|Dreamy days in Dorset 30: Broadmayne cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Basher Eyre|
It is unclear when William Billett moved to Weymouth, but he had married his wife Elizabeth Cox in Poxwell, Dorset in 1815. Poxwell is between Weymouth and the Billett's village of Piddletrenthide, much further inland. William was the oldest in his family, possibly born in 1791 but not baptised until 1797 with a younger brother. He had at least three brothers, and I have been fortunate enough to connect with other Billett descendants through Ancestry DNA matches.
William's father Joseph (1759-1841) was likewise born in Piddletrenthide but married his first wife Elizabeth Spinney in Broadmayne, Dorset where both families lived prior to Piddletrenthide. Billet/t families were well established in Broadmayne from the early 18th century and probably much longer. Broadmayne - only two miles from Dorchester - is tucked away in a valley and its layout is a ribbon development. Apart from agriculture, brickmaking employed many villagers.
In 1817, after my 3x great-grandfather William had left home and married, his father Joseph - mentioned above - stepmother Elizabeth (nee Hippert) and two of his younger brothers, James and Thomas were served with removal orders by the parish of Fordington (pin-pointed on map) to their village of settlement, Piddletrenthide.
|Walking to Weymouth from Piddletrenthide|
Piddletrenthide is at the very top of the map. The vast majority of the population were agricultural labourers. Although William chose a sea-faring life, his brothers James and Thomas remained agricultural labourers there in the 1840s and beyond.
|Red Lion, Hope Square|
|Linda & Margaret|
|Linda & Margaret|
There is a fascinating museum to visit and the whole area where the Billett's lived is a considerable tourist attraction.
|Peter, Linda & Margaret exploring Weymourth Old Harbour|