Generations 1 to 7

c1470 - c1700

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The following text accompanies the Wargrave Family Tree for the earliest known generations, but begins with a Preface & Rationale that includes some information regarding the preceding generation, dating back to before 1434.

From generation 1 the tree has two distinct branches, namely the descendants of William A Beare (c1470 - >1526) notated with the letter W and the decendants of John A Beyre (c1475 - 1550) notated with the letter J. For example 3W refers to a descendant of William in generation 3 whereas 4J refers to a descendant of John in the fourth generation.

Go to Generation 1W Generation 1J Generation 2W Generation 2J Generation 3W Generation 3J Generation 4W Generation 4J Generation 5W Generation 5J Generation 6W Generation 6J Generation 7W Generation 7J

 

References

BRO - Berkshire Record Office

WRO - Wiltshire Record Office

IGI - International Geographical Index

TAFOW - "The A'Bear Family of Wargrave" - Stephen Leach

TSBOW - "The Second Book of Wargrave" - Wargrave Local History Society

Some of the will transcriptions below are the work of David Nash Ford, to whom grateful thanks are expressed.

 

PREFACE

A close study of the document entitled ‘Record of the Descent of Land Occupation’ held at the Berkshire Record Office (BRO), which details land ownership in Wargrave during the 15th & 16th centuries, gives us a useful start to our family tree. It was probably compiled from the Manor Court Record for the new Lord of the Manor in 1603/4. In conjunction with the wills of four contemporary family members and the earliest Wargrave Parish Records for baptisms, marriages and burials which began in 1539, it is possible to add further relationships and create a structure which fits all the stated relationships quite well.

Exactly how these earliest known generations of the tree have been structured is described in the following rationale.

 

Generations 1 & 2 Rationale

 

Thomas d.1544 states in his will that he has a sister surname Fessy (who has a son Fessy), a brother William and two sons called William and Thomas.

William d.1553 states in his will that he has a sister Margaret Feise, and other sisters Aves Wilbor, Agnes Abear & Joan Abeare.

Because of the common link with sister Fessy, Thomas d.1544 and William d. 1553 must be brothers.

But the Land Occupation document tells us that Thomas d.1544 is the son of a William.

John b. c1470 names in his will dated 1550 his wife Joan, his sons William & George and daughters Joan & Alice. This is supported and developed by son George's will naming a brother William and sister Annes, (and George's children John & Celice).

So there must be two Williams, one a brother to Thomas whose father is William, the other the son of John b. c1470. This is further supported by a Bill of Complaint dated 1616 lodged by Margaret’s son, which states that George was the brother of a William, and a recorded burial for a William in 1556 which does not agree with the 1553 date we already know about.

We should therefore split Generation 2 as follows: Joan, Alice, a William, George & Annes are the children of John b.c1470. Aves (Alice) Wilbor, Agnes, Joan, Margaret Fessy, Thomas d.1544 and a William are the children of a William.

The Land Occ Doc tells us that father William had a father John, and one of the transactions suggests this John's wife's name is Alice.

Which William died in 1553? The will of this man names Agnes, Joan, and Fessy as sisters, so William d.1553 seems certain to be the brother of Thomas.

William d.1553 also mentions his mother-in-law Joan Barnard. Research indicates that this term was used to mean ‘step mother’, and so his mother must have died and then his father William must have remarried a Joan. Father William then must have died for his wife to marry again. David Nash Ford’s research suggests a Joan Abeare married Thomas Barnard in 1551 after marrying John b. c1470. The Wargrave Parish Register lists a marriage between a John Abeare and a Joan Abeare in 1542, and so it seems feasible John’s first wife died and he remarried. This notion is further supported by further children being born to John from the time of his second marriage, and the fact that John died in 1550, just one year before Joan then married Thomas Barnard.

It now seems sensible that Joan’s children by her marriage to William might be considered John’s children after he married Joan. In particular, Joan’s daughter Joan could have actually been William’s daughter. This matter is taken up under her heading, and a daughter Joan to John has been eliminated.

The passage of property now works correctly according to the Land Occupation Document and lands mentioned in the wills. 

Roberts group

Robert's group is clearly associated with William d1553 as his mother-in-law (actually his step mother) Joan Barnard is named in William's will in conjunction with Robert son of Robert.

The Land Occupation document endorses this with land in 1553 being surrendered from William to Robert; it also suggests Robert was next in line after Thomas and William, i.e. Robert was the youngest of the three brothers.

The fact that this land was 'surrendered' and did not 'descend' suggests their father William either passed it on or died intestate. The former has been adopted as correct since it seems William had further children after this year. The land then passed to "Robert" as the Land Occupation document states at that time, and not Robert s/o Robert.

Since a Robert died in 1555 (Wargrave BMD) yet in 1562 the land was surrendered to Thomas by a Robert, the 1555 death has to be Robert the father. This is endorsed by William's will of 1553 stipulating "Robert, son of Robert", as both were then still living.

Then after Robert the father had died, in 1562 land was surrendered from Robert (which must be the son) back to Thomas his cousin. The son was aged about 22, seemingly still single, and probably died intestate. However, Thomas died later that year, and the land passed again via Thomas' wife to their son Gilbert when he became 21 according to the terms of Thomas' will.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

John Abeare (<1434 - >1496)

The Record of the Descent of Land Occupation BRO D/EN M7 names this John in association with five properties as follows:

 

A Toft & a yard land called SAWELAND and 4 acres permanent? in Bycroft

10 H7 (1495) Surrendered by the same name and 10 acres in Northkenfield to Willm Abeare by John his father

 

Three acres called Mattely Inninge

11H7(1496) taken vox by Willm Abeare as forfeited by his father John Abeare quia fermit absq…fine F plures Annos

 

Three crofts cont(aining) three acres and 2 acres in ? Southkenfield

Surrendered Downe along with Sawland vot supra from (Willm crossed out) John Abeare 10 H7 (1495) until Gilbert Abeare 5 Elizabeth (1563) F finem – xxii?(fee 22d?)

 

A toft cont(aining) 12 acres called Corke in Woodrow and 2 acres in Southkenfield

Surrendered Downe along with Saweland vot supra from John Abeare 10 H7 (1495) until Gilbert Abeare 5 Elizabeth (1563) F finem – 2s 4d

31 Wainfleet (1478) Surrendered to John Abeare by Willm Gower F ?d

 

A toft & half a yard land voc.? hindland

5 H7 (1490) Surr(endered) to Nicolas Hochen by John Abeare

8 Wainfleet (1455) Surrendered to John Abeare & Alice his wife by John Howe

 

From the above transactions we may deduce that John was one and the same person. Probably aged 21 years or more when he first acquired land and married to Alice ? before 1455, he must have been born in or before 1434.

There is no doubt John and Alice had a son William gen 1W and almost certainly before this a son John, as it was the family custom to name the first son John. It seems doubtful a son John survived, as the properties would have descended to him.

Clearly he died in or after 1496 when he last surrendered an estate.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

 

Generation 1W

 

William Abeare (c1470 - >1526<1542?)

The Record of the Descent of Land Occupation BRO D/EN M7 names this William in association with properties as follows:

 

A Toft & a yard land called SAWELAND and 4 acres permanent? in Bycroft

17 H8  (1526) Surrendered to Thomas Abeare by William his father

10 H7 (1495) Surrendered by the same name and 10 acres in Northkenfield to Willm Abeare by John his father

 

Three acres called Mattely Inninge

Surrendered Downe along with Saweland mot supra from Willm Abeare 17h8? Until Gilbert Abeare 5 Elizabeth-?-

11h7 taken ?op by Willm Abeare as forfeited by his father John Abeare quia fermit absq…fine ? pluret Annos

17 H8  (1526) Permanent pasture from Wm Abear until Gilbert Abear

5 E fee(1563)            20/- 3d

11 H7 20/30 (1496)     Taken by Wm Abear as forfeited by his father John ABear (...?)

 

William is also implied in other transactions through the line of descendancy.

The above references make it clear William was the son of John Abeare. He was probably born c1470 as the Land Occupation document states his mother Alice had married his father before 1455 and Alice may have had a son John before William (as John was the family name) and other previous children. Clearly he lived until at least 1526.

It seems that William married twice, because in the 1553 will of his son William, this son declares himself a bachelor, yet names Joan as his mother-in-law. This a term commonly used in middle English to mean stepmother.

His first wife, whose name is unknown, was probably born in about 1475 because she gave birth to a son Thomas in about 1495. Therefore they probably married around 1495.

A second surviving son William followed, and the year c1510 is chosen to fit accordingly.

A presumed third surviving son Robert was born in about 1515. This year has been chosen to tie in with the year of his first child, 1539.

Two daughters may well have been born to this first marriage for reasons explained under their headings, Agnes perhaps in about 1520 and Margaret around 1525.

It is thought William’s first wife may have died around 1525, for subsequent children were more likely to have been born to Joan ?, William’s second wife. Hence the year of this second marriage may have been around 1530.

The Lay Subsidy lists for Wargrave 1524 & 1525 include a William a Bere and a Thomas a Bere, both taxed on goods. The fact that their names are listed one after the other may indicate that they lived together or next to each other. (Ref :  pg 268 TSBOW also PRO E 179/73/135 & PRO E 179/73/141).

We know from the Land Occupation document that William lived until at least 1526. The surrender of land might indicate he died intestate that year; however two children have been placed within his marriage to Joan for reasons given under their headings. They were Alice and Joan. Their estimated years of birth are both around 1530.

Because of the close association between the children of William and John gen 1J, it seems feasible that, following William’s death, Joan married John in 1542 and gave him children (with apparent difficulty) until 1548. Based on this being true, Joan’s year of birth is estimated to be around 1500, which also reasonably ties up with her death recorded in 1566. This being the case, William certainly must have died before 1542.

John gen 1J died in 1550, and the marriage of Joan Beare to Thomas Bernard is recorded in the Wargrave Parish Register on 1st June 1551.

According to the Wargrave Parish Records Joane Bernard was buried on 22nd December 1566.

 

John A Beyre of Wargrave (c1475 - 1550)

We know a little more of John A Beyre because of the will he left in 1550.

His estimated year of birth of 1475 is based purely on his elder surviving son George’s marriage in 1525, which might suggest that George was born in about 1500.

Following George’s birth to John’s unnamed wife, two other children seem to have followed, namely Anne(s) c1505 and William c1510. John named George and William as his sons in his will, but Anne(s) is named only as Anne(s) A Beyre. Her exact relationship is considered under her heading.

It seems likely John’s first wife died thereafter, as there is a record of a John marrying on 12th November 1542 (Wargrave BMD) when he would have probably been in his sixties. If this is so, his second wife Joan must have been much younger than him to bear four children by 1548. His wife is named Joan Abeare.

William gen 1W’s widow was named Joan and thought to have been born around 1500, so such a marriage does seem possible. Additionally, John’s will and his son George’s will both suggest brother and sister relationships with William’s children. However, it is highly unlikely John and William could have been brothers, for despite Henry VIII getting special dispensation from the Pope when he married Catherine of Aragon, marrying your deceased brother’s widow was unlawful, and remained so until the Deceased Brother’s Widow’s Marriage Act was passed in 1921.

The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1545/1546) includes a John Abber, taxed on Land. (Ref :  pg 269 TSBOW) though this could refer to John A'Bear gen 3J. Strangely, no John is listed in the earlier lists of 1524/1525.

Four children have been attributed to John’s second marriage, namely Joan 1543, Richard 1544, Elizabeth 1546 and Ales (Alice) 1548.

Of these children, there is a record of a Joan Beare’s death three days after her birth, yet a daughter Joan is named in John’s will seven years later. The survivor is taken for now to be his step daughter as John seemed a little forgetful of his daughters in his will. Alternatively, later they may have had a surviving daughter named Joan.

Richard and Elizabeth apparently died in infancy, and these deaths might endorse Joan’s advancing age for childbearing at the time and thereby her approximate year of birth.

 

John’s last will and testament reads as follows: (Ref: CD / BRO / pg 74 TAFOW)

 

Berkshire, 9th April 1550

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, the ix day of April in the fourth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord Edward the sixth by the Grace of God King of England, France and Ireland, defender of the Faith , And in ye earth of the Church of England and also Ireland the supreme head next and medieth under our Saviour Christ. I John A Beyre of the parish of Wargrave in the County of Berks, husbandman, of a whole mind and good remembrance make my Testament or last Will in manner and form following. First, I bequeath my soul to almighty god my creator and to Jesus Christ his only son my redeemer, and my body to be buried in the Churchyard at Wargrave. Item, I bequeath to George my son 41 oxen and one cow bullock. Item, I bequeath to William my son xx of the best trees growing in Pypar's Grove. Item, I bequeath to Alice my daughter a bullock of one year old. Item, I bequeath to Annes A Beyre i ewe and one lamb. Item, to Annes Thelar i ewe and one lamb. Item, to Joan my daughter a sucking calf. Item, to Thomas Gryme one sheep. Item, I bequeath to any daughter that I have unto whom I have gave nothing one lamb. The residue of my goods not given nor bequeathed I give to Joan A Beyre my wife whom I make my whole Executrix to fulfil this my last will or testament and to pay my debts, and to see my body buried.

Witness hereof Richard Spencer, William Monke, Richard Fretten (Stretten?), Robert Westwood, Thomas Doglas.

Probate apud Oxon xxx die Octbris anno dni 1550.

 

The spelling of his surname is interesting. It began to change in the next generation to Abere with his son George, after which there is no record of the letter y being used again.

John names three children in his will, and names his current wife as Joan. Richard (c1500 – 1540/1) and Francis (c1500 – c1540) are not mentioned, suggesting that if they were sons they were no longer living. Son George was the main beneficiary, so presumably the elder living son.

Annes Thelar is mentioned. She cannot be a married daughter to John, for he names his daughter Annes A Beyre. She is also named in the 1553 will of William gen 2W, further supporting the notion of a close link with this branch.

Of the witnesses to his will, a William Monke appears in the 1524/1525 Lay Subsidy listing, and a Richard Stretten and a Robert Doglas appear in the 1545/1546 listing.

We may deduce that John’s main farming interest was in the rearing of cattle, which he handed on to George, his elder living son. That John owned land known as Pypar’s Grove in Wargrave is significant, as it is passed down through his son George.

John died in 1550, being buried on 17th June at Wargrave, six months after making his will.

It is thought John’s widow Joan subsequently married Thomas Bernard as there is a Wargrave record to this effect dated 1st June 1551.

 

Francis a Bere (c1480 - <1541)

The only known record of Francis’s existence is the Lay Subsidy list for Wargrave in 1524/1525 where he appears as a wage-earner. (Ref :  pg 268 TSBOW).

He is not named in John A Beyre’s will of 1550, but could be a son if he died before this will was written. His name does not appear in the 1545/1546 Lay Subsidy list, nor does he appear in the burial records that began in 1541.

 

Richard a Bere (c1480 – 1540/1)

The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1524/1525) and that of the following year include a Richard a Bere taxed on Goods. (Ref :  pg 268 TSBOW). He is not named in John A Beyre’s will of 1550, but could be a son if he died before this will was written. He does not appear in the 1545/1546 Lay Subsidy list. A Richard Abeare appears in the burials list for 16th Jan 1541, followed by a Sybble nine months later on 16th October 1541. It is possible they were married, so Sybble has been placed here.

Richard is also copied from the Stanley A’Bear tree, which shows descendants Richard (c1529 – 1585) married to Ann Inglass with a daughter Elizabeth (1551 - ?). No records have been found for these descendants, so they have been omitted for now.

  

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 2W

 

Thomas Abere (c1495 – 1544)

Thomas is placed as a son of William (gen 1W) as he is named as such in the Record of the Descent of Land Occupation:

17 H8  (1526) Surrendered to Thomas Abeare by William his father

He is also implied within the transition of several properties as they were surrendered from his father William through to Thomas’s grandson Gilbert.

Because of his inheritance it seems Thomas was William’s eldest son.

He named William as a brother in his 1544 will along with his sister’s son named Fessy who is taken to be Margaret Feise’s son.

Presumably Thomas married around 1520, for two sons Thomas (c1520) and William (1522) are named in his will of 1544. However his wife is not mentioned, so she presumably predeceased him. Stanley A’Bear’s tree names Thomas’s wife as Abigail ?, who was buried on 16th January 1542 (Wargrave BMD) but no evidence has been found to substantiate that Abigail was his wife. No daughters are mentioned in his will. He would probably have remembered any that had still been living.

The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1524/1525) and that of the following year include a Thomas a Bere and a William a Bere. The fact that their names are listed one after the other may indicate that they lived together or next to each other. Since Thomas’s father was still living in 1525 this is more likely to refer to father and son than Thomas and his brother William. (Ref : pg 268 TSBOW)

His will reads as follows: (Ref: CD / BRO / pg 74 TAFOW)

Berkshire, 7th August 1544

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, the vii day of August in the year of our lord god MCCCCCXLIIII, I Thomas Abere of the parish of Wargrave being whole of mind and sick of Body maketh this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following. First, I bequeath my soul unto Almighty God and to our blessed Lady Saint Mary and to all the Holy Company of Heaven and my body to be buried within the Churchyard of our Lady in Wargrave. Item, I bequeath to the mother Church of Sarum iid. Item, I bequeath to the High Altar of Our Lady in Wargrave aforesaid for tythes once gently forgotten iiiid. I bequeath to William my son half a house lying in Kynghin. And also of mine grounds lying in Twyford. If so be that Thomas my son and William die without issue then I will what shall remain to my Godson (Thomas -crossed out) Fessy my sister's son and to his heirs. Item, I bequeath to my sister xls. Item, I bequeath to John Lovewell £5. Item, I bequeath to William Abere my brother a part of wheat and a part of barley. The Residue of my goods not bequeathed I give and bequeath them unto Thomas my son and William to be divided equally betwixt them both by the council of Thomas Battell and Thomas Tame whom I do ordain and make them my executors and they to have for their painstaking each of them xvis viiid apiece. And Christopher Battell to be my overseer. These men bearing my witness John Lovewell and Christopher Battell and Thomas Abere.

Of these executors, Thomas Tame is listed immediately after his son Thomas Aber in the 1545/1546 Lay Subsidy (Ref : pg 269 TSBOW). This might endorse the notion that the subsidy lists were made on a geographical basis, and Thomas Tame was Thomas Aber’s neighbour. Thomas Gonnell is listed immediately before Thomas Aber, so perhaps Battell should read Gonnell?

Thomas stated that he was ill, and he was buried three days after making this will at Wargrave on 10th August 1544.

The Wargrave burials list (below) tells us that no less than seven members of the family had died during the previous three weeks, so no wonder he was careful to make provision in case either of his sons died. In fact his son William died and was buried the same day as Thomas, making a total of nine deaths altogether, but his other son Thomas survived. The burials list for 1544 tells us the order in which the family members were buried:

 

18-Jul

1544

Agnes*

21-Jul

1544

Joan

23-Jul

1544

Nicholas

26-Jul

1544

Isabelle

4-Aug

1544

Joan

5-Aug

1544

Jane

6-Aug

1544

Robert

10-Aug

1544

Thomas

10-Aug

1544

William

 

This span of three weeks suggests that a disease was the cause of these deaths.

His son Thomas had himself married and had three children of which two had just perished, possibly with their mother. Considering the obvious virulence of the disease, one has to wonder if the witnesses of Thomas’s will managed to survive.

From his will, we may suppose that Thomas had only these two sons living at the time.

Thomas seems to have been building a house for his family in Kynghin, and by 1544 had lands in Twyford, a village only two miles from Wargrave. Though Thomas died, clearly many if not all of his brothers and sisters survived, so presumably he was already living away from them in his half-built house or elsewhere at this time.

All these estates descended to his son Thomas in 1545.

 

William A Bere (c1510 – 1553)

That this William is a double for William (c1510 – 1556) gen 2J has now been discounted. Apart from the reasons outlined under the other William’s heading, this William certainly died in 1553 but another William is recorded in the Wargrave burial list in the year 1556, so he seems to be another person.

This William names his stepmother as Joan Barnard in his will of 1553 indicating his true mother had died and his father had remarried Joan. (Joan married Thomas Bernard in 1551). Thus he must have been born to his father’s first wife. He was probably born after his brother Thomas, as Thomas inherited his father’s lands.

William also names his sisters in his 1553 will, Joan A Beare, Margaret Feise, Agnes A Beare and Aves (Alice) Wilbor and possibly Annes Taylor. Three years earlier, John gen 1J named his daughters Alice, Joan and possibly Annes A Beyre and Annes Thelar and “any other daughters”. This endorses the notion that William’s stepmother Joan married John gen 1J before marrying Thomas Bernard.  

[The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1524/1525) and that of the following year include a William a Bere and a Thomas a Bere. The fact that their names are listed one after the other may indicate that they lived together or next to each other. (Ref :  pg 268 TSBOW). This probably referred to William a Bere the father, since he lived beyond 1525].

When William’s brother Thomas died in 1544, Thomas’s properties passed down to Thomas’s sons, and William only seems to have inherited a part of wheat and a part of barley.

 

William’s will of 1553 reads as follows: (Ref: CD / BRO / pg 74 TAFOW)

Wargrave, Berkshire, 7th February 1553

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, the viith day of FEBRUARY in the viith year of the reign of our sovereign Edward the vith by the grace of God King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and in earth of the Church of England and also Ireland the supreme Head. I William A Beare of Harehatch in the parish of Wargrave in the County of Berks, bachelor, of a whole mind and good remembrance make my testament or last will in manner and form following. First, I bequeath my soul to Almighty God my maker, creator and redeemer and my body to the earth to be buried. Item, I bequeath to Joan A Bere my sister a brown cow and iii ewes and iii lambs and a coffer. Item, I bequeath to Agnes A Beare my sister a bullock of one year old, ii bushels of wheat and ii bushels of malt. Item, I give to my sister Margaret Feise one bullock of ii years old. Item, to Annes Taylor a white faced bullock. Item, to Alice A Beare ii ewes and ii lambs. Item, to Annes Barnard ii ewes and ii lambs. Item, to Sybil Webb and Julia Webbe one ewe and one lamb betwixt them. Item, to Robert Westward one bushel of wheat. Item, I give and bequeath to Robert A Beare the son of Robert A Beare ii acres of free land lying in South Kenefields after the death of Joan Barnard my mother-in-law, moreover I give and bequeath to my ii sisters Aves Wilbor and Margaret Feise xiiii acres of free land being within the parish of Wargrave equally divided betwixt them and the heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten and if they both decease without heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten then to return to my sister Joan A Beare and her heirs. The residue of my goods and lands not given nor bequeathed I give to Aves Wilbor and Margaret Feise my sisters whom I make my full executors to execute and fulfil this my last will and testament and to pay my debts and see my body buried.

Witness hereof Richard Spensar, Ralf Newbery, Richard Stretten, William Gonnell, Thomas Gonall. Thomas Dowglas.

Probatu suit her testamentum apud Reading xv die Aprilis Anno Edwardi Sexti Septimo.

Of these witnesses, Richard Stretten, William Gonnell and Thomas Gonnell are named in the 1545/1546 Lay Subsidy list, all taxed on Goods (Ref : pg 269 TSBOW). However, William himself was not listed, despite being a landowner by the time of his death only a few years later.

William’s will tells us he died a bachelor. The term ‘bachelor’ in the 16th century could be used to mean a vassal farmer, a squire, a farm hand, one who tends a grazing farm, a junior member of a guild (i.e. a yeoman) or even a learned person, but the fact that William did not bequeath property in his will to any sons or daughters supports the notion that he remained unmarried.

William declares himself to be living at Harehatch. He names his mother-in-law (step mother) Joan Barnard, a Robert A Beare, son of Robert, who is listed as born in 1539 and taken to be his nephew, and his sisters Joan A Bere, Margaret Feise and Aves Wilbor.

By 1553 William had acquired land – not less than sixteen acres – and he seemed to be ploughing it and sheep farming.

William’s will was proved in 1553, at which time an inventory was made of his belongings. His burial is not listed.

Inventory

Taken upon the Death of William A'BEAR of Harehatch, 1553

The Inventory of all such goods and chattels as were lately belonging to William A Beare of the parish of Wargrave in the County of Berks, deceased, seen and praised the ix day of April in the seventh year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King Edward the Sixth by Ralph Neubery, Thomas Barnard, William Gonell and Thomas Gonell.

First, one coat, one doublet, one pair of hose and ii sheets praised at.............................................................………………………………………………….…. 6s8d
Item, ii bushels of malt........................................................................................................................................... 3s4d
Item, one cow and one heifer, one bullock and one calf......................................................................................…………………….……………. 33s0d
Item, iii bushels of wheat........................................................................................................................................ 3s10d
Item, ix ewes and ix lambs........................................................................................................................................ 20s4d
Item, v tegs....................................................................................................................……............... 8s4d
Item, a coffer........................................................................................................................................ 9d
Item, vi bushels of barley....................................................................................................................................... 6s0d
Item, the third part of an acre of wheat....................................................................................................................………..….. 2s0d
Sum.......................................................................................................................................... £3.23s10d
   
These be the debts that the aforesaid William did owe at the time of his death.  
   
First, to Master Robert Gayer........................................................................................................……....................... £3.6s8d
Item, to Thomas Barnard.................................................................................................................................... 20s0d
Item, to James Wylbore................................................................................................................................... 10s5d
Item, to Nicholas Feysse....................................................................................................................................... 4s2d
   
Sum.......................................................................................................................................... £5.15s0d

Amongst those named are Thomas Barnard his stepmother’s new husband, James Wylbore his sister Alice’s husband and Nicholas Feysse his sister Margaret’s husband.

 

Robert A Beyre (c1515 – 1555)

(See also the rationale above)

Robert does not appear in the Stanley A’Bear tree.

Robert’s estimated year of birth is based on his inheritance from William, suggesting he was younger than William, and it ties in with his first child’s year of birth, 1539.

It is not entirely certain if Robert was born within William’s first marriage, or his second marriage to Joan.

Considering Joan’s estimated year of birth (1500), Robert would have been born when she was very young.

Robert’s son was bequeathed land by his ‘brother’ William in 1553 upon his stepmother Joan Barnard’s later death, so it would seem he wanted land to revert to his next of kin, endorsing Robert’s placement as a son of William. At that time William had no other brothers and no family, so Robert as a brother or stepbrother would have been his next of kin.

Robert is not named as a son to John (c1475 – 1550) in John’s will of 1550 (when Robert was still living), so not only was he probably not John’s son, but also probably not John’s second wife Joan’s son.

Despite the fact that his brother Thomas did not leave anything to Robert in his will of 1544, altogether it seems more likely he was a son born during William’s first marriage, and this also agrees with subsequent placements.

The condition imposed in brother William's will that Robert s/o Robert inherits only after his step mother's death may have been a precaution against Robert the father dying before his mother, in which case Robert the son may have received nothing.

Robert presumably married Alice ? around 1535 and had four children. The Wargrave Baptisms list names a Robert in 1539 “son of Robert”, an Alice in 1542 “daughter of Robert” and a Margaret in 1550 “daughter of Robert”. The baptism of another suspected daughter Jane is not recorded, though her death was recorded as a daughter of Robert in 1559. She is thought to be another daughter of Robert the father since no marriage is recorded for Robert son of Robert.

The 1545 Wargrave tax return held under ref  E179/73/168 in the National Archives (mentioned on TSBOW page 269) names a Robert Abeer, presumably this Robert.

It must have been Robert the father's daughter Alice who died in 1547 as his wife produced again in 1550.

According to the Descent of Land Occupation, Robert inherited property from his (likely) brother William in 1553:

primo Marie (1553) Surrendered to Robert Abeare by Willm Abeare

A Robert also appears in the Land Occupation document dated 1562:

4 Eliz 12d (1562) Surrendered to Thomas Abeare by Robert Abeare

The Wargrave burials list names a Robert Beare on 24th May 1555, which must therefore have been the father, so this land occupation reference is taken to be Robert’s son, Robert.

 Alice “wife of Robert” was buried on 17th January 1559, six weeks before their daughter Jane.

 

Agnes A Beare (c1520 – 1572)

Agnes’s estimated year of birth is chosen to be contemporary with her sisters, but is uncertain.

Indeed it is uncertain that Agnes’s father was William and not John (c1475 – 1550), but she was not named as such in John Abeare’s will of 1550 (although he mentioned “any other daughters”) but she is named as sister Agnes A Beare along with Margaret, Joan, Alice and others in William’s will of 1553. She was therefore presumably unmarried in this year and died later than this year, and has been placed with her sisters accordingly.

There is a Wargrave burial record for an Agnes Beare on 31st December 1572.

 

Margaret Abere (c1525 – 1602?)

It is difficult to ascertain whether Margaret’s father was William or John (c1475 – 1550). John does not name her in his will of 1550, though he does indicate he had other daughters. She is named as a sister with the surname Feise to William (c1510 – 1553) gen 2W in his will. As is discussed later, when her sister Alice died, Margaret found herself evicted by the grandson of John (c1475 – 1550) gen 1J, and it seems less likely he would do this to his aunt than someone less closely related, so she is placed here. This seems all the more likely if she was a daughter to father William’s first marriage, not the daughter of Joan. On the other hand, William’s first wife could well have been fifty years old or more in 1525, perhaps rather late to be still producing children.

Margaret’s estimated year of birth is calculated from two facts. According to the will of Thomas Abeare in 1544 she had a son by then, and according to the document below it seems she lived until 1602. An earlier year of birth would make her lifespan very long.

In 1544 Thomas Abeare gave her surname as Fessy and indicated that her son (his Godson) was named Thomas. In 1553 a Nicholas Feysse is also listed in William’s inventory, perhaps Margaret’s husband or close relative.

The surname Feysse does not appear in the 1545/1546 Lay Subsidy list, but the 1524/1525 list names a Robert Feysey, a Richard Fese and a Thomas Fese (Feysey) (Ref : pg 268 TSBOW).

Margaret therefore would have married Nicholas? Feysse before 1544, and must have died after 1553 when William’s will was written. Further evidence suggests she lived much longer.

Margaret is named in two closely related documents held at the National Archives, apparently filed incorrectly under ref C6/296/6 Child v Abeare.

Page 1 of 5 (below) concerns a revisited Bill of Complaint lodged by Margaret’s son, Thomas Worsley, against a John Abeare. John’s answers to these allegations, Page 2 of 5, is filed under John Abeare (c1535 – 1616), and the two documents read together confirm relationships and give an insight into a family dispute regarding rightful inheritance of land.

Clearly Margaret and her sister Alice acquired such land from their younger sister Joane Abeare upon Joane’s death some time before 1570. This land seems to have originally been bequeathed according to the terms of the will of their brother William Abeare in 1553, when it was to be shared between them. Then in 1570 Alice died and Margaret claimed Alice’s share, which she held for some time until John Abeare evicted her, claiming the land himself. John’s bone of contention seems to have been that the term ‘shared’ meant dividing the land between the sisters as opposed to it being jointly shared and that, as the closest descendant, he was now entitled to it. Margaret could not pursue her claim due to the impoverished state she found herself in, and died, so it seems, in about 1602. Fourteen years later in July 1616 Thomas, himself poor, took up the case again. Thomas accused John of withholding vital evidence that proved his mother’s (and hence his) rightful ownership, and added that John was born illegitimately to his father George, so that in any case his claim was unlawful.

The timing of Thomas’s claim was significant, as that same month John Abeare made his will, dying a few weeks later. It seems John’s son, John Abeare the Younger, represented his father in the original case, causing further dissatisfaction; this was probably because father John was already elderly, but no doubt his son had a keen interest too.

Thomas further supported his claim by stating that Alice had no children, but page 2 of this document names Thomas’s cousin Mary Wilborne of Ruscombe, who John considered should have originally had an interest in this claim. One would naturally take this to be Alice’s daughter, supported by the fact that Alice’s married name was transcribed as Wilbor in her brother William’s will of 1553. The outcome of the hearing is at present unknown.

Thomas’s surname seems to have changed from Fessy to Worsley, so perhaps Margaret remarried and Thomas adopted the new surname.

No record in the Wargrave Parish Register for Margaret’s burial under the surnames Feise or Fessy has been found.

Page 1

July 1616

...................and ........... the said Margaret about .... years? -?- exhibited her Bill of Complaint? at the ........... where Willm? Abeare -?- -?- -?- aforesaid? deceased -?- -?- in the said ............. demesne? as -?- she -?- and in ........ and her -?- or -?- of -?- land -?- and -?- by .....lying and -?- within the Parish of Wargrave aforesaid commonly? called and -?- to the name of ..arthbye?

And ........... of -?- ten acres of -?- and eighty? -?- -?- of the Manor of Wargrave aforesaid -?- -?- to the -?- -?- same -?- -?- the -?- -?- with this said -?-. And that being so seized? after -?- Abeare made a? testament in writing that by the same year and ........Alice -?- of one .......... and to? this? Margaret -?- -?- -?- thereof -?- whereby -?- -?- of the said Willm? Abeare her? mother? and to the heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten and for? -?- of such issue to Joane? Abeare his younger sister did take, belonged and died thereof so seized?, and that after? her decease the said Alice and Margaret -?- the -?- unto all and singular the bequeathed -?- and the same held and lawfully and right? was? for them so to do until about the eighteenth? year of the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth (c1570) the said Alice? -?- died without any issue of her body begotten. And thereto? after? her decease all the said -?- and other the before mentioned -?- and lands? of the said -?- did rightfully come to the said Margaret by the said devise and that? the said Margaret was duly admitted? to the said copyhold? land at a Court holden at the said Manor in the said eighteenth year accordingly.

And continuing and seized? and possessed? of the same for many years as was ...full and right -?- her to do, until she was wrongfully expulsed? from the same by the said John Abeare who was the bastard son of George Abeare deceased, which said George was brother of the said Willm which said John Abeare likewise? ensuelly came? into? the possession? all the ..icient evidence, writings and -?- which did -?- the said bequeathed premises? and did plainly -?- the -?- estate of the said Margaret therein with evidence ........... the said John Abeare hath detained and then did deter -?- the same ...fully and wrongfully kept from the said Margaret at the time of the exhibition of the said bill.

And that afterward the said John Abeare suppressed? and consented? -?- the said will and hath taken the rent and profits of all the premises -?- of three acres and a half of the same land whether she had built a prete? cottage whereby the the? said Margaret was so poor as she was not able to pursue against the said John Abeare for the remedy of the premises -?- she were admitted to sue? in -?- pains?

And therefore to prove her title and to disprove the defended title of the said John Abeare and to -?- the said evidence she did complain, and was admitted to sue? in -?- -?- and -?- -?- against the said John Abeare to -?- the premises whereby the said John Abeare made -?- in the said Court of Chancery -?- denying the said -?- and alleging? himself to be the lawful son of the said John Abeare and so justified his -?- and detained? of the evidence whereto the said Margaret in her lifetime replied and were at issue upon the material? print? of the said bill and writing. And thereupon were sundry? witness? duly -?- and published in? the said Court of Chancery in the said -?- between? the said -?- -?- on the behalf of the said Margaret as on the behalf of the said John Abeare as by the said bill -?- -?- and -?- remaining -?- to the said Court of Chancery doth more at large appear -?- -?- exceeding. and about fourteen years -?- last -?- the said Margaret died ye poor orator? being her son and heir by reason whereof the said bill and -?- exceeding were and are abated.

And for -?- upon her decease the said -?- in -?- descended to her? orator? as son and heir of the said Margaret and also son and heir of the body of the said Margaret. And so of right the same and all the said evidence whatsoever? detained by the said John Abeare do -?- in right apply? to her orator. It? may hereso? -?- ye? Lordship in pity and compassion towards ye orator being a both poor man? that the said -?- bill -?- all? the exceedingly? the -?- may stand and be delivered? in such state as the same were at the time of the decease of ye? orated said mother.

And that it -?- please his Lordship to grant to ye? this poor orator his -?- -?- of -?- to be directed to -?- the said John Abeare -?- -?- -?- thereby at a? certain day and under a certain? pain therein? to be limited ...with to be made? -?- -?- before ye Lordship in this -?- -?- Court of Chancery -?- and there to answer the -?- and ........... the said -?- all and -?- -?- not stand in -?- to be revived. And further to stand to and -?- -?- other and further -?- and -?- -?- the -?- -?- to -?- Lordship shall -?- to stand with right, equity and good conscience. And ye orator shall -?- pray for the -?- of ye -?-

Signed: John Lowe/Love?

 

Alice (Aves) A Beare (c1530 – 1570)

It is difficult to place Alice with certainty, as she could have been the daughter of William or John (c1475 – 1550). Both Alice A Beare and sister Aves Wilbor are mentioned in her brother William’s will of 1553, so there seems to be a distinction here. On the other hand a daughter Alice is bequeathed a bullock in John’s will. It seems as though John had a daughter named Alice born in 1548 during his second marriage, so it seems more likely this Alice (Aves Wilbor) was a daughter to William. She is also named as a sister to Margaret in the document detailed under her heading.

According to the same document, Alice was remembered by William (c1510 – 1556) who was the son of John, therefore it seems more likely she was the daughter of William’s second marriage to Joan who, it is believed, became John’s second wife. She would then have had a closer family tie with John’s family.

Alice’s estimated year of birth is chosen to be contemporary with her sister Margaret only because they jointly shared land. Alice died much earlier than Margaret, perhaps suggesting she was born before her; but if Margaret was a daughter within William’s first marriage and Alice was a daughter within William’s second marriage then Alice has to be the younger sister.

A James Wylbore, possibly her husband, is also named in William’s inventory of 1553. If there was a marriage in Wargrave it was probably before 1539 as there is no record in the Parish marriage list.

The documents discussed under the heading of her sister Margaret Abeare (c1525 – 1602?) are contrary, suggesting both that she had no issue, and also that she had a daughter Mary Wilborne. The surnames Wylbore and Wilborne match well.

Alice clearly must have died after 1553, the year of William’s will, and the document mentioned indicates her death occurred in 1570.

There is no record in the Wargrave Parish Register for James Wilbor’s burial.

 

Joan A Beare (c1530 – >1553<1570)

It is uncertain if Joan’s father was William (c1460 - >1526) or John (c1475 – 1550).

She is named as a daughter in the 1550 will of John Abear (c1475 – 1550) in which she is bequeathed a suckling calf, in George’s will of 1552 as his sister and ‘to her marriage’ indicating she was then a spinster, and she is named as sister Joan A Bere in William’s will of 1553. The common link is that she must have been Joan’s daughter for such a close association with both family groups.

Based on Margaret’s estimated year of birth Joan may well have been born around 1530. This is because a Joane? Abeare is named in the document discussed under Margaret Abeare (c1525 – 1602?) in which she is stated to be a younger sister to both Margaret and Alice. This further supports the notion that William was her father, because Joan did not marry John until 1542. Additionally, it is thought John named a daughter Joan in 1543, and it seems unlikely he would have done this if he already had a daughter named Joan.

This Joan could not have been the Joan who married Thomas Barnard as she was named with her maiden name in her brother’s will of 1553, two years after this marriage.

Joan must have died after 1553 to be named in her brother’s will, and the document mentioned above indicates that she died in possession of land inherited from her brother William prior to 1570 by which time it had passed to her sisters Margaret & Alice.

No corresponding Wargrave burial record has yet been found.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

 Generation 2J

 

George A Beare / A Bere (c1500 – 1577)

George’s estimated year of birth fits with his marriage to Joanne Brown(e) in 1525. They certainly had two children John (c1535 – 1616) and Celice (>1541 - ?), and seem to have had a son Henry born before 1541.

George does not appear in Wargrave Lay Subsidy lists, which might suggest his homestead was outside this area. Indeed, he states in his will that he is resident in the parish of St Lawrence.

George inherited 41 oxen and a cow bullock from his father in 1550. Two years later he made the following will, which was proven in 1577: (Ref: CD / BRO / pg 74 TAFOW)

St.Lawrence, Reading, Berkshire, 24th June 1552

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, the xiiiith day of June and in ye iiii year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord Edward the Sixth. I George A Bere of ye parish of St. Lawrence in Reading in ye diocese of Sarum, whole mind and good in remembrance thanks be to God make my testament in manner and form followeth. First, I commend my soul to Almighty God and to all ye holy company of heaven and my body to be buried in ye churchyard of Saint Lawrence aforesaid. Item, I give and bequeath to John A Bere my son and mine heir all my Lands, meadows, grounds and pastures lying within the parish of Wargrave. Item, I will that my father-in-law John Browne of Mapledurham shall have ye custody and keeping of my son John until he be of ye age of xx years, that is to say to be kept with ye afore named John Browne at all manner of finding until ye said age of xx years be past and the said John Browne to have all his land in keeping and he to look to all manner of reparations and perfect and the divers the Lord and King to ye use of ye said John A Bere. Item, I will that my father-in-law John Browne shall so delivered unto my brother William A Bere xx of ye best oaks within Pipers Grove at any time within this iii years. Item, I bequeath to Celice my daughter iiii sheep when she shall be of x years of age and the afore named John Browne my father-in-law to buy them for her and she to set them forth to her most perfect when she shall think best. Item, I will that my father-in-law shall fell and cut down all the rest of Pipers Grove to the maintenance and repairing of my house and lands and if ye said John Browne my father-in-law should find any timber in any plot of my grounds he shall fell them to ye reparation of ye said house and fell ye logs and tops also to ye said use. Item, I give and bequeath to Thomas Core my best coat and also a tod of wood, he paying for felling and carrying. Item, I bequeath to Thomas Grymmes of Twyford a tod of wood, he paying for felling and carrying. Item, I bequeath to my sister Annes against her marriage a bushel of wheat and a bushel of malt. Item, I bequeath to my sister Joan to her marriage a bushel of wheat and a bushel of malt. The residue of all my moveable goods I give and bequeath to Joanne my wife to pay my debts, to bury me on earth and to pray for my soul. Also, I make, ordain and constitute John A Bere my son and mine heir my executor. And also, I make ye said John Browne my father-in-law supervisor of this my Last will and Testament performed and fulfilled these witnessing: John Knight, John Davy, John Browne, Nicholas Thorne, Nicholas Noryshs, Richard A Dene, clerk.

Probatum apud 1577.  

By 1552 George seems to have established quite a holding, for he declares he has lands, meadows, grounds and pastures in Wargrave.

Pipers Grove is mentioned in this will as it was by his father, and this may some day give a further clue as to where his family lived exactly.

When he died twenty-five years later in 1577, an inventory was taken of his belongings. It reads as follows:

Inventory taken upon the Death of George A'BEAR of Reading, 1577

The Inventory of ye goods of George A Bere made ye iiiith year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Edward the Sixth.

In primis, ii pots, ye price.............................................................................................................…......................... 8s0d
Item, a cauldron......................................................................................................…......................... 5s0d
Item, a pair of sheet..............................................................................................................…....................... 4d
Item, ii bowls..................................................................................................................….................. 12d
Item, vi dishes, vi spoons.................................................................................................................…................. 6d
Item, a coat.........................................................................................................................….............. 10s0d
Item, a doublet..................................................................................................................…............... 3s4d
Item, a pair of hose.........................................................................................................................……......... 3s4d
Item, a cape............................................................................................................................….......... 20d
Item, a shirt...............................................................................................................................……... 2s0d
Sum Total..............................................................................................................................……... 38s10d

It seems George had retained only the basic essentials at the time of his death, presumably because he had already handed on all his other belongings to his son John (who had by then married and had seven children) and his daughter Celice.

Since his wife Joanne is mentioned in his will, she must have died after 1552. Indeed, she probably died after 1577 as George would have wanted to rewrite his will.

 

Anne(s) A Beyre (c1505 – >1552)

It is difficult to be certain whether Anne(s) was a daughter to William or John (c1475 – 1550). She is named in John Abeare’s will of 1550 as Annes A Beyre, though not specifically as a daughter. George though, in 1552, bequeaths bushels of wheat and malt to his sister Annes against her marriage. She was not named in William’s will of 1553 when Agnes, Joane, Margaret & Alice were all remembered. So on balance she is placed as John’s daughter.

Anne(s) year of birth is difficult to ascertain. She has been given a year contemporary with George which places her as a daughter of John’s first marriage. There being no baptism record for her this seems more likely.

Together the references above indicate she was still a spinster in 1552.

She could not have married to become Annes Taylor as she was named separately in both John’s will of 1550 and William’s will of 1553. However an Annes Barnard is also mentioned. By then, though, it is believed her mother Joan had remarried to become Joan Barnard, so Annes Barnard may have been, for example, a sister-in-law to Joan.

 

William A Beare (c1510 – 1556)

This William is not considered to be a double for William (c1510 – 1553) gen 2W, even though their dates are remarkably similar. The reason for this is that William was named as a son to John (c1475 – 1550) in John’s will. The William who died in 1553 is named as a brother to Thomas, who was the son of William. Whether or not John married William’s widow Joan, they would not even be stepbrothers because Thomas’s year of birth is too early to be a son to Joan and so he must have been born to William’s first wife.

William’s year of birth is uncertain. Being the second named son in his father’s will of 1550 might suggest he was younger than George. He must have been born to John’s first wife as his second marriage was only eight years earlier, making William too young to be bequeathed twenty trees in Pipers Grove without the provision of his coming of age.

William was also remembered in his brother George’s will of 1552 in which he would have received another twenty trees in Pipers Grove upon George’s death in 1577 had he lived that long.

There is a Wargrave burial record for a William Beare on 26th September 1556.

This William is named as a brother to George in a Bill of Complaint issued by Thomas, the son of Margaret (c1525 – 1602?). In this bill it seems that this William’s land was bequeathed firstly to Joane, a younger sister to Margaret and Alice. It is known these two sisters took possession in 1570, so a year of death of 1556 does appear likely.

It was thought this William might be Wyllyam A Bere de Londres, but his religious connections and geographical location probably link Wyllyam to the Aberes of London. See “Other Groups”.

 

Joan A’Bear (1543 – 1543)

Joan was baptised at Wargrave on 17th November 1543 “daughter of John”. There being no other known John she is placed here, supported by the possible marriage of her father to her mother Joan a year earlier, and their first daughter being named after her mother. She shares the same surname spelling as her sisters Elizabeth and Ales (Alice).

It seems feasible it was her burial that was recorded three days later on 20th November 1543, listed as Joan Beare.

 

Richard A’Bear (1544 – 1545)

Richard was baptised at Wargrave on 23rd January 1544 “son of John”. There being no other known John, he is placed here as a second child to his father and mother Joan following their marriage in 1542. This baptism follows only two months after his sister Joan’s baptism, and he is the only sibling whose father is not marked with an asterisk indicating a different spelling of the surname. These anomalies might suggest an error in Richard’s placement.

A Richard Beare was buried at Wargrave on 12th September 1545; this is a likely match as he is not named in his father’s will of 1550.

 

Elizabeth A’Bear (1546 – 1547)

Elizabeth was baptised at Wargrave on 11th November 1546 “daughter of John”. There being no other known John, she is placed here as a third child to her father and mother Joan following their marriage in 1542. She shares the same surname spelling as her sisters Joan and Ales (Alice).

An Elizabeth Abeare was buried on 14th May 1547; this is a likely match as she is not named in her father’s will of 1550.

 

Ales (Alice) A Beyre (1548 – >1552)

This Alice does not appear to be a duplicate of Aves (Alice) (c1520 - 1570) as this other Alice seemed to be married by 1553.

Alice was baptised at Wargrave on 13th January 1548 “daughter of John”. There being no other known John, she is placed here as a fourth child to her father and mother Joan following their marriage in 1542. She shares the same surname spelling as her sisters Joan and Elizabeth.

Alice is named as a beneficiary in her father’s will of 1550 named simply as ‘Alice my daughter’. Without a surname it is presumed she had not married by then.

An Alice A Beare, not declared to be a sister, is also named in the will of her brother William (c1510 – 1553). However she is not named in her brother George’s will of 1552.

There is no Wargrave burial record for an Aves or Alice A’Bear suggesting she may in time have married.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

 

Generation 3

 

Rationale

At this juncture decisions have to be made as to how the tree progresses. Both Thomas (c1520 – 1562) and George’s descendants are named, and clues are given in their wills as to their approximate years of birth. Both have a son named John, and the problem to sort out is which John A’Bear should be attributed to which man.

Three likely candidates for these two Johns are:

John c1535 –1616 md Mary Bear in 1570, gen 3J.

John c1525 - 1572 md Alice c 1530 – 1578 who lived in Henley. Group 5

John 1562 – 1639 md Agnes Symmons in 1585, gen 4W.

In George’s will dated 1552, his son John has not yet reached the age of twenty years, and so must have been born after 1531, but no later than 1552. Only the first two candidates above could be George’s son.

Looking at the first candidate, John who dies in 1616 married Mary Bear, and declares himself “waxen old”. It would seem reasonable that he was older than 66 when he died, and so was probably born before 1550, say about 1535. This John has had a very prosperous life, developed along the same lines as George. Their wills are similar, and he (in turn) bequeaths Pipers Grove to his son John. Mary Bear, could have been Mary A Beare( c1552 - ?),gen 4W, Thomas’s daughter. She would then have been only a few years younger than this John, and being cousins could have married. Supporting this is the fact that if John born 1562 married Mary, he would have been marrying his sister.

In Thomas’s will, dated 1562, his son Gilbert is favoured before his son John. That Gilbert was the elder brother is also supported by the Land Occupation document in which properties pass down to Gilbert, not John. Both are not yet adult, and so this John must have been born after 1541, but no later than 1562 when the will was written. The third candidate listed above was born in 1562, and fits nicely as a son of Thomas, being younger than Gilbert. Further supporting this notion is the fact that John bequeaths Heaton Meade (in Hurst) just as Thomas did to him.

The remaining candidate is John (c1525 - ?) who lived in Henley. For the time being this John heads Group 5 of the unattached family groups.

 

Generation 3W

 

 

Isabelle A’Bear (c1525 – 1544)

Isabelle is not listed in the Wargrave baptisms list that was begun in 1539, so she was presumably born before this year.

She is placed here as a daughter of Thomas (c1495 – 1544) as she, all but one of her siblings and her father seem to form a group who died within a three week period in 1544. The cause is uncertain, but it was probably an infectious disease.

The burial of Isabelle Abeare is recorded at Wargrave on 26th July 1544.

 

Robert A’Bear (c1525 – 1544)

Robert is not listed in the Wargrave baptisms list that was begun in 1539, so he was presumably born before this year.

He is placed here as a son of Thomas (c1495 – 1544) as he, all but one of his siblings and his father seem to form a group who died within a three week period in 1544. The cause is uncertain, but it was probably an infectious disease.

The burial of Robert Abeare is recorded at Wargrave on 6th August 1544.

 

Joan A’Bear (c1525 – 1544)

Joan is not listed in the Wargrave baptisms list that was begun in 1539, so she was presumably born before this year.

She is placed here as a daughter of Thomas (c1495 – 1544) as she, all but one of her siblings and her father seem to form a group who died within a three week period in 1544. The cause is uncertain, but it was probably an infectious disease.

The burial of Joan Abeare is recorded at Wargrave either on 21st July 1544 or 4th August 1544. The latter is taken as the correct one.

 

Agnes A’Bear (c1525 – 1544)

Agnes is not listed in the Wargrave baptisms list that was begun in 1539, so she was presumably born before this year.

She is placed here as a daughter of Thomas (c1495 – 1544) as she, all but one of her siblings and her father seem to form a group who died within a three week period in 1544. The cause is uncertain, but it was probably an infectious disease.

The burial of Agnes Abeare is recorded at Wargrave on 18th July 1544.

 

Jane A’Bear (c1525 – 1544)

Jane is not listed in the Wargrave baptisms list that was begun in 1539, so she was presumably born before this year.

She is placed here as a daughter of Thomas (c1495 – 1544) as she, all but one of her siblings and her father seem to form a group who died within a three week period in 1544. The cause is uncertain, but it was probably an infectious disease.

The burial of Jane Abeare is recorded at Wargrave on 5th August 1544.

 

Thomas Abere / A Beare (c1520 – 1562)

Thomas’s estimated year of birth is based on his children’s years of birth, and which suggest a marriage in about 1538. The Stanley A’Bear tree names his wife as Grace ?, who died in 1544 but no evidence has been found for this. He and his wife seem to have had three children, namely twins Nicholas (1540 – 1544) and Rainold (1540 – 1541) and then Joan (1544 – 1544).

Thomas’s father seems to have been building a house for his family in Kynghin, and when he died in 1544 held lands in Twyford, a village only two miles from Wargrave.

Thomas, as a son of Thomas is named in the Record of the Descent of Land Occupation:

A Toft & a yard land called SAWELAND and 4 acres permanent? in Bycroft

36 H8  (1545) Descended to Thomas Abeare from Thomas Abeare his father

The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1545/1546) includes a Thomas Aber. (Ref :  pg 269 TSBOW). Thomas Tame and Thomas Battell were named as the executors of his father’s will. Thomas Tame is placed immediately after Thomas Aber, which might endorse the notion that the subsidy lists were made on a geographical basis, i.e. Thomas Tame was Thomas Aber’s neighbour. Thomas Gonnell is listed immediately before Thomas Aber, so perhaps Battell should read Gonnell?  

In about 1548 Thomas must have married Clement ?. There is no Wargrave marriage record, but she is named in his will. It is thought they had five children, Mary (c1552), Anne (1554), Gilbert (1557), John (1562) and Francis (1563). Anne, Gilbert and Frances’s baptisms are listed; Mary and John’s are not.

It seems that by 1562 Thomas had interests in Henley, for his son John was baptised there. John and his daughter Mary are named in his will of that same year.

Thomas’s will reads as follows: (Ref : BRO / p74 TAFOW)

Berkshire, 25th December 1562

IN NOMINE DEI AMEN, the xxvth day of December 1562 Ano Regni Elizabeth Regina quarto, I Thomas A Beare in the parish of Wargrave in ye county of Berks, being sick in body and in perfect and good remembrance God be thanked do make this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form as followeth. First and principally, I bequeath my soul to Almighty God our Lord Jesus Christ by whose death and passion my only trust is to be saved and my body to the earth according as God hath appointed. Item, I give to ye Church of Sarum iid. Also I give to ye poor men's box in our parish aforesaid ivd. Item, I give and bequeath unto Clement my wife my house that I dwell in with all the whole land and house that I have in ye parish of Wargrave aforesaid And one acre of mead ground lying and being in Heaton Mead for the term of xx years next following after my decease, making no spoil upon ye said houses nor of ye Woods. Item, I give and bequeath to Gilbert my son lawfully begotten £vi viiis ivd I will shall be delivered at his full age of xxi years. And I give to ye same Gilbert my son my whole team, that is to say my plough and cart with all ye whole tackling thereto belonging or appertaining which I will shall be delivered when xx years be fully ended after my decease if ye said Gilbert my son do fail before that he come to ye full age as above named, then my will is that his part and person to remain unto John A Bear my son lawfully begotten. And if they doeth fortune both to fail, my mind and will is that it shall then shall remain to the next heir. Also, I give to Gilbert my son one feather bed, bolster, coverlet, ii pairs of sheets and a bedstead. Item, I give and bequeath unto John my son £vi viiis ivd to be delivered at ye full age of xxi years. Item, I give to that child my wife go with all if it do live £vi viiis ivd. Item, I give unto Mary my daughter £vi viiis ivd to be delivered at ye day of her marriage or at xxi years of age. Item, I also give unto Anne my daughter £vi viiis ivd to be delivered at ye day of her marriage or at xxi years of age as above said. The residue of all my goods moveable and unmoveable not bequeathed I give unto Clement my wife whom 1 ordain and make my sole executrix of this my last will and testament performing my legacies and paying my debts provided that I constitute and make to be myne overseers Mr. Gilbert Garret, Robert Pyggott, Thomas Goonhill, Roger Pokok, Richard Webb, and Gilis Jaxson. A suji. 

Amongst the named overseers are Robert Piggot and Thomas Gonnell, both of which are listed in the Lay Subsidy of 1545/1546 (Ref : pg 269 TSBOW). Thomas Gonnell was listed immediately before Thomas Aber, suggesting this list may have been made geographically and Thomas Gonnell was his neighbour.

Thomas's Wargrave burial is listed on 25th December 1562, Christmas Day, the same day his will was written - so he never set eyes on his daughter Frances that his wife Clement was carrying.

Additionally, his son Gilbert never reached the age of twenty-one - so his inheritance passed to Gilbert's younger brother John.

An inventory of Thomas's belongings reads as follows:

Inventory taken upon the Death of Thomas A'BEAR of Wargrave, 1562

1562 Wargrave.
The Inventory of all the goods and chattels of Thomas A Beare, deceased, taken and praised by Thomas Webb, Robert Pygot, Thomas Gonhill and Thomas PowIter ye 29 of December ano Regni Elizabeth regina quarto.

In the Hall.  
In prims, one folding table, one form, a cupboard, a little form and a stool …………. 10s0d
Item, vi kettles, ii cauldrons, a pan …………………………………………………… 18s0d
Item, 3 pots and 2 posnets, 2 stained cloths, 2 spits, 2 andiers, 2 cupboards…………. 15s0d
Item, 3 pothangers, 2 pairs of pot hooks and a dripping pan, 2 trivets, a fire pike, a gridiron and a frying pan……………………………………………………………… 8s8d
Item, xviii pieces of pewter, 2 salt cellars and 3 pewter pots…………………………. 20s0d
vi candlesticks, one latten basin, a spice mortar and a pestle and a chafing dish 6s0d
Item, 3 augers, a wimble, 3 prongs, 2 bills, a hatchet, 3 axes, one iron wedge, a mattock, 2 shoad shovels and a pair of bellows…………………………… 6s0d
In the Chamber.  
Item, 2 feather beds, v bolsters, ii pillows and a flock bed…………………………… £3.0s0d
iii coverlets, an old blanket and iii coffers……………………………………………. 13s4d
Item, viii pairs of sheets and one sheet, a hanging for a bed, 2 table cloths, a towel, 2 pillowberes, 2 napkins and iii bedsteads……………………………………………… 36s4d
Item, iii painted cloths, a black bill, a bow, a sword and a javelin……………………. 6s0d
His Raiment.  
Item, 2 coats, 2 pairs of hose, a fustian doublet, iiii shirts, a hat and an old cloak and a dagger.............. 26s8d
Item, v hogs in bacon and apples……………………………………………………… 35s0d
In ye Buttery.  
Item, a keever and old tubs, 2 old chests, 3 bottles, 2 sacks and 3 bowls…………….. 18s4d
The Kitchen.  
Item, an old oast hair, a yoting vat, a keever, one trough, an old chest……………….. 7s8d
In ye Barn.  
Item, xii bushels of wheat……………………………………………………………... 30s0d
Also, a stack of barley………………………………………………………………… £3.0s0d
A mow of peas………………………………………………………………………… 30s0d
The hay 6s8d
Item, a cart and wheels, a dung pot, an iron rake, a fan, a bushel, a seed cowl, a plough and all to her belonging, a pair of harrows with chains and strodes…….......... 20s0d
Item, 2 oxen……… 53s4d
Item, iiii horses and mares……….. 40s0d
Item, 2 kine, 2 heifers, 2 bullocks and 2 yearlings………… £4.0s0d
Item, xxxv sheep………….. 33s4d
Item, xx hogs great and small………… 30s0d
Item, in his purse in money……………….. 15s0d
Item, certain poultry…………… 4s6d
Sum............................................................................................................................ £34.9s11d

Again, of those appointed to take this inventory, Thomas Webb, Robert Piggot and Thomas Gonnell all appear in the 1545/1546 Lay Subsidy (Ref : pg 269 TSBOW).

Over the years Thomas had built up his homestead in Wargrave. He now had a barn to go with a reasonable dwelling place, and he was farming a variety of livestock as well as working the land. Heaton Meade was a field in Hurst that his son John passed on in his will. Additionally, he still held the estates he had inherited from his father named above.

Following Thomas’s death in 1562, his widow Clement married John Alline on 19th August 1563, recorded in the Wargrave marriages list.

 

William A’Bear (c1525 – 1544)

William is not listed in the Wargrave baptisms list that began in 1539, so was presumably born before this year.

He is placed here as a son of Thomas (c1495 – 1544) as he, all but one of his siblings and his father seem to form a group who died within a three week period in 1544. The cause is uncertain, but it was probably an infectious disease.

The burial of William Abeare is recorded at Wargrave on 10th August 1544.

 

Robert A Beare (1539 – 1562?)

Robert A Beare is named as a son of Robert heading the Wargrave baptisms list on 17th January 1539.

Robert, son of Robert, is named in the will of William (gen 2W) dated 1553 in conjunction with William’s step-mother Joan Barnard, and also appears in the Record of the Descent of Land Occupation document:

 4 Eliz 12d (1562)  Surrendered to Thomas Abeare by Robert Abeare

The fact that Robert surrendered his property to Thomas might suggest he died intestate in 1562, but there is no Wargrave burial record.

See the Rationale at the start of this section substantiating these dates.

 

Alice A Beare (1542 – 1547)

Alice is listed in the Wargrave baptisms as “Ales, daughter of Robert”, 12th January 1542. She was the first daughter and named after her mother.

There is a burial record for an Ales on 22nd April 1547.

 

Margaret A Beare (1550 – ?)

Margaret is listed in the Wargrave baptisms as a daughter of Robert, 4th February 1550. There is no Wargrave marriage record or burial record for her.

 

Jane A Beare (<1555 – 1559)

There is no baptism listed for Jane, but she must have been born before 1555 when her father died. There is no Wargave marriage record, and a burial is listed as “daughter of Robert”, 28th February 1559. Jane’s mother was buried only weeks before this.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 3J

 

John Abeare (c1535 – 1616)

John is considered to be the John Abeare who died in 1616 for reasons given at the start of this 3rd generation. His name does not appear in the Wargrave baptisms list as it began in 1539, and since he died ‘waxen old’ it may be supposed he was born about 1535. He must have been born after 1530 as his father stated that he was under 21 years old in his 1552 will. But he must have been born before 1552 to be named in this will.

The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1545/1546) includes a John Abber, taxed on Land. (Ref :  pg 269 TSBOW). However, unless John was born much earlier, this would more likely refer to John (gen 1J) or John A'Bear (Grp1) or his son (Grp 1).

His marriage to Mary Bear is recorded in the Wargrave marriages list on 26th November 1570. Mary Bear may be Mary A Beare daughter of Thomas (c1520 – 1562), in which case one might think her surname was deliberately mispelt to make it clear that there was no mistake, but the entry is also reversed, stating John’s surname as Bear. This might support the notion that she was every bit as much an A’Bear, or the notion that neither her nor John belonged to our family. Otherwise, Mary Bear may have been related to the Padworth ‘Bear’ family. See Group 3 .

If the former assumption is correct, John married when he was aged about thirty-five and she was aged about eighteen.

John inherited all of his father’s land in 1577, a factor that must have contributed to his prosperity. Between 1552 (when his father’s will was written) and July 1616 when John wrote his will, John’s homestead expanded significantly.

The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1596/1597) includes a John Abeare Snr, thought to be this John, and a John Abeare Jnr both taxed on Land. (Ref :  pg 269 TSBOW). The two names are listed one after the other, which might suggest they lived together or adjacent to one another at this time.

Again, the Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1601/1602) includes a John Abeare Snr, thought to be this John, and a John Abeare Jnr (Ref :  pg 270 TSBOW). The two names are listed near to each other, which might suggest they lived nearby at this time. Then in 1602/1603 John Abeere Snr only appears. The next record in 1623/1624 shows only his son’s record, verifying John Snr’s death in 1616.

A document held in the National Archives and filed under reference C6/296/6 Child v Abeare seems to have been incorrectly registered and concerns a Bill of Complaint lodged by a Margaret against a John Abeare in about 1600, and revived by her son Thomas Worsley? in July 1616.

Page 1, reproduced under the heading of Margaret Abeare (c1525 – 1602?), details Thomas’s complaint in which John evicted his mother from land she and her sister Alice rightfully inherited, and needs to be read in conjunction with Page 2 (below) which is John’s answer to these allegations.

It seems John thought his claim was valid because of the interpretation of the term ‘shared’ in the bequest. When Alice died, Margaret took Alice’s share by legal means, but John later contested this decision, seizing it as the next rightful heir. John was accused of concealing vital written evidence which, had this been disclosed, might have repudiated his claim. Furthermore he was accused of being an illegitimate son to his father George, which would make any such claim invalid. To cloud the issue, it appears John’s son John Abeare the Younger represented his father in the original hearing which meant John himself did not have to testify.

The revived hearing in 1616 coincided with the month in which John wrote his will, so was presumably timed by Thomas to try and prevent the land passing to John’s son. The outcome of the hearing has not been established.

Page 2

The answer of John Abeare, defendant, to the Bill? of Review? of Thomas Worsley?, Complainant

 ..............for answers to so many -?- in the said Bill contained which he hath not? fully .......... to the former? Bill of Complaint ............. by the said Complainant was exhibited about sixteen? years ago against this Defendant containing .............. the said Complainant ............. Bill although this Defendant in resplete? that the same matter before hath -?- -?- of the ............ after full hearing and mature deliberation was denied for this Defendant. And the Complainant dismissed out of the Court of Requests and also after the said discussion the same -?- matter was arbitrated by worshipful gentlemen of the country where the land mentioned in the said bill -?- and the same awarded -?- to this Defendant and -?- for divers other sufficient? -?- although this Defendant might have -?- -?-, this Defendant being then most willing to make the falsehoods and untruths contained in the said bill and this time claim and -?- -?- and right contently to appear did then altogether -?- -?- material -?- of the said bill.

All and every phrase, article and clause of both -?- this Defendant doth now -?- affirmed to saith that acceptance for the more certain this Defendant resenteth the said complaint. And further, although this Defendant -?- nor why by the -?- of this -?- John -?- -?- compellable to sense any -?- to this present Bill of Revision? yet to give a further satisfaction of any need to this honourable Court.

This Defendant, by way of advice unto his -?- said -?- unimproved, saith that the said Complainant hath -?- -?- -?- in this said Bill of Review? For if there were any -?- or could be -?- -?- or -?- for the said Complainant rather -?- -?- -?- -?- is not any at all, then should the said Complainant then have joined? with? one Mary Wilborne his cousin? and coheir -?- lying and being at Ruscombe in the county of Berks, being the natural daughter of Alice?, the aunt mentioned in both the said bills, or otherwise should have made this the -?- only to the -?- of the land and tenements mentioned in both the said bills. For it appeareth by the said bill that the lands therein mentioned are supposed to be given to -?- Senior -?- and to one Margaret the complainant’s mother and to the heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten -?-, that the inheritance of the said lands ought severally to descend to the several heirs of the bodies of the said sisters, and not to the Complainant made only thereupon? this Defendant ...dgeth not in hope of any delay for -?- -?- -?- that this matter might come to a speedy hearing, nor in distrust of his title ......... by his compete to be most sure? and indefensible, but only to put the said Complainant in memory of his culpable forgetfulness or gross ignorance in willfully committing, or negligently forgetting -?- might of -?- her conscience were like his -?- the said lands -?- as the said Complainant.

But as neither the discussion of the said matter, nor -?- -?- of requests, nor the arbitrament hereof -?- was made by the gentlemen of the county, nor the most certain and undoubted -?- of this Defendant, nor the gross and -?- -?- -?- aforesaid came anywhere -?- this Complainant from this took the same -?- and -?- -?- then this Defendant to add one step more unto the said Complainant -?- has for the -?- of this assured? right and for it -?- ......... and -?- in fear or despair? of the said rightful title in the -?- of -?- -?- in the -?- and ........... late Queen Elizabeth -?- Edward Anderson, Francis Windam, William Pelham -?- -?- -?- might -?- and other liege people of the said -?- -?- in the Court of -?- -?- at Westminster, this Defendant did levy a fine after the due course of law of all and singular the -?- lands, tenements and hereditaments in either of the said bills mentioned where -?- other? Gonnell? and one John Abeare the younger were plaintiffs and this defense? was supposed -?- to the same was to the case? of this Defendant and his heirs for ever after -?- -?- -?- and proclamation thereof -?- made according to the statute as by the records of the said Court to -?- this Defendant -?- and -?- most plainly may appear the -?- -?- ......... nor -?- to this Defendant’s knowledge did pursue -?- or his title, right or claim by -?- or -?- -?- -?- had for the said lands ....... the land -?- limited by the statute? in that case provided.

And so the -?- title -?- the -?- any his fully barred by that ........ this Defendant intendeth not to rely upon only, but to -?- evidence of this -?- without that, that the said -?- died without any issue of her body begotten as in the said bill -?- -?- and -?- that, that the said lands and tenements in the bill mentioned did after the death of the complainant’s mother descend and came to the said complainant as the said Bill of Review? this also alleged.

And -?- -?- that, that and other matter or -?- in the said Bill of Review mentioned, and not in that depending -?- -?- or otherwise in this his present -?- -?- confessed and avoided or traversed or denied -?- all such matters this Defendant is ready to aver to this honorable Court from -?- -?- to be -?- -?- -?- and -?- -?- -?- this -?- -?- and -?- most wrongfully sustained.

Signed: Humfrie Newberie

His will states: (Ref : BRO / p74 TAFOW)

John Abeare the Elder of Harehatch, Wargrave, Berkshire, 26th July 1616

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, the six and twentieth day of July Anno Dni 1616 Annoqr Rni Regis Jacobi Anglis & c decimo quarto et Scociae xlix, I John Abeare the elder of Harehatch in the parish of Wargrave in the County of Berks, yeoman, calling to my remembrance the uncertainty of man's life, and that nothing is more sure than death and the time thereof likewise most uncertain, being waxen old and diseased in body nevertheless of perfect mind and remembrance thanks therefore be given to almighty god, because such small portion of lands and transitory goods the which almighty god of his great mercy hath lent in this world should be given, settled and disposed according to my mind and intent and that my wife and children should one with another after my decease live in friendly and quiet sort. First, I utterly bar and exclude all former wills by me hereto premade. And, I make and ordain this my present testament containing herein my last will in manner and form following. That is to say, first and principally, I bequeath and commend my soul to almighty god my creator and maker and to his son Jesus Christ my Saviour and only redeemer by whose merits death and passion I assuredly trust to have full remission and forgiveness of all my sins, And for this body I commit to the earth from whence it came according to god's most holy ordinance and to be buried in Christian burial in such decent sort and seemly manner as my Loving wife, my Children and other my friends shall think convenient and meet. ITEM, I will, bequeath and devise unto Thomas and Mathewe Abeare, my two sons, All that my messuage or tenement wherein I now dwell with all houses, edifices, buildings, barns, stables, orchards, gardens and two yard lands be it more or less, called or known by the name of Kuckholts with all lands, grounds, commons, feedings, members and appurtenances to the said messuage or tenement and two yard lands belonging or appertaining in Wargrave aforesaid, Excepting such part of my said house and two yard lands with the third part of all members and appurtenance thereto appertaining which of right doth appertain and is due unto Mary, my wife, and her assigns for her thirds or dower during her life in the same, To have and to hold the said messuage or tenement and two yard lands and all other the premises aforesaid , Except before Excepted unto the said Thomas and Mathewe, my said two sons, and their assigner and assigns from the day of the death or departure out of this life of me the said John Abeare during the full term of ten years from thence forth then next ensuing and fully to be complete and ended, yielding and paying their pre-yearly during the said term to John A beare, now of Henley-upon-Thames in the County of Oxon, being my eldest son, and his heirs or assigns ten shillings of lawful money of England at the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel only if it be lawfully demanded. The said Thomas and Mathewe shall or may have and take in and upon the premises competent timber fireboot, ploughboot, cartboot and fenceboot needful to be used, spent or employed in or upon the premises aforesaid or any part thereof (not making spoil or waste). The remainder in fee of all and every the premises aforesaid after the expiration of the said ten years shall wholly remain, revert and come unto John Abeare. my 'said eldest son, his heirs and assigns forever. ITEM, 1 give and bequeath and also my full mind is that my said two sons Thomas and Mathewe and their assigns shall or may have and fell the woods and underwoods growing or being in my grove or Coppice called Pipers grove and the same so fallen to have and take to their own use, benefit and behouse so it befallen and carried away at a seasonable time in the year before the end of the said ten years, Provided that they nor either of them shall not top nor fell any the trees whatsoever any the trees growing in the outer banks about the said Coppice and do fence and enclose the same from spoil of cattle. putting no cattle which may do hurt to the young spring there, And leave sufficient samples and wavers according to the statute. And fell the same not above or within the said ten years. ITEM, I give and bequeath unto my said son John and his heirs and assigns forever, All these my two enclosures or parcels of land called Gailes Irminge and Hamonde Irminge in Wargrave aforesaid which I lately purchased of Sir Henry Nevill, knight, containing by estimation five acres be it more or less. ITEM, I give. bequeath and devise unto Thomas Abeare, my said son, All that my messuage or tenement situate in Harehatch aforesaid called Larges with all barns, stables, edifices, buildings, orchards, gardens and one yard land be it more or less with the members, profits and appurtenances thereto appertaining which I lately purchased to me and my heirs and assigns of one Henry Streatyn, late of Wargrave aforesaid deceased, To have and to hold the said messuage or tenement and one yard lands with their members, profits and appurtenances to the said Thomas Abeare, my said son, his heirs and assigns and to his and their own proper use and behouse forever. ITEM, I will, give, bequeath and devise unto my said son Thomas, All that my pightle or close of land in Wargrave aforesaid lying near the common called the Holte, there containing by estimation one acre be it more or less, And also all those my two acres of meadow grounds in the common mead of Wargrave aforesaid whereof one acre and a half lieth in Lot mead, the other half acre lieth in the great Sterte, And also all those my four acres of Arable land be they more or less, lying in the common fields of Wargrave aforesaid whereof three acres do lie in Momberye Field, the other acre in Purfield; To have and to hold the said pightle of land, two acres of meadow grounds and four acres of Arable land with their and every of their members, profits and appurtenance to them and every of them appertaining to the said Thomas Abeare, my said son, his heirs and assigns and to his and their own proper use and behouse forever. ITEM, I will, give, bequeath and devise unto Mathewe Abeare, my said son, his heirs and assigns, All those my eleven acres of Arable land lying and dispersed in the common fields of Wargrave, Lawrence Waltham and Ruscombe in the said County of Berks, hereafter specified (that is to say) In the East field of Waltham two acres, and in South Kinfield two acres lately purchased of Henry Manfield Esquire, four acres more lieth in Waltham aforesaid in the common field there called Milley, which also I lately purchased of one Bold, sometimes of Waltham aforesaid, The other three acres do lie in the common fields of Ruscombe called Eastfield and Gravill field which I lately also purchased of one Richard Afford the elder of Ruscombe aforesaid, To have and to hold the said elevan acres of Arable land be they more or less with their and every of their members, profits, commodities and appurtenances to them and every of them appertaining, To the said Mathewe Abeare, my said son, his heirs and assigns and to his and their own proper use and behouse forever. NOW concerning the disposing of my movable goods, chattles and implements of household, I will, give and bequeath the same as followeth. FIRST, my wilful mind and intent is, that Mary, my Loving wife, shall have the use and occupation of all my household stuff or so much thereof as at any time she shall have need or occasion to use during her natural life. Also I give her one of my best kine and twenty of my best sheep to choose them at her pleasure and twenty bushels of wheat and two quarters of barley. ITEM, I give and bequeath unto Clement, Ann and Jane Abeare, my three daughters, the full some of one hundred and twenty pounds (that is to say) forty pounds apiece of lawful money of England to be paid them and every of them within two years next after my decease or day of marriage which shall first happen, And if either of my said three daughters fortune to die before her portion shall be due as aforesaid her portion so dying shall remain to the survivors equally divided by my executors hereafter specified, provided that if any of them fortune to marry before 1 die whereby I do pay her so married her said portion or stock myself, them the so married shall challenge no stock of my executors after my death. ITEM, I give unto my daughter Mary Lutman the sum of forty shillings of lawful money of England, upon this condition that her husband shall not have any benefit thereby nor challenge any part thereof. ITEM, I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Lutman, my said daughter's daughter, forty shillings of lawful money of England to be paid her with some benefit and increase thereof when she shall accomplish the full age of xx years or fortune to marry which shall happen first. ITEM, I give unto my said son John Abeare the some of xxs of like lawful money. ITEM, I give and bequeath unto James Payce, my servant, one suit of my best apparel. ITEM. I give unto the poor of Wargrave aforesaid xIs of lawful money to be paid them by my executors with the consent of the Churchwardens to such as have most need within four Years next after my decease (that is to say) xs a Year, on such festival day when the poor shall be most at our parish Church yearly during the said four Years. ITEM, I give to every of my godchildren vid apiece. THE rest of all my goods, chattels and implements of household, after my debts paid, my legacies and funeral expenses discharged, and this my present testament and last will in all things fulfilled, I wholly give and bequeath unto Thomas and Mathewe Abeare, my said two sons, making them my full and sole executors upon this condition that they shall live and friendly agree together not one to wrong the other in taking the benefit or dividing of such goods as 1 leave them other than his right portion to him hereby of eight due, And do join as one in all rents, taxations and other payments according to the portion of lands which they and my said wife do hold. In witness whereof I the said John Abeare have hereunto put my hand and seal.

Published and declared to be the last will of the said John Abeare in the presence of John Lichfield, John Gunnell and Thomas Crockford.

(X) the mark and seal of John Abeare.  

EXHIBITUM per Thomam Abeare et Matheum Abeare filies naturales et etimos nervou executores in tinto Johannis Abeare Sen definor noiatos in vini per stititi per eos miramti pro vero plene et perfecto Juventario omim et sinecleum bouorum inrim sive creditorum et catallorum perdicti Johannis Abeare Sen defuncti corum venli mico Willmo Marten artim magico surrogas venlis viri Henrici Marten legum decoris dni Acceidni Berks Offlis et me Constitut apud Oxon Quarto die decembris Anno dni Millimo Sexcente suio decimo Septo.

John calls himself “The Elder of Harehatch”, and this suggests he wanted to distinguish himself from another John. Since his son, (then aged forty years) was living in Henley at the time, this other John must have been John (1562 – 1639) who was living in the vicinity and who, around this time, adopted the name “John of the Porch”. Of the two men, John of the Porch was about twenty-seven years the younger.

John’s land was far spread. He names his wife Mary, and all his children Ann (1571), John (1576), Mary (1578), Thomas (1582), Clement (c1585), Matthew (1587) and Jane (1592).

His main concern is for his sons Thomas and Matthew, probably because his son John was already well established in Henley. This son was already married and had three children of his own, so he may well have received benefits from his father some years earlier. Additionally, it seems both Thomas and Matthew were still single and working the land for their father.

Of particular interest is the statement concerning his newly acquired estate “situate in Harehatch aforesaid called Larges with all barns, stables, edifices, buildings, orchards, gardens and one yard land be it more or less with the members, profits and appurtenances thereto appertaining which I lately purchased to me and my heirs and assigns of one Henry Streatyn, late of Wargrave aforesaid deceased”.

It seems from the wording of his will that John bought Larges shortly before 1616, and was not living there when he wrote his will. Clearly he bequeaths this property to his son Thomas, and one may wonder if this property could be Hill House which is known to have been built around this time.

Sadly, the answer to the above question seems to be “No”. The estate known as “Larges” is named in an indenture dated 5th August 1695 stating clearly that it was bought by Elizabeth Joanes in 1680 (see Elizabeth Joanes gen 8J). Again in a deed dated 27th June 1730 Elizabeth Simeon of Gibstrode in Wargrave disposes of, amongst other pieces of land, Larges in Hare Hatch (Ref p44 TAFOW). Yet deeds dated 1636, 1665 and 1704 and a bell dated 1681 all name Johns as “of the Hill”. See also “Larges” Article.

However this still leaves “Kuckholts” as a possibility, as he also states:

“ …all that my messuage or tenement wherein I now dwell with all houses, edifices, buildings, barns, stables, orchards, gardens and two yard lands be it more or less, called or known by the name of Kuckholts with all lands, grounds, commons, feedings, members and appurtenances to the said messuage or tenement and two yard lands belonging or appertaining in Wargrave aforesaid…”

The property “Kuckholts” where John Abeare lived seems to have been in Harehatch, as he names himself “John The Elder of Harehatch”, and the estate called “Larges” which he recently acquired is also in Harehatch, and presumably nearby so that his sons were on hand to continue farming the land.

It therefore seems possible Kuckholts is the old part at the rear of Hill House, but this matter is investigated more thoroughly elsewhere.

See “The History of Hill House” Article.

John’s Wargrave burial was recorded on 12th November 1616.

An inventory of his belongings at the time of his death states:

Inventory

Inventory taken upon the Death of John Abeare the Elder of Wargrave, 1616

An Inventory of all the goods, chattels and implements of household late of John Abeare the elder of Harehatch in the parish of Wargrave in the County of Berks, yeoman, deceased, praised the xxxth day of November Anno Dni 1616 by Ralph Newbury Senior, John Abeare Junior, John Gunnell and John Litchfield as followeth, vizt

 

In the Hall.

In primis, i folding table and frame and i cupboard....15s00d

 

In the Loft over the Hall.  

Item, all his wearing apparel.......................................... 40s00d

Item, ii joined bedsteads, i feather bed , i flock bed,

iii feather pillows, i flock bolster,

ii coverlets, ii blankets and ii straw beds..................... £3.3s04d

Item, i great joined chest and iii other small chests..  . 12s08d

Item, i Chair of Rods and i stool...................................... 2s08d

 

In the Other Chamber.  

Item, i joined bedstead, i featherbed, i feather

bolster, ii pillows. ii coverlets and ii blankets

and i straw bed............................................................... £3.0s00d

Item, i little cupboard, i joined coffer............................ 12s00d

 

In the Chamber over the Kitchen.  

Item, there sundry shelves, baskets and other lumber............................................................................... 10s00d

Item, by estimation ii tod and dozen of wool coarse and others................................................………..................... £3.0s00d

 

In the Chamber next the Same.  

Item, there iii hanging shelves and about xl cheeses... 26s08d

Item, the Apples and pears………………………………10s00d

Item, sundry pots, small shelves and other lumber...... 5s00d

 

In the Lower Chamber by the Kitchen.

Item, i low bedstead, i flock bed and bolster,

coverlet and blanket and other furniture there............. 13s04d

Item, i cheese press, ii wheels. i woollen and linen,

ii tubs with shelves and sundry other hemps, old

iron and lumber................................................................. 10s00d

 

In the Larder.  

Item, ii little old tables with tressles and powdering trough......................................................................……...... 6s08d

Item, i bolting hutch, i kneeding keever and

v other small keevers.......................................................... 8s00d

Item, viii barrels or kilderkins and ii eared tubs

and other tubs..................................................................... 15s00d

Item, sundry shelves, bowls, wooden vessels,

sieves, pots and small lumber in and about the

same room........................................................................... 10s00d

Item, i butter churn and ii bottles of leather.................... 2s06d

Item, in the chamber of sheets xi pairs............................. 55s00d

Item, ii tablecloths, vi table napkins and

i cupboard cloth.................................................................. 6s04d

In the Kitchen.

Item, i old cupboard and iii small chairs......................... 4s00d

Item, iiii brass pots, iii posnets.................................….... 33s04d

Item, ix kettles, great and small....................................... 40s00d

Item, iii brazen candlesticks, i skimmer and

i brazen ladle........................................................................ 4s00d

Item, xiiii pewter platters, ii saucers, ii salts,

i pint pot and little drinking pot, i dozen of

spoons and i chamber pot................................................. 20s00d

Item, iiii buckets, dishes and wooden vessels there............................................................................…....... 20s00d

Item, ii spits, ii dripping pans, ii andirons,

i fire shovel and tongs, iii pot hangers. ii pairs

of pot hooks, i frying pan. i gridiron with other

such like iron work.............................................................. 8s00d

Item. the one half of a musket furnished......................... 10s00d

 

In the Barn.

Item, i whole mow and i stack of wheat and rye

by estimation xxv quarters.............................................. £33.9s08d

Item, i mow of barley by estimation xx quarters.......... £16.0s00d

Item, ii fans, ii ladders, i dozen and viii sacks

with sundry prongs, axes, bills, wedges and

husbandry tools................................................................... 20s00d

Item, in the lesser barn, i stack of peas and

beans, i stack of vetches.....................…............................ £5.0s00d

Item, in another barn at Harehatch by estimation,

ii quarters of barley. ii quarters of oats

and iiii quarters of white peas..........................................£5.12s00d

Item, in the house there by estimation ii quarters

of Apples.....................................................…...................... 16s00d

Item, in all by estimation viii loads of hay...................... £8.0s00d

 

In the Yard.

Item, i long cart and wheels, ii dung cart and

wheels and ii old long carts without wheels.......…........ £4.0s00d

Item. iiii ploughs, i having the irons and all

tacklings thereto, ii pairs of harrows, i drag and

sundry plough timber ready hewed and

i barley cowl.......................................................................... 20s00d

Item. ii old troughs and sundry swine troughs

and by estimation iiii loads of billets with sundry

logs and other wood and timber in the yard.................... 20s00d

Item, sundry racks for horse, cattle and sheep in

the the Stables and yard...................……............................. 8s00d

Item, vii kine, i bull and vii young bullocks................... £27.0s00d

Item. vi horse beasts with their cart harness and

other tackling to them.............................................…....... £22.0s00d

Item, the swine old and young......................................... £10.0s00d

Item, lii sheep..................................................................... £12.10s00d

 

In the Fields.

Item, sewn upon the ground by estimation xv acres

of wheat and xiiii acres of rye and maslin.....…………... £29.0s00d

Item, iiii geese, viii ducks. xv hens and cocks.................... 15s00d

 

Sum Totalis........................................................................ £204.13s02d

 

Of those who took the inventory, Ralph Newbury and John Gonnell appear in the Lay Subsidy lists for 1601/1602, 1602/1603, 1604/1605 and 1623/1624 (Ref :  pg 270 TSBOW).

Clearly during his lifetime John had prospered. One reason why he seemed to be so successful may be that he had two sons who did not marry early and so continued to manage the farm with him.

Pipers Grove was bequeathed to his sons, as it was to himself 39 years earlier. It seems to be a somewhat special copse.

It is possible that John worshipped at Waltham St Lawrence, but although this matter is discussed more fully under the heading of his son, John (1576 – 1647) gen 4J it seems unlikely, as both John and, according to her estate summary, his widow Mary, were buried in the churchyard of Wargrave.

Mary died intestate in 1637 as the following notice declares. This is followed by her Inventory and final account. (Ref: BRO / pg74 TAFOW)

 

Notice of Inventory Requirement

The ?rendition of the within written obligation is such that whereas the administration of all and singular the goods credits and chattels of Mary Abeare whilst she lived of Wargrave within th’archdeaconary of Berks widow lately deceased intestate by authority of the within named official is ?advised and permitted ?vito ?within bonds John Abeare the natural and lawful son of the said deceased. If therefore the said John Abeare do well and truly administer, that is to say do pay the debts of the said deceased which at the time of her decease be moved so ?favour ?forth all the said goods, credits and chattels with their ?value ? and the same charge and require her and further do make ?account to be made before the within named official or other competent judge for the time being in the court of th’archdeacon of th’archdeaconary of Berks a true and informed account of and value ? said ? before the fifth day of September next ensuing the date of the said obligation and such ? the residue of the said goods credits and chattels of the said deceased as vou ? said account made examined and allowed by the said official or other competent judge for the time being of the said account shall be limited assigned and ?appointed. And guarded of and in case that at any time hereafter there shall appear any true and lawful testament or will made or declared by the said deceased that the ? or ?executor therein named or appointed shall and do exhibit or arrange to be executors the same testament on oath will into the said court of the said th’archdeacon making request to have the same proved and approved in due form of law. Then if the said administrator ? immediately after demand made or admission to him lawfully given shall and do surrender and redeliver into the said court of the said Archdeacon the ? of administration to him the said administration remitted guaranteed or made without any further delay. And lastly do at all times hereafter thoroughly acquit discharge and favour ? and keep indemnified the said within named official his executor administrator deputy or surrogate and assigned and at all times against all and all at the said court all names and at all times against all and all ? manner of ? whatsoever having or pleading to have ? better right title interest claimed or ? in and to that administration ? of the said goods credits and chattels so guaranteeing or remitting the said administrator to ? the said John Abeare. Then the said obligation to be void and of none effect so ? remain and be in full power shown and virtue.

INVENTORY

An Inventory of the goods and chattels of Mary Abeare late of Wargrave in the county of Berks widow deceased rated and appraised the fifth day of April in the thirteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles by Thomas Newberry and Francis ?Gunnell as followeth :

In primis two mares, one colt, one ?farrow, one plough chair,

one harness, one ?……                                                                                       £6  -  00  -  0d

Item - three cows, one bullock……..                                                                £9  -  00  -  0d

Item – three hogs………………..                                                                       £1  -  04  -  0d

Item – four ewes and lambs, one ?…..                                                             £2  -  00  -  0d

Found in the house

Item – four bushels of wheat, two bushels of ?masline…….                        £1  -  04  -  0d

Item – two bushels of barley……                                                                     £0  -  06  -  8d

Found upon the ground

Item – of wheat and ?masline 4 acres……                                                       £8  -  00  -  0d

Item – of peas, ?fetches and oats two acres and a half…….                         £2  -  00  -  0d

Item – a pair of wheels……                                                                               £0  -  03  -  4d

Item – in bacon……………..                                                                              £1  -  13  -  4d

Item – her wearing apparrell…….                                                                    £3  -  00  -  0d

 

                                                                            Sum total                                £34  -  11  -  4d

 

 

The true account of John Abeare the natural and lawful son and administrator of all and singular the goods credits and chattels of Mary Abeare whilst she lived of Wargrave within Tharchdeacon of Berks widow deceased, given and exhibited before the Right ? Charles Tooker ? of Lane and official to Tharchdeacon of Tharchdeaconary of Berks the fourth day of October 1637 as followeth viz :

 

In primis this accountant ? with the goods credits and chattels of the said

deceased at the same appraised or valued verified and contained in an Inventory

thereof made exhibited and remaining in the registry

of the said Archdeacon amounting in the whole to the sum of ……….   £34  -  11  -  4d

 

Whereof the said accountant dischargeth himself ? allowance for the

necessary expenses of funeral charges, letters of administration,

passing of this account and other payments and charges as followeth viz :

 

Item – twenty eight dozen and a half of bread given

to the poor at the funeral of the said deceased………..                                 £1  -  08  -  6d

Item – for three kild? of ?beer sent at the said funeral…….                         £0  -  15  -  8d

Item – sent in ?name at the funeral of the said deceased…..                        £0  -  07  -  9d

Item – for cheese sent at the same time……..                                                  £0  -  11  -  6d 

Item – for a shroud……….                                                                                 £0  -  03  -  5d

Item – for sweet water ……….                                                                          £0  -  00  -  2d

Item – for a sermon on the day of the funeral of the said deceased…….   £0  -  10  -  0d

Item – for the coffin, knell and digging the grave of the said deceased… £0  -  11  -  4d

Item – paid two women for watching with her ? time of her ?……..          £0  -  03  -  6d

Item – for fetching her daughter Clements……                                             £0  -  00  -  4d

Item – for a mortuary………                                                                             £0  -  06  -  8d

Item – for breaking the ground in the church of Wargrave

and making of the grave………                                                                        £0  -  06  -  8d

Item – paid to John Knight of Wargrave for curing a ?coalt………             £0  -  03  -  0d

Item – in provision sent at the funeral of the deceased……                         £1  -  00  -  0d

Item -  for the charges of the administration ?ingressing

the Inventory and ? fees……..                                                                           £0  -  11  -  0d

Item – the charges in passing this account for the ? fees and

other charges thereunto…….                                                                            £1  -  14  -  4d

..........................................….                                                                         £8  -  13  -  10d

..........................................….                                                                         £25  -  7  -  6d

 

To Matthew Abeare one of the sons of the said deceased……                    £?  -  10  -  0d

To Mary Lutman nee Abeare the wife of John Lutman,

one of the daughters of the said deceased……..                                             £2  -  06  -  8d

To Clemens Boughnington nee Abeare the wife of John

Boughnington the second daughter of the said deceased…….                   £2  -  06  -  8d

To Anne Wittle nee Abeare the relict of John Wittle

another daughter of the said deceased………                                                £2  -  06  -  8d

Anne Abeare ? of Thomas Abeare, grandchild to the deceased….             £1  -  10  -  0d

John Tyler the son of Jane Tyler another grandchild to the deceased…    £2  -  00  -  0d

Money was paid out of her estate to her son Matthew, her daughters Mary Lutman, wife of John Lutman, Clemens Bonnington (Bovington) wife of John Bonnington (Bovington) and Anne Wittle the relict (widow) of John Wittle. Money was also left to Anne Abeare her granddaughter and John Tyler her grandson. (Her other son, Thomas, had died the previous year.)

There is a record of Mary Abere’s burial at Wargrave on 11th April 1637 when she is declared a widow.

 

Henry Abeare (<1541 – 1563)

George named two children only in his will of 1552. However, a son appears in the Wargrave burials list dated 8th April 1563, named “Henrie, son of George”.Since no other contemporary George has been discovered, he is included here.

The only Henry listed under Wargrave baptisms is an adult on 6th January 1562, so he must have been born at least twenty-one years earlier, i.e. before 1541.

Henry is placed after his brother John, as John was traditionally the first-named son, and before Celice who was born after 1541

 

Celice Abeare (>1541 – >1551)

Celice is named in her father’s will of 1551 in which it states she had not then reached the age of ten years. She is not listed in the baptism or burial records.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 4W

 

Nicholas A’Bear (1540 – 1544)

Nicholas was twinned with Rainold. He is named in the baptism list on 7th December 1540 as a son of Thomas. He died at the time of the (presumed) disease in 1544 and is named in the Wargrave burials list, dated 23rd July 1544.

 

Rainold A’Bear (1540 – 1541)

Rainold was twinned with Nicholas. He is named in the baptism list on 7th December 1540 as a son of Thomas.

His death is recorded in the Wargrave burials list, dated 26th March 1541.

 

Joan A’Bear (1544 – 1544)

Joan is listed in the Wargrave baptisms on 23rd May 1544 as a daughter of Thomas.

She died at the time of the (presumed) disease in 1544. Her burial is dated either 21st July 1544 or 4th August 1544. The former is taken to be correct.

 

Mary A Beare (c1552 – 1637)

Mary is named as a beneficiary in her father’s will of 1562.

Though all her siblings are listed, Mary’s name is missing from the Wargrave baptisms list, which is surprising. (If she were born before baptism records began, her supposed year of death would have given her a life of at least 98 years).

It seems likely Mary married John A’Bear (c1535 – 1616 gen 3J) as the Wargrave marriage records show a double entry, John marrying a Mary Bear and vice versa on 26th November 1570 when she would have been about eighteen years of age. Amongst her children, a son was named Thomas, her father’s name, and a daughter was named Clemence, her mother’s name.

There is a Wargrave burial record for a Mary Abere ‘widow’ dated 11th April 1637, agreeing with her supposed husband John’s earlier death.

She died intestate, and her inventory is listed under her supposed husband John Abeare gen 3J.

 

Ann(e) A Beare (1554 – 1570)

Ann(e) is named as a beneficiary in her father’s will of 1562. The spelling here is “Anne”.

She is listed as “Ann” in the Wargrave baptisms on 15th November 1554, a daughter of Thomas.

Her burial is recorded in the Wargrave records in 1570 as “Ann daughter of Thomas Bear”.

 

Gilbert A Beare (1557 – 1575)

Gilbert is named in his father’s will of 1562 as the preferred beneficiary, suggesting he was the elder son.

His Wargrave baptism is listed on 3rd September 1557, “son of Thomas”.

The register of land ownership shows a number of properties and parcels of land owned for several generations by the family, and which descended to Gilbert in 1563 upon his father’s death when Gilbert was still a young boy. These are:

A toft and court at Harehatch and another toft and courtyard called Childs Garden containing 1 acre and 1 rood. A Toft of Land called Saweland and 4 acres in Bycroft (permanent pasture). Three acres called Mattely Innings. Three crofts containing three acres and 2 acres in Southkenfield. A toft containing 12 acres called Corke in Woodrow and 2 acres in Southkenfield.

Gilbert died in 1575 before reaching the age of twenty- one years, so received no inheritance according to the terms of his father’s will. His brother John must then have become the beneficiary, though the register of land ownership does not indicate this.

Gilbert’s Wargrave burial is listed on 28th September 1575 under the name Gibberde Beare.

 

John A Beare / Abeare / Abere (1562 – 1639)

According to his father’s will of 1562, his son John was then aged less than 21 years. So he must have been born after 1541 but by 1562 to be mentioned in his father’s will. He was the second named male beneficiary, so would have been younger than his brother Gilbert and born after 1557.

John does not appear in the Wargrave baptisms list, but there is a John listed amongst the Henley baptisms for 1562. This may suggest his father Thomas had interests here by this time.

John is also placed here as he owned land that his father owned, namely Heaton Meade in Hurst.

In 1575 aged fifteen years, John’s older brother Gilbert died. John then became the main beneficiary of his father’s will.

The register of land ownership shows two parcels of land descending to John in 1577, namely

A Toft of Land called Saweland and 4 acres in Bycroft (permanent pasture).

Other parcels of land owned by his brother are not listed, so presumed sold off.

John married Agnes Symmons (their marriage is recorded in the marriage records on 17th January 1585 at Wargrave).

Agnes was the daughter of John Simonds of Wargrave who died in 1595. He may have been a member of the great Berkshire Simonds brewing family.

It seems they had ten children. Nine recorded as baptised in Wargrave, namely Margery (1586), Agnes (1587), Anne (1589), Mary (1589), Elizabeth (1590), John (1595), Matthew (1597), Martha (1599) and Francis (1609). Another daughter Alice is considered to have been born after Elizabeth, in about 1592, though her baptism record has yet to be found.

The years 1594 – 1597 saw famine strike the country, and one wonders if John & Agnes must have struggled to raise their family. In 1597 an Act was passed for relief of the poor whereby it became a civic duty to assist those most in need of food.

It seems Agnes must have died before 1633 when John remarried, but no Wargrave burial record has been found.

A marriage of a John Abeare to Margery Newbery is recorded at Wargrave in 1633. This seems correct because a Bill of Complaint issued by John’s granddaughter Ann Murrell nee Ann Abear (1623 - >1688) regarding legal ownership of the land he bequeathed, clearly named John’s widow as Margery. That she was Margery Newbery is supported by the name of John’s executor and great friend named in his will of 1639 below, Thomas Newbery. [Thomas is listed as a Wargrave landowner paying lay subsidy tax in 1623/1624, 1625 and 1628/1629 (Ref :  pg 270, 271 TSBOW)].

Margery was previously married in 1615 to Christopher Brush at Wargrave. She may have been an aunt of Thomas Newbery, the first publisher of children’s books in this country, and also related to Ralph Newbery, the London publisher who bequeathed the Bell Inn at Waltham St Lawrence. [Ralph Newbery is also listed as a Wargrave landowner paying lay subsidy tax in 1596/1597, 1601/1602, 1602/1603 and 1604/1605 (Ref :  pg 269, 270 TSBOW)].

Thomas Newbury also helped draw up an inventory in 1637 for John’s sister Marie (Mary) Abeare, widow, and previously for John Abeare (c1535 – 1616), considered to be her husband.

A summary of John’s will, written shortly before he died and dated 2nd Feb 1639, reads as follows: (Ref: BRO or PRO / pg72 TAFOW)

The will of John Abeare of Wargrave in the county of Berks, yeoman.

To daughter Margery Grey - £20.

To daughters Anne, Mary, Elizabeth and Martha – 20 pence each.

40 shillings to Anne, grandchild.

Everything else to his son Francis Abeare (including 3 acres of arable land in Wargrave in ?seneschall? fields and 1 acre of meadow in Heaton Meade in the parish of Hurst.

Executors – my noble and well-beloved friends Thomas Newberry and William Lamden – 2 shillings sixpence each.

To the poor of Wargrave – 20 shillings.         (Signed with a mark.)

In later years it seems two of John’s grandchildren contested how his land and property had been bequeathed, believing themselves to be rightful owners.

John was buried at Wargrave on 5th March 1639.

A copy of the inventory (Ref: BRO or PRO / pg73 TAFOW) taken 5th Mar 1639 of the “goods and chattels of John Abeare the elder of Wargrave late deceased in the county of Berks” and proved in 1640 reads:

In the Hall

One table and one ?

One cupboard

One chair and one stool

One pair of ?  -  ? and one hanger

      In the chamber

One bedstead with feather bed ?  -  ?  one blanket and one sheet

Two sheets and two coffers

One hollande sheet and table cloth and seven napkins

Three pewter platters, three fruit dishes, one chamber pot, one ?  -  ?

and one broken candlestick

      In the millhouse

One mill

One ?trough?, one ?press? and one old chest

One bedstead and one bed with that belonging to it.

John died aged about 77 years, by which time his first son John had died and youngest child Francis was aged 30. This summary does not mention his deceased wife Agnes, supporting her earlier death, but neither does it mention his wife Margery. John’s will does not mention his other son Matthew, born before Francis, so either he had died by this date, or John had already passed on most of his estate to him. His daughter Agnes is omitted as a beneficiary – she had already married, but then so had Margery – so perhaps she died before 1639. Alice is also not named, but she died giving birth almost certainly before then.

John calls himself “John the Elder of Wargrave”, not of Harehatch. It is true there was no other John living that was older than him in 1639, and by this time the other branch of the family was well established in Harehatch.

John was, it seems, not of The Hill. In fact, John’s burial is recorded in 1639 under the name “John of ye Porch”, which is presumably to distinguish him from John of the Hill. The appearance of this title is contemporary with the other title (which seems to have arisen at the time of the building of the old brick building to the rear of Hill House in 1621). How the Porch name came about is uncertain, but the Church Porch seems the best guess. It was commonly a meeting place, acting rather like a drop in centre for the local people.

The above reference is not the only one. In the National Court Archives at Kew a court case is recorded as follows:

Gooderidge v. Hatch, John Abeare alias John of the Porch, Breach and others. Berks 1603 – 1625. http://catalogue.pro.gov.uk/ Reference STAC 8/150/8

This record seems to confirm that it is this John and not his son who was “of the Porch”, as his son was only eight years old in 1603.

The case is dated Feb 1609. The plaintiff was Richard Gooderidge, husbandman and Constable of Ruscombe, and it concerns forcible entry, assault, and sezure and destruction of corn. The defendants were Richard Hatch yeoman, Beatrice Hatch his wife, Thomas Hatch, John Abeare alias John of the Porch, Peter Breach and others.

None of the surnames Gooderidge, Hatch or Breach appear in the contemporary Lay Subsidy lists of Wargrave, and this whole matter needs investigating.

Ernest Pope wrote about the donation of a tenor bell to the church at Waltham St Lawrence in 1618 by John of the Hill. Only if Pope’s information is erroneous could this John be a candidate for donating the bell, as he distinguished himself as of the Porch. Pope makes no mention of the bell of 1681 in his book which was donated to the church at Waltham St Lawrence, and which still hangs there now. It seems credible that Pope stated incorrect information by writing 1618 instead of 1681, by referring to it as a tenor bell instead of a much smaller sanctus bell, and by misinterpreting the inscription on the bell which, it is true, was donated by a John A’Bear of the Hill, but does not name him as a churchwarden. In any case, a tenor bell of diameter about four feet might be considered a rather large object to move and hang in a schoolhouse.

It seems Margery outlived John as, according to the Bill of Complaint mentioned earlier, he made provision for his widow through his son Francis.

 

Frances A Beare (1563 – ?)

Frances was born after her father died, a fact disclosed in her father’s will of 1562.

She was baptised at Wargrave on 28th May 1563 “daughter of Thomas”.

Her death is not recorded in the Wargrave burials list.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 4J

 

Ann Abeare (1571 - >1637)

Ann’s Wargrave baptism is recorded on 13th January 1571 “daughter of John”. She is named in her father and mother’s wills, so she lived until after 1637.

She married John Pittle/Pittell, his name being stated on her mother’s papers, and this marriage must have occurred after 1616 as she is declared unmarried in her father’s will of that year. Originally transcribed as Wittle, there is no record of this marriage in the Wargrave Parish Register.

In 1637 Ann was declared a widow (relict), so John died before this year, but there is no record of a burial at Wargrave.

No burial record for Ann Wittle or Whittle has been found in Berkshire.

It seems likely Ann and John had a daughter Anne, as an Anne Pittell is named in a document dating to around 1660 along with other family members, as a defendant in a Bill of Complaint issued by John Abeare (c1600 - >1665) gen 5J. [Mother Ann would have been very elderly by this year, so had probably already died].

 

John Abeare / Abeere (1576 – 1648)

John is named as eldest son in his father’s will of 1616, and is listed in the Wargrave baptisms list, dated 26th December 1576, “John, son of John”.

The years 1594 – 1597 saw famine strike the country, and one wonders if John must have struggled with his father to provide enough food for his younger siblings. In 1597 an Act was passed for relief of the poor whereby it became a civic duty to assist those most in need of food.

The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1596/1597) includes a John Abeare Jnr, thought to be this John, and a John Abeare Snr both taxed on Land. (Ref :  pg 269 TSBOW). The two names are listed one after the other, which might suggest they lived together or adjacent to one another at this time.

John seems to have married Anne ? in about 1599 (though this is not recorded in the marriage list), and they had three children, John (c1600), Margery (c1602) and Mary (c1604), none of whom are in the Wargrave baptisms list, although John himself was apparently born in Wargrave (ref : DNF - from marriage record?).

In about 1600 John gave account regarding his father’s seizure of land from Margaret. Presumably he had an interest in this land as the next ‘rightful owner’ when his father died, but this action caused further aggravation because by substituting his son he avoided having to testify himself amidst accusations that he had concealed vital proof which might negate his claim. The case was reconsidered at another hearing in July 1616. See Margaret Abeare (c1525 – 1602?) gen 2W and John Abeare (c1535 – 1616) gen 3J.

 The Land Occupation Document includes the following entry:

A cottage with a Court called St Johns garden

44 Eliz (1602) Surr(endered) to John a beare the younger by Thomas Haward and Allice? his wife

No other known John seems to fit this listing.

According to his father’s will, until at least 1616 John was established in Henley. He may have moved there around the time of his marriage. However, the Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1601/1602) includes a John Abeare Jnr, thought to be this John, and a John Abeare Snr. Here John Jnr is taxed on Goods. (Ref :  pg 270 TSBOW). The two names are not listed one after the other, but nearby.

The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1602/1603) names John aBeare Jnr and John Abeere Snr well-separated in the list, and in 1604/1605 there is a “John Abeere the younger”, and a John Abeare the elder listed, both taxed on Land. Since also John’s father and John of the Porch (gen 4W) were also living at this time, it is difficult establishing to whom these references relate.

John’s father died in 1616, and it seems that he returned from Henley to live in Wargrave some time after this, most certainly before his 1632 deed (below).

According to Pope’s History of Wargrave:

“In 1618 John A’Bear, already living at the Hill, gave a tenor bell to the church of Waltham St Lawrence of which he was Churchwarden. This bell was later used in the schoolhouse and was not one of those destroyed when Wargrave Church was burnt down in 1914”.

Amongst those who helped to draw up the inventory of John’s father’s belongings was Ralph Newbury Senior. Ralph Newbury was publisher to Queen Elizabeth I, and when he died (before 1633 which is the year of the earliest deed concerning the ‘Bell Charity’) he bequeathed to the parish his cottage at Waltham St Lawrence which, before long, became the Bell Inn adjacent to the church. The name of this inn may have been a commemoration of the donation of this tenor bell to the church two years after John’s father died in 1618.

If Pope’s statement is literally true, it seems rather unlikely to have been this John who donated it, since he had been living in Henley until at least 1616. Churchwardens would surely have to be well-established worshippers at that church. (Also, it seems likely he was a churchwarden at St Mary’s in 1634 – see later - and then in 1647 he requested in his will that he be buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s. (He may, of course, have changed churches during his lifetime).

If on the other hand the John A’Bear who donated the bell was not living at the Hill, and Pope’s reference is wrong, it is more likely to have been his cousin John (1562 – 1639), so the matter is also discussed under this person’s heading. See also the Bells Article.

Anne’s death is recorded in the Wargrave burials list on 12th June 1621 “Anne, wife of John”, so they may well have moved back to Wargrave by then. Certainly the Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1623/1624) includes a John Abeare , which may be this John, taxed on Land. (Ref :  pg 270 TSBOW). Also appearing in the list, but not adjacent, is his brother Thomas Abeare. This repeats in 1625. John appears again in 1628/1629 with John Abeare Junr (his son), and in later entries of 1640/1641 and 1641/1642, although these more likely refer to his son.

In about 1612 what is now the rear part (and oldest part) of Hill House was built, but a few years before this what is now the Coachouse was built. So unless these dates are too early, any connection with this would seem to be incorrect. See Hill House Article.

Further support for this notion comes from the following deed.

In 1632 a deed describes a transfer of land as follows (Ref:  pg 37 TAFOW):

30 November 1632

Henry Thackham  (gent) of Henley upon Thames and John Fforde of Wargrave transfer land at the death of Henry Thackham (senior) to John Abeare the elder of the hill ? near? Hare Hatch (yeoman) – for the sum of £68.

- 3 acres of arable land called hare hatch close, in Old Field*, adjoining hare hatch lane. Thomas Millet’s and Thomas Ford’s land and Sheplands to the west. Richard ?Pirkett?’s land and Keene field to the east. John Ford to the south. Widow Martin to the north. Signed by William Ffloyde (senior), John Gunnell, Thomas A’Bear and Abraham Ffloyde.

*TAFOW states New Field, which is an error.

This deed is also listed by Anthony Hickson, in which he describes the reference to John Abeare as John Abeare of Holden on the Hill Near Harehatch. This was a transcript which is clearly incorrect, “of Holden on” and “the elder of” being somewhat similar to the eye when handwritten.

In fact, the first part of this indenture reads as follows:

This indenture made the thirtieth day of November Anno Domini 1632 and in the eighth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Charles by the grace of God of England Scotland France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith ?hereto? between Henry Thackham of Henley upon Thames in the county of Oxon gent and John Ford of Wargrave in the county of Berks yeoman of the one part, and John Abeare the elder on the hill, near harehatch in the parish of Wargrave aforesaid ? of the other part witnesseth that the said Henry Thackham and John Ford for and in consideration of the sum of three scores and eight pounds of good and lawful money of England unto the said Henry Thackham in hand paid by the said John Abeare at or before the ensealing and delivery of their ?.The receipt whereof the said Henry Thackham doth hereby acknowledge and thereof and of every part and press? Thereof doth exonerate acquit release and discharge the said John Abeare his heirs executors and administrators and assignees and entry of them forever by their ?. And also for and in consideration of the sum of five shillings paid to the said John Ford and for divers other good causes and considerations them thereunto moving have aliened granted bargained sold ensconced and confirmed and in and by their ? do alien grant bargain sell ensconce and confirm unto the said John Abeare and his heirs all that close of arable land containing by estimation three acres be it more or less called hare hatch close lying and adjoining unto a lane in Wargrave aforesaid called harehatch lane and bounding on a close there of Thomas Millet on the west. And all those three acres of arable land be they more or less lying and being in several parts of a certain field in Wargrave aforesaid called Oldfield, whereas one acre lyeth between the land of Richard Pirkett on the east and the land of Thomas Ford on the west and abutteth on harehatch lane on the north and the other two acres lie together between the land of Widow Martin on the north and the land of John Ford on the south and abuts on a field called Sheplands on the west and Keenefield on the east. All ? now in the service or occupation of Henry Thackham deceased father of the said Henry party to their consent …

(See Photo 1). (See 1632 Map).

Widow Martin may well have been the mother of Jone Martin who married John’s son John gen 5J earlier that same year, 1632.

The signatories of this deed are John Gunnell and Thomas Abeare. John Gunnell was his future son-in-law (or maybe his future son-in-law’s father, who witnessed the inventory of this John Abear’s father in 1616), and Thomas was this John Abear’s brother. In this deed of 1632 he named himself “the Elder” because he had a son John aged 32 years living in the locality at this time.

Thus in 1632 this John Abeare is acquiring more land in or near Harehatch, and he calls himself “the Elder on the hill, near Harehatch”. See The Hill Article

The Wargrave Parish Records annotate that between 1610 and 1633 John Beare, along with Thomas Cotterell, William Mylett, Robert Allins and Francis Barnard all served as Churchwardens at St Mary’s, Wargrave.

In 1634 an account of Tithes and Offerings from old documents in the Parish Chest (Ref: pg 64 - 66 TAFOW) is signed by John A’Bear and Francis Barnard (Churchwardens), and Francis Webb and Richard Douglas (Sidesmen). The vicar’s name was Anthony White who was indeed the vicar of St Mary’s, Wargrave from 1614 until 1636. (The Patron at the time was Sir Henry Neville, from whom his father purchased land). From this information it seems likely this John was a churchwarden, (though it could have been his son).

John’s will, originally noted in TAFOW as lost and partly put together from notes still existent in the Snell Collection at the Society of Genealogists (Ref: SNELL / CD / pg 75 TAFOW), was discovered in the National Archives collection.

Written on 23rd December 1647 it reads as follows:

In the name of God Amen. The three and twentieth day of December in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred forty seven, and in the three and twentieth year of our sovereign Lord Charles by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the faith. I John Abeare the Elder of Wargrave in the county of Berks, yeoman, being sick in body but of sound and perfect memory, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following viz First I render my soul into the hands of Almighty God my creator, and I do commit my body to the earth to be decently buried. And my worldly goods I give and bequeath to the parties hereinafter named in manner and form following. That is to say: I devise, give and bequeath unto my son-in-law John Gunnell all that my messuage or tenement wherein I now dwell with all houses, edifices, buildings, barns, stables, orchards, gardens and all the lands, meadows, pasture and woodground with the appurtenance which I had by inheritance from my father, to have and to hold the same and every part and parcel of them and every of them with the appurtenances unto the said John Gunnell my son-in-law, his executors, administrators or assigns for the full term of eight years from the day of my death. And I do hereby devise, give and bequeath unto him, the said John Gunnell, such and so much timber, wood and underwoods and trees standing and being in and upon the premises so mentioned to be devised unto him the said John Gunnell as shall amount unto the sum of fifty pounds of money over and above all charges, expenses as he shall dispense or pay out in and about the cutting and making and carrying? the same from there. And I do also give unto him competent fire boote, plough boote, cart boote and hedge boote and timber for reparations of the premises to be had and taken and used and employed and spent in and upon the same premises, yielding and paying therefore yearly and every year during all the said term of eight years to my son John Abeere, his executors and assigns twenty shillings at the feast of St Michael the Archangel if it shall be lawfully demanded of him.

And I will and devise all that the said house and lands which I so had by inheritance from my said father unto my son John Abeere aforementioned to have and to hold the same with the appurtenances unto him and his assigns for the term of his natural life, and I will and devise the revertion thereof unto the son of John Abeere my grandchild to his heirs and assigns forever provided always that they, nor either or any of them, do not molest nor trouble my said son-in-law John Gunnell in the premises aforesaid during the said eight years, provided likewise that my said son John Abeere do not nor shall not cut or procure any timber wood or trees thereon standing or being, to be cut when he shall come to the premises save only necessary timber for reparation and for fire boote, plough boote, carte boote, hedgeboote to be used or spent upon the premises, and not elsewhere.

And I do further give, devise and bequeath unto the said John Gunnell my said son-in-law all that parcel of land with the appurtenance in Wargrave aforesaid which I bought off Mr Henry Nuberry, and all necessary boote upon the premises unto the said John Gunnell, his executors or assigns, to have to hold the land and premises for the like term of eight years from the day of my death, paying the Lord’s rent and without other rent or payment whatsoever during the said term or without rendering of any attempt for his doing. And I also give and devise the said land so bought by me of the said Mr Nuberry and every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances unto John Abeere the younger my grandchild, his heirs and assigns forever. To have and to hold the same land and premises and every part, parcel and member thereof with the appurtenances unto my said grandchild, the said John Abeere the younger, his heirs and assigns forever, free of all incumbrance other than the said term of eight years before mentioned.

And moreover I devise, give and bequeath unto my son John Abeere all that my house and orchard and closes and three acres of land with the appurtenances in Wargrave aforesaid now in his own occupation or in the occupation of his assigns for the like term of eight years from the day of my decease. And I give, devise and bequeath the said house, orchard, close and land with the appurtenances and the revertion thereof unto my grandchild John Abeere, son of the said John Abeere my son before mentioned his heirs and his assigns forever, provided that he do not interrupt his said father during the said eight years.

And I further give, devise and bequeath unto the said John Gunnell my said son-in-law all my rents reserved upon the leases of my land in Henley town and parish and Navell End in the county of Oxon except the Rose and Crown where Toby Lancaster now liveth in Henley, given for another use there for the term of sixteen years after my decease, to be had, received and taken by him and his assigns for the uses hereinafter mentioned.

And I devise, give and bequeath one of my said houses viz that house wherein Will Bird now liveth with the appurtenances unto my daughter Mary, the wife of the said John Gunnell, for the term of her natural life, charged the rent for the uses hereinafter mentioned as aforesaid. And I give, devise and bequeath the said house to my said grandchild to the said John Abeere and his heirs and assigns forever, provided that he do not interrupt the said John Gunnell nor his wife during the time above mentioned in the premises.

And I give, devise and bequeath unto my said daughter Mary, the wife of the said John Gunnell, all those my messuages or tenements in Henley and Navell End aforementioned, that is to say where George Messenger late lived and Will Lovejoy and Will Yates and the rest, to have and to hold the same houses and every of them with their appurtenances unto the said Mary Gunnell and her assigns for the term of her life, and from and after her decease to her son John Gunnell my said grandchild and his heirs and assigns forever.

And I give and bequeath to my daughter Margery Allens the wife of Robert Allens the sum of twenty nine pounds of lawful money of England to be paid within one year and a half after my decease.

And I give and bequeath to Robert Allens and his wife the further sum of twelve pence apiece to be paid at the feast of St John Baptist next ensuing the day of my death, and I give to my said son John Abeere the like sum of twelve pence to be paid within one month after my decease.

And I give and bequeath to my daughter Margery’s eldest daughter Mary the sum of ten pounds to be paid at the age of one and twenty years.

And I give and bequeath to my son John Abeere’s three children John, Joane and Mary Abeere the equal sum of four pounds apiece to be paid to them at their several ages of one and twenty years.

And I give and bequeath unto my son John Abeere’s youngest son Francis Abeere the sum of forty shillings to be paid him at the age of one and twenty years.

And I further give and bequeath unto the two children of my said daughter Mary Gunnell viz John Gunnell and Sara Gunnell the sum of four pounds apiece to be paid at the age of one and twenty years.

And in case any of these children die before the age of one and twenty years, that then the said legacy to be equally divided among each brotherhood that shall then be living by my executor hereafter mentioned.

And I give to my two servants viz Will Watts and Sara Hill the sum of forty shillings apiece to be paid within three years next after my decease.

And also I give to the poor of the parish of Wargrave aforesaid the sum of twenty shillings to be paid within three months after my decease, all which legacies gifts and legacies of money my will and meaning is.

And I do hereby order and appoint that the same and every of them be paid by the said John Gunnell my son-in-law in manner and form above and before mentioned out of the rent of the lands and of the timber and wood to him given as before is mentioned, provided that if my said son John Abeere or any other person or persons whatsoever shall or so interrupt or hinder the said John Gunnell my executor hereinafter named in the execution or performance of the said contents of this my said will, that then he or they shall have the charges that he shall put him to in the law. And my will and mind is that he shall lose the benefit of my gift made to him or them and be incapable of any part of my estate.

And I do hereby nominate, ordain, make and appoint my trusty and well beloved son-in-law the said John Gunnell my full and sole executor of this my last will and testament in two sheets of paper written. And I do give and bequeath unto him all and singular other my goods, cattells? and chattels whatsoever, revoking all other or former wills by me made. And I do hereby entreat my loving neighbours and friends Frances Barnard and John Wright to be overseers of this my said last will and testament, and for their pains they shall have twenty shillings apiece.

In witness whereof I the said John Abeere the elder have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written. Published and declared to be the last will and testament of John Abeere in the presence of John Abeere his mark, sealed and delivered in the presence of Rich Wright, Frances Abeere his mark Thomas Gold his mark.                  

Proved February 1648.

John was 71 years old and clearly ill when he wrote his will, and he died shortly after writing it. His burial seems to be recorded under the name Joan on 17th Jan 1647, which should be 1648.

It is clear he intended much of his property to go to his grandson John in eight years time. This actually corresponds to his grandson’s coming of age in about 1655. In the meantime he entrusted his son-in-law John Gunnell as his executor under quite strict conditions. [This led to a dispute amongst his family some years later leading to a court case – see John Abeare c1600 - >1665 gen 5J].

He now names himself “The Elder of the Parish of Wargrave” which he was, since his cousin John of the Porch died in 1639. He does not state “on The Hill” as he did in 1632 because (as he admits) he is no longer living there, having passed this name or property over to his son and his family. In fact, he seems to have passed on the property by 1636, as he named himself “John Abeare the elder” at this time when he undertook his brother Thomas’s inventory, and his son then named himself “John Abear of the Hill”.

John names his son John and daughters Margery and Mary with their married names.

His younger brother Thomas had died eleven years earlier. Thomas’s Harehatch inheritance should have been passed on to his son Thomas, but son Thomas was only eight years old at the time of his father’s death. John’s other brother Matthew, who shared this substantial inheritance, died months later and does not seem to have married.

John’s will only mentions Wargrave land he inherited from his father, and land he had bought himself. He seems to have done well for himself, with various properties to his name. He retained his Henley lands until his death, but bequeathed them to his daughters’ families. His Wargrave lands and property were passed down to his son John and family.

John makes no mention of his wife Margery, who may therefore have already died.

 

Marie Abeare (1578 – >1637)

Marie is listed in the Wargrave baptisms list, dated 6th April 1578 as “Marie, daughter of John Beare”.

She married John Lutman in Wargrave (this is listed on 20th January 1604 where she is also named Marie Beare).

According to the Land Occupation Document, a few years earlier in 1597 a John Lutman became the owner of “a cottage and a court & 2 acres in Woodrow”. However, he does not appear in the lay subsidy lists of this time.

Marie is named by her father in his will of 1616 with her married name. According to this will, they had a daughter named Elizabeth Lutman.

Mary Lutman and John are named as beneficiaries in her mother’s inventory of 1637 where Mary is not named a ‘relict’ like her sister Ann, and so both Marie and John appear to have lived beyond this year.

A John Lutman is listed in the Wargrave burials on 27th April 1633, perhaps his father or a son. Another is listed on 30th April 1653, taken to be this John.

 

Thomas Abeare (1582 – 1636)

Thomas appears in the baptism list dated 23rd December 1582 “son of John”, and is named in his father’s will of 1616 as a joint inheritor with his brother Matthew.

The International Genealogical Index records a Thomas Abeare marrying Anna Paine on 6th April 1620 at St Mary, Sandwich, Kent. It is uncertain whether or not this record refers to this Thomas. If it does, he must have married again as, according to his inventory, Thomas married Joan(e) ? (not listed) (c1625?) and named his son Thomas and daughter Ann(e) both of whom appear in the baptisms list. (Ref: BRO / pg74 TAFOW). [The IGI also lists a marriage on 29 Jan 1624 of a Mrs Ann Abear to John Harberte at St Peter’s, Sandwich, Kent, so these references may well refer to another Thomas].

In about 1621 (Brian Russell in TSBOW states 1612) what is now the rear part (and oldest part) of Hill House was built, but before this what became the old Coachouse was built.

There is no Lay Subsidy record for Thomas in 1604/1605. This seems to agree with the fact that he inherited land in 1616.

The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1623/1624) includes a Thomas Abeare taxed on Goods. (Ref :  pg 270 TSBOW). Also appearing in the list, but not adjacent, is his brother John Abeare. This repeats in 1625, however Thomas’s name does not appear in the 1628/1629 list.

Thomas was buried at Wargrave on 2nd November 1636.

In 1637, papers relating to Thomas’s death comprise an order for his widow Joan(e) to submit an inventory of Thomas’s belongings (due to his dying intestate), the inventory itself and a summarised account of payments out of his estate. (Ref : TAFOW pg 74 / BRO)

Notice of Inventory Requirement

The ?rendition of the within written obligation is such that whereas the administration of all and singular the goods credits and chattels of Thomas Abeare whilst he lived of Wargrave within th’archdeaconary of Berks Yeoman lately deceased intestate by authority of the within named official is ?advised and permitted ?vito ?within bonds Joan Abeare the relict of the said deceased. If therefore the said Joane Abeare do well and truly administer, that is to say do pay the debts of the said deceased which at the time of the said deceased be moved so ?favour ?forth all the said goods, credits and chattels with their ?value ? and the same charge and require her and further do make ?account to be made before the within named official or other competent judge for the time being in the court of th’archdeacon of th’archdeaconary of Berks a true and informed account of and value ? said ? before the fifth day of September next ensuing the date of the said obligation and such ? the residue of the said goods credits and chattels of the said deceased as vou ? said account made examined and allowed by the said official or other competent judge for the time being of the said account shall be limited assigned and ?appointed. And guarded of and in case that at any time hereafter there shall appear any true and lawful testament or will made or declared by the said deceased that the ? or ?executor therein named or appointed shall and do exhibit or arrange to be executors the same testament on oath will into the said court of the said th’archdeacon making request to have the same proved and approved in due form of law. Then if the said administrator ? immediately after demand made or admission to him lawfully given shall and do surrender and redeliver into the said court of the said Archdeacon the ? of administration to him the said administration remitted guaranteed or made without any further delay. And lastly do at all times hereafter thoroughly acquit discharge and favour ? and keep indemnified the said within named official his executor administrator deputy or surrogate and assigned and at all times against all and all at the said court all names and at  all times against all and all ? manner of  ? whatsoever having or pleading to have ? better right title interest  claimed or ? in and to that administration ? of the said goods credits and chattels so guaranteeing or remitting the said administrator to ? the said Joan Abeare. Then the said obligation to be void and of none effect so ? remain and be in full power shown and virtue.

INVENTORY

22nd November 1636

An Inventory of the goods and chattels of Thomas Abeare late of Wargrave in the county of Berks Yeoman deceased dated and appraised the 22nd of November Anno Domini 1636, by John Abear the Elder, Thomas Newberry ? ? and John Abear of the Hill, as followeth :

In the hall

In primis one table and frame, six hooks one joined cupboard……           £2  -  01  -  4d

Item – one rack, one pair of ?andirons, one ? and pair of ?angers.

One pair of pot hooks, two bottles, one ?……..                                             £ 0  -  19  -  0d

Item – two pewter platters, seven ?pittingers , three saltsellars,

two cups, six spoons ,one pot ………                                                              £ 0  -  07  -  0d

In the kitchen

Item – two wooden platters, six dishes, two ladles, one pair of

scales, one tub, two buckets, one chair, one pair of ? ………                      £ 0  -  02  -  4d

Item – three ? , five knives, one tub, four bowls, one flagett,

one basket……….                                                                                               £ 0  -  11  -  0d

Item – meathooks, spades, a shovel, two bills and other lumber…….       £0  -  03  -  4d

In the chamber

Item – one bedstead, one flockbed, one strawbed, two bolsters,

one ?connected, two blankets, three pairs of sheets……..                           £ 1  -  06  -  8d

Item – six napkins, one pillowbere, one ?sofa, one chest,

one warming pan………..                                                                                 £ 1  -  00  -  0d

Item - apples , a fryingpan, a woollen wheel? and other lumber……..     £ 0  -  08  -  0d

In the stables

Item – one ? with his ?hasmussle………..                                                       £ 1  -  00  -  0d

Item – two ?pheasant, wheels and harness                                                    £ 1  -  00  -  0d

Item – one cheese press………..                                                                       £ 0  -  02  -  0d

In the ?bankside

Item – two cows                                                                                                 £ 4  -  10  -  0d

Item – three hogs, four ?sheets, eight ?horses, one ?cock…….                   £ 3  -  13  -  4d

In the barn

Item of wheat and rye twenty bushels………..                                              £ 4  -  00  -  0d

Item of barley twenty bushels………..                                                            £ 2  -  10  -  0d

Item of ?maize one quarter …………..                                                             £1  -  06  -  8d

Item – in oats ?thatches and hay ……………                                                 £ 4  -  00  -  0d

Item – in corn upon the ground……….                                                          £ 8  -  00  -  0d

Item – a long cart, a ?dung cart, a pair of wheels, a ?prong

and rakes………….                                                                                            £ 0  -  10  -  0d

Item – his wearing apparel………..                                                                 £ 1  -  00  -  0d

 

                                                                  Sum total                                         £ 38  -  10  -  8d

 

                                                                                                    Approved  ?30th April 1637

 

 

4th October 1637

 

The true and perfect ?account of Joan Abeare ? of all singular the goods and chattels of Thomas Abeare late of Wargrave in the county of Berks, deceased, made and exhibited before the sight ? Charles ?Triter Partner of Law and Official to the ? of Berks on the 4th day of October Anno Domini 1637.

With all and singular the goods and chattels of the said deceased at the same ? app raised and valued specified and contained in an Inventory thereof made and exhibited and remaining in the registry of the said ? amounting in the total to the sum of …….

                                                                                                                            £ 38  -  10  -  8d

 

? the paid ? dischargeth himself ? allowance as followeth :

 

In primo for the funeral charges of the deceased ……..                               £ 2  -  05  -  0d

Item – for a mortuary to Mr ?Mohite……..                                                    £ 0  -  06  -  8d

Item – for writing of Inventory……..                                                              £ 0  -  08  -  0d

Item – paid to Joan Martin for use of money due at the death

of the deceased……..                                                                                         £ 0  -  12  -  0d

Item – paid to the ? to ? Giles……                                                                   £ 0  -  03  -  6d

Item – paid to William Ox? for the ?……                                                       £ 0  -  11  -  0d

Item – paid to Mr ?Felen upon bond……….                                                  £ 3  -  05  -  0d

Item – the charges for administration, passing of his

?attempt and ? ?  ………                                                                                  £ 2  -  04  -  00d

..........................................................                                                             £ 9  -  15  -  2d

....................................................                                                                £ 28  -  15  -  6d

 

To Thomas Abeare son of the deceased………                                       £ 3  -  00  -  0d 

To Ann Abeare daughter of the said deceased……..                             £ 13  -  06  -  8d

The inventory was undertaken on Joan’s behalf by John Abeare the elder, Thomas Newberry and John Abeare of the Hill. This confirms that The Hill was established before 1637 and tells us that it was not occupied by Thomas’s family but by John, the son of John the elder.

Thomas was bequeathed the property called Larges by his father in 1616 “with all barns, stables, edifices, buildings, orchards, gardens and one yard land be it more or less with the members, profits and appurtenances thereto appertaining…” and so the inventory of his goods and chattels possibly relate to this estate.

Thomas’s belongings were valued at £38 – 10 – 8d. His death is listed amongst the burials on 3rd Nov 1636 when he was aged about 54 years. His young son Thomas (only eight years old) and daughter Ann (aged ten years) are both named as beneficiaries, Thomas receiving three(?) pounds and Ann thirteen pounds six shillings and eightpence. Presumably his brothers John and Matthew must have helped his widow maintain their lands until young Thomas was old enough to cope.

Also named in the 1636 summary is Joan Martin, to whom Thomas owed money at the time of his death. Joan Martin is the possible name of Thomas’s nephew’s wife, but she married John Abeere in 1632, so would have changed her surname by this time. Perhaps this Joan Martin was his mother-in-law.

His wife Joan(e)’s death (which must be after 1637) is taken to tie in with the burial of a “Joan” recorded at Wargrave on 17th October 1644. (There are two other Joans buried a little later.)

 

Clemence / Clemens Abeare (1585 – >1637)

Clemence is listed in the Wargrave baptisms list on 28th November 1585 “daughter of John”, and is named as unmarried in her father’s will of 1616. She is also named in her mother’s will of 1637 as Clement Bonnington and so lived beyond this year. Her husband John is also named, and believed to still be living at this time as Clemence is not named a ‘relict’ like her sister Ann.

Clement’s marriage to John Bovington on 21st September 1620 is recorded in the Wargrave marriages list.

It seems probable that Clemence and John lived away from Wargrave. John is not listed as a tax payer in the lay subsidy lists of the time, and no Wargrave burial record has been found for Clemence Bovington.

There is a burial record for a John Bovington on 5th Feb 1640/41 at Caversham, St Peter, and another on 20th June 1643 at Winkfield, St Mary.

 

Matthew Abeare (1587 – 1648?)

Matthew is listed in the Wargrave baptisms list dated 10th March 1587, “son of John”, and is named by his father in his will.

Matthew came into a significant inheritance from his father, just as his brother Thomas did in 1616. There is no record of him marrying, and his death is recorded in the Wargrave burials list dated 30th January 1648, after both his brothers John and Thomas had died. [Another Matthew, gen 5W, died in 1652. It is unclear which year of death should be attributed to which Matthew]. Presumably his lands and property went to one of his brother’s sons. There is no known will.

 

Jane Abeare (1592 – 1631)

Jane is named in the Wargrave baptisms list dated 28th December 1592 “daughter of John” and is indicated as unmarried in her father’s will of 1616.

Jane’s marriage to Thomas Tyler on 17th June 1630 is recorded in the Wargrave marriages list. Her name was then recorded as Jane Beare.

Previously, a Thomas Taylor appears in the lay subsidy lists for 1623/1624 & 1625 taxed on goods and 1628/1629 taxed as a landowner.

Jane and Thomas had a son named John who was remembered in her mother’s inventory of 1637 along with all of Jane’s sisters. But Jane herself is not named, her previous death supported by a Wargrave burial of a Jane Tyler listed on 13th July 1631. Having married the previous year she may have died giving birth.

The lay subsidy for 1640/1641 names a Jonathan Taylor as a landowner, possibly their son?

There is no record of a burial for Thomas Tyler in the Wargrave Parish Register.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 5W

 

Margery Abeare (1586 – >1639)

Margery is listed under the Wargrave baptisms dated 17th September 1586 as “daughter of John”. She is named by her father in his will of 1639 as Margery Grey; therefore she must have married ? Grey before 1639 and died after this year.

 

Agnes Abeare (1587 – >1626)

Agnes is listed under the Wargrave baptisms dated 19th November 1587 as a “daughter of John”. Her year of birth fits well with the progression of siblings.

Agnes married Richard Cottrell in 1626 at Easthampstead, Berkshire, so must have died after this year.

A Rich Cottrell is listed under burials at Cookham on 30th January 1661/2.

No burial record has been found for Agnes Cottrell. She is not named by her father in his will of 1639 when other sisters were named as beneficiaries, so could have died before then.

TAFOW page 41 lists the will of a Richard Cotterell of Sheeplake (Shiplake) proved by John A’Bear in 1717. This Richard could therefore have been a descendant.

 

Anne Abeare (1589 – >1639)

Anne is listed under the Wargrave baptisms dated 5th March 1589 as “Ann” and “daughter of John”. The Stanley A’Bear tree states the year of birth as 1594. Her baptism may have been delayed as only seven months elapsed before the next child Mary was baptised.

She is named by her father in his will of 1639 as “Anne” along with three other sisters in a manner suggesting she was not married by this year; she must also have died after 1639.

An Anne Beare married William Hatch on 1st June 1622 at Shottesbrooke, St John the Baptist, a hamlet near Waltham St Lawrence.

 

Marie Abeare (1589 – >1639)

Marie is listed under the Wargrave baptisms dated 26th October 1589 and listed as “Marie, daughter of John”. She is named by her father in his will of 1639 as “Mary” along with three other sisters, perhaps in a manner suggesting she was not married by this year, so she must have died after this year.

 

Elizabeth Abeare (1590 – >1639)

Elizabeth is listed under the Wargrave baptisms dated 5th March 1590 and named a “daughter of John”. The Stanley A’Bear tree states the year of birth as 1591.

She is named by her father in his will of 1639 along with three other sisters in a manner suggesting she was not married by this year; however, an Elizabeth Beare married Evane Joanes on 16th March 1614 at Reading, St Lawrence.

It seems that Elizabeth was the Elizabeth recorded as deceased in a Bill of Complaint raised by her sister Alice’s son Thomas Hunt in about 1660. This being the case, Elizabeth died before this year and the Bill tells us that she had no children.

Therefore it appears she must have died between 1639 and c1660.

See also Elizabeth Joanes under John A Beare (1677 – 1743) gen 8J.

 

Alice Abeare (c1592 – c1615)

The record of Alice’s baptism has yet to be found, but she has been placed here due to the discovery of a Bill of Complaint lodged by her son in about 1660. This record names her as a daughter of John Abeare and sister of an Elizabeth Abeare, and the land description seems to match that described in another Bill of Complaint issued by Ann Abeare (1623 - >1688) who was her first cousin. A year of birth of c1592 also fits perfectly into a five-year gap between her sister Elizabeth and brother John.

From the Bill of Complaint it is clear that Alice was put into service at a young age away from home (as was the case of her sister Elizabeth), and married Thomas Hunt. She died giving birth to a son also named Thomas Hunt, and then father Thomas also died. The son grew up, and in about 1660 filed the following Bill of Complaint, claiming land he thought he should rightfully possess by descendency. This son is named as the ‘orator’ in the document, which is held in the National Archives, ref C2/Chas1/H102/20 Hunt v Abear (1625 – 1660).

 -?- humbly showeth unto ye -?- good ………..or ………….of claims? in the county of Middx past? -?- -?- that whereas one John Abeare grandfather to the said orator was in his lifetime lawfully seized in his demesne -?- -?- free of and -?- -?- messuage or tenements with the appurtenances? and of divers -?- -?- of -?- -?- -?- containing forty acres or thereabout with the -?- situate laid lying in the parish of Wargrave in the county of Berks.

And the said John Abeare being of all and singular the -?- with their and only of their -?- & so seized -?- -?- -?- died thereof seized. By and after whose death all and singular the -?- which then -?- did descend unto Alice Abeare and Elizabeth Abeare, daughters and coheirs of the said John Abeare. And the said Alice Abeare took to husband marriage and Thomas Hunt, and had issue of her body lawfully begotten, ye said orator. And -?- -?- died bearing the said orator, a young infant. And the said Thomas Hunt, ye said orator’s father, also died. By and after whose deaths the one -?- of all and singular the said -?- did send and came or ought to have descended and come unto ye said orator as son and heir of the said Alice Abeare. And the said Elizabeth died also without issue of her body lawfully begotten, by and after which death the other mercy? of all and singular the said -?- also descend and came or ought to have descended and come unto the said orator. -?- -?- -?- the next heir of the said Elizabeth. The which said Alice and Elizabeth Abeare, being of tender years, were both shared? abroad in service? very young by their said father John Abeare in -?- -?- -?- from her said father and from the said same, and -?- whereby that means their no knowledge of her said father’s decease, nor of what land he so died seized of, for many years after the said father’s decease, nor were able also by reason of her extreme poverty when they did hearest? it to take any comfort in law for the remedy of the same.

But so it is, may it please ye good Lord that divers deeds -?- writings and -?- -?- being the said -?-, and of right belonging unto the said orator are, by casual means, come to the hand and custody of one John Abeare of Wargrave aforesaid yeoman. Whereby -?- of -?- or the said deed -?- -?- and writings in -?- -?- hath not only wrongfully entered into all and singular the said -?- and -?- -?-, and taken the issues -?- and commodities thereof for these thirty or forty years after -?- -?- and contented the -?- -?- -?- proper use and -?-, but also contrived and made to himself and to other -?- -?- to ye said orator divers and sundry secret estate and money, and all the -?- -?- to the -?- -?- -?- -?- said orator, contrary to all right equity and good conscience.

And although the said orator hath divers and sundry times by -?- -?- and -?- friend requested the said John Abeare to yield up the quiet -?- of the -?- and to -?- to ye said orator the said evidence, secret writing and -?- -?-, so to do hath utterly -?- and -?- and yet -?- refused and deny contrary to all right, equity and good conscience -?- tender ………………. ye said orator knoweth not the content nor certain -?- of the said deeds, conveying -?- -?- and -?-, nor whether they are contained in bag or box sealed, or chest or in cupboard locked, and therefore -?- the -?- -?- of the -?- law retained for the recovery? of the said deed -?- -?- and writings -?- -?- -?- help and remedy unto ye said orator herein extended.

May it please ye -?- Lord the -?- -?- -?- to grant unto ye said orator the King? -?- most gracious will of -?- to herewith unto the said John Abeare, reminding him hereby -?- -?- contain -?- and -?- certain …………. to be -?- finally …………………… unto ye good Lord to and with right equity and good conscience. And ye ………………of all easement.

Signed John Goting?

It appears Thomas may have been unsuccessful in his hereditary claim, as Alice’s cousin Ann lodged a similar Bill of Complaint years later in 1688. See Ann Abeare (1623 - >1688).

Presumably the John Abeare who is being summoned to testify is John Abeare (1631 - >1688, 1702?), the son of Francis Abeare who inherited all the land from John Abeare the grandfather, and who must have surrendered it to him before his death in 1677.

From this script, and assuming her year of birth is correct, it seems likely Alice married in about 1610 and died in about 1615. Her husband’s year of death is guessed at around 1620 but could have been later.

 

John Abeare (1595 – 1624)

John is listed under the Wargrave baptisms dated 19th April 1595 as “son of John”.

He is not named by his father in his will of 1639, which may confirm the belief that he died before then aged only 29 years.

The International Genealogical Index holds a record of a John Abeare, born about 1594, being of St Dunstan, Canterbury, Kent, and marrying Ann Willis there on 3rd December 1616. http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/IGI/individual_record.asp?recid=700059252914&lds=1&region=2&frompage=99

The details agree well, including the spelling of the surname, but why the record shows Canterbury as his place of origin is a mystery. Perhaps he was simply visiting at the time?

[The IGI also holds a record of a Mrs Ann Abear marrying John Harberte on 29th Jan 1624 at St Peter’s, Sandwich, Kent – clearly not the same Anne if the date details are correct].

They had a daughter named Anne (a grandaughter stated in his father’s will of 1639) who was born in 1623 and hence only a toddler at the time of John’s death.

John’s will and inventory are held in the Wiltshire Records Office, in which he is named as John, Junior (Ref : WRO / p74 TAFOW). They read as follows:

In the name of God Amen. The ?6th Day of November in the year of the Lord 1624. I John aBaer Junior of Wargrave in the county of Berks being at the present time sick in body but of good and perfect remembrance – praise Almighty God for the same – do ordain and make this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say first and principally I commit my soul into the hands of Almighty God trusting assuredly by the merit of Jesus Christ to be saved and my body I commit to the earth from whence it came to be buried in the parish churchyard of Wargrave in the county of Berks ? ? And I bequeath unto Anne aBaer my daughter the sum of £20 of good and lawful money of England and to be paid unto the said Anne aBaer at the age of 21 years or at the day of her marriage whichever shall happen soonest. All the rest of my goods and chattels as well …??? I give unto Anne my wife whom I ordain and make sole executrix of this my last will and testament. And I ordain and make Mathew Beare and Francis Connell to be my overseers of this my will ? them to do their best in ? that this my will may be fairly ? according to my meaning. In witness hereof I give my hand this day and year above written.

Witness ?Francis Connell (Gonnell?) ? A  aBear, Francis Webb, Probate granted  ?21st May 1625

 

An Inventory taken the eleventh day of March in the year of our Lord 1624 of the goods of John Abeare Junior lately deceased in the parish of Wargrave in the county of Berks by John Collins and John Piggott.

Item in the Hall one table and a form

Item one cupboard and a covering

Item one joined stool and a dresser and two ? chairs

Item one cobiron and a pothanger

Item in the Hall Chamber one bedstead

Item one flockbed, a strawbed and a flockbolster

Item one scuttlebed? and a blanket

Item one great chest, three pairs of sheets and one tablecloth

Item one small chest

Item one table and two tressles

Item two brass pots, one kettle and a pair of pothooks

Item three platters, three fruit dishes, two pothangers

Item one drinking cup and two saucers

Item one spit

Item in the middle loft twenty pounds of hemp

Item one ? three old tubs and other lumber

Item one billet, a shelf and other lumber

Item in the Junior Chamber within the Hall one bedstead, one canopy of linen and one featherbed

Item one cupboard and a press

Item one little kettle and a fire ?morter of brass

Item one ?settler, two shelves and other lumber

Item in the room within the chamber, one powdering trough, one form and other lumber

Item in the Kitchen two little kettles

Item one gridiron and two bowls

Item one bill and hatchet, a spade and a prong

Item one ?whittle and other lumber

Item one joined box

Item fourteen sheep

Item his wearing apparel

Item 20 pounds in the hands of John Abeare Junior

Item in the hands of John Piggott £16

The sum is forty and eight pounds fourteen shillings and ninepence.

 

John Collins – his mark

John Piggott

Approved ?21st May 1625

 

The Wargrave burials list gives the date as 12 Nov 1624, less than a week after his will was written, and names him “John son of John Bere”. He names his little daughter Anne as a beneficiary, and he names his wife Anne as sole executrix. He also names his brother Matthew (aged 27) as an overseer. His other brother Francis was aged only fifteen in 1624. The writer of the will misspelled the surname as aBaer though the signature of the family witness who appears to be Anne also uses a small letter a signing herself A aBeare. The witness Francis Webb must be the church sidesman named in connection with John Abeare gen 4J in 1634.

The Inventory clearly starts with the wrong year, as John’s death occurred after March 1624 when he was certainly not “lately deceased”. This should have been March 1625. Amongst the items listed is:

Item in the Junior Chamber within the Hall one bedstead, one canopy of linen and one featherbed

which helps to confirm that John and Anne had a young child at the time. His only livestock seem to be fourteen sheep, and the total sum of all his goods does not amount to a large amount, suggesting a fairly simple lifestyle in keeping with his father.

 

Matthew Abeare (1597 – 1652?)

Matthew is listed under the Wargrave baptisms dated 5th February 1597, “son of John”.

He is named in his older brother John’s will of 1624 as an overseer when his younger brother Francis was still a boy. But he is not named by his father in his will of 1639 when everything was left to Francis, nor does he appear in the lay subsidy lists of this time when Francis is named and taxed as a landowner.

It seems possible, therefore, that he died before this year. However, there is a Wargrave burial record for a Matthew Abeare on 27th January 1652.

[Another Matthew, gen 4J, died in 1648. It is unclear which year of death should be attributed to which Matthew].

 

Martha Abeare (1599 – >1639)

Martha is listed under the Wargrave baptisms dated 2nd March 1599 and listed as “daughter of John”. The Stanley A’Bear tree states the year of birth as 1596.

She is named by her father in his will of 1639 along with three other sisters in a manner suggesting she was not married by this year; she must also have died after 1639.

 

Francis Abeare (1609 – 1677)

Francis is listed under the Wargrave baptisms dated 2nd February 1609 as “son of John”. The Stanley A’Bear tree states Francis’s year of birth as 1592.

He is named by his father in his will of 1639 as the sole beneficiary of his land and property, including “3 acres of arable land in Wargrave in ?seneschall? fields and 1 acre of meadow in Heaton Meade in the parish of Hurst”.

His marriage to Jane ? in 1630 is not listed under the Wargrave marriage list.

Francis and Jane had three children, John (1631), Francis (1636) and Ann (1639). All appear in the Wargrave baptisms list, John “son of Francis”, Francis “son of Francis and Jane” and Ann “daughter of Francis and Jone”.

After his father died in 1639, Francis, his son John and brother Matthew seem to have been the only farmers left in his branch, as his other son Francis died in his youth.

The Lay Subsidy lists for Wargrave (1640/1641 and 1641/1642) include a Francis Abeare taxed on Land. (Ref :  pg 271 TSBOW).

The Wargrave Hearth Tax of Michaelmas 1662 - 1664 state:

Jo Abear – 3 hearths, Thomas Abeare – 2 hearths, Francis Abeare – 3 hearths

It is likely, but not certain, that this record refers to this Francis. (Ref: pg63 TAFOW)

In the Snell Collection the will of a J Coggin, citizen of London, (made out some time between 1673 and 1693) mentions Francis Delabeare of Wargrave. (Ref: pg 78 TAFOW) although this may refer to Francis (c 1657 - ?c1720).

A document dated 1677 concerns the administration of the property of Francis de Beare of Hare Hatch to his wife Jane (Ref: WRO / pg 63 TAFOW), and the will below of Jane Abeare dated 1678.

Francis was buried on 24th July 1677 at Wargrave. This year of death is supported by references in the Bill of Complaint of 1688 issued by his niece Ann Murrell nee Abeare (1623  - >1688).

Jane’s burial is also listed and her death clearly occurred one year after her husband’s death in 1678, the year of her inventory.

[Stanley A’Bear states Francis’s death as 1639 and Anne’s as 1644].

The will of Jane Abeare (widow) names the beneficiaries John Abeare her son, and Ann Wilkes her daughter. Her inventory was drawn up by John Piggott and William Dearing and relates to a seemingly well-to-do woman living in a property with four chambers, one above a millhouse: (Ref: BRO / pg 63 TAFOW)

31st May 1678

In the name of God Amen. The one and thirtieth day of May in the year of our Lord 1678. I, Jane Abeare of Wargrave in the county of Berks widow, being of sound and perfect memory laud and praise be given to God therefore, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in writing in manner and form following, that is to say first I bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God my maker and my body to the earth from whence it was taken to be buried at the ?direction of my executor hereafter named. As for my worldly goods which God hath endued me with I sign and bequeath them in manner and form following.

Item – I give unto my daughter Ann Wilkes the sum of four-score pounds of good and lawful money of England to be paid by my executor hereafter named within twelve months after my decease. Item – I give unto my aforenamed daughter Ann my brass ?hammer?, two brass pittelles, two brass pots and my biggest skillet, one brass candlestick, one brazen spice mortar, seven pieces of ?, one pewter cup, one salt sellor. Item – I (?bequeath to my) said daughter Ann my best joined bedstead with ? bed ? belonging, two feather bolsters, two feather pillows, two blankets, two cowhides with the rest of the furniture to that bed belonging, one flock bed, three pairs of sheets, one ?hollend sheet, two pillow?bearers, one joined chest standing in the chamber over the hall, one other joined chest standing in a lower chamber, one table with the frame standing in the loft. Item – I give unto my aforementioned daughter my youngest red cow and also my black bullock.

All the rest of my goods and chattels unbequeathed I give unto my son John Abeare whom I make full and whole executor to this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written in the presence of –

John Piggott                                    Jane Abeare – her mark.

William Dearing

John Piggott Junior

 

INVENTORY – 3rd September 1678

An Inventory of all the goods and chattels of Jane Abeare of Wargrave in the county of Berks widow deceased taken and appraised by John Piggott and William Dearing this third day of September in the year of our Lord 1678 as followeth –

Item – In the chamber over the hall - one joined bedstead, one

false-headed bedstead, one feather bed, one feather bolster,

one flock bed with furniture, six chests, two boxes, one table

with the frame, six pairs of sheets and table cloths, nine napkins ……..         £5 – 03 – 0

Item – her wearing apparel and money in her purse ……………………       £ 2 – 10 – 0

Item – in lower chamber – one joined bedstead with one feather

bed, two feather bolsters, two pillow?bearers with the furniture,

three joined chests, one box, one chair. With other goods appraised at……  £3 – 11 – 0

Item – in the trunk house – four ?boar, two ?hog, one ?goole ?,

one table with the frame and ?bolle. With other goods appraised at……     £1 – 02 – 06

Item – in the chamber over the millhouse – two bedsteads with

their furniture. With other goods appraised at……                                           £0 – 10 – 0

Item - In another chamber – one ?lene rope, two chests, one small

parcel of wool with six sacks. Appraised at……                                                  £1 –00 – 0

Item – in the millhouse – one mantle mill, one cheese press.

With other lomber appraised at……                                                                     £0 – 15 – 0

Item – in the hall – one table with frame, one form, joined

cupboards, one joined chair, two small tables. Appraised at……                    £2 – 00 – 0

Item – in the kitchen – one brass pan, five ?kettles, caldron,

one warming pan, four brass pots, two skilletetes, four spits,

two dripping pans, two ?shonelles, one spade, two meathooks,

two ?loathorn bottles, two tubs, one ?bolle, fourteen pewter

platters, one basin, five ?perengers, two pewter chamber pots,

eleven pewter spoons. With other goods appraised at……                              £9 – 18 – 0

Item – one ?follering peere - Appraised at……                                                   £0 – 07 – 0

Item – four hogs and six pigs - Appraised at……                                               £5 – 10 – 0

Item – one mare, one gelding - Appraised at……                                               £6 – 00 – 0

Item – four-score and thirteen sheep - Appraised at……                                £18 – 10 – 0

Item – three cows and one bullock - Appraised at……                                    £10 – 05 – 0

Item – peas, ?fatches, oats and hay - Appraised at……                                     £11 – 0 – 0

Item – wheat, ?maslene and barley, carts and wheels and all

things belonging - Appraised at……                                                                    £7 – 00 – 0

Item – husbandry - Appraised at……                                                                   £5 – 00 – 0

Item – money due upon surrender and other money as well

Appraised at……                                                                                                     £3 – 00 – 0

 

Total      ……..                                                                                                       £113 – 01 – 6

The spelling of the surname Abeare holds in this branch of the family, and holds as Abeere in the other branch. Francis apparently declares himself to be of Hare Hatch, and chooses to use the surname “de Beare” in 1677, again with similar spelling, providing a little evidence to suggest that there is continuity here and hence no error.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

 Generation 5J

 

John Abeere (c1600 - >1665 )

John’s name does not appear in the baptism records, but he was apparently born in Wargrave (David Nash Ford record).

He is named in his father’s will and we do know he was married on 5th July 1632 to Jone Martin at Wargrave. The original record clearly states Jone not Jane.

Jone is thought to have been the daughter of William & Frances Martin for the reasons given below.

In the baptisms list three children are recorded as Joan (1633) “daughter of John”, John (1634) “son of John” and Mary (1637) “daughter of John and Jone”. Francis (1645) was baptised at Waltham St Lawrence, son of John and Jane. The fact that the eldest child was named Joan might support her mother’s name being Joan. All four children are named in John’s father’s will of 1647 (and stated to be under 21 years old in that year, which is the case).

By 1647 John and Joan were living in their father’s house (according to their father’s will). In fact, by 1637 it seems they were living there, as his uncle Thomas’s inventory was undertaken by “John Abeare the elder (his father), Thomas Newberry and John Abeare of the Hill”. Doubtless he was farming the acres of land in Harehatch and the surrounding area.

The Lay Subsidy for Wargrave (1628/1629) includes a John Abeare Jnr, thought to be this John, and a John Abeare (his father?) both taxed on Land. (Ref :  pg 271 TSBOW). The two names are listed well apart, which might suggest they lived apart at this time. John Abeare appears in the lists for 1640/1641 and 1641/1642, taken to be this John.

 According to TAFOW, in 1665 a document described by Pope and now missing states: (Ref : p38 TAFOW)

John A’Beare of the parish of Wargrave, yeoman of the Hill of the one part and John A’Beare junior of the other part conveys North and South Kindfield, Pawfield, Oldfield etc at Harehatch and property at Mumberry Hill (School Hill) to the other parties of the deed – Edward Simeon of Wargrave (apparently a son-in-law).

Assuming this to be correct, the year tells us this conveyance could only have concerned this John and his son, then aged about 31 years. However, Pope states the year of this deed to be 1702 in Queen Anne’s reign, so it is restated under John (c1654 – 1711) gen 7J.

It seems Jane’s parents died in 1658, since the will of William Martin (yeoman of Wargrave) names Mary and Joan Abeare as daughters of John Abeare, and one month later the will of Frances Martin of Wargrave (widow) also mentions Mary and Joan Abeare. (Ref : TAFOW pg 76 / Snell)

Around 1660 a dispute amongst family members developed regarding the proper handling of John’s father’s estate. John’s father died in 1647/8 and his will entrusted John Gunnell (his son-in-law) with much of his estate for a term of eight years (until 1655) when it should be handed over to his grandson.

This resulted in a Bill of Complaint being lodged by John against John Gunnell (his brother-in-law) and John Gunnell’s wife Mary (his sister), William, Thomas & Richard Martin (presumably his wife’s family) and Ann Pittell (presumably his father’s sister’s daughter) accusing them all of breaching the terms of the will and, so it seems, illegally profiteering from it – accusations strenuously denied.

Part of the four page document held in the National Archives under C2/Chas1/A12/46 Abeare v Gunnell 1625 – 1660 reads as follows:

Page 4:

 The -?- and .....John Gunnell & Mary his wife ......... William Martin .... Richard Martin Defendant to the Bill of Complaint of John Abeare Complainant

 .......to the? uncertainties & insufficiences of the said complainant the said Bill of Complaint to them these defendants now and at all times here -?- same ... for which and unto ...... materially concerneth the defendants or any of them to make answers unto. They these defendants say that -?- sayeth? ...... said father of the said claimant was seized of the ............. in the bill mentioned in his demesne of -?- -?- which defendant ...... and not to -?-. And being so seized, the twenty third day of December in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred forty & seven made will and testament in writing whereof he made the defendant John Gunnell his said Executor. And by his said will had devised the said premises to the name that the messuage or tenement wherein he then dwell, with all houses, edifices, buildings, barns, stables, orchards, gardens & all that the said meadows, pastures & woodgrounds with the appurtenances which he had by inheritance from his father to hold to this defendant John Gunnell for the term of eight years hence from the death of the said John Abeare the father, the remainder unto John Abeare the younger for his life only. And remainder said? John Abeare son of the said complainant & his heirs forever as by his said will ready to be produced in the honorable court wherebut -?- being had were? at ...... date & may appear. And this defendant John Gunnell saith that the said John Abeare the father shortly after dying, he the defendant did fortune out or -?- all the personal estate of the said John Abeare as his Executor as was likewise lawful for him to do; but these defendants and every of them do deny that they have any deeds or writings which any way concern the said land and premises, or ever had any such deeds, or know where any such are saved, and by this defendant John Gunnell saith he hath a copy of a will made by John Abeare grandfather of the said complainant by which the premises were conveyed unto the said complainant’s father. And these defendants do deny all -?- & confederacy in the said Bill ....... that therefore any of them have or do give out speeches as in the said Bill is set forth, or that they or any of them have made any secret or fraudulent estates of the premises amongst themselves, or to any person or persons whatsoever as in the said Bill ...... that any matter, cause or thing? clause sentence or article or allegation in the said Bill of Complaint contained material & affirmation said for them these defendants or any of them to make answers unto & not herein or hereby sufficiently answered unto, conferred & avoided, traversed or denied -?-. All which matters & things these defendants & every of them are & will be ready to -?- -?- maintain and prove as this here the Court shall award. And humbly pray to be -?- assessed with their reasonable cost and charges in this case wrongfully sustained.

Latin + date unclear

Signed or marked by William Ford, Wa Knight, Liam? Moore, John Gunnell, Thomas -?-, Mary Gunnell, Thomas -?-, Ann Pittell, William Martin, Thomas Martin, Richard Martin, Gr? Starkey.

Further work needs to be done transcribing the rest of this document, and the outcome is as yet unknown.

The Wargrave Hearth Taxes of Michaelmas 1662 - 1664 (Ref: pg63 TAFOW) state:

Jo Abear – 3 hearths, Thomas Abeare – 2 hearths, Francis Abeare – 3 hearths

It is more likely, but not certain, that this record refers to John’s son, John (1634 – 1685), so the matter is discussed under his heading.

John’s death does not seem to be recorded, but must have been soon after 1665 as he was already becoming elderly.

There is a Joan listed in the Wargrave burials on 13th November 1668, but not a Jane.

 

Margery Abeere (c1602 - >1647)

Margery’s baptism is not recorded in the Wargrave baptism list, nor is her marriage, so perhaps she was born at Henley.

Margery is named by her father in his will of 1647 as Margery wife of Robert Allen, and by that time they had a family of at least two daughters, the elder being named Mary Allen, then still aged less than 21 years.

Robert Allen may have been the churchwarden named as Robert Allins under her father’s heading, John Abeare gen 4J.

Margery and Robert inherited Margery’s father’s land in Henley and Navell in 1647/8, so clearly Margery died after this year. A Wargrave burial of a Margery Allens was recorded on 17th August 1658, the only burial found under this name in Berkshire.

The burial of a Margaret Allen, “daughter of Robert”, is recorded at Shrivenham in 1659.

A Rob Allen is listed under burials on 27th Feb 1666/7 at Hurst, St Nicholas. Another is listed on 26th August 1660 at Shrivenham, St Andrew. The latter seems more likely due to the Shrivenham connection, even though this location is about 35 miles west of Wargrave near Swindon.

 

Mary Abeere (c1604 - >c1660)

Mary’s baptism is not recorded in the Wargrave baptism list, so perhaps she was born in Henley. However her marriage on 13th June 1636 is listed.

Mary is named in her father’s will of 1647, as is her husband John Gunnell, and by this time they had two children, John and Sara, both aged under 21.

Mary inherited a house, and John inherited lands in Henley Town and Navell End.

John was appointed sole executor this will, and entrusted to see that the terms and conditions were carried out to the letter, resulting in the transference of much property to John Abeare’s grandson in 1655. In about 1660 both Mary and John Gunnell (and, apparently, other family members) were issued a Bill of Complaint by Mary’s brother John Abeare. They were accused of breaching the terms of the will and, so it seems, illegally profiteering from it - accusations they strenuously denied. See John Abeare (c1600 - >1665) gen 5J.

Gunnells are listed amongst the Wargrave burials on 9th Dec 1654 and 19th April 1659, but it seems from the above that both Mary and John lived beyond about 1660.

 

Ann(e) Abeere (1626 - ?1679)

Anne’s baptism is listed in the Wargrave baptism list dated 24th December 1626.

An “Ann” is named in her father’s will of 1636 and grandmother Mary’s will of 1637. Her father died whilst she was still a child, and her mother’s death seems to have occurred when she was just eighteen.

Clearly she died later than 1637. If she never married, Ann(e) may have been buried at Wargrave on 6th August 1679, but this “Ann” may have been the wife of Thomas Abeere gen 5J.

 

Thomas Abeere (1628 - >1679)

Thomas’s baptism is listed at Wargrave on 18th January 1628 “son of Thomas”.

He is named in his father’s final account of 1636 at which time he was just a boy. Presumably his father’s lands were farmed for ten years by his uncles, until Thomas came of age.

The Wargrave Hearth Tax of Michaelmas 1662 - 1664 state:

Jo Abear – 3 hearths, Thomas Abeare – 2 hearths, Francis Abeare – 3 hearths

It is likely, but not certain, that this record refers to this Thomas.(Ref: pg63 TAFOW)

Thomas’s marriage is recorded on 21st August 1665 at Wargrave to Ann Hafler, and to Thomas and Ann are attributed a son Thomas born in about 1665, though his baptism is not in the Wargrave list.

According to Pope, an indenture concerning Thomas and Richard Blyth reads:

There is also an indenture made on the seventh day of November in the sixteenth year of our soveraigne Lord Charles the Second (1676) between Thomas A’Beare of Wargrave yeoman and Richard Blyth of Sonning gent. The former in consideration of £250 conveys Long Withall Coppinscraft, Old Orchard Kindfield and The Holt. The land was bounded by the property of Ralph Newberry gentleman and Thomas Kent and the lease of one peppercorn expires in 2176. The parties contracted that the purchase money should be paid without deduction of taxes or imposition or Royal aide Subsidy. In 1680 Thomas Blyth of Englefield yeoman conveyed this property to John Sadler of Shinfield yeoman.

The same indenture is listed in TAFOW on pg 38 but is worded slightly differently, stating the 28th year of  Charles II (presumably an error), and naming additional properties – these are:

Long Withall, Barnes, stables and offices, and Northerend Close, Middle Close, Coppinscroft and the Old Orchard, Kindfield and the Holt.

Pope also quotes both a deed and an indenture regarding Thomas which exactly support his line of descendancy:

One of their many well preserved deeds is itself a good first start for a pedigree as it recites that it is between Thomas A’Beare of Harehatch Wargrave yeoman, sonne and heire of his father Thomas A’Beare (1582 – 1636) late of Harehatch yeoman deceased who was one of the sons of John A’Beare late of Harehatch yeoman deceased (c1535 - 1616), and John A’Bear now of Harehatch yeoman (c1600 - >1665), eldest son of his father John A’Bear (1576 – 1647/8) late of Harehatch yeoman deceased (and) who was sonne and heire of the said John A’Beare’s son deceased (1576 – 1647/8) and eldest brother of the said Thomas A’Beare deceased (1582 – 1636) of the one part and Richard Blyth of Sonning gent of the other part.

Although this deed is not dated by Pope, amongst Anthony Hickson’s records is the same deed, dated 5th May 1679.

Two further deeds are listed (Ref: TAFOW pg 38,39)

6 June 1680

Thomas Blyth of Englefields, Berks (yeoman), brother and only heir of Richard Blyth (gent) ?sells/pays? Elizabeth ?Bonds? for 5 shillings, land at Harehatch – Northerend Close – 4 acres, another croft of 2 acres, the Old Orchard – 1 acre and Coppins Croft Orchard – half acre. The land was bounded by property of Ralph Newberry, gentleman, and Thomas Kent.

 7 July 1680

Thomas Blyth declares himself to be satisfied with land ?bought? at Harehatch from Elizabeth ?Bonds? for £313.

It seems from the above that Richard Blyth may have died between 1679 and 1680, though there is confusion as to how the land then changed hands. There is however no doubt that Elizabeth Jones bought the land off Thomas Blyth in 1680, as this is stated in an indenture dated 5th August 1795 together with the reason for this purchase, namely as security for £200 inheritance payable to her daughter upon her coming of age. See Elizabeth Joanes under John (1677 – 1743) gen 8J.

There is no burial record for Thomas, but from the above information he must have died after 1679.

Ann’s death could tie up with a burial on 23rd September 1683, though another eligible Ann for this date in Ann(e) gen 5J.

 

*   *    *    *    *

 

Generation 6W

 

Anne Abeare (1623 – >1688)

Anne is listed in the Wargrave baptism records as “Anne - daughter of John” on 11th May 1623. She lost her father still a baby.

She was named as a beneficiary in her grandfather’s will of 1639.

It is possible Anne married Lewis Newberry, citizen and skinner of London, around 1650. His will, proved in 1684, mentions his cousin A. Abeare of Harehatch and her brother J. Abeare. (Ref: pg76 TAFOW). This would make Ann Abeare (1639 - ?1683) his cousin by marriage, John Abeare (1631 - ?1702) being her brother.

[There is a birth record on the Church of the Latter Day Saints website for a Lewes Newberye 16 Nov 1623 at St Gabriel, Fenchurch, London. Father William, mother Sibley].

If she married Lewis, it seems he died before 1688, for in this year she lodged a Bill of Complaint against her first cousin John Abeare (1631 - >1688, 1702?) regarding ownership of land bequeathed by her grandfather to John’s father Francis (1609 – 1677). This document clearly names her as Ann Murrell, then wife of Robert Murrell, and Robert represented her in court.

Held in the National Archives under reference C9/336/18 Murrell v Abeare 1688, it seems the bone of contention centred on her cousin John’s rightful ownership, when Ann was the only daughter of John’s eldest brother. Her father John had died long before the time the will was written by her grandfather, so he was not named in the will. Ann, as the daughter of grandfather’s eldest son, was bequeathed forty shillings but, probably spurred on by her husband Robert, felt she was entitled to much more of the land her cousin presumably inherited. 

Her cousin John’s defence reads as follows:

The answer of John Abeare to the Bill of Complaint of Robert Murrell the Elder and Anne his wife, complainants.

............to him why here? and at all times thereafter all -?- and -?- of -?- to the uncertainty, insufficiency and manifest -?- of the said complainant -?- Bill of Complaint .......or to so much as .............. unto the ......and -?- but to make appear to this honorable court that John Abeare in the Bill named the grandfather ........the grandfather of the complainant Anne had two sons, to wit, John Abeare -?- -?- son who was the father of the complainant Anne, and Francis Abeare the father of the defendant, and that John Abeare the -?- -?- ...... the heir of the said John Abeare the grandfather. And this defendant saith he -?- and -?- not to prove that the said John Abeare the grandfather was in his lifetime seized according to the custom of the Manor .............purprestures and copyhold lands holden of the said Manor of Wargrave by several copies of print roll according to the custom of the said Manor -?- ....... mentioned, that is to say three acres of land purpresture named Marityling? in the tything of Woodrew, and all this toft and three crofts of land purpresture containing by estimation three acres in the said tything of Woodrew, and two acres of land purpresture in Southkenfield, and of all that toft and seven acres of land purpresture called Corke, and two acres of land more in Southkenfield in the said tything of Woodrew, and one further -?-  -?- called Embers? -?- parcel of -?- -?- land called Coppingcroft, and of one toft and one yard land called Trelands?, and four acres of land purpresture parcel of forty six acres in the said tything of Woodrew, and -?- acres more of land in Northkenfield, and of one toft with a curtilage at Harehatch, and of one other toft with a curtilage nigh a cottage there some time of Christian Norris? called Childs Garden.

And the said John Abeare the grandfather being thereof so seized the -?- defendant -?- -?- out to prove after the death of the said John Abeare the defendants father to -?- the eight and twentieth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred thirty nine surrendered into the hands of the then Lord of the said Manor by the hands and acceptance of Thomas Newberry and Robert Allen, then two of the customary trustees? of the said Manor .............and tenements holden of the said Manor of Wargrave ........ name the same were known to the fit and proper use and behalf of the said Francis Abeare this defendant’s father and his heirs for ever -?- -?- or surmised? that Margery the wife of the said John Abeare the grandfather might have and hold during her widowhood part of the said copyhold lands, or else that the said Francis should allow her during her widowhood eight pounds per annum to be paid quarterly by four equal payments. And this defendant saith he -?- but to prove that at the next court holden for the Manor of Wargrave after the taking of the said -?- the ninth day of April in the year of our Lord 1640 the said surrender was duly presented and discorded? by the Manor? according to the customs of the said Manor of Wargrave. And that the said Thomas Newberry and Robert Allen .... but together with the said surrender deliver unto the said court six? -?- copies by which they did affirm the said premises be surrendered by the said John Abeare the grandfather were taken? and afterwards at the same court. And this defendant -?- not but to prove the said Francis Abeare this defendant’s father was duly admitted to the said copyhold premises according to the custom of the said Manor, and did? -?- fealty in the said first said -?- -?- and quietly held and enjoyed the said copyhold -?- seven and thirty years and upwards, and after died thereof seized after where decease this defendant at a Court Baron of Richard Newell Esq -?- by the said Manor the eleventh day of October in the twentieth? year of the time of our late sovereign Lord King Charles the Second (c1680) was duly admitted tenant to the said premises, and had -?- thereof given to him by the -?- in open court according to the custom of the said Manor, and hath ever since held and enjoyed the same. And this defendant saith he hath heard and believed & may be true that the said John Abeare the grandfather -?- -?- -?- seized of some other lands that were holden of the said Manor, and that ...... what the -?- were or to whom sold this defendant cannot set forth, nor is concerned therewith, this defendant not have or coming? to -?- by law or claim any estate title or interest of, in or to any freehold or copyhold lands, tenements or hereditaments holden of the Manor of Wargrave, or lying and being in Wargrave that ever were the lands, tenements or hereditaments of the said John Abeare the grandfather, other than the copyhold land and tenements which were so surrendered by the said John Abeare the grandfather in his lifetime to the use of this defendant’s said father -?- said. And this defendant saith he hath -?- enforced? and believed it may be true that after the admittance of this defendant’s said father to the said copyhold land which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the surrender of the said John Abeare the grandfather as aforesaid, the said complainant Ann or some on her behalf after the death of the said John Abeare the grandfather, did at a Court holden for the said Manor of Wargrave the nine? and twentieth of April 1644 -?- to -?- and said copyhold estates as heir at? did to the said John Abeare the grandfather, and in order to try her pretended title thereunto she was at the said Court with a -?- the -?- of all -?- -?- thereunto? and might if she had pleased have brought her accord in -?- -?- and have disputed the right and title of this defendant’s father thereunto which she never did that this defendant ever heard of, but as this defendant -?- was -?- with and -?- him quietly to enjoy the same near forty years. However she hath since met with some idle advice to give this defendant cause for trouble and .......... by an -?- in genuine form? dependency, and by this -?- -?- -?- to this defendant saith he doth claim as his right and hath quietly held and enjoyed ever since the death of the said Francis Abeare this defendant’s father -?- to the said Francis -?- of meadow lying in Heaton? Meade in the parish of Hurst in the county of Wilts holden of the Manor of Linton? as this defendant believed.

And this defendant saith he -?- not but he shall be able to satisfy this court that the said Francis Abeare was lawfully seized of the said -?- -?- ground, and did peaceably and quietly hold and enjoy the same by the space of about forty years there? before his death, but how the same came to this? defendant’s father, or whether the -?- freehold or copyhold this defendant cannot set forth, he knowing? nowhere? any deed or copy concerning the same, but believes the same were lost or mislaid in the time of the late civil wars in this kingdom. And this defendant believes the complainant -?- -?- withhold? -?- Robert but whether the complainant Robert were -?- danger in the Court of Exchequer in the lifetime of John Abeare the grandfather either or whether here? -?- -?- all? ....... for his loyalty or plundered or -?- thereby disabled to maintain a law -?- -?- defendant knoweth not. And this defendant saith the copyhold lands so claimed? and enjoyed by this defendant -?- -?- of the yearly value? of about half -?- twenty pounds but -?- the yearly value of any of the freehold land or copyhold lands whereof John Abeare the grandfather died seized, this defendant knoweth not, this defendant not knowing? the -?- -?- any -?- to any lands or -?- whereof the said John Abeare the grandfather died seized. And the defendant saith he hath not in his custody any deeds, evidences, charts?, copies of court -?- or -?- which -?- -?- the -?- -?- messuages, lands or tenements whereof the said John Abeare the grandfather was seized other than what -?- the copyhold lands and which were surrendered into the hands of the said Lord of the Manor -?- by the said John Abeare the grandfather to the use of the said Francis Abeare the defendant’s father and his heirs -?- -?-. And this defendant denyeth all manner of -?- with any part to defraud? -?-  -?- -?- -?- that any other matter or thing in the said complainant’s said Bill of Complaint contained -?- -?- -?- in the law to be answered unto and not herein and hereby well and infamously? -?- -?- -?- -?- awarded -?- or denied? -?- to the knowledge of this defendant. All which matters and things this defendant is ready to aver and prove as this honorable court shall award and pray to be .................... most wrongfully? sustained. .....                   

The outcome of the hearing has yet to be established.

 

John Abeare (1631 – >1678, ?1702)

John appears in the Wargrave baptism list on 17th April 1631 named as “John, son of Francis”.

In about 1660 it seems John was issued with a Bill of Complaint regarding his lawful ownership of land by Thomas Hunt, the son of Alice Abeare (c1592 – c1615). Presumably this land had been surrendered to him by his father Francis before Francis died in 1677. Francis had inherited it from his father in 1639. See Alice Abeare (c1592 – c1615)

It appears Thomas’s claim was unsuccessful as a further Bill of Complaint was issued by Ann Murrell in 1688.

John probably married in about 1663, though it is not listed at Wargrave.

He and his wife seem to have had two children named John (1664) and Jane (1668), both baptised as children “of John”.

The Wargrave Hearth Tax of Michaelmas (Ref: pg63 TAFOW) 1662 - 1664 state:

Jo Abear – 3 hearths, Thomas Abeare – 2 hearths, Francis Abeare – 3 hearths

It is more likely, but not certain, that this record refers to another John, so the matter is discussed under other headings.

He is named by his mother in her will of 1678, and testified in court in 1688 (see below).

It is possible that this is the man who donated a tenor bell to St Mary’s Church in 1688. See “The Bells”.

In 1688 John was issued a Bill of Complaint by his first cousin Ann Murrell nee Abeare who challenged his rightful ownership of land he had inherited. The outcome has not yet been ascertained.

See Ann Abeare (1623 - >1688).

John’s death may well have occurred prior to 21st April 1702 when the Wargrave burials list records “John – farmer”. No other known John seems to fit this year.

 

Francis Abeare (1636 – 1651)

Francis appears in the Wargrave baptism list on 26th February 1636 as “Francis – son of Francis and Jane”.

He is not named by his mother in her will of 1678 suggesting that he died before then.

The Wargrave burials list names a “Francis – junior” on 8th May 1651.

 

Ann Abeare (1639 – 1683)

 Ann appears in the Wargrave baptism list on 14th July 1639 as “Anne – daughter of Francis and Jane”.

She is named by her mother in her will of 1678 as Ann Wilkes, and she married Francis Wilkes in 1676 at Bisham, Berkshire.

Francis Wilkes, son of Francis & Jone Wilkes was baptised at Wargrave on 27th January 1645/6.

In 1684 the will of Lewis Newbery, citizen and skinner of London, mentions his cousin A. Abeare of Harehatch and her brother J. ABeare. There seems to be no other candidate for this A. Abeare. It seems unlikely that she changed her name back to Abeare if her husband died or they divorced, so perhaps the will was written before she married in 1676. (Ref: pg 76 TAFOW). The surname Newbery matches that of Ann’s grandfather’s trusted friend and is probably a descendant.

An Ann is recorded in the burials list in 1683 (and also 1679), but this too would be an Ann A’Bear, not an Ann Wilkes.

There is a Wilkes entry in the Wargrave, St Mary burial list on 28th July 1729.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

 Generation 6J

 

Jone (Joan) Abeere (1633 - >1659)

Joan’s baptism is listed in the Wargrave records, dated 31st March 1633, “Jone, daughter of John”.

She is named in her grandfather’s will in 1647, and twice in wills of 1658 by, it seems, her maternal grandparents, William and Frances Martin. (Ref: pg 76 TAFOW) when her surname was still her maiden name.

Joan married William Webb at Reading in 1659.

There is a record of a Webbe being buried at Reading on 24th November 1696.

 

John Abeere (1634 - 1685)

John’s baptism is recorded in the Wargrave records, dated 16th November 1634, “son of John”.

He is named by his grandfather in his will of 1647, when he inherited all his grandfather’s Wargrave land which he had bought off Henry Nuberry, and his house, already occupied by his family.

John married Jane Coates in 1653 at Shiplake, just across the river from Wargrave.

The Wargrave Hearth Tax of Michaelmas 1662 - 1664 state:

Jo Abear – 3 hearths, Thomas Abeare – 2 hearths, Francis Abeare – 3 hearths

It is likely that this record refers to this John (or just possibly his father). John inherited his grandfather’s house in 1647, and by 1663 had a wife and four children. Their need for a sizeable property was greater than John’s mother and father. (Ref: pg63 TAFOW). Interestingly, there are no other Hearth Tax records for Abears at this time in Wargrave, Warfield or Waltham St Lawrence.

According to TAFOW, in 1665 a document described by Pope and now missing states:

John A’Beare of the parish of Wargrave, yeoman of the Hill of the one part and John A’Beare junior of the other part conveys North and South Kindfield, Pawfield, Oldfield etc at Harehatch and property at Mumberry Hill (School Hill) to the other parties of the deed – Edward Simeon of Wargrave (apparently a son-in-law). (Ref: pg38 TAFOW)

Assuming this year to be correct, this conveyance could only have concerned this John and his father. But it does not seem that Edward Simeon could have been his son-in-law as his only daughter Jane died as a child. Pope quotes the year of this deed as 1702, so it is reconsidered under the next generation. The Stanley A’Bear tree places Edward as husband to Elizabeth A’Bear (1680 - ?), and they are tentatively placed two generations later.

In 1681 a church bell was donated to the church of Waltham St Lawrence – a sanctus bell which is probably of 15th century date, without maker's mark or name. It is inscribed

+ PRAY FOR THE WELFARE OF ROBERD CONISBE

and

HEN BOVLT C W + THE GIFT OF JOHN ABEERE OF THE HILL + 1681

and hangs there to this day.

 

(For further information see the article "The Bells")

The bell must surely have been donated by this John; the spelling of the surname also matches this branch. It does not seem from the inscription that John was necessarily a Churchwarden at the church, nor even a regular worshipper, although his brother Francis was baptised at this church in 1646. In fact, seven years later in 1688 (after John’s death) another larger tenor bell was hung at St Mary’s Church with an inscription suggesting that John’s son John (c 1654 – 1711) was then a Churchwarden at St Mary’s, aged about 34 years. This might suggest a tradition of family attendance at St Mary’s Church.

How John came by this sanctus bell is not known, but between 1668 and 1670 St Mary’s hung five new bells, and perhaps John later passed it on to Waltham St Lawrence as it was surplus to requirements.

In the Berkshire Record Office is John’s will, proved in 1686, with an inventory. (Ref: BRO / pg63 TAFOW). It reads as follows :

19th September 1684

In the name of God Amen.  I John Abeere the Elder of the Parish of Wargrave in the county of Berks Yeoman being not well in body but of sound and perfect memory, all praise be given to Almighty God for the same, and calling to mind the uncertain estate of this transitory life, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following. First and principally I commend my soul to Almighty God who gave it to me, trusting assuredly through the mercy and merits of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ foremostly to be saved, and my body to this earth from whence it was taken to be decently buried at the discretion of my executor hereafter named. And as for my temporal effects which it hath pleased Almighty God to bestow upon me far above my defects, I give devise and bequeath the same in manner and form following. Item – I give devise and bequeath unto my loving son John Abeere one shilling. And ?all for all other my estate and substance whatsoever which I should die possessed of. I give devise and bequeath the same (my debts and legacies being paid and funeral expenses disbursed) unto my loving sons Francis Abeere and William Abeere equally to be divided between them, and I ?appoint and ordain the said Francis Abeere and William Abeere Joint Executors of this my last will and testament. And I do hereby make void and null all wills by me formerly made. And in witness that this writing is and ?remaineth my last will and testament I the said John Abeere the Elder have hereunto set my hand and seal the nineteenth day of September in the six and thirtieth year of the reign of our sovereign Lord Charles the Second by the grace of God of England Scotland France and Ireland King defender of the faith ? ? 1684.

Signed sealed published and declared by the said

John Abeere the Elder to be his last testament in

the presence of        Katherine Spencer                   The mark of John Abeere

                                   Giles Wade                                  the Elder

                                   ?Steven Judd

Probate granted  -  16th April 1686.

 

INVENTORY

12th April 1686

An Inventory of all the goods and chattels of John Abeer late of Wargrave in the county of Berks deceased taken and appraised by William Dearing and John Barnard this twelth day of April in the year of our Lord 1686 as followeth :

In primus his wearing apparel, a standing bedstead,

one bed? and two bolsters and the ? thereunto belonging,

with other small goods appraised at ……….                                     £5  -  00  -  0d

In the ?kitchen one table and frame appraised at ……                    £0  -  02  -  0d

In the Hall one table, one ?gate, one ? ? ?cupboard

and one small binding pair ? and other small goods

appraised at ………                                                                               £ 1  -  00  -  0d

In an ?cupboard one cider press, one truse?tner final

goods appraised at ………..………                                                     £ 1  -  00  -  0d

A mare bind and saddle appraised at …………                                £2  -  00  -  0d

 

                             ?  ?  total cometh to…..                                              £9  -  02  -  0d

 

William Dearing

John Barnard

A ?Priors

                                                                                  signed and sealed 16 April 1686

He names his three sons as beneficiaries, John A’Beere (c1654 but unlisted), William A’Beere (1655 listed) and Francis A’Beere (c1657 unlisted).

A daughter Rebecca (1659) is also listed and a daughter Jane (1660); both would not have been named if they had died before the will was written.

His wife Jane clearly lived beyond 1660, the year of their last child, but since she is not mentioned in his will it is likely she died before 1684. No burial record has been found. The Wargrave burial record of a Jane on 25th July 1678 cannot be attributed to this Jane, but to Jane gen 5W, declared to be a widow when she died - see Francis Abeare gen 5W.

John’s Wargrave burial record is dated 14th January 1685 when he was declred to be "of the hill".

Clearly John’s effects amounted to very little at the time of his death, and his legacy of one shilling to his eldest son John (then aged thirty and with at least four living children) implies he had already passed on much of his estate to him. In his will he declares himself “John the Elder” which, together with the apparently small house described in his inventory, supports the notion that he was no longer living at The Hill. However, his burial record names him as “of the hill”.

Though John was the elder in his branch in 1684, he was not apparently the eldest John living in Wargrave at that time. John (1631 - ?1702) was born three years earlier than him, suggesting there may be a misplacement on the tree here.

William Dearing is also named as a signatory of the will (and of the inventory of Jane Abeare in 1678.

 

Mary Abeere (1637 - 1673)

Mary’s baptism is listed in the Wargrave records dated 27th December 1637 when she is listed as “daughter of John and Jone”.

She is named in her grandfather’s will in 1647 and twice in wills of 1658 by, it seems, her maternal grandparents, William and Frances Martin. (Ref: pg 76 TAFOW)

These 1658 wills refer to her with her maiden name, indicating that any marriage would have been later than this year.

A Mary Abear married John Round of Sonning in 1672. Sonning is about four miles south-west of Wargrave. No other Mary is known to have lived at this time.

A Mary Round is listed under the Wargrave burials on 16th July 1673.

A John Round is listed under the Wargrave burials in 1709/10 and again in 1729.

 

Francis Abeere (1646 - ?)

Francis ABeare was baptised at Waltham St Lawrence church on 22nd Jun 1646, “the son of Jane and John”. (Ref: pg 61 TAFOW) [The IGI listings spell his surname Abeare but other information agrees].

Francis is named as the youngest son and as a beneficiary in his grandfather’s will of 1647; he presumably inherited money according to the terms of this will when he came of age in 1667. In the will he is separated out and treated differently from his brother and sisters.

Ten years elapsed between sister Mary’s birth and Francis’s birth, but they were both named children of John and Jane.

The Stanley A’Bear tree indicates his marriage to Jane ? in 1670 with a son Francis born to them in 1671 who married Ann ? in 1692. There are no Wargrave records to support this information. There is, however, a reference which may relate to Ann living in London in 1721, but this data has been added under Francis A’Beere (c1657 - ?) gen 7J.

There does not seem to be a Wargrave St Mary’s burial for Francis. Of the two listed, the 1677 burial is surely Francis gen 5W born 1609 as it ties in with his inventory date, and the 1680 burial seems likely to be that of Francis gen 8J born 1680.

Nor does there seem to be a Wargrave burial record for a Jane. It cannot be 25th July 1678 as this ties in closely with Jane the widow of Francis gen 5W.

 

Thomas Abeere (c1665 - ?)

Thomas A’Bear and his marriage to Mary ? in 1699 is copied over from Stanley A’Bear’s tree, source unknown. His supposed parents married in 1665, so it is feasible they had a son named after the father around this time.

Mary A’Bear, a daughter to “Thomas and Mary” is listed under the Wargrave Baptisms in 1700, though she is not listed in the transcribed records. There being no other known Thomas at this time, it is assumed that Thomas married Mary ? around 1699, though no record has been found.

 

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Generation 7W

 

John Abeare (1664 – >1728)

That John A’Bear (baptised at Wargrave on 9th February 1664 "son of John") married Elizabeth Cutlor on 1st July 1711 is recorded in the Wargrave Marriages, and six children born to a “John” are recorded in the baptism list. The progression of these birth dates seems to fit well, and so all six have been placed accordingly. (The Stanley A’Bear tree placed only the first three children, the others remaining undiscovered at the time). John’s surname is recorded as Beard for the baptisms of his sons Joshua and Thomas.

If his last son was Joshua, John must have died after the year of his birth, 1728. There is no Wargrave burial record that seems to correspond.

An Elizabeth A’Bear was buried at Wargrave on 12th October 1754.

 

Jane Abeare (1668 – ?)

Jane appears in the Wargrave baptisms list as “Jane – daughter of John”, dated 8th February 1668.

Jane’s marriage to George Kent of Shiplake on 11th June 1702 was at Waltham St Lawrence. (Ref: pg 62 TAFOW). [The International Genealogical Index record for this marriage clearly states 11th June 1702].

An entry for the surname Kent is recorded in the burials list for Hurley, St Mary the Virgin on 8th August 1756.

 

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Generation 7J

 

John Abeere/ Abeare ( c1654 - 1711)

John is named in his father’s will of 1685, however there is no record of his baptism at Wargrave.

John married Rebecca ? in about 1672. The marriage is unlisted, but his wife is named in his will.

They had six children, namely Rebecca (c1670), Mary (1676), John (1677), twins Francis and Richard (1680) and Jane (1681).

The BRO holds a deed dated 1685 (Ref : TAFOW pg76) which states:

Bargain and sale conveying Pitt Inninges from John Gunnell of Sonning, yeoman, to John Lee of Shottesbrooke, yeoman, for £114 (John A’Beare a witness – his mark).

It seems likely this man was the John Abeare named as Churchwarden on a tenor bell hung at St Mary’s Church in 1688. [Alternatively it was John Abeare (1631 - ?1702)]. See “The Bells”.

A document dated 1702 concerns the administration of the property of John A’Beare in which are mentioned Edward Simeon, George Kent of Shiplake and Joseph Woodward. (Ref: BRO / pg 64 TAFOW). George Kent married Jane A’Bear (1668 - ?) gen W7, a somewhat distantly related cousin to John.

Pope also describes a deed as follows:

There is a deed executed in the first year of the reigne of our soveraigne Lady Anne (1702) in which John A’Bear of the parish of Wargrave yeoman of The Hill of the one part and John A’Bear junior of the other part and Edward Simeon of Wargrave schoolmaster (his son-in-law), in which John A’Bear conveys north and south Kindfield, Pawfield and Oldfield at Harehatch, and property at Mumberry Hill (school Hill) to the other parties of the deed. Simeon acquired various other property including Gibstroud, Cockpole, Penny and Worley Farms so that when, in 1728, his will was proved by John A’Bear, he had advanced from Edward Simeon schoolmaster to Edward Simeon gentleman. Gibstroud Farm was originally part of Stroud’s Farm at Park Place, the property of the Strouds, the Ffordes, and at some time, the A’Bear family.

It seems that by 1704 this John Abeare had already sold off land to Edward Simeon:

August 1704 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for 7 acre of land in Northern Field, Clout piece – 2 acre, Pitt piece and Ruscombe Field, formerly belonging to John Abear.

August 1704 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for Hedingtone Plot, formerly belonging to John Abear.

[Edward Simeon from Caversham appears in about 1690 when he married Elizabeth Joanes of Waltham St Lawrence. John’s father died in 1685].

Amongst the papers in possession of John Burton A’Bear the following deed was apparently seen:

1704. Oct 7th   Two of the parties are John Abeare Father & Son both described as of the Hill. A Deed entered into on the marriage of the son to Martha Underwood

suggesting both this John and his son lived together at this time.

The Snell Collection includes a deed (Ref : TAFOW pg 76) which states:

25 November 1704

H. White purchased “this day of G. Webb and Ann his wife” a cottage in Wargrave – witnessed by J. Abeare, G. Webb, Ed Simeon, A. Webb.

Seven years later Henry White supervised an inventory of John’s belongings.

In John’s will, written in 1709, he names himself John Abeere, yeoman of Wargrave. (Ref: BRO / pg64 TAFOW)

7th May 1709

In the name of God Amen. I John Abeere the Elder of the Parish of Wargrave in the county of Berks Yeoman being weak in body but of perfect and sound memory (thanks be given to God for the same) do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following (that is to say) trusting principally I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God hoping through the merit death and passion of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to have full and free pardon and forgiveness of all my sins and to inherit everlasting life; and my body I commit to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executrix herein aforenamed. And as ?touching the disposition of all such temporal estate as it hath pleased Almighty God to bestow upon me, I give and dispose thereof as followeth:

In primus : I will that my debts and funeral charges shall be paid and discharged, of which debts my will and pleasure is that ten pounds which I owe to Walter Kent be paid out of one acre and a half of meadow ground lying in Wargrave Mead ?Marsh to the Bell.

Item – I give and bequeath to my loving wife Rebeka Abeare all that my close and orchard lying in Wargrave called Ouselease Close and Orchard as also my dwelling house in Wargrave aforesaid which now I live in and inhabit with outhouses, gardens and all other appurtenances thereunto belonging, also one cottage and garden adjoining to the aforesaid premises now in the tenure and occupation of the Widow Moody, also my house called or known by the name of Lilly’s on the other side of the way over against Ouselease Orchard with the malthouse, outhouses, barns, stables, garden, orchards and all other appurtenances thereunto belonging, also one half acre of land lying in Purfield near Purfield Oak for and during the term of her natural life, and which I do give her (to hinder any disputes that may arise thereabout) over and above and besides ?thirds of my free estate which she hath a right to after my decease by course and order of land) during the said term of her natural life.

Item – I give and bequeath to my son John Abeare the sum of twenty shillings.

Item – I give unto my daughter Rebeka Graves of the parish of Warfield all that close and orchard called or known by the name of Ouselease Close and Orchard, next and immediately after the decease of my aforesaid wife and to her heirs forever; also the half acre of arable land near Warfield Oak after my ? decease to her and her heirs forever.

Item – I give and bequeath to my daughter Jane Silver of the parish of Henley upon Thames in the county of Oxon after the decease of my aforesaid wife my house in Wargrave called Lilly’s aforesaid with my malthouse, outhouses, barns, stables, orchards and gardens with other appertunences on that side of the way thereunto belonging and to her heirs forever, provided nevertheless, and it is my will, that the said Jane Silver or William Silver her husband do pay unto my grandson Daniel Graves the sum of five pounds at the end of one year after my wife’s decease which payment of which sum of five pounds I do hereby charge the said house and appurtenances.

Item – I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Bankham all them two messuages and tenements with all appurtenances named aforesaid in which I now inhabit and which is in the possession of the Widow Moody after the decease of my aforesaid wife, also all that my close lying on the north side of a lane commonly called Harehatch Lane and next adjoining to a close of Henry Frinsham Clerk on the east, also three acres of arable land in Oldfield, to her and her heirs forever, which close and arable land tis my will notwithstand my son John Abeare do hold and possess without wont or molestation from her or any other farming? under her during the life of my wife aforesaid.

Item – I give and bequeath to the poor of the parish of Wargrave the sum of ten shillings.

All the rest and residue of my personal estates goods and chattels wharsoever I do give and bequeath unto my loving wife Rebekah Abeare, full and sole executrix of this my last will and testament. And I do hereby revoke and disannul all former wills by me made in witness whereof I now? hereunto set my hand and seal this seventh day of May in the eight year of our sovereign lady Anne by the grace of God, Queen of Great Brittain and Defender of the Faith. Anno Domini 1709.

Signed sealed published and declared                            Signed John Abeare

in presence of :                                                                      (in his own hand)

?Ken Frinsham

The mark of

Thomas Corderey

The mark of

Priscilla Barnes

 

INVENTORY

11th June 1711

A true and perfect Inventory of the goods and chattels of John Abeare of the parish of Wargrave in county of Berks lately deceased as it was taken by William Silver of Henley upon Thames of county of Oxon, Henry White of Wargrave afforded 11th day of June in the tenth year of our sovereign Lady Anne of Great Brittain and Queen, Defender of the Faith or Anno Domini 1711.

In primo his wearing apparel                                                                            £5  -  00  -  0d

Item – also with other goods in the best chamber                                          £4  -  00  -  0d

Item – the goods in another chamber on the left hand                                  £2  -  00  -  0d

Item – the goods in the little chamber                                                              £0  -  10  -  0d

Item – in the kitchen a sack, pewter and other things                                   £1  -  10  -  0d

Item – for bacon                                                                                                   £1  -  00  -  0d

Item – goods in the hall and buttery                                                                £1  -  10  -  0d

Item – in the wash house, two kettles, one pot and other chamber            £1  -  00  -  0d

Item – without doors, one cow                                                                         £2  -  00  -  0d

Item – two pigs                                                                                                    £1  -  00  -  0d

Item – wood faggots and some other small things                                        £1  -  10  -  0d

Item – an half acre of wheat growing on the ground                                    £1  -  00  -  0d

Item – five acres of barley ?sticks                                                                     £5  -  00  -  0d

Item – in ready money                                                                                       £8  -  05  -  0d

 

                                                                                        Total                            £35  -  05  -  0d

                                                                                        Funeral expenses       £10  -  09  -  6d

 

The marks of Henry White

                       William Silver

                                                                                              Signed and sealed 17th July 1711

His beneficiaries are Rebeka his wife, John A’Beare his son, Rebeka Graves of Warfield and Jane Silver of Henley his daughters. He also names William Silver his son-in-law, Daniel Graves his grandson, Mary Bankham his other daughter, Widow Moody and Henry Frinsham. Henry Frinsham was the vicar at St Mary’s for 46 years from 1689 – 1735.

Pope states (pg 113) that Ouseleys or Ouselease was a property owned by John in 1690 and which he left by will in 1709 to his daughter Jane and her husband William Silver. However, the text makes it clear that his daughter Rebeka inherited Ouselease Close and Orchard, and Jane and her husband inherited his house called Lilly’s adjoining Ouselease orchard. Perhaps it was this neighbouring property that in time came to be known as Ouselease.

Either this John Abeare (shortly before his death) or his son sold and let out land to Edward Simeon:

4 October 1710 – Release of lands in Wargrave to Edward Simeon from John Abeare. Only the sleeve of this document seen.

23 October 1710 – John A beare (yeoman) ?lets out? land to Edward Simeon (yeoman) of Wargrave – for 5 shillings and a rent of one peppercorn per year to be paid on the feast of St Michael.

At the time of his death, John’s son John had already married, had three children and remarried, so doubtless son John had already acquired Hill House, explaining his legacy of only twenty shillings.

John’s will was signed in his own hand, suggesting he had some kind of formal education.

John Abeard’s Wargrave burial is recorded on 28th May 1711 and Rebecca, who clearly outlived John, is thought to be recorded there in 1719.

The property “Lilly’s” mentioned in John’s will is listed in the Sequence of Land Occupation document between 1487 and 1554 when it was not held by our family.

 

William A’Beere (1655 - 1729)

William’s baptism in Wargrave is recorded on 11th April 1655 “son of John”.

He is named as a beneficiary in his father’s will of 1685.

William married Elizabeth ? in about 1676 for which there is no Wargrave record, but their daughter Jane was baptised at Wargrave in 1679 “daughter of William”.

Elizabeth died and was buried at Wargrave in 1722. There is no transcribed record of this, but the original does exist.

There is a deed in The Snell Collection (Ref : TAFOW pg77) dated 6 May 1728 which names W. Aber as a witness. The details are unclear, though it has an Alton, Hampshire connection. This deed may be irrelevant to our family.

William was buried on 13th April 1729 at Wargrave.

Stanley A’Bear’s tree places William (1636 – 1729) in generation 6 above, a brother to John (1634 – 1685), indicating his marriage to Frances Martin. There is no Wargrave baptism or marriage record for a William that corresponds.

Coincidentally, the name of the mother of Jane/Joan Martin (c1605 - ?) who married John (c1600- >1665) was also Frances Martin.

It seems unlikely that William should be placed according to Stanley A’Bear’s tree as he is not named as a beneficiary amongst the children of John (c1600 - >1665) in the will of John (1576 – 1647/8) when all the other young grandchildren are named somewhat comprehensively.

Both Williams share the same year of death, so they are assumed to be one and the same person.

Stanley A’Bear also shows their daughter Jane born 1660 and marrying George Kent, but this Jane has already been placed as daughter of John (1631 - >1678) and born in 1668.

 

Francis A’Beere (c1657 - c1720?)

Francis is named as a beneficiary in his father’s will of 1685, however there is no record of his baptism at Wargrave.

In the Snell Collection the will of a J Coggin, citizen of London, (made out some time between 1673 and 1693) mentions Francis Delabeare of Wargrave. (Ref: pg 78 TAFOW). This may well refer to Francis (1609 – 1677) so is reiterated under his heading.

It is possible Francis left a widow Ann, as the following will is to be found in the Snell Collection: (Ref: pg 78 TAFOW)

9 June 1721 Ann Dellabere, St Jas. Clerkenwell, (M) widow – Jo & E. Gale, cousins of my (n) ?niece? A. Gale wife of Jo Gale – W. Delabere son of W. Delabere – cousin John Dellabere of Harehatch, Berks. This d Rb – Fs. Dellabere – Gr Drake – 10 poor widow of St. Jas. Clerkenwell 3/- to buy them shoes – E. Williams, widow – sister E. Marham, widow; sister E. Warham – J. Grant of (L) ?London?, soap boyler – cousin A. Gale daughter of n. A. Gale & wife & Jo Gale.

The year of this will together with the references restrict the places where Ann can be placed on the tree. The reference “Fs. Dellabere” is taken to mean Francis. It seems from the above she married into the family and was widowed, knew a William son of William (although there is no record of William (1655 – 1729) having a son William), and names John as a cousin, this person presumably being John (1677 – 1743) as her brother-in-law John had died in 1711.

Perhaps Francis worked in London, married Ann there, and died leaving her a widow by 1721. In this case, adopting the Dellabere surname perhaps helped Francis establish himself in London. Alternatively Ann may have moved to London after becoming widowed and found the surname influential. Another possibility is that Ann was the widowed daughter-in-law of Francis and Ann in which case ‘cousin John’ would refer to John (1677 – 1743) gen 8J.

[The Stanley A’Bear tree indicates that this will relates to Ann the widow of Francis (1671 – c1720) son of Francis Abeere (1646 - ?1677)].

 

Rebecca Abear (1659 - ?)

Rebecca was baptised at Wargrave on 21st February 1659, “son of John”. She is placed here as she fits the progression of birth years well.

There is no Wargrave marriage record for Rebecca and her year of death is uncertain. [The Rebeka who was buried in 1719 is thought to be the wife of John born c1654 who would by then have been aged 64 years].

Rebecca is not mentioned in her father’s will of 1685, so may have died before then.

 

 

Jane A’Beere (1660 - ?1668)

Jane appears in the Wargrave baptism list on 6th December 1660 “daughter of John”.

She is not named in her father’s will of 1685, which may indicate she died before then. The Wargrave burials list names a Joan A’Bear in 1668, but nobody named Jane around this time.

[Jane was shown as a daughter to William (1636 – 1729) in the Stanley A’Bear tree.]

 

 

Mary A’Bear (1700 - ?1768)

Mary “daughter of Thomas & Mary” is listed under the Wargrave baptisms in 1700, though the transcribed version does not include her.

There is a Wargrave burial of a Mary Abear recorded on 3rd April 1768, but this could be one of two Marys in gen 8W.

 

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