Our Visit to Lincolnshire-Tetford and Fulletby

July 3, 2010

St Mary's Church at Tetford.

We continue our description of our visit to Lincolnshire with stops in two villages that have played  a role in the history of our family.  George Stephenson, the husband of Elizabeth Would Stephenson is reported to have died in Tetford.  As was mentioned in earlier posts, why George was not with his family or what he was doing is unknown.  We did not find a gravestone for him in the cemetery at Tetford.

Although there has been a church at Tetford for some 900 years, St Mary’s church dates from the 14th century.  The tower is from the 15th century and contains three bells.  The door on the south wall is very old and may be original.

St Andrew's church at Fulletby.

Elizabeth Would’s mother was Susanna Panton who came  from Fulletby.  We were unable to find any Panton graves in Fulletby that we could identify as our line.  This warrants another trip to further explore Fulletby.

An interesting booklet describing the church of St Andrew in Fulletby, written by Florence L. Baker, states that the church was in existence as early as 1086 and is recorded in the Doomsday Book by William the Conqueror.  At that time, the village had a priest.  Over the years, the church has been repaired and renovated.  A heating system was installed in 1887.
The grounds of the church are covered in small daisy wildflowers that grow among the gravestones.  Paths have been mowed among the daisies to give access, but we did not search because it would have meant trampling the flowers.

Stained glass window in St Andrew's Church in Fulletby.

St Andrew's Church of Fulletby.

Daisies in the graveyard of St Andrew's of Fulletby.

St Mary's Church of Tetford.

City limits of Tetford.


Our Visit to Lincolnshire-Kirkby on Bain

July 2, 2010

St Mary's Church, Kirkby on Bain.

Today we continue the story of our visit to Lincolnshire with a stop in Kirkby on Bain.  This village was the home of Elizabeth Would who married George Stephenson in 1797.  We have records of the Woulds living in Kirkby on Bain as far back as 1695 when Edward Would, Elizabeth’s great-grandfather, lived there.  The name means Church on the River Bain and records show that there was a church here as early as 1085.   Elizabeth and her siblings were christened here, although the church was in poor repair during her life here.  The current church was rebuilt in 1802. 

St Mary's Church, Kirkby on Bain.

We visited on a Sunday evening, and Evensong was in progress.  We enjoyed listening to the music and when services ended, we talked with the rector and with some of the women who were knowledgeable about the history of the area.  They pointed out a house in the distance where Woulds were still living.  We were not able to visit the people living there, so we don’t know if they are descendants of our line.  The maiden name of one of the women was  Stephenson, but she didn’t know enough about her ancestors to establish if we were related.  There were a number of Would gravestones in the church graveyard, but none that we can establish as directly related to us.  It seems probable that the Woulds who settled in this small community would be related, but we do not have records to determine this for a certainty.  British records before 1813 are very limited.  We experienced the same problem with Stephensons in Horncastle and Hogsthorpe.

River Bain near the church. When this river floods, it is no longer the lazy, quiet stream that it appears in this photograph.

Jim and Pat visit with the members of St Mary's Church after Evensong.

Jim searches for Would graves at St Mary's, Kirkby on Bain.

Jim reads inscription on a Would gravestone.


Our Visit to Lincolnshire-Horncastle

July 1, 2010

Jim Winegar and Pat Stephenson stand at the entrance to St Mary's Church of Horncastle.

On our recent trip to Lincolnshire, one of the places we visited was Horncastle.  My 3rd great-grandparents, George Stephenson and Elizabeth Would, were married in Horncastle in 1797 and had 12 children.  Several of the children died as infants, including two Susannah’s.  Most of the sons became tailors.  It seems probable that this was George’s occupation as well, but we have no documentation to support this assumption. 

St Mary's Church of Horncastle.

All of George and Elizabeth’s children were christened in St Mary’s Church in Horncastle.  Parts of the church date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.  The church was restored in 1861, but it probably looks substantially like it did while George, Elizabeth, and the children attended in the early 1800s.   Originally, there was a cemetery beside the church, but all graves have been relocated to another area and we were unable to find any Stephenson graves.  The church is open daily when “volunteers are available.”  On the day we visited, there were no volunteers but the women working in the office took pity on the poor visitors who came all the way from America to see the church and let us tour and photograph the wonderful structure.  We are very thankful for their kindness.

St Mary's Square, south of the church.

The first complete census of England was taken in 1841, so we have no records of where the family lived before that date.  By 1841, many of the children had moved away.  One of George and Elizabeth’s children, my ancestor George Wold Stephenson, was married to Agnes Catherine Hamilton and was living in Liverpool.  From census reports we know that Elizabeth Would Stephenson was living on Prospect Street in Horncastle with two of her children.  Where her husband George was is a mystery.  He died five years later in Tetford, Lincolnshire.  Elizabeth’s son Joseph was living on High Street in Horncastle.  Ten years later, Elizabeth was living with her son Henry south of the church yard and Joseph was on Foundry Street.  Henry later lived on Queen Street in Horncastle. Although none of the dwellings retain their original appearance, we were able to visit and photograph the areas where our ancestors lived.

Stained glass window at St Mary's of Horncastle.

Eve Stephenson points out the Old Dispensary and Work House just south of St Mary's Church. Burial records indicate that William Stephenson, son of George and Elizabeth, lived in the Work House at the time of his death.

Prospect St in Horncastle.

Jim in Horncastle.

Foundry St, Horncastle. Joseph Stephenson, son of George and Elizabeth, lived on this street in 1851.


Our Visit to Lincolnshire, England

June 28, 2010

Eve and Pat Stephenson with Jim Winegar at St. Mary's Church, Kirkby on Bain. Photo by Sandra Winegar.

Sandra and I have recently returned from a two-week trip to Europe.  We spent time in Northern Ireland researching Sandra’s family, a week in Switzerland, and then a day and a half in Lincolnshire, where the Stephensons and Woulds lived.  In Lincolnshire we met up with Pat Stephenson and his wife Eve who live in Essex, England.  Pat and I are descendants of George Stephenson, our 3rd great-grandfather, and Elizabeth Would.  We are 4th cousins and after meeting through this blog, have shared e-mails and phone calls for some time.  Because we would only have a short time in Lincolnshire, Pat and Eve spent several days there earlier and scouted out the area.  When we arrived, they became our guides in a whirlwind tour.  We enjoyed being with them tremendously and hope that we can meet again in the near future.

Jim, Pat, and Eve search the grave stones at St. Margaret's Church at Huttoft. Photo by Sandra Winegar.

I don’t think we learned anything really new on our trip, but the opportunity to visit areas where our ancestors had lived, see the churches they had  attended, and the cemeteries where they were buried was very rewarding.  We took lots of pictures and will share some of them in the blog. 

Burial records before 1813 are very limited and are maintained in archives in Lincoln city.  The archives were closed during the time we were there.  The grave stones in this area have not survived the weather well and most are illegible.  We were excited to find a few where the name Stephenson or Would could be read, but often dates or other inscriptions were not readable.  Still, we enjoyed the time in Lincolnshire and our visit with Pat and Eve tremendously and we feel that the trip was very worthwhile.

Jim and Sandra at St. Mary's Church at Kirkby on Bain. Photo by Pat Stephenson.


John Stephenson and wife Anne

May 29, 2010

In the course of our recent study of the Stephenson/Stevenson family in Lincolnshire, we have run across a fascinating Stephenson family group.  John Stevenson married Anne Clarke on 09 July 1688 in Hogsthorpe, Lincolnshire.  John and Anne had three children: Elizabeth (born 05 October 1690), John (born 18 February 1691), and Edward (born 08 July 1694).  They were apparently well-to-do for they had four servants — Elizabeth Kirkby, Unknown Balaam, Willm Hastrop, and Anne Harrison.

Born about 1663, John was a contemporary of whom we have come to call Henry I, born about 1666.  Anne, John’s wife, was born about 1667.  The ages of all three are derived from the ages they declared on their marriage records.  At this time, we do not have the birth or christening record of any of the three.

Anne Stevenson’s maiden name, Clarke, is the same as Susannah’s, wife of Henry I.  Were they sisters or close relatives?  We do not know yet, but we are hoping the information will surface as our study continues.

In 1692, the English Parliament levied a poll tax on each landowner to finance the war with France.  John Stevenson had to pay 6 shillings as his share, i.e. 1 shilling each for himself, Anne, the two children who were born at the time of the tax, and servants William Hastrop and Anne Harrison.  Although the other two servants are recorded by name, it does not state whether a tax was paid for them.

Speculation abounds about this family group, of whom we have learned so much.  It is highly probable that there is a family connection to our Stephensons but we have not nailed it down at this time.  Sandra and I have requested records from the Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City that may yield further information.  As we learn more, I will keep you informed.


The Stephensons of Horncastle and Hogsthorpe

May 22, 2010

After developing a data base of the Woulds in Lincolnshire, we decided to extend our project to the Stephensons.  This turned out to be such a formidable project that it was quickly amended.  It turns out that there are 5,000 Stephensons listed in the IGI in Lincolnshire alone between 1500 and 1850.  This number expands exponentially if one considers all of England.

Since we knew that the line of Stephensons that we are following settled in Horncastle and Hogsthorpe, we decided to limit our study to those two locations.  This yielded 41 family groups, enough to draw some conclusions and suggest new lines of inquiry.  From 1500 to the mid-1600’s, there were nine family groups living in Horncastle.  The first recorded Stephenson appears in Hogsthorpe in 1664 with the birth of Thomas to William Stephenson and Elizebeth.  More about William and Elizebeth Stephenson below.

For the next 100 years, Stephensons in our line, as well as other Stephenson family groups, continue to live in Hogsthorpe.  In the mid- to late-1700’s, however, they migrate back to Horncastle and the Stephenson population of Hogsthorpe declines rapidly.  By the early 1800’s, there were only two recorded family groups in Hogsthorpe.

William and Elizabeth Stephenson

It is widely believed among Stephenson researchers that William Stephenson and Elizabeth Woodcock fathered Thomas, b. 1664, and Henry, b. about 1666.  However, records show that William Stephenson and Elizabeth Woodcock married 23 Sep 1669 in Anderby, Lincolnshire, at least five years after the birth of Thomas.  While it is possible that this William and Elizabeth cohabited before the birth of their children, it is unlikely.  There is another marriage between a William Stephenson and Elizabeth Porter in 1666 in Wrangle, Lincolnshire, but this is still too late for children born in 1664 and 1666.  We will try to obtain wills of the two Williams to prove or disprove the parentage of Henry.


The Woulds in Kirkby on Bain

May 20, 2010

On my last post, I described the project that Sandra and I have been working on tracking the Woulds in England.  We have learned a lot about English records from 1550-1800 and the lack thereof.  The most common records are christening records, although they are far from complete.  Also, early records only listed the father of the infant.  We can find patterns of movement, but there are big gaps that make this frustrating.   Death records are rare except in the case of infants being christened at around the time of their death.  Families often had several children with the same name until they had one that lived.  We are always conscious of the large number of infant deaths during this period.  Marriage records are quite extensive but still incomplete.  It is obvious that many women died in childbirth.  These deaths are rarely recorded.  The husband often  took a second wife but often these marriages are not found in the records either.

Another problem with our research is that the Woulds tended to use the same names for their children over and over.  Most of the males were named John, William, Thomas, or Nathaniel.  The females were most often Mary, Ann, Elizabeth and Susanna.  There is a large probability that John’s wife will be Mary, making it difficult to follow any given couple. 

With this background, I will try to explore the Woulds of Kirkby on Bain.  The earliest Woulds we find in England were in London or Fingringhoe, Essex.  By the 1550s, families were found in Alford and Sibsey, both fairly near to Kirkby.  Another concentration was in Thornton Curtis, Lincs. The first record of Woulds in the immediate area of Kirkby was the marriage of William Would to Anas Bunyan in 1615 in Haltham Upon Bain, a few miles from Kirkby.  At least two generations grew up in Haltham.  There were concentrations of Woulds in many of the small villages surrounding Haltham and Kirkby, including Tattershall, Coningsby, Toynton St. Peter, Roughton, and Hameringham, but we haven’t connected them with our family.

Anyone who would like a copy of the database of Woulds in Lincolnshire can request one by sending a comment and giving your e-mail address.  The spreadsheet is in PDF format.

Ancestors of Elizabeth Would

In 1693, Edward Would married Ann Gramm in Scrivelsby, a few miles from Haltham.  We cannot determine where either of these people came from.  The following year they had a daughter, Sarah, in Scrivelsby.  In 1695 William Would was born in Kirkby, but no parents are shown on the christening.  In 1697, John Would, the son of Edward, was born in Kirkby.  We are quite sure that this is all one family.  We are seeking a will for Edward which could help confirm this belief.  Both William and John Would married in the 1720s and raised families in Kirkby.

We have a problem following John.  In 1726, John Would married Ann Dawson in Kirkby and had a son Edward in 1727.  From 1729 to 1747, John had 8 children with Jane listed as the mother.  John and Jane’s first child was Ann.  We can find no record of the death of Ann Dawson or of a second marriage for John.   When Edward, the child of John and Ann, dies in 1730, Jane is listed as the mother.  There are some possible answers to this dilemma, but they are speculative.  Ann Dawson’s mother’s name was Jane, and Ann also had a sister Jane.  It is possible that Ann and Jane are the same person.  It is also possible that John married Jane Dawson after her sister’s death.  We are trying to find wills for John and Edward which might help resolve the confusion, but this may be a mystery we can’t resolve.

John and Jane had a son, John, in 1734.  He married Susanna Panton and they are the parents of Elizabeth who married George Stephenson.  Click on the link below for an updated pedigree chart for Elizabeth. 

Eliz Wold Pedigree


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