Geffs Genealogy Update 12 June 2016
We have just returned from a week’s holiday in the new Forest, and very beautiful it was, too. Not only did we have superb weather, but we made the most of the occasion by visiting a number of very interesting and scenic places. Among the places we visited was Bucklers Hard, a small village situated on the on the Beaulieu River. I had no idea of the fascinating history of this place before our visit, but it is truly fascination, so well worthy of mention in this blog.
For those of a certain vintage the most recent claim to fame of Buckler’s hard was that it was the place where Sir Francis Chichester began and completed his single handed round the world voyage in his yacht – Gipsy Moth IV – in 1966/7, but before that it had a very distinguished history as a shipbuilding village. The first royal naval vessel to be built there was built in the 1680s, and during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries there were very many vessels built in this small hamlet, among them HMS Euryalus, HMS Swiftsure and HMS Agamemnon, all of which fought at Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson commanded HMS Agamemnon for several years in the 1790s, and let it be known that she was his favourite vessel.
With the arrival of steam warships in the nineteenth century the construction of naval vessels at Buckler’s Hard declined, but the hamlet still had a major part to play in this country’s history, as it was here that segments of the Mulberry Harbour, which were towed across the English Channel in readiness for the 1944 D Day landings, were built.
To the modern eye this is a very picturesque and tranquil place. The Georgian cottages, where once lived the tradesmen involved in the building of these wonderful ships, bear witness to the events of the past, and we were able to visit the Shipwright’s Cottage and see the conditions in which these craftsmen lived. Very comfortable for the time, I must say.
We could also see the slipways where these great vessels were launched. All absolutely fascinating, and it made me think of a couple of Bankes descendants who served in the British Navy, either as craftsmen or as crew members.
Although it is fair to say that my knowledge of my Jacobson forebears is a bit sketchy, it seems clear that Esco Jacobson (c1655-1728) was probably involved in either the building of naval vessels, or their maintenance, being variously described as a shipwright and a carpenter, resident in Stepney. It seems likely that he was working in the East London naval dockyards.
Then there was Bankes Mitchell (c1720-1763), son of Robert Mitchell and Elizabeth, nee Russell. Bankes was a watchmaker of London, and came from what appears to have been a very prosperous family. He was married to Hannah Attwood in 1754, but the available evidence indicates that she had died before 1763. By 1763 he was serving as an Able Seaman on the Royal Navy vessel Alcides, having previously served on the Temeraire. By March of that year he was serving on the Hampton Court, serving in the Caribbean in the Seven Years War. Sadly, on the voyage home Bankes Mitchell became ill and died on 18 August 1763, being buried at sea. I wonder why a gentleman such as Bankes Mitchell became an able seaman in the navy. It seems a very odd career move, and I wonder whether he had fallen on hard times and this had led him to join the British Navy. Alternatively he may have been press-ganged, but this may be unlikely, as I understand that in fact few people were press-ganged into the navy.
I’d love to know more about these people, and hope that I may accomplish this some day.
I have been researching the Bankes Pedigree with very few breaks since about 1991, and have decided that as there are other things that I would like to do, it is now time for me to take a break from this research. This means that my posts to this blog will not be as regular as they have been in the past, and such research as I do will probbaly relate to my direct lines of ancestry, rather than the Bankes Pedigree in general. I shall still be delighted to hear from anybody interested in the Bankes Pedigree or my other direct ancestral lines who would like to contact me, and will respond to any queries as I always have done, so please feel free to contact me.
- This page was last updated on Sunday June 12th, 2016.
Geoffs Genealogy Update 6 November 2015
I’ve nothing specifically to report as a result of October’s activities. No startling new discoveries. Not that I’ve been idle, you understand. I’ve spent my time filling in gaps on the Bankes Pedigree, mainly on the Fiveash / Duke line, so if anybody reading this is interested in that line of descent from Anne Deane I’d be pleased to hear from you.
Now seems a good time to report on my progress in transcribing the Court of Chancery records that we photographed when Helen and I last had a day out at The National Archives (TNA), Kew. We had a really good day, and managed to photograph a lot of documents, and the images needed to be pieced together and transcribed. The piecing together was accomplished fairly quickly, but I always knew that the transcribing was going to be a long term project, and so it is proving. To date I have completed three transcriptions, which I realise does not seem much, but I do have to fit this work in with whatever else I am doing, and it is rather painstaking, so I have to do them as and when I feel inspired to do so, rather than one after the other.
I decided to start with Court of Chancery cause Mitchell v Holloway, TNA reference C1236/27. Helen and I photographed 8 documents relating to this cause, dated between c1764 – 1770. Some of the images are not too clear in certain areas, and I can see that in some cases we have not quite got all the document to the very edge, so inevitably there are some gaps in my transcriptions, but I can safely say that it is a lot better transcribing them at home than trying to rush through it at when making a day visit to TNA.
As is the case with most legal documents, the documents rarely get straight to the point, so can seem a bit tedious, and they also sometimes use language in a “legalise” way. However, with a bit of concentrated effort and sometimes a second opinion, we can usually make sense of their meaning. Hopefully when we next go to Kew we may be able to revisit these sources, and fill in some of the gaps.
The date of the first document I have worked on is rather hard to read in my photograph. I think it is 3rd August 1764. I’m sure of the year, but the day and month could be wrong. The preamble recounts how the deaths of several Executors in succession delayed the implementation of John Bankes’ bequests, and also the legal action that had been started by my ancestor, Mary Mitchell. It also summarises the Decrees that had been made by the Court.
In genealogical terms, the most interesting pieces of information come in sections like this:
the Complainants Mary Mitchell Robert Mitchell and Eliz his wife James Jacobson and Mary his wife Elizabeth Hopkins Anne Deane the younger John Rand and Sarah his wife William Rand Martha Rand and Elizabeth Rand Joseph Rand Deborah Rand and John Smith and Mary his wife have severally departed this life and that the Complainant Mary Deane intermarried with the Plaintiff John Benrose (and) this Defendant Sarah Holloway late Sarah Rand an Infant partner answering for herself saith that she on or about the twenty third day of January in the Year One thousand seven hundred and forty two did intermarry with her late husband Joseph Holloway deceased who afterwards departed this life sometime in the month of March which was in the year of one thousand seven hundred and fifty five
As it happens, I already had this information, but the potential value of this statement to our research is obvious. Of course, this is personal testimony, so cannot be taken as necessarily strictly accurate, but nevertheless it is extremely valuable in itself, and as a guide to further research.
The nitty gritty of this document is that the various parties involved were contesting the annuity that had been inherited under the terms of John Bankes’ will by his half sister, Mary Mitchell. On her death this had been split between her son – Robert Mitchell – and her daughter, Mary (Mitchell) Jacobson, wife of James Jacobson. On the deaths of these people this annuity was split between their children:
- Bankes Mitchell
- Joseph Collyer in right of Mary (Mitchell) his late wife
- Elizabeth Mitchell and Hannah Mitchell
- William Jacobson and Mary, wife of the Defendant Thomas Hunt the two children of the said Mary Jacobson
However, both Mary (Mitchell) Collyer and Banks Mitchell had died intestate, and although letters of administration re their estates had been granted in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury to Joseph Collyer the Elder and Hannah Mitchell respectively, this did not necessarily mean that these people were entitled to deal with the inheritance of their Bankes annuities, and the Court was being asked to rule on this.
In fact I have several times searched for the letters of administration relating to Mary (Mitchell) Collyer’s estate that were granted to her husband, but have never found a record of them. I do sometimes wonder whether this was a bit of a bluff by Joseph Collyer, but think this unlikely, as surely the Court would have been alerted to any such deception. Not only that, but Joseph would have had to convince my forebear, the eagle eyed Thomas Hunt, attorney, that he was telling the truth in this matter, and as we have seen from other matters, Thomas was not a man who was easily deceived on such affairs.
There is quite a bit more of this type of stuff in this record, and it would probably be tedious to my readers if I were to go through it all, but I will just mention one other spicy piece of information which, when I first came across it many years ago was a tremendously exciting find. In arguing against Joseph Collyer the Elder’s right to deal with his spouse’s estate the respondents stated as follows:
the Defendants the said William Jacobson Thomas Hunt and Mary his wife as aforesaid does severally say that after such assignment (that is to say) on or about the fourth day of September One thousand seven hundred and forty nine the said Joseph Collyer the Elder took (as a fugitive) the Benefit of an Act of Parliament made in the Twenty first year of the late King intitled an Act for Relief of Insolvent Debtors so that all the Right and Interest of the said Joseph Collyer the Elder in right of the said Mary his wife under the said Will and Deed Roll of the said Testator John Bankes (subject to the said assignment to the said James Jacobson deceased) became subject and Liable to the direction of the said act as these Defendants believe
Some years ago this piece of information enabled me to find records in the Corporation of London archives relating to Joseph Collyer the Elder’s debts and brief imprisonment when he gave himself up at the Fleet Prison in London, to claim Insolvent Debtor Relief. Listed among his creditors was my ancestor, James Jacobson, pawn broker of London. You can see some of this material in the Joseph & Mary Mitchell Collyer Sources on Geoffs Genealogy.
I should, perhaps, mention that this document is a response to a Chancery Bill which was made by Sarah Holloway a widow late Sarah Rand William Jacobson Thomas Hunt and Mary his wife. One of the great thrills that sight of this source gives us is the sight of the signatures of these people at the bottom of the document. I must say that when I first set out on this research in 1990 I never imagined that I would be lucky enough to see signatures of our forebears from the eighteenth century. What a thrill!
The value of Court of Chancery documents in our research into the Bankes Pedigree cannot be overstated. Quite a lot of the time the process of researching them can seem rather turgid, but these periods become well worthwhile when we uncover gems such as those I have outlined above.
- This page was last updated on Friday November 6th, 2015.
Geoffs Genealogy Update 6 May 2014
This has been a fairly quiet month, so far as new research is concerned. I have been continuing my work of recent months, trying to deal with my backlog of finds that I have put to one side in the past and never previously returned to. I’m afraid that this is a bit of a trait with me. I’m always so keen to find our more about my forebears that I sometimes neglect the important job of cataloguing my finds. I therefore need to have a purge on this from time to time.
In the course of this process I have come across a matter that may interest you, regarding the burial of Samuel Jacobson of Maidstone, Kent, in January 1807.
Or was it?
Samuel and James Jacobson were mentioned in the will of my ancestor, James Jacobson (c1692-1759), as they were his nephews. They both lived near Maidstone, Kent, and their brief details were as follows:
Born abt 1719, the son of Esco Jacobson (abt 1690-1744). Apprenticed as a schoolmaster in London in 1735, his early years were apparently spent in East London, but at some stage he moved to Maidstone, Kent, where he voted in the election of 1790. He died later that year, and his body was taken to his place of origin to be buried at St George in the East, London on 22 December 1790. The relevant entry in the parish register reads:
Dec 22 Samuel Jacobson from Maidstone Kent 71
Samuel’s will was made out in 1790, and proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury by James Jacobson in March 1791. It is apparent from this document that his wife was still alive in 1790.
Born abt 1723, the brother of Samuel. Like his brother, his early years were spent in London, but at some stage he moved to Bearsted, near Maidstone, Kent,and like his brother he also voted in the election of 1790.
For many years James was a JP, and there exist numerous contemporary newspaper entries attesting to his activities as a member of the bench.
According to the IGI these two brothers were married to two sisters at a joint ceremony at St Nicholas, Rochester, in 1776. Samuel married Margaret Bond and James married Ann Bond.
We have not traced any children born to Samuel & Margaret, but James & Ann had two known children, both of whom were born in Kent, so it seems likely that he had moved to Kent by the date of their birth:
- James Jacobson (1777-1857)
- Ann Jacobson (1778-1861)
James Jacobson died some seventeen years after his brother, on 20 January 1807. His death was marked by a notice in The Kentish Gazette newspaper on 23rd January 1807, and his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in February 1807. When we come to look for his burial we enjcounter a somewhat unusual circumstance. The burial register of St George in the East, London contains the following entry:
Jacobson 31 Samuel Jacobson from Maidstone Kent 84
We already know that samuel Jacobson had predeceased his brother by seventeen years, so this entry cannot relate to him. Given that we know that James Jacobson died on 20 January 1807, this entry must, surely relate to him. It seems that James’s body was buried in his parish of origin, just as his brother’s body had been, but an error was made in the register. This is certainly my working assumption, and I have recorded this event accordingly. Maybe the error was caused by James and Samuel being buried in the same grave.
How to prove this error?
I think that we need to look at an alternative source, to see whether it is possible to prove that an error has been made. Maybe a look at the Burial Books would provide the verification that we need, but the problem is that I do not know whether such a record exists. At present the Ancestry website holds the burial register, but no other burial records for this parish, and I do not know whether London Metropolitan Archives holds any other burial records.
Another item for the outstanding research list!
- This page was last updated on Tuesday May 6th, 2014.
Geoffs Genealogy Update 5 April 2014
You may recall that in my post of 4th February I rambled on about our Jacobson research, and in particular whether I can justifiably add the Gosport / London Budd / Jacobson twig to the Bankes Pedigree. After chatting to one or two other people about this, and giving it some thought I decided to include these people in the Pedigree, albeit with some reservation.
I do try very hard to make sure that errors do not creep into the Pedigree, and I have not yet found conclusive evidence of the move of these people from Gosport to London, but I cannot but believe that my interpretation of the data is correct, so have taken the plunge and entered it in my family history files, with a caveat to reflect my remaining doubt. In the course of doing this, I have gleaned some more information about this clan.
Our best estimate is that Jane Jacobson, sister to my ancestor James Jacobson, Broker, married George Budd by Licence from the Bishop of Winchester’s Office in March 1708 at Holy Trinity, Gosport. As I explained in February, between 1710 and 1722 this couple had six children, so far as we know – all boys, and all baptised at Holy Trinity, Gosport. We do not know when they moved to London, but by 1733 they were living in Ratcliff Highway, to the East of London. George Budd was a shipwright, and it seems possible that he was working for the Royal Navy in their dockyards. Sadly, in March 1733 he died, being buried in the graveyard of St George in the East on 27 March of that year.
It did not take Jane long to remarry, and her second spouse was John Garrett, a Carpenter of London. He was a widower when she married him by Licence from the Bishop of London on 1 January 1734 at St George in the East. Therse facts tie in very well with the content of James Jacobson’s will, which we first saw about twenty years ago. James left bequests to his surviving siblings, and we learned from these bequests of a sister named Jane Garrett and some nephews bearing the name Budd. It has taken a long time, but thanks to this recently discovered material we have been able to work out where Garrett and Budd fit into our family history.
One of the Budd children was Ezekiel Budd (bap Gosport, 1716). We now see that in 1737 he was apprenticed as a Carpenter to his step-father, John Garrett. He would have been about 21 years old when this happened, which seems rather late to become an apprentice. Possibly Ezekiel bap 1716 may have died young, and the Ezekiel who was apprenticed to John Garrett was born later, but we have not found any evidence of that. Looking at the Carpenters’ Company Court Minutes (on the London Lives website) we see that by 2 June 1747 John Garrett had died, and Ezekiel was granted his Freedom by Garrett’s widow, who was also Ezekiel’s mother! This set us off looking for the date of John’s death, and we found the evidence we sought in the form of the following burial record:
St George in the East April 1743 14 John Garrett Carpenter R.H.W.
R.H.W. stands for Ratcliff Highway. Evidently the family was still living there.
We have found more interesting material relating to the Budds. George Budd (Jnr), eldest son of Jane Jacobson & George, married Grace Wickham on 4 November 1736 by Licence issued by the Bishop of London’s office. The marriage took place at St Mary-le-Strand, Somerset House Chapel in London. We have traced two children born to this couple – Susanna Budd, bap 1738, and Grace Ann Budd, born 4 October 1743 – but we have not yet traced any more information about the family.
One other very interesting find comes in the form of a marriage Licence Allegation that was sworn in the Vicar General’s Office on 30 November 1736. It tells us that Samuel Budd, aged “upwards of twenty one” was intending to marry Rebeccah Jacobson, spinster aged “upwards of nineteen years”. Samuel’s home parish was St George in the East, which places him in the same area as other members of the clan, and Rebeccah’s home parish was St Botolph Aldgate, which places her in the same parish as James Jacobson, our ancestor. The interesting thing is that Rebeccah’s parents were both dead, and her guardian – Susannah Collins, wife of John Collins – gave written consent to the marriage. Susannah was said to be an aunt to Rebeccah.
If you reprise my post of 5 November 2013 you will see that I outlined a very similar state of affairs, in which a certain Elizabeth Jacobson, ward of James Jacobson Broker, married Element Jones in 1734. I deduced that she was a daughter of a certain Benjamin Jacobson (prob 1730). Interestingly, in his will Benjamin mentioned two daughters – Elizabeth & Rebeccah, so I’m thinking that the lady who married Samuel Budd was very possibly his other daughter, and that Benjamin was a brother of our James Jacobson, broker. But where does Susannah Collins fit in?
And how to prove it?
Here we go again . …….
- This page was last updated on Saturday April 5th, 2014.
Geoffs Genealogy Update 6 March 2014
During March the main thought in my mind has been hollidays. Not only have I booked a couple of holiday breaks for the next few months, in East Anglia and in County Durham, but most of my treeing time has been spent updating my Holliday family history files.
The Hollidays were not direct descendants of the half siblings of John Bankes, but they feature in my maternal family history as Charles Holliday (1864 to 1915) was my great grandfather – the father of my grandmother Alice Louisa Holliday (1892-1982). About fifteen years ago I got in touch with a lady named Elizabeth Holliday, who runs a one name study on the Holliday name, to see whether she had any data that related to my Holliday forebears. Imagine my delight when I received her reply, telling me that indeed she could help me, and enclosing a Holliday family tree that extended back in time to a certain Richard Holliday, born Horley, Surrey c1650! This data is the main source for the Holliday information that appears in the tree on Geoffs Genealogy, and it is really the product of the research of other people.
Obviously, it is a massive joy to receive information such as this from other researchers, but I am by nature reluctant to accept the findings of other people as “gospel” without carrying out a few of my own checks to see whether the material stacks up; after all, we are none of us exempt from the possibility of error. Thus, whenever I saw an opportunity to verify this Holliday tree I have done so, and I must say that it has proved to be very accurate. In the last few months this task became considerably easier, as Ancestry Uk have been placing online the Surrey parish registers. As the Hollidays were residents of that county for centuries, I can now see many of these primary sources for myself, and not rely on the IGI or other transcriptions.
Just at the moment I’m busily uploading all my recent finds, and this will take me some time. I’ve been concentrating on the nineteenth century – late eighteenth century records, so this work is far from complete. For the record, the next few generations of my direct Holliday Line backwards from my great grandfather read as follows:
- Charles Holliday (1864-1915) m Alice Butler (c1867-1935)
- William Holliday (c1818-1874) m Louisa Matthews (c1826-c1890)
- John Holliday (c1782-1839) m Maria Johnson (c1782-Bef 1819)
- William Holliday (b abt 1750) m Patience Kent (b abt 1750).
You will recall that in last month’s entry I recounted the research that I had been doing into my Jacobson ancestry. I remarked that I would need to visit Winchester to look at the parish registers for Gosport in order to continue this work. Well, as luck would have it, Helen made a trip to London the other week, and kindly took the opportunity to visit the Society of Genealogists Library for a few hours. Among many other items that she looked up for me, she was able to look at the Gosport parish registers on microfilm, which should save a trip to Hampshire. Helen was able to find the entries that I had identified from my internet research, but that’s where the good news ends , I’m afraid, as the microfilm was pretty much unreadable. A great shame, but there we go. Not much we can do about that.
Incidentally, if you are in London any time, and you fancy a bit of family history research, the SOG Library is a wonderful place to go. The range of the records and other materials that are held there is simply incredible. At one time I was able to make regular visits, and made many great finds there. Alas, those days are long gone.
There are many family history software programs available these days, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. For many years I have used Family Tree Maker to store and organise my records, and so I was delighted when I was given a Family Tree Maker 2014 upgrade as a present on my last birthday. However, I am sorry to report that after quite a few attempts I have not managed to install this upgrade successfully on my main computer. The program seems to run through successfully, and then goes on to download some updates to the program which are, apparently, essential. Once these upgrades have been downloaded and I try to open the program I get an error message, saying that the program needs to be closed. I have looked at the advice on the Family Tree Maker forum, and carried out the procedure that is recommended in these circumstances, but this has not done the trick.
This problem is very frustrating. I keep on going back to the issue periodically, and trying various “solutions”, but to no avail. If anybody reading this is able to help me to resolve this issue I would be delighted to hear from you.
What makes this situation even more frustrating is that the program loaded on my laptop just fine, including the downloads! Now I have different versions on the two machines, and as a FTM 2014 backup cannot be loaded in FTM2010 that is no good to me at all!
- This page was last updated on Thursday March 6th, 2014.
Geoffs Genealogy Update 04 February 2014
Quite often the results of our research into our forebears do not result in absolute certainty. We uncover information that seems to point towards a certain conclusion, but does not give us 100% certainty. Over the years I have found many pieces of research that have resulted in this sort of situation. In many of them I believe that the information I have found does relate to the people I am researching, but lack absolute proof. What to do in this situation?
The textbooks tell us that we should seek to obtain two sources for every piece of information, and few would argue that this is not a sound requirement. However, in many, many cases two sources is an unattainable goal, so we need to exercise our own judgement on this, I think. We certainly do not want to be so liberal with our standards that we end up putting incorrect information into our research findings, but we do not want to ignore relevant material for the lack of a corroborative evidence. How should we judge this?
About twenty years ago I obtained a copy of the will of my ancestor James Jacobson (c1692-1759). James was a Pawn Broker, who lived most of his life in the Tower Hill area of London. I have written of him in a number of previous entries in this blog. When he made his will on 8th August 1758 he was living at Peckham, to the south of London, but I have traced him in Land Tax Registers for London living at King Street, near the Tower, and there is a listing for him in 1758 in those records, suggesting that he may not have lived at Peckham for many months. I tend to assume that this was his retirement residence, as Peckham in those days would have been something of a rural retreat.
In James’s will he named a number of his relations, a list which included his sister, Jane Garratt, and his nephew, George Budd, and over the years I have borne in mind this snippet of information, hoping that one day I may be able to find out a little about them.
Recently, some very promising material has come to light in my research, courtesy of the Ancestry, Find My Past and Family Search websites.
The evidence that we have collected previously has led us to believe that the father of James Jacobson was Esco Jacobson, and that one of James’s siblings was a brother – Henry Jacobson. Henry first appears in the records living in Gosport, Hampshire, but he evidently moved to the Channel Island of Jersey at a fairly early age, and he lived there for the rest of his life, being buried in St Helier in 1760. As of a few years ago I believe you could still see Henry’s house in St Helier.
We have never found the birth or baptism record for James Jacobson, but bearing in mind Henry’s early life in Gosport it seems quite feasible that he may have hailed from that part of the country. Thus, when we found an entry on the Family Search website showing that George Budd married a certain Jane Jacobson on 8 March 1708 at Holy Trinity, Gosport we were very interested.
This was the first of a series of entries that enable us to put together a very convincing hypothesis:
George Budd & Jane had several children. George Budd was baptised on 3 February 1710, but presumably died whilst young as another another George Budd was baptised in 1713. In 1712 Jacobson Budd was baptised, and he was followed by Samuel Budd in 1714, Ezekiel Budd in 1716, James Budd in 1718 and Esco Budd in 1722. All these children were baptised at Holy Trinity, Gosport.
We then skip forward to 1734, when we find a Faculty Office Marriage Licence Allegation for the marriage of Jane Budd, widow, to John Garret, widower in London. These looks very much like our people. If so, we can deduce that Jane’s first husband had died before 1734, and also that the family had moved to London.
Other probably relevant discoveries are that in 1736 George Budd married a certain Grace Witcham in Somerset House Chapel in London, and three years later Ezekiel Budd was apprenticed in London, his master being named as John Garret and his father being George Budd.
There was also a marriage between a certain Rebecca Jacobson and Samuel Budd in 1736 at Somerset House Chapel in London, but we cannot identify this Rebecca Jacobson at present.
The family group that emerges from the above reads as follows:
George Budd (d bef 1734) m Gosport 8 Mar 1708 Jane Jacobson (b abt 1688)
Children – all baptised at Holy Trinity, Gosport:
George Budd (abt 1710 – bef 1713)
Jacobson Budd (b abt 1712)
George Budd (b abt 1713) m Grace Witcham 1736 in London
Samuel Budd (b abt 1714)
Ezekiel Budd (b abt 1716)
James Budd (b abt 1718)
Esco Budd (b abt 1722)
Jane (Jacobson) Budd second marriage 1734 in London to John Garret
All this information hangs together very well, and makes perfect sense in the context of James Jacobson’s will and what we already knew, but does it give us 100% certainty? As we have not yet seen the original sources for many of the above events it seems logical to make that the next step. It may also be possible to order the Gosport records on microfilm, to view at our local Mormon Family History Centre, but I’ve never yet seen Winchester Cathedral, and Winchester is the home of Hampshire Archives. Tempting…..
- This page was last updated on Tuesday February 4th, 2014.
Geoffs Genealogy Update 5 November 2013
So, here we are, on Guy Fawkes Night 2013.
It seems a bit brutal to still be celebrating that revolutionary group of Catholics who tried to assassinate King James I in 1605 by blowing up Parliament, but successive generations since 1605 have perpetuated the celebration, which was been initiated by James I himself, when he passed an Act of Parliament making 5 November a day of celebration for his deliverance.
In the days of James Jacobson (c1692-1759) the celebrations did not always pass off as peacefully as they do today, and they often involved anti-Catholic demonstrations. In those days, of course, Catholics were barred from public office.
Now known as Bonfire Night, this evening of celebration is an established part of our culture, and no doubt brings the same excitement to young children today as it did to my generation when we were young.
Mention of James Jacobson leads me to tell you that over the past few weeks I have done some more research into my Jacobson forebears, having another crack at solving one or two long standing conundrums. You may be interested to learn about a character bearing the unusual name Element Jones.
I mention Element on the James Jacobson Broker page of the Geoffs Genealogy website, He was the chap who married a certain Elizabeth Jacobson, in 1734 at St Benet, Paul’s Wharf in the City of London. Elizabeth was aged 20, and both her parents were dead, so her Guardian – James Jacobson – gave his written assent to the marriage. Yes, this was definitely James Jacobson, pawnbroker of St Botolph, Aldgate.
The poser preented to us by these facts is to identify Elizabeth. If she really was a niece of James she was presumably a daughter of one of his male siblings, and at the start of this research we only knew of two brothers to James – Esco Jacobson (c1690-1744) and Henry Jacobson (1690-1760). Neither of these men have been the father of Elizabeth, as they were both alive in 1734, which meant meant that we were looking for another brother of James.
My next step was to look at the baptisms records on Ancestry.co.uk, and I found a couple of interesting looking entries.
Firstly, there was Elizabeth Jacobson, baptised 23 January 1714 at St Botolph Aldgate, the daughter of Antony Jacobson. This looked promising at first, as she was baptised in James’ home parish. However, when I looked into Antony’s life I found that he was still alive in 1734, so had to rule his daughter out of the equation.
I searched further on a number of websites – Ancestry, Find My Past and Family Search – but could not find another Elizabeth Jacobson who fitted the bill on any of them. However, I did find one entry that I think may refer to our Elizabeth:
Baptism at St Nicholas, Deptford, 13 October 1714 Eliza, daughter of Benjamin Jacobson Mariner in Butt Lane
True, the name is not exactly Elizabeth, but that is not necessarily significant, as Elizabeth can easily become Eliza when written in a parish register. It was quite usual for these records to be updated after the event, drawing on handwritten notes, and errors often occurred. I have looked for other records relating to Eliza jacobson born c1714, but found none.
For the next piece of the puzzle I had to refer to research I carried out some years ago. In making a sweep of the eighteenth century Jacobson wills proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury I found a will dated 1728 relating to Benjamin Jacobson, Shipwright of His Majesty’s ship Plymouth. Probate was granted in July 1730.
Benjamin’s will did not mention his spouse, which probably indicates that she had died before he made his will. Either that, or he didn’t like her! Let’s assume she had died, as that seems the most likely explanation.
This will mentions two daughters – Elizabeth and Rebeccah – who were each to be paid £200 when they reached the age of 21 years, or at their day of marriage. There was also a son – Richard – and the testator left money to be used to put him to an apprenticeship at the appropriate time. This indicates that Richard was probably under 14 years of age in 1728, which may be a guide to the age of his daughters.
The testator’s brother was named as James Jacobson, and he was to act as executor. Unfortunately there is no way of saying whether or not this was our James, but the possibility is certainly there. In fact in all my 26 years of researching, I have only recall finding a couple of James Jacobsons in London in the first half of the eighteenth century – our man, and his nephew, who actually settled in Kent, and lived out his life there.
Benjamin Jacobson married Rebeccah Fulton at St Nicholas, Deptford, on 24 September 1712. In his marriage licence allegation, which he swore at the Faculty Office on the same day, he stated that he was aged 28 and of Gosport. His bride was aged ‘above 21 years’.
Although I lack absolute proof of these relationships, I do tend to think that I am on the right track with this; that Benjamin was James’ brother and Elizabeth was Benjamin’s daughter. Will I ever know for sure one way or the other? Quite possibly not. In the interests of accuracy I am reluctant to add all this to my family tree, but how I wish there was a way of doing that which would enable me to include this section whilst indicating to viewers that it is not 100% proven.
Anyway, to complete the picture, in the past few weeks I have gathered quite a lot of material about Element Jones, and I have added him to my family tree file, as a detached individual. He was born c 1709, probably in Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, the son of Alexander Jones, a Yeoman, and apprenticed in London in 1724 to John Boucher, Citizen & Haberdasher. Although Element evidently became a freeman of the Haberdashers’ Company, he was by trade a carpenter.
In 1734 Element married Elizabeth Jacobson, as stated above. In 1735 the couple produced a son named Alexander. He was baptised at St Margaret Lothbury, London in January 1735, but buried in March of that year. A second son followed, baptised in April 1737 at St Christopher le Stocks, London, and he, also, was named Alexander. I know that he survived to at least 14 years of age, as he was apprenticed in 1752.
Sadly, Elizabeth (Jacobson) Jones was buried at St Christopher le Stocks in January 1740, at the tender age of 26. Element remarried on 1 September 1744, his second bride being Ann Shippey. Ann and Element had a child named Mary, who was baptised in September 1745 at All Hallows, London Wall, but sadly, Element died in August 1746, being buried in the churchyard of All Hallows, London Wall. I do not know what became of his widow, or his surviving children.
Element appears to have died intestate. It is apparent from the records of the Carpenters’ Company that he earned his living as a carpenter up to the time he died, and as he features in the Land Tax records for London for many of the years in the period 1734-1742 we can see that he lived for this period in the parishes of St Margaret Lothbury, St Christopher le Stocks and All hallows, London Wall.
One final snippet about Element. In May 1742 he was included in a list of insolvent debtors that was included in the London Gazette. He was incarcerated at the King’s Bench Prison in Southwark, and was due to appear at the next Quarter Sessions, at which time his claim for insolvent debtors relief under the Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors that had been passed in that year was to be heard.
All in all, an interesting and enlightening piece of work. All I need now is that final piece of proof!
- This page was last updated on Tuesday November 5th, 2013.
Geoffs Genealogy Update 2 October 2013
I mentioned in my last post that I had been using the Land Tax records on the Ancestry.co.uk website to track the residence of James Jacobson (c1692-1759) at King Street, Tower Hill, in London. This month I have continued to work with the Land Tax Registers, but this time concentrating my research on other members of the Jacobson clan. This has been part of my efforts to update my knowledge of this branch of the Bankes Pedigree in the light of records that have appeared on the internet since I last carried out a similar exercise.
This research has yielded some good results. We already knew that William Jacobson (c1732-1787) was a son of the above mentioned James, and earned his crust as a Linen Draper in the Poultry area of the City of London. According to the London Encyclopaedia (1) The Poultry was a continuation of Cheapside, heading towards the Bank. This latest research has confirmed that William occupied rented premises in this street, and also added a bit more detail, as I have been able to track him at The Poultry from 1756 to 1784. There was a sheriff’s prison in this area of London, and it appears to have been very close to William’s premises, as he was consistently listed in the returns a couple of entries after the Compter. This cannot have been an altogether pleasant experience, as “…it emanated a ‘mixture of scents from tobacco, foul feet, dirty shirts, stinking breaths and unclean carcases'”(2)
It seems that William may have retired to the country sometime after 1784, as in 1786 he can be traced in the Land Tax Registers for Hackney. If the idea of retiring to the country in Hackney seems a little odd to us, it certainly was not odd in William’s time, as Hackney was then a largely rural area, albeit an area that was starting to be developed. In 1786 and 1787 we find William living in Mare Street, Hackney, and paying a rent of £16 per annum to a certain Peter Hammond, who owned a number of properties in the same street. William died in 1787, and was buried in Hackney Independent Chapel, also in Mare Street.
William Jacobson had five children, two of whom died in childhood. One of his offspring was another William Jacobson (1776-1834). We found him in the Land Tax records for 1810, 1813 and 1814, apparently living in Hoxton Square, Shoreditch and working at his business address in Quaker Street, Spitalfields. Possibly he used to travel each day to and from work during this period. Our first sighting of him in Quaker Street was in 1798, and the final record was dated 1826, when he was listed as Jacobson & Reynolds. We know nothing of his business partner other than his surname, but we do know that William earned his living as a Silk Dyer. Silk production was the main industry in Spitalfields at that time.
The first sighting we have of Jacobson & Reynolds, as opposed to Jacobson was dated 1813. Although Mr Reynolds is often not mentioned in the listings it seems probable that in fact he was in business with William throughout the period 1813-1826. Kent’s Directory of 1823 lists the business as:
Jacobson & Reynolds, dyers, Quaker-street, Spitalfields (3)
Over the period William was listed in these records renting several properties at the same time. In 1815, for instance, he was renting two houses and also his business premises. The rent paid on each of the houses was £10 per annum, and the rent on the business premises was £35 per annum.
We know from other sources that William Jacobson was living in Shoreditch when he died on 27 April 1834. He was buried in St Thomas Square Independent Burial Ground, Hackney.
Joseph Gutteridge Jacobson (1781-1828) was another son of William Jacobson (c1732-1787), and I was able to track him in the Land Tax Registers from 1818 to 1828. He was recorded in Bridge Ward, City of London, and we know from other sources that he was trading as a druggist in Gracechurch Street. From 1818-1821 he is listed in partnership as Jacobson & Beddome, but thereafter he was listed in his name. This reflects the fact that Joseph’s partnership with Samuel Beddome was dissolved in 1822(4).
In the registers for 1826 and 1827 we found that Joseph Gutteridge Jacobson signed as one of the assessors, which must indicate that he was a man who was well regarded in his community, although perhaps not the most popular of men!
A week after his death on 18 April 1828 Joseph was buried at St Thomas Square Independent Burial Ground, Hackney.
I found this research very satisfying, and feel that I have learned quite a lot about our Jacobsons as a result of it. It now remains for me to enter all this information in my records – a very large task, I can assure you!
1 & 2 Weinreb, B & Hibbert, C (1983), The London Encyclopaedia, MacMillan, p 636
3. Kent’s Original London Directory 1823, Henry Kent, p 183.
4. London Gazette 23 March 1822, p 10
- This page was last updated on Wednesday October 2nd, 2013.
Geoffs Genealogy Update 3 September 2013
We spent the first weekend in August in Carmarthenshire. Nothing unusual in that, as we usually visit this beautiful part of Wales several times each year, sometimes looking for family history information and at other times just enjoying the wonderful countryside.
On this occasion we had a really smashing time. We broke our journey on 2 August at Tredegar House, a National Trust property near Newport. The weather was splendid, and we enjoyed spending a few hours exploring this quite magnificent pile, situated close to the M4 motorway. I would definitely recommend a visit to this site.
Saturday 3 August was the day of the annual Maliphant Jamboree, which this year was held at Kidwelly. Kidwelly is where my mother in law was born and spent some of her formative years in her family home, so it is a place that we have visited quite a number of times over the years. On this occasion our party took over the Masons Arms pub for a large part of the day, 68 of us enjoying a buffet lunch in this hostelry and also some time in the garden.
After meeting in the pub, and some serious mingle time, the day’s events started with a tour round Kidwelly Castle, guided by a man from Cadw. We have looked around this lovely castle many times over the years, and I have long thought it extremely under-rated. When people alk of impressive Welsh fortifications they speak of Harlech, Caerphilly , Caernarvon etc, but for me Kidwelly is right up there. Anyway, it was great to learn a bit about the history of the castle, and to hear that there are records to show that Maliphants played a part in its construction, if only in a fairly menial way.
After this tour our party moved on to Kidwelly’s church – St Mary’s – where we all enjoyed a very interesting talk from the vicar on the history of the church. No real Maliphant content to this, but very interesting, as Jan’s Maliphant tree contains some baptisms, burials etc that took place in this church. As most of the attendees were family historians there was then the inevitable perambulation around the churchyard, seeking all those Maliphant graves, before we all adjourned to the pub for a cup of tea to round off the day.
This was a lovely day on a number of levels. It was a chance to meet family members, some of whom we have not met up with for a while, whilst at the same time being an opportunity to gather more family history information. On top of that, the talks were very informative, and interesting in their own right, and the chance to explore this lovely Welsh town was not to be missed.
Congratulations to Pauline, Bruce, and all the people who worked to put on this event. It will certainly be a hard act to follow.
As far as my research goes, during August I have spent quite a lot of time gathering information about our Jacobson forebears.
James Jacobson married Mary Mitchell in London in 1722, and they then lived at King Street, in the parish of St Botolph Aldgate. I had previously found entries relating to them and their children in the registers of that church. I also knew that when James died his will (probate 1759) stated that he lived in Peckham, then a rural retreat in South London but now a bustling part of South London. I have tended to assume that Peckham was James’ rural retreat in his last years, and was interested to find out how long he had lived there.
With this in mind I searched the Land Tax records that are available online, and found a large number of records dating from 1731 to 1754, all showing James living at King Street. The only record relating to James that I found after that was dated 1758, and it stated that the property previously occupied by James Jacobson was empty. Thus, I surmise that he probably moved to Peckham around 1757. I don’t actually know when he was born, but based on the information we have my working hypothesis is c1692, on which basis he would have been over 60 when he moved to Peckham. A good age for a man in the 18th century.
There are a couple of other things I have recently discovered about James. I may have mentioned some of them previously, but will quickly mention them anyway, as I think they are interesting. I had long been aware that James was a Broker, but from his son’s apprenticeship agreement and a couple of other sources I can now say that he was a Pawn Broker. Probably not the most popular man in King Street!.
I have discovered that he served on the Parish Vestry Committee from at least 1731. The last entry I found that included him was dated 15 November 1754. I found these records on the wonderful London Lives website, which has also provided me with the following information about the Vestry Committees:
The vestry formed the fundamental unit of decision making for each parish, and acted as a miniature legislature for parochial government. Vestries took a number of different forms, including open vestries in which all inhabitants had at least a theoretical right to participate, and a wide variety of closed vestries, in which membership was restricted by wealth, local standing or local tradition. Many closed vestries recruited new members to a specific number (frequently twenty-four) on their own authority, creating a kind of self-perpetuating oligarchy.
The vestry had a number of legal obligations, which are reflected in their minutes. The vestry was responsible for appointing parish officers, including churchwardens, overseers of the poor, sextons and scavengers. Depending on local arrangements the vestry could also be responsible for constables and nightwatchmen (in the City of London these officers were appointed at ward level).1 It was the vestry that approved the annual church and poor rates, and to which accounts were submitted at Easter each year (though in the case of poor law accounts, these needed the additional approval of a Justice of the Peace).
So, you will see, our James was a pretty important man in his community.
I’ve found out quite a bit more about various members of the Jacobson clan, but as I’ve probably rambled on for quite long enough at the moment I think I’ll leave it until my next blog entry before revealing more.
- This page was last updated on Tuesday September 3rd, 2013.
Geoffs Genealogy Update
During the past week I have turned my attention to a couple of different sources as I work towards getting all the information I hold into my family history records.
During November 2006 I went to The National Archives, Kew, and completed a source transcription that I had started in November 1998! The source is a Receipts and Payments book relating to the John Bankes Trust. It had been kept by the Haberdashers’ Company in London, and was used as an exhibit in the long-running Court of Chancery case relating to the Trust. Finally it ended up in the keeping of a certain Master in Chancery, named Master Farrer, and is recorded in The National Archives catalogue as
“UNKNOWN CAUSE: Cash book? Bank’s charity (possibly an exhibit in the cause MITCHELL v HOLLOWAY): Middx”.
The source reference is C108/116.
This source records receipts and payments made by the Trust in the period 1741-1754. I have focussed my attention on extracting the rentals received from, and payments made to, Banks Descendants, but there is much more of interest in this book. In particular, the records of payments made to tradesmen make fascinating reading.
For the period in question, I now have a record of the payments made under the Trust to the various Banks descendants. Apart from the intrinsic interest to me of this information, I am able to deduce certain facts of interest in my research. For instance, I note that my direct ancestor James Jacobson was receiving payments that were actually due to Mary Mitchell, wife of Joseph Collyer the Elder. I surmise that the reason for this was that James had been a creditor of Joseph Collyer when Joseph sought Insolvent Debtors Relief, and these monies were assigned to him to repay that debt. You can see information about Joseph Collyer and his insolvency on the Geoffs Genealogy website.
This record of payments can also be useful in identifying the year in which an ancestor died. If you see that a person was receiving a payment regularly for a number of years and then the payment suddenly starts being paid to another person, such as a child of the usual recipient, you may suspect that the original beneficiary had died. Of course, this is not in itself proof of the death, but it can start you off looking for a probate record or a burial.
In some cases it may be the only evidence of a death that you can find.
The other source that has occupied me is a Court of Chancery Pleading dated 1724, TNA source ref C11/1704/50. This relates to the Chancery Cause BANKS v DENTON.
Elizabeth (Trevers) Banks, widow of John Banks Haberdasher, had not received any of the money due to her under her spouse’s Will, and in this document she sets out her claim to arrears of these payments, plus the future payments due to her. Given the fact that Banks’ Will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury five years previously, in 1719, one can understand her annoyance.
Time for me to sign off for another week. I hope you find something of interest in Geoffs Genealogy and wish you happy hunting!
- This page was last updated on Monday February 19th, 2007.