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

Surname Saturday: My Oldest Direct Line to Date

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

Hibbitt Family Tree section

I've recently been investigating my North Devon ancestors, in particular the Martin family who lived in the village of Shebbear, and I've managed to trace back further in time than any other line so far.

Henry Martin was my 11 x great-grandfather, which accounts for 15 generations if we include my son's generation. Henry married his first wife, Margery/Margarett Gawman, in 1613 so I would hazard a guess that he was born prior to 1595 when Queen Elizabeth I would have been on the throne and the 1588 invasion of the Spanish Armada would still have been fresh in the minds of her subjects. 1595 saw the Spanish Raids which destroyed Penzance, Newlyn, Mousehole and Paul.

The Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America in September 1620 and Margery died three months later. Henry married Johane/Joan Stapledon in the following June. There were three young children to care for so this may account for the haste. King James I had ascended to the throne in 1603 and in the following years England saw the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, the publishing of the King James Authorized Version of the Bible in 1611 and the death of William Shakespeare in 1616.

King Charles I inherited the throne from his father in March 1625 and six months later Henry and Johane's third child, Edward, was baptized in St Michael's Church, Shebbear. Edward Martin was my 10 x great-grandfather and would have been in his late teens and early 20s during the English Civil War which began in 1642. There was a decisive battle called the Battle of Torrington in February 1646 which ended Royalist resistance in the West Country. Great Torrington is less than 10 miles from Shebbear so might Edward have been involved in the fighting?

Edward's first wife, Rachell, died in 1660 but not before producing three children over a ten year period. Just a few months prior to this, Charles II had been restored to the throne after eleven years of Parliamentary rule known as the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell and then his son, Richard.

1666 saw the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague having broken out in the previous year. Edward married my 10 x great-grandmother, Rebecca, in 1672 and their eldest child, Mary, my 9 x great-grandmother, later married John Hopper.

Henry Martin passed away in 1674 and in 1687, Isaac Newton published his book, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. James II ruled from 1685 to 1688 until William of Orange and his wife Mary took the throne from the exiled James in what became known as 'The Glorious Revolution', then Queen Mary II died in 1694. She was followed by her husband in 1702 when Queen Anne succeeded her brother-in-law and Edward Martin died in November of the same year.

The Acts of Union took effect on 1st May 1707 uniting England and Scotland under one legislature, and Edward Martin's widow, Rebecca, died in early 1708 leaving 8 2s 0d in her will.

St Michael's Church, Shebbear
St Michael's Church, Shebbear
(Click the image above to view a larger version.)

Listed below are the direct descendants of Henry Martin through to my maternal grandmother:

1 HENRY MARTIN d: 1674
+JOHANE STAPLEDON m: 11 Jun 1621 in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon

2 EDWARD MARTIN b: Abt. 1625 in Shebbear, Devon d: 1702
+REBECCA UNKNOWN m: 26 Nov 1672 in Germansweek, Devon d: Abt. 1708

3 MARY MARTIN b: Abt. 1674 in Shebbear, Devon
+JOHN HOPPER m: 02 May 1706 in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon

4 MARY HOPPER b: Abt. 1707 in Shebbear, Devon
+JAMES LARKWORTHY m: 12 Sep 1728 in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon

5 MAUD LARKWORTHY b: Abt. 1729 in Shebbear, Devon d: 1802
+JOHN RIGSBY m: 21 Feb 1751 in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon

6 ANN RIGSBY b: Abt. 1754 in Shebbear, Devon d: 12 Oct 1811
+LEWIS BURDON HORN b: Abt. 1748 in Black Torrington, Devon m: 25 Sep 1773 in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon d: 1833 in Black Torrington, Devon

7 WILLIAM HORN b: Abt. 1792 in Black Torrington, Devon d: 02 Sep 1870 in Black Torrington, Devon
+ANN BAYLEY b: Abt. 1792 in Black Torrington, Devon m: 29 Aug 1813 in St Mary's Church, Black Torrington, Devon d: Abt. 1858 in District of Holsworthy, Devon

8 ELIZABETH HORN b: Abt. 1816 in Black Torrington, Devon d: 15 Jul 1895 in Black Torrington, Devon
+JAMES SMALE b: Abt. 1813 in Shebbear, Devon m: 10 Aug 1836 in St Mary's Church, Black Torrington, Devon d: 1889 in The District of St Thomas, Devon

9 WILLIAM SMALE b: Abt. 1838 in Black Torrington, Devon d: 25 Jun 1872 in Black Torrington, Devon
+MARY JANE MOORE b: 31 Aug 1834 in Beaford, Devon m: 05 Dec 1857 in St Mary's Church, Black Torrington, Devon

10 WILLIAM HENRY SMALE b: 14 Jun 1865 in Sheepwash, Devon d: 1943 in 42 Bannawell Street, Tavistock, Devon
+GRACE MARTIN b: 15 Dec 1856 in Bradford, Devon m: 1885 in The District of Holsworthy, Devon d: 09 Mar 1925 in 22 Ford Street, Tavistock, Devon

11 FLORENCE SMALE b: 11 Jan 1888 in Heathfield, Tavistock, Devon d: 18 Aug 1921 in 22 Ford Street, Tavistock, Devon
+HENRY JAMES WEAVER b: 03 Oct 1882 in Curry Rivel, Somerset m: 12 Dec 1915 in St Andrew's Church, Curry Rivel, Somerset d: 08 Sep 1916 in France

12 PHYLLIS GRACE WEAVER b: 18 Sep 1916 in 22 Ford Street, Tavistock, Devon d: 10 Jun 2005 in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Devon
+WILLIAM HELLYER GEAKE b: 25 Apr 1917 in Gilfach Goch, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Glamorgan, Wales m: 14 Aug 1938 in St Eustachius Church, Tavistock, Devon d: 18 Jun 1994 in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Devon

[Why Surname Saturday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

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Site Updates - Surnames: Edwards, Bishop, Jones, Geake

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

Hibbitt Family Tree section

FindMyPast have recently released the 'British Army, Casualty Index War of 1812' collection. I knew of an ancestor who was in the army around the time of the Napoleonic Wars so I thought I'd look him up to see if he featured in these records.

Angel Edwards was the son of my 5 x great-grandparents, Nathaniel & Grace Edwards. I knew he was born in Hatherleigh, North Devon, in around 1783 but I hadn't been able to find out what had eventually become of him after he'd enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1803 and, at some point, become a regular soldier in the 8th (King's) Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion. It turns out that Angel died of wounds in 1814 after the Battle of Lundy's Lane (also known as the Battle of Niagara Falls). He'd have been about 31 years old.

The Battle of Lundy's Lane, which took place during the 'War of 1812', was fought between American troops and British regulars assisted by Canadians defending their homeland and militia on the evening of 25 July 1814, almost within sight of Niagara Falls. You can read more about it at the War of 1812 website.

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I've added a few more details for Thomas Bishop & Elizabeth Jones. Thomas was a coal miner and the family lived in the Welsh town of Merthyr Tydfil.

Thomas' father was Joseph Bishop but not much is known about him as yet.

Elizabeth's parents were Thomas Jones and Hannah (maiden name unknown). Thomas' occupation was a Railman and the couple had nine children.

My grandparents, Phyl & Bill Geake
My grandparents, Phyl & Bill Geake

Lastly, I've added some additional information for my grandpa, William Hellyer Geake, but there'll be more to come when I have the time.

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Site Updates - Surnames: Smith, Byden, Ellen, plus Photos of The Lower Struma taken during WW1

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

Barnes Family Tree section

For some reason, the family took the surname, Ellen, the surname of Blanche's first husband, even after she married William Smith. The reason for this is a complete mystery but the Smith name was passed down to later generations as middle names.

Place names: Selkirk in Scotland; Seaham Harbour in Durham; Sunderland; Brighton; London; Guildford.

Barnes Family Picture Gallery > Places > The Lower Struma, Greece, during WW1 section

  • A series of photographs of the Lower Struma in Greece, believed to have been taken by Observer Sub-Lieutenant Cyril Norman Ellen whilst he was based at Stavros. The River Struma formed the Front Line between the Allied and Central Powers.

The Lower Struma
A small section from the series of photos of the The Lower Struma

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Site Updates: Features and photographs of the 1935 Quetta Earthquake

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

Resources section

I've added an index page under the Resources section of the website dedicated to Harvey's grandparents, Air Commodore Cyril Norman Ellen D.F.C and Gladys Lily Ellen (nee Gardner). I'll be adding further articles and photographs to this section as time permits but, to get started, I've published a page about the Quetta Earthquake in 1935.

Cyril was the Squadron Leader of No. 5 (AC) Squadron which was based at Quetta when the disaster struck and Gladys was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind Silver Medal for her part in the rescue effort. The page includes an excerpt from the RAF Operations Books giving an account of the earthquake. It shows what the people went through and speaks of the incredible devastation caused by the catastrophe.

Aftermath of the Quetta Earthquake 1935
Aftermath of the Quetta Earthquake 1935

Barnes Family Picture Gallery > Places > Quetta in the Aftermath of the Earthquake in 1935 section

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Site Updates - Surnames: Stenlake, Northcott, Martin, plus US Troops in Tavistock Photos.

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

Hibbitt Family Tree section

Place names: Holsworthy, Tavistock and East Budleigh in Devon. Curry Rivel in Somerset.

Hibbitt Family Picture Gallery > Places > Tavistock, Devon section


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Site Updates - Surnames: Reckett, Edwards, Saunders, Bowden, Dashper

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

Hibbitt Family Tree section


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Richard Fryer (1663-1710) - Last Will and Testament: new document in the E-Shop

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

At last, following on from the publication of my series of articles in the Discover Your History magazine last year, my final article is now available for download in the E-Shop.

Last Will and Testament

Complementing the document, 'Richard Fryer (abt. 1663-1710) - Biography', Last Will and Testament is a commentary examining Richard's will and the inventory drawn up after his death, placing his story into an historical context.

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Those Places Thursday: More Devon Ancestors

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

Hibbitt Family Tree section - Surnames: Ball, Dearing, Edwards, Riccard, Bowden, Wilkins, Sanders

I've been investigating the ancestors of Israel Edward Ball and Ann Dearing, in addition to adding further details for this couple.

Israel and Ann were due to be married in 1838 when Ann was pregnant with daughter, Maria. Banns were read in February but, for some reason, the wedding didn't happen at this time. Perhaps the baby was early - Maria was baptized on 22nd April - but we can never be certain of the reason for the delayed nuptials.

When Ann was pregnant with their daughter, Mary, banns of marriage were once again called and Israel and Ann married in Okehampton on 2nd August 1840. Mary was baptized three months later. Sadly, Mary died in 1842 and a son, William, arrived in about 1845.

Tragedy struck again in 1847 when Ann died in February and then Israel in August. Two weeks later, little William was buried. A note in the burial register mentions that Israel was buried by order of the Coroner. I haven't yet established the cause of death but there doesn't seem to be anything in the newspapers so I imagine the coroner may have become involved if he died alone......Read more »

Site Updates - Surnames: Moore, Alford, Bellew, King, Stuart

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

Hibbitt Family Tree section

Since FindMyPast recently added a lot more Devon parish records, I thought I'd do some further investigation into my maternal line. I've therefore added the parents of my 3 x great-grandmother, Mary Jane Moore:
Place names: Beaford, Shebbear, Buckland Filleigh, Westleigh, Great Torrington, all in North Devon.

Turning to my paternal line, I have now added the parents and siblings of Robert Stuart King:
Place names: Stone near Dartford, Leigh on Sea in Essex, Bath and Cossington in Somerset.

Both the King and Stuart lines are interesting families. More to come later. They are related to me through the marriage of Ruby Dando (my great-grandfather's half sister) who was married to Robert.

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Site Updates - Surnames: Geake & Savory

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

Hibbitt Family Tree section

Edward C Savory & P Eileen Geake

I have added quite a number of facts and footnotes for my great-aunt, Patricia Eileen Geake (known as Eileen), and her American husband, Edward Carlyle Savory sr.

The couple met when Edward was stationed near Tavistock, Eileen's home town, during WWII. They married in 1945 and moved to America where they set up home and had twin boys. Sadly, Eileen died at the age of 41 years and it's understood that she suffered from multiple sclerosis.

Bill and Phyllis Geake, Eileen Geake and Edward Savory
My grandparents, Bill and Phyllis Geake, on the left
and Eileen and Edward on the right

Place names: Tavistock in Devon, Pontypridd in Wales, Richmond in Virginia, and Hyattsville in Maryland.

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