Wednesday, 25 February 2015

52 Ancestors:# 6 ~ John Hunt Butcher - (1781 - 1839)

No Story Too Small
This post is for week 6 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge (2015) by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

You can read the list of my posts HERE

How I wished I had a photograph of John, but I don't. He sounds a fascinating individual and lead an incredible life; he has been one of those individuals that has absolutely needed a time line so that I could understand the key parts of his life, the decisions he made and the why he made the choices he did. Unless a diary exists in an archive or with a direct descendant I can only make an educated guess on some of those decisions.

John Hunt Butcher was baptised on 10th February 1781 in Cranley Surrey (Cranleigh is the correct spelling). His parents were Richard Butcher and Sarah nee Witherall. This branch of the Butcher family lived in Hascombe Surrey and my direct branch descends from Richard's brother, Daniel.

On 7th November 1808, at St George Hanover Square, John married Sarah Burchell and it is from this point that John's life becomes ever more interesting.

Parish Register - St George Hanover Square
John and Sarah raised their family at Parkhatch, an estate in Hascombe Surrey. This branch of the family had inherited a great deal of wealth through connections with subsidiary branches of the family relating to both the Hunt and Chandler families.

Surrey Records Centre 85/2/1/96
In 1814 we see the estate being put up for sale and for a long time following what happened to John remained neglected on my to do list.

A few years ago the archives in Tasmania in Australia put on-line a wonderful collection of material. I had no links to Tasmania in my own ancestry, but did have a few Orlando's that connected to my One-Name Study and it was while I was looking for the Orlando material that I came across the will of John Hunt Butcher.

It was very clear from the details provided in the will that the John Hunt Butcher was mine as it mentioned Parkhatch. So I began delving a little deeper into the life he had in Australia. I wondered what had made him sell up and migrate and the link to that is potentially back to the siblings of his wife, but more on that another day!

John Hunt Butcher, his wife Sarah and their 5 children sailed to Tasmania, in 1822. You can read the details via Trove, a wonderful Australian newspaper site (and much more!).

Over the last few years I have established that John became a magistrate in Tasmania and whilst he died in Australia, with a proved will there there was much travelling, back and forth to Surrey and mentions of various complications with wills being proved here in England. He died in 1839 and is buried in Hobart, but is named in a 1901 edition of The Launceston Examiner as the original importer of Merino Sheep to the colony.

On the face of it, it seems rather curious to be importing sheep, but that does give us a clue as to his standing within the community both in England and Australia. He could afford to import the sheep and probably did not travel in steerage with his family in 1822. After his death in 1839 the entire estate was sold in Tasmania, and I suspected that perhaps Sarah, his widow returned to England. This she did, but only it would seem to deal with various legal matters and she returned to Australia.

John and Sarah's descendants live on, and moved from Tasmania to Western Australia, with links to Parliament, land owning and much more.

Site of interest

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Desk Ramblings.....(21)

It has been several months since I last shared a desk ramblings. The reason for this one appearing today is because someone wrote and asked me was I continuing the post themes as they missed them.

I am! Thanks so much to the person who wrote to me.

I have been busy focusing on numerous material that has needed to be attended to. I have been under the weather again and today the sun is out, or it is in my bit of Devon and I am looking forward to Spring.

We commemorated my late Mum's birthday on Monday and on Valentine's Day it was a year since Mum passed away. There has been so much that Mum has missed, even now I find myself reminding myself to tell her something then I remember. I don't know if that will ever get easier or not, but all we can do is keep getting up, getting on and then repeating the process.

For those of you who are friends via Facebook will have seen a few photographs that I shared of Mum. There were some real beauties, of her as a baby, perhaps just a few weeks old, then through various stages of toddler hood and then into her childhood, up to about aged 9 or so. There are many more to scan and share, but I am sharing here my absolute favourite and apologies if you have seen it before, but I am sure you will agree Mum was a real cutie!

From the personal collection 
of Julie Goucher
I have had a rather large backlog of emails and things that needed attended to. I have three presentations to write for talks/lectures I am giving and whilst I had an idea of what I was talking about, I had not made a definitive decision on the actual material. Typically, ideas of inspiration always present themselves when I am not in a position to write them down, and in the case of one of those bursts I was not in a position to make a note using my smart phone either. Consequently I resorted to saying it out loud until I could write it down and received some very strange looks.

I had an email disaster last week, on Friday to be precise and whilst I am not superstitious, who really knows? I use Google for my emails. Then I can access anywhere. I routinely star emails that I need to come back to later. On Friday I noticed that there was 223 starred emails. So I selected all and moved them into another folder. Then I selected all again and deleted the lot. It was one of those moments when everything is in slow motion and try as you might you can not undo what has just happened. So if you have written to me and not received a reply your email was possibly one of those affected. Sorry about, and there are about ten people who I know I owed emails to and those names are safely on a rather long to do list, stored in Evernote.

"Normal" service to be resumed shortly.....

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Tuesday's Tip - England Immigrants

Last week I became aware of this fascinating site - England Immigrants 1330 - 1550.

I had a quick look at the site and did a quick search for my two One Name Studies surnames of Orlando and Worship. As I suspected no revelations were forthcoming, but if you select the option of advanced search the bottom box on the left marked "place of residence" might reveal some early inhabitants of the location you are researching.

I did a search for Puttenham,which is one of my One-Place studies. there were no hits, but a search for Wanborough a village about two miles away revealed a hit. (Actually the search revealed two, one for Wanborough in Wiltshire too).

There is an option to reveal a summary or the full details. In this case it showed the results for a Nicholas Frensshman (Frenchman), an immigrant from France paying taxes on 28th May 1440. The original document is located at The National Archives at Kew under catalogue number E179/184/212.

What is so fascinating about this site is the social, economic and historical context. This is a time before standard surnames were used. This particular document shows that there was taxation for those who chose to come and live in England. Remember that this would include those from Scotland. Henry VI was the reigning monarch.

A search of the site for my home town of Guildford Surrey revealed 23 entries for the period of 1394 - 1440 from a variety of places, Ireland, France, Belguim (described as Flemish) & Holland (described as "Hollander"). 

Copyright - Julie Goucher July 2014
For anyone who has stumbled across my blog Guildford and District will have seen a selection of postcards of the Castle ruins, the castle which pre-dates this period. As someone who grew up regularly visiting the castle grounds and seeing the ruins it is hard to imagine that the castle was once an inhabited venue. It would have had a remarkable view, indeed it still does!

The biggest tip is that every source, index or website that we encounter can assist us to put our ancestors into the social context of the time.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me - February Prompt 2015 - Explore. Dream. Discover

You can read the Prompt Post HERE.
You can read my take on the prompt HERE
The web page with all the details on, including the prompts from the first series can be found HERE

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me - February Prompt 2015 - Explore. Dream. Discover

I am going to respond to this prompt from the position of my husband's paternal Great Grandmother, Annie HINDLE, Nee RHODES and formerly WORSHIP (1869 - 1953). If you missed the Prompt you can see it HERE.

Annie RHODES was born in Bradford Yorkshire in 1869 she married Charles WORSHIP in Bradford in August of 1899 and they had three daughters:
  • Emily born Bradford 1890 who married June Q 1915 to Sydney NEWBOULD in Bradford
  • Lillian born Bradford 1893 (my husband’s paternal grandmother)
  • Florence, born Bradford 1901.
At some point between 1901 and 1904 Annie met and had a relationship with Harry Hindle. They had a son together in 1904 who was registered under the surname of Worship and at this point Annie was still married to Charles Worship.

In 1905 Annie and the 10 month old baby boarded a ship bound for the United States. The passenger list states that Annie had been to the United States before and that she had £50 with her. She met up with Harry Hindle, took his surname and together they raised their son in Philadelphia.  Annie eventually divorced Charles Worship in 1921 and Annie and Harry marry in New York in 1922. Charles moved from Yorkshire to Scotland and married a widow there in 1922.

Harry and Annie Hindle with their son Henry Rhodes
Picture from the collection of Julie Goucher
The divorce papers cite that the petition for divorce was granted on the grounds of adultery and was typically written indicating that Annie was the instigator of the disintegration of the marriage. At this point in English Law divorce was granted usually in favour of the male.

We are researching in the period of the turn of the Century, a time that was very much focused on the values of the Victorian era and when women were still considered the property of the husband's. It would have been especially harrowing to have registered the baby with the name of the father rather than that of her husband and slurs on the character of Annie were surely inevitable.

What Annie did was incredibly brave for the time. Her leaving her children in England would have been the only real thing she could  have done, as they were also viewed as the property of their father. It is known from family records that Annie, Harry and their son made frequent visits to England, and two of Annie's children did visit them in the United States.

I am sure that Annie would have felt aggrieved at leaving her girls behind, and did she reflect back to 1905 when she left England for good? I am sure she did, I don't get a sense that she regretted at all going to the United States with Harry and their son, but I do get a sense that she regretted not having the strength to fight for her girls and stand up against the established way of life in 1904.

I have over the years researched this family quite a bit and you can read about the family HERE

Information on The Book of Me and In Deep with the Book of Me can be accessed via this link

Sunday, 1 February 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me - February Prompt 2015

Today is month 2 of what is going to be a 12 month project. On the 1st of the month, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that month's In Deep with the Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE and the prompt list for In Deep with the Book of Me can be found HERE

Prompt 2 - February 2015 - Explore. Dream. Discover
''Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did........ Explore. Dream. Discover.'' - Mark Twain
This prompt is probably a tough one. I don't believe we make wrong decisions, I believe that things that do not turn out as we expect them to present an opportunity for us to learn and develop further. To become stronger and better people.

Do you share that philosophy? Explore the prompt. Cast your mind back to decisions you made and things that you didn't do? Perhaps reflect on family decisions, things from previous generations?


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