Saturday, 15 January 2011

Ancestor of the week - Henry Budd

My Ancestor this week has always been a bit of a challenge. Just when I think I have "got" him something happens that changes any hypothesis that I might have.

I started researching my ancestry the way most of us do, researching from what is known to the unknown. My Great Great Great Grandmother was a lady called Prudience Budd and it was this fact that got me on the trail to Henry and my obsession with the rural village in Surrey the family lived in called Puttenham.

As I trawled through the Parish Records and archives I became aware of one of the Curates of the parish called Charles Kerry. Kerry kept during his time in Puttenham a series of manuscripts written at the time and it was this manuscripts that brought the Budd family to life.

Budd Strudwick Vol 8 (Puttenham)

This pedigree, which appears in Volume 8 of the Kerry Manuscripts confirms all the details that I had already established from the Parish Records and very faintly, just above the name of Henry it reads "First of the Budds". I can still remember, 20 years on, the fascination that I felt when I stumbled across this pedigree, also the "what do you mean?" response that I echoed to the papers in a room full of archives and fellow researchers, much to everyone's amusement!.

I went back to the parish records and retraced my steps. All the children of Henry and his wife Martha were baptised in Puttenham. Another look in the Marriage records did not reveal a marriage for Henry to Martha. I spent more than 10 years looking for their marriage, searching each parish methodically from Puttenham and then each village and parish within a 10 mile radius. Success happened with the Church of the Later Day Saints released the Vital Records on CD.

Bingo! I had located the marriage of Henry Budd to Martha Ottaway in 1723 in the parish of Chertsey. I should say that given the proximity of Puttenham to both the border with Sussex and Hampshire I checked the strays indexes held in those two Counties by the Family History Societies in addition to the one held in Surrey and there was no other marriage for a Henry to a Martha in the right time frame. What I did know was that Henry had certainly been in the neighbourhood as in 1720 he was witness to a marriage in the parish of Elstead, about a mile or so from Puttenham.

Next I set about trying to unravel the details of Henry's birth. I headed to the IGI first of all to see if that could give me a clue. The index revealed a Henry born in 1699 in Binstead Hampshire. Not all that far from Puttenham, certainly walking distance by 18th Century standards. I wasn't convinced I had the right man. I shelved the Henry Budd mystery for a while.

Then I was following a discussion on the Surrey Rootsweb list when someone suggested that perhaps my Henry came from Shackleford, a rural parish some 2 miles from Puttenham as there was a mention of a Henry Budd being a tenant of a house called Cobblers. Alas no parish records for Peperharrow, which would be the most likely parish for any births to be recorded in, have survived. I am now still looking in the neighbouring parishes for the birth of Henry.

What is a coincidence is that I had a Great Aunt and Uncle who lived in Shackleford for many years, the distance by road is about 2 miles and across the fields to Puttenham the distance is shorter and unachievable now or certainly in the 18th Century. My gut feeling tells me that this is the Henry I am seeking, I just need to have some proof and undertake some additional research on this elusive ancestor of mine.

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