by Phillimore
The Kent & Sussex Weald
Peter Brandon, published in 2003 by Phillimore
The Diary of Thomas Turner 1754-1765
Edited by David Vaisey, published in 1994 by CTR publishing
Our Sussex Parish
Thomas Geering, published in 1925 by Metheun & Co Ltd
A Chronicle of Cuckfield
Maisie Wright, published in 1991 by The Mid Sussex Local History Group and Cuckfield Museum Trust
For a useful source of social history books about London please visit www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,307777.0.html
© Kerry Baldwin 2015
On facebook a while ago genealogists had been sharing a 6 generation diagram showing in colour where their family come from. Well naturally I decided I had to have a go at mine and here it is.
I always knew that most of my family came from Sussex, but this really makes that fact stand out. And just to move away from Sussex, the next biggest area is Surrey. My family certainly didn't move far away. Have you tried this with your family? Have a go and let us know what it tells you.
I have a growing number of wills connected to my family tree, some for people directly related to me and some from uncles, aunts and other family members. All can sometimes be an absolute goldmine of information and helpful when trying to prove that an ancestor is who you think they are.
For instance recently I have been researching the Woolven family of West Grinstead, who I have discovered connected to my Lander/Launder line. I found online a copy of a will written by Richard Woolven and proved in 1710 where he named every one of his children (helpful), the names of his daughters' husbands and one of his witnesses had the surname which had been his mother's maiden name, (could be a relative). All this information went along way to proving I had the correct death for this Richard.
A will I was sent for Richard Pilbeam of Ticehurst, Weaver, proved in 1653 mentions "I doe give unto my father my weaving and tooles" helpful because we now know what his occupation was.
The will of Richard Ledger who died in Orpington in 1821, and uncle to Mary Ledger who married Job Roffey in 1760, Horne in Surrey was very explicit about how he should be buried,
"It is my wish and desire to be buried in the Church Yard at Orpington in the County of Kent and to lay as near the Grave of my Father as can conveniently be I desire that my funeral may be as plain as possible and I wish to have a deep Oak Coffin pitched inside but not to be covered quite plain I desire to have a mattrass not less than three inches thick laid under me and the pillow under my head to come up high on both sides my head And it is my particular desire not to be screwed down until the eighth day after my death I also desire my Grave may be Bankt up a foot high and a flat black Stone to be laid on my Grave and on no account whatsoever to be moved for the burial of any other Corpse I also desire that the Grave Stone be not put down till one year after my death but it must be put down before any legacies are paid I also request my Nephew Mr Henry Wallis may stop to see my Grave filled up and also to be present at the putting down the Grave Stone"
Allsorts of thoughts went through my head when I read that one! Wills like this may not give us any particularly useful information but are brilliant for helping us to build a picture of what Richard was like when he was alive and just make fantastic reading!
All going to prove that wills are a useful addition to the documents to be searched as part of family history and should be searched carefully for the clues they can give about our ancestors and their lives.
I misquote Shakespeare.
I started looking at the Billinness family from Wartling yesterday. Lydia Billinness born 1816 in Wartling married Henry Martin in Wartling in 1839. Their son, James married Harriet Pilbeam, sister of my great great grandfather William Pilbeam. Further details can be found on my TribalPages tree at https://baldwintree.tribalpages.com/tribe/browse?userid=baldwintree&view=0&pid=525&ver=383. They farmed Ebenezer Farm in Punnetts Town and had one child, John Henry who died sadly at the age of 2 and half years old.
I started searching for Lydia’s family and discovered that her parent’s were Thomas and Deborah Harvey also of Wartling. This rang a bell and well it might. Lydia had a brother born three years before her, Benjamin who married Barbara Cornford. They had a daughter, Mary Ann who was born in 1837. Mary Ann was the second wife of my great x 3 grandfather Thomas Cruse. The funny thing is this links two sides of my tree, my maternal grandfather (Pilbeam) to my paternal grandfather’s mother (Cruse).
Fascinating I thought and just confirms what I know from my dna, 83.9% South East England, and make that Sussex.
Then as I carried the Billiness line further back I discovered that the aforesaid Thomas's mother was Lydia Badcock. Another family I know well. However, as yet I can't find a link between the Badcock family that Lydia came from and the family that my Badcocks came from who married into the Carey family who married into the Harmer family. Of course the Harmer family was the family of my paternal grandmother. So if I can link Thomas Badcoke at the top of my line, who married in Lewes and lived in Willingdon and Hooe, to the Badcocks from Wartling that is three grandparents all linked together. So what are the chances of finding a link with my fourth grandparent, although that line came from Surrey so perhaps not!
Wartling Church, Sussex