Sunday, 22 April 2012

Amusing parish register entries

Over the years I have found and noted some interesting parish register entries.  
"April 10th [1811] George Stephens.  Aged 32.  By excess in drinking.  A man of most excellent C[harac]ter.  A Kind husband, a fond Father, and a useful Labourer.  Universally esteemed and the only time during his residence in the Parish known to be the least in Liquor.  His untimely end was greatly pitied and lamented."  (East Hoathly)
"Buryed Lawrence Davie the 9th day [December 1629] who died of the falling sickness being fallen into a ditch" (Hailsham - 'falling sickness' could have been epilepsy)
"[baptised] fleefornication ye base borne of Allce Allce ye 9 day [February 1628/9]" (Hailsham - poor kid!)
"[baptised] Philip Son of Sarah Kyte & of a Rascal unknown base born [13th April 1766]" (Withyham)
"Novr 8 [1778] Baptiz'd Anne, Daughter of Mary the Wife of Fawkner Harding and George Mankivick, her husband having left her many years past for being a Whore" (Wadhurst)
 "Aug: 21 [1768 baptised] Thomset posthumous Child (the sex not distinguishable) of Moses & Eliz. Cloak" (Guestling)
This entry had some extra annotations which I have marked by underlining them - presumably these were added later by someone (most likely the vicar) who knew the couple - or didn't approve of them
 "Jany 16 [1776] Jane Weller At 63 not the wife never married of Edward Weller bought on a Waggon the Road being almost impassable by the great depth of snow." (Withyham)
Hailsham seems to have been a particularly Puritan area - (or at least the priests appear to have been)
"Buryed Edward Willforde the 4th day [July 1625] who felle downe dead as he was playing a match of footballe on the Sabbath day" (Hailsham) 
 "Buried John Lucas the 30th of March 1665, who was smitten with suddaine death , at the Alehouse having bin longe tipleinge there" (Hailsham)
 "28th Jan 1683 Elizabeth Edwards an innocent sister of Mr Posthumous Edwards [buried]" (Portslade - poor old Posthumous never had the chance to forget his mother died during childbirth)
 "[Feb 1737] 6 Buried the Widow Watchers" (Wadhurst - I love the way this entry reads, I imagine a clandestine group who watch bereaved women!)
Finally an entry that illustrates one of the many problems that genealogists face, from the Withyham parish registers
"July 2 [1780] Mr Davies baptized someone whom he could not recollect"   
No doubt someone I have spent many hours looking for!! 


  1. These are brilliant! I'm planning on doing some parish register research tomorrow, you have inspired me to start a file of interesting entries.

  2. Coker Egerton's comments at Burwash are brilliant too.