Posts Tagged ‘genealogy’

Agnes Bertha and Emily Sarah Bolter

August 21, 2016

A Bolter family in Market Lavington

Bolter grave in Market Lavington

Bolter grave in Market Lavington

In loving memory of Agnes Bertha Bolter who died 14th March 1950 aged 86 years
I know that my redeemed liveth
Emily Sarah Bolter who died 18th January 1979 aged 83 years.

Agnes Bolter or Boulter was born on the 4th January 1864 to John and Sarah Bolter. Agnes was baptised at St Mary’s, Market Lavington on the 27th March 1864.

In 1871 Agnes lived with her parents, John and Sarah on Church Street, John, her father, was an agricultural labourer.

In 1881 Agnes lived with her parents, John and Sarah on Church Street in Market Lavington. John was an agricultural labourer. Agnes, whose age was given as 17 had been born in Market Lavington and she had three younger siblings at home.

John Bolter died in 1888 and was buried at St Mary’s, Market Lavington on 31st March of that year, aged 82.

By 1891 Sarah Bolter was a widow and she was receiving parish relief. Agnes and a younger brother were with her on Church Street in Market Lavington.

Emily Sarah Bolter had her birth registered in the Devizes district of Wiltshire during the last quarter of 1895.

The 1901 census gives Agnes’s birthplace as Market Lavington. At this time she was living with her 69 year old, blind mother, Sarah who was described as a charwoman. Agnes’s daughter, Emily also lived with her mother, Agnes, and grandmother, Sarah, on Church Street in Market Lavington.

In 1911 the same three generations of Bolter ladies were living on Church Street in Market Lavington.

Sarah died, aged 80, in 1912. She was buried at St Mary’s, Market Lavington on 31st October of that year.

Agnes Bolter was buried on 17th March 1950. Her address was given as Church Street, Market Lavington.

Emily Sarah Bolter joined her mother, being buried by Reverend Norman Miller on 23rd January 1979 from her address at 29, Church Street, Market Lavington.



Cut off with a shilling

August 18, 2016

The will of Peter Hobbs – 1738

This will is in our possession and gives an indication of the use of a will for family history research. Peter Hobbs names children and his wife. The children each got a shilling (5p). That would be worth something between £7.50 and £150 today depending on just what you based it on.

Here’s the will. We have done our best to transcribe it below.

The will of Peter Hobbs of Market Lavington

The will of Peter Hobbs of Market Lavington

In the name of God Amen I Peter Hobbs of Market Lavington in the County of Wilts being weak in body but of sound and perfect mind and memory praise therefore be given to Almighty God for it do ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following First my will is that all my debts and funeral charges shall be paid and discharged by my ???? as after named. Item I give and bequeath unto my loving daughter Martha Blagdon the sum of one shilling to be paid unto him in six months after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto my dear and loving son Joseph Hobbs the sum of one shilling to be paid unto him in six months after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto my loving daughter Mary Hobbs the sum of one shilling to be paid unto him in six months after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto my son Benjamin Hobbs the sum of one shilling to be paid unto him in six months after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto my dear son John Hobbs the sum of one shilling to be paid unto him in six months after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto my dear and loving wife Emm Hobbs all the rest and residue of my goods chattels premises here unto me owning or belonging which ??? my full whole and sole ??????? to all these premises hereunto belonging these

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal the eighth of December in the 9th year of our reign of sovereign Lord George the second by the grace of God King of Great Britain France Ireland King defender of the faith in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred thirty six. The mark of Peter Hobbs signed sealed and delivered in the presence of us Witness William Sloper John Bewly.

The remainder of the document tells us about the proving of the will.

Sidney and Nellie Saxton

August 17, 2016

We do not know much about this couple. They are buried in St Mary’s churchyard and we have a photo of the grave.

Grave of Sidney and Nellie Saxton

Grave of Sidney and Nellie Saxton

This shows that even comparatively modern headstones can suffer from the ravages of time. This has quite a few letters missing but says:

In loving memory of a devoted husband Sidney George Saxton who died 3rd May 1961 aged 71. Also Nellie Saxton who died 5th May 1992 aged 93 and their son Donald? Ronald who died 16th Oct 1969 aged 44.

Sidney was born in the Thornbury area of Gloucestershire and he married Nellie Edwards in the Bristol area during 1912. We suspect they were in Market Lavington soon after for a son, John, was born in the Devizes area in 1916.

Our paper records start with a 1926 electoral roll which shows Sidney and Nellie living in the Market Place. In the list for 1939 Sidney and Nellie, along with Cecil Saxton are still in the Market Place. John lives at Chestnut Cottage in Market Lavington. Donald would not have been eligible to vote. Nellie was still a Market Place resident in 1964. This time she gets a full address of 3 Ivydene.

We’d like to know more about this family. Maybe we can learn from our readers.

Richard Park – Tailor of Market Lavington

July 23, 2016

Richard Park was born in 1841 to his parents, William and Rosanna. William had married Rosanna Cook in 1838 at Bradford on Avon. Richard’s birth was recorded in the first quarter of the year so it’s a real shame that the 1841 census has not survived for we’d have known whereabouts he lived within Market Lavington at the time of his birth. As it is, we can’t catch up with Richard until he was aged ten, in 1851 when the family lived on Northbrook.

By then, Richard’s father, William was aged 45 and earned his living as a tailor. Mother, Rosanna, was 46 and both parents had been born in Market Lavington. Richard, aged ten, was the oldest child at home. He had a younger brother, James, who was five. Both Richard and James were scholars.

In 1861 Richard is described as a tailor. He still lives on Northbrook with younger brother, James. A note on the census says, ‘H Absent’. I’m not sure what the H means but I imagine it means parents for Richard is recorded as a son.

Richard married Ellen Honey in the spring of 1867. The marriage was recorded in the Devizes district.

In 1871 the census transcriber has given Richard the surname Kirk but it clearly says Park. Richard, the tailor lives with his wife, Ellen and children William Henry, aged 2 and Charles David, just a month old, at number 5 Stobbarts Road. This census tells us that Ellen came from the village of Stanton St Bernard, up the Vale of Pewsey.

In 1881 Ellen was away and Richard, the tailor, was living with his two sons. This time the address is given as number three Stobbarts Road. Ellen was staying with George Pearson and family in St Pancras, London. George was a Market Lavington man by birth as was his one year old daughter. A second Ellen Park, aged 7 is also in the house – so Richard and Ellen now had a daughter as well as the two sons.

By 1891 Richard and Ellen had moved to the High Street – not so far from the Vicarage which is now the nursing home. As in 1881, Ellen gives her place of birth as Devizes. Richard is still at work as a tailor and the only child at home with the couple is Alice, aged six.

In 1901, Richard reached the age of 60 and Ellen was 57. Alice, with middle name Gertrude was still at home and a visitor at the house was a twenty year old son of the Pearsons – the family that Ellen had been staying with twenty years earlier.

Richard died on January 11th 1909 and was buried in Market Lavington churchyard on the 16th January with the Reverend Sturton officiating.

Grave of Richard and Ellen Park in Market Lavington churchyard

Grave of Richard and Ellen Park in Market Lavington churchyard

In 1911 Ellen was still on High Street with single daughter, Gertude aged 26. They had a house with 5 rooms. This time, with Ellen writing the census herself, she gives her birthplace as Stanton St Bernard. She had filled in that she had four children, all still living.

Ellen died on February 18th 1920 and joined Richard in the churchyard on the 23rd of that month with the Reverend Sturton, again officiating.

Bert and Flo

January 10, 2016

Bert and Flo, or Mr and Mrs Shore were well known in Market Lavington. Bert had been born in West Lavington but he crossed the bridge into Market Lavington when he married Flo Burbidge. Flo – or Florence was the younger daughter of Alf and Louisa. Alf gardened for Miss Pleydell Bouverie at The Old House and the Burbidge family lived in a highly convenient cottage for that location. It was sited just off the churchyard and a gate led straight from its garden into that of The Old House. That building is now Market Lavington Museum and it was where Flo was born in 1908.

And here we have a photo of Bert and Flo.

Bert and Flo Shore in the 1940s

Bert and Flo Shore in the 1940s

We believe this photo dates from the 1940s and it was taken at the cottage which is now the museum.

Bert and Flo actually lived in the Market Place.

Bert died in 1987 and Flo followed him in 1994. She had been able to attend the museum opening which was in 1985.

Mr and Mrs Walter Cooper

December 1, 2015

We met Mrs Cooper about three weeks ago. She was born Florence Moore and was the daughter of Samuel Moore of the jam factory in Easterton. This photo shows her with her husband, Walter James Cooper. They have posed by their house which was in Market Place in Market Lavington.

Mr and Mrs Walter Cooper of Market Place, Market Lavington

Mr and Mrs Walter Cooper of Market Place, Market Lavington

Walter Cooper was born in about 1883. He was the son of Robert Cooper and his wife Sarah (née) Burden. Robert was Market Lavington born. Sarah came from Easterton.

The couple seem to have made their home and raised their family on Northbrook in Market Lavington. Robert was a labourer and in 1901 he was working at the brick works. By this stage Walter, then around 18, was a labourer working on the railway. It is possible he was involved in its construction.

By 1911 Robert had become a foreman at the brickworks. Walter, still living at home on Northbrook, had become a gardener.

Walter married Florence Moore in 1912. The couple set up home in the Market Place where they lived until Walter died in 1948. Florence lived until 1966.

Granny Cooper

November 12, 2015

Florence Cooper was known by a wide family as Granny Cooper – even to people for whom she was not, strictly, the grandmother. Our photo shows her near her home which was one of the old houses in the Market Place. These were demolished in the late 1950s.

Florence Cooper (née Moore) outside her Market Place home

Florence Cooper (née Moore) outside her Market Place home – probably early 1950s

We think this photo was in an area which had been called St James’ Square. Possibly, the building facing us, at the back of the alley, is actually the back of the Co-op. But we’d welcome further information on this for the only other picture we have which we think shows the same area is actually of the buildings being demolished.

Florence was born Florence Moore in Easterton. She was the daughter of Samuel Moore of the jam factory. She had been born in 1890 and was the first born of Samuel and his first wife, Bertha.

Florence married Walter Cooper in 1912. He’d have been a gardener at the time, living with parents in Northbrook.

We can see that the couple lived at Market Place in the various electoral rolls we have for the 1920s and 30s.

Walter died in 1948. Florence followed him in 1966.

Matters genealogical

October 29, 2015

This blog post began as a result of an email from Lizzy.

Dear Sirs

I wonder if could help me. My husband’s Great Uncle was the Reverend Harry Sanders born 1863 in Budleigh Salterton in Devon.  He spent most of his adult years in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.  He was a very prominent gentleman. I have just recently found he died in Fiddington House in Market Lavington in September 1929.

First of all we can confirm that what Lizzy says is correct. This is the probate record for Harry – not held at the museum but available on line.


Sadly, we can’t help all that much but maybe it is time to say what we can do easily and why there may be problems at other times.

We’ll start with the Fiddington area. The whole area was once an outpost belonging to the parish of West Lavington. Prior to the 1870s, therefore, parish and census records for Fiddington are with those for West Lavington. Census records can be a tad confused afterwards for people who had never moved house might say, quite rightly, that they were born in West Lavington but now live in Market Lavington. At much the same time the parish of Easterton was created and included parts of Fiddington it all adds to confusion.

Fiddington House itself was a mental hospital, privately run as a profit making venture. At times it was very much a retirement home for the elderly gentry who had some kind of nervous disorder. To protect the identity of such unfortunate folks, some censuses only give their initials which makes tracing them very hard.

However, when the Reverend Harry Sanders died Fiddington was well and truly in Market Lavington and may well have been taking ‘county’ patients as well as those with plenty of cash.

We looked to see if Harry Sanders had been buried in Market Lavington. We have fairly complete lists for the churchyard and can assert with reasonable confidence that he is not buried there. The other burial ground, still in use in the village is the Drove Lane Cemetery. This started life as a non-conformist burial ground. Sadly, we have no records but we have photographed many of the graves and we find no Harry Sanders on any of them.

But Harry Sanders was a Baptist minister so he could have found his final resting place at the almost forgotten Baptist burial ground which is behind the present fish and chip shop. No trace of it having been a burial ground seems to survive.

There is a fourth burial ground but it would have been out of use by the time of Harry’s death. This is attached to the former Quaker chapel at the Fiddington end of High Street.

Our best bet is that Harry was returned to his home town of Trowbridge for burial.

When it comes to genealogy we have:

Church baptism records for Market Lavington and Easterton

Access to census data

Marriage records for Market Lavington up to 1812

Church burial records for Market Lavington

A few electoral registers for Market Lavington between 1926 and the 1980s

Directories or extracts from them covering the mid 1800s to mid 1900s. Two directories one in the 1950s and one in the 1960s lists every head of house in Market Lavington and Easterton

We also, of course, have a wealth of local knowledge.

Above all, we are always keen to help people who make enquiries.


James Philpott

July 26, 2015

We have recently been sent a photo of James Philpott who seems to have been an interesting character. Let’s summarise what we know about him first.

James was born on 10th December 1838 and was baptised at St Mary’s, Market Lavington in January of 1839. His parents were John and Hannah or Anna.

It’s a real shame there is no 1841 census for Market Lavington. It means we can’t trace John for by 1851 Anna Philpott is listed as a widow. At that time she and her eldest son work as gardeners. Twelve year old James was the youngest child and he was a scholar, maybe attending what is now the Old School. Anna came from Edington but the boys were all Market Lavington born.

In 1861 James was a resident at The Royal Oak in Easterton where his sister in law, Caroline Philpott was the victualler. She was a widower at the time. James, aged 22 was a cabinet maker.

At some time in the 1860s James left the Lavington area for he married Louisa Hopkins Tozer in 1869 in the Newton Abbot area of Devon.

In 1871 James, Louisa and baby Ernest were staying in a lodging house in Bristol. James is now described as an organ builder and we can guess at something of an itinerant lifestyle. He’d have needed to be near the building where he was working and when one job was finished he’d have moved elsewhere for the next one.

Our photo dates from about 1875 and is an interesting colour!


James is at back right with his wife, Louisa. Sitting in front we have her parents, William and Frances Tozer and each has a Philpott grandchild on their knee, Ernest and Florence.

In 1881 the family, with a third child called Reginald lived in Exeter. In fact all three children are given Devon birth places so it seems the family home was in that county. James was still building organs and so he was in 1891 when his parents in law, both in their 80s were staying with James and Louisa.

1901 still sees James as an organ builder. Louisa and daughter Florence are still with him. And so they are in 1911. James is now a retired organ builder and the family have remained in the Exeter area.

James died in 1915. Louisa followed in 1920.

The Philpotts had been business people in the Lavington area. We found it interesting to follow James the organ builder through to the twentieth century.




Harriet Hiscock

May 16, 2015

Albert Hiscock, the thatcher who lived on White Street in Market Lavington has featured more than once on this blog. But it is only recently that we were given a photo of his wife, Harriet so today we look at that photo and the lady herself.

So here we see Harriet wearing an attractively decorated dress.

Harriet Hiscock (née Plank)

Harriet Hiscock (née Plank)

We’ll start her story in the middle – with her marriage for that confirms a maiden name. Towards the end of 1897 Harriet Euena Plank married Albert Hiscock in the Devizes area.

So Harriet had been a Miss Plank before she married.

When we seek information about people, we often turn to the ends of life next and in particular to the local church burial records. These tell us that Harriet Euena Hiscock was buried at Market Lavington on 17th September 1954 and that she was aged 77. It also tells us that she was living at Hillside – the home on White Street in Market Lavington at the time of her death.

So we now know that for Harriet’s origins we need a surname of Plank and a birth year of about 1877. The FreeBMD website tells us that Harriet Euena Plank’s birth was registered in the Devizes area in the second quarter of 1877.

Even with the information gathered, it is not easy to find Harriet on early censuses but we think she was the daughter of Charles, an agricultural labourer and Harriet. According to this 1881 census she was born in Easterton but by 1881 was living in Little Cheverell. In 1891 Harriet was in service and living on Long Street, Devizes. This census gives her birthplace at West Lavington (which on the system we use is mis-transcribed as West Langdon!).

After her marriage to Albert, the couple lived in Little Cheverell and they had produced five children by the time of the 1911 census.

We know, from our electoral rolls, that the Hiscocks moved to Market Lavington after 1926 and before 1939.

Harriet falls off our radar until her burial. Albert joined her in the churchyard some four months later.

Sixty years on there are still people in the village who remember the Hiscocks.