Report from Peter Bennett to Dawn Burton on Featherstone, Wiveliscombe, Somerset

I have been to Taunton and have quite a lot on the Featherstone family. It has got to be the right family, for James was baptised in 1813, and married Eleanor Salter. She was baptised in 1816, but with two siblings so was clearly a late baptism.

This is what I have found.

The marriage of James Featherstone and Eleanor Salter was in 1836 at Wiveliscombe and I enclose a copy of the entry.

The parish registers for this part of Somerset, that is, all the south and west of the county, have been indexed into a single series by a Dr. Campbell. This index covers baptisms and marriages and gave me the baptisms of the siblings of James and Eleanor, and the marriages of their parents. Her parents married in a nearby parish, so the index was very useful.

Wiveliscombe, baptisms:

10 Feb. 1793 Thomas son of John & Ann Featherstone

12 Feb. 1797 John son of John and Ann Featherstone was private Baptized 20

of Dec. 1794 rec'd into Church and Thomas their son Baptized

Feb.-Mar. 1800 Ann Daughter of John & Ann Featherstone

30 Jan. 1803 Edward son of Jno. & Ann Featherstone

17 Feb. 1805 Robert son of John & Ann Featherstone

16 Nov. 1806 Thomas son of John & Ann Featherstone

12 Feb. 1809 William son of John & Ann Featherstone

21 Feb. 1813 James Son of John & Anne Featherstone, Wiveliscombe, Labourer

2 June 1816 Eleanor, Thomas & Jane Salter, Wiveliscombe, Labourer

2 June 1816 John, Thomas & Jane Salter, Wiveliscombe, Labourer

2 June 1816 Maria, Thomas & Jane Salter, Wiveliscombe, Labourer

2 May 1824 Thomas born Feb. 14 1820, Thomas & Jane Salter, Wiveliscombe, Labourer

2 May 1824 Jemima, Thomas & Jane Salter, Wiveliscombe, Labourer

John Featherstone and Ann Govier married in 1792 at Wiveliscombe, and Thomas Salter and Jane Hobbs in 1811 at Chipstable. Copies of both entries are also enclosed.

Dr. Campbell's index has no children baptised of James and Eleanor Featherstone in any parish. The 1841 census was taken on 7 June. As they arrived in Tasmania in March 1842 it seems likely they were living somewhere in England at the census, and might even have had a child born and died in the time after their marriage. The 1841 census of Wiveliscombe has Thomas Salter, but not the Featherstone parents. As they married in 1792 it is likely they had died. My searches showed that they had.

H0107/950 Wiveliscombe 1841 census: bk.9 f.29:

Village of Ford

Thomas Salter 55 Ag. Lab. Yes [all born in county]

Marria 26

Jemima 15

William 5

Thomas 1

Jane Pool 20

Note that in the 1841 census the ages of adults [children too in many cases, DB]were usually rounded down to the next five years. 'Yes' indicates that they were born in the county.

I then checked burials, to be sure that James and Eleanor did not die young, and in the hope of finding the parents. I noted all entries for Featherstone and Salter:

Wiveliscombe burials 1813 to 1851:

27 Aug. 1823 Harriet Featherstone, Wiveliscombe, 31

8 Feb. 1833 John Featherstone, Wiveliscombe, 78 yrs

21 May 1833 John Featherstone, Wiveliscombe, 71 yrs

11 Feb. 1837 Mary Featherstone, Wiveliscombe, 83

11 May 1837 Ann Featherstone, Wiveliscombe, 68

10 Aug. 1843 Ann Salter, Wiveliscombe, 26 yrs

6 March 1846 Robert Brudenall Featherstone, Wiveliscombe, 6 months

21 Nov. 1846 Louisa Featherstone, Wiveliscombe. 3 months

30 Jan. 1847 Emma Featherstone, Wiveliscombe, 17 months

7 July 1849 Elizabeth Anne Featherstone, Abercarne, Monmouthshire, 15 yrs

Ann in 1837 is surely James's mother, but it is a bit alarming having two John Featherstones, and of similar ages. But I think I have sorted them out, although their ages at death do not quite match the baptisms. I should also add that the parents of James and Eleanor do not appear in the 1851 census of Wiveliscombe.

At Wiveliscombe there are baptisms for John Featherstone in 1749, the son of Edward and Mary, and in 1762, John son of Robert and Elizabeth Featherstone. I think the earlier John must be the one who married Mary Chorley at Wiveliscombe in 1786 and it must be his death in 1833 age 78, and hers in 1837 age 83. This leaves the later John of 1760 to marry Ann Covier in 1792 and for him to died in 1833 age 71 followed by her in 1837 age 68. The ages all fit together nicely.

Robert and Elizabeth Featherstone had children in the 1750s and 1760s but there is no marriage for them. However, a baptism of Robert son of Thomas in 1724 looks good. The siblings show that the mother was Margery but again there is no marriage. This Thomas is likely to be the one baptised in 1712 aged 11 and I got back to the marriage of his parents John and Frances in 1698. So to put all that into order, starting from the first marriage:

Wiveliscombe, marriage:

29 July 1698 were married John Featherstone & Frances, Midlam A Day labourer

Wiveliscombe, baptisms, children of John & Frances Featherstone:

1712 Thomas, Mary, Martha & Sarah, ye Son and Daughters of John & Frances Featherstone, als. Blackmore were Baptiz'd upon Good Friday Ap. 18th

Thomas being 11 years old ye 8th of September last

Mary being 10 years old ye 8th of March next

Martha being 6 yrs. old ye llth of this Instant Apr.

Sarah being 3 yrs. old ye 2d. of June last

12 July 1713 Lazarus ye Son of John & Frances Featherstone

27 Sept. 1715 John ye Son of John & Frances Featherstone

2 Feb. 1717/18 Joseph ye Son of John & Frances Featherstone als. Blackmore

4 Oct. 1720 Moses ye Son of John & Frances Featherstone

On finding the alias of Blackmore I checked the index for the marriage of Thomas Blackmore. There is no entry, but I did find what might be another of his children, under that name only.

Wiveliscombe, baptisms, children of Thomas & Margery Featherstone/Blackmore:

13 Nov. 1724 Robert ye Son of Thomas Featherston was Baptiz'd

26 Jan. 1727/8 Eleanor ye Daugr. of Thomas & Margery Featherstone

17 Feb. 1730/1 Margery ye Daugr. of Thomas & Margery Featherstone

14 Oct. 1733 Thomas ye Son of Thomas & Marjory Featherstone

21 Feb. 1741/2 John ye Son of Thomas & Margery Blackmoor

The 1730/31 baptism of Margery had been overwritten, so I cannot be sure about the name, or even the sex of the child.

There were no other children of Thomas and Margery Blackmoor in the index. The following marriage might be for the parents of John, for there is just one child of this couple.--John, you will see, has the mother as Mary, but I feel sure this must be an error. There is no marriage of Robert and Mary, or any children of them other than this one.

Wiveliscombe, marriage:

2 Sept. 1746 Robert Blackmore & Elizabeth Darch

Wiveliscombe, baptisms, children of Robert & Elizabeth Featherstone/Blackmore:

19 Oct. 1747 Mary ye Daughtr. of Robert & Elizabeth Blackmoor

7 June 1752 Margery ye Daughter of Robert & Elizabeth Featherstone

2 Jan. 1757 Ann the Daughter of Robt. and Elizth. Featherstone

31 Aug. 1760 John ye Son of Robt. & Mary Featherstone

20? Feb. 1762 William ye Son of Robt. & Elizab. Featherstone

23 Oct. 1763 Sarah Daugr. of Robert & Elisab. Featherstone

My last search in the registers was to do the burials.

Wiveliscombe, burials 1704 to 1812: all Featherstone entries:

? March 1711/2 Lazarus Son of John Featherstone als. Blackmoor

22 June 1712 Martha ye Daugr. of John Featherstone

30 Jan. 1731/2 Samuel Blackmoor als. Featherstone

6 June 1747 John Featherstone als. Blackmoor

11 March 1747/8 Margery ye Wife of Thomas Featherstone

22 Oct. 1756 A Child of Edward Featherstones was buried

5 Dec. 1756 Edward Featherstone

15 June 1760 Frances Featherstone

26 Dec. 1756 Elizabeth Featherstone

31 Jan. 1762 Edwd. Featherstone

2? April 1762 Margaret Featherstone

6 Nov. 1763 Sarah daugr. of Edward & Xtian Featherstone

11 Nov. 1764 Thomas ye Son of Thomas & Sarah Featherstone

? May 1765 Edward Son of Edward & Christian Featherstone

15 April 1770 Thomas Son of Thomas & Sarah Featherstone

1 July 1770 Edward Son of Thomas & Sarah Featherstone

29 March 1772 John Featherstone

1 Oct. 1774 James Son of Thomas & Sarah Featherstone

2 April 1775 Christian Wife of Edward Featherstone .

9 Jan. 1780 Elisabeth daugr. of Mary Blackmore Alias Featherstone

23 Jan. 1780 Mary Wife of Thomas Featherstone

21 April 1782 Thomas Featherstone

16 May 1784 Hannah daugr. of Thomas & Sarah Featherstone

3 June 1787 Edward Featherstone

15 Aug. 1790 Sarah Wife of Thomas Featherstone

27 Dec. 1790 Elizabeth Featherstone (pauper)

24 Nov. 1793 Mary Featherstone (pauper)

28 Dec. 1794 Thomas son of Jno. & Ann Featherstone

27 April 1800 Thomas son of John & Ann Featherstone Age 3

15 Feb. 1801 Robt. Featherstone

11 Oct. 1801 Tho. Featherstone (weaver)

From 1760 to October 1763 and early in 1801, children are not shown so those burials could be of a child or an adult, but John in 1772 is almost certainly an adult, for children are shown there. I did see some entries for Blackmoor, but did not note them. I possibly should have done so, but at least I have the dates of those entries after 1732. Perhaps with further searches the origin of the Blackmoor name will come to light.

The early Wiveliscombe registers have no entries for Salter. I checked the 1851 census index for the nearby area in the hope of finding Thomas, but although there are many entries for the name I did not find him. At Upton I noted William Salter, 47, born at Wiveliscombe, at Brompton Ralph a Thomas Salter age 10 born at Wiveliscombe, and at Ashbrittle a Thomas Salter age 32 born at Wiveliscombe. Interestingly he had a lodger named Jane Ridgway, age 76, born at Uffculm, Devon, a widow. I did wonder if she might be his widowed mother, but have not taken that family any further.


Lastly, I should mention that although all the original Somerset wills were destroyed in 1940, most of those for the years 1813 to 1858 have since come to light as copies from the estate duty office. All have been indexed, but there is not a single one for Featherstone.

Peter Bennett

| DBHome | Christian Beliefs | Family History | Public Affairs | Higher Ed Research | Hobbies and Interests | Issues in the UCA | Personal Background | Psychological Research | Templestowe UC | Worship and Preaching |