Showing posts with label Modbury. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Modbury. Show all posts

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Fearless Females 2014: Favourite Ancestor: Ursula TWIGGES

Ursula TWIGGES was born in about 1587 in Devon, UK.  She was married to Emanuel BEERE on 23 July 1610 in Modbury, Devon (so she may well have been born there, too).  I know that she had at least three children, and am still trying to work out why she named one of her daughters 'Rabage'.

And that is all I know about Ursula.  But she is a very special ancestor for a very special reason.  She got me interested in doing my family history research all over again.  For years, I had wallowed in the frustrations of brickwall after brickwall.  Yes, I made a few discoveries along the way.  But they only seemed to lead towards more brickwalls.

And then along came Ursula.  She is, in fact, my great great great great great great great great great great grandmother on my mother's side, and does not (at first glance) seem to have done anything out of the ordinary. Hopefully, however, the wait was worth the effort, because she has done something out of the ordinary for me, over four hundred years later.  She has given me hope.  Encouragement that I can discover more.  Approval of what I have already achieved.

I love you, Ursula.



Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.  I know this is really US-centric - but that's not going to stop me honouring my own Fearless Females...  

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Way Back Wednesday: Emanuel BEERE and Ursula TWIGGES


Emanuel and Ursula lived in the small town of Modbury in South Devon, England.  As I have only just discovered them, I don't know much about them, but I do know that they had the following children baptised:
Jane christened 15 January 1611, Rabage (female) christened 2 January 1617, and George christened 28 December 1618.  I descend via George.

Thomas MacEntee's recommendation of Evernote came into play this weekend.  I had clipped a particular website, so I could find it again – and some kind soul had transcribed the baptismal registers back to 1602, including Emanuel, Ursula and their descendants.  I could have cheered (but I restrained myself to doing the Genealogist's Happy Dance around my front room).  Back and back and back I went, gathering names and dates of brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers – and I am sure relationships exist that mean there were cousins and uncles and aunties there as well.

And yes: the URL for this site has gone into my Research Toolbox – another Thomas MacEntee suggestion...

Modbury St George, by Charlotte Stackhouse
(Further information is held at the Modbury Heritage website)

MODBURY is a small ancient market town, consisting chiefly of four streets, diverging to the cardinal points, and pleasantly situated at the foot and on the sides of three acclivities, in the heart of a fertile district, 12 miles E. by S. of Plymouth, . . . Its parish contains 5977 acres of land, extending westward to the navigable river Erme, and including 143A. of woodland, 181A. of orchards, 144A. of waste, and 85A. of common. Its population amounted in 1801 to 1813 souls, and in 1831 to 2116, but in 1841 they had decreased to 2048. . . . The woollen manufacture was formerly carried on here extensively, but here is now only one small serge factory. The town consists chiefly of small old houses, but is highly salubrious, . . . The parish has many scattered farm-houses and five corn mills; and the small hamlets of Caton, Leigh, Brownston, Penquit, and part of Ludbrook. . . . Modbury Church (St. George,) is a spacious and handsome structure, with a tower, containing six bells, and crowned by a spire, rising to a height of about 134 feet. . . . The vicarage . . . is in the patronage of the Masters and Fellows of Eton College, and incumbency of the Rev. N. Oxenham, M.A. . . . "
[Devonshire Directory, William White, 1850]

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Thankful Thursday: The Unique Heritage of Modbury

I have been researching my family history for 35 years.  At first, there was discovery after discovery - because, after all, I was only beginning and there was a lot 'out there' to know.  Since then, my research journey has mostly been desultory, with the (very) occasional triumph, but mostly a name here, a date there, and many moons in between when there was nothing at all.

So you can imagine my joy when I found The Unique Heritage of Modbury.  In fact, I can't even remember how I found it.  I only had one or two ancestors from Modbury itself, so I didn't think that I would necessarily be that interested in what I found - if there was anything there.

This site is a Community Heritage Project, which has been funded by the Local Heritage Initiative, Lottery Fund, administered by The Countryside Agency, with additional funding from the Nationwide Building Society.  From its main page, you can see what is contained therein:
  • A comprehensive database of historic information and parish records, provided by the Modbury History Society.
  • A selection of historic photographs from the Modbury Baker Collection that is currently held in the West Devon Records Office.
  • A record of the historic town sites in Modbury that have been identified with mounted plaques.
  • A Time Line exhibition of ten panels of Modbury Heritage Topics.
Of course, it was the 'comprehensive database' which piqued my interest, and when I looked at it - gosh!  There are transcriptions of baptism registers and monumental inscriptions, old maps, publications for order, and a catalogue of archived documents.  Because of the transcription, I have been able to take one of my family lines back to Emanuel BEERE, born about 1590, and his wife Ursula TWIGGES, born about 1587.  The couple were married 23 July 1610.  Emanuel and Ursula are my 10th great grandparents - not the 10th ones I have found, but my great great great great great great great great great greats!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

On This Day: 2 January

On 2 January 1617, Rabage BEERE was baptised in Modbury, Devon, England.

I tried Google to search for the name "Rabage" - apparently, 'Rabage' is everything from the name of a velociraptor through French couture via the name of a mystery gamer who hasn't completed their profile page since 2006.  The closest I came was a Rabage DAY, who was born in 1733 in North Petherton (not far from where I live now), who married Thomas SLOCOMBE on 30 September 1754.

This can be another of my genealogy goals for 2013 - to find out more about Rabage BEERE: whom she married, where and when - and where and when she died.  Surely, with such an unusual name, she shouldn't be hard to find...

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Fearless Females 3: Rabage BEERE and Beaton DOWNE

Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 3 - List the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

This is a truncated version of the blogging prompt.  It also asks if you share a first name with one of your ancestors - well, last year I wrote about my own name (Rosamund) and my aunt, Rosamund Gwendoline HAYWOOD, so I can't really do that again this year.  At that stage, the most unusual female first name I had come across in my family tree was that of Loveday Anna FRENCH - but I've done some research since then and found a new one.

Rabage BEERE was christened in Modbury, Devon on 2 January 1617.  Her parents were Emanuel BEERE and Ursula TWIGGES.  That's all I know about Rabage - in fact, I don't even know the meaning of her unusual first name and where it comes from.  Even Google hasn't helped (and I thought Google knew everything, including everything about me!).  Does anyone reading this have any idea?

And the female first name which made me groan the most was when I found a girl named Beaton.  Unusual, you might think, until you found her surname - DOWNE.  Who would call their new baby "Beaton Downe" (say it out loud and you will groan as well).  Mind you, Beaton was christened on 25 September 1592 in Winkleigh, Devon.  Maybe the phrase hadn't entered the English language back then.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

On this Day: 18 January

Several of my ancestors had this day as their special day:


John Henry BLAGDON, born 18 January 1902 in Millbrook, Cornwall.  I remember "Uncle John" (although in reality he was my great-uncle).  No child was ever allowed to go into "Uncle John"'s room, and always had to do the seen-and-not-heard thing around him.  Apparently, he was my Nan's older brother and it was his house; she had been promised it after his death.  He was the son of John BLAGDON and Susan Emma FARLEY.

George EDGCOMBE, my great-great-grandfather, was born on 18 January 1838 in South Milton, Devon.  He married his cousin, Mary Ann EDGCOMBE - their fathers were brothers.

Richard HARLEY, christened on 18 January 1794 in South Pool, Devon, was my 1st cousin 5 times removed.  He was the son of James HARLEY and Deborah GOODYEAR.

Honor ELLIOT was my 7th great-great-aunt, and was christened on 18 January 1678 in Modbury, Devon.  Her parents were William ELLYOTT and Margery BEERE.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

On This Day: 15 January

Jane BEERE, my maternal greatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreat great-aunt, was christened on 15 January 1611 in Modbury, Devon, England.  Jane was the daughter (and eldest child) of Emanuel BEERE and Ursula TWIGGES.  Jane's next sibling was called Rabage - a girl.   I have never come across this name before - has anyone else?

St George's Modbury, Devon

One hundred years later, on 15 January 1711, Alice DOWNE, daughter of Richard DOWNE and Jane WESTLECK was christened in Winkleigh, Devon.  She was my paternal fifth great-aunt - and, believe me, that is an easier relationship to visualise than the one provided by my family tree software: Jane BEERE's  8th great-greatniece's husband's 4th great-greataunt.  Sounds like a satnav's directions, when all you want to do is go 100 miles from A to B, but it takes you out of England, into France, back again, out of England and into Ireland, back again, and the whole journey takes several days...

Photo credit: John Salmon in Geograph Project, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Thoughts on Thursday: Logical approach to geneaLOGICAL data


I found genealogical treasure at the weekend.  But at the same time: why don't people look at their data?  A GEDCOM was passed to me with thousands of ancestors, yet one man was married 30 years before he was born, and had his first child 130 years after his own christening.  It took me several hours to unravel all the other errors, working from the parish records that I have, and when I did, it became obvious that this particular line came from one small town in South Devon.  Obvious only when tweaked (sigh). 

Thanks to Thomas MacEntee and his recommendation to clip things to Evernote, I was able to go back to the South Hams website  with an online transcription of baptismal records dating back to 1602. 
* Genealogist's Happy Dance in living room*  

Margery BEERE (chr 1640) is my 8th great-grandmother, and she is a new addition to another of my lines which became unbelievably tangled over the years, where each genealogist thought they were right, even if their data didn't actually make sense (boys being sons of their own grandfather, who was in turn married to his own great-grandmother, and so on).  Because I knew it was in such a terrible state, I kept shying away from doing any research at all on this particular line.

But then I gathered up my courage along with my skirts, sat down with the parish records, and added my own logic, and I have made sense of my ELLIOTT line, into which Margery married.  It was nice to have my common sense/logic confirmed by the knowledgeable FamilySearch elves; when the site had a technical glitch, preventing me from entering all this yummy information into new.familysearch, they fixed it by putting the children in the right order with the right parents and linking the right generations without me making suggestions!  So although some might think that I was just another "genealogist who thinks she's right", I had a second opinion who came to the same conclusion completely independently.

Although I am hugely grateful to have received the initial GEDCOM, I can't help thinking: Why couldn't people have thought through their data logically in the first place?

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