Sunday, 30 September 2012

The "Hawtin" Whites in Shotteswell.

  The "Hawtin Whites" and "Gentleman" Richard White

  Some Whites, however, remained in Shotteswell. The family of William White's older brother, Richard and his wife, Elizabeth (Hawtin) continued to farm in the area. One tragedy, however, had befallen them. Thomas, one of their sons, is recorded on the gravestone of Richard White, who himself had died on 10 February and been buried in the graveyard of St. Laurence Church on 16 February 1845, as having died at the age of 27 on 6 March 1854 in Newtown (the gravestone inscription says Newton), New South Wales in Australia. It is interesting to speculate what young Thomas was doing in that distant colony, so far from the hilly lanes and rolling countryside of Shotteswell. Had he travelled there as a settler? My first thought was to wonder whether he had been transported to the colony as a convict for some crime he may have committed. This, however, is not correct.
 In the 1851 census, we find a Thomas White, a draper aged 22 and born in Shotteswell, as a visitor to  the home of William Wakelin In Bicester when he was accompanied by his wife Ann (probably William Wakelin's sister) and their four month old son, Thomas Oscar White. This Thomas would not be of the correct age to have been that one who died in New South Wales 3 years later (then he would have been 25 not 27 which is the age given on the gravestone and presumably Thomas' mother would have known his correct age to be inscribed there). However it is easily imagined that the age recorded in the census is incorrect, especially if it were being reported by his brother-in-law who may have had a stab at it for the purpose of completing the census. It is quite possible that Thomas, Ann and Thomas Oscar were visiting the Wakelins to say goodbye to them before setting off for Australia. We should also note that the Shotteswell parish records mention the baptism of only one Thomas, son of Richard and Elizabeth, on 28 December 1827 and no other Thomas White appears in the baptismal records until 1842. Therefore any Thomas White recorded in the 1851 census as being in their early twenties and as having been born in Shotteswell must be the son of Richard and Elizabeth and therefore must be the young man who died in Australia (despite the anomalous age recorded in the census). 
  It appears that Thomas, Ann and Thomas Oscar emigrated voluntarily to New South Wales which was something that a lot of families from all over Great Britain and Ireland were doing during that period. They must have travelled to Australia between March 1851 when the census of that year was held and before March 1854 when Thomas is known to have died. Unfortunately, I have not found the family appearing on any of the migrant ship passenger lists for that period (although there are 2 or 3 Thomas Whites of the correct age traveling alone to Australia but the details are not convincing that any of them is the correct individual). I do not think that we can yet be sure about why Thomas White and his family were in Australia in 1854 but presumably they had gone there with the hope of establishing a business there and starting a new life:  this is of course against the background of the growing problems for the English rural economy which seemed to have resulted in his uncle losing his farm.

                         The gravestone of Richard & Elizabeth (Hawtin) White, St. Laurence Churchyard,            
                                    which also records the death of their son, Thomas, in Australia in 1854.

 Australian records show that Thomas Oscar married Alice McGuiness, daughter of Hugh and Margaret McGuiness and born on 2 June 1855 in Hobart, Tasmania, in 1872 in Newcastle, New South Wales in 1872 but he died at the age of 39 in 1888 in Ryde, New South Wales.
Another son of Richard and Elizabeth White, James Hawtin White, married Annie Ledbrook, born in Shotteswell in 1843, in Leamington Prior on 24 July 1866. In 1861, James had been recorded as a "farmer of 22 acres", clearly a very great decrease in the total amount of land he possessed compared with that owned by first, his father and then, his widowed mother, which had been 105 acres in 1851. We also note that his brother, Richard (born 1818), who seems to have led a privileged early life, seemed to have experienced a dramatic loss of social status. He had married Jane Taylor (born 1814) at St. Laurence Church on 9 April 1838 and in the records he was described as a farmer. They had a number of children recorded in the Shotteswell parish records:- James (baptised 27 May 1839, buried 12 March 1841, aged 2), Julia (13 November 1840), Mary (20 June 1841), Richard (6 November 1842), Judith Jane (19 October 1845), Elizabeth (31 May 1846) and possible twins, Anne and another James, baptised together on 22 February 1852 but James died in 1858 and was buried at St. Laurence Church on 7 April 1858.
  In the 1861 census, Richard was described as an "agricultural worker", having been a "farmer" in 1841 and an "annuitant" in 1851. He and Jane were living in Shotteswell High Street in 1861 near his Uncle William and cousin Joice. With them were their children Richard, then aged 18, and Ann, then 12. His "profession" may have been wrongly recorded for his annuity had been large enough for him to be living off it, as well as supporting his large family with it, ten years earlier. But, possibly he was profligate with his spending and does not seem then to have any land, so his social status was reduced to that of a labourer, a term, I suspect that he would have considered an affront if applied to him. But his fourth child, Richard, was certainly doing the work of a servant, which would be consistent with his family losing money and status - he was employed as a wagoner at the Malt Shovel Inn in Southam. Jane died in 1863 and was buried at St. Laurence graveyard on 13 August 1863. 
  In the 1871 census, we find Richard living as a widower, lodging in the house of a general shopkeeper, Sarah Burton, in Cornelia Terrace in Warkworth in Northamptonshire. Under "rank, profession or occupation" he firmly described himself as a "gentleman" - how this equates with his record ten years earlier as a labourer is a mystery. When his daughter, Judith, married Josiah Eastwood, a forgeman from West Derby in Liverpool, on 26 December 1872 at Ladbroke parish church in Warwickshire, at which Richard acted as a witness, he described himself again as a "gentleman". In 1881 Richard was still lodging with Sarah Burton but at a new address, in Middleton Road in Warkworth where there was also two more lodgers of rather lower social status, a tin plate maker from Birmingham and a railway porter. On this occasion, Richard described himself as "independent", so clearly he was still living off his annuity.
  Richard lived long enough to be included in the 1891 census. By then he was living with his daughter Ann and was now "living on his own means". Ann, who was then 43, had married Joseph Buckingham (born 1836), a blacksmith from Silverstone in Northamptonshire where the couple were living with their three children:- Thomas (then aged 18 and also a blacksmith), Joseph (aged 14) and William (12). Richard died, still with the Buckingham family, on 30 April 1891 and the probate record reads "1891 28 July Administration of the Personal Estate of Richard White late of Silverstone in the County of Northampton Gentleman a Widower who died 30 April 1891 at Silverstone was granted at Northampton to Judith Jane Eastwood (Wife of Josiah Eastwood) of West Street Crewe in the County of Chester the Daughter and one of the Next of Kin". According to this, at least, he remained a "Gentleman" to the end.
  James Hawtin and Annie White had eight children:- James Hawtin (baptised 10 November 1867), John Ledbrook (11 July 1869), Marianne (born in 1871 in Little Kineton), Thomas William (baptised 11 April 1873), Eliza Annie (baptised 4 June 1876), Annie (born 1878), Sarah Louise (born 1879) and Alice (born 1880). The 1871 census records that the family was living at Jones' Farm House in the village of Kineton, the church tower of which is from where Oliver Cromwell is said to have watched part of the Battle of Edgehill in 1642 before sliding down the bell rope to get back to the fight. James' fortune seemed to have improved remarkably by the 1881 census, the family had by then moved to the village of Warmington, where they were living in a "Farm House" and James was recorded as "Farmer of 469 acres employing 6 Labourers & 2 Boys". In 1891, James and his family were living in Shotteswell itself and he was described simply as a "Farmer" and in 1901 the family's address was given as 1 Top Road, Shotteswell with James, at the age of 67, still a farmer. James died on 10 February 1905 in Shotteswell and was buried in St. Laurence Churchyard. His will passed through probate in London on 28 March 1905 and was divided between his widow, here called Eliza Anne, and his son William Thomas White, butcher, the effects totalling £2,411-3s-6d. Interestingly his home village's name is spelt as Schotteswell in the document. Annie, James' widow, died in 1926 but is not buried in James' grave with him.
  Thomas William had indeed become a butcher and lived in Kineton. He married Sarah Ann Fawk who had been born in Knighton in Radnorshire in 1876 and they had three children:- Alice Mary (born 4 January 1904), William James (born 5 December 1904) and Alan Thomas (born 11 July 1907). William James married Margaret Cullen Channing from Wolston in Warwickshire on 7 February 1929 and they emigrated to Salisbury, the capital of Southern Rhodesia. They both died in an accident there on 7 February 1945, leaving a son who had been born in Salisbury in 1934 and who returned to Warwick in England where his Uncle Alan adopted him. Alan died in Warwick in 1960, his son having married and having four children.
  After the death of James Hawtin White, there were very few Whites living in Shotteswell itself. The 1911 census records only two people with the surname to be living in the village, unmarried brother and sister, Tom and Florence Emily White, who were farming there. They were descended from Thomas White who had married a woman whose first name was Elizabeth, the son of the Richard White who had married Kezia Curtis (his father was the brother of John White and had married Sarah Bradford). This branch of the family was the wealthiest and maintained its links with Shotteswell well into the 20th century.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Move To Birmingham.

  Richard White gets married

  On 8 February 1853, William's fourth son, married Harrieta Oliver, born in 1831 in the nearby village of Tysoe. She was the daughter of Richard Oliver, born in 1785 in Tysoe, and his wife Hannah who had been born in 1791 in Stratford On Avon. The wedding did not take place in Shotteswell but in the Baptist Chapel in Shipston-on-Stour. The marriage certificate described Richard as a "Farmer", coming from "Shotswell near Banbury". The fathers' professions are given as "Farmer" for William White and "Baker" for Richard Oliver. The wedding was witnessed by a William Heritage and Richard's sister, Joice. The marriage was performed by Charles Wright, the Registrar. The place of marriage is surprising given the White family's previous firm Anglican beliefs but it may be that the Olivers were non-Conformist and that the couple were married in Shipston to fulfill the wishes of Harrieta's family.
  William's second son, William, had married Temperance Batchelor, from Bourton in Oxfordshire, on 23 May 1844 and the 1851 census finds them also living in Hardwick Road in Neithrop with William working, like his older brother, as a publican . With them were their three children, Emelia (age 3), Caroline (aged 2) and William Elijah, born in 1850. Temperance died tragically in spring 1852 and William's death was registered in April 1858 at Banbury. In the 1861 census, William Elijah was recorded as living with his uncle, Nathaniel Carpenter, in Bourton. Nathaniel, who originated from Northamptonshire, was the husband of Jemima, Temperance's sister, and was a farmer of 23 acres. Jemima and Nathaniel had three children living with them on their farm (Charles, aged 24, James, aged 19 and Emma, aged 17).

  Richard and Harrieta go to Birmingham

  Some time between their wedding in 1853 and the 1861 census, Richard and Harrieta left the rural life of south Warwickshire and set up home in Birmingham. The reasons for doing so are not known now but may have been related to the financial consequences on his father's farm of the general faltering rural economy following the repeal of The Corn Laws as described above or perhaps a disagreement between Richard and his father about his decision to marry into a Non-Conformist family. The first reason is the most likely, for between 1851 and 1861, something terrible seems to have happened so that Old William's status changed from that of "farmer" of a considerable acreage to "agricultural labourer" - he appears to have lost the farm. It my be that his sons left and as a consequence he could not continue to manage the farm or, conversely, that he lost the farm and his sons decided to start a new life in the towns and cities. William's wife, Elizabeth, died in 1860 and her funeral took place at St. Laurence Church on 1 June 1860. By the 1861 census we find that not only had Richard departed for Birmingham but his youngest son, George Henry, had also moved there. Thomas, William's third son, is not found in the 1861 census and I have not found what happened to him in any records. John Cox, now recorded as being an "agricultural labourer", was also living in Neithrop with his wife Mary and his son William as well as his two daughters, Ann (in the previous census named as Anna Marion), aged 14 and eight year old Sarah
  William himself was living in High Street in Shotteswell with his daughter, Joice, then aged 28. Ten years later, the 1871 census seems to indicate that Wiiliam's situation was even more diminished, he was still living with Joice and his occupation was described as "receiving parish relief" - a substantially reduced status when compared with that of twenty years before when he farmed 138 acres and employed men. 
  Also living with them was Richard Hughes, the son of one of William's other daughters, Sarah, and Richard Slicer Hughes, a baker from Twyford MIll in Buckinghamshire. Young Richard had been born in 1859 in Launton, a village on the outskirts of Bicester, and he had an older sister, Eliza E, who had been born in 1854. Their father had died by the 1871 census although that of 1861 shows that Sarah and Richard Senior had been living quite comfortably in Launton and had a young general servant with them in their home, called Charlotte Foster. Sarah herself is next found in the 1881 census, living in Aston Manor, near Birmingham, and is the head of the family, living with her daughter, Eliza and her husband, Henry Hilary Duval, who had been born in Leek in Staffordshire in 1853 and who was working as a leather dresser, as well as their two year old daughter, Annie Marion who had been born in Aston. Sarah stayed with her daughter's family when they moved, first to Worcester where 5 more children were born to them, a second having already been born in Aston, John Henry, in 1881. These children were:- Ethel Maud (born 1884), Jessie Fanny (1885), Harry Austin (1886), Rose Lily (1888) and Albert Edwin (born 1889) and then to Frome in Somerset where they were living by the 1891 census. Sarah died in March 1900 at the age of 77, still with her family in Frome. I am not sure of the fate of young Richard Hughes after 1871.
  Old William White eventually died, aged 80, in Shotteswell on 1 January 1873 and his death certificate records the cause of death as "gasteric (sic) fever Certified". The informant was Ann Walden who was present at the death and William's occupation is recorded as "farmer". The death was registered at Cropredy, sub-district of Banbury on 3 January 1873 and his funeral was held at St. Laurence Church in Shotteswell on 6 January.
  It is interesting that no member of his family registered the death and it does not seem that Joice who had been loyal for many years was with him. Indeed she had got married at the age of 43 to James Bonner in June 1874 and in the 1881 census was recorded as living at No. 6 Bear Garden Road, Neithrop with her husband who was working as a builder's clerk. James was 12 years older than Joice and had been born in Boddicott in Oxfordshire. It is pleasing to think that this woman who turns up in this history from time to time seemed to have found happiness with a man at last - she had done her share for her family - witnessing her brother Richard's potentially controversial wedding, looking after her widowed sister's oldest son and taking care of her elderly father, in poor circumstances, over many years. Of the many characters I have come across in the history of the White family, Joice, I think, is one of my favourites. 
  Sadly, James died in 1888, his death being registered at Banbury in April 1888. Joice is next to be found in the 1891 census living with her eldest sister, Mary, and her eldest brother, John Cox, all widowed and living in the village of Broughton, near Banbury. Mary was described as a licensed victualler and John as a retired farmer. Mary had married Thomas Bull, who had been born in the Oxfordshire village of North Newington in 1820 and they lived at Lodge Farm in Horley, according to the 1861 census. At that time he was recorded as a farmer but in the census ten years previous he was described as an innkeeper of The Woolpack Inn in Horse Fair in north Banbury. Clearly inn keeping suited the couple more than farming for this was what they had returned to in the 1871 census and Thomas Bull was then the innkeeper at The Saye and Sele Arms in the village of  Broughton which is still in business today. It is part of The Broughton Estate, the ancestral home of Lord and Lady Saye and Sele and the family seat of the Fiennes family from 1377. The couple lived at that inn until they both died. They do not seem to have had any children. Thomas died in 1884, his death being registered at Banbury in July 1884.
  Joice died in 1893, her death being registered at Banbury in October 1893. John Cox died in 1898, his death being registered in the January to March quarter of that year. Mary outlived all her siblings apart from the much younger George Henry by dying at the age of 80, her death being registered at Banbury in the first quarter of 1899.

Saye & Sele Arms 2012. The one storey extension at the right of the picture has been added since Mary Bull lived at the inn with her brother and sister.

  We do not know precisely when Richard and Harrieta arrived in Birmingham but the 1861 census records them as living at Ladywood Place in Ladywood. Richard is described as a "labourer" in the census. Their first son, Oliver, was born in 1863 in Edgbaston and the birth of his younger brother, John Henry, was registered in Kings Norton in the second quarter of 1868. The family was recorded as living at 4 Court in Parker Street in Edgbaston in the 1871 census. This was a back-to-back house but was probably quite uncramped as Richard and Harriet (which she appears to be known as by then) had just the two boys while some families at that time were trying to pack as many as ten children in that sort of property. Richard was then employed as a gardener - there would have been plenty of potential customers in the grand houses of surrounding, wealthy Edgbaston. Their own home lay just a short walk from The Oratory which had been founded by John Henry Newman, who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, and Perrott's Folley, an Edgbaston landmark, could be seen from Parker Street - this was one of two structures in the area which are said to have impressed the young JRR Tolkein and inspired "the Two Towers" which appear in his "Lord Of The Rings" books.
  The family still lived in Parker Street in 1881 at 9 Court 7 House. Richard continued to be a gardener and Oliver had also taken up that work. Richard died suddenly on 18 August 1888, apparently at home in Parker Street and his death certificate gives the cause as "natural death syncope" and was issued by the coroner and registered on 24 August 1888.

  Going North

  The Whites, particularly those of old William's line, were gradually moving further and further away from Shotteswell. While John Cox had stayed in the Banbury area, his second son, Thomas Henry, found himself traveling even further afield than Birmingham. In 1871, we find him, as a 24 year old, living in lodgings in Chesterfield in Derbyshire in the home of James Stubbs in Louth Street and working as a coal miner. By the 1891 census he had moved to West Yorkshire and was living in the Wakefield area and still working as a miner. He was lodging in Sharlston as a lodger of the Webster family but by 1901, John Webster the head of family had died, and Thomas, then aged 55, had married his widow, Fanny Webster, aged 46 (born in Swinton) in 1893. Living with them were Fanny's children:- Gertrude, aged 12, Harriet (11) and Fanny (8), who were described as Thomas' step-daughters and the couple's shared children - Arthur, aged 6, and Eva, aged 4. In that census Thomas was described as a coal miner hewer. By 1911, the family had moved to Great Houghton, a mining village east of Barnsley, and also living with them there was 26 year old George Webster, Thomas' oldest stepson, who was also a coal miner. By then, the 16 year old Arthur was employed as a pit pony driver. Thomas died in 1916 at the age of 70, his death being registered at Hemsworth in June 1916. The Shotteswell Whites were spreading wider and wider.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Whites -- Early to Mid-nineteenth Century.

 Good Times and the Swing Riots

  The Whites were now well established as farmers with old John White's eldest son, Thomas, becoming a farmer at Pollicott Farm in Ashenden in Buckinghamshire. The cousin of the three brothers, Richard White, the eldest surviving son of Thomas, old John's brother, and Sarah (Bradford), was farming at Fenny Compton. The farmers were not tenant farmers but land owners - the list of landowners in the county of Warwickshire for 1820 includes the names of John White and Thomas White at Shotteswell and presumably the next generation inherited their land from those two senior members of the family.
  Richard White married Kezia Curtis of Farnborough in Warwickshire on (May 1802 and they had a number of children born at Fenny Compton:- Emma (born 1803), Richard Thomas (born in 1804 and described in a later census as "mentally incompetent" when he was living as an adult with one of his brothers as an annuitant although it is not clear with that mental state had been lifelong), Thomas (born 1805 and died before 1810), Richard (born 1807), John, (1808), a second Thomas (1810), Sarah (1814) and Edward, born in 1816.  The most notable of these children is Thomas who married Elizabeth Proffitt who had been born in Balscott in Oxfordshire (I presume that to be her surname since many of the couple's offspring were named "Proffitt White" but I can not find evidence of there being a family in Balscott by that name in the 1841 census and I have not seen that village's parish records) since his line appears to have become the holders of the largest amount of wealth and land in the area.
 The Whites were therefore flourishing as an extended family in the area of Shotteswell and other nearby villages. They may not have had many agricultural workers labouring for them in the early years as the large number of sons born to the families are described as "farmers' sons" in the occupational section of the early censuses and this implies that they were performing duties on the farms. This may have been just as well as a widespread uprising of rural workers against their employers began in 1830 as the labourers attempted to halt wage reductions that were taking place and also to put a stop to the introduction of the new threshing machines that threatened their livelihoods. This uprising, called "The Swing Riots" after their probably mythical leader, Captain Swing, took the form of the destruction of threshing machines, cattle-maiming, rick-burning and full rioting. Fortunately for the Whites, Warwickshire was less affected by the riots than some other counties, particularly Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, berkshire and the East Anglian counties. At meetings the rioters demanded a minimum wage, the end of rural unemployment and tithe and rent reductions. Riots were often more likely to occur in larger villages where people were more anonymous (Shotteswell does not fit that description). We may conclude therefore that the Whites may have been untouched by these dark events in the English countryside which resulted in 1,976 trials of the rioters with nineteen of them being hanged, 505 being transported and 644 being imprisoned. The riots gradually faded away but the countryside remained uneasy. Life for the poor became even more difficult as the government passed The Poor Law Amendment Act in 1836 which made it more difficult for the impoverished to obtain help and the movement to repeal The Corn Law was growing in strength which, if successful, would result in the collapse of prices to the farmers. Despite all these uncertainties the Whites carried on with their business, increasing the size of their families and obviously becoming numerous and quite important in their local communities, second only to family of the local squire. 
  Joseph Arch, born in 1826 in Warwickshire and future founder of the Agricultural Workers' Union, left an account of Warwickshire village life in the period of the Anti-Corn Law campaign, between 1838 and 1846. Not surprisingly, the description centres on the hard life of the poor agricultural worker and highlights the way the poor were expected to behave towards their "betters". The parson's wife in his village expected the wives of the labourers to curtsey to her before they took their pews in church which was a way of showing homage and respect to those "put in authority over them". At the communion service, "First walked up the squire to the communion rails; the farmers walked up next (in Shotteswell, I wonder which went first, William and Elizabeth (Terrill) and their gaggle of children or Richard, the elder brother, with Elizabeth (Hawtin) and their offspring? - presumably Richard's family took precedence but I wonder if there was competition between the two brothers, or at least, the two wives, in claiming the superior spot in the micro-society of Shotteswell); then went up the tradesmen, the shopkeepers, the wheelwright and the blacksmith; and then, very last of all went the poor agricultural workers in their smock frocks". 
  Arch recorded that during the period, the teaching in most village schools was of very poor quality. It is difficult to know how good an education the White children would have received but one of the families, Thomas White's in Ashenden, had a governess living with them to educate the children, according to one of the mid-nineteeth century censuses. No such post is recorded in William White's household although, in 1841, he and Elizabeth did have a manservant, Daniel Tims, aged 18 and a female servant, Eliza Purser, aged 17, living in their home.
  According to Arch, "We labourers had no lack of lords and masters....There was the squire, with his hand of iron overshadowing us all....He lorded it right feudally over his tenants, the farmers....Most of the farmers were oppressors of the poor; they put on the iron wage-screws and screwed the labourers' wages down, doen below the living point....". It would be pleasing to think that our ancestors were somewhat kinder towards those they dealt with, especially the labourers of the district who worked in their fields, but we can not be sure. In the mid-nineteenth century, Shotteswell was described as a "poor and very unimportant parish" and possibly the local farmers were not well-off enough to show any generosity towards those who worked for them. Uncertainty about their financial futures would also have made them hesitant to have allowed too much of their money to leave them, the growing strength of the Anti-Corn Law movement would have made them fearful of an approaching great loss of their income and not surprisingly they would not have felt too generous to those who were campaigning to cut the financial ground from under their feet.

   The repeal of The Corn Laws

  On 25 June 1846, Sir Robert Peel, supported by The Duke Of Wellington, but opposed by Benjamin Disraeli, led a combination of Conservatives, Whigs and Radicals in passing the repeal of the Corn Laws. The Conservative government collapsed as a result. The Corn Laws had attempted to fix the price of corn in the range of 70/- to 80/- per quarter (eight bushels) by varying the import duty on foreign corn as the price of domestic corn varied; after 1850 the average price of corn for the next two decades was greatly reduced at 52/- per quarter. With the collapse in prices, farmers reduced their corn production severely - by 1885 corn-growing land in England declined by a million acres and 1886 the corn price fell to 31/- per quarter. In the 1830's, Britain imported just 2% of its grain, in the 1880"s, 65% of corn needs were filled from abroad. From 1871 to 1881, the workforce of agricultural labourers fell by 92,250 while urban workers increased by 53,496.
  All this had its effects on the White family and probably had the most devastating effect on William White and his children. Prior to the main disaster, William's eldest son, John Cox, put aside any interest in farming and became an innkeeper in Neithrop which is now a suburb of Banbury. On 10 May 1840 he had married Mary Whittlesea of Warmington and their first child, William, was born later in 1840 but he was not baptised in Shotteswell (he was later to become a butcher). John and Mary's next child, Thomas Henry, however, was baptised at St. Laurence Church on 12 July 1844 and the records interestingly describe John Cox's occupation as that of a "farmer's son". Their final child, Anna Marion, was also baptised in Shotteswell on 13 June 1846 and once again John's occupation was described as a "farmer's son".
  Alarmingly, the 1851 census which was held on 30 March 1851 finds John Cox to be a prisoner in Oxford Jail. I believe that this is the John White who was sentenced to three months imprisonment for the crime of larceny at the Oxford Court Trinity Sessions held on 14 July 1851 (I can find no other John White in the records who fits the bill). Clearly the sentencing occurred after the census so I presume that John Cox was in prison on the date of the census being held as a remand prisoner. The same census finds his wife, Mary, occupied as a publican in Neithrop, presumably having taken charge of the public house that she and her husband were previously recorded as living in, while John was in prison. 
  Meanwhile the 1851 census recorded William White himself living in Shotteswell, working as a farmer "of 137 acres employing 3 laborers" (sic), aged 59, and with his wife, Elizabeth, aged 55. Also in the same household were his children, Thomas, aged 25 "Farmer's son employ on Farm", Richard, 24 and George, 17 (employment details as for Thomas), Emma, 16, "Farmer's daur. empd at home", Charlotte, 13 (employment details as for Emma), John Smith, 19, servant employed as a "waggoner" and John Bayliss, widower, aged 68 employed as a butcher who was visiting the family. This census is very interesting: firstly it gives us a picture of William, almost 60 years of age, living apparently comfortably with his wife and family, farming a sizeable amount of land and employing men to work on it. Secondly the name of the visitor may be highly significant, since John Bayliss may have been a cousin of William's through his presumed grandmother, Elizabeth Bayliss, which would of course point to Thomas White and Elizabeth Bayliss being the correct Thomas and Elizabeth who had appeared in the Shotteswell parish records a century before having originated and been married in Bloxham, thus making us more confident in tracing our ancestry back to Willelmus Whit of Bloxham who paid his poll tax in 1377. Of course, the visitor's surname may be wholly coincidental. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Shotteswell Brothers and Cousins.


  Shotteswell is a small parish of 1305 acres which is a tiny piece of Warwickshire jutting out into, and surrounded on three sides by, northern Oxfordshire. In the middle of the nineteenth century it was described as "a poor and very unimportant parish" but a description of the village from 1949 says that it was by then "a pleasant rural community, consisting of cottages and farms clustered around the church, and forming steep and narrow lanes. The buildings are mainly of the local dark-brown sandstone, and the majority are thatched....The Flying Fox Inn (this appears to be an error as the pub was actually called "The Flying Horse") is of the local stone, built around a courtyard. There are the remains of a village green. The soil is red clay over a stratum of rock, and the land is principally pastoral". The name of the village is from the old English meaning Scott's Well. Locals pronounce the village's name as "Satchell".
  The village had not been mentioned in William The Conqueror's Domesday Book but may have been included with the neighbouring village of Warmington and later in 1386, it was described as a hamlet. The parish church of St. Laurence probably pre-dates some construction of the mid-tweflth century and additions to it continued to be made in later centuries. Nearby surrounding villages include Hanwell, Mollington, Fenny Compton and Cropredy.

St Laurence Church, Shotteswell.

  Two Cousins, a Mother and a Daughter

  John White II married Elizabeth Bradford on 17 July 1775 at St. Laurence Church. She was born in Shotteswell in 1754 and was the daughter of Sarah Bradford, born in 1733 as Sarah Kee, the widow of William Bradford. Sarah's parents, Job Kee and Mary Webb, had been married in Hook Norton, a village to the southwest of Banbury. Interestingly Sarah Bradford had married Thomas, John's  cousin (the son of Thomas White and Anne Slow), earlier in the year on 26 January 1775 in Shotteswell. Hence in the space of a few short months the White cousinss married a mother and her daughter. The will of William Bradford had left most of his estate to Elizabeth, so presumably John found himself marrying a young woman with a sizeable fortune. It is interesting to note that we find in the signatures on John and Elizabeth's marriage banns that, while John had a fine signature (see below), Elizabeth merely made her mark on the document suggesting that despite her being the daughter of a well-off yeoman, she was actually illiterate. Thomas' sister, Mary, meanwhile married another inhabitant of Shotteswell, John Coleman (born 1733), on 20 January (? - month unclear) 1764. 


The above signatures are written in a document in which John and Thomas were acting as executors of the will of Richard White who died in 1804 and who presumably was Thomas' older brother and John's cousin. The burial of Richard White, yeoman, is recorded in the Shotteswell parish records on 5 August 1804. Richard's wealth is illustrated by the fact that he was able to make a loan of £300 to a John Hopkins of Sibford Gower, a village to the west of Banbury, on which the security was a 31 acre property in that village, the deal being recorded in an indenture dated 13 November 1800

  Even if the Whites had not been established to any great extent in Shotteswell prior to 1699 they were now an important family in the village particularly by marriages into local families and by the production of a large number of children. By the time he died on 18 September 1811 in Mollington at the age of 77, during the Napoleonic Wars, Thomas had been able to witness his children working on a large part of the land in the surrounding countryside. He had achieved such a status in that small society, and was of sufficient wealth, that he was buried in the chancel of St Laurence Church with his wife, Sarah, who died in 1812 at the age of 72 and was buried with him  on 9 February 1812.
   John, meanwhile, lived to the age of 79 having been recorded in the list of 6 Shotteswell freeholders who voted in the parliamentary election of 1820 - 21 which resulted in the electoral victory of Lord Liverpool (the other Shotteswell voters were Thomas White, 2 Thomas Colemans, Dix Thomas and James Hawtin). When John diesp, as mentionad above, he was buried in the section of the graveyard at the front of, and close to, the body of St. Laurence Church on 8 April 1823 with Elizabeth, his wife, who had died, aged 54, on 5 August 1814 and had been buried on 7 August 1814.

Graves of Thomas and Sarah White, St. Laurence Church chancel, Shotteswell.

  The Children of John and Elizabeth White

  John and Elizabeth White had a number of children - the first to be recorded in the Shotteswell parish records is John who was baptised on 27 December 1778 but sadly died at the age of five, being buried on 7 September 1785. Their next child was Elizabeth, baptised on 24 December 1780 and there then followed Richard (19 May 1782), Sara (10 December 1783), Thomas (26 January 1785), Mary (18 April 1790, buried 5 December 1795) and William (baptised 6 May 1792). 
  Meanwhile John's cousin, Thomas, and his wife, Sarah, had had the following children born in Mollington:- Thomas, born 1775, John, born 1779, Richard, born 1780, William, born 1781, Edward, born 1784, and Elizabeth, born in 1786. 
 The years of the Napoleonic Wars were good times for farmers and agricultural workers because of the need to meet England's food requirements during the time of war. Corn prices were high so we can believe that John, Elizabeth and their burgeoning family were living well at Shotteswell. However, with the end of the war in 1815, disaster loomed for the countryside as a severe recession hit England. The number of agricultural workers was greatly increased by the men demobilised from the armed forces and cheap cereal from abroad brought down the price of corn. Lord Liverpool's Tory government passed the 1815 Corn Law in order to protect prices against the competition of these less expensive imports thus driving up the price of bread but thereby causing widespread opposition to the law not just in the towns and cities but also among the very poorly paid agricultural workers. A wide gulf had now opened up between farmers and their impoverished labourers. Dark times lay ahead.

 Richard White and Elizabeth Hawtin

  John's sons, Richard, William and Thomas all married and began their own families. Richard married Elizabeth Hawtin, born in Shotteswell in 1796, on 13 October 1814. The surname Hawtin is interesting since it also occurs in the Bloxham parish records. William married Elizabeth Terrill, whose family came from Shotteswell, on 1 June 1815. Thomas married Mary Coleman. also from Shotteswell, on 14 September 1815. It had been a busy 12 months for John's family  when it came to arranging weddings. Later, after Mary's death at the age of 31 (buried 4 April 1823) Thomas married Mary Treadwell who had been born in Westbury in Buckinghamshire.
  Richard and Elizabeth (Hawtin) lived in Shotteswell and had eight children:- John,  baptised 18 December 1814 (the parish record gives his father's occupation as "farmer") and buried, having died at the age of 25 weeks on 12 June 1815, Elizabeth (baptised 31 March 1815 and died at the age of 10 on 2 January 1827), Sarah (baptised in 23 January 1820), a second John, baptised 15 January 1822, Martha, (17 March 1824), James Hawtin (baptised 20 August 1826 and buried 9 December 1826), Thomas (28 December 1827), a second Elizabeth (14 June 1829), a second James Hawtin (8 April 1833), Mary Anne (4 March 1836 and buried 3 February 1843) and Julia (baptised 13 November 1840 and buried on 3 February 1843, aged 2 years). Of Richard and Elizabeth's eleven children, four had died in infancy or childhood and as we shall see later, further tragedy awaited them with another of their children.

 William White and Elizabeth Terrill

 Meanwhile, Richard's brother, William, my direct ancestor and his wife, Elizabeth (Terrill) were to rival and surpass Richard and Elizabeth in the number of children that they produced. Their first child was Elizabeth, baptised at St. Laurence Church by the curate, W. M. Pearce on the 31 March 1815. In the parish records, William was described as a "farmer". There then followed John Cox, baptised on 26 May 1817, Mary (26 July 1818), William (30 June 1820), Anne (6 November 1821), Sarah (2 June 1823), Joice (baptised 22 August 1824 and buried 18 December 1830, aged 6), Thomas (baptised 28 October 1825), Richard who was baptised on 6 October 1826 by the Curate, the Reverend Aiden Bayley, Eleanor Terrill, (7 May 1830), a second Joice (21 September 1831), George Henry (1 January 1834), Emma (22 November 1835) and Charlotte (17 November 1837). In all, Elizabeth had provided William with fourteen children in the space of 21 years, a formidable achievement by that remarkable woman. The two White brothers who lived in the village of Shotteswell had populated it with 22 new inhabitants between them although of course their offspring did not all live beyond childhood.



Sunday, 16 September 2012

Origins of the Whites of Shotteswell.

  Origins of the White Family
The surname "White" is said to derive from the middle English word "whit" meaning "white" which was used as a nickname for a person with very light hair or complexion. In some cases it derives from the Anglo-Saxon word " whit" meaning valiant or alternatively may have originated as a local name from the Isle Of Wight, off the south coast of England. In the latter case it is interesting to note that the National Trust map of British surnames for 1881 shows that the highest concentration of people with the surname White was living in Hampshire and Dorset - and the name gradually became less common in more northerly counties with the surname being relatively common in Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire as well as Oxfordshire. Apart from groupings of the name in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire as well as Lothian and the eastern borders of Scotland, the name is quite rare north of Warwickshire. This suggests that the Whites may have originally lived on the south coast, in Wessex or The Isle Of Wight, and then gradually migrated northwards resulting in our ancestors arriving at, and living in, north Oxfordshire before or during the 14th century. By the time that Thomas Cromwell had ordered the establishment of parish records during the reign of Henry VIII, there were many Whites living in and around Banbury in north Oxfordshire.

In fact modern scientific methods mean that we can now trace the White family ancestors a lot further back than the middle ages. In 2012 the Y chromosome signature of a maternal first cousin of mine who was born in 1960, was examined by the Oxford Ancestors unit which indicated that there was a high probability that his male genetic ancestors could be identified as originating  with a prehistoric male ancestor whom they named "Oisin" (pronounced Osheen) who lived about 33000 BC,  sheltering from the Ice Age in western Europe, particularly in the area of northern Spain around The Basque Country, with his descendants traveling along the Iberian and French coasts before crossing the sea to settle in coastal England. 64% of modern English men are descended from this clan. Therefore the Whites' ancestors were really the first Englishmen once the last ice age had ended about 7000 BC. Furthermore as the clan of Oisin appears to be descended from an older clan, that of "Seth", which lived in the middle east about 50000 BC, we can trace the origin of the White family right back to the old stone age. Because the Y chromosome is directly inherited from father to son, all males in the family named White, alive or deceased, belong to the clan of Oisin and, even further back, to the clan of Seth
 When I first began to research the origin of my ancestors I found a family tree published on one of the internet websites which suggested that they were descended from a family by that name which originated in the town of Bloxham, three miles southwest of Banbury, but I have not yet seen definite evidence to support that theory. I contacted the publisher of that family tree to ask about any evidence that he had access to which confirmed the link between the Bloxham and Shotteswell Whites but he has not responded to my communication. It may well be that an origin in Bloxham is indeed correct but there is also evidence to the contrary and it is difficult to reconcile the various strands of information that I have obtained so far. However if we do indeed accept the Bloxham origin for the present then our ancestors can be traced back to the mid-16th century in parish records and earlier in other documents including, in one case, as far back as the late 14th century. We can definitely trace our ancestors back to the beginning of the 18th century when an individual called Thomas White was living in the small south Warwickshire village of Shotswell (as it was then spelt) according to the parish records. From 1699 to 1739 there are probably three different Thomas Whites recorded in the sadly incomplete Shotswell parish records and before 1699 there are only one or two references in the records to suggest that the Whites were a well established family in Shotswell. So if they did not originate in Shotswell itself, where was their original home?

 The Whites in Bloxham

  Accepting, for the moment at least, that Bloxham is indeed the original home of our branch of the White family then we find that the earliest identifiable name to be recorded in official documents is that of Willelmus Whit, one of the three citizens of Bloxham who paid the poll tax introduced by King Richard II in 1377 (recorded at Oxford on Friday 3 April 1377, the other Bloxham citizens being Thomas Gardener and Robert Hanecok). Willelmus - William - also appears in the records of the 1379 poll tax as Willelmus Whyte of the "Ville de Bloxham" who paid 6d. One further poll tax was levied in 1381 but I have not found any record of William on that occasion and this may be because much of the Bloxham record for that year is now unreadable. The poll taxes eventually resulted in The Peasants' Revolt. This record confirms that there was a member of the White family living in Bloxham as early as 1377 and there are no other "Whites" recorded in the poll tax records so it may not be unreasonable to extrapolate that this Willelmus Whit is a direct ancestor of the family which appears in the earliest Bloxham parish records from the mid-sixteenth century. 

Another document to name later Whites in Bloxham is "The Probate Records Of The Courts Of The Bishop And Archbishop Of Oxford 1536 - 1732". This fills in some of the gap between the Poll Tax records and the first parish records. Probate is recorded for the following Whites of Bloxham:- Thomas Whyte (1546), John Whyte (1578), Thomas Whighte, husbandman (a tenant farmer) (1606), William Whighte Senior yeoman (a farmer who owned the land he farmed) (1611), Anne Whighte widow (1623), a second Anne Whighte widow (1631), William White Junior (1641), Thomas White gentleman (1672) and Thomas White yeoman (1706). It is reasonable to deduce that Thomas Whighte (husbandman) was the younger brother of William Whighte yeoman and that the latter inherited his land from their father John Whyte and he, in turn, was the son of Thomas Whyte. We may also think that one of the Annes was the widow of William Whighte and therefore the mother of the first William White to be mentioned in the parish records (see below) and the other, perhaps, of his brother,Thomas. 

 The first "White" to be recorded in the Bloxham parish records was William White who was probably born about 1588. Bloxham itself is a town whose name originated as the Old English Blocc's Ham meaning the home of Blocc, and dated from the 6th century when a Saxon settlement was built on the banks of a tributary of the Sor Brook. It is mentioned in The Domesday Book as the settlement of Blochesham and was first recorded as Bloxham in 1316. The parish's records allude to two William Whites in the early seventeenth century:- William Senior who was recorded as the father of Samuel who was baptised in the parish church of St. Mary on 5 September 1630 and William Junior who was the father of another William who was baptised on 10 October 1630 and may be the William White Junior whose will went to probate in 1641 - interestingly his last child was born in 1639 (see below). The terminology used in the parish records suggests that William Junior was the son of William Senior and we can calculate from this that William Junior was born about 1610. Charles White, son of Thomas, was baptised at St. Mary's Church on 6 November 1631 and I suggest that Thomas was a brother of William Junior. We may therefore conclude that William Senior had at least three sons, Thomas, William Junior and Samuel the latter being born some time after his older siblings.

  The records subsequently mention further baptisms of children of William White but do not apply the qualification of Junior or Senior to the father of the child and it is probably reasonable to assume that they are all the offspring of William Junior. These children are Thomas, baptised on 13 November 1631, Edmund ( 30 October 1634) and Edward who was baptised on 24 February 1638. Baptisms for Thomas' children are also recorded:- Anne (12 January 1633), Thomas (10 April 1636) and Mary (4 August 1639). Some of the children did not live long, the parish records mention the funerals of William's son, Edward, as being held on 5 March 1635 - clearly an earlier born child whose baptismal record is not to be found, Fulke, buried on 19 March 1636, baptismal record likewise not found and Benjamin, son of William, buried on 5 February 1638, again baptismal records not found. 

  The funeral of a William White is recorded as taking place on 26 April 1662. Presumably this was the funeral of William White Senior and on 14 October 1674 there was recorded the funeral of Joan White, widow, who was William Senior's long-lived widow. Joan is identified in a document of 1664 as the widow of William White (in the document, which is in Latin, she is called Joanna in) and the document relates to her tenancy of land of Lord Saye and Sele. Similar later documents also identify Joan and her son William as well as a daughter Hanna, a daughter not identified in the parish records. As the document was in Latin, her name may actually have been Anne, Hanna being the Latinised form. Further documents of dealings with Lord Saye and Sele show that Hanna or Ann married a local farmer called Stephen Gascoigne and that they had at least 2 sons who continued to inherit the tenancy of the same pieces of land from Lord Saye and Sele, William and Thomas. We know from these documents that Hanna was a spinster in 1664 but had married Stephen Gascoigne by 1674. The land in question was a piece north of Bloxham called Butt Acre described as being near the Milton Way. Thomas was granted the tenancy in 1698 in a document in which he is described as Thomas Gascoigne Senior (so presumably he had a son who was also named Thomas) and we learn that this assumption of the tenancy occurred as a result of the death of Hanna, who had been predeceased by her husband, Stephen.

 The funeral of William Junior's son, William, is probably that recorded on 6 March 1696 and the funeral of a Thomas White was held on 3 January 1672, probably William Junior's brother and surely the "Thomas White gentleman" whose will went to probate in 1672 as mentioned above. Finally, we may mention the funeral of Samuel White, the presumed third and youngest brother, which took place on 3 May 1667 and William Junior's daughter, Anne, is recorded as marrying William Willits at St. Mary's Church on 22 September 1672.
  I deduce, as mentioned above, that "William Whighte Senior yeoman" of the probate records of 1611 was the father of "William White Senior" of the parish records (obviously the term "Senior" passes on to the son down the generations once the father has died) and we can therefore trace the Whites back in a direct line to Thomas Whyte (probate recorded 1546 and estimated birth therefore about 1490). That Thomas Whyte was then a direct descendant of Willelmus Whit with the names of 3 or 4 generations between the two being unknown so far.

 There is no mention of the White family in the Bloxham parish records from 1639 until 1661 and this because during the English Civil War of 1642 to 1650, under the rule of The Commonwealth and The Protectorate until the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660, parliamentary officials kept their own records and the parish records were not used. This does, however, leave a gap where members of the family might otherwise have made an appearance in the parish records.
  William Junior's son, Edward, is now of prime interest to us. He married Margrit Measey  at St. Mary's Church on 1 February 1664 (recorded as a variant spelling of White - "Edward Whit"). The baptisms of several of their children were recorded subsequently:- "Anne daughter of Edward" was baptised on 22 April 1666, the year of the Great Fire Of London, George was baptised on 19 May 1667, Thomas on 13 August 1668, John on 2 December 1670 and Elizabeth on 22 June 1673. Sadly, burials of Edward's children are also recorded about that time:- Anne on 11 August 1667, William (baptism record not found) on 14 May 1675 and Elizabeth on 17 July 1675. Of Edward's children, the most important to us is John.

 The first event mentioned in the parish records after the reappearance of the Whites in those documents is the baptism of Samuel, son of Thomas White, on 25 October 1661. This Thomas is, presumably, the brother of Edward (born 1636) and he may have been born when the parish records were not being kept during the period of parliamentary rule. One other of Thomas' children is recorded - Dorothy, baptised on 4 July 1668. Edward's elder brother, William, also makes an appearance in the records as the father of Anne who was baptised on 2 July 1665.

   The Family of John White

  If we return to John White, we find that he married Alice Baker (or Parker) at St. Mary's Church on 30 December 1698 after the reading of banns. Previously recorded is the wedding of Thomas White, presumably the Thomas who was John's brother, to Anne Hiorns (the surname is difficult to read in the records) on 19 October 1696, also after the reading of banns. The baptism of John and Alice's first child, Elizabeth, was recorded on 8 November 1699, and subsequently we find further children mentioned:- Edward who was baptised on 9 March 1701, John, baptised on 3 November 1702, another John on 29 October 1704, Thomas on 30 October 1709 and Joseph on 4 April 1712. Burials that took place at this time of John's children that can be found in the records are that of an earlier born Thomas(baptismal record not found) on 19 November 1706 and of 11 month old Joseph on 5 May 1713. Other significant burials as evidenced in the parish records during this period include that of Margaret White, widow, on 12 April 1705, presumably Edward White's wife, an important ancestor of ours, and that of Edward himself, who had been buried on 16 May 1694, dying at the age of 56.

 A very notable feature of the Bloxham records from 1703 and for a few years afterwards is that the nature of the employment of the fathers of the children undergoing baptism was included in the baptism record. Of interest to us is the reference to the birth of John, son of John White in 1704 where the father is described as a Tinker which was a title meaning an itinerant mender of metal household utensils. The numerous records of John's children's baptisms in Bloxham suggest that John certainly lived in Bloxham and that the extent of his itinerance was limited to the surrounding villages of Banburyshire and that his work probably did not take him further afield. His "beat" may well have included regular visits to Shotteswell. John White died in 1745 and his funeral took place at St. Mary's Church on 16 June 1745 when he was aged about 75 years. Alice, his wife, had died 13 years before and been buried on 16 July 1732.

John White Junior, John's son, probably appears in the Bloxham parish records when he married Frances Hopkins (a variant spelling of "Witt" is used in the records) and his younger brother, Thomas, married Elizabeth Bayliss on 18 October 1732. A number of baptisms are recorded for John's children:- George (27 August 1732), John (30 November 1635), James (22 January 1738) and Ann (2 March 1740). There are no baptisms recorded in the Bloxham parish records to suggest that Thomas White was the father of any children born in the town and this would be highly compatible with the opinion that he and his new wife, Elizabeth, moved elsewhere after their marriage and that their new home could easily have been in Shotteswell. Certainly, it is highly likely that he would have been familiar with the village since his father probably visited it regularly in the course of his work and, in addition, young Thomas probably had relatives already living there as evidenced by the parish records of the church of St. Laurence in Shotteswell. As mentioned on page 1, there are three Thomas Whites noted in the Shotteswell records in the early eighteenth century, two predating the likely arrival of Thomas and Elizabeth from Shotteswell after 1732.

  There is very little to suggest that the Whites were present in numbers in Shotteswell prior to the beginning of the 18th century. From time to time a few people with the surname do appear in the parish record but in insufficient numbers to suggest that they were an established family there. This could be explained by the inadequacy of the Shotteswell records since those for baptisms from 1654 to 1812 and for weddings from 1566 to 1754 are mostly missing. The first White to be found in the Shotteswell records is George Whithe who married Maria Hodges(?) in St. Laurence Church in June 1578. Next we find that a woman called Issabella White was buried there on 6 May 1683. On 10 January 1704, the funeral of Sarah White, the daughter of Edward and Mary White, was conducted in St. Laurence Church and that of her sister, Martha, had previously taken place there on 29 October 1701.
  A number of baptisms of the children of Thomas and Elizabeth White were recorded from 1699, the first being that of their daughter, Elizabeth, on 17 March 1699. This was followed by the baptism of Richard on 26 July 1702 (and buried there in April 1703), Thomas (26 May 1704),  Jane in 1708,  Robert on 6 February 1710 (buried in ?June 1711), and John on 16 August 1713. Thomas Senior probably died in 1753, being buried on 13 April 1753, his wife having died in 1715 and having been buried on 2 June 1715.

 The marriage of a Thomas White (presumably the Thomas born in 1704) to Ann Slow, "Both of Shotteswell" took place at St. Laurence Church on 27 December 1724 and their children's baptisms are recorded:-  John (15 January 1726), James (16 March 1728 - he died in 1782 and his funeral is recorded as "James White widower buried 12 November 1782"), William (27 December 1730), Richard (28 November 1731), Mary (13 May 1733), Elizabeth (30 September 1740), Hester (8 June 1742) and a daughter called Ann whose baptism record has not been found. These names are of great interest because they are all to be found used repetitively and almost to the exclusion of any other Christian names, among our later ancestors and the use of the names by Thomas and Elizabeth White suggests that these Whites are likely to be closely related to Thomas and Elizabeth White who originated in Bloxham. I suspect that the Thomas White recorded as the father at Elizabeth's baptism in 1699 was in fact the uncle of Thomas White who had married Elizabeth Bayliss - that is - the brother of John White and that the Thomas who married Anne Slow was therefore the first cousin of our direct ancestor who therefore appears to have followed his uncle and family in moving from Bloxham to Shotteswell just over 30 years after his uncle had become established in the village. There is a family history of Conrad Frank Dickerson to be found on the internet which records Thomas White which states that he was "born about 1676 in Shotteswell". Since there is no record of his baptism in the St. Laurence parish records with no accurate date given in the piece by Dickerson, I can only conclude that the date and place of Thomas White's birth is speculative and does nothing to confirm that Thomas had been born in Shotteswell rather than Bloxham. Additionally, it identifies Thomas' wife as Elizabeth Adams who had been born in Welton, Northamptonshire and christened there on 22 January 1686 with their marriage taking place at Daventry on 2 January 1701 but this information is problematical since the wedding postdates the birth and christening of Thomas and Elizabeth's first child, Elizabeth, at Shotteswell in 1699.

  Thomas and Elizabeth (Bayliss) appear in the Shotteswell parish records as the parents of Thomas White who was baptised on 26 February 1737 and John White who was baptised on 5 June 1743, both in St. Laurence Church. Presumably the latter is the "John White farmer" whose funeral took place on 8 April 1823 when he had reached the age of 80 years as there are no other John Whites of the correct age or even the correct generation to be possibly identified as the octogenarian.  These are Thomas and Elizabeth's  only appearance as parents of a baptised child in the Shotteswell parish records and would be consistent with their arrival in the village after a move from Bloxham somewhere between their marriage in Bloxham in 1732 and their eldest son's baptism in 1737 in Shotteswell. It does not appear that the couple had any children while living in Bloxham since there are no records of any baptisms of children of a Thomas White between 1732 and 1737.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Two Common English Names: White and Knight(s).

Hopefully, in time, this blog may be of interest to people with the names of White and Knight(s) - 2 quite common English names - particularly if the Whites can trace their origins to the area around Banbury (especially Shotteswell and Bloxham) and the Knights(es) to villages such as Debach, Boulge and Knodishall in Suffolk and both of them to Birmingham from the late 19th/early 20th century. I have been studying these ancestors for about three years now and have made some progress in finding information about them and aim to share it here as well as receive input from others who can help add to my knowledge. So, here's a few names for starters - in the context of the towns and villages mentioned above, do they mean anything to you? - William White, Thomas White, Edward White, John White, Richard White, Elizabeth Bradford, Elizabeth Terrill, Harriet Oliver, Elizabeth Bayliss, Harry Knight, Eleanor Mulcay, James Knights, Matthew Knights, Anne Maria Langford, John Arthur Winney, Phoebe Asbury.

St Laurence Church, Shotteswell, Warwickshire
St Laurence Church, Knodishall, Suffolk.
All Saints Church, Debach, Suffolk.

St Mary's Church, Bloxham, Oxfordshire.

St Michael's Church, Boulge, Suffolk.