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8 May 2021

H is for Henbest

St Stephen's Church, Bramshaw Hants
The Henbest family lived in Bramshaw, a village which was half in Wiltshire (the larger part) and half in Hampshire until 1895.

They were a large family.  In 1699 a daughter, Christian was born to Robert Henbest, a husbandman and his wife Ann (nee Osmond), also from a large family in Bramshaw.  Christian Henbest's father Robert Snr died in Bramshaw in 1717, leaving generous legacies to all his children except the eldest son, Osmand (b. 1682-unknown), of whom the legacy was conditional on his return home to England.  Osmand had apparently married a widow Alice Wellstead (nee Redman) of Landford. The acreage in Landford which Robert Henbest Sr held by copyhold was left to second son Robert (1686-1745), despite both Osman and Robert being listed on the legal document.  So for some reason, there were bad relations between father and eldest son.

Henbest is one of those names which can easily be recorded variously.  It can be Henvest, Henvist, Henbist and even Inves. The latter appeared in the late 19th century in Southampton.

The village of Bramshaw is now in Hampshire, and includes the hamlet of Fritham where the Tucker family grew up from childhood (before 1710) until at least 1724 when Mary Tucker died. 

The year that she died leaving him about 15 pounds and the residue of her estate, her oldest son William Tucker (1697-1754) married Christian Henbest in St Leonards, Sherfield English.  It is unclear why they married there, although it is now on the A27, 4 miles north-west of Romsey where William Tucker was living at the time. The original church where they married was pulled down between 1858 and 1902 when two subsequent churches were built nearby but not on the site.  The church register, however, survives from 1745, with types copies of the register preserved prior to that.

Socially, the Tucker-Henbest marriage was a good match, the families being of similar standing.

Their children Christian (born before marriage in 1724, later life unknown), Mary (1826-), and William  (1728-1784) were all born at Bramshaw where Christian (Henbest)'s family still lived, probably for family support).  This Tucker family later moved to Hale a small district which is only two miles from Downton to the north-east, just off the A36 main road to Southampton. In 1746, William Tucker (1697) was described as a yeoman when he was charged with sorting out the estate of his late brother-in-law, Robert Henbest (1682-1745)'s widow Mary Henbest.  Robert Henbest had died intestate and as mentioned above, he held a copyhold lease in the Earldoms in Landford, Wiltshire.  His widow Mary had two young children to provide for.  It is unknown who Mary was.  Could she have been Mary Henbest nee Osborne who had married Robert Henbest's nephew Osmand Henbest (1712-1739)?

It is likely that they both had reasonable assets and material support since both came from families which leased farms, probably through copyhold, and had many farming implements. I need to do much more research about landholdings for this family, probably through manorial records.  I do know that his uncle John Tucker had a copyhold lease at Landford, Wiltshire very close to Bramshaw, and was able to leave his daughter Mary 500 pounds at his death in 1773.  And his first cousin John Tucker (1736-1812), Mary Tucker's brother was even more wealthy.

Hale is in Hampshire, so the Tucker/Henbest family had an attachment to places in both Wiltshire and Hampshire.  Their son William married Mary Goulding in Downton, Wiltshire in 1764, and thereafter, the family had a significant attachment to Downton, Landford and Hamptworth (a scattered community in-between Landford and Downton, all in Wiltshire.

Unfortunately, my ancestral Tucker descendants of these two William Tuckers were born at the wrong end of large families, so gradually became poorer and poorer and were listed as agricultural labourers in the 19th century.

2021 A-Z blogging challenge

 This year, I have once again tried the blogging challenge, and this year I managed to complete it.  I used the theme Moxons Down Under because together with my husband John Bruce Moxon, I co-ordinate the Australian membership for The Moxon Society.

I used another blog I manage, called Moxons Down Under.

9 Apr 2020

G is for Goodal

In 1710, William Tucker of the parish of Bramshaw, Hants, living at Fritham drew up a will leaving 15 pounds to his son William and 10 pounds to each of his other children - John, Stephen and Sarah.  His wife was to be the executor of his will.  Probate was granted in 1712.  His wife Mary died in 1724, also leaving legacies to John, Stephen and Sarah and the residue of her estate to oldest son William.

But what was Mary's surname?  Some researchers say Peirce, others say Goodal.  Mary Pierce lived in Minstead, Hampshire but Mary Goodal lived in Allington in Wiltshire.

There are good arguments for both Marys.

The (quite ugly) church at Minstead
William Tucker had been baptised at Minstead in the New Forest, a son of
Robert Tucker and brother to other Tuckers who were all baptised at Minstead.  He was born about 1672.  In January 1794 he married Mary Pierce at Minstead.

The following year, a William Tucker of Bramshaw married a Mary Goodal in Allington, Wiltshire.  This village is near Salisbury.

Bramshaw - Fritham - Minstead
Bramshaw is right on the border of Hampshire and Wiltshire and for a long time straddled both counties.  It is approximately three miles from Fritham.  Minstead is approximately 4 miles from Fritham.

Mary Goodal's sister Sarah Goodal had married a Thomas Lock of Bramshaw also at Allington the previous year.  The Goodal sisters were daughters of a John Goodal whose father and grandfather - also John - had inherited land at Allington in 1608 from a kinsmen Stephen Cox.  The name Stephen appears in the Goodal family throughout the 17th century.  Mary and William Tucker also had a son called Stephen, and daughters called Mary and Sarah.

Wills of both Thomas Lock and John Tucker both stated that each lived in Fritham which was merely a hamlet.

Could William have married both Mary Pierce and Mary Goodal?  Another researcher raised the possibility that that could be the case.  No record of Mary Pierce's burial can be found, but it is a significant possibility with such high rates of death in childbirth in 1695.  It could well be that Mary Goodal of Allington had been introduced to William Tucker through Thomas Lock's wife Sarah.

In fact, I think it is very likely.

7 Apr 2020

F is for Fordingbridge

2x ggrandmother Sophia Tucker 
Fordingbridge is a small town just 21 miles west of  Southampton, where my father was born. My father's great grandmother Sophia Tucker, nee Jefferis had moved there in about 1850 from Fordingbridge where she was born in 1834.  My father vaguely remembered her - she died when he was about 8 in 1922.  She had lived in Bell Street, Southampton nearly all her married life.  Sadly Bell Street, off Upper Canal Walk was totally destroyed by bombing in 1940.

She and her husband George remained very poor in Southampton but saw their son George William Tucker (1856-1924) become prosperous enough as a music dealer to purchase two adjoining houses on the outskirts of Southampton by 1901.

Fordingbridge has a long history
Most of the Jefferis family remained in Fordingbridge and my ancestors lived there for generations before that.  Their surnames included Tiller, Rogers, Parrot and Gold.  In the 1831 census, the population was 1114, including 57 people in the Workhouse.  Included in the census were nine Jefferis families and six Tiller households, mostly employed in agriculture but some in various trades. Households named Rogers, Parrot and Gold were not represented.

Ange & Paul outside The Ship Inn
In 2008, during our first visit to England together, we met my fourth cousin Ange who lives in Southampton.  We'd met online and both had husbands who were long-term spinal cord injured.  Ange showed us many places around Southampton and did so again in 2009 and 2012 when I returned on my own. 
Marg & John
Since then, we've cruised to England three times.  Each time, the highlight of our trip has been meeting Ange and Paul, and my cousin Linda and Peter, mentioned in earlier posts.  Ange has been wonderful showing me around my ancestral villages in Hampshire over the years.

Old buildings
Marg, Ange & Paul

6 Apr 2020

E is for e-Learning

Transcribing a Tucker will for Pharos
I could suggest that E is for Edsall, some ancestors in Downton, Wiltshire - the very place I wrote about yesterday. Sadly I know nothing about them.  I do have DNA matches suggesting our link is through the Downton Edsalls.

They could well have been agricultural labourers, but since my Edsalls were baptised, married and buried in the 17th century, I simply do not know.

So today's topic will be e-Learning.

From the mid-1980s, I was an early adopter of computer technology both at work and at home. Being an ex-librarian, I could see their value.  In retirement, I studied an IT Certificate III at Baulkham Hills TAFE with students 40 years my junior in 2004-5. The previous year, I had completed my first e-Learning certificate in accessible web design through an American company.

Learning about indentures with Pharos
So it was a natural progression to find some online genealogy courses.  By 2014, I'd completed a Pharos Certificate in Family Skills and Strategies (Intermediate) Level.  Based mostly on English family history, this was the most relevant course for me since my ancestors within documented timescales are all English or Scottish. I loved these units and completed not only assessable courses leading to the Certificate qualification but also others which attracted my interest.

There is also an Advanced Certificate on offer, but currently, it includes the necessity to spend time in English archives, so is impractical at the moment.

After completion, I looked elsewhere and came across the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (NIGS).  This is based in Canada but the lecturers include many Australian and English genealogy experts whom I have come to know and respect.  I was well on my way to earn a basic certificate with NIGS when I heard about the University of Tasmania's new online course Introduction to Family History.  It was just one course at the beginning but soon turned into a Diploma.  I simply couldn't resist the units on offer, so put aside my NIGS studies.  I can always go back to it.

UTAS online learning mates at Sydney conference
By 2017, I had completed my Diploma of Family History at the University of Tasmania, all online.  This course focussed on Australian family history, but much of the information can be useful for any research.  Whilst I didn't go to Hobart for the graduation, or attend a later one in Sydney (April 2018),

Jacqui & Marg meet in person
I have made a great number of like-minded friends through this course.  For each unit, we had both official support groups as well as student-driven groups on Facebook.  I have met many of these "friends" at conferences and seminars since then.

Meeting at Western Sydney - Xmas at IKEA
Additionally, geographically based study and sharing groups have been set up, and I regularly meet with a dozen or so graduates and students for coffee in Western Sydney.  We share our successful discoveries, family stories and photo books.

Sadly, we cannot meet face-to-face at the moment due to the pandemic, but make the most of Facebook.

4 Apr 2020

D is for Downton

Downton in Wiltshire
In 2002, I retired from the NSW Public Service but for a number of years, worked part-time for the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association and assisted my husband John with his busy consultancy.  So it was 2008 before we were able to go overseas for the very first time as a couple.  Our travel had been limited to every Australian state prior to that.

By 2005, I'd commenced researching our family history, so planned our first overseas trip to the lands of our ancestors. I was very keen to meet Linda, my second cousin who shared my maiden name and John, being 75% Irish heritage, wanted to visit Ireland.

Not set up for a wheelchair driver
We hired a wheelchair-accessible motor home for 11 weeks and toured both England and Ireland. Unfortunately, I had to drive - five on the floor and huge - but only nearly killed us twice.

Downton is a village where many generations of our Tucker ancestors lived so we timed our visit to the annual village Cuckoo Festive, held in early May. My cousin Linda who we'd met in London for the first time a few days earlier was also keen to go. So she and her husband drove two hours to our campsite from Horsham, West Sussex and we all went together in the motor home.  I only jumped the clutch once.

Great day out for all ages
We found parking quite easily in the schoolyard (disabled parking only) and joined thousands of others in the village.

Morris dancing

Hoop dancing
We missed the maypole dancing but caught the hoop dancing and the Morris dancing.

We had a beer in the King's Arms where a secret passage led to the neighbouring St Laurence Church.  During Tudor times, the Catholic priest could be hidden in the pub if necessary.

St Laurence Church (1150) is very interesting. My 5th great grandfather William Tucker was married here in 1761, and many of my ancestors and their siblings were baptised or married there.  

Linda and Margaret (both nee Tucker)
Linda and I have ancestors from Downton with surnames Tucker, Goulding, Rice, Shergold, Bailey/Bayley, Curtis, Hill, Edsall, Humby, Wheeler.  I'd say many of them are buried at Downton too.
St Laurence Church - 12th century

The village is very picturesque and the villagers obviously very proud to live there.  Being close to Salisbury, many well-off retirees have probably moved there, and younger people commute either to Salisbury or to the south coast cities for work.

It was one of the highlights of our first big trip.

3 Apr 2020

C is for Corfe Castle

Linda & Margaret at Corfe Castle
After a very interesting couple of days in Weymouth, where we had been joined (in separate accommodation by second cousin Linda and her husband Peter, we all decided to head back east to Sussex (Linda) and Brockenhurst, Hampshire (John and me).  However, it was the perfect opportunity to visit the village where one of our mutual ancestors lived.

It's a steep climb to the Castle
A medieval market re-enactment was taking place on the day we visited in May 2014.
Playing medieval games

Aaron Hardy's birth village

My 2xgreat-grandfather, Aaron Hardy, a mariner was born in Corfe Castle, Dorset in 1826 to William Hardy, a labourer and his wife Mary (Whiterow/Whitrow). His mother died less than three years later.  William continued to live there and was a carpenter in 1850.

Corfe Castle was built by William the Conqueror as a fortification on the Purbeck peninsular, and the village below has the same name.  In Elizabeth 1's time, it passed into private hands. During the English Civil War, Cromwell's men "slighted" the castle by destroying much of it, making it non-functional as a fortification.

Today, many tourists arrive by train for day-trips.

By 1841, young Aaron was a male servant in Radipole, Dorset. From there, it was less than a two-mile walk to Weymouth Harbour, so it is easy to imagine Aaron meeting Amelia Billett at the Old Harbour before 1850 when they married.  By then Aaron, like his father-in-law William was a mariner.

Sometime between 1852 after their first two children were born and 1856, the family moved to Southampton.  This, of course, was a bigger port by then.  His daughter Agnes Mary (1858-1912) married George William Tucker (1856-1924) in 1881.

Our great grandparents Agnes and George W. Tucker must have been mortified when two years later Aaron was charged with being drunk and disorderly, having been held in the police lock-up overnight.  By then he was a labourer, not a mariner.  I have not yet been able to find records of any ship he served on.

Both Aaron and Amelia Hardy lived long lives in Southampton until Edward V11's reign.