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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William Orchard of Langton Matravers

William Orchard was Ari’s 5x great-grandfather. He was born in the Dorset village of Langton Matravers on 8 Sep 1813, and baptised on 10 Oct.

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We first see him in the 1841 census, after his marriage to Sarah Welch. The couple are living in West Street, Corfe Castle, with Sarah’s mother. They have an eight-month-old daughter living with them, as well as a three-year-old child called Edna Toop. William’s occupation is ‘labourer’, and in the 1851 census he is a general labourer. By 1861, he is still in West Street but now working as a clay digger. By this time they have seven children: Susan Ann, Emma, Henry, Elizabeth Sarah, Lucy Mary, William and Edna.

According to the Purbeck and Mineral Mining Museum¬†website, “The clay industry was a major employer in Corfe Castle and the surrounding villages from the end of the 18th Century. At times half of the population of some villages were supported by clay work.”

This photo shows West Street with Corfe Castle behind it (shame about the car!).

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William died in 1891 and was buried on 28 Sep in the old cemetery at Corfe Castle.

Ari, this shows how you are related to William:

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William and Sarah’s gravestone which we found today (5 Aug 2017), lying flat in the cemetery.

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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Ari’s Ancestors

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A blog about finding all of the direct ancestors of my grandson Ari, and learning as much about them as I can.  His birth has given me an opportunity to focus on part of the family tree, looking again at all the records I have and searching for new ones.

I know at least a little bit about 370 of his direct ancestors. They lived in places as far afield as: Memel (now Klaipeda); Grafton Flyford in Worcestershire; Middleton by Wirksworth in Derbyshire; Corfe Castle in Dorset; Barrowden in Rutland; Kalisz in Poland; Svencionys in Lithuania; Johannesburg; Gritsev in Ukraine; Parichi in Belarus; Fonthill Bishop in Wiltshire; and Hurstbourne Tarrant in Hampshire.

Alphabetically, their surnames range from ABBOTT to WRIGHT (and some I don’t know yet), and first names range from Abraham to Yosel.