Geoffs Genealogy Update 14 June 2015

Sunday June 14th, 2015 | Geoff

How time flies.

It hardly seems five years since I was contacted by an Archer descendant named Will. He had been looking into his ancestry, and had found some very interesting information that strongly suggested that he and I shared common Archer ancestry, but he lacked conclusive proof. At the time I looked into the matter as well as I could, but as the London Metrropolitan Archives were not then available online, and my research visits to London were rare, I was not able to help prove or disprove Will’s thesis.

We now scroll forward five years – to last month, in fact. I still had Will’s email in my pile of things to do, but to be honest had almost forgotten it. However, in May it reached the top of the pile, and on re-reading it I decided to check the records that are now available online. This research has occupied most of my research time during May 2015.

I won’t bore you with the details of the work I have done on the Archers over the past few weeks, as that could be somewhat tedious. In summary, nearly all the records that I have used are on the website,  in the London Metropolitan Archives collection. Additionally, there were some wills that were proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, which are also on, and a marriage licence allegation that was sworn in the Vicar General’s office. I identified this source by using the index to Vicar General marriage licence allegations that is on the website, but the actual allegations are not available online, so I had to engage a private researcher to look this up for me at the Society of Genealogists in London, and she sent me a copy of the document.

The end result of this research is as follows:

I have discovered that Thomas Archer, father of Nathan Archer, was born circa 1750, the son of Thomas Archer and Grace, nee Miller. He died in January 1810, being buried at All Hallows, Tottenham, Middlesex. Based on the available evidence relating to his Archer contemporaries he may have lived at least part of his life in Tottenham, but in his will he described himself as Thos Archer of Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell, London, watch maker. His spouse was Hannah Bide, who was born circa 1760, although I have not been able to trace her baptism. She outlived her spouse by three years, being buried at All Hallows, Tottenham in January 1813, and in the burial entry she was described as being resident in Islington, Middlesex.

Thomas Archer, father of Nathan Archer, appears to have had three younger siblings:

William Archer (c1752 – 1720). I have not yet succeeded in tracing William’s marriage, but know from his will that his spouse’s christian name was Frances. At various times in his life William had lived at Hackney and Hornsey, both in Middlesex, and he was buried at All Hallows, Tottenham in August 1720. According to his will he had a daughter who survived him, named Grace (Archer) Adamson. She married a certain William Adamson, who was a gardener  of Stoke Newington, Middlesex. William Adamson died in 1848, and his spouse showed on the 1851 census for Marylebone, London, as a widowed annuitant, aged 72. She died in 1858.

 Grace Archer (c1756-1848). Grace was baptised at All Hallows, Tottenham and in November 1791 she married Thomas Matson (1725-1791) at the same church. As you will have noted, Thomas was more than thirty years older than Grace, and he had been married and widowed previously. He was a Citizen & Haberdasher of London, and he and Grace had no children. Both Grace and Thomas were buried at All Hallows, Tottenham. Thomas awas evidently a prosperous man, to judge from his will.

Grace (Archer) Matson appears in some of the family records as a witness to marriages , and it is interesting to note that on the 1841 census she was enumerated as a widow living in Hackney, in the next property to her nephew, Samuel William Archer (1790-1870) and his family.

Rachel Archer (c1759-1816). Rachel was a witness to the marriage of her sister Grace Archer, and in 1796 she married William Dover (c1764-1837) at St John, Hackney. This couple seem to have lived at Edmonton in Middlesex, not far from Tottenham, and I have so far traced two children – William Dover (b 1799) and Thomas Dover (b 1801). Rachel was buried at All Saints, Edmonton in February 1816, but her spouse survived her by 21 years. By this time he was living in Clapton, Middlesex, and he was buried at St John, Hackney, Middlesex.

But what about Thomas Archer and Grace Miller, I hear you say.

Well, Thomas was born circa 1720 and Grace was born circa 1727, but I do not know where either of them were born. They married at St Mary, Newington, Surrey in November 1749, and both of them were said to be of the parish of Tottenham. You may ask why, if they were both from Tottenham, were they married on the other side of the capital, in Newington? It seems to me that the most likely explanation is that their first child, our Thomas, had probably already been conceived.

Be that as it may, at some stage this couple moved back to their home parish, and they seem to have lived out their lives there. In his will, which he made a few days before his death, Thomas stated his place of residence as Wood Green, High Cross, Tottenham, Middlesex.

It is apparent that Thomas and Grace Archer were both very ill when Thomas made his will, and they died within a few days of one another – Thomas on 22 November 1794 and Grace on 29 November 1794. They were both buried in their home parish of All Hallows, Tottenham.

So there you have it. I’ve told you most of the information I have discovered in the past few weeks about my Archer ancestry. The image below shows how these recent discoiveries affect the Archer family tree (apologies for it being a little blurred):

Nathan Archer Forebears

Recently identified forebears of Nathan Archer (1793-1845)

If you are able to add anything to all this I shall be delighted to hear from you.

In case you are wondering, I have been in touch with Will, who sparked this off with his email five years ago, and he is still interested. Indeed, it seems that he has already found all this himself in the intervening period, so I am rather behind in this game. Still, better late than never!







One response to “Geoffs Genealogy Update 14 June 2015”

  1. Gillian Piper says:


    Interested in your Archer details. My Love family in Tottenham married into the Archer family and are named in a will. Happy to send these details on to you.

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