Saturday, June 25, 2011

Surrey Catalogue online

A marvelous new online tool for those researching their Surrey, UK ancestry can be found at:

Of course, I immediately had to put in Christopher Buller because he remains my brick wall in this particular part of England. Christopher was my 3x great grandfather married to Mary Beard (marriage not yet found but given the nature of this family it was probably at a peculiar). I know so much about Christopher in some ways but absolutely no idea of his parent's names. I know that he was a slop dealer/maker/cutter whose place of work was on Tooley Street in Bermondsey, Surrey. I know that he was buried 13 May 1832 at St Olave Bermondsey (as was his first wife Mary Beard, his two children who died as infants). St Olave Church was torn down in 1830 to make room for the approaches to London Bridge so that it remains somewhat a confusion in my mind as to how he was buried in 1832 at St Olave but I need to have a look at the records at London Metropolitan Archives one of these days. His age was given as 69 years giving me an estimate date of birth of 1763. Given that his wife, infant children and himself were all buried at St Olave I suspect he might have been baptized there and his parents belonged to this Church but the records are not on ancestry so must await my next visit to London. I was tempted this past trip to go to LMA but I knew that I would spend an entire day there (I would never have been able to go in just for a peek there is too much information there that I would like to look at :) ). We wanted to walk London and Westminster and Greenwich and that was our priority and I am so glad that we did do that. LMA can wait for another time.

However, back to the Surrey records coming up online. My cousin Robin Beard and I carry on a correspondence often separated by months as we go about our busy lives. But my discovery of this morming has resulted in my sending a lengthy email about our mutual Hemsley ancestors because I found a record that likely verifies the thought that Matthew Hemsley (father of my Elizabeth Hemsley) was the son of John Hemsley and Martha Roland who married 6 Feb 1704 at St Mary Le Bow with John Hemsley being a cheesemonger at St Saviour Southwark. This information has been the result of a lot of reading of parish registers as we pieced together the story of Elizabeth Hemsley (first wife of Henry Beard and my 4x great grandparents). Christopher Buller had married their daughter Mary Beard with their son Henry Christopher Buller (my 2x great grandfather) and his son Edwin Denner Buller being my great grandfather. I have spent an amazing amount of time on the Buller family line trying to discover the parents of Christopher.

The searching of the records for Tooley Street led me to a David Griffin who was a sailmaker on Tooley Street in the 1760s to 1770s which is somewhat fascinating as sails do not seem that far from sailor uniforms (slops). Another lead perhaps; a Griffin marrying a Buller perhaps and I shall track down another possible lead to see if I can solve this mystery. Likely it would be quickly solved if I was on the spot at London Metropolitan Archives and I look forward to that on my next visit. Next time I shall spend 1 day at Kew and 1 day at LMA. If I do not go with that thought in mind I would spend weeks there :)

Standing on Tooley Street near to where my Christopher Buller lived and worked was an exhilarating experience and one I highly recommend. Walking down Tooley Street and heading towards Bermondsey Street was walking the walk that he had likely taken thousands of times in his life. He and Mary had attended St Mary Magdalen on Bermondsey Street. Walking down Long Lane back to our hotel took on the feeling of history for me as well because Christopher eventually lived on Long Lane as found in the will of Jane Beard (stepmother to my Mary). This family moved at least three times whilst Mary was alive and I always wonder was it to accommodate the growing family - I suppose so.

Back to searching on the Surrey Catalogue and checking out all the possible leads that might help me to find Christopher Buller's parents. But also Henry Beard's family line may also be searchable in this database as Henry was a Tanner at Bermondsey and possibly the son of Edward Beard. I continue to search out information on this family and that will be my next search item for this database.

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