This week’s #52Ancestors theme is Textile and gives me chance to write about my only bit of the family from up north. The story started down south of course. In 1818 or thereabouts Phillis Funnell, my great x4 grandmother met a young soldier who was stationed at the barracks in Ringmer, John Thelwell. On 6 November 1818, my great x3 grandfather, John Funnell was born. For a number of years the only clue to John’s father that I had was a warrant for the arrest of his putative father, John Thelwell, late of Ringmer now a gunner driver in the Corps of Royal Horse Artillery stationed at Ringmer for the child to be born of Phyllis Funnell of Chiddingly – ref. P292/15/12 – date: 6 November 1818.
It wasn’t until I started searching the Royal Horse Artillery that I discovered who John Thelwell was. Probably born in 1793 in Gorton, Lancashire to John Thelwell and Martha Marsh, he had 11 siblings, 3 of whom died as small children. Despite a lot of searching this John seems the most likely but his second marriage certificate in 1855 names his father as Thomas strangely. John was married to two different Nancy’s, the first one died young in an asylum. He had 10 children, 5 of whom died under the age of 5. He died in 1870, a Chelsea Pensioner, having fought at Waterloo.
Looking through the census returns held for him, marriage records, burial of first wife and his children’s baptisms and burials they all have his occupation as Weaver or Dresser. Both occupations involved in the Cotton Industry. Specifically his burial record in 1870 was Cotton Warp Dresser. He was living in Brimmington, Stockport and further research should be carried out possibly find out who were the main cotton factories in Stockport.
According to a very useful website that has a list of old occupations Old Occupations - C2 (rmhh.co.uk) a Cotton Dresser was an Operator who assembled the yarns or threads prior to the weaving of cloth.
In the early days of power weaving, looms had to be periodically stopped every few minutes to adjust the cloth and dress the warp with a flour paste to strengthen the threads as they unrolled from the beam. In 1803 William Radcliffe invented the dressing machine operated by a dresser who prepared the yarns for weaving. This was found in a book I purchased ‘My ancestors worked in Textile Mills’ by Adele Emm and published by The Society of Genealogists 2019.
During the 1851 census two of John’s sons, aged 19 and 17 were also involved in the cotton industry as a Power Loom Weaver and a Silk Plush Weaver (part of the Top Hat industry). In 1861 the household has a Cotton Twister and a Cotton Winder. All the neighbours were involved in various parts of the industry in the three census returns I have for John, 1841 to 1861. In 1851, agricultural labourers formed the biggest occupation group in England and Wales, servants next and third was those working in textile industries. The industry was concentrated particularly around the north west and Manchester became known as Cottonopolis.
Currently that is as far as I have got with my research into John Thelwell’s cotton past. It’s all completely new to me, with most of my family hailing from Sussex I am much more used to Agricultural Labourers and the odd brickmaker. But I look forward to finding out more about Lancashire and its cotton industry as well as more about John’s heritage.
sThis week’s theme for #52Ancestors is Food and Drink. Well that’s a topic I could talk endlessly about I thought. But bringing it back to genealogy, I thought I would write about The Three Cups Inn near Punnetts Town, now sadly closed but I have frequented it in the past for family celebrations and meals out. The Steak and stilton pie in the days of Woody was to die for!
My connection however goes back further than the Jenga chips, one of the most disappointing meals I’ve ever had, 9 chips set out like jenga blocks. The chef was trying to go upmarket, didn’t last long, homecooked pub grub was what was wanted. My x3 Great Grandmother Elizabeth Harriot Message married John Funnell in 1840 and for the 1861 census are recorded as being at the Three Cups. John was a Farmer of 15 acres but presumably he ran the beerhouse too.
John Funnell was killed in 1863 by being run over by a cart wheel and Elizabeth married again to James White in 1868. By the time of the 1871 census James White has taken over the Three Cups as Beerhouse Keeper and Orpah one of Elizabeth’s daughters was described as waiter. By 1881 James is a Farmer of 30 acres and Beerhouse Keeper. Rhoda another of Elizabeth’s daughter’s was a barmaid.
The building which is currently closed and derelict, someone is hoping for permission to build houses no doubt, has recently been listed Grade II. Apparently built around the 17th Century and extended over the years. According to the history that has been compiled on the building at the time my ancestors were running it, it was owned by the Trill family. Incidentally having just looked at the Tithe map of 1838, it was owned by Mrs Trill and rented by R Message, which needs a bit more research but that is likely to be Richard Message who was the half brother of Elizabeth Harriot.
I clearly have some more research to do as there is also an intriguing entry on The Keep (East Sussex Record Office) catalogue dated 1717 of suspected parties for a murder being involved in smuggling activities at the Three Cups Inn.
In the meantime I look back at happy memories of eating at the pub and wish wholeheartedly it could be saved and opened as a pub again!
This week’s #52Ancestors theme is Social and for a minute there, I was going to go for 4 weddings and a funeral (a rather lovely film!) but decided to stick at the 4 weddings.
I chose the weddings of 4 siblings, my grandfather Ronald Pilbeam and 3 of his siblings, Phyllis, Gwen and Sidney.
The first to marry was Phyllis Naomi, the oldest child, born in 1907 to George and Nahomi Pilbeam of Rushford Farm, Three Cups, Punnetts Town. She married Percy Thomas Cottingham, second son of Mr C E Cottingham of Warren Farm, Halland on 22 July 1933 at The New Gospel Hall, Maynards Green. Mr W Payne from Lingfield officiated, who I need to research as I am thinking he could be related to my Grandmother, Edith Terry. Her mother was a Payne from Lingfield. The bride wore a dress of white satin and an embroidered net veil surmounted by a coronet of orange blossom. There were three bridesmaids, Joan Pilbeam, the bride’s sister and Ruth and Winnie Cottingham, sisters of the bridegroom. Edward Cottingham, brother of the groom was the best man. The report in the local newspaper has an extremely long list of people who gave presents.
The second pair to marry was Sidney George, the first son of George and Nahomi Pilbeam born in 1909 and he married Eva Edith Delves, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs William Delves of Lynton, Maynards Green on 21 August 1935, again at Maynards Green. The newspaper announced that Punnetts Town Teacher weds. Eva was a teacher and then headmistress at Punnetts Town for many years and is remembered by many past pupils. The bride wore a simple gown of white crepe de chine, embroidered net veil, wreath of orange blossom, white kid shoes and carried a shower bouquet of white carnations and ferns. She had two bridesmaids, her sister Vera Delves and Joan Pilbeam, groom’s sister. The best man was Ron Pilbeam, groom’s brother. The couple were to live at Beech Croft, Punnetts Town, newly built. Again there was a long list of presents including many family members.
Only a few weeks later, on 14 September 1935 the second daughter, Gwendoline born 1908 married Edward Charles Cottingham, brother of Percy Cottingham at Maynards Green Gospel Hall. The bride wore a dress of white satin, with embroidered veil and coronet of orange blossom and white satin shoes. Her bouquet was of bronze chrysanthemums. Bridesmaids were Joan Pilbeam, the bride’s sister and Ruth and Winnie Cottingham, groom’s sisters. The best man was Leslie Cottingham, groom’s brother. The couple were reported to be going to live at Ash Grove, Shortgate, Laughton and they received many useful presents, not listed this time.
The last wedding was that of my grandparents Ronald and Edith on 7 August 1937 at Lingfield Mission Room. The service was again conducted by William Payne. The bride wore a long white dress and veil trimmed with orange blossom. She carried a shower bouquet of pink and white carnations and her only jewellery was a string of pearls. She had two bridesmaids, her sister Winifred and Joan Pilbeam, groom’s sister. Sidney Pilbeam was the best man. They left the reception bound for their reception in Worthing.
The more I search the British newspapers that are currently available on Findmypast, the more I am learning about how my family lived their lives, the places they worshipped at, the people they knew and the families that intermingled through these connections. These articles are also a useful tool for giving you hints to family members not yet found and places they lived. But mostly I love the details from these reports of the wedding dresses and the flowers that were fashionable at the time.
#52Ancestors theme for this week is Document and I have so many copies of documents that I was struggling to pick one to write about. Searching my A3 folder of early photocopies from TNA I found a large envelope which contained a photocopy of the Farm Survey for my great grandfather George Charles Pilbeam’s farm at Three Cups near Punnetts Town. Wow I had forgotten I had ordered it! The envelope is postmarked 2013.
When the Second World War began in September 1939, Britain was faced with an urgent need to increase food production, as imports of food and fertilisers were drastically cut. The area of land under cultivation had to be increased significantly and quickly. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries set up War Agricultural Executive Committees in each county (‘County War Ags’) to carry out a farm survey between 1940 and 1941 and to use the information collected to bring uncultivated land under the plough and to improve poor farms.
Once the short-term objective of increasing food production had been met, the government decided to carry out a more general National Farm Survey between 1941 and 1943, with a longer-term purpose of providing data that would form the basis of post-war planning. Such a survey was seen at the time as a ‘Second Domesday Book’, a ‘permanent and comprehensive record of the conditions on the farms of England and Wales’.
The first survey showed that:
No fruits or vegetables were being grown for human consumption. There was ¼ acre of main crop potatoes, ½ acre of turnips and swede for fodder. There was ¼ acre of kale for fodder. Also ¼ acre of All other crops. Seven acres of permanent grass for mowing and 11 ¾ acres of permanent grass for grazing. Total acreage was 20 acres.
Employed labour on 4 June 1941 consisted of 1 male part time worker, 21 years old and above.
There were 8 cows and heifers and 17 fowl over 6 months and 1 horse used for agricultural purposes.
The general survey for Rushford Farm was carried out on 30 October 1942. The farm was recorded as 18 acres within the parish of Warbleton and the farmer was G C Pilbeam of Rushford Farm, Three Cups, Dallington, Heathfield, Sussex.
The general comments are as follows:-
Small dairy holding quite well kept and having sufficient ploughed out to maintain the herd in winter green fodder. One field has also been reseeded. This could be carried further to some of the other fields where the grass is getting worn out. Stock and general management satisfactory. The water arrangements could be better. Stock: Cows 7 young stock 4 Horses 1.
Information gained from the survey tells me that:
George Pilbeam owned the farm and was a full time farmer. He didn’t occupy any other land or have other grazing rights.
The condition of the farm was 100% medium soil. The farm was conveniently laid out and was 100% naturally fair. The situation with regard to road was fair and railway was bad. The nearest railway station is Heathfield some miles away. The condition of the farmhouse was good, farm buildings and road were fair, fences – good, ditches – fair and field drainage was good.
There were no infestations and no derelict fields. Water supply to the farmhouse was from the well, farm buildings from the roof, fields from a stream and there was a pond that supplied water both to the farm buildings and the fields. There was no seasonal shortage of water and no electricity supply.
The farm was classified as A. The condition of the Arable land was good, pasture good to fair. Adequate use of fertilisers on the arable land and to some extent on the grassland. For the 1941 harvest 2 fields were marked for fodder crops to be grown.
The first glance at the documents didn’t look like it was going to reveal as much information as it did. The condition of the farm and buildings as well as the stock on the farm. A lot of information about the farm can be gleaned from it and I’m off to see if there are any other farms in my family I need to know more about.
Richard Message married my great x4 Grandmother Hannah Oliver in Dallington, Sussex on 20 October 1803. They had one child from the marriage, Richard baptised on 9 February 1807 at Warbleton, Sussex where the family were living. Various contacts have mentioned a second child, Philadelphia who lived between 1804 and 1817 but have never shown me any proof and I have searched high and low with no sign. So I discount until someone shows me the evidence! Hannah had two children already by a previous relationship with a Benjamin Carley, Benjamin Oliver Carley baptised on 16 February 1800 at Warbleton, and Stephen Carley Oliver born in 1802 in Warbleton.
Richard may have been born in Shoreditch around 1786, a baptism has been found on 31 January 1786 to a Richard and Mary Message of Holywell and there is nothing in Sussex at that time.
But Richard’s story can be picked up in 1806 and fits this week’s theme of Negatives for #52Ancestors nicely. Richard appeared in the England and Wales Criminal Register 1791-1892 on Ancestry.co.uk charged with Felony (which was a serious crime) at the January session, he was acquitted.
Then he turned up again in 1807 on the England and Wales Criminal Register 1791-1892 on Ancestry.co.uk at the Lent session at Horsham Court charged with Larceny (theft of personal property), the sentence was 14 years Transportation.
At the age of 21 in 1807 he appeared on the register of Perseus a Prison Hulk register, convicted on 16 March at Horsham of Felony which is a bit confusing unless it was a separate charge from the Criminal Register above. He was awaiting transport on the Admiral Gambier. The Perseus was moored in Portsmouth Harbour and it would appear from the next record that they were moored for over a year. It must have been grim!
A newspaper report from the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sunday 25 December 1808 reported that the Admiral Gambier arrived from England under Captain Harrison with 197 male prisoners. They sailed from England on the 2nd July and arrived in late December so a 5 month voyage, but all were reported in good health and good spirits. A small handful died on the passage.
Richard appeared on a list in 1811 as being in Hobart town in Tasmania and then in 1816 he appeared in the New South Wales Convict Register of Conditional and Absolute Pardons with an Absolute Pardon.
Amazingly the next record found for Richard is the record of his marriage on 26 June 1816 to Mary Ann Mullins in Hobart, Tasmania. She was a free person. Unfortunately Richard doesn’t appear to have been free to marry again, as he was still married to Hannah although she was all those miles away in England. I guess the likelihood of him ever returning to England was so very slim, he took his chances as many others must have too. He was 31 years old and Mary Ann was 19 years old.
Richard died on 5 October 1821 in Hobart, Tasmania aged 35 years, having never returned to England.
Willetts, J (n.d.) "Convict Ship Admiral Gambier 1808" Free Settler or Felon
18 April 2022 – more information about the Admiral Gambier
The theme for #52Ancestors this week is Worship. I thought I would take a look at my tree and find the clues to how many of my ancestors were non conformists. My family attended an Open Brethren Chapel in Hailsham whilst we were growing up. But where did our ‘dissenting’ come from?
My maternal grandparents were also Open Brethren, part of the Plymouth Brethren movement. My grandfather, Ronald Pilbeam was one of the leaders of a small chapel, The Rest Gospel Hall, in Punnetts Town, near Heathfield which is now a Christian Outreach Centre. It was planted out by the Assembly at Maynards Green, the other side of Heathfield. I know that a Great Aunt, Eva Pilbeam wrote an account of the history ‘Growing up under the shelter of the Maynards Green Assembly’, copy of which is held at the East Sussex Record Office and hopefully one day I will get over there to read it, now that Covid is over.
I presume that my great grandparents George Charles Pilbeam and his wife Naomi were members too. Before that I am not sure where the family worshipped although I know that they along with 3 other generations of my family are buried at the Independent Chapel at Cade Street, Heathfield. This is a famous white building of the mid 1700s, a bit grand for an independent chapel and is reputed to have been used as a navigation aid by mariners on the sea. Amongst the gravestones I can find many ancestors and forebears that I either knew or were from before my time but appear on my tree.
My maternal grandmother belonged to the Lingfield Mission Room with her parents and siblings, her and grandad were married there in 1937. Unfortunately I was unable to find anything on Google about it. Something to add to the list for searching.
My x4 great grandfather James Vincent and his wife Sarah on my maternal grandfather’s side chose to have a number of their children baptised at Providence Chapel in Staplefield near Cuckfield which was an Independent Chapel. Four of the children were all baptised together on 18 November 1821, the year the chapel was founded. The register starts
‘In an Independent Congregation, worshipping
in Providence Chapel, Staplefield. In the parish
of Cuckfield, in the County of Sussex. The
Church formed in the year of Our Lord
The Minister Edmund Greenfield’
Amongst the Deacons is mentioned James Vincent.
The couple had a further 4 children, all baptised at Providence Chapel. The last child, Jesse Vincent born 1831 later emigrated to Salt Lake City in Utah, USA.
That is the result of just some quick searching of my family tree and it would appear that nonconformity was strong certainly on the side of maternal grandparent’s lines. There are probably others waiting to be found.
#52ancestors – Landed and I have chosen to write about George Pilbeam my x4 great grandfather who during 2 census years farmed parts of the High Weald AONB around my favourite village of Burwash. I have only just started to scratch the surface of the records I have found which tell the story of his life as a farmer. There are more to be found I am sure, but for now this is what I have so far.
He was born in 1784 at Burwash to Thomas and Hannah and he had 4 siblings. By the time of the 1841 census George was a farmer at Woodsell in Dallington. Both the C14 – 17 farmhouse and the C17 Barn next door are Grade II listed buildings. Looking at the record on the Genealogist website for the Tithe apportionment he farmed 35 acres of wood, pasture, arable, orchards and hops and rented the farm from Robert Watts Esq.
I searched the National Archives website and found the following entry on a record for documents pertaining to the Wellis family of Rye, Sussex:
fo. 1r. (i) 10 October 1399. Feoffment from Sir John Wellis, clerk, to Stephen Woodselle and Joan his wife of 30a. called Yongeland in Dallington, abutting on land called Mardore on the south, the land of Thomas Prynkyll on the east, the land called Tyy on the north and the highway from Dallington to Bucksteep on the west; which land was given to him by Sir William de Hoo, kt., and his wife Eleanor.
(ii) 12 May 1401. Feoffment from Sir John Wellis, clerk, to Thomas Petyjon' of Warbleton, of 2 tenements in Dallington, one called Wodsellys (30a.), the other Creplond (30a.), given to the donor by Sir William de Hoo, kt., and his wife Eleanor.
By the 1851 census George had moved to Battenhurst Farm between Ticehurst and Burwash. He had increased his land to 120 acres and employed 4 labourers.
The most interesting record I have found so far was made after his death in 1857. At the East Sussex Record Office I found an auction book that had belonged to A Burtenshaw & Sons, Auctioneers and Valuers, which had two auctions in September 1857 detailing animals, equipment, crops and household goods that went to auction after his death by order of his executors. Some of the goods were obviously bought by members of his own family and the amount of money raised was £377 6 11 1/2.
Below is a list of the animals sold and some other items, who bought it and the price it sold for:
There were also items such as 7.5 bushels of Medlins and a Cheese press.
I have a copy of his will that states:
Also I give to the said Richard Hook and Samuel Peters all my Term and Interest in any Messuages Buildings Farm and Lands which may be in my occupation at the time of my decease and all the Residue and Remainder of my ready Monies and Securities for Money Goods Chattels Cattle Live and dead Stock Debts and Personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever
and also the said sum of One Hundred and fifty pounds at the death of my said Wife upon trust that they my said Trustees shall if they consider it will be advantageous to my Trust property carry on the Business of my Farm and Lands I may occupy at my death for any time not exceeding two years from that period and to use my Farming Stock and effects and other my personal Estate for that purpose and to buy and sell stock and effects and to allow any part of my Family living on such Messuage and Premises a competent allowance and remuneration in return for work Labour and assistance performed and rendered by them in carrying on such Business as my said Trustees shall think proper and also to allow and pay all other wages Rents Tithes Taxes Duties Tradesmens Bills and other payments and expences incidental to carrying on such Business and fully to do all acts relating thereto as fully as I could have done if living
I will keep searching to see what other nuggets I can reveal about George. His descendents continued to farm around the area, my great grandfather George Charles, one of the last in our line at Three Cups, where my great great grandfather William had been a Chicken Crammer! But that is a whole different story!
This week’s #52ancestors subject is Maps and I have struggled to find something to write about. I could write about ancestors who traversed the world and went to Australia or I could talk about mapping the smaller travels of ancestors around the county of Sussex. But then I decided to look at three mapping issues that I was reminded of yesterday. I am currently reading ‘Our Village Ancestors, A Genealogist’s Guide to Understanding the English Rural Past’ by Helen Osborn (the co-founder of Pharos Tutors). I am really enjoying the book and was particularly struck again by what I read yesterday in Chapter 3, The Land and The Farmer and thought I would share my musings.
We tend to look at a parish level when searching for ancestors but we need to think more regionally. If we look at Sussex in particular which is where most of my ancestors lived, we have a number of regions – the Kent and Sussex Weald, the South Downs, the marshes and the Coast. These regions are not nicely delineated by parish or county boundaries. Our ancestors would not have conducted there lives within the one parish, they would have criss crossed the region, according to their job, for instance a shepherd would have stayed on the South Downs but crossing parishes.
I have a number of families on my tree who came from Wartling. Now for me, you say Wartling and I immediately think of that tiny village with the church and the pub. But if you look at the parish it is large and sprawling and almost has two parts to it. I learnt quickly if I couldn’t find an ancestor being baptised, married or buried in Wartling, check the parishes around all the way up to Warbleton and Ashburnham parishes. Thomas Simmons my great x4 grandfather farmed at Cowden Farm in the parish of Wartling and was buried there in 1871 along with members of his family, but in terms of daily life would have been much closer to Bodle Street Green.
Something I am just getting to grips with at the moment, in my genealogical research is the issue of Manors. I have many Ag Labs in my ancestry who would have worked on a farm owned by or tenanted by a farmer and maybe part of a larger estate. Sometimes the owner of that estate might have had farms or other estates in other parts of the county of even different counties and labourers would have been sent to work at those other farms. I am wondering if that might explain why Smith Rhoades my great x3 grandfather was born in Orby, Lincolnshire in 1833 and ended up by 1860 in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex. He lived the rest of his life in Sussex and was buried at Aldrington, Sussex in 1919. I find the Victoria County Histories really useful for reading about manors.
Lastly something I found particularly difficult to get my head around when I started my genealogical journey was my ancestors who straddled the county borders, particularly the three counties, Sussex, Kent, and Surrey where they move between East Grinstead and Lingfield and Edenbridge with ease between the generations, making for interesting searching between three county record offices and a number of family history societies. Ancestry very early on added the Surrey BMDs to its website which were really useful in searching around Lingfield and my own county of Sussex with the Sussex Family History Group databases had good coverage of East Grinstead but Kent has proved more difficult and I have a list of ancestors that could not be found in the above two counties and need to be searched for when I get chance, over the border in Kent. A website I have used time and time again for the Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex and I found has transcribed BMDs for Edenbridge is The Weald
Please feel free to add your comments on my musings, anything you agree with or disagree with, I would love to hear them.
I’ve been relooking at an old brickwall on my family tree this week. My x 4 great grandfather Jeremiah Hall was baptised in Edenbridge in Kent in 1789. He had a sister Jenny, baptised in 1781 and a brother, William baptised in 1787, both in Edenbridge. Their parents on the baptism records were Michael and ______ Hall. Very useful!
A marriage for a Michael Hall in the right time frame has not been found and neither has a baptism of a Michael Hall. The closest we have come to is a Miles Hall who married Jane Holiday in 1769 in Crowhurst in Surrey and went on to have 4 children, all baptised in Crowhurst; Sarah – 1769, Martha – 1770, William – 1773 buried in 1774 and Benjamin – 1775.
I have spent 10 years picking away at this problem, and chatting with other people who are also trying to solve this riddle.
We know that Jenny baptised in 1781 married a Richard Holmden in Edenbridge in 1802, a marriage which has led to a further clue.
A will has been found for a Mary Ware who died in 1807 in Crowhurst. She mentioned several family members. She had previously been married to Benjamin Hall who had a brother, Michael. She mentions three of Michael’s children; Benjamin, Sarah who married _____ Fowle of Westerham and Jane who married ______ Holmden of Edenbridge.
So far that is looking good, Jane and Jenny, same person? There is a marriage for a Sarah and a John Fowle in 1792 and Benjamin could be the one baptised in 1775.
Mary Ware also mentioned a Nicholas, another brother of her late husband Benjamin who also had a son Benjamin. (What a popular name that was!) So plenty of clues to help pick away at this. But sometimes the obvious and most needed answer is just plain elusive.
Could Miles and Michael in Crowhurst and Edenbridge be the same person or am I clutching at straws? There is a family being baptised to a Nicholas and Ann in Crowhurst in the 1720/30s including a Benjamin, a Miles and a Nicholas but Miles was baptised in 1722 meaning he would have been in his late 40s when Sarah was born, never mind Jeremiah in 1789!
I will keep at this one and hopefully one day I will find an answer.
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