Clarke Family Roots

 

The Clarke Family Roots

Clarke Family on Holiday

The Clarke Family on holiday

When I researched my husband’s family over the last 10 years I found over one thousand direct and indirect ancestors.The Clarke family originated from Tillingham, and Bradwell on Sea Essex and worked on the surrounding farms as agricultural labourers. Some of the Clarke family stayed in the Tillingham area, where I found connections with the Cole family who originated from Little Clacton and Steeple, Essex. Some of my Clarke family moved to Bethnal Green, London, and finally to Coventry Warwickshire. William Clarke, Sr. married into the Houghton family who originated from Bethnal Green, London. William Clarke, Jr. married into the Smith family, who originated from Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire and worked in the Pottery Industry. They also  moved to  Coventry, Warwickshire.

 

The Clarke Family Roots

Tillingham Essex

 

Tillingham Church Essex

Tillingham Church Essex

Tillingham is a small village with Essex weather board houses clustered around the ancient village green.The Cap and Feathers public house in the centre of the village is a large essex weather board building and the village pump is the oldest in the area predating the normal cast iron pump.The Peculiar Peoples Chapel was built in South Street, Tillingham during 1858 for Wesleyan Christians who took their name from the book of Deuteronomy. They were known to be reliable, honest , sober and neatly dressed. The chapel attracted many local people who lived on the marshes or worked the fertile agricultural land. Tillingham Chapel is the last remaining Chapel although at one time they were common in South Essex. Tillingham Marshes form part of a natural defensive barrier against the encroaching sea on the east coast of Essex; a long dyke separates fields on one side with the raw salt marsh on the other, whose stretches help to ease tidal action. It is owned by St. Paul’s Cathedral, who were gifted the land in 604AD by the King of Kent.

Tillingham appears regularly in  documents and in 1086 the Domesday book records Tillingham  as 20 villagers; 8 smallholder’s, 4 slaves with  1 mill, 1 fishery, 15 cattle, 30 pigs and 340 sheep.

The Dengie Peninsular in Essex – Is a lonely dank and desolate area of marshland on the coast of Essex, north of the mouth of the Thames.

The majority of the Dengie is agricultural marshland, much of it below sea level. There are few trees and much of it consists of windswept fields bordered by hedges. The coast of the Dengie is a birdwatcher’s paradise, the coastal marshes and estuaries are home to many types of birds including wildfowl, gulls, game birds, waders, owls and birds of prey.

Bradwell on Sea – This a quiet village on the northern edge of the Dengie peninsula situated where the River Blackwater meets the North Sea.The main occupation in this rural area has been on the land for many generations until the late 1700’s relying on labour intensive methods. Wealthy landowners such as Sir Henry Bate Dudlley of Bradwell Hall led the way in investing in new machinery and techniques. Sir Henry published a paper to the Society of arts which led to the formation of Essex Agricultural Society in 1793 As more farmers relied on the new machines it only meant one thing, reduction in man power. This in turn lead to poverty and families being moved to the work houses.

The Clarke family lived in Tillingham and were agricultural labourers working on Bridgeman Farm and Midlands Farm as listed in several censuses.

Many of these farms survive today.

Howe Farm – recorded in 1222 as Howich Farm

East and West Hyde – Named after Roger de la Hyde who lived in Tillingham in 1272

 

Bradwell on Sea Essex

Bradwell_on_Sea

Bradwell on Sea

 

 

Bradwell is a quiet village on the northern edge of the dengie peninsular situated where the river Blackwater meets the sea. The main occupation in this rural area has been on the land for many generations until the late 1700’s relying on labour intensive methods. Wealthy landowners such as Sir Henry Bate Dudlley of Bradwell Hall led the way in investing in new machinery and techniques. Sir Henry published a paper to the Society of arts which led to the formation of Essex Agricultural Society in 1793 As more farmers relied on the new machines it only meant one thing, reduction in man power. This in turn lead to poverty and families being moved to the work houses.

The Clarke family lived in Tillingham and were agricultural labourers,and suffered the effects of the Industrial Revolution by having to move into the work house until such time they could move to the city for employment

 

 

 

The Cole Family Roots

Little Clacton Essex   

the_plough_inn_liitle_clacton

The Pough Inn, Little Clacton

Little Clacton is the village where the Cole Family originated before moving to Steeple. Little Clacton is a pleasant scattered village, occupying a level site, nearly 2 miles North of Great Clacton, and 12½ miles East South East of Colchester. The Village dates back to 1100 and the time of the Normans. The focal point of the village is the attractive church of St. James which dates from 1100 and is Norman in Architecture and of flint construction. The marble font in the church dates from 1190. The ancient porch is believed to date from 1381; the nave is thought to have been extended in the fifteenth century. The first recorded priest at the church was John Russell in 1381. In the last ten years there has been some restoration of the church, new oak beams were fitted and the tower straightened. There is also a smaller brick Methodist church in the village which was built in 1851.

Today Little Clacton has a small green and two pubs, as well as a primary school and several small shops. There are two large supermarkets within a mile of the village, which benefits from a regular bus service.

In the past the village was not always so quiet; in 1806 on the day of the St. James’ day fair, dispute arose in the Blacksmith’s Arms between locals and men from the barracks in Weeley, known as the Cameron Highlanders. Following a fight and chase, Alexander McDonald was attacked and killed. Riots also occurred in the village in 1830 after farm workers marched to Lodge Farm and destroyed a threshing machine which they feared would damage their livelihoods.

 

Steeple_Essex

Sun Anchor Inn, Steeple Essex 1908

 

Steeple Essex

Steeple is a small village in South Essex, situated just east of Marylandsea and Mayland, on the southern side of the River Backwater Estuary. A hamlet, within the village of Steeple, on the banks of the River Blackwater is called Stansgate.

The original Parish Church of St Lawrence was destroyed by fire and the current Church was built in the centre of the village in 1884 using material from the original church. The remains of the old church are still visible in a thicket as you enter the village.

Stansgate Priory of which only one wall remains of the Cluniac Priory was built on the sea wall at a hamlet of Steeple called Stansgate in the 12th century. The Priory was closed by Cardinal Wolseley in 1525 by which time the Priory only had the Abbot and two monks.

The village pump is to be found in the main street next to the Star Inn.  The pump is notable as it is only one of three in the County to have a wheel instead of the normal handle. The pump was probably built by the Rural Sanitary Authority in about 1876 when the well was repaired.

 

 

The Houghton Family Roots

Bethnal Green London

Bethnal_Green

Bethnal Green London

 

Bethnal Green is situated on the east side of London, and in the nineteenth century was known by its market gardens and by the silk-weaving trade. Several of the Houghton family were shown in several censuses to  have been employed in the silk weaving industry. Bethnal Green was an area of large houses and gardens as late as the eighteenth century, but by about 1860, Bethnal Green was known by its dilapidated old buildings, poor sanitation, workhouses, ghettos and disease with many families living in each house. By the end of the nineteenth century, Bethnal Green was one of the poorest slums in London.

To find out more about the living conditions in London there is an excellent book by Jack London called People of the Abyss which in one chapter called the precariousness of Life he describes the fact that in the west end of London 18% of children died before they reached the age of five, whereas in the east end 55% of children died before the age of five. There were streets in London where, out of every 100 born in a year, fifty died during the first year and of the fifty remaining, twenty five died before they were five years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Smith Family Roots

Stoke on Trent Staffordshire

 

stoke_on_trent_station

Stoke on Trent railway station

Stoke on Trent is situated in the centre of England between Manchester and Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent is made up of six separate towns – Burslem, Fenton, Hanley (the City Centre), Longton, Stoke and Tunstall. The six towns were amalgamated in 1910 following a 1908 Ac

Stoke on Trent’s pottery industry includes some of the best known names such as Spode, Wedgwood, Minton and Royal Doulton. The town’s industry ended up concentrating so much on the pottery industry because the area is rich in the clay and coal necessary for its production. The Trent and Mersey Canal also played a part here as it allowed producers to bring in Cornish clay which helped then develop specialist pottery such as bone china. The town has also got strong historic links with coal mining and iron and steel making.

The name Stoke is taken from the town of Stoke-upon-Trent, the original ancient parish, with other settlements being chapelries. ‘Stoke’ derives from the Old English stoc, a word that at first meant little more than a ‘place’ but because ‘Stoke’ was such a common name for a settlement, some kind of distinguishing name was usually added later, in this case the name of the river, Trent.

 

 

 

 

 

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