Family History research projects

Information requests:

Patience Burr (born c.1790 Ashwick, Somerset)
Hi there, I’ve recently discovered my 4x great grandmother, Patience Burr, was born in Ashwick.  In 1811 Patience married Thomas Jones in Kilmersdon before finally settling in Chilcompton where she later died in 1864.    I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall with finding any further information about Patience & her family in Ashwick; I’m really keen to swop information with anyone has any information they wish to share.  Please email me on: neilreesroberts at gmail.com   


Rowland & Marvyn Crone   email: [email protected]
I am Marvyn Crone and my 4x great grandmother lived in Ashwick and Farrington Gurney. She was Hannah Lacey (1784) of Farrington Gurney before marrying James Norman at Shepton Mallet in 1807. 
They had 7 children Mary, whose love child (Base Child) Hannah (born Ashwick) I descend from Maria, James, John, Sophia, and Hannah who died 1833. 

Hannah  was sent to 'Van Diemans Land' at the age of 44 as a convict on the Ship Sovereign. She had stolen 2 or 3 half crowns.  No doubt she was very poor or desperate especially never seeing the shores of her beloved country again.  I cannot find out whom she stole from and was wondering if you could point me in the right direction.  I live in new Zealand and though the internet is wonderful I cannot find out that information.


Greetings from America! My name is Gary Norman, I live in Pennsylvania and am currently trying to find information or help with our family history research.   Our family has some roots in the Ashwick area, one of the earliest family members was named James Norman and married an Ann Chapman in 1785 in the parish.  The family were miners in the Nettlebridge Valley and moved to some of the neighboring villages over the years. We have some information on some of James' offspring but little on his ancestors.   Any help would be very much appreciated and I can be contacted on [email protected]


My name is Richard Pask and I am a member of Pontllanfraith Local History Society, Gwent,South Wales. We are currently engaged in a research project, with a view to publication. The subject regards the early development of Blackwood (our town) from 1800 onwards. John Hodder Moggridge was one of the local land-owners who was involved in many activities such as coal mining, shipping and politics, as well as being a magistrate and social reformer. One of his business partners was Richard Perkins junior; and previously Richard Perkins senior was a business partner of John Moggridge senior. The Gwent archives contain many documents in connection with Moggridge and his land leases.

One such document is a Marriage Indenture dated 4th November 1794, whereby "Richard Perkins the younger of Oakhill in the parish of Ashwick in the county of Somerset Gentleman of the first part and Elizabeth Hawkins Moggridge of Boyce Place in the parish of Dymock in the county of Gloucestershire spinster of the second part and John Hodder Moggridge of Bradford in the county of Wiltshire clothier of the third part.........."  The document then goes on to mention various properties being signed over to JH Moggridge and Samuel Bowden (as trustees) : "All those two closes of meadow or pasture ground called the North Close and Lower Summer Close formerly parcels of tenement called Westhouse containing about ten acres or thereabouts.......Lower Pen Close and Over Pen Close Westhouse Manor of Ashwick lease dated 233rd June 1769 conveyed by John and Elizabeth Long for the use of William Savage and heirs......To the use of such persons as Samual James directs.....Samuel James the late deceased grandfather of Richard Perkins the younger.......Samuel James having died intestate and without making any gift of limitation or appointment of the said premises the same descended and came at his death to the said Richard Perkins the younger and his heirs at law.....Kingsham in Oakhill containing about six acres and in possession of Joseph Kurton....... Smith Close part of Smith's Tenement in parcel of Manor of Ashwick containing about five acres in possession of Joseph Perkins grandfather of Richard Perkins the younger or his undertenants lease dated ? May 1769 granted released and conveyed by said Joseph Perkins to Richard Perkins of Oakhill aforesaid surgeon the father of said Richard Perkins the younger and the same premises were also the 28th/29th October last granted released and conveyed by in fee amongst other lands by said Richard Perkins the father and also by John Billingsley of Ashwick Grove Esq. a trustee for said the said Richard Perkins the elder and to the use of Richard Perkins the younger and his heirs and assigns for ever....... and that close Claves (Clares?) Close Kingshaw or Kingshay plus common pasture for cattle and sheep containing about three acres West Down of Mendip......Longcrofts.....Tenement called Hay House containing about three acres Manor and parish of Ashwick......tenement William Juckes lease dated 12/8/1770 released and conveyed by Joseph Perkins and also by John Juckes for the use of John Billingsley In trust for the said Richard Perkins father And also messuage tenement or dwellinghouse lately converted into two tenements or dwelling houses situate within the Abbey Green in the city of Bath formerly erected for by John Bushell on a piece of ground granted to him by John Hall and hereto fore in possession of Doctor Bettenson since of John Spry and now or late of Charles Abbott all of premises of lease and release dated 29th October 1793 released and conveyed by William Purleweul and Mary Hale to said John Billingsley in trust for said Richard Perkins the younger and his heirs and assigns..........Meadow or closes in the parish of Ashwick containing sixteen acres or thereabouts late in possession of Samuel James and now of said Richard Perkins the younger.......Billings (twenty six acres)...........called Six Acres (six acres).........Alpper Trow paddock East Trow paddock West Trow paddock (four acres)....Oak Close (four acres).....Pond Close (four acres)......Upper Ground Close (six acres)....Little Coppice containing two acres... Dibben's Lane to East Mendip Hill to South...West is estate of William Norman but now in possession of Richard Perkins the younger...north is village of Oakhill parish of Shepton Mallett and were in the possession of or occupation of Samuel James now Richard Perkins the younger.....enclosed parcel of ground containing about four acres Shepton Mallett lately in possession of Samuel James.....pasture attached to last mentioned cottage house containing about four acres indenture dated 5th November 1754 granted released and conveyed by late Right Honourable Nathan Lord Ffortescue Gentleman unto said Samuel James and also to Joseph Sheppard............

The rest of the document deals with the properties of Elizabeth Hawkins Moggridge (daughter of John Moggridge sen and sister of John Hodder Moggridge). These are mainly in and aroundBradfordonAvon(Wilts). One property is named as "....the messuage tenement dwellinghouse coach-house stables gardens and appurts thereto adjoining and belonging situate lying and being at Bradford Leigh within the parish of Bradford county of Wiltshire together with two closes pieces or parcels of meadow or pasture ground adjoining near and belonging containing eight acres called Spy Park and home ground all of which said premises are now or late in possession of John Moggridge Esq. father of said Elizabeth Hawkins Moggridge......"

I hope that this is of interest to you and your fellow local historians.

Perhaps you might help us? Many references to the Moggridges have been found - we have traced them back to Topsham in Devon, Bradford, Dymock, Blackwood, Swansea, and right through to the present - but little is known about the Perkins, other than they came from Oakhill. Richard Perkins senior has variously been mentioned as "mining man" fromSomerset, and also "geologist" and "gentleman connected with mining" and "friend of William Smith" (a famous geologist of the time). Coincidentally, John Hodder Moggridge has been described as a protégé of William Smith. However, you will not that the Document that I have partially transcribed above mentions Richard Perkins the father as "surgeon" of Oakhill.

Maybe the information above will help. Might you be able to find out more about the Perkins family?  The document mentions Joseph Perkins (grandfather of Richard Perkins jun) and Samuel James (grandfather of Richard Perkins jun). Are any mentioned in parish records, are they buried in the parish church? Some of the Blackwood Perkins were buried in a non-conformist chapel in 1820-1850. Our first mention of the Moggridges and Perkins being in business together is in Newent, Glos. about 1794 (which is the date of the above marriage). Where did Perkins live in Oakhill - Oakhill House maybe? He had a grand house when he was resident in Dymock, Glos. Can we see any of the dwellings mentioned above, today? JH Moggridge was a prominent Freemason in Bristol - was his father (John) or Richard Perkins senior connected with a lodge in say Shepton Mallett or Bath or Bradford. Was Perkins connected with any mines in Oakhill or the Canal or Railway?

Do you know anything of SpyPark? There is a well known estate near Chippenham known as SpyPark, but it appears that it was in the same family for hundreds of years, and not the Moggridges! In the document above, a John Spry is mentioned. Is this coincidence, as he is mentioned on the Perkins side, not Moggridge.   Richard Pask   01495 222949


My name is Gillian Card from Canada.  I am researching my family history – my ancestors originate from Ashwick and surrounding areas. 

Ancestors are: 
James Brown who married Mary Snook daughter of Edward Snook farmer. (1852)
Robert Compton who married Hannah Emery daughter of Thomas Emery  (1811)
Lewis Compton who married Susan Emma Brown daughter of Walter James Brown. (1890)

Thank you.  Gillian Card.  British Columbia,  Canada.  email:  [email protected]


Hello, my name is Robert Powell and  I am trying to find Baptismal details of a William Hancock born about 1816 according to his age on his death certificate. He claimed to have been born in Nettlebridge/Ashwick.

On his marriage certificate he stated that his father's name was William Hancock - Butcher. William married a Theresa Coggan in 1851. I appreciate that sometimes poetic licence took over with the entries on marriage certificates, as yet I cannot find details to confirm or disprove this claim.

I know that this is a bit of a vague starting point but I am hoping to trace his family back to Lympsham and his grandfather Jasper Hancock and his father yet another Jasper Hancock.

I am hoping that perhaps someone is able to help with this research - does the Parish Priest still hold the records at the Church?  Thanks for any help.  Robert Powell  email:  [email protected]

I have family history connections with Oakhill and am looking for a copy of "Oakhill & Ashwick - some of our memories and old photographs" and "Ashwick Parish - Dwellings and their history in the year 2000", both produced by The Oakhill and Ashwick local history group but which are both now out of print. If anyone has an unwanted copy I would be happy to pay a reasonable price. Michael Herridge 07759142350