James Penny of Fonthill Bishop

One of Ari’s 6x great-grandfathers was James Penny. He was born in 1772 in Chilmark, Wiltshire, and baptised on 26 July of that year.

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Wiltshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812

(It looks like Parry, but there is another entry further down the page that convinced me that it says Penny.) James’s parents were Robert and Ann.

The second record we have for James is his marriage, which took place on 19 March 1795 at the church in Fonthill Bishop. His bride was Judith Strong,

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All Saints Church
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Wiltshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1916

James and Judith had six children. Fortunately, they were still alive in 1841 for the first national census, so we can find out his occupation, which is ‘agricultural labourer’. James and Judith are both listed as 65. They are living in Fonthill Bishop with daughter Mary (40). Mary didn’t marry, and after her parents’ death she went to live with her brother Robert, a timber sawyer.

In 1851 James was a widower, living with daughter Mary and a grandson, Henry. They are listed as paupers.

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(This Henry is Ari’s 4x great-grandfather, the son of Mary Anne Ballard and John Penny.)

James died on 30 July 1856, aged 84. Occupation was given as agricultural labourer, and the cause of death was chronic bronchitis. Charlotte Penny was present at his death. This is likely to be his granddaughter, the younger sister of Henry. His burial took place in Fonthill Bishop on 2 August. We visited the churchyard and found some possible relations, but not James.

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Ari, this is how you are related to James:

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Jane Goodfellow

Ari’s 7x great-grandmother Jane Goodfellow was probably born in Fovant, Wiltshire in 1704. Fovant is on the main Salisbury–Shaftesbury A30 road, and was once known for its watercress beds.

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The Fovant badges, cut out of the chalk escarpment by troops in 1916.

(For more information about the Fovant badges, see this story.)

Again, we know very little about this ancestor of Ari’s. I think she was baptised in Fovant on 2 June 1704, and if that is the right person, then her father’s name was John, but her mother’s name is not mentioned. I think she had a brother William, and sisters Mary, Anne and Lucy (twins), but William and Anne died as babies before she was born.

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Baptism entry from Wiltshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812, Ancestry.co.uk

Jane married John Beckett (father of John Beckett of Chilmark, Wiltshire) on 3 May 1725 at the church of St Mary of Antioch in Chilmark.

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Marriage entry from Wiltshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812, on Ancestry.co.uk

Jane and John’s first child was a daughter, Jenny, baptised at the church on 26 April 1726. Son John was next in 1729, and then two more sons, Benjamin and Philip, followed in 1731 and 1734.

There is a burial for a Jane Beckett in Chilmark on 7 Oct 1756.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Jane:

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John Beckett of Chilmark, Wiltshire

One of Ari’s 6x great-grandfathers was John Beckett. John was born in about 1729 in Chilmark, Wiltshire.

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Chilmark is known for its stone quarries, and stone from here was used to build Salisbury Cathedral.

From John’s marriage licence on Findmypast (in the collection of Sarum Marriage Licence Bonds), I discovered that his father was also John. (His first name is given as John Junr.) John’s occupation was given as ‘butcher’. He married Ann Sopp of Durnford, which is just north of Old Sarum, by licence, on 11 May 1761.

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Marriage record from Wiltshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812
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Wiltshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754–1916

John and Ann had at least four children: John, Joseph, Thomas Salmon and Ann Sophia.

John died in 1805 and was buried on 22 March in the churchyard at St Mary of Antioch, which we visited yesterday.

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Wiltshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812

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We didn’t find his grave, but there was a christening taking place which was a nice illustration of family history in the making!

Ari, this shows how you are related to John:

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