As genealogists we spend a lot of time exploring the parishes our families or those we are researching have lived in. I have been very lucky to have ancestors who resided in two parishes where either the Rector or the Curate kept detailed notes, journals or manuscripts of the people who resided in the parish.
Curate, Rev Charles Kerry was from Derbyshire originally. He spent around 7 years in the rural Surrey parish of Puttenham before moving to Topcliffe in Yorkshire. He eventually returned home to his home County, where he passed away on 1913.
Kerry kept a multitude of notebooks about the people of Puttenham and I was introduced to Kerry by a chap who lived in Puttenham and was active in the local history society there. Kerry’s notebooks can be found at Derby city library, with copies of the notebooks on microfilm at the Surrey History Centre, Puttenham and Wanborough history society and Surrey Archaeological Society.
By the time I was introduced to Kerry I had already researched my family who had lived in the village from the early 1700’s. The moment I mentioned that my several times great Grandfather was Henry Budd I was quickly told of Kerry and in particular vol 10 of his manuscripts. Volume 10 contains a pedigree tree, drawn by Kerry following his conversations with the people of Puttenham. The tree was substantiated by the parish records and other material that I had already located. On the pedigree, aligned with Henry it says “first of the Budd’s“. That small statement confirmed what I had already established, that Henry was from elsewhere. He had moved to Puttenham and began raising his family with his wife Martha. It was to take me another 8 years in total before I actually located the marriage, which was in Surrey but a town in the opposite direction from where I had looked, having systematically worked through every parish from Guildford to the border with Hampshire, then Guildford to the border with Sussex.
My own direct line stems from Henry, through to his son and grandson, both called Richard. This part of family links downwards to my maternal Grandfather, but the fascination did not step there. What I especially love about this, is the incidental details, the point that Richard could sing, and had a “fine tenor voice”. This is just one example of the manuscripts value to local and family historians.
The pedigree sat within my only family lines and I switched across to research my maternal Grandmother’s family, which by coincidence descends from the second Richard Budd’s sister, Mary the wife of Richard Bridger. The family connects to the families associated with the paper mills of Hampshire and Sussex owned by the Elstone, Pim and Bridger families who resided in Headley Hampshire.
The Rector of Headley, Wallis Hay Laverty was a character similar to Kerry. He kept and made copious notes of the lives of those who lived in Headley and the neighbouring parishes of Bramshott and Frensham, of which the latter is in Surrey, just over the border. The notebooks are online are again, a true value to local and family historians. My maternal Grandfather’s family through the descendants of the Budd and Ellis families which join with the Harris families and finally into the Butcher’s and are linked, with some featured on this page. A family in true style that gives me a headache as the Harris, Earle (Earl) and Woods families intermarry and then again for good measure!
It was only after I was able to view the scans a few years ago that I was able to spot another genealogical headache and I plan to cover that in a future week of this challenge and thus remove the item from my to do list!
The question of why these men spent hours and hours recording the lives and pedigrees of families they spiritually looked after is worth contemplating. Perhaps this something they found therapeutic, in much the same way we do, in creating these pedigrees. Without the invention of television, nights were likely long, especially in the winter. Perhaps it was also a way of retaining the snippets of information, who married to whom and when etc. Whatever the reason, I am very grateful that the notebooks were kept and they have stood the test of time.