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Betsy Shepstone's Marriages
published by john osmond - 1 months 6 days ago.

I think it unlikely that James Keedwell (brother of my gggrandfather, John Walker Keedwell) married two Betsy Shepstons. If Betsy was the Elizabeth Shepstone who married John Beacham in 1837 there is a problem with her first marriage to James Keedwell in 1841. If John Beacham was dead she was incorrect in identifying herself as a spinster. If he was alive she committed bigamy. There was something clandestine about the marriage. James and Betsy lived in Bristol or Beminster and produced three children but failed to inform James' rich Uncle James Keedwell, who named James Junior as his residual heir in 1841. In 1844,  James Senior attached a codicil to his will excluding from the trusts "any children of  the Woman the said James Keedwell now cohabits with who is the wife or reputed wife of one John Beacham and before her marriage or reputed marriage with him called or known by the name of Betsy Shepstone", There is no mention of James actual marriage. in 1841. I think James and Betsy were using John Beacham - dead or alive - as some kind of cover for their relationship. Their third child, Rachel was baptised as Rachel Keedwell but registered as Rachel Beacham. This pretence was kept up in the Census of 1851 but dropped in 1861. When James' will was proved in 1879, his friend, Austen Smith made a declaration that "Rachel was always acknowledged as the daughter of Betsy Keedwell and the said James Keedwell born before his marriage to her." On 29th June 1849 James and Betsy married again with Betsy now identified as a widow. I think they did this to give themselves a proper legal status to replace the dubious first marriage. Uncle James had died in 1848. If Betsy was a different Betsy Shepston, what happened to the first and when did it happen? I cannot find a death record or any other indication..

This all seems to show James and Betsy in a dishonest light. But I see it differently. In 1841 they were two young people living in the same house under a very dominating head of the family who would have disapproved of what he would have seen as an inapropriate marriage. They found their own way out which might have been incorrect but their marriage seemed to be very succesful. They had three more fully legitimate children and James became a prominent figure in the Backwell area. Betsy died in 1876 and James in 1878, according to his obituary in the Bristol Mercury "deeply lamented by all who knew him."  


WEAKLEY Kewstoke
published by Pat Hase - 1 months 6 days ago.

If you look under Members' Surname Interests you will see that we do have a member in Canada who is researching the WEAKLEY family.  She might be able to help you.

In the meantime, your grandmother's name was Florence Irene COLE - registered as Flory Irene COLE and she married your grandfather in 1942.  Leonard's first marriage was to a Florence M PROCTOR who he married in Cardiff in 1925.  He was a widower in 1939 as Florence M had died shortly after the birth of their second child in 1928. 

So the elusive member of your family might be connected with WEAKLEY, PROCTOR or COLE.

Philip Shepstone of Sandford 1811-1878
published by jt.upton@hotmail.co.uk - 1 months 6 days ago.


I have quite a lot of data about Philip and his descendants, including his will and outlines of a few court cases.  He may have been a son of John Shepstone and Sophia (nee Stowell), who emigrated to New England before 1841, However, I have found no proof of this.  All the data is on my Ancestry.co.uk tree.  I'd be interested in anything new.


John Thompson

Hi thanks for your reply.
published by bweakley - 1 months 7 days ago.
Hi thanks for your reply. Here’s what I know - my dad used to refer to the lady who emigrated as Aunty bunty or bundy, not sure which due to his Somerset accent! Now I’m not sure if that was a real name, shortened name or even a nickname. I am also unsure if it was an Aunty on his dad or mums side. My grandad was Leonard Edward Weakley. My nan was Irene Cole or coles. My grandad was born in kewstoke, lived in Ritz cottage which is where the commodore now stands. He had a brother callled Jack. Leonard was married before he married my nan. I know no other details about my nan though. I know there were two Weakley families in kewstoke and there’s a lot or information on the other Weakley family but not mine. I have tried for years on and off to research this. I was just hoping someone on here might have already come across this as I know our surname is one of the eldest in the parish history and you guys seem amazing at digging things up! Thanks again

WEAKLEY Family - Kewstoke
published by Pat Hase - 1 months 7 days ago.

This is a difficult one!  You say you do not know who did the original research or the name of the person who emigrated to New Zealand.  You might be able to find that by doing some research yourself. 

Your Heading suggests that the name WEAKLEY came from Kewstoke.  The name WEAKLEY does appear in our transcriptions of the parish records of Kewstoke.  Did your grandparents come from Kewstoke?  When were they born? Do you know the names of their siblings?

Sorry there's so many questions but we would like to help you if we can.  However, we do need a little more information.

published by Joe - 1 months 8 days ago.
Marriages Sep 1928 HOOPER Gladys M BRYANT Long Ashton 5c 1365 The district Long Ashton is in the county of Somerset; Marriages Sep 1910 (>99%) Bryant George Long Ashton 5c 1251 Marriages Sep 1910 (>99%) Mincher Hilda M Long Ashton 5c 1251 A possibility but can find no children for this marriage.

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