Log in

No account? Create an account
< back | 0 - 10 |  
kjthistory [userpic]

Family History Jottings

This site is not so much a "Family History Website", more of a notebook - a Work in Progress.

If you'd like to make contact, click on the blue pencil above to reply to this post - comments are screened (hidden) to protect your privacy - or contact me via Ancestry.co.uk, where I'm kjt127.

Notes and Essays from my Research

Individual Narratives - "The Life of..."

Wills & Testaments, Administrations

Overseers of the Poor:

William ANDREW b1793 - Settlement Examination 1823

William ANDREW b1793 - Removal Order 1823

Family Tree Diagrams:

Matilda OXFORD b1853


COWANs of Dundee

kjthistory [userpic]

Will of Lucie Bolton of Wimborne Minster 1641

October 7th, 2017 (09:39 pm)

11th March 1641

Memorandum That Lucie Bolton late while she lived of Wimborne Minster in the county of Dorset widow deceased

being about three or foure dayes before her death of perfect mind and memory and being asked to whom she would give her goods or estate she then replyed and sayd that she had none other to whome she should give it but her daughter Jane the wife of Anthony Ancketill1

and then being of perfect mind and memory made and declared her last will and testament nuncupative or by word of mouth in manner and forme following vizt she gave all her goods and estate whatsoever unto her sayd daughter Jane Ancketill in the presence of John Carleton and James Tilsed and others.

Probate 9 Oct 1641 to Jane Ancketill

1Presumably at this time Lucie possessed nothing in her own right except the "household stuffe" she originally brought to her marriage, which was returned to her in the 1631 Will of her husband William Boulton. It is definite that Jane's older sister Giles (married to James Tilsed) was still alive at this time. However, Giles had been married for at least ten years by this time, while the much younger Jane had been married barely three months and was thus probably more in need of "household stuffe".

Return to Wills & Testaments, Administrations

Return to Home Page

kjthistory [userpic]

Will of William Boulton of Wimborne Minster, Clothier

October 7th, 2017 (09:16 pm)

21st March 1630 [presumably 1630/31]

In the name of God Amen I William Bolton of the parish of Wimborne Minster in the countie of Dorset Clothier

being of perfect minde and memory, thankes be to God, though sicke in body, doe make this my last will and Testament in manner and forme followinge

Imprimis I commend my Soule into the hands of my mercifull God expecting salvacion xxx noe other but by the meanes and in the name of Jesus Christ who by his meritorious death and passion hath paid the full ransome of all my sinnes

As for my body, I committ it to the Earth of which it was made, to be buried according to the discrecion of my Executor either in the Church or Churchyard of the parish church of Wimborne aforesaid

And as for my wordly goods I dispose them as followeth:

Imprimis I give to my lovinge wife Lucy all the household stuffe which she brought with her together with fower of my best xxxx

Item I give to my daughter Jane fowerscore pounds beside the twentie given her by her uncle Gold, to be paid at the tyme of her marriage or the age of one and twentie yeares by my Executor who in the meane tyme shall pay her Eight pounds per annum in way of interest towards her maintenance.

But if it happen that she dy before she be married, or be come to the age of one and twentie yeares aforesaid my will is that the fowerscore pound of my gift1 shall be devided equallie amongst my other children John, Giles, and Mary or they being dead amongst the eldest children.

Item I give my daughter Giles Tilsedd twentie pounds to be paid within a yeare after my death

Item I give to my said daughters two sonnes William and James ten pounds apeece to be paid as abovesaid

Item I give to my daughter Marie Charleton twentie pounds to be paid as abovesaid

Item I give to Margarett and William the children of my sonne John Bolton tenne pounds apeece to be paid as abovesaid

Item I give to my cozen Matthew Trim twentie shillings to be paid as abovesaid

Item I give to my cozen Richard Barnes twentie shillings to be paid as abovesaid

Item I give my sixe silver spoones to my three daughters to be devided as equallie as maie be amongst them

Item I give to the parish church ?Clerk? of Wimborne Minster aforesaid tenne shillings

Item I make my sonne John Bolton full and whole Executor of all my other goods and chattells

And I doe intreat my lovinge friends Gundry Brown Christopher Ansell and William Aynes to be Overseers of this my last will and Testament, to every one of whom I give three shillings fower pence and a pledge of my love In witness whereof this to be my last will and Testament I sett to my hand & seale the daie and year abovewritten

Memorandum the word goods to be blotted out in the thirteenth line by the Testator's direccon himself and the word household stuffe to be added2

The signe of mee William Bolton signed and sealed in the presence of

Walter fflay [parish clerk?]
John Charleton
James Tilsedd

Probatum fuit testamentum suprascriptum apud London coram venerabilit viro domino Henrico Marten milite legum ... [16 July 1632] ... Johannies Bolton fili dicti defuncti

1The Will of Jane's uncle William Gould or Gold specified that under these circumstances the ten pounds he left her was to go to the next child down if there was one, or to Jane's mother Luce. Luce Boulton née Gould was sister to William Gould and Christian Tilsed née Gould.

2The change of wording here perhaps suggests that Luce Gould brought "goods" to the marriage that were not to be returned to her, or were no longer available to be returned.

Return to Wills & Testaments, Administrations

Return to Home Page

kjthistory [userpic]

Will of William Bolton / Boulton of Wimborne

October 7th, 2017 (08:45 pm)

In the name of god amen ye xxith day of June anno dni 1597 I William Bolton of Lighe within the parish of Wimborne Minster in the county of Dorset

being sicke in body but of good perfect mynde & remembrance (god be thanked) do make & ordayne this my last will and testament in manner and forme following, that is to saye, first & principally I give & bequeath my soule unto almyghty god my maker & redeemer & my body to be buried in the parish churchyarde of Wimborne Mynster aforesaid

Item I give unto the pooremans boxe xiid

Item I give unto my daughter Agnes Trimme xiid & to everyone of her children xijd apece

Item I give unto my sonne Nicolas Bolton xijd

all the rest of my goods moveable & unmoveable I give & bequeth unto my sonne William Bolton Mary Bolton & Christian Bolton my daughters whom I make whole executors joyntlye to be devided betweene them equally according to the xxxx meaning hereof

Also I do appoynt my wellbeloved in Christ Richard King & Richard ?Golsanye? my ?overseers? to se this my will performed according to the xxxx meaning hereof & for theire paynes I give unto eche of them xxd apece

Witness unto this will Thomas Toogood writer hereof
& Richard Colfanye & William Bolton the yonger

Also a list of debtors including several items for William Gold / Gould.

Return to Wills & Testaments, Administrations

Return to Home Page

kjthistory [userpic]

Will of John Harris of Trowbridge, Retired Police Superintendent

March 10th, 2017 (08:40 pm)

This is the last Will of me John Harris of number 2 Wesley Villas Studley Trowbridge Wilts Retired police superintendent

I appoint my friend Fred Milsom Garlick of Trowbridge aforesaid Butcher sole Executor hereof and I bequeath unto him ten guineas (duty free) for trouble.

I devise all that freehold piece of land situate in the Tything of Studley in the Parish of Trowbridge aforesaid being part of a close of ground called Lower Pilewell and all that dwellinghouse and outbuildings on the said piece of land or on some part therefore known as number 2 Wesley Villas formerly in the occupation of George Andrews but now in my own and all other my real estate (if any) unto my natural son John Wheeler otherwise Harris of Bradford Wilts Blacksmith. To hold the same hereditaments unto him the said John Wheeler otherwise Harris his heirs and assigns forever.

I give as follows (that is to say)

To my brother Henry Tilsed Harris* living in the Bay of Islands Saint John's Newfoundland North America five hundred and forty pounds (duty free). But should the said Henry Tilsed Harris die in my lifetime then such legacy of five hundred and forty pounds (duty free) to all his children then living equally.

To my sister Susan Rumble* of 68 Ossery Road, Old Kent Road, Surrey London Widow five hundred and forty pounds (duty free) but should she die in my lifetime then such sum (duty free) to all her children then living equally.

To John Rumble a son of the said Susan Rumble my gold watch and appendages.

To my sister Louisa Beckett* now living with me my linen china books pictures furniture and other household effects in and about my house wherein I reside and five hundred pounds (all duty free). But should the said Louisa Beckett die in my lifetime then such pecuniary legacy of five hundred pounds (duty free) to all her children living at her death equally.

To my nephew Harvey Harris one hundred and fifty pounds (duty free) but should he die in my lifetime then such legacy (duty free) to my nephew Walter Pavey Harris.

To the said Walter Pavey Harris one hundred and fifty pounds (duty free) but should he die in my lifetime then such legacy (duty free) to the said Harvey Harris which said Harvey Harris and Walter Pavey Harris are the two sons of my brother Joseph Harris supposed dead

All the rest and residue of my money and personal Estate of whatever description (including my clothes and wearing apparel) I give to my natural son the said John Wheeler otherwise Harris.

But subject to the payment of my just debts funeral and testamentary expences I direct that the said John Wheeler otherwise Harris shall suffer the said Louisa Beckett to occupy the said house and premises number 2 Wesley Villas aforesaid for a period of six calendar months after my decease without any charge for rent or otherwise In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this twenty seventh day of June one thousand eight hundred and eighty eight.

John Harris

Signed and acknowledged by the said John Harris the testator as and for his last and only will in the presence of us who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses.

Jacob Taylor Trowbridge Gentleman.

John William Culverhouse, Photographer, 7a The Parade Trowbridge.

~ ~ ~
BE IT KNOWN, that at the date hereunder written, the last Will and Testament of John Harris, late of No 2 Wesley Villas Studley Trowbridge in the County of Wilts Retired Police Superintendent deceased, who died on the 8th day of June 1890 at No 2 Wesley Villas aforesaid was proved and registered in the Principal Probate Registry of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice, and that administration of the personal estate of the said deceased was granted by the aforesaid Court to Fred Milsom Garlick of Trowbridge aforesaid Butcher the sole Executor named in the said Will, he having been first sworn well and faithfully to administer the same.

Probate dated the 1st day of August 1890. Gross value of Personal Estate £2418 7s 0d

~ ~ ~

*Susan Harris married Henry Sayer Rumble 8th December 1839 in Newington, London. Her brother Anthony Tilsed Harris was one of the witnesses.

* Louisa Harris married Erastus Beckett 19th August 1855 at St Pancras, Liverpool Street, London. In 1877 Erastus abandoned her and went to the USA, where he settled in Connecticut and died in 1916.

*Henry Tilsed Harris, born 1825 in Christchurch, Hampshire, England, seems a good fit for Henry T Harris born England, died Newfoundland 3rd March 1910 aged 86. (Research Ron Feniak, information from ngb.chebucto.org) He married Olivia Noel 16th Nov 1854 and their known children are George Apsey Harris b1855, Elizabeth Agnes Harris b1856, Louisa Harris b1858, William Tree Harris b1860, Eliza Harris b1871 and Priscilla Harris b1875. It seems likely that the Henry T Tilsed (born about 1864) who married Caroline Whalen 9th January 1888 is also theirs, as he fits into the ten-year gap between William and Eliza.

kjthistory [userpic]

Will of John Tilsed formerly of Newfoundland and now of Wimborne (1747 - 1834)

February 15th, 2017 (11:47 pm)

This is the last will and testament of me John Tilsed formerly of Shoe Cove near Cape John in the Island of Newfoundland Planter but now of Wimborne Minster in the County of Dorset Gentleman.

Read Full TranscriptionCollapse )

Return to Wills and Testaments

Return to Home Page

kjthistory [userpic]

A brief exploration of the "Lives" included in the Narrative of John Tilsed 1747 - 1834

February 11th, 2017 (04:52 pm)

For some years, amongst other Tilsed researches, I have been trying to piece together the lives of a number of different men named John Tilsed. Many of them are not my direct ancestors, but Tilsed is a fairly common name in Poole and my general approach with the Tilsed family is that the more events and attributes I link to the correct people, regardless of whether they are my ancestors or not, the fewer events and attributes are left lying around in danger of being linked to my ancestors when they don't belong there.

In pursuit of this research I have received help and information from several researchers in Canada; foremost amongst these is Ron Feniak, who was already himself working on one particular John Tilsed when we made contact. Ron's knowledge and experience of the Newfoundland end of things dovetailed neatly with my work in the Dorset records and online, and by sharing theories and information we have been able to achieve more than either of us could done independently.

Before Ron contacted me, I had postulated that some of the above-mentioned John Tilseds were in fact various aspects of the same man, the man who very helpfully referred to himself in his Will as “John Tilsed formerly of Shoe Cove near Cape John in the Island of Newfoundland Planter but now of Wimborne Minster in the County of Dorset Gentleman”. Ron had already made some of these links himself, and we have now done a lot of work to arrange and dovetail these selected “Lives” into a single timeline, in order to ensure that it is actually chronologically possible for them to be all the same person.

Combining those "Lives" into one “Life” has necessitated a certain amount of assumption and guesswork, and in many cases this involves judgements rather closer to "on balance of probabilities" than "beyond reasonable doubt". I hope to make it clear where we are certain and where we are reduced to relying on circumstantial evidence. I have listed below the separate "Lives" I have combined to create the narrative for John Tilsed of Newfoundland and Wimborne (1747 - 1834). Please note that this narrative is still a work in progress, and we have a lot more detail than is currently shown in the online version.

One assumption I have NOT made, and never have done, is that two actions each ascribed to "John Tilsed" in the same place at around the same time must necessarily both belong to the same man. It is definite that in every year of this John Tilsed's life, there was at least one other John Tilsed - and sometimes several - active in Poole and the surrounding area.

Documents so far searched include the parish registers of Wimborne and of Hampreston, both in Dorset; the Labrador Journals of Captain George Cartwright; the transcripts and digital images of the Lester Diaries made available online by MUN; Dr Keith Matthews’ “Name File” for Tilsed; and the Slade Ledgers held at MUN, MHA and The Rooms.

Life 1 - Son of Anthony Tilsed, christened Wimborne 1747

Age at burial. The Wimborne burial register states the age of "John Tilsey", buried 30th August 1834, as 86. (See Life 4 below for why we can be practically certain this is the right burial). This gives him a date of birth around 1747-1748. Other factors in favour of this being our man are:

Existence of the name Anthony amongst his children. While Anthony is not a rare name, it is fairly unusual for the time and place, and there are far fewer instances of "Anthony Tilsed" than there are, for example, John, James, Thomas or William Tilsed.

His going back to Wimborne on retirement from Newfoundland. John places himself in Wimborne in his will, and he was buried there. This despite him having - presumably - lived in Hampreston during his marriage to Mary Lambert, and apparently living with his daughter Elizabeth Lambert in Pythouse near Christchurch in the early years after his return from Newfoundland. He would also have been very familiar with Poole, as the major place of employment in the area, the main place locally for taking ship to Newfoundland, and more specifically as the headquarters of both Slade & Co and the brothers Lester. Each of these places have more claim to be the obvious place for him to settle, rather than Wimborne where he had no parents, no children, no property, almost certainly no siblings left alive. Perhaps it was just that, through all the years in Labrador and Newfoundland, Wimborne continued to be the place he considered "home".

None of these reasons are any better than circumstantial, of course, but it all seems perfectly reasonable - which is sometimes the best we can do.

Life 2 - Employee of George Cartwright in Newfoundland 1771 and Labrador 1785 (First and Sixth Voyages)

It is impossible to search Google Books for "Tilsed" without coming across George Cartwright's memoir, "A Journal of Transactions and Events during a Residence of nearly sixteen years on the Coast of Labrador". From Cartwright's journal we learn that a man named "Tilsed" worked for Cartwright in 1771-1772 and again in 1785-1786, and Cartwright describes his activities most days, telling us variously that "Tilsed ... visited his traps ... worked upon the new mainsail ... shot a brace of spruce-game ... hewed and brought home a set of skiff-oars ... finished the hawks of the deer-pound ... was employed in joiner's work ... carpenter's work ... cooper's work ... ".

Cartwright may have spent his days out on the land and the ice with his workers rather sitting behind a desk, but he was indisputably the man in charge, and a gentleman, and thus practically all the references to "Tilsed" are exactly that. To find the first name of this paragon of hard work and all trades, we have to look more closely. In all, Cartwright's descriptions of Tilsed's work for him in 1771-1772 give him his full name only three times, each of them more concerned with the man himself rather than the work he was engaged in at the time:

Sunday 19th May 1771 : "Two of the people belonging to the sealing crew came here this morning, to engage with me for the summer's fishing. I hired one of them (John Tilsed) for a boatsmaster, but would not engage the other."

Saturday 9th November 1771 : "At eleven o'clock John Tilsed arrived in the Sanson shallop with provisions from Fogo; having brought, five men for a sealing-crew; a cooper; and likewise two letters from Marnham [Cartwright's family home]: all of which I had entirely despaired of."

Wednesday 8th April 1772: "John Tilsed having burnt his toes again, on the twenty-second of January, in returning home from hence, and having thawed them by the fire, they mortified so far that he lost both nails, and bared the ends of the bones. I dressed them today, and found them likely to do well."

The second contract, almost fifteen years later, is similar: most mentions, detailing the work, are for "Tilsed", while the very first mention - on Wednesday 1st June 1785 - states "I hired John Tilsed for two summers and a winter, as boatsmaster, for £37 and his passage home. He was formerly a servant of mine; having lived with me in the same station in the years 1771 and 1772."

Life 3 - Husband of Mary Lambert, married in Hampreston 1776

John Tilsed and his wife Mary Lambert first took my eye for three reasons. First, Mary seems to have been one of those women whose ovaries both produce eggs every month and will thus conceive fraternal twins in every pregnancy. Second, that - unsurprisingly for the time, given that twins are normally premature and smaller than singleton babies - most of Mary's children died very young. And finally, that despite the couple marrying in January 1776, there is no sign of any children until July 1781.

There are a number of possible reasons for the apparent delay in producing children:

The christenings aren't online yet? The parish of Hampreston is on the border of Dorset and Hampshire, and neither FindMyPast nor Ancestry, which are the two sites I have subscriptions to, have any images for Hampshire CofE parish registers. The settlement laws would seem to make it unlikely that John would have moved to Hampshire when he was "of Wimborne" at his marriage, but possibly they lived somewhere where a church in Hampshire was nearer than one in Dorset.

Mary was too young? From her age at burial (37 in 1787), Mary would have been about 25 at marriage - which could reasonably be considered the peak of the childbearing years. However, a twins pregnancy will clearly place more strain on the mother's body and perhaps she just wasn't able to carry any early pregnancies near enough to term for the babies to be born alive. It is unlikely that such miscarriages or even stillbirths would have left records that have survived for us to find.

John had syphilis? This is a possibility that always needs to be considered where there are unexplained gaps in childbearing, or a run of apparently sickly babies. However, the sickly babies are probably explained by their being small and premature, and John himself would appear to have enjoyed a long, healthy and very active life, working in Newfoundland and Labrador until at least 1808 when he was over 60, and eventually living to the great age of 86. So this is possibly one of the less likely explanations.

John was away working? In a town like Poole, it is a given that many of the men would have been away at sea for many months at a time. However, it is surely in men's nature to make the most of the times they are at home, and so I don't rate this very highly as an explanation either!

In summary then, the most likely reason for the dearth of children in the first five years of the marriage is the most frustrating and unsettling one - that as yet I simply haven't looked hard enough or well enough in the right places.

Of the children of John and Mary that we do know about - and finding them required careful use of wildcards while searching the Hampreston registers - I found early burials for all of them except Anthony. Five died before the age of one year; the last child, William, was christened at the age of two days on his mother's burial day, and died himself a few days short of eighteen months old. Given all of this, it didn't seem particularly likely that Anthony had survived when all the others had died, but this was definitely a loose end.

Life 4 - Father of Elizabeth, Mrs John Young of Twillingate, Newfoundland

Item 1 : Some years ago I was sent the following transcript of a document pertaining to a settlement by one John Tilsed on his daughter Elizabeth, wife of John Young. It is perhaps a catalogue entry for the original document, and the header includes the date Nov 25 1836:

"Mr Robert Young & Ux to Mr Robert Slade. Power of Attorney to receive dividends of trustess under settlement of John Tilsed, deceased. Robert Slade of Poole, merchant, appointed attorney for John Young and Elizabeth Young, both of Twillingate, to receive the dividends as they become due in the sum of 1045 pounds, 8 shillings and 2 pence... To which Elizabeth Young is entitled under the settlement made by her father, the late John TILSED who died July 30 1834. Signed Thomas M Lyte"

Item 2 : More recently, a fellow researcher visited The Rooms at St John’s, Newfoundland, and was able to send me a photo of a document which appears to be not so much a Power of Attorney, but more an office ledger record regarding the execution of such Power of Attorney. This is my own transcription of that document:

"Dated November 25th 1836

Mr John Young & Ux [ie wife] to Mr Robert Slade

Power of Attorney to Receive Dividends of Trustees under Settlement of John Tilsed deceased.

Executed this day Power of Attorney, appointing Mr Robert Slade of Poole Merchant Attorney, for John Young and Elizabeth Young both of Twillingate, to receive the Dividends as they become due, on the sum of One thousand and fifty five Pounds, Eight Shillings and two Pence ??from & each?? Annuities to which Elizabeth Young is entitled under the XX Settlement made by her Father the late John Tilsed, who died on the thirtieth July one thousand Eight Hundred & thirty four.

Signed by Thos M Lyte N.P. "

It may be important to note that there are small but very significant differences between the two versions of the document. The main differences to note are:

(a) In addition to Elizabeth Young, Item 1 has reference to an unspecified Mr Robert Young as well as to John Young, while Item 2 mentions only John Young. It appears to be established fact that John Young's father was called William. There is no evidence, so far as I know, for John having a brother named Robert, leaving the identity of Robert Young a complete mystery. Having now seen the ledger copy of the document, and the fact of the other party being Mr Robert Slade, I think the most likely explanation is a copying error on the part of either the person creating the catalogue entry or the (unknown) transcriber.

(b) In item 1 it would appear that the total of the dividends due is £1045 8s 2d, and that this will be paid to Elizabeth in a succession of payments until the total is reached. In item 2 it seems that the capital sum invested is £1055 8s 2d, and that the dividends accruing from this investment will be paid to Elizabeth until some unspecified point in the future.

Assuming/guessing for now a rate of return of perhaps 5% on investment, Item 1 says that Elizabeth will receive a total of £1045 8s 2d over an unspecified period, while Item 2 suggests that she will receive roughly £52 5s per annum, presumably until the Annuities are sold or Elizabeth dies.

This is a difference which would presumably very significantly affect Elizabeth's financial status. I believe that the only way to be sure exactly what is happening here is to see the original Settlement "signed" by John Tilsed. At present I have no knowledge of where this Settlement might be found.

(c) Of less significance is the difference in the sums mentioned: £1045 8s 2d and £1055 8s 2d. This is presumably simply a copying error.

In his Will, written 28th February 1831 and proved 30th April 1835, John referred to himself as "John Tilsed, formerly of Shoe Cove near Cape John in the Island of Newfoundland but now of Wimborne Minster in the County of Dorset Gentleman".

According to the documents transcribed above, John Tilsed died 30th July 1834. It therefore seems practically certain that he is the "John Tilsey" aged 86 who was buried in Wimborne Minster on 3rd August 1834.

In my opinion, the document transcribed above proves beyond all reasonable doubt that Elizabeth Young (who died or was buried on 6 Mar 1851) - wife of John Young and known to family tradition in Newfoundland as "Elizabeth Tilsie/Tilsey" or "Betty Telsie of Shoe Cove" - was the daughter of John Tilsed born about 1747-8, of Wimborne in Dorset.

(So far as I know, the identity of Elizabeth's mother is completely unknown. It is also not clear at the moment whether Elizabeth's surname at marriage was even Tilsed, although the family tradition does support that reading.)

Life 5 - Employee and associate of the Slade Company of Poole and Newfoundland

There are various brief references online to a man named Tilsed having worked for, or been associated with, the Slade Company. None of these give much detail, and so it was some time before I was able to check whether Slade's man could be someone I already "knew".

A research partner visiting various archives in St John's very kindly sent me images of some of the ledger entries for John Tilsed and we were able to use those to develop our knowledge of this particular "Life". The earliest known appearance of John Tilsed in the Slade ledgers appears to be 1788, and the last, 1808.

Within that period, John was apparently at Battle Harbour from 1792 to 1795, and it is a ledger entry for 14th July 1795 that is the most fascinating of all: a payment of 6d against the name "A. Tilsad".

Combined with an entry in Keith Matthew's Name File* regarding purchases "by your son at Poole" and a reference in the same file to "part of your son's passage per Love & Unity from Poole", this would appear to be conclusive evidence that the man working for and with Slade's between 1788 and 1808 was the husband of Mary Lambert (Life 3 above), and that their son Anthony not only survived infancy, but took ship just before his thirteenth birthday to join his father in Newfoundland.

*Unfortunately the Slade ledgers from which these entries were copied in the 1970s have apparently since gone missing.

Life 6 - origin of the Labrador place-names Tilcey Island and Tilcey Point

It may seem something of a stretch to suggest that the place-name “Tilcey” has its origin in the surname “Tilsed”. But I believe that the link is fairly clear, and fully supported by what little evidence we have.

Off the northern coast of Cape Charles lies a group of three small islands. Tilcey Island is the middle one of the three, with Fox Island to the West and Wall Island to the East, nearest to the mainland. In Cartwright’s day Tilcey Island was called White-Fox Island, and it is thought that Wall Island is the island referred to by Cartwright as Seal Island. The conformation of modern-day Tilcey Island and Wall Island meet Cartwright’s description of the area where his 1770 sealing crew fixed their stopper nets. (This summary is based on the work of Marianne Stopp in The New Labrador Papers of Captain George Cartwright.)

Location of Tilcey Island: http://www4.rncan.gc.ca/search-place-names/unique/ABILH

Tilcey Point lies on the northern coast of Great Caribou Island in St Lewis Sound, and is the last point passed before approaching the entrance to Battle Harbour, a key fishing and trading area in Cartwright’s day and right up to modern times.

Location of Tilcey Point: http://www4.rncan.gc.ca/search-place-names/unique/ABILI

We know that both these places were previously spelt Tilsey rather than Tilcey:

Tilsey Island: Charles Wendell Townsend’s 1907 memoir Along the Labrador Coast, accessed via Google Books, mentions passing Tilsey Island on a journey from Cape Charles to Caribou Island.

“Our return [from Cape Charles] to Battle Harbour is worth telling … Out in the tickle we ran into a thick fog and passed by Tilsey Island. The skipper steered by compass for Black Rock, on the point of Great Caribou Island.”

Tilsey Point: The April 1954 issue of a magazine called Motor Boating is also available online via Google Books, and it is clear from the description that the Tilsey Point mentioned is today’s Tilcey Point.

"Off Tilsey Point, Uncle Alf stopped his engine and brought us alongside. The tortuous entrance to Battle Harbor with its narrow Tickle would be much easier to navigate tied abeam. Soon we entered the Tickle..."

Before concluding the argument, it is necessary to make the link between “Tilsey” and “Tilsed”. As mentioned in Life 4 above, the name of John Tilsed’s Newfoundland daughter Elizabeth has been passed down in oral tradition as “Betty Tilsie”. Also, as explained in Life 8 below, Tilsey is a fairly common deviant spelling for Tilsed outside of its East Dorset homeland.

Finally, we need to place John Tilsed in these locations.

In the Winter of 1770-1771, Cartwright was responsible for supervising a sealing crew working in the area of Cape Charles. Cartwright visited the crew many times during the Winter and states that they placed stopper nets between the islands he called Seal Island and White-Fox Island.

In May of 1771, Cartwright names John Tilsed explicitly as “belonging to the sealing crew”. It is clear from context that he means the sealing crew he has been visiting all Winter.

John Tilsed’s link with Tilcey Point is not so obvious. However, as noted in Life 5 above, records kept by the Slade Company show that between 1792 and 1795 he was based at Battle Harbour, and that in 1793 he was the leader of a sealing crew at a location named as "Tilsed’s Post". None of the other crews that year were in locations named after them, and this establishes the possibility that Tilcey Point was named after John Tilsed from his being posted there in charge of a sealing crew.

In conclusion, I believe that we have enough evidence to state with a reasonable amount of confidence that the Labrador locations Tilcey Island and Tilcey Point are named for John Tilsed, 1747 - 1834, Planter of Newfoundland and Gentleman of Wimborne.

Life 7 - Testator in the will of "John Tilsed formerly of Shoe Cove near Cape John in the Island of Newfoundland Planter but now of Wimborne Minster in the County of Dorset Gentleman"

In the ages before National Insurance numbers, personal tax codes, date-of-birth-and-mother's-maiden-name, the first sentence of a will, where the Testator describes himself/herself, is intended to make it clear to all comers exactly who this will belongs to.

It seems to have been important to John to lay an audit trail between the "Gentleman of Wimborne" and the "Planter of Shoe Cove in Newfoundland". This certainly suits the researcher's purpose admirably, and was possibly also of importance in the matter of his daughter Elizabeth's financial settlement (see Life 4 above).

Additionally, it would have been important for John to distinguish himself from any other John Tilseds in the area. He would have been aware of various Tilsed families living in Poole, and whether he knew the man personally or not, he probably knew of the existence of the man known to Trinity House as "John Tilsed senior, Pilot". Some ten years younger than the man I call "John the Planter", this John Tilsed was still alive at the time the latter made his will in 1831.

Given that "John the Planter" seems to have retired to Dorset after the end of 1808 at the very earliest, his ship will almost certainly have been brought into the Harbour by a licenced Trinity House pilot. It is not at all outside the bounds of possibility that the pilot was John Tilsed senior himself or his son John Tilsed junior. (John the Planter will have had the advantage over me in that he probably knew exactly in what way he was related to those men!)

Life 8 - Grandfather of the children of Aaron Harris

From the Will in Life 7 above, it is certain that the Testator in that will is the grandfather of at least three of the children of Aaron Harris, and thus creation of a separate "Life" for consideration of the grandchildren might be considered unnecessary. However, as identifying the grandchildren was a completely separate exercise from that of identifying the Testator himself, I felt the new "Life" was justified and would enable a clearer view of this additional aspect of John Tilsed's story.

The will names three people specifically as grandchildren:

[1] my grandson John Harris of Pythouse in the parish of Christchurch and County of Southampton

[2] my granddaughter Eliza Harris

[3] my grandson Anthony Harris son of Aaron Harris of Pythouse aforesaid

Luckily for us there were, or had been, other Anthony Harrises in the area, and thus it was necessary for the will to state his father's name as well as the location in order to identify the correct Anthony Harris.

The will also mentions "the seven children of the said Aaron Harris". It is of course possible that only Anthony is a son of Aaron; that the acknowledged grandchildren John Harris and Eliza Harris are John Tilsed's grandchildren via some other route; and that the "seven children of Aaron" therefore include Anthony but not John and Eliza. I have tried to bear this possibility in mind at all times during the research.

Finally, the will makes mention of one George Lambert of Longham, and Caroline Lambert his daughter, without giving any clue as to who they are. I believe it to be significant that in four separate places in the will, George and Caroline are treated similarly to the acknowledged grandchildren; it therefore seems reasonable to suppose that either George or Caroline might also be a grandchild of John Tilsed.

(a) John Tilsed's "wearing apparel" was to be divided between George Lambert and grandson John Harris.

(b) Grand-daughter Eliza Harris was to have "my best bed", and Caroline Lambert "my other bed"

(c) The bed furniture and bedding was to be equally divided between Eliza Harris and Caroline Lambert

(d) The will specifies that "my plate" should be divided into eight equal lots, one each for the seven children of Aaron Harris and the last for Caroline Lambert

So we have Aaron Harris as the father of three acknowledged grandchildren and four more probable grandchildren, and we have George Lambert as the father of Caroline who is treated in very similar fashion to the acknowledged grandchildren.

It was fairly straightforward to find a christening for Anthony Harris, son of Aaron, and as a bonus, his middle name was "Tillsey". (See note* below). I have not yet seen an image for the christening, but two separate transcripts both state that his parents were Aaron Harris and Elizabeth. Aaron's occupation is not given in the transcripts, but "abode" was given as Woolsbridge, which is about five miles from Pitthouse Farm in Pitthouse Lane, the probable site of Aaron Harris's 1831 residence.

In all, I have found eight christenings to Aaron Harris and Elizabeth, starting with John Harris in 1813 and Eliza Harris in 1815, with the last christening in 1830. Aaron Harris married Elizabeth Lambert - same surname as George - in 1812, and they are confirmed as the correct couple from the fact that the last five christenings were in an Independent chapel which included the mother's maiden name - Lambert - in the record. Six of these children have been identified and followed forward, leaving Eliza's story as yet unknown and her sister Mary as the one who had presumably died by the time John signed his will.

So how did John Tilsed come to be the grandfather of the children of Aaron Harris and Elizabeth Lambert? In an effort to work this one out I followed Anthony forward through the census and found his mother Elizabeth with him in 1871 and 1881, giving her birthplace as Longham in one and Wimborne in the other, while in 1851 she said Hampreston. Elizabeth was more consistent in giving her age in the census - 50, 60, 70, 80 in 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871. This gives her a date of birth around 1791.

Noting the coincidence of surnames for Elizabeth Lambert the wife of Aaron, George Lambert the father of Caroline and John Tilsed's own ex-wife Mary Lambert, and the fact that Mary Lambert married John in Hampreston, I started looking there for candidates for George Lambert and Elizabeth. Neither of these is a particularly unusual name, but one group of christenings in Hampreston was particularly interesting:

1788 - George Lambert, natural son of Jane Lambert
1794 - Elizabeth daughter of Jean Lambert
1801 - Henry son of Jane Lambert, base born.

The next question, clearly, is "Who are Jane and Jean Lambert?" It needs to be noted that at this time the names Jane, Jean and Jenny are often interchangeable; I have an individual on my tree who was christened and buried as Jane, signed the marriage register as Jean, and signed as her sister's marriage witness as Jenny. So these christenings could be all to one mother or to two different ones.

The Jane Lambert who was buried on Henry's christening day in 1801 was 41 years old, giving her a birth date of around 1760. There are two likely candidates in Hampreston for this Jane - Jenny Lambert the daughter of Richard, 1760, and Jane Lambert daughter of Richard, 1763.

John's late wife Mary Lambert, also buried (in 1787) on the christening day of her last child, was 37 at the time, thus born about 1750. This corresponds well with a christening on 22 Apr 1750, Mary Lambert the daughter of Richard.

So my thinking here is - this looks like a Deceased Wife's Sister scenario. At that time, marriage to the deceased wife's sister was not technically illegal in England (it became so in 1835), but it was prohibited by the church which amounted to much the same thing for most people, and there are many instances of couples marrying in distant parishes to get round this difficulty.

As at 20th November 1787, the burial of his wife, John Tilsed had a five-year-old son (Anthony), and a two-day-old baby (William) to look after, all his other children by Mary having died as infants. The baby will have required a wetnurse, and Mary's sister Jane, with an illegitimate child (John Tremen Lambert) aged twenty-two months, may well have been able to fulfil this function. At the very least - and bearing in mind that milk for a toddler is not ideally suited for nurturing a newborn - as Mary's sister she is an obvious candidate for looking after the baby, even if she didn't feed him herself.

This is not something which is ever likely to be proved, but my position at this point is that John Tilsed was the father of Jane's children George and Elizabeth, and that George was the father of Caroline while Elizabeth, as the wife of Aaron Harris, was mother to John, Eliza, Anthony and five more Harris grandchildren. It is also possible that John Tilsed was the father of Henry Lambert born October 1801, as we currently have no evidence placing him in Newfoundland during the Winter of 1800-1801. In possible support of this theory is the fact that the first child of Aaron Harris and Elizabeth born after John Tilsed had definitely retired to Dorset was also named Henry.

*There are occurrences of "Tylsed" in some early records, but the normal and persistent spelling of the name from 1581 onwards is Tilsed. The double-L in Anthony's middle name is unusual but not unknown at the time, and Tilsey rather than Tilsed is a deviant spelling which is not uncommon to the East of Poole, notably on Portsea Island. Anthony himself is known to have spelt his middle name "Tilsed".

(It should be noted that Tilsey also occurs as an entirely separate name, but within Dorset and Hampshire - apart from one known incomer family in Portsea who really were Tilseys of Somerset - it is a deviant spelling for Tilsed.)

List of John Tilsed's Harris grandchildren:

1813 John Harris Became Superintendent of Police in Wiltshire, married Emily Blundell Shipman, died 1890.
1815 Eliza Harris Died after 28th February 1831, but not yet found apart from that.
1817 Anthony Tilsed Harris Became Head of Stores at HM Dockyard, Deptford, married Margaret Anderson, died 1878.
1820 Susan Harris Married Henry Sayer Rumble, became a Beer Shop Keeper, died 1894.
1822 Mary Harris By process of elimination, she must have died before 28th February 1831. (Eight christenings, only seven in the will).
1825 Henry Tilsed Harris Became a fisherman/planter in Newfoundland, married Olivia Noel there in 1854, died in Newfoundland 1910. Henry T Harris and Olivia are buried at Humber Road Cemetery, Corner Brook.
1828 Louisa Harris Married Erastus Beckett, a police sergeant who abandoned her and moved to the USA. Died after 1891.
1830 Joseph Harris Became a Grocer, married Fanny Louisa Green (sister-in-law to Robert Comport Zinzan) in 1860. "Supposed dead" in the will of his brother John, which was signed 27th June 1888.

Presumed grand-daughter Caroline Lambert is a good fit for the Caroline Lambert of Hampreston who married soldier John Vinter in Wimborne on 9th August 1836. She christened children in Wimborne, Maidstone, Bermuda, Dublin and Dover, and is buried in Dover where she died in February 1848 aged 29.

~ ~ ~

Other sources used in the narrative include the Diaries of Isaac Lester and Benjamin Lester, merchants of Poole and Newfoundland, who mention various Tilseds through the years, and the parish registers and Churchwardens' Accounts of Wimborne Minster and of Hampreston.

Some of those "Lives" I have excluded from this narrative:

John Tilsed, Mariner, born 1711, son of William Tilsed and Hannah Pike. Died 1798 aged 88.

John Tilsed, Cordwainer, married Jane Trim in 1759.

John Tilsed, Pilot, born 1758, son of William Tilsed (probably a Pilot), and Aphra Gravener of Rye.

John Tilsed, Pilot, born 1785, son of John Tilsed, Pilot, and Elizabeth Frampton

kjthistory [userpic]

John TILSED 1747 - 1834

February 7th, 2017 (10:31 pm)

There are, and have been, many John Tilseds around Wimborne and Poole. This narrative concerns the man who in his will referred to himself as "formerly of Shoe Cove near Cape John in the Island of Newfoundland Planter but now of Wimborne Minster in the County of Dorset Gentleman".

Creating this narrative has involved pulling together what originally seemed like a number of different "lives". The narrative is complex enough without going into the details of how the research was done and conclusions reached, so various essays working through the reasoning will be posted separately.

The full narrative will be posted soon; in the meantime (for googling purposes!), here is a selected list of some of the names which appear in the life story of this John Tilsed:

Father : Anthony Tilsed 1712 - ?1751
Mother : Mary Michell ? - ?
Siblings : Elizabeth Tilsed 1738 - ?, Mary Tilsed 1742 - ?, Roger Tilsed (married Jane Mead) 1744 - 1794

Wife : Mary Lambert ?1749 - 1787
Children by Mary Lambert : William[1] Tilsed 1781-1782, Elizabeth Tilsed 1781-1782, Anthony Tilsed 1782 - ?1815, Jean Tilsed 1782-1783, William[2] Tilsed 1784 - 1784, Jane Tilsed 1784 - 1785, William[3] Tilsed 1787 - 1789.

Other possible partner: Jane Lambert, sister of Mary, ?1760 - 1801
Possible children by Jane Lambert : George Lambert 1788 - 1842, Elizabeth Lambert ?1794 - ?1872, Henry Lambert 1801 - 1801.
Grandchildren by Aaron Harris and Elizabeth Lambert: John Harris 1813 - ?, Eliza Harris 1815 - ?, Anthony Tilsed Harris 1817 - 1878
Possible grandchild : Caroline Lambert daughter of George Lambert, ?1817 - 1848

Child by Unknown: Elizabeth Tilsed (Betty Telsie in oral tradition) ?1786 - 1851 (married John Young).

Other names mentioned : Captain George Cartwright (trader and explorer in Labrador and Newfoundland) 1740 - 1819, Isaac Lester (Merchant of Poole), Benjamin Lester (Merchant of Poole and Newfoundland).

If you'd like to make contact click the blue pencil above; your comment will be hidden for privacy. Alternatively, message me via Ancestry, where I'm kjt127.

Return to List of Narratives

Return to Top

kjthistory [userpic]

"Son of ..." at Burial is Not Necessarily a Child

November 23rd, 2016 (04:29 pm)

I have on various occasions attempted to work through a selected list of events in Wimborne in order to come to a definitive solution as to who was where, doing what and when. I call it my "Mega Wimborne Who Did That?" project.

One of the problems I continually tripped over was that I would find an action or event for someone who simply didn't exist on my list of candidates. Now there certainly are gaps in the Wimborne registers, even after they finally get going in the late 1630s, but I suspect part of the problem is this: whenever I see that a person buried was "son of x" or "daughter of y", I've been "killing off" young or newly-christened children. But now I have proof that naming a deceased person as "child of" does not necessarily mean they were a child.

So it seems entirely possible that I have "killed off" infants who in fact survived to perform those later unallocated actions, while the burial was in fact an adult - perhaps even an adult I didn't previously know existed. I will therefore be revisiting the entire project from the earliest possible date (currently 1630), just as soon as I've finished tearing my hair out over who did what when and where in Bere Regis:

"Not an Infant" - the Life and Death of Benjamin Harvey

26th January 1668/69 - "Benjamin Harvye son of William" baptised Wimborne, Dorset. (Indexed by Ancestry as Benjamin Harrys)

29 December 1695 - "Benjamin Harty* of Wimborne, Dorset" married Sarah Coock at Westbury in Wiltshire. (I have not yet seen the image for myself to confirm this really is Benjamin Harvey). Westbury lies 32 miles NNW of Wimborne, on what is now the main A350 Poole-Blandford-Shaftesbury-Warminster-Chippenham road.

29th September 1698 - "William Harvy, Gresham Harvy his daughter, and Benjamin Harvy his son" listed as the three lives in a lease for "Messuage and Land in Wimborne Minster, for 99 years" between William Harvey, Tanner, and Sir John Hanham Bt.

Year Easter 1701 to Easter 1702 - Wimborne Churchwardens's Accounts for the year: "Sold Sarah Harvey wife of Benjamin a place in the seat with Mrs Goodridge in the Scholars Alley and she paid to the church 5s".

01 December 1701 - Benjamin Harvey, a Tanner, spoke his last will and testament "in his owne dwelling house where he lived and dyed situate in Wimborne Minster ... and shortly after dyed". In his will Benjamin mentioned, but did not name, his wife. Witnesses were "William Fabian, Alice Fabian, Frances Mearing and diverse other credible witnesses".

03 December 1701 - "Benjamin son of William Harvey" was buried in Wimborne, Dorset.

04 December 1701 - Benjamin Harvey's will was written up by Richard Russell, Notary Public. It was signed by William Fabian, and Alice Fabian and Frances Mearing made their marks.

09 December 1701 - Probate of Benjamin's will granted to "Sara vid" ie Sarah the widow.

~ ~ ~

Return to "Notes and Essays"

Return to Home Page

kjthistory [userpic]

Will of Christian Tilsed née Gould, Widow of Bere Regis

October 19th, 2016 (04:55 pm)

From what looks like the original copy of this will, it was written on 13th October 1628.      

In the name of God Amen: I Christian Tilsed* being of good and perfect memory thankes be given to Almightie God do make & appoynt my last will & testament in manner followinge. First I bequeath my soule into the handes of God my Savioure & redeemer ?Cbolseberinge? by his merite the remission of my sinnes & evlastinge life, my body to be buried in the pish church or churchyard of Beere according to the discrecon of mine executor.

Itm I give unto the Church of Beere five shillings & to the poore of the same give two shillinge.

Itm my will is that the ??£100?? bedspreede & valence in the lower chamber shall remayne unto the house.

Itm I give unto my sonne James Tilsed the best bed & bed?stead? in the upper chamber, the Chest therein, the Cupbord in the hall the best table ?boxe? halfe a dosen of the best pewter x^d ?forme? belonging to the table bord, a brasse kettle in the kitchin, a dripping pan, a ?stimer? & a chafindish.

Item I give unto my daughter Anne Clench* my best gowne, my best cloake, & a peticoate, my second tablebord & a forme, the greate brasen panne, the copper in the kitchin, a pestle & mortar, dogge & andirons.

Itm I give unto Roger Tilsed the sonne of Lewes Tilsed a ?bruckle? bedsteed, a sidebord & a ioyned chaire in the hall.

Itm I give to Mary Clench a?crock?.

Itm I give unto Anne Clench & Mary Bushrode* my daughters all my linnen equally to be devided & the rest of my apparerell not formerly given.

Itm I give unto Christian Goold my goddaughter sixe shillings.

Item I give to my brothers John Goold & Thomas Goold each of them a platter.

Itm I give unto my sonne Lewes a bed & bedsteed from ?ishedim? the chamber over the hall, a brasse ?furnace? pan.

Item I give unto Christian Norris, Anne Norris, Mary Norris, Robert & Thomas Norris, the children of my late daughter Christian Norris* late deceased twentie nobles to be devided amongst them when they shall come to the age of one & twentie yeares, to be ?mburied [?imployed?] according to the discrecion of my executors & in the meantyme to be kept in the hands of my executors & improved for the best advantage of the said children.

Itm I give unto my daughter Anne Clench three poundes to be paid within halfe a yeare after my decease. Itm I give to my daughter Anne Clench her four children twentie shillings apeece. Itm I give unto my other grandchildren ten shillings apeece.

The rest of my goods I give unto my sonnes Lewes & James Tilsed whome I make executors of this my Will.

Witnesses:   John Rogers Clerke,
                    John Clench

Christian Tilsed her mark.

Probate (in Latin) - Christian Tilsed of Beere Regis in Dorset 4th August 1629. Admin to Lodovico Tilsed one of the executors

* Christian Tilsed née Gould - husband not yet identified for certain, but probably Roger Tilsed son of Lewis.
* Anne Clench née Tilsed    - married to Thomas Clench the younger
* Mary Bushrode née Tilsed  - married to John Bushrode
* Christian Norris née Tilsed  - late wife of Tobias Norris

< back | 0 - 10 |