|My BARTON Ancestry|
The Heathfield connection (post 1780s)
Thomas BARTON was my 4x great-grandfather. He spent all his life at Heathfield after marrying Mary HASSELL there on 14th December 1790. Neither Thomas nor Mary was born at Heathfield (at least there are no baptism records for either of them).
They had 13 children between 1791 and 1814 - 12 of whom reached adulthood. What was unusual about them is that 3 were baptised in the Independent Chapel at Heathfield, 5 were baptised at the Parish Church and 5 (including my Benjamin) do not appear to have been baptised. Also there were one, and possibly two, sets of twins (David & Sarah and William & Winifred). Thomas's will was a godsend for proving these relationships (in particular for those who were not baptised) as it listed all his children along with his daughters' husbands.
Thomas did well for himself as for many years it appears that he was in receipt of Poor Relief from Mayfield. But more research is required here. So does this mean that he was born at Mayfield? In 1814 he was described as a (market?) gardener. Land Tax returns show that in the 1820s he started buying property and land, two of which became nurseries (one for him and one for his son Henry). By the 1841 census he was described as a farmer and in his will (dated 1844) he said that he was a nurseryman. The 1837 Poll Book for Heathfield stated that he owned 3 freehold houses. According to his tombstone Thomas also held parochial office for 30 years. Poor Law records show that, at various times, he was a Churchwarden and Overseer of the Poor. In his latter years he was Chairman of the Parish Vestry meetings. Thomas died on the 17th January 1846 and was followed only 4 months later by his wife.
This is Thomas & Mary BARTON's family:
|Thomas was baptised at Heathfield on 22nd May 1791. He married Elizabeth PETERS at Hastings on 19th July 1813 where they had 2 daughters. Elizabeth died in 1819 and then Thomas married her younger sister, Bridget PETERS, at Crowhurst on 13th April 1822. At the time it was illegal for a man to marry sisters which explains why they married away from their home town of Hastings. Over the next 20 years they had 10 children. Thomas was variously a labourer, carrier & carter.|
|Mary was born at Heathfield on 23rd February 1793 and baptised in the Independent Chapel a month later. She was then baptised in the Parish Church on 16th June 1808 where the register states that she was 18. This must have been because she married Samuel SAUNDERS, a nurseryman, only 6 months later on 20th January 1809 (a month before her 16th birthday). They remained in Heathfield where they had 6 children. Mary died in 1846 and Samuel in 1857.|
|Benjamin was my great-great-great-grandfather. He was probably born at Heathfield c1796 but no baptism record has been found.|
|David was baptised in the Heathfield Independent Chapel on 10th March 1797. I know nothing about his life prior to his marriage to Jane BARTLETT at Wyke Regis (now part of Weymouth) in Dorset in 1828. However by 1841 the census describes him as 'Navy' so perhaps he had been based at Portland (near Weymouth). The family moved to Folkestone & Dover in Kent by which time he was a Coastguard boatman. This gave him a pension in his latter years. David & Jane had 8 children - 2 in Weymouth and 6 in Kent. Jane died in 1866, 9 years before David.|
Sarah was also baptised in the Heathfield Independent Chapel on 10th March 1797. So were she and David twins? She married John Ellis COLVIN, an agricultural labourer, at Hawkhurst in Kent (about 10 miles from Heathfield) on 22nd January 1822. They had 8 children at Hawkhurst before she died in 1844.
By the time of the 1851 census Hannah WEEKES, a widow from Hawkhurst, and her daughter Frances WEEKES, were living with John. Hannah was described as a housekeeper. They married at Hawkhurst in 1853. Then, like many others, John & Hannah moved to Brighton where they spent the rest of their lives. John died in 1878, 5 years after Hannah (although she was 5-10 years younger than John).
|Barbara was born at the end of the 18th century. In November 1814, whilst a servant, she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Louisa, who died just 7 weeks later. She married George DEARING at Heathfield on 18th December 1818 and they settled at Hamsey (north of Lewes). But he died just 4 years later. They had 2 children, one of whom died just before his father. A month after George died, on 2nd February 1823, Barbara was baptised at Hamsey Parish Church. Three years later, on 3rd February 1826, she married William FUNNELL, an agricultural labourer, at Hamsey and they settled at Barcombe (north of Hamsey). They had at least 6 children and spent the rest of their lives at Barcombe. William eventually became a farm bailiff. He outlived Barbara by 10 years.|
Henry was probably born at Heathfield c1802 but no baptism record has been found. He was a nurseryman and married Harriet PHILIPS at Heathfield on 8th April 1833. Harriet came from Goudhurst in Kent, about 20 miles from Heathfield. They remained in Heathfield where they had at least 2 children. Henry's nursery was owned by his father, who chaired a ratepayers' meeting in 1843 when Henry was nominated a Special Constable. Henry took over his father's nursery business after his death but, unfortunately, he also became an alcoholic which led to his premature death.
After Henry's death Harriet went to live with her son-in-law (John BUCKWELL) and his family. John was an agricultural labourer (and later an engine driver) who had married (?) Emily BARTON (one of Henry & Harriet's daughters). Her final years, before her death in 1894, were spent with her grandson (Henry BUCKWELL) and his wife.
|Frances was probably born at Heathfield c1804 but no baptism record has been found. She married Thomas HOLMES, an agricultural labourer, at Waldron on 20th October 1822. They lived at Heathfield and had at least 8 children. Thomas outlived her by 6 years and died in his 90s.|
|John was probably born at Heathfield c1803 but no baptism record has been found. He was a nurseryman and married Ann DUMBRELL at Waldron on 16th November 1830. They lived in Heathfield and had at least 5 children. I do not know what happened to them after the 1841 census was taken.|
|William was baptised at Heathfield on 20th May 1810, along with his twin Winifred. He was an agricultural labourer and married Ann WELLER at Mayfield on 9th April 1834. They remained at Heathfield and had at least 2 children there but by the time of the 1851 census the family had moved to Hailsham.|
Winifred was baptised at Heathfield on 20th May 1810, along with her twin, William. She married Samuel WICKHAM, a labourer, at Heathfield on 28th March 1826. They had a daughter, Winifred, later that year but she died 13 months later. At the time of her marriage she was barely 16 and pregnant so was Samuel a keen bridegroom? Winifred then married Samuel BEARTUP, a gardener, at Framfield on 28th May 1831. By 1841 they were in Hailsham where they remained for the rest of their lives. They had at least 6 children there. Winifred died in 1873 but Samuel outlived her by 24 years and died at the age of 91. Winifred was close to her twin brother. Not only was he a witness at her second (bigamous?) marriage but both families lived in Hailsham.
So what happened to Samuel WICKHAM? There is no record of his death before Winifred remarried. So after the death of his daughter he either left Winifred or they decided to split up and lead separate lives. Was he the Samuel who was baptised at Wadhurst (NE of Heathfield), married Elizabeth STEVENS there in 1831, and moved to Brighton?.
|Maria was baptised at Heathfield on 13th September 1812 but she died less than a month later.|
|George was baptised at Heathfield on 21st February 1814. He was a gardener and 'married' Mary HAYWARD (I have been unable to find their marriage). Mary had 3 illegitimate children between 1835 and 1840. The father was not named. George & Mary had a child, Mary, at Heathfield in 1846. In 1851 they had another daughter, Ruth, but by the 1861 Census they were in Tunbridge Wells In 1871 Mary was the 'Head' with her daughter Ruth. Unfortunately the census return does not say if Mary is married or a widow. I do not know what happened to George & Mary.|