Christian Gray

One of Ari’s 8x great-grandmothers was called Christian Gray. She was born in 1702 in Corfe Castle, Dorset, and baptised there on 17 May.

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The baptism record shows her parents as Samuel Grey (a labourer) and Margaret.

In the year that she was born, King William III fell off his horse in Richmond Park after it stumbled on a molehill. He broke his clavicle and died in March. Queen Anne was crowned in April. Also that year, the Daily Courant was founded in Fleet Street. This was the first national newspaper to be published regularly.

On 28 December 1731, Christian married John Welch at the church in Corfe Castle.

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Christian and John had five children: Mary in 1733, twins Elizabeth and Ann in 1736, John in 1738, and Dorothy in 1740.

Christian died in September 1775, at the age of 73, and was buried at the church “in woolen”.

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Extract from Sepulture: Its History, Methods and Sanitary Requisites by Stephen Wickes, 1884.

Ari, this is how you are related to Christian:

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Frances of Ashbourne

For several of Ari’s ancestors, I know very little about their lives. I thought I’d do a post about Frances, one of his 6x great-grandmothers, to illustrate this. Apart from her burial record, the census records for 1841, 1851 and 1861 are all I have found for her so far.

Frances (or Fanny) was born in about 1782 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. I don’t know when or where she married, but her first child, John Williams, was baptised on 8 Nov 1807 in Cawston, Norfolk, which was where Frances’ husband William Williams came from. Her other four children – Samuel, Frances, Thomas and Mary – were all baptised in Ashbourne.

In 1841, Frances is listed as living at Pig Market, Ashbourne. She is aged 60, and her children Frances (a dress-maker), Mary (a bonnet-maker), and Thomas (a pig jobber = trader) are at the same address.

In 1851 she is 70, listed as living at 32 Buxton Road, Ashbourne, with her husband, a pig dealer. The grown-up children John (42), Fanny (37) and Thomas (33) are all still living at home. (Buxton Road is just next to the Market Place.)

Finally, in 1861, she is listed at Church Yard with her husband who is shown as an almsman, widowed daughter Fanny, still a dress-maker, and son Thomas, now a general labourer. Does this mean she was living in one of Spalden’s Almshouses? Not sure!

geograph-3623395-by-David-Hallam-Jones

“The grassed area at the front of a u-shaped row of almshouses viewed from the entrance gates off Church Lane. These were once almshouses for clergy widows. They were built in 1753, courtesy of a legacy outlined in the will of Nicholas Spalden. Spalden, who lived in the early C18th, also left money in his will with which to establish two elementary schools in the town, one for thirty boys and the other for a similar number of girls.”
  © Copyright David Hallam-Jones and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

This is the record of her burial:

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Source: England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537–1918.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Frances:

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Hannah Cox of Corfe Castle

Hannah Cox was Ari’s 7x great-grandmother, born in about 1748. She lived in Corfe Castle, Dorset, and died in March 1816. She is buried in the churchyard at St Edward, King & Martyr.

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Luckily, a census for Corfe Castle was conducted by William Morton Pitt, and it has been transcribed and made available (see http://www.opcdorset.org/CorfeCastleFiles/CorfeCastleCensus1790.htm). At the time, the population of Corfe Castle was 1239. We can see Hannah after the death of her husband John Stockley. She is listed as:

STOCKLEY Hannah; 42; Widow; Knits

Other members of the family, living in the High Street, were sons John (21) and George (19), clay-cutters earning 10 shillings, and daughters Hannah (17), Ann (11) and Sarah (7). Hannah and Ann were both knitters earning 4 shillings. Another son, Robert, was 14 and earned 4 shillings as a labourer. The family was on parish pay.

Hannah and John had another son, Shadrach, born in 1771, so the family seems to be connected to the other Shadrach Stockleys in the area but there is more work to do on that.

Sarah was to become Ari’s 6x great-grandmother so she will feature in a post of her own.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Hannah:

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