Posts Tagged ‘family history’

Burial register

August 11, 2014

One of the family history records we have lacked at our museum was earlier burial records. We have now put that right and have acquired a copy of burials at the church from 1622 to 1837.

A Burial Register can now be inspected at market Lavington Museum

A Burial Register can now be inspected at Market Lavington Museum

As we can see, these records have been compiled by the Wiltshire Family History Society.


An index can help users find the full entry

An index can help users find the full entry

The first section is an alphabetical list of names with the year of burial – effectively, it’s an index.

And then the bulk of the pages are in chronological order. The amount of information varied according to who was vicar at the time.

John Dobson who was vicar in the second half of the 18th century seems to have been the one who got up close and personal.


Here we get cause of death, often the name of a parent and even a one word comment from a coroner. There’s real family history in records like these.

George Rogers also kept quite full records at the start of the nineteenth century.


Elsewhere there is less detail but we reckon this will be a very useful document to have at our museum.

Usher family – help wanted.

July 28, 2014

We recently had a visit from a member of the Usher family who lives in Norway.

Ushers at the museum

Ushers at the museum

He’d like help with tracing information about his family who lived in Market Lavington in the 19th century.

He sent us this information.

Usher Family of Market Lavington

Thomas Usher 1805-1891 b. Trowbridge

Jemima Bailey (1) 1802-1845 b. Great Cheverell Married Thomas 20th April 1828

Jane Gardener (2) 1804-1874 b. Erlestoke Married Thomas 1838 Westbury

Mary Scull (3) 1810-1882 b Erlestoke Thomas married her after Jane’s death in 1874

George Henry Usher 1829-1829 b. Little Cheveriell c. 6 March 1829

Frederick Usher 1830-1877b. Little Cheverell c. 4th July 1830 Married Mary Park

Louisa Usher 1832-1877 b. Market Lavington c. 8th April 1832 Married Fredrick Butler

Elizabeth Usher 1833- b. Market Lavington

Mary Jane Usher 1835 b. Market Lavington Married James Amor

Alfred Usher 1838-1881 b. Market Lavington c. 15th April Married Ann Still from M. Lavington

George Usher 1843-1910 b. Market Lavington – My Great Grandfather who married Louise Brown and moved and lived (and died) in Salisbury with their 11 children, I have details of most of them and he died in 37 Endless Street, now a B&B establishment.

In 1851 15 year old Mary Jane was a servant in the house of James Farmer, Butcher, 17th High Street.

In 1815 17 year old Elizabeth was a servent in the house of Cornelius B. Holder, Minister of Market Lavington Chapel, Market Place.

In 1851 Alfred & Ann lived in Townsend, number 10 in my notes, whether this is a street number or a register number in the census I am not sure !

In 1861 Alfred & Ann still lived in Townsend, he was a plumber & glazier.

In 1861 George lived with his parents in High Street, Cabinet Maker.

Our thought – for we have no information – is that the Ushers were members of the non-conformist church in Market Lavington.

Can anyone out there provide more information?

Alf Davidge

May 2, 2014

Alf or Alfie or Alfred Davidge was Market Lavington born and bred. He was born in 1894 to parents Edwin and Mary Jane. Mary Jane was a local girl. Edwin had come to Market Lavington to work at the brickworks. Edwin and Mary Jane lived at Broadway with a family that increased in size quite rapidly. In 1891 they had two children and by 1911 they had had ten offspring of which eight were still alive with six living at home.

Amongst them was Alfred, aged 16 who worked as a shop assistant.

Alfred’s sister took our photo and captioned the back of it.

A photo of Alf (Davidge) taken in 1921 at Clyffe Hall

A photo of Alf (Davidge) taken in 1921 at Clyffe Hall

Now there’s a model for captions. It has who, where and when although if you want to quibble then she should have added the surname. Evidently Alf’s sister was employed at Clyffe Hall by the Warringtons.

And here is the photo.

A very debonair looking Alf Davidge of Market Lavington

A very debonair looking Alf Davidge of Market Lavington

Alf is looking very debonair. In fact he would have fitted in well with the picture of Lord Warrington we showed just a few days ago.

We believe Alfred was still living with his parents when the 1926 electoral roll was drawn up and then we lose touch with him.

His death was recorded in the Devizes district in 1985.

We know there are people out there who can tell us more about Alf. Do get in touch.

Vic Osmond

April 6, 2014

Today we look at the second photo which was recently acquired by our chairman, Peter. This one shows Victor Osmond. He was actually Robert Victor Osmond but known as Vic. His sister, Olive, was the girl who married Arthur Sainsbury who was the subject of yesterday’s blog.

Vic was born in the spring of 1898 in Stratton St Margaret. It’s no surprise to find that William, Vic’s father worked in the Swindon Railway Works. He was a carpenter’s labourer in the carriage department.

We do not know precisely when the family moved to Market Lavington, or why. They were not in our village when the 1926 electoral roll was drawn up but we’d guess they were in the village by 1932 for that was when Vic’s sister, Olive, married Arthur Sainsbury. Vic’s parents appear on the 1939 electoral roll and so, too, does Vic. He appears to live with Emily who we imagine was his wife. They were on Spin Hill. We have no information about Emily except that she died and was buried in the churchyard aged 58 in 1948.

Vic was always keen on the scout movement and we see him here, on the left, at a camp with the Lavington scouts.

Vic Osmond on the left on a Lavington scout camp, possibly around 1926

Vic Osmond on the left on a Lavington scout camp, probably in the 1930s

At the moment, we do not know who the man on the right is.

We have seen, on this blog, a photo which we think was taken at the same time. Click here.

We think this photo was mid 20s which suggests that Vic might have arrived in the village soon after that 1926 electoral roll was drawn up.

Vic worked at the brickworks.

Jim has added this comment, giving us more about Vic’s working life.

Vic user to run the newspaper business in the 1950′s and his father helped with delivery on an old bicycle with a wicker basket on the front. If you wanted something different like a particular magazine then William would pick a flower such as a daisy and thread it in the wicker basket as a memory aid. His basket was well decorated and the request always turned up! I remember William as a pleasant old gentleman.

A year after the death of Emily, Vic married Win Mundy. Village folk who knew them all seem to suggest that this was a marriage made in heaven. Vic died in 1957. Win followed him into Market Lavington churchyard in 1993.


Arthur Henry Sainsbury

April 5, 2014

Peter, our museum chairman, has recently acquired a couple of images of Market Lavington people, possibly with a connection to each other but today we’ll just look at one of them with the good old local surname of Sainsbury – Arthur Henry Sainsbury.

These photos were being sold by a trader at an antiques market and we had to decide if the information given really did make these people Market Lavington or Easterton folk. This was the information on the back.

Information on the back of a photo. To acquire for Market Lavington Museum or not to acquire? That is the question.

Information on the back of a photo. To acquire for Market Lavington Museum or not to acquire? That is the question.

We have a 1939 electoral roll at the museum and the first thing we did was to check out that. Here we see all people called Sainsbury who were electors in Market Lavington for 1939

People with the Sainsbury surname on our 1939 electoral roll

People with the Sainsbury surname on our 1939 electoral roll

We can see, amongst them there is Arthur Henry and we could take a guess that Olive Louisa might be his wife.

This is easy to check out and we found that Arthur Sainsbury married Olive Osmond in 1932.

The Osmond family lived at 12 Council Cottages on Spin Hill in 1939.

Checking back on our 1926 electoral roll we found no Arthur and no Osmond. We think the Osmonds must have moved after 1925 and suspect Arthur and Olive were able to acquire one of the new houses when they married.

As they married in 1932, there was a good chance we’d find them on the 1911 census. Our luck was in and we found Arthur was born in 1906. He was born and lived with his family in the Cheverells.

The information on the back of the photo is thus proved so let’s now see the image.


Arthur Henry Sainsbury on the right. He was a serving soldier at Ghent in Belgium at the time.

Arthur is on the right. We do not know who his mate is but we do know that these two British soldiers were in Ghent in Belgium when this photo was taken, soon after hostilities ceased at the end of World War II. Somebody out there might recognise him and put a name to him.

As far as we know, Arthur and Olive had a son called Robert born in 1935.

The Sainsbury family were still living on Spin Hill in 1964 but Arthur died in 1966. He may have been hospitalised at the time for the death was registered in the Bath district. Olive died in 1993.

Son Robert married Christine Plank. He died in 2004 in the Swindon area.

We have odd bits of information about this family but do get in touch if you can tell us anything more.

Geoff Alexander and family

March 27, 2014

The Alexander family had a farm in the Southcliffe area of Market Lavington.

We think of Alfie Alexander as the founder of the Alexander dynasty, although, of course, the family really goes back years before him.

Amongst Alfie’s children there was a son called Deering and Deering had a son, Geoffrey, born in 1932. It is Geoff we look at today. The photo was taken in 1960 and shows Geoff with his wife, Val and baby daughter Mary Anne.

Geoff, Val and Mary Ann Alexander in 1960

Geoff, Val and Mary Ann Alexander in 1960

Geoff had married Val Baulcomb in 1954. Mary Anne was their first child, born in 1960. Paul was born the following year.

This branch of the family left Wiltshire for Australia. We know some of the family still live there.

John Merritt Senior

March 25, 2014

There was a time when the name John Merritt meant only one person – the leader of Market Lavington Prize Band for 60 years or more from the nineteenth century and through to the middle of the twentieth century – long enough, in fact, to appear on an ITV show on the telly, with Wilfred Pickles. But that John Hampton Merritt had a father who was also called John Hampton Merrit and it is him we look at today, starting with our photo which was taken in the 1890s.

John Hampton Merritt (1842-1912) A Market Lavington blacksmith

John Hampton Merritt
A Market Lavington blacksmith

This handsome looking gentleman was a blacksmith with premises on the edge of Broadwell in Market Lavington. This Mr Merritt was born in about 1842. We think his father was another John Hampton Merritt. By the time of the 1861 census our ‘J H’ was living with his parents at Broadwell and he had followed his father into the blacksmithing business.

By 1871, John was married to Mary and they had three children including the next John Hampton. The family – quite an extended one – lived on White Street to run the blacksmithing business.

At the time of the 1881 census John was a master blacksmith, living on White Street with wife and eight children and employing a worker to help him in the business.

In 1891 there were fewer children still at the White Street home and no mention of employing anybody. Interesting to note that his 12 year old daughter was a teacher!

In 1901 John said he was 60 and he was still a blacksmith, still on White Street and we learn, again, that he was an employer. He was still at work in 1911 – this time he seems to have his age right again at aged 69 and he has a granddaughter visiting from London.

John died in 1912 and is buried in the churchyard at Market Lavington.

Elizabeth Saunders

November 16, 2013

Elizabeth, known as Mam, was the wife of William Saunders who we met just a few days ago on this blog. We believe this picture dates from about 1930 and like the very poor quality one we had of William, this one was found in an Erlestoke Cottage where a daughter Of William and Mam had lived.

Elizabeth Saunders of Market Lavington in about 1930

Elizabeth Saunders of Market Lavington in about 1930

When William Saunders married Elizabeth Pymont towards the end of 1905 she had been married before. Indeed she brought a child from her first marriage to the new home.

Elizabeth was born as Elizabeth Kyte in Easterton in 1868. Her parents were Robert, an agricultural labourer born in Easterton and his wife Louisa. We can find Elizabeth (as either Kyte or Kite) with her parents, in Easterton, for 1871 and 1881 censuses.

In 1891 Elizabeth was a housemaid, working for a rector in the High Wycombe area.

Elizabeth married George Pymont in the early months of 1896. The marriage took place in the Hampstead area of London. The couple’s daughter, Doris was born in the Hampstead area in 1899. George Pymont died early in 1900.

The 1901 census sees Elizabeth and her daughter living with her parents again.

Elizabeth remarried in 1905. Her second husband was William Saunders, a roadman and the couple, along with Doris, Elizabeth’s daughter, lived on Church Street in Market Lavington.

We think Elizabeth died in 1935 but the age given for that burial in Market Lavington churchyard doesn’t quite match the registered birth of Elizabeth Kyte.

Two little snippets of information about Elizabeth:

She was a cleaner for the Welch family.

When Peggy Welch (later Peggy Gye) needed a tooth out it was Mrs Saunders who did the pulling.

William Saunders

November 13, 2013

One Saunders family, that of Amram Saunders, was well known in 19th century Market Lavington for their radical views and a commitment to helping people. If William Saunders, who we look at today, was related to them it was not a close relationship.

Our photo of William is in very poor condition as you can see below.

William Saunders - a road mender of Market Lavington

William Saunders – a road mender of Market Lavington

Despite the poor condition, we can see a fine, upstanding young gentleman. Let’s look into his history.

William Henry Saunders was born in 1876. His father, another William Saunders, came from West Lavington. His mother, Hannah (née Blagden) was a Market Lavington girl. In 1881 the family lived at Broadwell Cottage in Market Lavington. Father William was an agricultural labourer and Hannah’s mother was with the family.

In about 1883 our William gained a sister and in 1891 the family lived on New Street (AKA The Muddle) in Market Lavington. Young William was a labourer.

By 1901 the family lived on Church Street in Market Lavington. The Williams, father and son were both working as gardeners.

In 1905 William Henry Saunders married a widow – Elizabeth Pymont. In 1911 the couple, along with Elizabeth’s daughter from her first marriage and the couple’s own daughter were living on Church Street. William was a labourer on county roads – doing road repairs. That’s the job he’s remembered for in Market Lavington. Elizabeth had been born Elizabeth Kyte in Easterton.

William died in 1952 and is buried in the churchyard at Market Lavington.

Going back in history we know that William was a direct descendant of David Saunders, the pious shepherd of Salisbury Plain.

The photo was found in a cottage in Erlestoke where the Saunders’ daughter had lived and was given to the museum in 1998.

The Warringtons

November 6, 2013

The Warringtons lived at Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington from sometime in the Edwardian era. Thomas Rolls Warrington was a lawyer. He probably spent much time in London since in 1904 he was appointed a judge at the High Court. He was knighted the same year. In 1915 he became Lord Justice of Appeal and he was also appointed a Privy Counsellor that year.

Thomas had been born in 1851 and he married his wife, Emma Maude Sturges in 1883. Emma was the daughter of a barrister called Decimus Sturges. We can presume she knew what she was taking on when she married Thomas.

Our photograph is believed to show the couple in 1920 in the grounds at Clyffe Hall.

Sir Thomas Warrington and his wife Emma Maud at their Wiltshire home - Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington

Sir Thomas Warrington and his wife Emma Maud at their Wiltshire home – Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington

History has not recorded the name of the dog.

In 1926 Thomas retired and he was elevated to the peerage. He was made a baron and chose the title of Baron Warrington of Clyffe.

Thomas died in 1937. His death was recorded in the Devizes district – the couple still lived at Clyffe Hall.

We think Emma died in 1948 in Berkshire.

The couple died childless and so Thomas was the first and last Baron Warrington of Clyffe.