Thursday, February 10, 2011

Upper Clatford complete to 1812

I have completed the Upper Clatford Parish Registers to the end of 1812 and I am proofreading them today. Hopefully it will not take me too long. I learned about what I thought I would learn from the Upper Clatford marriages. There was a Blake family there in the 1600s and likely descendant of the Peter Blake family. This Peter descends from Nicholas Blake. It is interesting to find my Blake family there from the mid 1700s on. One wonders if they realized that they were related to the earlier Blake family that was there. My grandfather used to say that the Blake family had been at Upper Clatford for at least 500 years when I was young so possibly he did know but did not fill in enough details for my eight year old mind to retain that knowledge. We are not, however, directly descendant of the Peter Blake line that lived there. He would have been a many times great grand uncle.

There was a Pearse family at Upper Clatford which greatly interested me in that Elizabeth Pearse married to John Coleman was one of my 4x great grandmothers. I have no idea if there is any relationship between these Pearse families. Elizabeth is likely baptized at Collingbourne Kingston, Wiltshire. John and Elizabeth were married at Abbotts Ann. This is my next block of transcription to do once Upper Clatford is proofread.

The final tally for records in Upper Clatford includes 1683 baptisms, 349 marriages and 1161 burials. The burials to baptisms ratio shows a very healthy population at Upper Clatford with over 500 baptisms compared to burials. The Church of All Saints at Upper Clatford was a busy place when we visited. There were a number of people there in the church and visiting the graveyard. It is a quiet peaceful place and the mystical part of me left my memories of my grandfather with the nearest tree. Some of the trees have been there for long enough to have been touched by my grandfather. It was a heady moment for me to be there where he had been. He talked a great deal about Upper Clatford in the last years of his life. Although he lived at Eastleigh from his 20s on until coming to Canada when he was 39 in 1913, the love he had for his home village was quite easy to see. His father, Edward Blake,  lived at Goodworth Clatford the last years of his life. My father could remember that and said that his grandfather used to walk to Upper Clatford from the nursing home he lived in (Yew Cottage) in order to see his home town once again. Edward, father to Samuel, died in 1916 at Yew Cottage. I didn't try to find it when we visited but we may try the next time as we will spend a couple of days in that area.One of my grandfather's younger brothers is buried at Goodworth Clatford - Edward Sidney Blake was buried in 1898.

Back to transcription proofreading and I shall probably get a start on Abbotts Ann just for a change. For Abbotts Ann I have the registers from 1561 right up to the mid 1960s. I may transcribe this one right up to 1837 initially and further later. My interest is primarily in the Coleman and Pearse families there but also to see if I can discover the Blake family there and whether Robert Blake and Elizabeth Russell of Andover did end up in Abbotts Ann. The time period of the early 1700s is difficult in this set of records but will try to transcribe as much as I am able.

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