The Will of John Would

August 10, 2010

 

Copy of the Will of John Would, 1825

Today I received copies of two wills that I ordered from the Lincolnshire Archives several weeks ago.  One of the wills was that of John Would who died in 1825 in Kirkby on Bain, Lincolnshire.  I thought at first that this John Would was the father of Elizabeth Wold Stephenson and my 4th great grandfather, but it was not to be.  What a coincidence that a small town such as Kirkby on Bain would have two John Woulds who both died in 1825!

For the benefit of other researchers, here is the information that I was able to gather on the John Would of the will. 

John Would married Ann Lusby 13 May 1766 in Kirkby on Bain.  They had three children: Thomas (born 1767), Joseph (born 1769), and Susanna (born 1778).  John’s will does not mention his wife, Thomas, or Joseph, so presumably they were deceased at the time of John’s death.

John’s daughter Susanna Would married William Greetham 7 May 1795 in Kirkby on Bain.  They had three children: Mary, Thomas, and Elizabeth, all of whom were remembered in their grandfather John’s will.

Mary Greetham married John Motley 26 March 1818.  John Motley was a butcher.

Thomas Greetham married Elizabeth and had two children, Mary and Ann.

Elizabeth Greetham married George Taylor 13 May 1819.  George was a farmer.

John Would designated his daughter Susanna as Executrix of his will and grandson Thomas and grandson-in-law John Motley as Executors.

It is amazing how much information can be determined from a will and 30 minutes on a computer. 


Our Visit to Lincolnshire – Huttoft: Home of Frances Stephenson, Horse Thief

July 17, 2010

St Margaret's Church of Huttoft

The last that I will share with readers of our trip to Lincolnshire is our visit to the village of Huttoft.  I am not sure if any of my ancestors came from Huttoft, but we found an abundance of Stephenson graves here.  One theory holds that Thomas Stephenson, the son of Henry Stephenson and Mary Richardson, moved here, married Mary Badger, and raised a large family. We are working to confirm this.  If this is true, Frances Stephenson, described in the article below, would be his granddaughter.

From the Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury (http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/LIN/lfhs/NewspaperExtracts/1820Listing.htm):

Frances STEPHENSON, aged 21, singlewoman, was charged with stealing a bay mare the property of Edward LINDSAY, at Raithby, on the 10th June (1828). The novelty of this case excited considerable attention, which was not at all diminished by the appearance of the prisoner, who was neatly dressed, and rather of an interesting appearance, but the strange situation in which she was placed seemed to excite no terrors in her, she gazed around with a considerable portion of effrontery, although the eyes of every person in the court were fixed with earnest curiosity upon her. The evidence for the prosecution, which was of considerable length, but not requiring a detailed notice, went plainly to prove that shortly after the robbery, the female had the mare in her possession, and employed a person to dispose of it, under the pretence that her master, the prosecutor, was distressed in his circumstances, and that he had commissioned her to dispose of the mare. – The Counsel for the prisoner insinuated that the mare had been given to her by Mr LINDSAY for certain favours which had been allowed by her. The prosecutor, in reply to a severe cross-examination upon this point, steadfastly denied that any thing of the kind had occurred. In her defence, the prisoner admitted taking the mare from the prosecutor’s stable, but asserted that it was with his license, as he resorted to this mode of requiting her for the favours already alluded to, and in consequence of which she declared that she was at that time far advanced in pregnancy. – Guilty, sentence of death recorded.

Frances was not executed, but was deported to Australia as a convict.  There she married Henry Sherwood, another convict.  According to our sources, being a convict deported to Australia conveyed considerable status, and a marriage of convicts was close to royalty.  Pat Stephenson has made contact with her descendants in Australia and is gathering more information.

Pat and Eve Stephenson talk with me as we search for Stephenson graves.

I have often heard that everyone has a horse thief in their background, so maybe Frances is ours.  It seems that most of my ancestors were law-abiding citizens, and I haven’t discovered any other criminals — unless you look at them from the British point of view, and then some of my colonial ancestors were pretty despicable.  I did have a cousin tried as a witch in early Massachusetts, but she was found innocent.  Anyway, if Frances is confirmed to be related, she would be my 2nd cousin 4 times removed.


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.


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 Would Family of Lincolnshire

May 16, 2010
As I have mentioned in previous posts, Sandra and I are planning on visiting Lincolnshire this summer.  We plan to visit Horncastle and Hogsthorpe where the Stephensons lived and see the cemeteries where the family is buried.  We will be visiting there with Pat Stephenson, my fourth cousin, and his wife Eve from Essex, England. 

View of the Lincolnshire Wolds.

We were happy that Pat and Eve spent a few days there last week and scouted out the area, but his report on the cemeteries was not encouraging.  The local graveyards are poorly maintained and the grave markers are mostly illegible.  They reported finding one marker with the Stephenson name but it was otherwise unreadable.  Pat and Eve did find some Would graves in Kirkby-Upon-Bain but were not sure whether these people were relatives.  Elizabeth Would, who married George Stephenson in 1797 was my 3rd great-grandmother.

In order to gather more information on the Woulds before we travel, we have been conducting some research.  Sandra started a project similar to what she had done in the past and it quickly got out of hand.  We ended up tracking all the Would/Wold/Woulds births and marriages on the IGI Index of England from 1568-1785.    This became an all day two-computer project, with me accessing the records and Sandra entering data into a spreadsheet.  We are now the proud owners of a monster Woulds data base.  In Lincolnshire alone, there were at least 75 family groups with children.  This does not count households without children.  The task now is to organize all this data and make sense of it.  This is the opposite of how we usually do genealogical research.  We usually begin with known family members and try to expand our lines.   While organizing these files is daunting, we are already finding things that we wouldn’t have seen in the normal way and are exciting about exploring further.  In the worst case, when we find Woulds buried in Kirby-Upon-Bain, we should be able to identify their families and how we connect to them.  In the next several posts, I will try to share our findings about this branch of the family.

It is interesting to note that about 90% of the Woulds in England settled in Lincolnshire.  The largest concentration was in and around Kirkby-Upon-Bain.  I have to believe that the name Would has something to do with the term Wold, meaning hills.  The Lincolnshire Wolds have been declared an Area Of Natural Beauty (AONB) and Horncastle bills itself as “The Gateway to the Lincolnshire Wolds.”  Some of the earliest Woulds settled in Alford, which is located within the Lincolnshire Wolds. Most of the rest of the family settled nearby to this region.


Christenings of Martha and Jane Richardson

May 8, 2010

It has come to light in the last few days that sisters Martha and Jane Richardson married brothers Henry and Joseph Stephenson.  Martha married Henry in 1723, and Jane married Joseph in 1726.  Interestingly, both Martha and Jane were christened as adults.  Martha in 1723 (the year she married) in Hogsthorpe, and Jane in 1725 (the year before she married) in Mumby cum Chapel.  There were two other Richardson sisters, Mary and Susannah, but we have found no record of their being christened either as infants or adults.

Was being formally christening a rite that was important in order to be a Stephenson?  We are left to speculate.


Pedigrees of George Stephenson and Elizabeth Wold (Would)

May 4, 2010

As promised, here are the the Pedigree Charts for George Stephenson and his wife Elizabeth Would.  I also have the information about many of the siblings in the ancestor trees, but space does not allow me to show them in this format.  If you would like to have the entire chart, send me a comment on this blog giving your e-mail address, and I will send you a complete Register Report that includes facts and notes. 

To make these two charts more legible, right click on the image and save as a file on your own computer.  You can then enlarge the image and print the page.

I want to call your attention to William and Elizabeth Stephenson and Martha Richardson, all on George Stephenson’s chart.  My records have previously stopped with Henry, the husband of Susanna Clark.  After reviewing the IGI records I am fairly confident that Henry’s parents were William and Elizabeth.  They had a son Thomas in 1664 and Henry was born in 1666.  These are the only Stephenson births recorded in Hogsthorpe in this time frame in the IGI records.

Another interesting finding is that Martha Richardson who married Henry Stephenson in Hogsthorpe in 1723 was christened as an adult after her marriage.  Previously, my records had shown that Henry and Martha had had a child Martha christened in 1723, but I now believe that to be incorrect.  Martha’s sister, Jane Richardson was also christened as an adult in 1725.


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