Surname Saturday: My Oldest Direct Line to Date

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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Hi Annie,
A very comprehensive file shedding new light from an historical viewpoint on our family, we lived at Tavistock for several years when Phyllis Grace Weaver was living there also but her existence was then unknown to us!
regards, Dave.

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