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Who was George HILL?
published by Pat Hase - 2 hours 13 minutes 5 seconds ago.

The Taunton Courier of August 10th Aug 1831 states that a Martha HILL and Simon HILL were involved in this robbery as well as a William BAKER and G. HILL.  There is a christening of a Simon HILL in Churchill in 1815, s/o John & Mary which seems to suggest that you have the correct George HILL.  Who was Martha HILL?

When Matthew TAVERNER died in 1868 his probate gives his estate as under £450 and by 1861 he was a farmer of 30 acres - So given that he lived in the same area as "your George HILL" it seems very likely that you have the correct man here as well.  Sovereigns kept under the bed to pay tradesmen?

Who was George HILL?
published by daveerasmus - 15 hours 28 minutes 32 seconds ago.

I hope you don’t mind my returning to this post but I now have at least 4 DNA matches to people in Australia claiming to be descendants of George HILL. And I am no closer to finding him.

In an effort to break down this particular brick wall, I thought I’d try coming at it from a different direction. In my original post I mentioned that George was found guilty of entering the house of Matthew TAVERNOR and stealing 40 Sovereigns. That is why he was transported to Australia in 1833. I have been searching for Matthew. The only one I can find was living in Blackmoor, Churchill in 1841/1851/1861. He was married to Mary (DYER?) and had 4 children. It looks like this is the right man because in 1841 my 4 x GGF John HILL  and his wife Mary (nee WHITE) were living very close by with some of their children  - they are on the same page of the Census (Class: HO107; Piece 967; Book: 10; Civil Parish: Churchill; County: Somerset; Enumeration District: 8; Folio: 24; Page: 16; Line: 8; GSU roll: 474608). John and Mary were (allegedly) the parents of the elusive George.

But I am concerned about something. 40 Sovereigns was an awful lot of money in 1830 – worth around £4000 in today’s money. It was the equivalent of a decent annual wage. But according to the 1841 Census Matthew was “only” a Carpenter. And at the time of his daughter Ellen’s baptism in 1834 his occupation was given as “Sawyer”. So, is it conceivable that he could have had that much money in his house? If not, should I be looking for another Matthew Taverner?

Joseph STOKES married in Easton in Gordano in 1778
published by daveerasmus - 6 days ago.

You're right, of course. I've had a look at the Portbury records from 1600-1672 to see if there were any STOKES (or variants) there during that period. But I can't find any. So, it looks like the first STOKES arrived in Portbury after 1672. But, from where....?

Joseph STOKES married in Easton in Gordano in 1778
published by Pat Hase - 7 days ago.

You're great - thank you!!  We now appear to share a common ancestor with my 5 x great grandparents William & Elizabeth STOKES nee TUKER (or variant) but because there is a gap in the available Portbury Parish Records before 1719 it is difficult to get back much further with traditional research.

Joseph STOKES married in Easton in Gordano in 1778
published by daveerasmus - 7 days ago.

Hi Pat. We've been corresponding directly about the STOKES family and you pointed me in the direction of this posting. I've now had a good look at this and, like you, I'm convinced that "Martha" was an incorrect entry. I think you are correct in concluding that Rachel was actually the mother.


Samuel NICHOLS married Wedmore 1798
published by Pat Hase - 11 days ago.

Thank you Dave - at least it's not only me who can't find his parents!
I do have a possible christening for my Rebecca DYER on the 23th Sept 1769 at Wedmore Church, d/o John DYER.  I am assuming that this might be the John & Frances DYER who had previously had children christed at Wedmore.  It is possible that Frances might be Frances SHARTMAN - christened at Wedmore in 1734/5 d/o John & Frances SHARTMAN - This is based on the christening in 1768 of a Jacob SHARTMAN DYER s/o John DYER but I can't find a DYER/SHARTMAN marriage.  All very speculative!

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