The Surrey & Somerset connection (post 1800)

There appear to have been Planks in Surrey, in what is now Greater London, for centuries.  I have not found a connection with any of them.

What I believe to be my Planks (but have yet to prove) arrived in Haslemere at the beginning of the 19th century.   Isaac & Margaret PLANK, plus their family of 7 sons & 1 daughter, left Bethnal Green in the East End of London for the green fields and fresh air of south-west Surrey.  Why this was I do not know.  Isaac, and certainly most of his sons, were weavers (hence a Huguenot connection?) but was there a weaving industry in this part of Surrey?

Margaret died at Haslemere in 1803 at the age of 47.  Isaac stayed there until about 1811 when he left for Shepton Mallet in Somerset taking some of the family with him.  This is an understandable move as, at the time, this part of Somerset had a thriving silk weaving industry.  Isaac, according to the Poor Law records of Haslemere, died at Shepton Mallet in 1830 (but his death or burial have yet to be found).

So what happened to his family?

Isaac was born on 15th May 1781 at Bethnal Green.  It is possible that he was the father of George, my great-great-grandfather, simply because there were no other Isaac PLANKs in this part of Surrey (apart from his father?!) But I know nothing more about him.
Jacob was born on 20th May 1782 at Bethnal Green.  He married Elizabeth YOUNG at Haslemere on 17th June 1805.  They had two sons, John born in 1806 & Joseph born in 1809, before he died in 1811.  He was buried at Haslemere on 16th December 1811.  They lived at Thursley.  John did not marry.  He enlisted with the 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment of Foot when he was 18 and served nearly 19 years as a Private.  He was with the regiment in the East Indies for more than 18 years - firstly in India and then in Afghanistan (from 1839) for the First Afghan War.  He died in 1846 (2 years after being discharged due to lameness) at the young age of 39.  Joseph married Sophia STACEY at Godalming in 1832.  They had 9 children, most of whom were baptised at Stoke (now part of Guildford).

According to the Poor Law records Elizabeth and her family were 'relieved by Haslemere'.  Elizabeth then had an illegitimate daughter, Elizabeth PLANK, in 1815 who turns up in Brighton at the same time as my George.  Did they travel to Brighton together?  Elizabeth married George VICARY, a stableman, at Brighton in 1845.

Stephen PLANK
Stephen was born on 4th May 1784 at Bethnal Green.  He married Rebecca BERRY at Haslemere on 25th December 1810.  They followed his father to Shepton Mallet in 1816 with their 3 young children.  They had 8 more children in Shepton Mallet.  At least 3 of the children were baptised in Non-Conformist chapels but why not all of them?

The Poor Law records for Haslemere in 1843 have a 'Notice of removal order' on Stephen PLANK and his family from Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

William PLANK
William was born c1785 at Bethnal Green.  He married Lucy FROST at Haslemere on 26th March 1808.  They went to Shepton Mallet with his father.  They had a daughter, Ann, in 1822.  William died at Shepton Mallet in 1844.  Lucy died of typhoid 5 years later.
James was born c1786 at Bethnal Green.  He went to Shepton Mallet with his father and there met Amy TUDGAY whom he married on 8th November 1813 at Pilton.  They had no children but Amy already had an illegitimate daughter, Eliza, who was born c1808.  James died of a fever at Shepton Mallet in 1838.

The Poor Law records for Haslemere in 1838 have a settlement examination for Amy that was dated 4 days after James died.  Amy outlived her husband by nearly 40 years.  She was 92 when she died at Bruton (Somerset) in 1877.
Joseph PLANK
Joseph was born on 24th November 1792 at Bethnal Green.  Like Isaac I know nothing more about him although I believe he went to Shepton Mallet with his father.
Samuel PLANK
Samuel was born on 8th May 1796 at Bethnal Green.  I know nothing more about him.
Margaret PLANK
Margaret was born c1786 at Bethnal Green.  She went to Shepton Mallet with her father and there met Henry ATTWOOD whom she married on 30th November 1812 at Pilton.  They had a son, Henry ATTWOOD, in 1813.

So this family of Planks travelled from the East End of London to Somerset via Surrey.  Most of the family appear to have reached Somerset but as for Isaac & Samuel .... This traverse of southern England also resulted in the branches at Guildford (Joseph & Sophia) and Brighton (George & Maria).

Return to menu

Next page