A Tale of Tragedy

Category: Ancestors Corner

Matthew Hibbit was born in about 1735, the second son of my 6 x great-grandparents, and he married Frances Penruddock in St Peter & St Paul's Church, Exton, Rutland, on 13th November 1758. I decided to take a look at Frances' family and, not for the first time, I stumbled across a great deal of tragedy.

Frances was the sixth of eight children born to Richard and Dorothy Penruddock between 1722 and 1737 in Pilton in Rutland. Richard died in December 1739 when Frances was barely six years old.

Her mother remarried in January 1741. Her second husband was a farmer called John Deacon who I discovered was dead two months later. Dorothy must have been pregnant with John's child when they married as John junior was baptised on 29th April 1741. Worse still, Dorothy was buried on the same day. What a start in life for that poor baby and all of his half siblings.

Snow Scene
Photo by Myeongseon Song on Unsplash

Much of Europe suffered severely cold weather during the winter of 1739/40. This became known as the Great Frost in Ireland which was particularly hit. The streets of London were clogged with snow and ice and the River Thames was frozen for about eight weeks. This was followed by more cold weather and severe gales affecting shipping and one of the worst dry spells of the 18th century which resulted in famine and disease.

The period 1740-1743 has been shown to be the driest period of the last 280 years, with the year 1740 the coldest recorded over the British Isles since comparable records began in 1659. One can only wonder whether the Penruddock/Deacon families living in Rutland were affected by these adverse conditions too?

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How long have we been in Rutland?

Category: General

The Rutland Psalter
Illumination in The Rutland Psalter produced c. 1260 in England

I've found some interesting names in the Rutland Lay Subsidy Roll of 1296/7. I'll never be able to prove my connection back this far but this may offer circumstantial evidence for perhaps some of my family having been in the area for a long time.

Place, Name

Empingham, Richard Hobburd

Teigh, William Hubert

Teigh, Richard Hubert

Seaton, William Tubbe

Glaston, William Tubbe

Teigh, Henry de Neubold

Teigh, Richard de Neubold

Oakham, William de Neubold

Oakham, Richard de Neubold

Clipsham, John Le Neubrid

Tickencote, Richard Neubrid

Ketton, William de Neubotle x 2

Ketton, Juliana Neubotle

Ketton, Henry de Neubotle

Ketton, Marg' de Neubotle

Could Hobburd and Hubert be a variant of Hibbitt? Maybe stretching it a little, who knows?

My 6 x great-grandmother was Ann Tubbs who married John Hybit in Exton in 1732. Could either of the Tubbe men be my ancestor?

Mahala Newbold was my 3 x great-grandmother. She married Amos Hibbitt in 1830. Her grandfather, John Newbold, was located in Exton in the late 18th century. I have seen the spelling written as Neubold and Newbolt too. Could any of these people be my forbear?

Source: Names from Rutland Lay Subsidy 1296/7. Created by Douglas Galbi - http://www.galbithink.org/names/engb1800.htm

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Latest on our Hibbitt Y-DNA kits

Category: DNA

My dad's Y STR test has recently been upgraded to 111 markers. However, as I thought might be the case, he doesn't yet have any matches at this level. This would be because the right men haven't yet taken the test. Hopefully we shall have some men who are descended from John Hybit of Exton, Rutland, testing in the future and then we may begin to discern which markers are related to which branches of the family.

Z36747 men on The Big Tree
Z36747 men on Alex Williamson's 'The Big Tree'

In the meantime, Alex Williamson has begun updating 'The Big Tree'. Initially dad's kit was placed with another kit whose ancestor was called Doggart. However, a new Big Y kit (Chism) has recently arrived and formed a new subclade below Z36747 with Doggart. Dad now sits alone at Z36747 until any closer matches appear.

Note: I've updated my 'Tracing Annie Hibbitt's Deep Ancestral Roots Through Her Dad's Y-DNA' page with these changes.

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How to obtain a Y-DNA haplogroup from an autosomal DNA test for free

Category: DNA

The Morley Y-SNP Subclade Predictor Tool showing my dad's estimated haplogroup
(Click the image for a larger version.)

If you are male and have taken an AncestryDNA, 23andMe or MyHeritage autosomal DNA test, it may be possible to extract some Y-DNA data from your DNA file to obtain an estimated haplogroup. I should emphasize that this isn't a substitute for a dedicated Y-DNA test but it might be useful in pointing you in the right direction for further testing or to see whether you are likely to match with others who share your surname.

It's free to use the Morley Y-SNP Subclade Predictor Tool at https://ytree.morleydna.com/extractFromAutosomal. All you need to do is download your raw data file from one of the three testing companies mentioned above and run it through the tool so there's nothing to stop you having a go. It's very easy to do. There are limitations in that the SNP needs to be present in the Morley tool and in your autosomal DNA test which is why you will only get a basic haplogroup.

This link http://www.geneticgenealogist.net/2017/08/updated-method-to-get-ydna-haplogroup.html provides instructions on how to use your AncestryDNA kit with the Morley Tool.

My dad took the Big Y test at FamilyTreeDNA which gave him a current terminal SNP of Z36747 which can be written as...

R1b-M343 > P297 > M269 > L23 > L51 > P312 > Z290/S461 > L21 > DF13 > DF21 > S3058 > S424 > S426 > CTS2187/S190 > Z36747

Before ordering Big Y, using my dad's AncestryDNA kit and the Morley Tool, my dad's haplogroup was reported as S190. You can see therefore that he made it quite a way down the Y phylogenetic (or evolutionary) tree towards his terminal SNP by simply using his autosomal test.

Likewise, my husband, Harvey, has recently ordered a Big Y test but he's undertaken some SNP testing in the past to give him a subclade of S18890 which can be written as...

R1b-M343 > P297 > M269 > L23 > L51 > U106 > L48 > Z9 > Z30 > Z2 > Z7 > Z8 > Z338 > Z11 > Z12 > Z8175 > FGC12057 > S18890*

The Morley Tool gave him a haplogroup of Z12 which is how I knew to order the L48 SNP Panel at YSEQ. The Big Y will supersede this SNP Panel when the results are back and he might even end up further downstream of the S18890 SNP.

To find out more about these haplogroups and what it means for my HIBBITT family and Harvey's BARNES family click on the following links...

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New Hibbitt / Hibbett Facebook Group

Category: General

Hibbitt, Hibbett (plus other variants) Family History Research Facebook Group
Hibbitt, Hibbett (plus other variants) Family History Research Facebook Group

I've started a Closed Facebook Group called Hibbitt, Hibbett (plus other variants) Family History Research Group.

It's for those who have an interest in family history and who also have a Hibbitt / Hibbett (or other name variant - see below) family connection. It's a place to share research, photographs, videos and more with like-minded folk.

There are many variants of the surname including.....Hibbit, Hibbitt, Hibbet, Hibbett, Hibbits, Hibbets, Hibbitts, Hibbetts, Hybot, Hybut, Hybat, Hybit, Hybitt, Hybet, Hybett, Hybbet, Hybbett, Hybbitt, Hibbert, Ibbert, Ibbat, Ibbatt, Ibbet, Ibbett, Ibbit, Ibbot, Ibbott, Abbot, Abbott, Abbit, Abbitt.....and there may well be more.



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Finding more Kidderminster ancestors

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Samuel Cotterell's name and occupation as recorded on his son, Edmund's, marriage certificate
Samuel Cotterell's name and occupation as recorded on his son, Edmund's, marriage certificate

I've made a little progress on my Worcestershire based ancestors. I was aware that my 4 x great-grandmother was Elizabeth Lewis who married Samuel Cotterell at Kidderminster, in 1782. I have now found her baptism dated 4th February 1757 showing that she was the daughter of Richard and Mary Lewis. Mary's maiden name was Rook/Rooke/Rooks.

Mary Rooke was born in approximately 1734, the daughter of Thomas Rook and Sarah Payton who married in Kidderminster on 30th May 1726.

The eldest of four, Elizabeth Lewis appears to have been Richard and Mary's only daughter. Two sons, who were probably twins, were baptised on 23rd October 1759 but sadly William died on the 24th and Francis on the 25th. This was also the day both boys were buried. Their youngest son, named Richard after his father, was baptised in October 1760, less than three months after Mary's husband had died so life must have been tough for her.

The Payton surname was prevalent in Kidderminster from as early as the beginning of the 17th century when an Elizabeth Payton was baptised in 1620. The Rooke name appears in the town just a little later.

Kidderminster is known for the manufacture of carpets, which began during the 18th century and developed out of a well established cloth industry. I don't know what my Lewis, Rooke and Payton forebears did for a living but I do know that Samuel Cotterell was a weaver so I think it very likely he was connected to one of these industries.

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In Remembrance

Category: Ancestors Corner

The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London
The Cenotaph in Whitehall
I took this photograph when I visited London in June 1980

In remembrance of...
  • 4732 Private Henry James WEAVER (my great-grandfather) - 2/1 Bucks Battalion, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
    Born 3 October 1882 in Curry Rivel, Somerset. Died 8 September 1916. Killed by accident during bomb practice. Buried in Merville Communal Cemetery Extension in France. Commemorated on the War Memorial in Curry Rivel and Tavistock War Memorial in Devon. Left a widow, Florence (nee Smale) and an unborn daughter.

  • 2007216 Sapper George HARVEY (Harvey's great-grandfather) - 9th Battalion, Canadian Engineers.
    Born 23 July 1884 in Newlyn, Cornwall. Died at No. 9 General Hospital, Rouen, France. Died of a gunshot wound to the shoulder. Buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension in Rouen. Commemorated on the War Memorial in Newlyn and on a stone on the side of the Primitive Methodist Church in Newlyn. Left a widow, Lizzie Annie (nee Thomas) and two daughters under the age of 10.

  • Lieut.-Comdr. (E) Charles Henry MARTIN R.N. (my great-uncle) - Royal Navy.
    Born 1 May 1903 in Twerton-on-Avon, Bath, Somerset. Died 9 April 1942 off Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka). Went down in H.M.S. Hermes. Lost at Sea. Commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial in Devon. Left a widow, Nellie Gertrude (nee Hibbitt).
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The varied life of Ann Weaver (1830-1885)

Category: Ancestors Corner

The churchyard pathway at Curry Rivel, Somerset, leads out onto the Green
The churchyard pathway at Curry Rivel, Somerset, leads out onto the Green

My 3 x great-grandmother, Ann Weaver, has been an enigma for quite some time but more recently I've made some progress with a little help from another family historian along the way.

Ann was born in 1830 in the village of Curry Rivel in Somerset. She was the daughter of a cordwainer or boot and shoemaker. She gave birth to my 2 x great-grandfather, William Henry Weaver (known as Harry), in 1848 when she was eighteen and unmarried. I still don't know who Harry's father was as he isn't recorded in any documents.

Ann appears to have lived with her parents until 1856 when she married a soldier, John Willshire, who had previously fought in the Crimea. They married in nearby Taunton and then left the area and were living in barracks in Canterbury shortly afterwards. Harry remained in Curry Rivel with his grandparents. John and Ann had a son in 1858 but sadly Ann was widowed in 1864. John had been medically discharged from the army three years beforehand due to phthisis pulmonalis, otherwise known as tuberculosis of the lungs. Their son attended the Royal Military Asylum in Chelsea to complete his schooling.

Ann married again in 1866. Her second husband was Charles Cleverly who was almost ten years her junior. He had various occupations ranging from a farmer's boy, a carter, groom and omnibus driver. Charles and Ann lived in the Saint John area of Westminster. For some reason Charles was not with her in 1881 when the census was taken but Ann had her youngest son at home and was making a living as a shirt maker, something it seems she'd been doing for at least a decade.

Ann died of apoplexy (a stroke) on 17th May 1885, aged 54. She'd only suffered briefly and her husband, Charles, was with her when she died. Charles remarried in 1887 and was still alive in 1891 but he disappears from the records after this.

What became of Ann's sons? Harry followed in his grandfather's footsteps and, after a short time working as a journeyman shoemaker in Drimpton, Dorset, he returned to Curry Rivel where he lived and worked until he died in 1944 at the ripe old age of 95.

Ann's younger son, William John Willshire (probably known as John), stayed in London and worked as a clerk. The London lifestyle was likely much less healthy and he died aged 40 having married his second wife less than two weeks beforehand.

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My Grandpa Hibbitt - cine footage and photographs

Category: Cine Films and Videos

Cine footage with a few stills thrown in of my Grandpa Hibbitt (Charles George Hibbitt: 1898-1972).

Known as Charlie, he was born near Dundalk in Ireland. His father was a Coastguard and the family moved around before settling in Devon. Charlie went to live and work in Tavistock as a telephone engineer and inspector before retiring to East Allington in the South Hams area of Devon.

Grandpa's hobbies included cars and motorbikes (he was a motorcycle despatch rider during WW1), boats, short wave radio, photography and capturing cine films. He was more often than not, behind the camera, but I've managed to find a few short clips of him amongst the family collection.

This video can also be viewed on my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNs3ymlohd0 and in my website video gallery.

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Tracing my HIBBITT family through DNA - Can you help?

Category: DNA

Blacksmiths Lane, Exton, Rutland
Blacksmiths Lane, Exton, Rutland
(Photograph kindly supplied by Caroline White, a distant cousin in Oundle, Peterborough.)

I'm seeking men called HIBBITT / HIBBETT or any of the variants listed here, to see whether you would be willing to test your Y DNA. If your name isn't Hibbitt but you suspect you are descended from a direct paternal ancestor with the name, then come on board.

Sorry ladies, we don't possess a Y chromosome but it would still be great to compare if you have taken an autosomal test such as the AncestryDNA, 23andMe, Family Finder or MyHeritage test. If so, please get in touch.

Since my dad took the Big Y DNA test at FamilyTreeDNA we've discovered that an ancestor of ours may have lived in or around the Stirling area of Scotland in Roman times.

Y DNA traces the patrilineal line (eg. father's father's father, etc.) which, in our case, is our Hibbitt line. However, this particular ancestor would have lived in a time before the adoption of surnames.

I've put together a comprehensive account of the history of my Hibbitt line dating from 60,000 years ago to the present day.


Through traditional research, I've traced my Hibbitts back to the beginning of the 18th century. I found my 6 x great-grandfather, John Hybit, living in a village called Exton located in the county of Rutland, the smallest county in England.

Dad's DNA matches quite a number of men who have all tested positive for a SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) called R-S424, otherwise known as the Little Scottish Cluster. Many men, but not all, in the S424 project at FTDNA trace their ancestry to southern Scotland where their common ancestor is believed to have lived centuries ago.

Just how and when our relatives found their way from Scotland to Rutland remains a mystery but I'm hoping that, as additional data comes in from more Y-DNA testers, we may learn more about the Z36747 subclade which is dad's current terminal SNP. Dad has some novel variants in his Big Y test which may tell us more in the future if another Big Y tester has the same variant(s).

If you are a male called HIBBITT (or a variation of the name) please would you consider taking a Y-DNA test. It doesn't necessarily have to be the Big Y as there may be cheaper options depending on your goals. It may also be possible to obtain some Y DNA data from an autosomal test too. Please contact me if you'd like more information or if you do decide to test.

John Hybit seems to have been the progenitor of so many who carry variations of his name and it would be good to learn whether we are all related and where he might have originated from.


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