Saturday, April 30, 2011

Charley-Charlie family at Bishops Nympton, Kentisbury and Arlington

One of my largest brickwalls was the ancestry of Mary Charlie who married John Pincombe 8 Nov 1767 at Bishops Nympton Devon. It remained in place from the beginning of my foray into genealogy just eight years ago until this past year when I began to look around north Devon at possible names that could be confused with Charlie. The priest had just ten years earlier recorded so much detail but the few years around this marriage the details were unfortunately sparse. Searching on Mary Charlie does not yield any entries other than my own. Interestingly my mother was able to trace her ancestry back (from a family Bible she remembered from funerals when she was a child) to John Pincombe and Grace Manning who married 20 Mar 1725 at Bishops Nympton. The Bible recorded the marriage of John Pincombe and Mary Charley and I still have the paper that my mother filled in many years ago with that spelling. Was she just remembering how Charley might be spelled and I am thinking knowing my mother probably not; that was likely the spelling that she had seen. My mother knew quite a bit about her family history on all sides of her family. It is this family lore that I fall back on when I hit a brick wall.

I collected all the Chorley, Churley, Charley (none available for Charley) wills when we visited Kew last year and a quick read does not reveal Mary Charley or Mary Pincombe mentioned. The wills are, primarily, from first sons and the only baptism that would work for Mary Charley thus far is 21 Sep 1735 at Kentisbury and the daughter of Hugh and Mary Charley.

Unfortunately the wills from Kew did not reveal any new information although a couple of them are for the Uffculme Chorley/Churley family. 

A list of wills were also held by the Devon Record Office (destroyed in WWII)

Charley     Escott     Kentisbury     DEV           1806     W    
Charley     Grace     Tawstock     DEV           1772     A    
Charley     Grace     Combemartin      DEV           1843     W    
Charley     Hugh     Kentisbury     DEV           1716     W    
Charley     Hugh     Arlington     DEV           1741     W    
Charley     James     Chittlehampton     DEV           1741     W    
Charley     Joan     North Molton     DEV           1822     W    
Charley     John     Kentisbury     DEV           1682     A    
Charley     John     Kentisbury     DEV           1717     W    
Charley     John     Kentisbury     DEV           1744     W    
Charley     John     Tawstock     DEV           1769     A    
Charley     John     Tawstock     DEV           1772     A    
Charley     John     Kentisbury     DEV           1781     W    
Charley     John     Combemartin      DEV           1835     W    
Charley     John     Combemartin      DEV           1838     W    
Charley     Margaret     Kentisbury     DEV           1756     W        
Charley     Martha     Barum [Barnstaple]     DEV           1747     W    
Charley     Richard     Combemartin     DEV       1857     W        
Charley     Robert     West Buckland     DEV           1812     A    
Charley     Thomas     Tawstock     DEV           1742     W    
Charley     William     Arlington     DEV           1720     A    
Charley     William     Arlington     DEV           1731     A    
Charley or Chailey     John     Kentisbury     DEV           1843     W    
Charly     John     Kentisbury     DEV           1643     A

In general this Charley family is further north or west from Bishops Nympton and I am left to wonder why Mary Charley is at Bishops Nympton. Why do they marry at Bishops Nympton? Being able to solve that mystery would probably also direct me to the correct family line for Mary. John Pincombe died after Mary so that excludes finding anything extra because of widowhood. The John Pincombe/Mary Charley family moved away from Bishops Nympton by the mid 1800s as far as I am able to determine. My line John Pincombe and Elizabeth Rew (descendant of Robert Pincombe (3rd son of John Pincombe and Mary Charley)) moved to Canada along with the only sister Elizabeth married to Richard Elworthy with Thomas, one brother, lost at sea with his family emigrating to Canada. George, another brother, lived near London UK and emigrated to Australia. Robert, the eldest son, emigrated to the United States the earliest of all the family. The youngest two sons remained in England but farmed in Somerset/Gloucestershire area for one and the second ran a milk business first in Birmingham and then returned to Gloucestershire late in life (he did not marry). The youngest brother Philip is the ancestor of many of the Pincombe families living in the Gloucestershire area.

Looking at the list of wills I spot two that may be significant

Charley     Hugh     Kentisbury     DEV           1716     W    
Charley     Hugh     Arlington     DEV           1741     W

Earlier I had found baptisms for the children of Hugh and Mary Charley at Kentisbury and Arlington

1710    11    4    Christening    William    Charley    Hugh    Charley    Mary  Kentisbury
1712    12    4    Christening    Mary    Charley    Hugh    Charley    Mary  Kentisbury
1714    2    26    Christening    John    Charley    Hugh    Charley    Mary  Kentisbury
1735    9    21    Christening    Mary    Charley    Hugh    Charley    Mary  Arlington

The spread between the last two children just seemed to be too great (21 years). Interestingly an unknown Charley married a Mary Charley 8 Apr 1733 at Trentishoe (near Kentisbury). Mary Charley (wife?) was buried in 1733. I am wondering if this child Mary was a daughter of unknown Charley and Mary Charley (son in law and daughter) of Hugh and Mary Charley. 

The father of Hugh Charley was John Charley married to Charity and Hugh was baptized 25 Jan 1676. There are two wills probated for Hugh Charley one in 1716 and one in 1741. This Hugh would have been 40 in 1716 and 65 in 1741. The first three children were baptized in 1710, 1712 and 1714. The marriage of Hugh and Mary Charley is unknown but Hugh was already 34 when the first child was baptized. There could have been other children in particular a Hugh whose will was probated in 1741.

There was a Mary Charley baptized 23 Feb 1719 and daughter of John Charley and Elizabeth (Richards) Charley. She was baptized at Barnstaple and I believe she married John Richards at Barnstaple in 1745. I have eliminated her from consideration.

As well there was a will for a James Charley in 1741 at Chittlehampton (3 miles from Bishops Nympton). 

The actual parentage of Mary Charley is unknown for the moment but the likelihood of her being the daughter of Hugh Charley is strong. I need to research other avenues that might point me to further proof for this linkage. The death of Hugh Charley in 1741 when she was only six years old could well account for her no longer being in Arlington where there was only the one Charley family (her own) and her being present in the Bishops Nympton area to marry John Pincombe. One item that makes me doubt this somewhat is the naming of the sons of John Pincombe and Mary Charley - John was undoubtedly named for his father and grandfather. William is another name in the Pincombe family and the elder brother of John. Robert does not occur in the Pincombe family but Thomas has in the past (four sons in total). There is a William Charley who would have been old enough to be married in 1733 and son of Hugh which brings the scenario of her being a grandchild of Hugh and Mary Charley into focus (and the naming of the second son William).

Next study time I shall look at the Land Records for the Charley family in Devon.

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