Tuesday, March 28, 2017

William AXTELL 1587-1638 Berkhamstead, Hertford, England

William AXTELL is my ex-husband's 9th great-grandfather [in his mother's RICE lines], our children's 10th great-grandfather. He is the father of Thomas AXTELL, the immigrant from England to New England, who arrived in Massachusetts colony before 1642.

William was born aproximately 1587 in or around Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire, although I have not seen a record of his christening, nor of his marriage details. Axtell Genealogy online suggests his father was John Axtell, son of John Axtell. However, I have yet not seen proof of these statements.
Photo of Town Hall is by Robert Stainforth.

Much of my information on the AXTELL family has come from the online details of The Axtell Family Organization, referencing articles in NEHGS Register in various years. Note: many past archived copies of the Register are available both on paid sites [NEHGS] and free sites. Additional details are from early Massachusetts records.

The AXTELL surname (with many spelling variants) comes from Old Norse language, click for more explanation on this origin. There were few Axtells living in Berkhamstead during this early time, as far as I have found. William AXTELL is up at the tip of my research, and there are fewer likely documents and records for such individuals.

William apparently married Thomasine CUTLER about 1610-1612. A Thomasin Cutler, daughter of "Jhon Cutler" was baptised November 9th, 1589 in Lexden, Essex, the county to the east of Hertfordshire. She is not confirmed as the correct wife of William, but is certainly a possible clue to follow up.

William and Thomasine had the following children, baptised at St Peter church in Berkhamstead [image on right], daughters' dates are not proven:
   1.  John, b. abt 1614
   2.  William, bap 1 Dec 1616
   3.  Thomas [ancestor], bap 26 Jan 1618/19, bur 8 Mar 1645/6 Sudbury,
             Massachusetts; m. Mary _____, abt 1637 in England; 3 known children
   4.  [Col.] Daniel, bap 26 May 1622, d. 19 Oct 1660 London ['the Regicide']
   5.  Samuell, bap 15 Dec 1624
   6.  Sarah, b. abt 1628
   7.  Jane, b. abt 1630
   8.  Ann, b. abt 1633

I have  not found significant details of the spouses and children of any of the above 8 children except for the direct ancestor, Thomas.

An article in NEHGS 1899, July, by S.J. Axtell, indicates information about "the will of William Axtell, d. 1637, that mentions his wife, Thomasine, and sons John, William, Thomas, Daniel, and Samuel."  This sent me searching for the will, which I found today. I will have to pore over this will, as the language and writing is a bit challenging - see below for the snippet from the first part of the will. I'll be transcribing it as much as I can. The National Archives in England names this the will of
"William Axtell Bargemaster
 of Berkhamstead St Peter, Hertfordshire" 

The will was probated June 1st, 1638. I do not have his actual death date - clearly he would have died at some point after the will was written on 14 November 1637. In addition, I do not have a burial date as yet for his wife, Thomasine, who appears to have outlived him as she is mentioned in his will.

Bluntly, I have little information on him: no birth record, no marriage record, no death/burial record, no history. Simply these few crumbs of possible information to continue searching, perhaps when I get to Salt Lake City this fall. However, his will provides several clues - giving his occupation, plus his children and wife's names.
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If you have any further details or suggestions about William AXTELL or his family, I would love to hear from you; contact through my email address at the very bottom of the blog page.  

Blooger has a glitch which is stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Richard BEVYS, 1541-1603, Exeter, Devon, England

Richard BEVYS, sometimes spelled Beaves, is my 11th great-grandfather on my maternal line [TERWILLIGER]. He was born approximately 1541 in Exeter, Devon, England.  The illustration on the right is from 1563, showing Exeter situated on the River Exe.

Richard was listed in the Exeter Parish records as a Freeman, a Merchant, on April 29, 1566. One week later, on May 6, 1566, he married Elizabeth PROWSE/Prouz, who apparently was almost 5 years older than him [birth year not yet verified]. She was born 1536 in Chagford, a small village 15miles due west of Exeter. The Prowse/Prouz family were also a well known respected family in the area. A Richard Prowse was Mayor of Exeter in 1568; his relationship to her is not yet clarified.

Richard remained in Exeter and seems to have been very prosperous as a woolen merchant, remarked in any records with the honorific "Mister." He also had several apprentice contracts with young men in the 1570s, according to local records.

Richard and his wife Elizabeth had the following children that I have been able to find records for; all were born in Exeter, some baptized in St Kerrian church (a very small church), and some in a slightly larger church nearby, St Mary Arches. Both are quite close to the very large Exeter Cathedral.  I still need to do more research on Richard's and Elizabeth's families, and also why they used different churches for baptisms of their children.

   1.   Alles [Alice], bap Jan 11, 1567, d. 1569 aged 2 yrs
   2.   Nichollas, bap Dec 5, 1567, d. Nov 14, 1612 aged 44yrs; married w. children
   3.   John, bap Jul 9, 1569, d. Apr 10, 1594 aged 24 yrs; no research done on him
   4.   Allas Alice [ancestor], bap Jun 7, 1572, d. Feb 1631 aged 58 yrs;
               m. Aug 30, 1595 to John MARSHALL in Exeter; 12 children
   5.   Peter, b. abt 1573/74; no further details found
   6.   Wilmott, bap Nov 22, 1574, d. Sep 26 1595, almost 21 yrs.
   7.   Richard, bap Mar 9, 1579; no further research done.
   8.   Elizabeth, bap 1580, d. Feb 5, 1587, aged 8 yrs.

From the gaps above, it is possible there were several other children born who may have died young. Elizabeth, his wife, died July 12th, 1585 aged 49 years.The following year, on May 16th, 1586 in Exeter, Richard married his second wife, Jane Hewish, about whom I have no information.

Richard BEVYS became High Sheriff in Exeter in 1591. And in 1594, was elected Governor of the Guild of Merchant Adventurers.  Finally, in 1602, he was made Lord Mayor of Exeter.

He died unexpectedly on August 26, 1603, while in office as Lord Mayor. Below is the Burial note in the Devon Burial Index for Exeter. Trust me, spelling did not count, and it actually states:

Richard Bevis being mayer, ye 28 of August ....... 1603

Although there is an index stating Richard has a a will, and that it was probated after his death, I have not yet found an image or transcription or abstract of this will. I also do not know if  his second wife Jane, was still alive at the time of his death.

An interesting connection: Richard's granddaughter (Elizabeth MARSHALL, b. 1602/03) married Thomas TROWBRIDGE (b. 1597/98), whose ancestry has been researched back to - Charlemagne. Although I do believe after so many generations, not much of that DNA is being carried in our current family! I loved the long scroll Who Do You Think You Are genealogists unrolled for Cindy Crawford on the show - Oh if only I could see that entire roll as well! Still, at least I know the research was done, and I should be able to find some of it, sooner or later.

If you have any further information about Richard BEVYS or his family, I would love to hear from you; contact through my email address at the very bottom of the blog page.  

Blooger has a glitch in it stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

George BUCKLEY, 1791-1867, Publican; Warmingham, Cheshire, Eng

George BUCKLEY is the 3rd great-grandfather of the current living PERRY brothers, and the 4th great-grandfather of their children.

We believe he was born about 1790-1792 or thereabouts from his stated age on later censuses, in the parish of Warmingham, Cheshire, England. Photo on right is of the Warmingham Parish church: St Leonard's Church [CC copyright by Stephen Craven, photo taken July 20, 2006]

It is not yet clear who his parents are, as several George Buckley babies were baptised in parishes nearby. However, in Warmingham Parish where he lived his whole life, this one appears to be the most likely -  an illegitimate son of an Elizabeth Buckley.
It states that on October 3rd, George Buckley was baptised, illegitimate son of Elizabeth Buckley of Elton, a small village in Warmingham Parish, and that he was actually born the previous month on September 2nd, 1790. There were very few Buckley individuals or families in this parish. After searching over 80 pages of Warmingham Parish from 1744 to 1799, I can be quite clear that there were only five other Buckley individuals plus this Elizabeth, named, during that time and place. One marriage [not of Elizabeth], one burial, 3 baptisms, plus George's baptism. There seems no clue to details of his father, and of course, this line would not show the Y-DNA for Buckley surname.

We need many more UK DNA tests to help tease out answers to such missing ancestor questions. Note there were records of illegitimate children baptised at least one or two children per page of  these parish registers.

The next time I was able to find anything about George BUCKLEY was when he married in Warmingham Parish at St. Leonard's Church, the parish church.

On February 3rd, 1823, when he was approximately 33 years of age, George married Hannah WRIGHT, the 21 year old daughter of  Charles and Anne WRIGHT.  From research I have found she had been born in Audlem, about 20km south of Warmingham Parish. Unfortunately, the register gives no further information on the two, including no details of George's occupation at the time.

I held my breath looking for this couple, George and Hannah BUCKLEY, living perhaps in Warmingham, in the 1841 Census. And there they were, 18 years later. George BUCKLEY, aged 50, occupation "Publican" [inn-keeper], born in the same county [Cheshire], wife Hannah, aged 40, and five children, as well as a teenaged boarder.

A Publican was quite a decent occupation, and George would have had to be licenced - which I have not yet found. In Warmingham, literally just down from St Leonard's church seen at the top of this blog, is an upscale boutique hotel & restaurant, "The Bear's Paw." This is described as a 19thCentury establishment which had a major renovation recently, see photo on left. Perhaps this might have been the area where George had his Inn? Perhaps. After all, Warmingham is a very small village.

Clearly, George did well. On the 1851 Census, he is seen living at the "Crown Inn" as a Publican & Farmer of 27 acres. He and Hannah are living with 5 children, plus two employees.

The list of children of George and Hannah I've been able to find to date, all baptised in Warmingham:,
  1.  Ellen [ancestor], bap. 25 Dec 1824, m. Aug 21, 1853 to Thomas Hepard ATHERTON; 7 children
  2.  Anne, bap 11 Sep 1825; does not show on the 1841/subsequent censuses
  3.  Betsy, bap 19 Oct 1828; does not show on the 1841/subsequent censuses
  4.  Kate, bap 18 Nov 1832; is on 1841 census, possibly married bef 1851 census
  5.  James, bap 1 May 1836; is on 1841, 1851, 1861 censuses
  6.  George jr., bap 24 Jun 1838; m. Eliza, bef 1861 (both living with George & Hannah)
  7.  Sarah, b. est 1840 [from 1851, 1861 Censuses]
  8.  Margret, b. est 1842 [from 1851 Census], does not show on subsequent censuses
  9.  Hannah, bap 20 Dec 1845; is on 1851 Census, does not show on subsequent censuses

I have not researched all of the Buckley siblings, partly due to their common names, and the difficulty in finding details of marriages of all these girls: 7 girls, 2 boys. I have a spreadsheet of all the Buckley names in Warmingham from the Parish Register... but of course the adult children could have moved further away, like up to Liverpool. Sigh. More research.

George BUCKLEY wrote his will October 9th, 1865, and died a year and a half later, March 10, 1867, aged 76 years.

His Will is over 2.5 handwritten pages long (transcribed into Will Book), and I've decided the lawyers charged him by the word; there is so much repetition of long convoluted phrases (not seen in all other nearby wills). In the end, there is a short note that the value of the Will assets was under £100 and that an inventory was not required. I have the entire transcribed will on file, but here on the left you can see the official Will Abstract, p.201, WILLS, 1867, Chester, Cheshire.

He mentions his son George frequently in this Will, plus John Lowe - possibly a son-in-law - who was administrator along with son George. No other children, sibllings or relatives were mentioned in the Will. He did mention his wife Hannah, so we know she would have died after him. I have yet not found a death record for her. Nor could I find her in an 1871 census after her husband's death; likely she was staying with one of her adult children.

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If you have more information or corrections to offer on this BUCKLEY-WRIGHT family, please contact me [at very bottom of page]. I am always happy to hear from other 'cousins' no matter how far away.

Blooger has a glitch in it stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

George W. TERWILLIGER, The Duchess, and their Son

It seems as there is at least one George Walter TERWILLIGER in every generation in the TERWILLIGER line, and here we have two on one photograph. Don't they look happy?

Possibly this was taken in late December 1940s before George II married [c.1950]. Likely George and Hazel [his Duchess] were in Florida where the Terwilliger couple lived after residing in Beverley Hills, LA, California.

This photo was found in my grandmother's odds and ends, tucked into an old battered trunk. I'm so glad I found it, and scanned it for my digital files.

On the back of the photo - in possibly George Sr's writing:
George Sr.  George II & 
"The Duchess"
G.II. back in the Navy
But flew in today for Xmas.
Praise the Lord & the Air Lines.

George Sr. 1882-1970, was my GrandUncle, the brother of my grandmother, Marguerite "Daisy" Josephine TERWILLIGER, [also known as GrandPete rather than Grandmother].

George's younger brother, Harold "Hal" married a Countess [her first busband was Count Van Duisburg]. Thus the inside joke re his wife, Hazel, being "The Duchess."

Their son, George II, 1924-1883... I know he married and had two children, a girl, and a boy named George of course! We've lost touch with this line of the family, I'm sorry to say. After my Grandmother married Charles E. KUHN in New Jersey, and the family moved about 1912 to Vancouver area in British Columbia, I haven't found any letters or photos from them. George II would be my 1st cousin 1x removed, his son George, my 1st cousin 2x removed.

Possibly someone in the family will see this post and contact me... Perhaps they have a few interesting photographs of the Terwilliger family as well. I'm dreaming, but it's possible!

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My contact information is all the way at the bottom of the blogs on this page. Do contact me if you have any information to share, or questions. The Terwilliger family goes back to New Amsterdam in 1663 when the first immigrant came over to the colony. The TERWILLIGER name was a made-in-America surname, and we are all related, no matter how it is spelled.  They originally used patronymics, but by 1690, all of this family group had a surname more or less Terwilliger.

Thank you for stopping by to read my genealogy/family history blog. My blogger account is not allowing me to reply to your comments on this blog, but do know that I appreciate all readers and commenters!  You absolutely make my day.


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis