All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.My ancestry and more personal notes are now at a revised version of "When I Was 75."

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Ancestors Thursday

Last week I started my ancestor tree sharing with -
14) Elizabeth Herone/Hearon was the daughter of 15) Alfred and 15) Caroline Herone.

And after publishing my post, I happened to look on Ancestry DOT com and there were actually some earlier generations given for her husband's family.

So why not record them here, my personal and public archives of 5) Ada Swasey Rogers' (my grandmother) ancestors?

14) Elizabeth Herone's husband 14) Vincent Harris was the son of 15) William Harris (b. 1505 in Southminster, Essex, England, d. Sept 1556 in Southminster, Essex, England.) and his wife 15) Joane Smith (b. 1505 in Norton, Essex, England, d. 1527 in Southminster, Essex, England).  
Essex, St. Leonard's Church, Southminster - - 1713729.jpg
St. Leonard's, Southminster, Essex, England
(Note: I just had to "remove" from my tree 2 children that were supposedly belonging to 15) Joane Smith Harris and 15) William Harris, both of whom were born before either parent had been born in 1505.  How does Ancestry allow that to happen, because it's so easy to see it's a mistake!)

Going backward now, 15) Joane Smith was the daughter of 16) John Smith (b. 1480 in Norton, Derbyshire, England, d. 08 Oct 1538 in Cold Norton, Essex, England) and 16) Gorney Cooke Smith (b.1475 in Braintree, Essex, England, d. (?) in Cold Norton, Essex, England)

Now I have to learn more about Norton, and Cold Norton...and one is in Derbyshire, the other in Essex County...but are they near each other?  And where is Southminster and Braintree, in Essex County while I'm chasing the geography of England?

W. says:
Southminster is a town on the Dengie peninsula in the Maldon district of Essex in the East of England. The medieval St Leonard's Church (see pic above) dates mainly from the 15th century, although there are traces of much earlier work. It is a relatively large, "townish" church by Essex standards...stands at an important road junction.
 The Southminster  Parish Council says:
Southminster sits in the population gap between large village and small town. Until the turn of the 19th Century it was the largest settlement in the Dengie Peninsula. The “minster” part of its name suggests either a monastic foundation or the mother church of an area.  
Now on to Norton, Derbyshire...
UK Genealogy Archives say this:
 Norton, a village and a parish in Derbyshire. The village stands 1 1/4 mile SE of the river Sheaf, at the boundary with Yorkshire, near Sheffield.
There is no information, nor charming pictures that I could ferret out about either Derbyshire or Norton.  But there are apparently church records available of over 200,000 baptisms
 The parish registers of S. James' Church, Norton, Co. Derby, 1559-1812
 However, my ancestor who was born in Norton, Derbyshire, 16) John Smith was born in 1480.  So I didn't attempt to find his record.

W. says Cold Norton is also on that Dengie Peninsula of Essex:
Cold Norton is a village on the Dengie Peninsula in Essex, England. It is located in rural countryside 10 miles to the east of Chelmsford, and lies just over a mile to the north of the River Crouch, Cold Norton forms part of the Purleigh ward in the district of Maldon.  It's church is St. Stephen.
Braintree, Essex has a little bit more information, which you can go read HERE, if you're interested.

Braintree, Essex is much closer to London than the other Essex sites which have been mentioned before.

...scholars say the "Brain" element in the word is accepted to be derived from "Brid/ Brigantia/ Bride/ Bigit/ Britain". This is the ancient Celtic, and possibly pre-Celtic, name for the Goddess of the land of Britain. She is the reason the Romans called these islands "Britannia". She was worshipped all across the North of Britain in Roman times. The River Braint in Anglesey is another one of these names. "Tree" comes from the Saxon suffix, more usually spelt "try", denoting a big village.   
Source: Essex Tourist Guide 
 Braintree in 1851

Braintree Town Hall (1926, architect: Vincent Harris)
The modern architect of the Braintree Town Hall was Vincent Harris; makes me wonder if he's related to my 14) Vincent Harris, the husband of 14) Elizabeth Herone.  That just reminds me that names are used over and over through many generations.

Now let's get back to the people, if you please!

 15) William Harris (1505-1556) has information about his life... on the "Find a Grave" site,  I'll just cut and paste most of the information that is attributed to him. (shown in blue type font)

27th Generation Descendant of Charlemagne. William was a merchant in London and High Sheriff of Essex.

He was 17th Generation Descendant of William I. He was 13th Generation Descendant of John (Magna Carta). The title of Esquire is the title of a nobleman's son. Also included would be the sons of baronets, knights, commanders, companions and non-knightly members of any order of knighthood, as well as barristers and justices of the peace. Although it is a long list, everyone is by no means legally entitled to use the title of Esquire.

[WARNING, The Following will only be of interest to a few people, who like to know about antiques and second best beds etc.]
Excerpts from his will:
"..... My body is to be buried either in the Parish church Southminster or Prittlewell in such place of the church as heretofore by mouth I have partly declared.

A tomb of marble to be set upon my place of burial, to be closed with bars of iron of convenient height for the saving of said tomb, and to be colored with red color set in oils, where upon I will that they shall bestow twenty pounds of currant money of England, and more if that be not sufficient, by the discretion of my overseers; upon the tomb there shall be mention made of me and all my wives and posterity and our names, and the names of every child that I had severally by every wife to avoid contention hereafter for title of my lands, for that I had my said children by several ventors; and also I will that these words following shall be set either upon my tomb or upon the wall next to my tomb, "Terra terram tegat, demon' peccata resumat, mundus res h'ent, spiritus ab'ta pelat."** My executors to distribute to such poor in Essex as they see fit 10 pounds; and besides other miserere obsequies and dirge, according to the order of the Catholic church; and likewise to distribute another 10 pounds at my month's day and other 10 pounds at my year's mind. And after my year's mind be passed, I will that always a yearly obit shall be kept in the parish church where I shall chance to be buried during the term of four score years, if the laws of the realm will it so long permit. Testators four sons Vincent, Arthur, Christopher and Edward and their heirs to pay to the Churchwardens 20 shillings yearly during the said term out of the farms assigned to them under the will, and to give bond to the Churchwardens to pay the same towards the obit. The curator of the said church shall have, to pray for me in his prayers, making my name, yearly 12d, and the residue two parts to poor people, and the residue to priests and clerks, and to the necessary ornaments of the church. The Churchwardens to have yearly for their paius 8d: and my executors shall yearly, for the space of ten years, pay to the poor Prittlewell, Southminster and Burnham every year 6 pounds, 8 shillings and 1d. To the parish Prittlewell every year 4 marks, Southminster 34 shillings 4d, Burnham 34 shillings and 4d. "My two amblinge sommer nagges which I have always called in charges, and all my plate except the following, my great nest of goblets, all gilt with the cover, my best standing cup, all gilt, with the cover, my salt, all gilt, with the cover, my pot, gilt, with the cover, my chalyse with the paton thereto belonging all gilt; and also except one goblet, gilt, with the cover, being made after fish scales, and also except two great masers, and two silver spoons, whereof thono is all gilt and the other with a vyce; " and all my household stuff in my house in Rochford and in my house at Southminster, "except two feather beds in the same house, next the best, with coverlets, blankets, sheets, pillows, pillowbeys, and all other necessaries to them belonging being likewise next the best; and also beside two sewer brass per next to best, and also except another bed, honestly furnished, being a feather beds mete to lodge gentlemen's servants in with honesty; and also except half a garnish of pewter next to best, whereof to be eight plates vi desserts, vi saucers, and also two coppill of candlesticks next the best, a chaffing dish and two other small canstics of the meaner sort whether the worst or the best."

"To my son Arthur, all my apparel and household stuff in my chamber at Lyncolnesinne.... My son Arthur shall have the use and occupying of my chain of gold containing seven score and vi links for life."

"Remainder to son Edward for life, remainder to their heirs..."

then follows the device of his manors, lands, leases, and so on at great length; sundry legacies to servants and others.....
Essex Records Archives. 

Burial: St Leonard Churchyard  (Depicted above)
Maldon District
Essex, England

 ** English translation of Latin phrase:
Earth ground covers, Demon 'sins resumes, world affairs h'ent spirit ab'ta may ask.

William is listed in another 20 public Ancestry Trees, with many children, and interestingly several other wives.  It is probable that he did have several wives, as he mentioned in his will.  I don't have time to wade through them all at this point...but his parents are also listed.  So I could follow more without having the International Ancestry application available for me.  I can at least choose which of those 20 trees I want to have represented on mine.

My ancestors already have lived and died, and I highly respect them for their lives, but I don't think they would mind if I try to make sense out of the mish-mash that somehow survives here on line. (Next time...)


  1. Interesting to read the language as they used it years ago.

    1. I'm thinking the serious genealolgists, and historians, can understand that language...or whoever studies ancient languages, though that wasn't quite ancient.

  2. Wow, you're getting deeper and deeper into this genealogy. It must be very time consuming!

  3. I think my work is just gathering info from Ancestrry, Wikipedia, and other sites with historical photos and may take an hour or so to put together a posting, so I'm just an editor, I think. But mainly all the info is in one place, here, now.


Looking forward to hearing from you! Since I didn't know the 1000+ people who supposedly looked at my blog the other day, I'm back to moderating comments. If that doesn't help, I don't know why blogger doesn't have a filter that stops this hacking...