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Hibbitt Family Tree Updates

Category: What's New at

I've recently carried out another upload to my family tree at and have added 52 more people in the process.


Amongst the new additions are my 7 x great-grandparents, John Worgan and Anne Worgan - Anne appears to have had the same maiden and married name. It seems as though they had five children in Woolaston, Gloucestershire, but it was quite difficult sorting out who was who as there were other Worgan families in the same area. To compound the problem, there was a coupe called John and Margaret Morgan having children at the same time as my 6 x great-grandparents, John and Margaret Worgan, and the letters 'M' and 'W' are not easily deciphered in the parish registers. In the end, a process of elimination helped me to move back to the previous generation.


I managed to go back a further generation on my mother's Broad line. Mary Broad was my 4 x great-grandmother and she married William Sillick in Tavistock, Devon, in 1792. There was no baptism for Mary in Tavistock and so I'd left it at that until I looked again more recently. At that point, I found a couple called John Broad and Thomasin, nee May, about ten miles away in Bridestowe who'd had a daughter, Mary, baptised in the right time frame. They'd married in nearby Sourton and their first five children were baptised in Bridestowe. Nevertheless, I managed to follow the family to Tavistock for the baptisms of their sixth and seventh children and John and Thomasin also died in Tavistock, but not before Thomasin had been widowed and remarried to William Waterfield.


My mother's 5 x great-grandfather, Robert Weaver lived in Curry Rivel in Somerset and was married to Anne Toogood, from whom I'm descended. Some time after Anne died, Robert married again, this time to Sarah Munkton. I knew this wasn't her maiden name as she was a widow when she married Robert. After a little digging I made a surprising discovery. It turned out that Sarah was Anne's first cousin. Sarah's maiden name was Ostler. Her father was Samuel Ostler and his sister, Elizabeth, married Robert Toogood, who were Anne's parents.

The 1787 marriage of Charles Munkton and Sarah Osler/Ostler as recorded in Pallot's Marriage Index
The 1787 marriage of Charles Munkton and Sarah Osler/Ostler
as recorded in Pallot's Marriage Index


I have, at last, placed Sydney Herbert Hall on my tree as the son of my 2 x great-grandfather, William Elbert Dando. DNA evidence points to either William or possibly his father, Joseph Dando the Younger, being Sydney's father and I'll post about this in greater detail in due course.


Finally, I've extended my Murch branch. Ann Murch was my 4 x great-grandmother and she married Joseph Dando the Elder in Bristol in 1801. I've undertaken some detailed research on this family line and added three further generations of Murch ancestors. The web pages contain significant additional information together with footnotes. I'm in the process of writing a narrative on the Murch family in preparation for a forthcoming trip to Bristol where I'm going to be meeting a couple of others descended from Joseph and Ann.

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Big update at my family history website

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It's been some time since I revised my online family tree although I've been working in the background for almost two years since the last update. The tree has now increased from 2051 individuals within 574 families to 2544 individuals within 709 families. I can't list all of the changes but I will highlight some of the main ones.


Firstly, I've updated the following files in the Family Tree Charts section:
Annie's HIBBITT, DANDO, GEAKE & WEAVER Ancestors Chart - both in pdf and html format.
Annie's Ancestor Fan Chart.

In the same section, I've also added a pedigree chart for my half 2nd cousin once removed (Chart 4) whose DNA I manage. We both share an ancestor on our matrilineal lines. My cousin's family tree web pages can be navigated by clicking on the father/mother links beginning at this page. My 2 x great-grandmother, Grace Martin, was my cousin's great-grandmother.


Since DNA has shown a break in my HIBBITT line, I've altered my tree to demonstrate this. I'm not completely certain where the break comes but I suspect it is either with my 2 x great-grandfather or my great-grandfather. I have currently made the assumption that my 2 x great-grandfather, Charles Newbold Hibbitt, was 'adopted' by Amos Hibbitt and Mahala Newbold and I've placed a note on the family pages to this effect.


Previously, one of my paternal lines stopped at my 5 x great-grandparents, Abraham Woodall & Martha Lee but I've added parents for Martha and a few more generations back from Abraham. At the moment the information is sparse but I will flesh this branch of the family out with siblings and more detailed notes in due course.


Turning to my maternal side, I have added a number of generations beyond my 4 x great-grandmother, Sarah Street, since the discovery of an old Family Bible which was able to confirm Sarah's parents' names. I do still need to undertake further work on this branch of the family too when time permits.

Family Bible showing the names of Sarah Street's parents
Family Bible showing the names of Sarah Street's parents


Finally, I have undertaken quite a lot of work on the family of my 2 x great-grandparents, John Gale Hellier & Mary Ann Congdon. I've added detailed notes for their children, including for my great-grandmother, Sarah May Hellyer. Several of John and Mary Ann's children died in infancy including both twins and the youngest son, died at the age of nine, most probably of polio. The youngest daughter, Jane, died in the 1918 flu epidemic at the age of 29. All of the children were below the age of 18 by the time they were orphaned which meant that many of them were separated from each other, being sent to live in orphanages or with relatives.

Mary Ann Congdon had long been a mystery to me but I have finally made some progress on her family line. I wasn't sure whether her name was Congdon or Burgoyne but it turns out that William Burgoyne was her stepfather. Her parents were James Condon and Louisa Reed. Very little is known about James but he probably died before Mary Ann was 4 years old. Her mother, Louisa went on to marry William George Henry Burgoyne in 1857 but it seems the marriage was not a happy one according to a court case in 1883 where Louisa was accused of assaulting her husband and being a drunk. Not surprisingly, the couple separated.

Louisa Reed's parents were George Reed and Bridget Ellis although for some unknown reason, Bridget also went by the name of Catherine or Kate. It's believed she was from Cork in Ireland which might explain some of my Irish DNA.

You will find detailed footnotes for the Reed and Ellis families on their particular family web pages, including newspaper articles outlining the dispute between Louisa Reed and her husband, William Burgoyne.

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100 years ago it was announced that Harvey's Grandad would be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross

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London Gazette  Issue 31046 Supplement Page 14320
London Gazette Issue 31046 Supplement Page 14320

100 years ago, Harvey's Grandad's award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) appeared in the London Gazette as follows..

Lieut. Cyril Norman Ellen.
A keen and exceptionally able observer who for over a year has performed most valuable service in photographic flights at low altitudes and at times under very difficult conditions.

Cyril Ellen was stationed in Stavros on the border between Greece and Bulgaria from November 1917 to November 1918. His profession in civilian life had been in photography and this is perhaps why he was so good at his job. The 'very difficult conditions' included some hairy moments. His pilot on one occasion, Frank Marlowe, wrote in his diary on 14th July 1918...
A near disaster for me this morning on dawn patrol. Just as I was taking off the engine revs dropped, there was vibration and nasty noises coming from the engine and I immediately throttled down. Then I saw that I was approaching the end of the aerodrome where I would crash into ditches, wooden buildings, etc and my only chance was to try to lift over them and try to land among scrub and bushes on the other side. I gingerly opened up the engine and in spite of the awful clattering noise it kept going enough to get me off the ground and keep me up while I made a wide sweep just above the surface of the sea and back to the aerodrome where I landed with a sigh of relief. Ellen, behind me, had the wind up badly and so did I. Everyone had turned out of their beds awakened by the noise my engine was making and they all thought it would end in a crash. I then took Jakie's DH4 instead which ran perfectly. Slater says he can do nothing with the engine and it will have to be sent to Mudros.

And again, Marlowe's diary entry for 26th May 1918...
While spotting with Ellen yesterday for a monitor shelling enemy gun positions we flew through the smoke of an A/A explosion and while I was doing 'evasive action' Ellen nearly fell out. He had to hold on to his gun mounting to save himself. I suppose you can overdo things.

On another occasion Cyril was in the air with Marlowe when the pilot wrote...
Just as I was leaving to do some spotting over the lines Dunfee, who was to have come with me in his Camel sideslipped into the ground after taking off when his engine failed. He was killed instantly. I carry on and do the spotting for the monitor M22 shelling gun positions. Saw Dunfee's Camel when we got back - a horrible sight with blood and brains spread all over the wreckage.

These young men were literally taking their lives into their hands every time they attempted to fly and that was even before they got down to the task in hand. They were very brave people indeed.


The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers, and since 1993 to other ranks, of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy".

The award was established on 3 June 1918, shortly after the formation of the Royal Air Force (RAF), with the Royal Warrant published on 5 December 1919. It was originally awarded to RAF commissioned and warrant officers, including officers in Commonwealth and allied forces.

Since the 1993 review of the honours system as part of the drive to remove distinctions of rank in bravery awards, all ranks of all arms of the Armed Forces have been eligible, and the Distinguished Flying Medal, which had until then been awarded to other ranks, was discontinued.

There were 1045 DFC's issued for World War 1 compared to more than 20,000 issued for World War 2, a reflection of how the air force had grown in that time.

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New Family Tree Charts

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I've revised my pedigree charts of our direct ancestors which are available at

They can still be viewed in PDF format, although the layout is slightly different than before. In addition, the same charts can now be viewed as single web pages.

I've also created a couple of Ancestor Fan Charts which display our direct ancestors in a circular format out to 7 generations.

Pedigree Chart
Pedigree Chart

Ancestor Fan Chart
Ancestor Fan Chart


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Finding more Kidderminster ancestors

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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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Website changes and how to subscribe to my blog

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The Hibbitt and Barnes Family History website home page
The Hibbitt and Barnes Family History website home page

Having neglected my website for a little while I've finally got around to decluttering my home page. Gone are the reams of text which used to occupy the lower part of the page. Now I simply direct people to my Sitemap if they want to find their way around my website.

At the bottom of my homepage is a Facebook icon which links to my Blog on Facebook. Anyone is welcome to follow my family hstory posts. If email is your preference, there's a box where you can subscribe for free updates or if RSS is your bag there's a button for that too.

I've also added a new page under the DNA section called 'Our List of DNA Verified Ancestors'. So far I've managed to confirm nine ancestral couples on my side of the family and five on Harvey's through the use of DNA matching to other descendants. The list is available by clicking here.

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Tuesday's Tip: Always check the original record

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The marriage between Stephen Bonston and Grace Farmer
The marriage between Stephen Bonston and Grace Farmer

I recently revisited the marriage between Harvey's 4 x great-grandparents, Stephen Bunstow/Bonston and his wife, Grace. Stephen married Grace Farmer on 27th October 1818 in St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth in Devon.

When I first looked at this, I didn't have access to the original record but doing so now puts a different complexion on things. Far from Farmer being Grace's maiden name, the record states that Grace was a widow so I set about looking for a marriage between a Grace and an unknown Mr. Farmer.

Next, I discovered a marriage between Charles Farman and Grace Lang on 16th March 1812 at the same church. I now had Grace's correct maiden name. Charles appears as Farman, Farmer and Firman in different records. There's even mention of the name Palmer too. He died in 1815.

I found a baptism in 1795 for Gracey Tucker Lang. She was the youngest of six known children of Samuel Lang and Jenny Tucker so this takes me back another generation.

So what can we learn from this? To always view the original record whenever possible, be it in an archive, a scanned image, facsimile or photocopy. You can often find more information than is available in a transcribed record.

Finally, there's a tiny bit of extra detail in Stephen and Grace's marriage record. Not only was Stephen a mariner when he married, just like Grace's first husband, but we find out that he was 'late of Dover'. However, this is where the trail goes cold.

[Why Tuesday's Tip? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

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My Great-Auntie Betty's Scottish lineage

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My Great-Auntie Betty Geake, nee Hutton
My Great-Auntie Betty Geake, nee Hutton

A few months ago my great-aunt Betty (Betty Gordon Hutton) passed away and I have since added her lineage to my website. Auntie Betty was married to Uncle Ron (Ronald Arthur Geake) who was my Grandpa's brother. They were married in St Eustachius Church in Tavistock, Devon, in 1952 but Betty was not a local girl - she came from Leslie in Fife, Scotland.

Betty, who was born in 1927, was the daughter of John Hutton and Lizzie Meikle. She had three older brothers and was a teenager when her mother died in 1943. Her father married again, this time to Betsy (or Bessie) Henderson Speed in 1946.

The Hutton line lived in Methihill and West Wemyss in Fife. Betty's grandfather, David Hutton, married Jane Peebles from Kingsbarns, Fife, and Jane's parents, Robert Peebles and Ann Ramsay, were married in Barry in Angus in 1838. David Hutton was the son of Walter Hutton and Christian Reid who were born in about 1816 and 1817 respectively.

Returning to the Meikle line, Lizzie was the daughter of Thomas Meikle and Betsy Gordon, hence my Auntie Betty's middle name. Betsy Gordon was the youngest of Robert Gordon and Mary McGregor's seven children. Mary's parents, Robert McGregor and Christian Scarlett, were married in Portmoak, Kinross-shire, in 1799. Finally, Robert's parents were my Auntie Betty's 3 x great-grandparents, John McGrigor and Mary Laurie, who also married in Portmoak, the year being 1773.

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My Edwards, Recket, Randall and Pudicome ancestors from West Devon

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Map of Inwardleigh, Hatherleigh and Okehampton
Map of Inwardleigh, Hatherleigh and Okehampton.

This post follows on from my previous one about the family of Nathaniel Edwards and Grace Reckett.

Grace's father was Robert Ridstone Recket who was born in Inwardleigh, Devon, in about 1722 to an unmarried woman called Catherine Recket. There are a number of variants for Robert's surname which appear in the parish registers as Recket, Reckett, Record and possibly Riccard.

It remains a possibility that an alternative spelling of Robert's middle name might have been Risdon as there are people by that name living in Inwardleigh around the time Robert was born. The name might even have been Redstone. His middle name may give us a clue to who Robert's father was but an obvious candidate cannot be easily identified in the parish registers. One possibility is one John Risdon who was buried a few days after Robert's baptism.

Robert's wife was Elizabeth but her maiden name is unknown. She died in 1761 and it's possible that Robert married again. In 1775, a Robert Riccard married a widow called Dorothy Clarke in Inwardleigh. Could this have been my Robert?

Nathaniel Edwards was the fifth of seven children although at least three died in infancy. His parents were John Edwards and Jane Randal/Rendal who were married in 1737 in the ancient market town of Hatherleigh. All of their children were baptized in the Presbyterian Chapel.

John's parents are unknown but Jane was the daughter of Nathaniel Randall and Rebecca Pudicome. It seems Nathaniel Edwards was named after his maternal grandfather.

Nathaniel and Rebecca were married in Hatherleigh in 1706 and probably lived there until their deaths in 1731 and 1736 respectively. Nathaniel left a will which has not survived. He was born in 1672 in Okehampton which is situated at the northern edge of Dartmoor National Park and this is where we will pick up the story next time.

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Poverty and the Edwards' Family of Hatherleigh

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Order of Settlement relating to the Edwards' Family
Order of Settlement relating to the Edwards' Family.

I've recently been delving into the family of my 5 x great-grandparents, Nathaniel Edwards and Grace Reckett/Rickett.

Blacksmith and scythe manufacturer, Nathaniel was born in Hatherleigh in North Devon in about 1750 and baptized there in the Presbyterian Church. Grace was from nearby Inwardleigh where the couple were married in 1775. Their eldest daughter, born in 1776, had the unusal name of Beaten and my 4 x great-grandmother, Maria arrived in 1779.

Times were hard because, in 1780, the Edwards' found themselves the subjects of a Removal Order from Inwardleigh back to Hatherleigh....

"...Nathaniel Edwards, Grace his wife and Beaton aged about four years old and Mariah one years old their daughters lately intruded themselves into your said Parish of Inwardleigh there to inhabit as Parishioners contrary to the Laws relating to the Settlement of the Poor and are likely to become chargeable to your said Parish of Inwardleigh..."

Nathaniel was in need of Poor Relief and therefore he and his family were sent back to the parish which had the legal responsibility to provide it.

Four more children followed; Angel, Elias, Israel and Abet. The family might have moved around during this period as Angel was baptized in Crediton and Elias and Israel were baptized in North Tawton.

In 1804, Beaten had an illegitimate son. She went on to marry Edward Bowden, who was 25 years her senior, in June 1811 but not before giving birth to another son in April of that year. Edward died in 1813 and was buried on the same day as their daughter, Grace, was baptized. Beaton was living with her daughter in Hatherleigh in 1841 and she died in 1850.

Another wedding took place in 1811 when Maria married a labourer from Okehampton called William Ball. The family moved between Hatherleigh and Okehampton and had four children, the eldest being my 3 x great-grandfather, Israel Edward Ball. William died in 1845 and Maria had outlived her son Israel by two years by the time she died in 1849.

Angel enlisted in the Army Reserve during the time of the Napoleonic Wars and fought in the War of 1812 (or the Anglo American War) in the 8th (King's) Regiment of Foot - 1st Battalion. He died of his wounds in 1814 after the Battle of Lundy's Lane (also known as the Battle of Niagara Falls).

Israel Edwards and his family emigrated to Australia in 1847, Elias stayed in Devon, dying in 1871, and Abet's fate is unknown.

Nathaniel Edwards died in 1809 and his widow outlived him by 22 years. Grace was reportedly 85 years old when she died in 1831. Both are buried at Hatherleigh.

Coming soon - the history of Nathaniel and Grace's forbears.

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