Hibbitt & Barnes Family History

Robert FREE - (Abt. 1786 - 1853)

Robert FREE was born in Hadstock, Essex, on 21st May 1786 and was the eldest child (one of five sons) of William FREE and his second wife, Elisabeth (nee FINCHAM). The Hadstock Parish Registers recorded his baptism as follows...

Baptisms 1786
June 11th Robert the son of William Free & Elisabeth his wife (late Fincham) was baptized, born May 21st

Photographs of Hadstock and St Botolph's Church can be seen in the Photo Gallery > Collections > Places > Hadstock, Essex section of this website and a video clip of Hadstock village and church can be seen in the 'Videos' section of the Gallery.


In 1792, a Parish Census of Hadstock was recorded in a notebook belonging to the Rev. John Addison Carr containing a list of parishioners with later additions and notes, not all legible. The author has a transcript, however, Robert FREE and his brother, Joseph, do not appear to be listed with their family even though they would have been about 6 and 5 years old respectively.


In 1807, a list of parishioners with many additional notes, was produced once again by the Rector. This time the following family group is listed although it is uncertain exactly when this entry would have been made...

Free, Joseph
Mary Adams


In 1813, Robert married Mary ADAMS. The banns were called in St Botolph's Church, Hadstock, in May and June of that year...

Banns of Marriage between Robert Free single man and Mary Adams single woman both of this parish were published on the three Sundays underwritten:
That is to Say, On Sunday, the 23 day of May }
On Sunday, the 30 day of May } 1813 by J A Carr Rector
On Sunday, the 6 day of June }

The marriage itself took place in November...

Robert Free of the Parish of Hadstock single man and Mary Adams of the same Parish spinster were married in this Church by Banns this ninth Day of November in the Year One thousand eight hundred and thirteen
By me J A Carr Rector
This Marriage was Solemnized beween us
{ The mark X of Robert Free
{ The mark X of Mary Adams
In the Presence of
{ Sarah Cutter
{ The mark X of James Free

...the witness, James FREE, was more than likely another of Robert's brothers, born in about 1789.


Another Parish Census was produced in 1821 with the following details...

Free, Robert 35
Mary 31
Stephen 5
Eliza 2
infant (m) 0

The infant mentioned above was probably Robert and Mary's son, Henry (the second child in the family to bear this name - sadly both Henrys died as young children). The couple had at least ten children altogether. Just above this family group is...

Free, Joseph 34

...perhaps Robert's brother was still living with them or maybe next door.


The 1841 census shows Robert living with his wife, Mary, and their six youngest children, as well as with his 93 year old mother-in-law, Sarah ADAMS. His occupation was confirmed as a farmer, like his father before him...

Name: Robert Free 
Age: 55 
Estimated birth year: abt 1786 
Gender: Male 
Where born: Essex, England 
Civil parish: Hadstock 
Hundred: Freshwell 
County/Island: Essex 
Country: England 
Occupation: Farmer 
Registration district: Linton 
Sub-registration district: Linton

Household Members: Name Age 
Robert Free 55 
Mary Free 45 
George Free 15 
Charles Free 13 
Sarah Free 12 
Maryann Free 10 
Susan Free 8 
Wm Free 4 
Sarah Adams 93


In 1851, Robert was farming 13 acres and the family home appears to have been in a place called Nutting End in Hadstock. Robert and Mary's son, Stephen, had by now been widowed and had moved back in with them with his own son, Charles.

Name: Robert Free 
Age: 63 
Estimated birth year: abt 1788 
Relation: Head 
Spouse's name: Mary 
Gender: Male 
Where born: Hadstock 
Civil parish: Hadstock 
Ecclesiastical parish: Rochester 
County/Island: Essex 
Country: England 
Street Address: Nutting End
Occupation: Farmer 13 acres
Condition as to marriage: Married
Registration district: Linton 
Sub-registration district: Duxford 
ED, institution, or vessel: 5 
Household schedule number: 55

Household Members: Name Age 
Robert Free 63 
Mary Free 60 
Steven Free 35 
George Free 27 
Charles Free 25 
Susan Free 20 
William Free 14 
Charles Free 8


Robert FREE died of heart disease in 1853 and the parish records for Hadstock show the following details...

Name: Robert Free
Abode: Hadstock
Date: June 22nd 1853
Age: 67
Minister: John Sutton Curate
Cause of death added in the margin: Disease of heart


Robert's death may not have been registered until 1855 as no entry can be found in the Civil Registration Indexes until then. The death certificate would need to be acquired to be certain that the following entry relates to the correct Robert FREE..

Name: Robert Free 
Year of Registration: 1855 
Quarter of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 
District: Linton 
County: Cambridgeshire, Essex 
Volume: 3b 
Page: 413


Back to Previously Visited Page

Biographies Index - (Hibbitt Family Tree)