Generations 8 to 14

c1700 - c1850

Return to genealogy page

 

The following text accompanies the Wargrave Family Tree for generations 8 to 14. In Generations 8 to 10 the descendants of William A Beare (c1470 - >1526) bear the letter W.

In generation 8, John (1677 - 1743) married twice. Therefore from Generation 9 onwards, the desendants of his first marriage bear the letter A and those of his second marriage B.

As far as we know the descendants of William died out in Generation 10.

Go to Generation 8J - Generation 9W - Generation 9A - Generation 9B - Generation 10W - Generation 10A - Generation 10B - Generation 11A - Generation 11B - Generation 12A - Generation 12B - Generation 13A - Generation 13B - Generation 14A - Generation 14B

 

Generation 8W

 

Of John and Elizabeth’s children, John A’Bear (baptised at Wargrave 14th November 1712 "son of John") married Mary Hester at Wargrave on 16th September1753. There is a Wargrave burial record for a Mary listed 3rd April 1768, but it is not known if this is the correct Mary. Other candidates are Mary gen 7J and Mary wife of Joshua gen 8W.

 

That Francis A’Bear (baptised at Wargrave 11th February 1714, “son of John Abeard”) ever married seems uncertain as no marriage in Wargrave is listed. In Stanley’s tree, two children Joshua and Jane descended from Francis, but they are now placed as children of Francis (1710) gen 9B since they fit the progression of dates well. Francis was buried at Wargrave on 25th April 1766.

 

That Elizabeth A’Bear (baptised at Wargrave 22nd April 1717 "daughter of John") married Thomas Silver in 1743 is questionable. No marriage record has been found, though the family deed box contained several references to Elizabeth Silver (refer to p47, 48 of The A’Bear Family of Wargrave). “Thomas and Elizabeth Silver” also appears on page 48. There is a Wargrave burial record for an Elizabeth Abear listed 10th November 1755.

 

William A’Bear (baptised at Wargrave 1st July 1720 "son of John") had a son William A’Bear (1757) who is recorded in the transcribed baptism list as “William son of William”. However, no original record has been found for this baptism. It is supposed that there was a marriage c1756, but no evidence of this marriage has been found either.

 

Thomas A’Bear (baptised at Wargrave 10th March 1723 “son of John Beard”) is included as he is listed and his year of birth fits in well.

 

Joshua A’Bear is listed under the Wargrave baptisms on 21st July 1728 "son of John Beard". A son John born to Joshua & Mary is listed in Feb 1767, so it is assumed there was a marriage though no evidence has been found to date. There is a Wargrave burial record for a Mary listed 3rd April 1768, but it is not known if this is the correct Mary.Other candidates are Mary gen 7J and Mary wife of John gen 8W.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 8J

 

Rebecca A’Beare ( c1670 - >1709 )

Rebecca is not listed under the Wargrave baptisms, but is referred to in her father’s will of 1709. She married William Graves in 1686 (not listed in the Wargrave marriages) and had settled in Warfield by 1709 by which time they had a son Daniel Graves, also named in her father’s will.

 

Mary A’Beare (1676 - >1709)

Mary is listed in the Wargrave baptisms list, “daughter of John” on 20th November 1676.

It is thought she married ? Bankham before 1709 as a Mary Bankham is named in her father’s will of this year. This being correct she died after 1709.

 

 

John A’Bear (1677 - 1743) remains acknowledged as the latest common ancestor of today’s A’Bear family. He is listed amongst the Wargrave baptisms as “John son of John” on 4th January 1678.

By his first marriage to Grace Gunnell at Wargrave on 20th November 1695 his surviving son heads branches 1, 2, 3, CA and SA.

By his second marriage to Ann his son Joshua heads branches 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. However, neither marriage is recorded in the Wargrave marriages list.

Grace was buried at Wargrave on 12th November 1701 “wife of John Abeare, farmer”.

Five years later in 1706 John married Ann, a maidservant at Culham Court. A deed dated 1705 (described by Pope but now missing) states:

John A’Beare senior and John A’Beare junior settle the property of Woodfynings (previously belonging to the Lovelace family) upon the prospective wife of the younger – a maidservant at Culham Court. The trustee of the settlement is Stevens of Culham Court.

John and Ann produced six children.

The will of Jn. White (widow) (1726) mentions J. Abare of Wargrave. (Ref : TAFOW pg 77). Jn. White was probably the widow of Henry White who helped write John’s father’s inventory in 1711. [The spelling of the surname matches the epitaph of John’s sister Jane Abare (1681 – 1735, gen 8J), so this will may refer to her and not John].

There is a Wargrave burial record for an Ann on 25th April 1730.

John was buried at Wargrave on 19th May 1743, though his grave has not been identified.

His will, held at the National Archives, is dated 3 October 1741 and states:

In the name of God Amen. The third day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty one. I John Abear the elder of the hill in the parish of Wargrave in the county of Berks yeoman, being somewhat infirm in body but of sound sense of mind and of memory (thanks be to God therefore) do make and ordain my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say my soul I commend to God who gave it, and my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executors herein after named. And as to my temporal estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I dispose thereof as follows -?-

I give, devise and bequeath unto my son John Abear his heirs and assigns forever all and singular my freehold messuages or tenements, lands and hereditaments whatsoever in the said parish of Wargrave in the county of Berks aforesaid or elsewhere, subject nevertheless and chargeable with the payment of all those legacies by me hereinafter given and bequeathed.

Item. I give, devise and bequeath to my daughter Rebecca Drew wife of Richard Drew of Twyford in the said county of Berks collarmaker the sum of fifty pounds of lawful money of Great Britain.

Item. I give and devise to my son Francis Abear the sum of twenty shillings only.

Item. I give, devise and bequeath to my son Joshua Abear the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds of like lawful money.

Item. I give, devise and bequeath unto my son Caleb Abear the sum of two hundred pounds of like lawful money.

Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Ann the wife of John Clark of the parish of Wargrave aforesaid yeoman the sum of five shillings only.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary the wife of John Butler of the said parish of Wargrave in the county of Berks aforesaid yeoman the like sum of five shillings only, all which said legacies by me herein before given, devised and bequeathed my will and meaning shall be paid to them and each and every of them respectively by my executor within twelve months and immediately after my decease.

Also I give and devise unto twenty poor housekeepers my neighbours inhabiting within the said parish of Wargrave one shilling each to be disposed of by my executor to whom and as soon after my decease as he shall think fit.

Item. I give, devise and bequeath all the rest and residue of my goods, chattels, ready money ad estate, both real and personal my -?- -?- several and testamentary expenses and legacies first paid unto my said son John Abear, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, and I do make, constitute and appoint my said son John Abear full and sole executor of this my last will and testament and do hereby entreat my brother-in-law William Silver of Henley upon Thames in the county of Oxon wheelwright and my kinsman John Barnard of Reading in the said county of Berks writingmaster to be overseers of this my last will and testament to see as much as them by the same duly performed, and for their trouble I give them twenty shillings apiece.

And revoking all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made, do publish and declare this only to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I the said John Abear the testator have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written. John Abear signed, sealed, published and declared by the said John Abear the testator as and for hid last will and testament in the presence of us who have here unto subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of the said testator John? Roberts, Richard Keelly, Joseph Sillner.

This will was proved at London the twenty ninth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty three before the worshipful Edward Kinnaston, Doctor of Law, surrogate of the Right Worshipful John Bettesworth, Doctor of Law, Master Keeper of Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, lawfully constituted by the oath of John Abear the son and sole executor named in the said will, to whom administration was granted of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased, being first sworn and duly to administer the same.

Clearly by this time John had some money behind him, and it appears he disfavoured his son Francis, who seems to have moved from Wargrave to Hurst to raise his family.

TAFOW pg 45 No.33 records a demand for his son John to submit an Inventory of his belongings before 1744.

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

According to the date, the reference to the son can only imply this John A’Bear. The year, however, occurs between the two other known marriages, so if this marriage ever took place it lasted barely two years. (It is unlikely the 1704 date is significantly wrong as his father died in 1711). The Wargrave burial list names two Marthas with our surname, in the years 1771 and 1801, one of which has never been placed on the tree, (the other being his son Caleb’s daughter), so there is some evidence supporting a marriage to Martha Underwood, though he must have divorced her before 1706 when he married Ann.

It is also interesting to note that in the first line of his will he writes “ To wife and son …” which suggests he had another wife, since Ann died eleven years before this will was written. This being the case it seems that John had as many as four wives in total.

Elizabeth Joanes ( c1652 - >1695)

The Stanley A’Bear tree includes an Elizabeth A’Bear who married Edward Simeon a local schoolmaster.

There is no baptism record for Elizabeth, and she is not named in John Abear’s will of 1709. However, the family deed box contains numerous papers concerning Elizabeth and Edward Simeon.

Furthermore, 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: pg63 TAFOW).

The year is thought to be wrong as Pope himself actually stated:

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.

According to Stanley A’Bear, Edward and Elizabeth married in 1705, actually dating this deed before Edward had become his son-in-law.

It seems fairly certain now that there was no marriage between Edward Simeon and an Elizabeth Abeare, for it is now known that Edward Simeon married Elizabeth Joanes of Waltham St Lawrence in 1690. There is an IGI record of a marriage between an Edward Simeon and an Elizabeth Joanes on 7th August 1690 at Basildon, West Berkshire. Basildon is about 20 miles west of Wargrave, not far from Reading. [Additionally, there is a record of the baptism of a Henry Simeon on 5th November 1688 at Bucklebury, West Berkshire, not far from Basildon. The deeds below of 1723 and 1730 suggest Henry and Edward were related, and Henry was living in (or near) Reading].

The following deed dated 5th August 1695 gives us further information about Elizabeth Joanes and her mother, also named Elizabeth Joanes:

This Indenture made the fifth day of August in the seventh year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord William the Third by the grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith and in the year of our Lord God 1695 between Francis Knight of the parish of St Lawrence in Reading in the County of Berks maulster and James Roberts of the said parish of St Lawrence haberdasher and Elizabeth the now wife of Richard Harber ald King of Reading aforesaid gent and late the widow and relict of Edward Jones late of Reading aforesaid goldsmith deceased the former husband of the said Elizabeth of the first part, Edward Simeon of Caversham in the county of Oxon gent and eldest son and heir of Edward Simeon heretofore of Stepney also Stebenheath in the county of Middlesex citizen and ironmonger of London his late father deceased and Elizabeth his now wife daughter of the aforesaid Elizabeth her mother by the aforesaid Edward Jones her former husband deceased of the second part and Edward Jones of London goldsmith eldest son and heir apparent of the said Elizabeth the mother by the said Edward Jones deceased the former husband of the said Elizabeth the mother of the third part. Whereas the said Edward Jones the father by his last will in writing dated the eleventh day of October 1678 gave to the said Elizabeth his daughter two hundred pounds to be paid her at her age of one and twenty years and as the will made the said Elizabeth the mother sole Executrix, and whereas the said Elizabeth the mother proved the said will in the prerogative court and in her widowhood in the year 1680 purchased to her and her heirs of Thomas Blythe with the inheritance in fee simple of the messuage or tenement and hereditants herein after mentioned for the price of three hundred and fifteen pounds, and whereas the said Elizabeth the mother at or about the time of the said purchase by deed poll under here and seal declared that two hundred pounds of the said purchase money of three hundred and fifteen pounds which was by the said will given to the said Elizabeth the daughter was parcel of the said sum of three hundred and fifteen pounds, and that the said Elizabeth the mother did purchase chiefly to secure the payment of the said two hundred pounds to the said Elizabeth the daughter and covenanted by the said deed poll with John Sadler a kinsman of the said Elizabeth the daughter since deceased that the purchased premises should stand charged with the payment of the said two hundred pounds. And whereas by Indenture Tripartite? dated the sixth day of March in the second year of the reign of the late King James the Second over England (etc?) and in the year of our Lord God 1685 made between the said Elizabeth the mother by her then name and title of Elizabeth Jones of the said parish of St Lawrence in Reading aforesaid widow of the first part, the said Richard Harber ald King of the second part and Edward Jones then of the parish of St Olives in Southwark in the county of Surrey bevercutter and the said Francis Knight and James Roberts of the third part and by Indenture of Lease dated the day next before the recited? Indenture Tripartite? the said Elizabeth the mother by and with the comfort and approbation of the said Richard Harberald King testified by his being party unto and signing and sealing of the said recited? Indenture Tripartite? conveyed to the said Edward Jones bevercutter and the said Francis Knight and James Roberts and their heirs and assigns (inter alia) all that messuage or tenement situate in Harehatch in the parish of Wargrave in the said county of Berks called or known by the name of Larges or by whatsoever other name the said was or had been called or known, together with all barns, stables, edifices, buildings, orchards, gardens and bacesides?, and all the several closes and parcels of land with the appurturs to the said messuage or tenement called Larges belonging or appertaining or reputed to be a part or parcel thereof or therewithal used occupied or ? as appurtenant thereunto and called Netherend Close containing four acres more or less, Middle Close containing five acres more or less, Coppin Croft Close containing two acres more or less, the Orchard Piddle containing one acre more or less, and also four acres of arable land more or less lying dispersedly in the common fields called Kindfield, and all that close or piddle of land counting one acre more or less lying in Wargrave aforesaid near the common called the Holt, and all these two acres of meadow grounds lying in the common Mead in Wargrave aforesaid, one acre and an half thereof lying in Lottmead there marked with the whole Stirte and the other half acre thereof lying in Great Stirt there adjoining to the land then or late of George Webb on the north part and to the land of Mr? Watkins on the south part of the premises in Wargrave were by the said Elizabeth Jones the mother in her widowhood purchased of Thomas Blyth yeoman and all commons, common of pasture, ways, waters, easements, woods, underwoods, timber, ? , profits, commodities, advantages and hereditants to the ? belonging or in anywise appertaining or therewithal letted?, used, occupied or ? as or for or reputed to be part or parcel thereof appurtenant thereunto and thereveron and revercous? remaineder and remainders together with all the rents, revenues, ? and profits of the premises. And every part and parcel thereof and all estate right title wise? trust interest both in law and equity property claim and demand whatsoever of the aforesaid Elizabeth Jones the mother in and unto the premises to have and to hold the said with the ? unto the said Edward Jones beaver cutter Francis Knight and James Roberts their heirs and assigns forever. Nevertheless in trust and to the ? intents and purposes that until the intended marriage betwixt the said Elizabeth Jones the mother and the said Richard Harber ald King hereunto take effect and be solomnised, they the said Trustees the said Edward Jones beavercutter Francis Knight and James Roberts and their heirs and assigns thereunto stand and be seized of all the hereditants so conveyed to the only ? of the said Elizabeth Jones the mother and her heirs and assigns. And from and immediately after the solemnisation? Of the said intended marriage betwixt the said Elizabeth Jones the mother and the said Richard Harber ald King then a touching the said messuage or tenement and all the premises with appurtenances purchased by the said Elizabeth Jones the mother of the said Thomas Blyth, that they the said trustees and their heirs and assigns thereunto stand and be seized thereof and should take receare? and ? all the ? and other rents ? and profits thereof. And pay the same unto xxxxxxxxxxxxx the said Elizabeth Jones the mother her own hand and to her own separate ? or to such person or persons as she should from time to time appoint by note or notes in writing under her hand whither coverted or sole? and notwithstanding her coverture by two half yearly payments in every year at the feast days of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Michael the Archangel until the said Elizabeth the daughter should attain unto and accomplish her full age of one and twenty years if the said Elizabeth the mother and the said Elizabeth the daughter should both of them so long live (other than what should thereon be abated for taxes and public payments and for the reasonable charges, expenses for getting in and receiving of the rents, issues and ? of the said premises purchased of the said Thomas Blyth as aforesaid. And from and after sure time as the said Elizabeth the daughter should have attained …..

Sealed and delivered (being written on stamped parchment according to the late act of Parliament for that purpose in the presence of :

John Knight

Edward Hutton

NB  A Beavercutter is believed to be a person who cuts the linings of hats. A Maulster is believed to be a malster who is a brewer or seller of malt.

We can deduce that Elizabeth Joanes the daughter was younger than twenty-one years in 1695 and had already married Edward Simeon, who came from Caversham, thereby supporting a marriage year of 1690, when she could only have been about fifteen years old.

The parish records show the following entries:

                                              baptised               buried               parent

SIMEON.ANN.                    1701.DEC                                   .EDWARD schoolmaster

SIMEON.ANN.                                                   1705.APR      EDWARD.

SIMEON.EDWARD.         1703.APR                         EDWARD schoolmaster

SIMEON.EDWARD.                                             1727.NOV                            

SIMEON.EDWARD.                                             1750.JUL                             

SIMEON.EDWARD.                                             1703.MAY   .EDWARD.schoolmaster.

SIMEON.MARY.   1748.JAN                                  .EDWARD.

SIMEON.MARY.                                   1748.JAN                             

SIMEON.SAMUEL.                                             1705.APR      winecooper.

The above indenture and listings and the deeds that follow help us to piece together a possible family tree for the Joanes and Simeon families around this time. It seems likely Elizabeth was a descendant of Elizabeth Joanes nee Abeare (1590 - >1639) gen 5W. [See Simeon Tree].

Edward was not the first Schoolmaster in Wargrave. Henry Piggott (Parish Clerk) was the first recorded Schoolmaster. He was born in 1658 and died in 1701, so perhaps Edward took over his post. And why John A’Beare should want to sell off so much well-established land and property to Edward in 1702 is unclear. Perhaps Edward wanted to expand the school, or John simply saw the opportunity to re-establish his farm at Harehatch and sold up the old family home at Mumbery Hill.

Pope states that Edward Simeon applied for admission to Reddington plot in 1704, and that in 1727 and again in 1760 his son in law Robert Sayer again pleaded for admission, while in 1770 Jane Rockhall, Simeon’s granddaughter, applied to the court in the same cause.

Edward Simeon is named in various documents found in the family deed box and dated around 1704, and Elizabeth is named as a widow in 1728 (Ref: pg 39 - 44 TAFOW)

August 1704 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for Hedingtone Plot, formerly belonging to John Abear.

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 arable land in Northern and Southern Fields, formerly belonging to Michael Cutler.

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. (Ref : TAFOW pg76)

1708 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for Pate Piece – 7 acres.

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.

1713 – Edward and Eliza Simeon pay a fine to the Lord of the Manor for ?Claggs?

January 1713 – Edward Simeon buys land from Thomas King of Reading.

August 1713 – North Keene and South Keene and Heddington Plot ?possessed by? Maria Jane and Eliza Simeon, at Harehatch.

October 1719 – Edward Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for 4 acres of arable land, formerly belonging to Jacob Piggott.

13 May 1723 – Agreement between William Billingshurst of Sonning, John Piggott of Hurst, Edward Simeon of Wargrave and Henry Simeon of Reading concerning lands at Harehatch and Bunbury field.

December 1727 – Elizabeth Simeon pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for land formerly belonging to Edward Simeon. (4 acres of arable land).

1728 – In his will of 1728 Simeon described himself as a gentleman. (Described by Pope but now missing).

21 August 1728 Regarding land inherited by E. Rockall from E. Simeon (widow). R. Allen and J. Abeare in occupation of a messuage of land on Bowsey Hill. (Ref: pg77 TAFOW)

April 1729 – Fana Button and Willie Button receive land from Elizabeth Simeon from the Lord of the Manor.

27 June 1730 – Elizabeth Simeon of Gibstrode in Wargrave disposes of the Holt ( to Henry Simeon, Francis Blandy and Mary Sayer ), Larges in Hare Hatch, Middle Close – 5 acres, Nether End Close – 4 acres, Old Orchard piddle – 1 acre ?Poppin? Croft Close – 2 acres, Poppin Croft Orchard - acre, Kindfield – 4 acres – in the common field.

 It certainly seems as though Elizabeth and Edward had a family for, apart from Pope’s reference to Edward’s son in law and the parish listings, the following deeds exist :

4 April 1749 – John Button, Alice Simeon, Elizabeth and Alice Burkmestors, Sarah, Jacob and Alice Simeon pay a fine for land previously belonging to Elizabeth Simeon.

10 November 1749 – Mortgage of 150 arranged between Amy Sutton Simeon and Mary Sayer.

These names do not appear in the parish baptisms list, however.

Mary Sayer’s name appears in the 1730 and 1749 deeds above, and also in papers described by Anthony Hickson, [who descends from Mary A’Bear (1746 – 1781)]. Here he itemises the will of Elizabeth Simeon (dated 20th August 1728) in which she is described as a widow of Gibstrode and bequeaths to her daughter Mary Sayor her farm called Gibstrode. He adds that Mary Sayor probably married Caleb Abeare, but this is not thought to be correct. It seems likely that Mary married Robert Sayor, for the following deed is recorded in the deed box, ref TAFOW pg 48

14 November 1760 - Robert and Mary Soyor are granted one acre of land in Harehatch – Heddington Plot – formerly belonging to Joseph Butler.

It is possible Robert Sayor died around 1778, for the following deeds share the same date and declare Robert the former owner ref TAFOW pg 50

5 October 1778 – Jane Rockall spinster admitted tenant to 10? Acres of land 7 acres in Northkinfield (including Butt Piece - 3 acres, Clout Piece 2 acres, Pitt Piece – 2 acres) and 1 acres in Southkenfield. The remainder – near Ruscombe Field.

(Former owner – Robert Sayer) (Fine – 2 shillings, 6 pence)

5 October 1778 – Jane Rockall pays a fine of 4 pence for 2 acres in Northkenfield and 1 acre of arable land in Southkenfield.

(Former owner – Robert Sayer)

5 October 1778 – Jane Rockall pays a fine of 1 shilling and a rent of 6 pence for Heddington Plot – 1 acre – with a barn adjoining, in Harehatch.

(Former owner – Robert Sayer)

5 October 1778 - Jane Rockall pays a fine of 1 shilling and 6 pence for ?Claggs, Laggs?, formerly belonging to Robert Sayer.

The above four deeds concern Jane Rockall. Jane is considered to be the daughter of Elizabeth Simeon and William Rockall as shown in the Simeon Tree. There are IGI records for Jane Rockall’s birth (7 Oct 1723) and her brother Simeon Rockall’s birth (8 Feb 1718) and their father is named as William (Wm). The 1728 deed above names E. Rockall since Elizabeth married before this year.

Elizabeth Simeon must have lived beyond 1730, the last recorded reference above, and probably died just before 1749 when fines were paid.

 

Francis A’Beare ( 1680 - 1680)

Francis was twinned with Richard. He is recorded in the Wargrave baptisms list dated 4th September 1680 “son of John” and in the burials list dated 4th November 1680.

 

Richard A’Beare ( 1680 - 1680)

Richard was twinned with Francis. He is recorded in the Wargrave baptisms list dated 4th September 1680 “son of John” and in the burials list dated 15th September 1680.

 

Jane A’Beare ( 1681 - 1735)

Recorded under the Wargtrave baptisms list dated 21st December 1681 “daughter of John”.

Jane is named as Jane Silver in her father’s will. She married William Silver on 27th June 1703. This is recorded in the Wargrave marriages list together with William’s occupation – a wheelwright of Henley-upon-Thames, confirmed in Jane’s father’s will of 1741.

Pope states (pg 113) that Jane and William inherited Ouseleys or Ouselease upon her father’s death in 1711, and in their family it remained for more than two hundred years. [Miss Elizabeth Silver, the last of this branch, left the house to her nephew William Silver Darter, an Alderman of Reading].

Jane and William seem to have had a family, for the following deeds concerning Elizabeth and Thomas Silver were recorded from the family deed box, (ref TAFOW pgs 47, 48)

10 April 1749

Elizabeth Silver pays a fine to the Lord of the Manor for the tenure of Nathaniel Coles and William Innings, formerly belonging to John Laxton.

9 October 1749

Elizabeth Silver pays a fine for a garden and four acres, formerly belonging to John Laxton.

9 October 1749

Elizabeth Silver pays a fine for Deane Croft, formerly belonging to John Laxton.

18 April 1750

The Lord of the Manor grants Dean Croft to John Matthews, formerly belonging to Elizabeth Silver.

12 June 1753

Henry Micklam is granted a cottage and garden and 4 acres of land called Towers, formerly belonging to Thomas and Elizabeth Silver.

The will of Jn. White (widow) (1726) mentions J. Abare of Wargrave. (Ref : TAFOW pg 77). Jn. White was probably the widow of Henry White who helped write Jane’s father’s inventory in 1711. The spelling of the surname matches that of Jane’s epitaph below, so it may refer to her (or her brother John).

Jane died at Henley in 1735. There is a record of her tombstone which seems to be in the St Mary’s Church graveyard at Wargrave (Ref: pg 68 TAFOW) but which has now been lost, stating:

Jane Abare wife of William Silver of Henley and daughter of John Abare of this parish – died Oct 29th 1735.

Jane’s husband William Silver must have died after 1741 as he is named in Jane’s father’s will as an executor.

 

Jane A’Beare ( 1679 - ?)

Jane is listed in the Wargrave baptisms as “daughter of William”, dated 26th January 1679. Nothing more is known of Jane.

 

William A’Bear ( c1680 - >1721)

Included only because of a reference to a W. Delabere son of W. Delabere in the will of Ann Dellabere. See Francis A’Beere (c1657 - c1720?) gen 7J.

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 9W

 

 

Anne A’Bear is listed in the Wargrave baptisms list dated 4th April 1744 “daughter of Elizabeth”. There do not seem to be any other Elizabeths alive at the time, so she has been placed here.

There is a burial record of an Anne on 8th April 1797, though this may be Anne gen 10A, 10B or 11B.

The baptism of a William son of William in 1757 is listed but has not been found in the transcribed Wargrave register.

There being no burial record in Wargrave for this son William, it is possible he moved away from Wargrave and married Ann Crocker on 16th December 1776 at Tilehurst, Berkshire (west of Reading); for listed under the Farnham Royal St Mary baptisms are four children born to William & Ann. Supporting this, there is a burial record here for a William Beare in 1809.

 John A’Bear is listed amongst the Wargrave baptisms on 8th March 1767 “son of Joshua and Mary”. He is placed here, though there could be confusion with the Joshua and Mary in gen 9B. There being two John A'Bears born in 1767, this John has been given the March baptism date as the other John gen 11B is better suited to a baptism in July. There is a record of marriage between a John A'Bear and Elizabeth Kent on 25th September 1800 at Wargrave. John and Elizabeth were declared to be "of this parish". There being no other suitable candidate, this marriage is attributed here. It also ties in loosely with the possibility that John had a daughter Hannah, baptised remotely in the Scilly Isles in 1811 by partnering Hannah ?

The burial of an Elizabeth Abeare at Wargrave on 2nd April 1818 aged 65 is attributed to Elizabeth as no other Elizabeths are known about at this time. This gives her a year of birth of about 1753.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 9A

Note - Generations 9A to 14A are the descendants of John (1677 - 1743) generation 8J through his first marriage to Grace Gunnell. Generations 9B to 14B are the descendants of John (1677 - 1743) generation 8J through his second marriage to Ann ?.

 

Of John and Grace’s three children their first, John A’Bear died in infancy. He was baptised at Wargrave on 15th September 1696 and was buried there on 26th September 1696.

 

Their second child was also named John A’Bear. He was baptised at Wargrave on 3rd November 1698 "John son of John, Husbandman" and it is through his marriage in 1744 to a wealthy widow Alice Whitfield (nee Burton) that the family fortunes were to change. After his marriage improvements were soon made to Hill House which converted it from a fairly humble yeoman farmer’s cottage to a substantial gentleman’s house.

Alice was the widow of a wealthy property speculator. TAFOW pg 45 No. 32 names her late husband:

3 October 1742

Agreement between William Bayer and Alice Whitfield, widow of Edmund Whitfield of Ruscombe, concerning lands in Warfield.

John’s father died in 1743, and he was instructed to submit an Inventory of his belongings by 1744. Ref : TAFOW pg 45 No. 33.

Two further deeds (TAFOW pgs 45,46 Nos. 34,35) give us further family information, and indicate a transfer of land and payment of money in connection with her late husband’s will:

20 August 1744

John Abear, Peter Whitfield and John Bunt of Caversham, Oxon, yeoman.

Wood Fynings – 12 acres and Helliars – 3 acres “do lye together and do abut upon the lane … lading from Hare Hatch to Lawrence Waltham”.

Coppinge Croft in Woodrow

Milley Field – 13 acres

Lye Croft – 6 acres.

For 5 shillings and a rent of one peppercorn.

22 August 1744

Agreement between John Abear the elder of the hill, yeoman, and Alice Whitfield of Ruscombe, widow of Edmund Whitfield, Peter Whitfield of Wargrave and John Bunt of Caversham. Regarding Edmund Whitfield’s will of 19 December 1741 which would give 150 to his sons John and Edmund when they should attain the age of twenty one. (Alice is the sole executor and residual legatee – she is shortly to marry John Abear).

John will make over to his sons-in-law the crofter close of meadow pasture and wood called Wood Fynings and Coppinge Croft in Woodrow. Clays or Laggs – formerly part of the Manor. 13 acres of arable land within a common field called Milley Field Lye Croft.

200 legacy to Elizabeth Whitfield, also, when she comes of age.

John and Alice had two children, John A’Bear (1745) and John Burton A’Bear (1748), although Stanley A’Bear’s tree also names Anne A’Bear as a daughter who married Edmund Whitfield in 1769. To date no evidence has been found for this marriage, but according to TAFOW pg59 there is evidence that she was born, as she was baptised “Anne, daughter of John A’Bear” in 1751.

TAFOW pgs 62,63 states that a poll of the freeholders of Oxfordshire dated April 1754 recorded that John Abare of Wargrave owned land in Caversham at this time, occupied by Thomas Stevens.

TAFOW pgs 57,58 quote an extract from the diary of Richard Lovell Edgeworth dated 1765 who lived briefly in Hare Hatch at this time. He described the neighbours as wealthy but unostentatious people who enjoyed tea together, and a game of cards and conversation in the evenings.

In 1770 TAFOW pg 49 No.46 states that John Abeare pays a fine to be admitted tenant to Sheppards, formerly belonging to Thomas Young, and John Young his son.

In his will dated 12th June 1769, and in which he named himself “gentleman”, he states:

In the name of God Amen. I John Abear of the parish of Wargrave in the county of Berks gentleman being in health of body and of sound mind, memory and understanding, praised be God for the same but calling to mind the uncertainty of this life, do for the settling and disposing of the worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me, make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say first and principally I commend my soul into the hand of Almighty God that gave it, and my body to the earth to be carried to my grave in a hearse and followed by my own family only, and buried in a neat, plain and quite private manner in Wargrave Churchyard at the discretion of my executor hereafter named.

Also I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Alice Abear one annuity or yearly sum of twenty pounds a year during the term of her natural life, clear of all taxes and deductions whatsoever, to be adjoining and payable unto her out of all and every my freehold lands and tenements hereinafter devised to my beloved son John Abear, by four equal quarterly payments on the four most usual feasts or days of payment of rent in the year, that is to say on Lady Day, Midsummer Day, Michaelmas Day and Christmas Day, with power to distrain for the -?- in case the same shall not be paid, the first to begin and to be made on such of the said days as shall first happen after my decease, which said sum of twenty pounds a year I declare is intended to be and is so given to her full satisfaction and recompense, of and for all her power and thirds which she may or can claim or demand out of my estate. But in case she shall refuse to accept of the said annuity of twenty pounds a year in full satisfaction and recompense for such power and thirds as aforesaid, then I hereby declare that the said bequest of twenty pounds a year so by me given shall be void.

Also I give and bequeath unto my said wife Alice Abear one moiety or half part of my household goods, plate, linen and implements of household, to hold to her executors, administrators and assigns forever.

Also I give and bequeath unto my said wife Alice Abear the sum of twenty pounds to be paid her by my executor immediately after my decease.

Also I give and bequeath unto my said son John Abear and my son-in-law Edmund Whitfield their executors and administrators the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds of consolidated four pounds per cent in bank annuities Meon? Trust that they my said son John Abear and Edmund Whitfield and the survivor of them his executors and administrators do and shall pay unto my said wife Alice Abear and her assigns, or otherwise permit, suffer? and empower her to receive and take the interest, dividends, produce and proceeds thereof to and for her and their own use and benefit for and during the term of her natural life. And from and immediately after her decease on trust to pay, assign or transfer the said sum of one hundred and fifty pounds consolidated four pounds per cent in bank annuities unto my loving and beloved son John Burton Abear to and for his own use and benefit.

Also I give and bequeath unto my said son John Burton Abear the sum of eight hundred and fifty pounds of lawful money of Great Britain, to be paid by my executor hereinafter named out of my real and personal estate within twelve months next after my decease.

Also I give and bequeath unto my son-in-law Edmund Whitfield the sum of five pounds to buy him mourning.

Also I give and bequeath unto my said daughter-in-law Mrs Elizabeth Nalder the sum of five pounds to buy her mourning.

Also I give and bequeath unto the poor of the parish of Wargrave the sum of fifty shillings to be distributed amongst them by my executor within three months next after my decease.

And as to all the rest and residue of my real and personal estate and also all my copyhold estates (which I have surrendered to the use of my will) whatsoever and wheresoever and of what nature or kindsoever and wheresoever situate and being (after payment of my debts, legacies and funeral expenses which I hereby charge thereof), I give, devise and bequeath the same and every part thereof unto my said son John Abear to hold to and to the use of him my said son John Abear, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns forever.

And I do hereby will and direct that it shall and may be lawful to and for my said trustees, their executors and administrators from time to time to reimburse and pay him and themselves all such costs, charges and expenses which he or they shall sustain or be put unto in the execution of the trusts aforesaid. Nor shall they be answerable or accountable the one for the other, nor for the acts, receipts or payments the one of the other, nor for any more of the trust proving? than they shall respectively actually receive, nor for any loss that may happen to the same, so as such loss shall happen without their wilful default.

And I do hereby ordain, construct and appoint my said son John Abear full and sole executor of this my will, hereby revoking and making void all former and other wills by me at any time heretofore made. I do declare that this and no other is my last will and testament. In witness whereof the said John Abear the testator have to this my will contained in two sheets of paper to each sheet set my hand and seal this twelfth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine. John Abear signed, sealed, published and declared by the said John Abear the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereunto: Willm Whitup, T Cooper Fras? Lilly.

From this will and the deeds before it we know Alice’s late husband Edmund Whitfield died in 1741 or 1742, and they had two sons named John Whitfield and Edmund Whitfield and a daughter Elizabeth Whitfield who married and became Elizabeth Nalder. Peter Whitfield was probably Alice’s brother-in-law. Since Alice was born in 1713 her three children would all have been quite young when their father died.

John was buried on 31st July 1771 in the graveyard at St Mary’s, Wargrave. (Photo 1)

His will was proved on 6th November 1771:

This will was proved at London on the sixth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy one before the worshipful George Parlis?, Doctor of Laws, Surrogate of the Right Worshiphul George Ray?, Doctor of Laws, Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, carefully constituted by the oath of John Abear the son of the deceased and sole executor named in the said will, to whom administration was granted of all singular the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased having been first sworn duly to administer.

Five years later on 19th July 1776, Alice wrote her will:

In the name of God Amen. I Alice Abear of the parish of Wargrave in the county of Berks widow being of sound and dispositive? mind memory and understanding do make and ordain my last will and testament in manner following (that is to say) first I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it hoping for redemption of the soul thro’ the merits of Jesus Christ, and my body I commit to the earth to be decently interred at the discretion of my Executor hereinafter named. And as to such worldly estate and effects wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me I dispose thereof as follows (that is to say) I give, devise and bequeath unto my son John Burton Abear all that my annuity clear yearly rent charge or sum of six pounds a year of lawful money of Great Britain (left to me by the will of my late uncle Richard Breach deceased) issuing and payable out of all that messuage or tenement farm and lands containing by estimation thirty eight acres with the appurtenances situate lying and being in the parish of Caversham in the county of Oxford in or near a certain place there called Caversham Troop. To have & hold, receive, perceive, take and enjoy the same annuity yearly rent? charge or sum of six pounds a year and every part thereof unto and to the use of each my said son John Burton Abear, his heirs and assigns forever. Also I give and bequeath unto my son Edmund Whitfield the sum of five pounds of like lawful money of Great Britain for mourning. Also I give and bequeath unto my son John Abear the sum of five pounds of like lawful money of Great Britain for mourning. Also I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Nalder? the sum of five pounds of like lawful money of Great Britain for mourning. All the rest, residue and remainder of my goods, chattels, ready money, -?- ,securitys for money, plate, s… , wearing apparel and all other my personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever of what nature or kindsoever not hereinbefore by me disposed of, and every part thereof, I give devise and bequeath unto and to the use of him my said son John Burton Abear his executors, administrators and assigns forever, to and for his and their own use and benefit. And I do hereby make, ordain, constitute and -?- appoint my said son John Burton Abear full and sole executor of this my will. And lastly I do hereby revoke and make void all former and other will and wills by me at any time heretofore made, and I do declare this only to be my true last will and testament, in witness whereof I the said Alice Abear the testatrix have hereunto set my hand and seal this nineteenth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy six – Alice Abear (marked SS) signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Alice Abear the testatrix as and for her last will and testament in the presence of us who in her presence and at her request and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses hereunto: -?- Cooper, I Owen, Thomas Cooper Junr.

Here she is confirmed as a widow. The beneficiaries are John Burton A’Bear, Edmund Whitfield and John A’Bear her sons, and Elizabeth Nalder her daughter. Mention is also made of her uncle Richard Breach, deceased.

Alice died in 1794. She was buried not with her husband John A’Bear but at St Peter’s, Caversham on 21st November 1794. (Ref: Oxfordshire Parishes Transcripts)

Her will was proved on 20th May 1795:

This will was proved at London the twentieth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety five before the worshipful Samuel Pearce, parson, doctor of laws and surrogate of the Right Honourable Sir William Wyatte, Knight, also doctor of laws, Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, lawfully constituted by the oath of John Burton Abear the son and sole Executor named in the will, to whom administration was granted of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of the deceased, having been first sworn duly to administer.

 

Rebecca Abear was baptised at Wargrave on 29th October 1700 “daughter of John, farmer”. It is known that Rebecca married Richard Drew, a collar maker from Ruscombe. They married in 1724 and had six children:

Mary Drew born 1726 and buried St Nicholas, Hurst, 1743

Jane Drew born 1727 and buried St Nicholas, Hurst, 1742

Ann Drew born 1729 and buried St Nicholas, Hurst, 1754

Rebecca Drew born 1731, married Thomas Braymore. She died in 1783

Grace Drew baptised 9 Jan 1735 in either Wokingham or Ruscombe, who married Thomas Collis, also a collar maker or harness maker and died in 1783

and Richard Drew born 1743, who married Elizabeth Fisher and died in 1808.

She was a named beneficiary in her father’s will of 1741, when Richard is confirmed as a collarmaker of Twyford. Richard and Rebecca settled in Hurst (two miles south of Twyford) around 1740, which may be why her stepbrother Francis also lived there.

Rebecca died in 1771.

When Thomas Collis died in 1796 he left property in Hurst (Whistley Mill), Winchester and Sherfield upon Loddon to his various sons.

Information provided by Diane Cole, Richard & Rebecca’s 6xgreat granddaughter, and George Baker, Grace Drew's 5xgreat grandson, to whom grateful thanks.

 

A fourth child Ann was baptised at Wargrave in 1703 "daughter of John", though no transcribed record has been found. It is possible she doubles with Anne baptised on 16th January1707 to the same father.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 9B

Note - Generations 9B to 14B are the descendants of John (1677 - 1743) generation 8J through his second marriage to Ann ?.

 

Anne Abear. Of John and Ann’s six children their first was Anne A’Bear baptised in Wargrave on 16th January 1707 "daughter of John". Anne married John Clarke at Waltham St Lawrence on 2nd October 1737 by licence. (ref “The A’Bear Family of Wargrave” p61 & 62). The IGI reference states 1738. It is unclear why Ann and John chose to marry at Waltham instead of St Mary’s Wargrave, but geographically the former church is conveniently situated, being only about a mile down the road from Hill House.

Anne is named as a beneficiary in her father’s will of 1741, so lived beyond this year, and her husband John is named as a yeoman of the parish of Wargrave.

 

Francis A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 5th January 1710 “son of John Abeare” and married Jane Druce in 1735 at Ruscombe, Berkshire. Ruscombe is a nearby village between Harehatch and Twyford. Thanks to an e-mail from Jenny Willmott in Perth, we now believe her surname to be Druce and not Drake, and that Jane was the daughter of Henry Druce and his wife Jane Deane who had property in Waltham St Lawrence and Thatcham, but seemed to have lived most of their lives in Ruscombe where Henry owned a malthouse.

They settled at Hurst, about three miles south of Harehatch where their first three children were born, John (1737 - 1738), John (1738 - ?) and Francis (1739 - ?). However their fourth and subsequent children were born in Wargrave, namely Mary (1743 - ?), William (1745 - ?), Ann (1748 - ?) Joshua (1750 – 1755) and Jane (1751 – 1780?). There is some uncertainty as to how many of these children are correctly placed, as another Francis A’Bear (1715 – 1766) was born in Wargrave, and all the children are listed simply as “son of Francis”. However, the progression of births seems correct, and it appears that the other Francis did not marry until 1749.

Francis was named as a beneficiary in his father’s will of 1741, so certainly lived beyond this year. Upon his father’s death in 1743, it seems as if he was disfavoured in his will, being left only twenty shillings compared with his brothers legacies of 150 and 200. But since Francis was his father’s first son (by either marriage) to marry, it may be that his father set him and his bride up with money in lieu of any future inheritance. In that same year, Francis seems to have moved back to Wargrave, so unless it is a complete coincidence, this supports the belief that most if not all of these children were theirs.

Jane’s father Henry died in 1767, and in his will he bequeaths his (substantial) estate to his wife and then his sons. To his three daughters he leaves “the sum of one shilling apiece only, they having been by and otherwise well provided for…”

Jane was buried on 3rd November 1780 at Wargrave.

Francis’s burial at Wargrave is listed on 2nd February 1794. The National Burial Index also lists a Francis Abear buried in 1794, aged 84 years, and this age corresponds exactly.

 

William A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 17th July 1712 “son of John”.

He died a young man in 1729. His death before 1741 is supported by his not being named in his father’s will of this year, when his siblings were named.

 

Mary A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 19th March 1713 “daughter of John Abeard” and married John Butler, a yeoman farmer, on 14th September 1741 at Wargrave.

Mary is named in her father’s will written three weeks later on 3rd October 1741 as a beneficiary and wife of John Butler of the parish of Wargrave.

Mary died in 1750.

It seems likely Mary and John had a son named John, as John Abear’s will of 1795 states that Worleys Farm was then in the occupation of a John Butler. [John Butler senior would have been very old by then if he were still alive].

 

Joshua A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 27th December 1715 “son of John”.

He was named in his father’s will of 1741 as a beneficiary and inherited 150 in 1743 upon his father’s death.

He married Mary ? in 1746. They had five children, all born in Wargrave, namely John (1747 – 1818), Mary (1753 - ?), William (1755 – 1758), Joshua (1757 – 1791?) and Thomas (1760 – 1833).

There is a Wargrave burial of a Mary on 26th June 1782.

Joshua was buried at Wargrave on 26th February 1784.

 

Caleb A’Bear was born and baptised at Wargrave on 17th September 1718 “son of John”.

Caleb married Ann Green on 10 Feb1741 at Caversham, Oxfordshire, about five miles west of Wargrave. At this time he was said to be “of Henley”.(Ref: Oxfordshire Marriage Index).

He was named in his father’s will written later that year on 3rd October 1741, and two years later in 1743 inherited 200 upon his father’sdeath. [His father left all his land “in Wargrave and elsewhere” to his son John by his first marriage]. It is believed that Caleb then lived at Gibstroude Farm, Wargrave, since one of his daughters Mary was recorded by her husband as being born at Gibstroude in 1746. [Prior to this, according to Pope’s History of Wargrave, Gibstroude, Cockpole, Penny and Worley Farms had all been acquired by Edward Simeon, a schoolmaster who had married into the family and by these acquisitions risen in status to become a ‘gentleman’ by the time of his death in 1728. There is no evidence of any marriage, but in 1730, according to a deed of land, his widow Elizabeth Simeon was clearly still living at Gibstroude Farm (ref - p44 TAFOW). She lived until 1748 and bequeathed Gibstroude Farm to her daughter Mary Sayor. Anthony Hickson, who descends from Caleb’s daughter Mary, was of the opinion that Caleb married Mary Sayor, but this is not thought to be correct. (See Elizabeth Joanes gen8J). The present farm of that name was, during the 20th Century, an outpost run from the farmhouse now known as Highfield Farm, half a mile away across the fields.

Caleb and Ann had nine children, all of whom were born and died in Wargrave. They were: John (1744 – 1746), Ann (1745 – 1745), Mary (1746 – 1781), Rebecca (1748 – 1750), William (1751 – 1751), Diana (1752 – 1832), Caleb (1753 – 1754), Martha (1755 – 1771) and Joshua (1757 – 1800). The life span of several of these children is short, so it seems their married life together must have been filled with grief.

Caleb was buried at Wargrave on 11th August 1771.

It is thought Ann may have been buried on 8th April 1797 as there is an “Anne” recorded in the Wargrave Burials records for this year. However, this may be Anne in gen 10A, 10B or 11B.

  

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 10W

 

William was baptised in Wargrave on 29th June 1777 "son of Ann". He has been placed here, but the year also fits with the four children born to William and Ann, perhaps before they married.

The following children are listed under the Farnham Royal St Mary baptisms: James son of William & Anne Bear 9th May 1779, Mary daughter of William & Anne Bear 19 Nov 1780, Hannah daughter of William & Ann Bear 22 Sep 1782 & May daughter of William & Ann Bear 1 Aug 1784. Listed under the burials at the same church are James Bear 17 Apr 1803, William Beare 1809? & Ann Bear aged 74 of Farnham Royal. Farnham Royal lies in Buckinghamshire about 11 miles east of Wargrave, close to Chalfont St Peter where another family group seems to have settled around this time who also underwent a change of surname to Bear and then Aber.

 

Hannah A’Bear (1811 - ?) is placed here due to an IGI record – “Daughter of John and Hannah, baptised Scilly Isles”.

 

Note - As far as we know there were no further descendants in this branch of the family.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 10A

 

 

John A’Bear (1745 – 1795) was baptised at Wargrave on 21st July 1745 "son of John".

John inherited Hill House from his father upon his death in 1771. At this time three deeds record the following details (ref : TAFOW pgs 49,50)

 6 November 1771

The Prerogative Court of Canterbury affirms John A'Bear's will. John A'Bear the younger promises to submit an Inventory of his property to the court by the last day of May 1772.

 12 October 1772

To this court comes John Abeare after the second proclamation to that purpose and prays to be admitted to one close of land called ?pinnere? which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the death of John Abeare his late father. He pays a fine of 1 shilling.

12 October 1772

To this court comes John Abeare after the second proclamation made for that purpose and pays to be admitted tenant to 14 acres of arable land lying in the common fields of Wargrave. To witt, 8 acres and a half lying in North field one piece called the 5 acre piece and one piece called the pitt piece containing by estimation 3.5 acres of land adjoining to the land of Mr Kent upon the east and 2 acres of land in the ? - ? and Southfield and 2 acres of land lying in Southfield aforesaid and 1 acre of land lying in Oldfield in Wargrave aforesaid and one half acre of land lying in Mumbury field near the watercourse which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the death of John Abeare his late father …He pays a fine of 2 shillings and six pence ? and a yearly rent of 10 shillings?

John’s widowed mother lived another twenty-four years. During this time John married Mary Newell of Bray. Their marriage is recorded in the Wargrave Marriages list on 15th May 1781.

John and Mary had two children John A’Bear (1784) and John Newell A’Bear (1785).

Several deeds are listed in TAFOW pages 51 and 52 in which John is admitted to land and property:

24 June 1785

To this court comes John Abeare of the Hill in the Parish of Wargrave and prays to be admitted tenant to 2 acres of land lying dispersedly in Northkinfield and 1 acre of arable land in Southkenfield with the appertuances which came into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the surrender of Simeon Rockall…A fine of 4 pence.

24 June 1785

John Abeare (gent) pays a fine of 1 shilling and a rent of 6 pence for 1 acre – Heddington Plot – with the barn adjoining, in Harehatch. Former owner – Simeon Rockall.

24 June 1785

John Abeare (gent) pays a fine of 1 shilling and six pence for ?Clays, Laggs?, formerly belonging to Simeon Rockall.

24 June 1785

John Abeare (gent) pays a fine of 1 shilling and sixpence for 10 acres of land 7.5 acres in Northkinfield (including Butt Piece – 3.5 acres, Clout Piece 2.5 acres, Pitt Piece – 2 acres) and 1.5 acres in Southkenfield. The remainder near Ruscombe Field.

[This land was formerly owned by Jane Rockall(1778), and before her, Robert Sayer].

21 April 1790

John Abear Gentleman admitted to Dean Croft, formerly Esther Day’s, for a fine of 6 pence.

21 April 1790

John Abear admitted to Towers for 5 shillings, formerly Esther Day’s.

21 April 1790

John Abear pays a fine of 5 shillings for Dean Croft in Woodrow, formerly belonging to Esther Day, widow.

This John is probably the John who helped sponsor the making of Thomas Pride’s map of Reading and the surrounding countryside, and whose name beneath the A’Bear coat of arms appears in the margin of this map dated 1790. (Ref : TAFOW pg 72).

His will, written on 16th November 1792 in which he is named “John A’Bear gentleman of the hill” reads as follows:

This is the last will and testament of me John Abear of the Hill in the parish of Wargrave in the county of Berks gentleman which I make, publish and declare in manner following, that is to say first I direct that an inventory shall be made out, entered in a book and signed by my trustees and executors Henry Newell of the parish of Bray in the said county of Berks, gentleman, William Newell of Shiplake in the county of Oxford, gentleman, and my wife Mary Abear, of all my estates and effects whatsoeverwhere I shall die possessed of or entitled unto.

And I give, devise and bequeath unto the said Henry Newell, William Newell and my said wife and the survivor of them and the executors and administrators of such survivor all my estates and effects whatsoever in trust to recover and -?- pay and apply the rents, shares and profits thereof to and for the use and benefit of my said wife, and for the maintenance and education of our children during their respective minorities and thereout in the meantime, and keep all the buildings, lands and premises in good repair and condition. And the profits in the meantime to be applied to the use and benefit of such of my children as my said wife shall think proper. But in case my said wife shall happen to marry again during the minority of my children, or either of them, then I direct that at? the time of such second marriage the trust aforesaid as far as she is concerned or named therein shall immediately cease, and the rents and profits aforesaid (or so much thereof as shall be necessary) shall be applied by my said other trustees to and for the use and benefit of my children only during their minorities as aforesaid. And when and so soon as my oldest son John shall arrive at his age of twenty one years, then I give and devise to him all my messuages, tenements, lands, hereditaments and real estates whatsoever (except Worleys hereafter mentioned) to hold to and to the use of my said son John, his heirs and assigns for ever, he and they paying unto his mother the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds per annum quarterly from the time of his arriving at his age of twenty one years for and during the term of her natural life. In case she shall then give up possession of all the -?- estate and all others except Worleys to my said son John with all claims and demands under her marriage settlement and also all right to and over the copyhold estates by or under any custom of the manor of Wargrave so that my said son may have the entire, full and uninterrupted possession of the whole estate (except Worleys), but otherwise and in case my said wife shall not agree hereto the said annuity of one hundred and fifty pounds per annum shall cease and be void and subject and make all my real estates except Worleys (in that event only) liable to the payment thereof and hereby give my said wife power of distress? and -?- for non payment thereof from time to time as the same shall become due and payable. And in case of the death of my said oldest son John before he arrives at the age of twenty one years, l then I give and devise all the said estates and appurtenances whatsoever to my youngest son John Newell A’Bear, his heirs and assigns for ever, subject to the same annuity to his mother as before mentioned, and upon the same terms and conditions, and with an addition of fifty pounds a year more in case there should be no other children, but not otherwise.

And I give and bequeath unto my said wife and eldest son all my household goods and furniture to be equally divided between them when my said son shall arrive at his age of twenty one years.

Also I give and bequeath unto my said youngest son John Newell A’Bear the sum of five hundred pounds of lawful money of Great Britain to be paid to him when he arrives at the age of twenty one years.

Also I give and devise unto my said youngest son John Newell A’Bear at his age of twenty one years all that messuage, tenement or farmhouse with the barns, stables, outhouses and garden together with the land thereunto belonging containing about forty acres situate in the parish of Wargrave aforesaid called Worleys, now in the occupation of John Butler, all which said premises are copyhold and held of the said manor of Wargrave which I have surrendered to the use of my will. To hold to and to the use of my said youngest son John Newell A’Bear, his heirs and assigns for ever.

Also I give and bequeath unto my eldest son John at his age of twenty one years all my crops?, horse?, cattle, supplements of husbandry and all other my estates and effects whatsoever which I may die as possessed of or entitled unto (except as aforesaid) to hold to my said eldest son, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns for ever, subject to the payment of the legacies by me given and bequeathed and all my just debts, funeral and testamentary expenses whatsoever.

And I give and bequeath to the said Henry Newell and William Newell ten guineas each as a mark of my esteem for them.

And in case I shall have any more children or any other child besides two sons, or my said wife shall happen to be ensuent at the time of my decease, then I give and bequeath unto every such child besides two sons eight hundred pounds each, and if but one such other child the sum of one thousand pounds to be paid to such children or child at their respective ages of twenty one years out of my personal estate, and to be taken thereout and secured by my executors or the survivors or survivor of them. And in this case I direct that the profits arising from the farm estates and effects during my said sons’ minorities shall be first applied towards such after both childrens’ fortunes.

Also I give to the poor of the parish of Wargrave the sum of fifty shillings to be laid out in bread and distributed by the churchwardens on the Sunday next after my funeral provided always and it is my will and intention in case my said two sons should both happen to die before they attain the age of twenty one years and I should have other sons then living, that the eldest of such other sons should take. And I do devise and bequeath unto him, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns all and whatever I have hereinbefore given, devised and bequeathed to my son John A’Bear (subject as aforesaid) and that the said second of such other sons should take. And I do give, devise and bequeath unto him, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns all and whatsoever I have hereinbefore given, devised and bequeathed to my said son John Newell A’Bear, subject as aforesaid. And if but one such other son, then I give, devise and bequeath the whole thereof to such only son, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns for ever (subject as aforesaid).

And if I shall happen to have no son who shall attain the age of twenty one years, then I give, devise and bequeath the whole of what I have so given, devised and bequeathed to my said two sons, unto and amongst all and every my daughter or daughters equally to be divided between them, share and share alike as tenants in common, and not as joint tenants. And if but one, the whole to such only daughter, her heirs, executors, administrators and assigns for ever (subject as aforesaid).

And in the case all my children shall happen to die under the age of twenty one years, then I give and devise all my real estates whatsoever unto my said wife for her life, and from and after her decease then I give and devise the same to my brother John Burton A’Bear, his heirs and assigns forever. And all my personal property I give and bequeath (in that case) to my said wife, her executors, administrators and assigns to be at her own disposal.

And I hereby declare that the said Henry Newell, William Newell and my said wife Mary, their executors and administrators shall and lawfully may deduct and retain out of any sum or sums of money which shall come to their hands by virtue of the trusts herein contained all such sums of money, costs, charges and expenses as they shall lay out, sustain or be put unto by reason or means of any of the trusts hereby in them imposed, and that they shall not be answerable or accountable for any loss that may happen without their wilful rights or default. Nor shall the one of them be answerable for the acts, rights or defaults of the other of them, but each for his or her own acts, rights and defaults only.

And I do hereby nominate and appoint them, the said Henry Newell, William Newell and my said wife Mary (so long as she shall continue my widow, but no longer) joint executors and executrix of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me at any time heretofore made. In witness whereof I the said John A’Bear the testator have to this my last will and testament contained in five sheets of paper, to the first four hereof set my hand and to the fifth and last sheet my hand and seal the sixteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety two. John ABear. Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said John A’Bear the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses: James Payn, W? Collins, Jn Butcher clerk to Mr Payn.

John was buried at Wargrave on 9th July 1795 “A’Bear of the Hill”.

His will was proved on 17th October 1795:

This will was proved at London the seventeenth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety five before the worshipful John Fisher, Doctor of Laws and Surrogate of the Right Honorable Sir William Wynn, Knight, Doctor of Laws, Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, lawfully constituted by the oaths of Henry Newell and William Newell and Mary A’Bear widow the relict of the deceased and executrix during her widowhood, the executors named in the said will to whom administration was granted of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of the deceased having been first sworn duly to administer.

The beneficiaries are Mary, his wife, John A’Bear his first son and John Newell A’Bear his youngest son, John Burton A’Bear his brother, Henry Newell of Bray and William Newell of Shiplake, gentleman. Mention is also made of John Butler, occupier. John Butler is also mentioned below in 1798.

It is interesting to note the use of an apostrophe in the spelling of the surname, which might support the notion that an interest in family history had developed in recent years. His will also acknowledges the importance of education for his children.

John died in the same year as his mother Alice, in 1795. In an inventory of his property he owned 230 acres at the time of his death, and owned “Brewery utensils of every description and two dozen sheets …”.(ref p53 and p64 The A’Bear Family of Wargrave).

This inventory followed a lot of rather interesting correspondence between the owner of a home for mental patients in Melina Place, St Johns Wood, where John A’Bear was a patient, and his relatives at Greys Green, a Mr Johnson of Hennerton and a Mr Wakefield of Hare hatch Cottage. It would appear that the fields on the Hare Hatch side of Tags Lane had long been rented by but never owned by the A’Bear family and, to the gentleman’s disgust, they were thrown on the market and were bought by Mr Johnson, Mr Wakefield and a Miss Fremont. John A’Bear finally had delusions, thought he had lost his property, and prayed his nurses for a gun that he might scatter his brains. Going from bad to worse he soon died – aged barely 50 – but in the meantime the conveyances to Johnson and the others could not be completed and the letters they wrote to Mr A’Bear’s helpless relatives testify that they had all become rather uneasy about their purchases. ( Ref – Pope).

Following her husband’s death, Mary and Henry and William Newell set about readmission to John’s land and property. (Ref : pgs 53, 54 TAFOW):

18 April 1796

Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 1 shilling to be admitted to ?Pinnere? close, formerly John A’Bear’s.

18 April 1796

Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 4 pence to be admitted to 2 acres of land in North Ken field and 1 acre of arable land in South Ken field, formerly John A’Bear’s.

18 April 1796

Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear widow ask to be admitted tenants by the Lord of the Manor “to all that close of land called Sheppards part of the copyhold premises to which John Young Esquire was admitted thereof at a court holden the third day of October 1770 in the surrender of Thomas Young and John Young Esquire and which now came into the hands of the Lord of the Manor by the ?surrender? and last will and death of the said John A’Bear

18 April 1796

Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 1 shilling and three pence to be admitted to ?Clays, Laggs?, formerly John A’Bear’s.

18 April 1796

Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 2 shillings and 6 pence for 10 acres of land, 7 acres in Northkinfield (including Butt Piece - 3 acres, Clout Piece - 2 acres, Pitt Piece - 2 acres) and 1 acres in Southkenfield. The remainder near Ruscombe Field.  (All) formerly John A’Bear’s.

18 April 1796

Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 2 shillings and 6 pence for land formerly belonging to John A’Bear.

18 April 1796

Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 5 shillings for a cottage and garden and 4 acres called Towers, formerly John A’Bear’s.

18 April 1796

Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 2 shillings for Dean Croft in Woodrow, formerly John A’Bear’s.

18 April 1796

Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 6 pence for “a little croft next to Dean Croft”, formerly John A’Bear’s.

18 April 1796

Henry Newell, William Newell and Mary A’Bear pay a fine of 1 shilling for Hiddington’s Plot – 1 acre in Hare hatch with a barn adjoining, formerly John A’Bear’s.

The Land Tax Assessment for Wargrave of 1798 lists Mrs Mary Abear as a proprietor and Jonathan Butler as her occupier, and also Mary as an occupier of two properties owned by James Hayes and Mr Adams. (Ref : TSBOW pg279). Mary died in 1828.

John and Mary’s grave can be seen at St Mary’s, Wargrave. Also buried in this chest tomb, which is a Grade 2 Listed Building, are their two sons. (Group Photo 2)

 

John Burton A’Bear ( 1748 – 1829) was baptised at Wargrave “son of John”.

He inherited 850 in 1771 upon his father’s death. Four years later on 8th July 1775 he married Elizabeth Piercey at Rotherfield Peppard and settled in Shiplake. They rented the Farm House at Shiplake Court farm from a Mrs Newell who lived in Shiplake House. (Ref – p80, 81 The A’Bear family of Wargrave). Presumably she was related to John Burton’s brother’s wife. They had five children, John (1775), Edmund Whitfield (1779), both born at “Reading”, then William (1781), Elizabeth (1784) and Daniel (1787) all born at Bix. It seems from this information that the family moved near to Bix in about 1780. Maybe Elizabeth’s parents died and she inherited their house. Certainly according to the reference regarding John Burton’s brother’s mental illness, by 1795 the family were living at Grey’s Green, which is at Rotherfield Greys and barely two miles from Bix.

Elizabeth died in 1820. She was buried at Shiplake on 29th January 1820, aged 74. This was only a month after she lost her youngest son in a tragic accident, and following this Mrs Newell and her son moved back into Shiplake Farm House and put the whole property up for sale. By this time John Burton was quite elderly. He died nine years later in 1829 and was buried at Shiplake on 30th March 1829 aged 81. John and Elizabeth share a grave with their son Daniel. (Group Photo 3)

 

Anne A’Bear (1751 - ?) is listed as baptised at Wargrave on 10th May 1751 “daughter of John”. Ref : TAFOW page 59. Since no other John seems likely, and the year fits well as a family progression, Anne has been placed here. There is some doubt as to whether this reference is correct. [Stanley A’Bear’s tree also indicates her marriage to Edmund Whitfield in 1769. To date no evidence has been found for this marriage].

There is a Wargrave burial record of an Anne on 8th April 1797, though this could be Anne gen 9W, 10B or 11B.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 10B

 

Francis A’Bear (1710 - ?) and Jane had, it is believed, eight children, none of whom bore children themselves to continue the family name:

 

John A’Bear was born in 1737 at Hurst. He died in infancy in 1738.

 

John A’Bear was born in 1738 at Hurst. He may have married Hannah Nickolls on 17th April 1759 at Wargrave. The record is hard to read and looks more like John Allen.

 

Francis A’Bear was born in 1739 at Hurst.

 

Mary A’Bear was baptised on 22nd November 1743 at Wargrave “daughter of Francis”.

She married Thomas Watts on 20th October 1774 at Wargrave when Thomas was declared ‘of this parish’.

 

William A’Bear was baptised on 4th December 1745 at Wargrave “son of Francis”.

 

Ann A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 18th September 1748 at Wargrave “daughter of Francis”.

There is a Wargrave burial record for an Anne on 8th April 1797, though this could be Anne gen 9W, 10A or 11B.

 

Joshua A’Bear was born in 1750 but baptised at Wargrave on 4th January 1754 “son of Francis”.

He was buried at Wargrave on 29th April 1755.

 

Jane A’Bear was baptised on 10th May 1751 at Wargrave “daughter of Frances

She married Anthony Griffin on 6th November 1776 at St Mary Le Strand, Westminster, London. She was then recorded as Jeane Abeare, spinster, and Anthony was a widower and coachman.

 

 

Joshua A’Bear (1715 – 1784) and Mary had five children, all born at Wargrave:

 

John A’Bear was baptised at wargrave on 13th December 1747 "son of Joshua".

He married Mary Sharp on 28th July 1764 at Wargrave. Mary was declared ‘of this parish’ and John a bachelor of this parish.

They had possibly five children all born at Wargrave, namely Sarah (1765), John (June 1767 - ?), Francis (1769 – 1794), William (1773 – 1847) and Ann (1776 - ?).

A Settlement Certificate (ref PR36/13/3/34) dated 22 May 1772 names John Abear, his wife Mary and their three children Sarah aged 7 years, John aged 4 years and Francis aged 2 years. It is addressed to the Churchwardens of Wargrave and the Churchwardens of Chalfont St Peter, about 15 miles north-east of Wargrave in Buckinghamshire. In it the family has clearly tried to live in Wargrave but is considered to belong to Chalfont St Peter, where they are instructed to receive them and provide for them as inhabitants of the parish. Presumably John and Mary moved out of Wargrave after their marriage, probably for work reasons, and came to live at Chalfont St Peter. Then by 1772 John found work opportunities back at Wargrave, possibly helping his father Joshua, but was discovered to be without fixed abode in that parish and moved back by the authorities.

Despite this their last two children William and Ann were both baptised at Wargrave in 1773 and 1776, and John seems to have been buried in Wargrave on 11th October 1818. Mary may have been buried there too in either 1782 or 1828 (Wargrave burial list). So it seems John and Mary found a way to move back to Wargrave, or they were simply permitted to be buried there.

 

Mary A’Bear (1753 - 1828) was baptised at Wargrave on 19th September 1753 “daughter of Joshua”.

It is possible she was born in 1751 as she was buried at Wargrave on 20th February 1828 “aged 77”.

 

William A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 12th April 1755 “son of Joshua”.

He was buried at Wargrave on 19th October 1758 surviving only three years.

 

Joshua A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 3rd July 1757 “son of Joshua”.

He was buried at Wargrave on 21st March 1791.

 

Thomas A’Bear was baptised on 6th March 1761 at Wargrave "son of Joshua and Mary".

Thomas married Mary Beckett on 30th July 1782 when he was declared ‘of this parish’. They had twelve children: John (1781 – 1782), John (1784 – 1843), Edward (1785 - ?), Martha (1786 - ?), Mary (1788 - ?), William (1790 – 1854), Sarah (1793 - ?), George (1795 - ?), Betty (1796 - ?), Ann (1798 - ?), James (?1802 – 1877) and Susannah (1804 - ?). Their first seven children were born in Wargrave, but in about 1794 the family may have moved twenty miles north to Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Why they may have moved is uncertain. According to the 1851 census, Mary Beckett was born in Moulsford, Buckinghamshire, (about 11 miles north-west of Reading on the Oxfordshire border) but perhaps in 1794 Mary had an elderly parent in need of care, or other family living there. The last four children were certainly all born and baptised in Aylesbury; also in 1810 their daughter Martha married there, in 1825 their daughter Mary married at Langley Marish, Buckinghamshire and in 1833 their illegitimate grandson John was born in Buckinghamshire. But it seems as though strong links were maintained with Wargrave. In 1808 their son John married and settled in Wargrave, from 1817 their son William’s children were born there, in 1829 their daughter Ann married there and in 1838 their son James also married there. It may be that by the time the last four children were born the family was already so big it was simply more practical for Mary to give birth elsewhere, though they retained their house in Wargrave and the family largely grew up there.

In 1833 Thomas died. He was then occupied as a gardener (ref – his daughter Susannah’s marriage certificate, which states that he was working in Croydon where his daughter married. It seems more likely he was working in Aylesbury or Wargrave). He was buried at Wargrave on 24th March 1833 “aged 72”.

The 1841 census lists Mary as Mary Bear, aged 80 years, living with George Barratt aged 20 who was an agricultural labourer. They were then living at 95 Tag Lane, Harehatch, Wargrave.

The 1851 census confirms Mary to be a widow aged 92 years, head of the house and annuitant, living at Chapel Street, Great Marlow, (taken to be Marlow), Buckinghamshire. She is residing with Mary Abear, unmarried daughter aged 62 years annuitant born Wargrave. (An annuitant is a person who receives an annuity). This unmarried daughter is taken to be her widowed daughter Mary Eady born 1788 in Wargrave. (With them also is a 13 year old house servant Sarah Phillips and a visitor Hannah Webb aged 68, an annuitant born in nearby High Wycombe, Bucks). 

Mary lived another two years, and then passed away in 1853 aged 92 years at High Wycombe. Her name has continued as a forename through one of her grandsons and thence branch 5 of the family to this very day.

 

 

Caleb and Ann had nine children. All were born at Wargrave, probably on Gibstrude (Gibstrode, Gibstroude) Farm:

 

John A’Bear was baptised on 16th March 1744 at Wargrave “son of Caleb”.

He died aged only two years, being buried at Wargrave on 23rd June 1746 “infant Abeare”.

 

Ann A’Bear was baptised on 13th September 1745 at Wargrave "daughter of Caleb".

She was buried the same day.

 

Mary A’Bear was baptised on 23rd November 1746 at Wargrave "daughter of Caleb".

She married Francis Christopher Augustus Berg. The story of Mary’s short and sad family life came to light in March 2003 when the author was contacted via the internet by Anthony Hickson, a descendant of Francis and Mary, who had been researching his own family history.

Francis or Franz was born in 1748 in Friedrichstadt in the Duchy of Schlesvig Holstein, Denmark, and later in his life became a teacher of English. He came to England and married Mary in 1778 in London. His records state that Mary was born at Gibstrude Farm. In that year a son was born named Augustus. The following year Mary fell pregnant again, but miscarried twin boys aged seven months due to a sudden fright. Then in 1780 another son was born, named John William. Sadly Mary's health fell into decline through improper medical care. She was overtaken by consumption and, after much anxiety and expense, died the following year. Then in 1783 John William died, aged just 2 years and 4 months. Francis promptly left London for Hamburg, Germany, where he was naturalised and married again, all in the same year. His second wife was named Catherina Susanna Jiesche, a widow. Catherina died in 1796, and Francis lived until 1817. Much of the above information was recorded by Franz himself, and among the notes it is particularly interesting to read that Mary's surname was, more properly, "de la Bear”. Mary A'Bear used the surname De la Bere at her marriage, no doubt hoping it would improve her social standing. Anthony’s website contains relevant information regarding our family (ref: http://www.hicksons.org/ABear/FranzBerg2.html).

 

Rebecca A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 14th October 1748 “daughter of Caleb”.

Sadly she survived less than two years as she was buried at Wargrave on 26th May 1750.

 

William A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 23rd June 1751 “son of Caleb” but died in infancy. He was buried there on 25th October 1751.

 

Diana A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 15th January 1753 “daughter of Caleb”.

Amongst Anthony Hickson’s papers were the following paragraphs which appeared under "Notes of Papers relating to the A'Bear connection in possession of Miss Augusta A Mills. (April 1911)”:

1806 Oct 3rd Receipt so dated "to a pair of Grave stones to the Memory of Joshua ABear put up in Wargrave Church Yard", also the engraving etc.

Mutilated copy of the Inscription:-

Sacred to the Memory of Joshua ABear who departed this Life Feby. the 15th 1800 Aged 43 years.

For whatsoever had affliction ...For Virtues trial or for p.....Let's bear it calmly the la...And still adore the Hand...

* * * *

1813 April 8 Received of Mrs. Diana Abear 15 for corn. John Allen.
1817 Aug. 14 Recd. of Mrs. Abear 10 on a/c ... Geo. Newell
1819 March 11 Recd. of Mrs. Diana A'Bear 6 for "Low Tun" of Hay. Ann Whitfield.
1832 Aug. 13 Recd. of Mrs. Bergh 6.7.4. Jn. Harrison
1832. (Bill) The Executors of the late Mrs. Diana ABear to Jn. Harrison for Coffin & Housekeeping.
Note: Mary ABear afterwards Berg died in 1781 and her husband F.C.A.Berg left England in 1783 and died in 1817. It is surprising therefore that as late as 1832 the connection was kept up. Perhaps Mrs. Diana was the Widow of Joshua, brother of Caleb?

 

The first part tells us that the grave at St Mary's, Wargrave originally thought to be that of a Joshua Beard is indeed that of Joshua A'Bear. This Joshua was probably her younger brother, since after his death Diana was the only surviving member of that branch of the family, therefore only she could take care of his funeral arrangements.

The second part refers to a Mrs Diana A'Bear. If this title is correct it suggests she married a cousin in the family, but there is no record of a marriage. At the time of Joshua’s death, Diana was the only child of Caleb still living, and her only link with close family would have been her nephew Augustus Berg(h), Mary's son, who would have emigrated to Germany with his father Franz. No wonder Diana kept in touch until her death in 1832. Until then it seems Diana kept working as a farmeress, possibly still living at Gibstrude Farm where she and her family grew up.

Also amongst these artefacts was a letter written by John Burton A'Bear in 1908 to F. R. Bergh who was researching our family at that time. In it he writes:

I thought it might interest you to know that Mr.F.Rose was here on Sunday, he is the present tenant of Gibstrode Farm. The Farm House is turned into a Cottage for one of the men, but if at any time you would like to look over the place you are very welcome to do so. Mr.Rose told me that there is a very old painting on one of the panels of the inner door of an old gentleman which he thought very curious. . .

Investigations have revealed that the door with the painting was kept, and is still somewhere on the premises - probably in the loft. The painting is of a man with staring eyes draped with a snake and the men refused to go into that area of the farm to work when the door was open because they were scared of it! It was studied by an art expert, and deemed to be early 19th century. Evidently it has been used as a dartboard at some time. Pope (in 1929) wrote: "On a door in the farmhouse there is a painting with a local reputation for age, but I think it unlikely the painting is 50 years old or the door 100 years old".

The date reference is interesting, because it coincides with the time when Diana A'Bear may have still been living there. So did she paint it, or commission the painting of it? Sadly we may never know.

Diana was buried at Wargrave on 11th August 1832 aged 79 years.

 

Caleb A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 28th April 1753 “son of Caleb”.

He survived little more than a year as he was buried there on 21st June 1754.

 

Martha A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 15th June 1755 “daughter of Caleb”.

She died aged only 15 years and was buried at Wargrave on 26th July 1771.

 

Joshua A’Bear was baptised on 26th June 1757 at Wargrave “son of Caleb”.

It is supposed he died in 1799, for it is thought that the tombstone of Joshua A’Bear that stands on the north side of St Mary’s Church away from the other known A’Bear graves marks this man’s grave, having been placed there by his only surviving sibling Diana in 1806. (Photo 21) At the time of writing, part of the inscription on the tombstone remains just legible and agrees well with the lines on his sister Diana’s receipt. After some detective work, the rest of the inscription is considered almost certainly to be the continuation of these lines, taken from "Verses to his Friend under Affliction" from "Poems upon Several Occasions" (1724) by John Pomfret (1667 - 1703) an English poet. They read:

Then, to whatever End Affliction's sent, To try our Virtues, or for Punishment, We bear it calmly, tho' a pond'rous Woe, And still adore the Hand that gives the Blow.

These apt words serve well as an epitaph to virtually the whole of this branch of the family.

A Wargrave burial for a Joshua is listed on 16th Feb 1799.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 11A

 

John and Mary had two children John A’Bear  (1784 – 1819) and John Newell A’Bear (1785 – 1840).

 

John A'Bear's baptism is recorded on 13th May 1785 at Wargrave, “John, son of John & Mary”.

These brothers lost their father whilst they were still children, and Mary must have needed help to keep Hill Farm running. Clearly she would have turned to John’s brother John Burton and his eldest son, even though they had their own land to farm away from Wargrave. As the children grew older though they must have learned to take charge, for the 1818 Enclosures Award allotted numerous parcels of land to John. In fact page 57 of Pope’s book quotes the following:

The Commissioner for the Wargrave Inclosure Award of 1818 was John Davis of Stoke Row, Oxfordshire. The other signatories were Harry Fonnereau of Linden Hill, J. Stanford Girdler of Little Scarletts, Charles Hayes, Sarah Hill of Wargrave Hill, Penny Young of Hare Hatch House, Mr. Thompson, Mary Jones, and John A'Bear of “The Hill”. Under this and other Inclosure Acts much common land was enclosed and parcels of it given to land owners as compensation for common rights and for ground given for road widening schemes.(Enclosure Award )

Sadly John's life was short, for he died aged only 33 years. He died on 7th January 1819 and was buried at St Mary’s, Wargrave on 15th January 1819, "Esquire of Hill Farm".

 

John Newell A'Bear was baptised on 16th October 1787 at Wargrave, "John Newell, son of John & Mary".

He appears twice in the Eton & Windsor Express newspaper. In 1827 he is named with the location of Wargrave in the list of Persons who have obtained Gamekeepers Certificates C at the Rate of Three Pounds Thirteen Shillings and Sixpence each, for the Year; made up to the 1st to the 20th of September.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~dutillieul/ZWindsorEtonExpress/21stSeptember1827B.html

In 1829 he appears again but with the location of Warfield within the Game List of Persons who have obtained General Certificates (D) at the rate of Three Pounds, Thirteen Shillings and Sixpence each, for that year.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~dutillieul/ZOtherPapers/NewW&EE19Sep1829.html

John Newell was buried in 1840 “aged 55”.

The 1841 Tithe Terrier also shows substantial land that had been owned or occupied by John Newell A’Bear. (Tithe Terrier Report ) Neither man seems to have married, and so the Wargrave property and acreage must have been bequeathed to the brothers’ cousin John (1775 – 1845). In the 1841 census report there is no mention of Hill Farm, and it seems likely that it remained unoccupied for a while after John Newell’s death (ref p.80 The A’Bear family of Wargrave ).

Both brothers were buried at St Mary’s, in the same grave as their parents. (Group Photo 2)

 

John Burton and Elizabeth had five children:

Their first son John A’Bear (1775 - 1845) was born at Reading. He was baptised at Reading, St Giles on 31st May 1776 and married Sarah Stevens in 1812.

TAFOW pg 55 states the following deed:

24 April 1812

Sarah Stevens ?sells? a house in Lower Street Caversham to Thomas Stevens (Surrey), James Stevens (Shoreditch) and Edmund Whitfield Abear (Shiplake) (farmer). Presently rented by Alice Stevens widow – pending a later agreement to be made with John Abear of Bix.

They had three children, John Daniel A’Bear (1814), John Burton A’Bear (1816) and Alice (1818) all born at Bix.

Another deed (ref : TAFOW pg55) states :

14 October 1820

The Prerogative Court of Canterbury proves the will “of Mary Stevens formerly of Caversham but late of the Parish of Bix both in the county of Oxford spinster deceased”. All property to Sarah Stevens. Executors Sarah Stevens and sister Elizabeth Bowlby and brother James Stevens.

As the firstborn John would have inherited his father’s land upon his death in 1829, and he continued to farm at Bix and Ipsden.

Sarah wrote her will on 12th February 1839 which reads as follows:

This is the last will and testament of me Sarah the wife of John ABear of Ipsden in the county of Oxford yeoman being intended to be an appointment pursuant to and in execution of a power to me given and reserved in and by the settlement made previous to my marriage with the said John ABear, in exercise and execution of which said power and of all the powers enabling me in that behalf I do give and bequeath direct limit and appoint all the stock funds and securities over which I have any disposing power unto my brother in law Edmund Whitfield ABear, my youngest son John Burton ABear and Edmund Whitfield ABear the younger, son of the above named Edmund Whitfield ABear, upon trust that they and the survivors or survivor of them his executors administrators so and shall stand possessed of and interested in the sum of three thousand three hundred and forty pounds three per rent consolidated annuities part of the said stocks funds and securities upon trust to pay the dividends interest and produce thereof unto my daughter Alice ABear or to such person as she shall by writing under her hand appoint to have the same for and during the term of her natural life without being subject or liable to the intermeddling of control of any person with whom she may intermarry. And after the decease of the said Alice ABear upon trust to pay and apply the said principal sum of three thousand three hundred and forty pounds three per rent consolidated annuities unto and amongst such person or persons in such parts shares and proportions as the said Alice ABear shall not withstanding her coverture by her last will and testament or any writing by two or more credible witnesses direct or appoint give or bequeath the same. And in default of such appointment upon trust for the next of kin or personal representatives of the said Alice ABear according to the statute of distribution of intestate estates. And I do hereby give and bequeath direct and appoint unto the said Edmund Whitfield ABear John Burton ABear and Edmund Whitfield ABear the younger all the remaining stocks funds and securities the disposal whereof was secured to me by the said settlement made previously to my said marriage upon trust that they and the survivors and survivor of than his executors & advisors? shall & do pay and apply the interest dividends and annual produce thereof to and for the maintenance and support of my eldest son John ABear for and during the term of his natural life. And after the decease of my said son the said John ABear upon trust to transfer the same stocks funds and securities or otherwise pay the money to arise from the sale thereof equally between my said son John Burton ABear and my said daughter Alice share & share alike. And I declare my will to be that in case my daughter Alice shall depart this life without making any appointment of the before mentioned principal sum the same shall be distributed in the same manner it would have been had she died sole and unmarried and without leaving any children; but if she leaves a child or children the same to be paid to such child or actually between them if more than one on attaining the age of twenty one years, the interest in the meantime to be applied towards his her or their support and maintenance. And lastly I appoint the said Edmund Whitfield ABear the elder and my said son John Burton ABear executors of this my will, in witness whereof I have to this my last will and testament set my hand and seal this twelfth day of February one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine.

Sarah ABear. Signed sealed published and declared by the said Sarah ABear the testatrix as and for her last will and testament in the presence of us who in her presence at her request and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses - Hannah Newell servant to Mrs ABear, Ipsden. Wm Piercey Peppard, Oxon Gent

Sarah was buried on 18th January 1840 aged 65 at St Mary’s, Ipsden. (Photo 4)

Her will was proved on 24th December? 1840:

On the 24th Dec? 1840 Admon with the will annexed of all and singular the goods chattels & credits of Sarah ABear wife of John ABear formerly Stevens spinster late of Ipsden in the county of Oxford decd was granted to Edmund Whitfield ABear & John Burton ABear the executors named in the said will, them having been first sworn by comon? duly to administer the said John ABear the lawful husband of the said deceased and as such entitled to all her goods chattels credits over which she had no disposing power and concerning which she is dead intestate having first consented as by acts of court appears.

Upon his cousin John Newell’s death in 1840 it seems John inherited Hill Farm and its associated property.

John and his three children are listed in the 1841 census.

John wrote his will on 22nd May 1843. It reads as follows:

This is the last Will and Testament of me John A'Bear of Ipsden in the County of Oxford Gentleman. I direct that all my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses be fully paid and discharged as soon as conveniently may be after my decease I give and bequeath unto my son John Burton A'Bear and my nephew Edmund Whitfield A'Bear the younger their executors and administrators the sum of one thousand pounds three per cent consolidated Bank annuities to hold to the said John Burton A'Bear and Edmund Whitfield A'Bear the younger their executors and administrators upon the trust and for the intents and purposes hereafter mentioned that is to say upon trust to receive the interest dividends and annual procure of the said sum of one thousand pounds as the same shall become one and at their full and free discretion either to pay the same unto my son John A'Bear or otherwise to apply the same in such manner as they shall deem most desirable and advantageous for his benefit for and during the term of his natural life and from and after the decease of my said son John then upon trust to pay or transfer all the said principal monies stocks funds and securities unto all and every the child or children of my said son lawfully begotten equally to be divided and among them share and share alike if there shall be more than one and if there shall be but one such child the whole to be paid or transferred to such one child the share or shares of such of them as shall be a son or sons to become vested in him or them respectively on his or their attaining his or their age or respective ages of twenty one years and the share or shares of such of them as shall be a daughter or daughters to become vested in her or them respectively on her or their attaining her or their age or respective ages of twenty one years or on the day or respective days of her or their marriage which shall first happen provided always And I declare my will to be that if any such child or children being a son or sons shall depart this life before he or they shall attain his or their age or respective ages of twenty one years or being a daughter or daughters shall die before she or they shall attain that age or be married then the share or shares of him her or them so dying shall go and assign to the survivors or survivor or other or others of such children and be equally divided amongst them if more than one share and share alike and the same shall become vested and payable or transferable at such ages days and times as his her or their original portion or portions are hereby directed to become vested and payable or transferable as aforesaid provided also I hereby direct that it shall be lawful for the said John Burton A'Bear and Edmund Whitfield A'Bear the younger or the survivor of them or the executors or administrators of such survivor after the decease of my said son and before the share or shares of any of such children shall become vested and payable by virtue of this my will to pay and apply all or such part of the interest dividends and annual proceeds of his her or their share or presumptive share as to the said John Burton A'Bear and Edmund Whitfield A'Bear the younger or the survivor of them shall seem reasonable towards the main tenance and education of such children or any or either of them and also to pay and apply any part not exceeding one half of the share or presumptive share of any of the children of my said son respectively of and in the said principal trust fund for the putting or placing him her or them to or in any trade business profession or employment or otherwise for their or his preferment of advancement in the World notwithstanding the part or share of such child shall not then have become payable or a vested interest in him or them respectively provided always and in case my said son John A'Bear shall be desirous to marry and shall enter into a contract of marriage with the consent and approvation of my said trustees then and in such case it shall be lawful for my said trustees or the survivor of them his executors or administrators but in their or his full and free discretion to settle and secure any woman whom he may marry with such consent as aforesaid for the term of her natural life for her furniture in case she shall survive and so long as she continue widow of my said son all or any or such part as they may deem expedient not exceeding one half part of the said sum of one thousand pounds and by way of annuity or otherwise as they may think proper with such powers and provisions for receiving and recovering the same as they may deem necessary and in such case the said trusts in favour of the child or children of my said son shall during the life of any such woman on whom such settlement shall be made as to such part of the said sum of one thousand pounds as shall be settled as aforesaid be postponed until after the decease of any such wife or widow of my said son and in case my said son John A'Bear shall depart this life without leaving lawful issue or leaving issue all of them shall die under the age of twenty one years and without having been married then upon trust that they my said trustees or the survivor of them his executors or administrators do and shall (subject to any settlement which may have been made of any part of the said trust fund upon any woman whom my said son John may marry as aforesaid) pay assign and transfer the said sum of one thousand three per cent consolidated bank annuities or the stocks funds and securities in or upon which the same maybe placed out and invested equally between and among my son John Burton and my daughter Alice their executors and administrators to and for their own use and benefit and also that it shall and may be lawful for my said trustees or the survivor of them or the executors or administrators of such survivor from time to time at their or his discretion to alter vary and transpose the stocks funds and securities upon which the said sum of one thousand pounds is now invested to such other securities of the like nature or to place out the same upon freehold security at interest as to them or him shall seem expedient I give and devise unto my nephews the said Edmund Whitfield A’Bear the younger and Thomas Bowlby A’Bear and their heirs all that my messuage or tenement farm and lands situate at Harehatch in the parish of Wargrave in the County of Berkshire called The Hill Farm and also the lands lately purchased of Mr. Wakefield and all other my lands in Wargrave with the rights members and appurtenances to hold the same unto the said Edmund Whitfield A’Bear the younger and Thomas Bowlby A’Bear and their heirs to the uses upon and for the trusts intents and purposes hereinafter mentioned that is to say to the use of the said Edmund Whitfield A’Bear the younger and Thomas Bowlby A’Bear their executors and administrators for the term of two hundred years to be computed from the day of my decease and fully to be complete and ended and from and after the expiration of the said term of two hundred years and in the meantime subject thereto and to and to the trusts thereto to the use of my said son John Burton A’Bear his heirs and assigns forever And I hereby declare that the said Edmund Whitfield A’Bear the younger and Thomas Bowlby A’Bear and the survivor of them his executors or administrators shall stand and be possessed of and interested in the said messuage lands and hereditaments for the said term of two hundred years to the use intent and purpose that the said Edmund Whitfield A’Bear the younger and Thomas Bowlby A’Bear shall and may during the term of the natural life of my said son John A’Bear receive and take the annual sum or yearly rent of one hundred pounds of lawfuil money of Great Britain clear of all deductions whatsoever to be issuing out of and charges upon the said messuages lands and hereditaments herein before devised and to be payable and paid to them by four equal quarterly payments on the twenty fifth day of March the twenty fourth day of June the twenty ninth day of September and the twenty fifth day of December in each year the first quarterly payment thereof to be made on such of the said quarter days as shall first happen after my decease And I hereby give to the said Edmund Whitfield A’Bear the younger and Thomas Bowlby A’Bear and their assigns such powers of entry and distress on and sale of the same messuage lands and hereditaments or any part thereof for recovering and compelling payment of the said annual sum of one hundred pounds if in arrear for the space of twenty one days after either of the said quarterly days of payment whereon the same shall become due and payable as are given by law to Landlords for recovering rents in arrear upon common demises And I hereby declare that the said Edmund Whitfield A'Bear the younger and Thomas Bowlby A'Bear and the survivor of them his executors or administrators shall stand and be possessed of the said annuity or yearly rent charge of one hundred pounds upon trust to receive the said annuity as the same shall become due and payable and to pay the same unto my said son John A'Bear or otherwise in their full and free discretion to apply the same in such manner as they shall think most desirable and advantageous to him for and during the term of his natural life And I hereby declare that from and after the decease of my said son John A'Bear and the payment of the said annuity and all arrears thereof up to the day of his decease the said term of two hundred years shall cease and shall sink into and merge in the freehold and inheritance of the said messuage lands and hereditaments I give and bequeath unto my daughter Alice the sum of one thousand pounds three per cent consolidated Bank annuities and for her own use and benefit to be paid or transferred to her within the calandar months after my decease I give devise and bequeath all the Rest and Residue of my money securities for money goods chattels and also all other my estate both real and personal whatsoever and wheresoever and whether in possession reversion remainder or expectancy unto my son John Burton A'Bear his heirs executors administrators and assigns to and for his own use and benefit provided always And I do hereby declare that if any or either of the trustees respectively appointed by this my will or to be appointed by virtue of this present power as hereinafter is mentioned shall happen to die or be desirous to be discharged from or refuse or decline or become incapable to act in the trusts hereby in them respectively reposed as aforesaid before the said several trusts shall be fully executed then and in such case and when and so often as the same shall happen it shall and may be lawful to and for the surviving or remaining trustees or trustee respectively or the executors or administrators of the last surviving or continuing trustee by any deed or deeds instrument or instruments in writing to be by them him or her signed sealed and delivered in the presence of and to be attested by two or more credible witnesses from time to tome nominate substitute and appoint any other person or persons to be a trustee or trustees in the stead or place of the trustee or trustees so dying or desiring to be discharged from or refusing declining or becoming incapable to act as aforesaid and when and so often as any new trustee shall be nominated and appointed as aforesaid all the trust estates monies and premises the trustee or trustees whereof shall so die or desire to be discharged from or refuse or decline or become incapable to act as aforesaid shall be thereupon with all convenient speed assigned and transferred in such sort and manner and so as that the same shall and may be legally and effectually vested in the person or persons so to be appointed as aforesaid either solely or jointly with the surviving trustee or trustees as occasion shall require to the uses and upon and for the trusts intents and purposes hereinbefore expressed and declared of and concerning the said trust estates monies and premises or such of them as shall be then subsisting undetermined and capable of taking effect and the person or persons so to be appointed as aforesaid shall have all the powers and authorities of the trustee or trustees in whose room he or they shall be substituted provided also And I hereby declare the said several trustees hereby appointed and to be appointed as aforesaid and each and every of them shall be charged and chargeable respectively for such monies only as they shall respectively actually receive by virtue of the trusts hereby in them reposed notwithstanding their or any of their giving or signing or coming in giving or signing ant receipt or receipts for the sake of conformity and any one or more of them shall not be answerable or accountable for the others or other of them or for any involuntary loss that may happen to the same nor for any banker broker with whom any of the said trust monies may from time to time be deposited for safe custody or otherwise so as any such loss shall happen without their or his wilful neglect or default and also that it shall be lawful for them out of the monies which shall come to their respective hands by virtue of the trusts aforesaid to retain and reimburse themselves and to allow their respective cotrustee or cotrustees all costs recharges damages and expenses which they or any of them shall suffer sustain expend or be put unto in or about the execution of the aforesaid trusts or in relation thereto I give and bequeath to my nephew the said Edmund Whitfield A’Bear the sum of one hundred pounds sterling I appoint my said son John Burton A’Bear and the said Edmund Whitfield A’Bear the younger Executors of this my will I revoke all former and older wills and testamentary dispositions by me at any time heretofore made and declare this to be my last will and testament In witness whereof I the said John A’Bear the testator have to this my last will and testament contained in seven sheets of paper to each sheet thereof subscribed my hand the twenty second day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three – John A’Bear – Signed by the said John A’Bear the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses – R. Twopenny, Vicar of Ipsden – John Wilder, Ipsden.

John’s will is long and explicit. In it he takes every precaution to favour his second son John Burton and not his first, who clearly fell out with his father through his ungentlemanly behaviour. He bequeathed the Hill Farm property to his nephews Edmund (1822) and Thomas (1830), and left his other holdings to his second son John Burton.

John was buried on 6th November 1845 aged 70 with his wife at St Mary’s, Ipsden. (Photo 4)

His will was proved on 30th January 1846:

Proved at London 30th January 1846 before the worshipful William Rovinson Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the oaths of Burton A’Bear the son and Edmund Whitfield A’Bear the younger the nephew the executors to whom Admon was granted having been first sworn duly to administer.

Their second child was Edmund Whitfield A’Bear (1779 - 1856), also born in Reading. Edmund was farming in Shiplake in 1812 and married Mary Ann Bowlby on 25th Oct 1813 at Caversham when he was declared “of Rotherfield Greys”. They had six children: Kate (1814), Elizabeth (1816), Mary (1819), Edmund Whitfield (1821), Thomas (1824) and Harriet (1828). All the children were born at “Rotherfield Grays”. It is possible that Edmund bought the property Rocky Lane Farm at around this time, though Edmund and Thomas were declared to have been born at Greys Green Farm (which is now a Golf Course) and clearly another farm. (Ref: Oxfordshire Parishes Transcripts)

The 1841 census lists Edmund as Edmund ABear aged 60 years of Greys Green Farm.

Edmund wrote his will on 14th August 1855 which reads as follows:

This is the last will and testament of me Edmund Whitfield A’Bear of Hare Hatch in the county of Berks, Gentleman, made in manner following, that is to say I give devise and bequeath all my messuages lands tenements tithes and real estate whatsoever and wheresoever and all my money, securities for money, goods, chattels, personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever unto my dear wife Mary Ann A’Bear for and during the term of her natural life. And from and after her decease I give devise and bequeath all my said real and personal estate in manner following (that is to say) I give and devise all and every my freehold and copyhold messuages, lands, tenements, tithes and hereditaments whatsoever situate lying and being in the parish of Warfield in the county of Berks or elsewhere unto and to the use of my son Edmund Whitfield A’Bear, his heirs and assigns for ever.

And I give and bequeath one sixth part of all my money in the stocks or public funds to my daughter Mary Ann A’Bear, one other sixth part to my said son Edmund Whitfield A’Bear, one other sixth part thereof to my son Thomas Bowlby A’Bear, one other sixth part to my daughter Harriet A’Bear, and I give and bequeath one other sixth part of the said money in the stocks or public funds into the Trustees for the time being of the settlement made previously to the marriage of my daughter Kate with Charles Sarney of Nettlebed in the county of Oxford, gentleman, upon trust to stand possessed thereof and to pay the interest, dividends and annual profits thereof unto my said daughter Kate Sarney or to such person as she shall by any writing under her hand, but not by way of anticipation, appoint to receive the same for and during the term of her natural life independently of and without being subject to the debts control or engagement of her said husband. And from and after the decease of my said daughter Kate & upon trust to pay and apply such interest, dividends and annual profits for and -?- the maintenance and duration of any child or children of my said daughter during their respective minorities, and in case any such child or children shall live to attain the age of twenty one years then upon trust to pay and divide the principal stocks, funds and securities, moneys and profits equally between such children if more than -?- if but one third to each only child but in ..... ? ......  my said daughter Kate without having any children shall .....?....... before attaining the age of twenty one years then I give and bequeath the ............?......... part of .... in the …..?........ out equally amongst all my surviving children and bequeath the remaining sixth part of the said money in the stocks or public funds unto my said sons Edmund Whitfield A’Bear and Thomas Bowlby A’Bear upon trust to invest the same in Government or real security, and to pay the interest dividends and annual profits thereof unto my daughter Elizabeth, the wife of John Milner, or to such person as she shall by any writing under her hand, but not by way of anticipation, appoint to receive the same for and during the term of her natural life, independently of and without being subject to the debts control or engagements of her said husband and from and after the decease of my said daughter Elizabeth upon trust for her children in such and the same manner as is hereinbefore provided for the children of my said daughter Kate.

And in case there shall be no children of my said daughter Elizabeth then I give and bequeath the last mentioned sixth part and the stocks, funds and securities in or upon which the same may be invested unto and equally amongst all my surviving children. And I give all my household goods and furniture, plate, linen and effects in my dwelling house equally between my four children Thomas Bowlby A’Bear, Edmund Whitfield A’Bear, Mary Ann A’Bear and Harriet A’Bear.

And I appoint my said sons Edmund Whitfield A’Bear and Thomas Bowlby A’Bear executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made, in witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name this fourteenth day of August in the year of our lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Five. E W A’Bear - signed, published and declared by the said Edmund Whitfield A’Bear the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other (all present at the same time) have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses - Mary Davies spinster - Joseph Wheatley, hare Hatch, Berks.

His will indicates that by 1855 Edmund and Mary were living at Harehatch. This was probably because by then they were of retirement age and chose to live with their son Edmund, who together with his brother Thomas inherited Hill Farm and other Wargrave lands in 1845 when their uncle John A’Bear died.

It is interesting to note the continuing use of the apostrophe in the surname which arose in the previous generation.

Edmund died on 11th January 1856, and was buried at St Mary’s, Wargrave "aged 77". (Photo 5)

His will was proved on 25th April 1856:

Proved at London 25th April 1856 before the worshipful John George Middleton, Doctor of Laws, and Surrogate by the oath of Edmund Whitfield A’Bear, the son of the executors to whom Admon was granted having been first sworn duly to administer power reserved of making the like grant to Thomas Bowlby A’Bear the son also the other executor when he shall apply for the same.

Mary died thirteen years later on 25th March 1869. She was buried in the same grave as her late husband at St Mary’s Wargrave "aged 79". (Photo 5)

 

Their third child was William A’Bear (1781 – 1788). He was baptised at Bix on 26th October 1781 but died of smallpox aged only six years. He was buried at Bix. (Ref: Oxfordshire Parishes Transcripts)

 

Their fourth child was a daughter named Elizabeth A’Bear (1784 - ?). She was baptised on 20th January 1785 aged 5 weeks at Bix. There is an IGI reference dated 1788 stating her to be “of Wargrave”.

 

Their fifth child was Daniel A’Bear ( 1787 – 1819). Daniel was baptised at Bix on 29th December 1787 aged 28 days. The cause of Daniel’s death was by drowning according to the coroner’s inquest (Oxfordshire Record Office).(ref.  pg 81 The A’Bear Family of Wargrave). He was buried at Shiplake on 22nd December 1819 aged 32 and lies in the same grave as his parents. (Group Photo 3) [Shiplake lies just across the River Thames from Wargrave]. 

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 11B

 

John A’Bear (1747 – 1818) and Mary had five children:

 

Sarah A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 19th May 1765 "daughter of John & Mary".

She married John Rogers at Oxford, St Michael on 14th October 1791. (Ref :Oxfordshire Marriage Index)

 

John A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 5th July 1767 "son of John & Mary".

Two John Abears were baptised at Wargrave in this year, in February and June, but because his burial record stated his age to be 75 on 16th March 1843 his baptism is taken to have been in June. In 1772, though, a Settlement Certificate shows his parents were trying to move back to Wargrave from Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire, about 15 miles north-east of Wargrave, without success. Therefore it seems he grew up in this locality.

John married Molly Law at the Parish Church of Chalfont St Peter on 4th July 1795. The register entry reads “John Abear of this Parish Bachelor and Molly Law of the same spinster, were married in this church by Banns this Fourth Day of July in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Five by John Josiah Pike, Curate of Uxbridge”. (ref: Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, Bishops Transcripts 1760 – 1830). The surname has been incorrectly transcribed into FamilySearch as Abcar.

To them a son John was born c.1795 and baptised that year in Chalfont St Peter. He was declared the son of John & Molly Abear. It then seems Molly assumed the name Mary, for all future records name John’s wife accordingly. Molly was the old form of the name Mary, so this seems feasible. 

John & Mary then moved three miles south to Fulmer where Francis was born and baptised in 1798 and then, only if the parents' names were recorded incorrectly at his baptism, William in 1800. In this same year John began work at a farm in this area where he would continue for the rest of his working life. An issue of the Eton & Windsor Express newspaper listed John Abear amongst others as being recognised and rewarded with a gift of 1 on 1st October 1842 by the Maidenhead Royal East Berkshire Agricultural Association for giving 42 years of service on the same farm. John was recommended for this award by a Mr Piggott, probably the landowner. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~dutillieul/ZWindsorEtonExpress/1stOctober1842.html

The farm was almost certainly Fairbourn Farm, Iver, situated near Thornton Paper Mill. The farm was then owned by a Samuel Piggott (born 1801 at Cookham). Samuel’s childrens’ birthplaces suggest he began farming at Iver after 1824 but before 1831. By 1851, according to the census of that year he had moved to Horton, Bucks, where he then resided as a ‘gentleman’.

Two daughters were then born and baptised in Fulmer, namely Mary in 1803 and Ann in 1806, but despite the continuity of his work, John & Mary seem to have then moved back to Chalfont St Peter where Sarah was born in 1810. Their last child Charles was baptised there in 1813, though census reports give his birthplace as Iver, about three miles south-east of Chalfont St Peter.

In the 1841 census John Abear is listed as aged 70 years and Mary 65 years, living in the village of Iver, and the report confirms John's occupation as an agricultural labourer. The ages given would probably have been approximate, but Mary’s age suggests a year of birth of about 1776. Also living or staying with them at the time was an Ann Abear aged 8 years, too young to be a daughter, and most likely a granddaughter who has so far not been placed. The census shows that both John and Ann were not born in Buckinghamshire, but Mary was from this county. (It seems unlikely Ann was their great niece Anna Jane Aber born c1830 as she is listed at Bermondsey, aged 11 years).

John died at nearby Eton in 1843 followed by Mary at Eton Road in 1845, possibly leaving their Iver residence to their son Charles and his family (whose daughter Jane was born there in 1848).

 

Francis A’Bear was baptised on 18th June 1769 at Wargrave "son of John & Mary" but must have grown up in Buckinghamshire with his siblings. No year of death has been established.

 

William Abear was baptised at Wargrave on 3rd October 1773, “son of John & Mary Abear”. (His death certificate dated 1847 states he was then 71 years old, making his year of birth 1775).

Two years prior to William's birth, his parents had been living at Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire, but had tried to move back to Wargrave where John was born and grew up. Despite problems, it seems they were to some extent successful; for both William and then two years later his sister Ann Abear were born in Wargrave. Later in 1818 his father was buried there and also in either 1782 or 1828 his mother was probably buried there.

It is possible William partnered or married Mary ? before 1800, as a William & Mary Bear produced a son William who was baptised very near Chalfont in Buckinghamshire at Fulmer (St James) on 15 June 1800. Despite the baptism record declaring baby William to be "son of William Bear & Mary his wife", no marriage record has been found.

More certainly, William married Sarah ? prior to 1801, as a son named John was born at Chalfont St Peter but baptised at Wargrave on 14th June 1801, son of William & Sarah. Again, no marriage record has been found, but there is a death record of a Sarah Abear at Wokingham in 1839. Her Wargrave burial record gave an age of 60 years, suggesting her year of birth was about 1779, making her about five years younger than William.

Both these baptisms occurred shortly after the date of William's enlistment to the army on 15th January 1800. The Public Records Office shows that William served in the 4th Foot Regiment between then and 24th September 1814 at which time he was discharged, aged 41 years, from the 2nd Royal Veteran Battalion. (This would make the earlier year of birth 1774 more likely). The record summary states he was born at “Walgose, Buckinghamshire”, which is clearly incorrect as Wargrave is in Berkshire, but may indicate he had Buckinghamshire connections. The actual record seems to read Wargrave, Berks.

[ref:http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/searchresults.asp?SearchInit=0&txtsearchterm=william+abear&txtfirstdate=&txtlastdate=&txtrestriction=&hdnsorttype=Reference&image1.x=0&image1.y=0]. Catalogue reference WO 97/1117/1

There is also a British Army Service Record for William [ref: via FMP 1760 - 1913] that confirms the details of his service and adds a personal description of him:

1814 Sep 24 Wm Abear, Private, 2nd R V Battn of Captain Griffiths Co. of Wargrave, Berkshire, rendered unfit for further service and is discharged. He is about 41 years of age, is 5' 8'', fair hair, eyes grey and fair complexion and by trade a labourer. Total service from 5 Jan 1800 to 24 sep 1814, 14years 215 days. At Plymouth.

Napoleonic military historian John White writes:

ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/making_history/makhist10_prog2a.shtml

When men enlisted in the army during the Napoleonic wars, they would certainly know they were in for a long haul. Before 1806, enlistment was for life: it was ended only by being killed or by being so broken and worn out that the soldier became a Chelsea Pensioner, either at the Royal Hospital or as an out-pensioner living at home. Enlisted men and men receiving a pension were effectively owned by the army and could be called back to serve in the army when required. Age was not a factor. As long as men were able, they could be called to serve their country.

Between 1804 and 1820, 13 royal garrison battalions were raised, taking into service army pensioners and invalids. They were renamed Royal Veteran Battalions in 1804. These battalions worked in depots and stores doing mainly administration and support work, which enabled the more able-bodied soldiers to do the fighting. These veteran battalions were disbanded and re-formed right up until the 1820s.

The 2nd Royal Veteran Battalion, to which William belonged, was first formed in 1802 and was disbanded and re-formed eight times in different parts of the country. This regiment, like many others, served overseas. From 1809 until October 1814 the 2nd Royal Battalion served in Madeira, fighting the French in the Peninsula War.

https://archive.org/stream/cihm_48386#page/n139/mode/2up gives a good account of the movements of the 4th Regiment. From it we know that the 2nd Battalion was actually not formed until 2nd November 1804, and William’s army discharge record shows that he did not transfer to the 2nd Battalion until 28th April 1807. He was a Private for just ninety-three days before becoming a Corporal. Then, after five years he was promoted to Sergeant, a post he held for two more years.

Their movements were as follows:

Summer 1800 Encamped on Swinley Downs near Windsor

Winter 1800 & Summer 1801 at Winchester

Sep 1801 To Horsham

May 1802 To Chatham

November 1802 To Dover Castle

1803 At Shorncliffe Barracks, Cheriton, Kent

28th November 1803 To Hythe

1804 Returned to Shorncliffe Barracks

2nd November 1804 To Hythe

9th March 1805 To Canterbury

Summer 1805 Encamped on Beachy Head

27th October 1805 Embarked at Ramsgate for Hanover

Feb 1806 Returned to Yarmouth then Woodbridge

May 1806 To Colchester

So, apart from a brief spell in Hanover from 27th October 1805 until February 1806 during which there was no fighting, this battalion remained in southern England. Thanks to Angela Sherry we know that during this period William and Sarah had two more children. A baby by the name of Anne, daughter of William and Sarah Abear, was baptised at Cheriton, Kent on 29th July 1804, where this battalion was stationed at the time. Sadly the burial registers reveal that Anne Bear, Infant, was buried on 6th September 1804. There is also a baptism recorded for a Sarah, daughter of William and Sarah at Wargrave on 3 November 1805. By this time the 1st Battalion had left for Hanover, so it would seem William missed this ceremony.

On 28th April 1807 William was transferred to the 2nd Battalion as a Private. On 25th July 1807 his battalion moved to Jersey, returning to Colchester on 31st January 1809.

After 2 years and 58 days with the 2nd Battalion, William was transferred on 25th June 1809 to the 2nd Battalion Royal Veterans where he served as a Private for 5 years and 92 days until he was discharged. This battalion served in Madeira from 1810 until 1814, and was disbanded back at Plymouth the same day that William was discharged. His discharge notes state that he had “a sore leg and varicose veins contracted in Ireland” which may suggest he missed the Peninsula War. Indeed, six months before the end of William's army career, he and Sarah produced twin daughters, Hannah and Rebecca, born and baptised in the Isles of Scilly. Both were baptised there on 13th March 1814. The reason for this may be that either Sarah (and also, perhaps, their son John) escorted William to Madeira, and they returned en route via the Isles of Scilly, or Sarah travelled there to meet him on his return. Industrial shipbuilding had become established on the islands by this time, and William may have been laid up there for a while before being discharged at Plymouth. Alternatively, during leave they may have travelled there for a break.

Back home at Wargrave their family grew again with the births of Sophia Abear in 1817 and Jane Abear in 1819. The 1817 baptism record indicates William was then occupied as a labourer.

In 1820 William and Sarah's first child John Abear died, aged 20 years, and was buried at Wargrave. He had applied to serve in the Royal Marines at Portsmouth, but apparently lost his life just before he entered service.

The family continued living in Wargrave, for both in 1828 and 1829 when daughters Hannah and Rebecca married, they were stated to be of that parish.

There is a record of death for a Sarah Abear (listed on Ancestry.co.uk under the surname Ab_ear) in the last quarter of 1839 at Wokingham, near Wargrave. She was buried on 19th December 1839 at Wargrave "aged 60 years". (Wargrave Parish Register)

In 1840 when William's daughter Sophia married, his occupation was again given as a labourer working in Hurley, Berkshire, about four miles north of Wargrave. Sophia's husband also worked in Hurley.

William’s discharge papers bear a date of 18th December 1840 together with his signature, and it is supposed he then applied for a pension, probably aged 65 years.

The 1841 census records a William Abear, a pensioner aged 60 years (William was then about 66 years old) living in a cottage in The Holt, Harehatch, with a boy named William Abear aged 8 years and Ann Willis aged 30. All three were born in the county. They are listed living with the Ogbourne family, namely his daughter Hannah and her husband James Ogburn and their children with the exception of William Ogbourne, aged 8. No birth record of a William Abear has been found around the year 1833, so the boy is taken to be William's grandson, William Ogbourne, who cannot be located elsewhere at this time. (In this census Magdalene Abear, aged 30, lived only two doors away with her two children John and Eliza. In 1847 she conceived a daughter named Elizabeth Abear whose father was later named as a William Abear).

According to his death certificate William Abear, labourer, died of old age and general debility on 20th December 1847 at Wargrave, aged 71 years. Present at his death was a Mary Garaway of Wargrave. He was buried at Wargrave in 1847 "aged 71".

 

Ann A’Bear was baptised on 14th April 1776 at Wargrave “daughter of John & Mary” and could be twinned with William, though this seems unlikely. She presumably grew up in Buckinghamshire with her siblings.

There is a Wargrave burial for an "Anne" on 8th April 1797, though this could be Anne gen 9W, 10A or 10B.

 

 

Thomas A’Bear (1760 – 1833) and Mary had twelve children:

 

John A’Bear was baptised on 22nd Sep 1781 at Wargrave “son of Thomas & Mary” but was buried there on 17th October 1782.

 

John A'Bear was baptised on 8th February 1784 at Wargrave “son of Thomas & Mary”.

He married Mary ? in 1808 at Wargrave and had four children, Sally in 1809, Magdalene in 1811, Ezekiel in 1813 and Eliza in 1817. Though Ezekiel was born in London, Sally, Magdalene, Ezekiel and Eliza were all baptised at Wargrave. So it seems John and Mary lived at Wargrave most if not all of their lives. In 1811, 1813 and 1817 John was declared to be a labourer according to baptism records.

There is a burial record of a Mary Abear of Wargrave on 31st January 1836 aged 54 years. This would make her year of birth about 1781.

The 1841 census lists a John Abear aged 50 years living at 89 Tags Lane, Harehatch, very near his daughter Magdalene.

The 1841 census (very faint) also records a John Bear (possibly reads Abear) aged 55 years, an agricultural labourer, living on a farm with a Robert & Mary Piggott and family near Wargrave at White Waltham. Mary is not listed here and cannot be found in this census.

The 1851 census lists John Abear aged 67 years and a widower, born at Wargrave, a labouring servant living with Thomas & Mary Fleet at 9, Tithe Row, Bray.

The 1861 census names John A Bear as a widower, aged 76, occupied as a gardener labourer living at Cookham with his sister Ann and her husband.

He died aged 89 years in 1870 at Cookham.

 

Edward A’Bear was baptised on 5th June 1785 at Wargrave, “son of Thomas & Mary”.

It was thought he married and had a child named Edward in about 1820. It now seems likely this son Edward was actually born in 1827 in London. The son's marriage certificate of 1848 declares his father Edward to be deceased by this year.

 

Martha A’Bear was baptised on 17th December 1786 “daughter of Thomas & Mary”.

She married William Hurrell in 1810 at Aylesbury where the family may then have been living or had connections. There is a baptism record for their daughter Elizabeth Martha Hurrell dated 9th February 1834 at Woolwich, which adds her date of birth, 5th January 1834. It states William to be a Private, Sapper & Miner, living at the Royal Arsenal.

 

Mary A’Bear was baptised on 17th August 1788 at Wargrave, “daughter of Thomas & Mary”.

Mary appears in the 1851 census living at Chapel Street, Great Marlow, (taken to be Marlow), Buckinghamshire with her mother. She is declared as an annuitant aged 62, and stated as unmarried. The year of birth ties up perfectly. Also living there at the time was a 13 year old house servant Sarah Phillips and a visitor Hannah Webb, unmarried, aged 68, born High Wycombe.

 

William A’Bear was baptised on 15th August 1790 at Wargrave, “son of Thomas & Mary”.

He may have moved to Aylesbury in about 1794.

There is a record of a William ABear being convicted in Berkshire for larceny in Lent, 1811. He was imprisoned for one year. (England & Wales Criminal Registers, 1791-1892, Ancestry.co.uk).

Around 1840 it seems probable that William lived in a cottage with his younger brother James in The Holt, Harehatch, where he jointly owned land. This information is recorded in the 1840 Tithe Terrier.

A William Abear is named as the father of Elizabeth Abear gen 13B, born in 1847. Though two other William Abears are known to be living at this time, this William seems the most likely one. Elizabeth was his great niece, and lived in the locality. Elizabeth’s mother Magdalene Abear was single and probably needed help caring for her children. Her father was widowed and labouring in Bray and Cookham and her brother lived and worked in London, so it is feasible she turned to her uncle to help father Elizabeth.

William died in 1854.

 

Sarah A’Bear was baptised on 19th May 1793 at Wargrave “daughter of Thomas & Mary”. However she may have grown up in Aylesbury.

An email from Roger Kelly (who descends from Branch 8 of the family) informed us that in 1821 Sarah bore a son to George Birnie, a merchant, named George Augustus Abear. The wording 'by George Birnie' on both baptism records suggests the baby was born out of wedlock, and there is no evidence of a marriage. The baby was baptised at Christchurch, Southwark, and they were then living at Baker Street. (When George Augustus grew up and married in 1844 his father's name was given as George Abear, younger brother to Sarah). George Birnie was born in London on 23rd October 1786 and died at Poplar, London in January 1849.

On 15th July 1831 a Sarah Abear married Stephen Smith at Holy Trinity, Cookham, Berkshire, thought to be the same person.

 

George A’Bear was born in 1795, but whether he was born in Wargrave or Aylesbury or elsewhere is unknown.

In 1819 there is a record of a George Ebare (which looks more like Abare) renting property at St George, Hanover Square, Westminster.

It seems George helped to raise George Augustus Abear (1821), born to his sister Sarah Abear and George Birnie in Southwark. For according to George Augustus Abear's marriage certificate of 1844 George had 'fathered' him.

In 1844 when his 'adopted' son George Augustus married, George's occupation was given as a labourer, presumably in London, with no mention of 'deceased'. So he presumably died later than 1844.

 

Elizabeth “Betty” A’Bear was born and christened in 1796 at Aylesbury, and may have grown up there or in Wargrave.

She later had a daughter Susanna A’Bear (1816) when she was declared to be a labourer. There is no marriage record.

 

Ann A’Bear was born 30th July 1798 and christened in September of that year at Aylesbury. (ref: Bucks Local Study Centre). She may have grown up in Aylesbury, although on 15th August 1829 she married Robert Keeley of Cookham at Wargrave. It is unclear why she (and her younger brother James) chose to marry at Wargrave unless they lived there at the time, however the marriage record does not state that she was ‘of this parish’.

The 1841 census lists Ann Keely (recorded as Heely) aged 40 years, born at Wargrave, living with Matthew Keely aged 75 years at Kiln Green, Bath Road, Harehatch, presumably Robert's father.

There is a death record for Robert at Cookham in about June 1844 (ref: BMO) and Ann Keely married Joseph Fowler at Cookham in January 1845.

The 1851 census lists Ann Fowler aged 48 and Joseph aged 51 years living at Cookham, Berkshire. Ann's birthplace was then given as Aylesbury.

The 1861 census lists Ann aged 61 and Joseph, a wheelwright, aged 60 years, living at Cookham with her older brother John A Bear, aged 76. He is stated as brother-in-law to Joseph, and a widower, born at Wargrave.

Ann Fowler died at Cookham in about December 1881 aged 82 years.

 

James A’Bear seems to have been born and christened in 1802 , at Aylesbury. However, the 1861 census states his age as 67 years, giving a year of birth of 1793 or 1794. It also declares he was born in Reading, (presumably Wargrave). The year 1802 is calculated from his death certificate.

It is unclear to what extent he grew up in Aylesbury or Wargrave. He married Eliza Astell Hearn at Wargrave probably in 1838 (there is a reference for August 1839), but finally settled in Isleworth where he and Eliza’s ten children grew up: John (1838), Thomas (1840), James (1842), Eliza (1843), Mary (1846), James (1849), William (1851), Sophia (1854), George (1857) and Henry (1860).

Their first son John was born in 1838 at Isleworth, confirmed in all the censuses, but the 1840 Tithe Terrier shows a James and William occupying a cottage (now a house called La Chaumier) next door to the Queen Victoria public house along the little private road in The Holt, Harehatch, Wargrave. Since no other James is known to be living at the time, it may be assumed this man was living there and working on the land at the time with, quite probably, his older brother William [or otherwise his first cousin William ( 1774 – 1847)]. In fact according to IGI their second son Thomas was baptised at Wargrave in this year, supporting the notion that they maintained links with Wargrave for a while after they married. (Thomas stated in the 1881 census that he was born in Reading, Berkshire).

A year later the 1841 census lists James and Eliza, both aged 35 years and agricultural labourers, with sons John aged 3 and Thomas aged 1. They were then living at Woodcott, Oxfordshire, about ten miles west of Wargrave. But soon after this James became a railway worker and labourer at Isleworth. He probably moved there looking for work on the then rapidly expanding railway network out of London. The 1851 census lists James aged 56 years, occupied as a rail labourer, born in Aylesbury, and Eliza aged 38 years a garden labourer born in Isleworth. Also listed are Thomas aged 11, born Woodgrave, Berkshire (Woodcott or Wargrave), Eliza aged 7, born Brentford and James aged 2, born Isleworth. They were then living at Smallberry Green, Isleworth.

The 1861 census lists the family, still at Smallberry Green, Isleworth. James's age is 67 and he is a farm servant. His place of birth is given as Reading, Berkshire. Eliza, aged 46, was born in London. Their son John, aged 23 and unmarried, is a carman, born in Isleworth. Also listed are James aged 12, William aged 9, Sophia aged 7, George aged 4 and Henry aged 8 months, all born in Isleworth.

The 1871 census lists the family now living in Hounslow Road. James, aged 72, is a labourer, born Aylesbury, Eliza, aged 57, is unoccupied born in Isleworth, George is aged 14 and Henry is aged 10, both born there too.

James died at Brentford in 1877, and the 1881 census report records Eliza as a widow and housekeeper then living at Smith Cottage, London Road , Isleworth, with sons George aged 23 and Henry aged 20 both labourers at a soap factory. Eliza's place of birth is given as Grays Inn Lane, Middlesex. Eliza died in 1891.

 

Susannah A’Bear was born and christened in 1804 at Aylesbury. She may have grown up there or in Wargrave.

Recorded under the surname Obear, the 1841 census lists a Susanna A'Bear aged 30 years and of independent means living at Chapel Street, Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, with Martha Cleobury, aged 80, Jane Aveling, aged 13 and Hannah Webb aged 55, also of independent means. The street name and association with Hannah Webb ties in with Susanna's sister Mary and their mother Mary Abear nee Beckett whose sister may well have been Martha.

The 1851 census lists a Susanna Abear born in Aylesbury, aged 44 years and working as a servant and cook in Cookham, Berkshire. She married James Butler in 1852 at Croydon. Her certificate states her age then as 47 years and a spinster, and confirms her father to be Thomas Abear, gardener, (who would have been deceased by then). They were then living at Norwood, Croydon. James, a bachelor, was then aged 56 years.

The couple are listed in the 1861 census living at Wooburn near Cookham with a lodger. Sussanah's age is given as 56 years and her place of birth is confirmed as Aylesbury. James was then a Tea Dealer aged 64 years and his place of birth was Wooburn.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 12A

 

John and Sarah had three children:

 

John Daniel A’Bear (1814 - 1894) was born in Bix. He was born on 21st April 1814 and baptised at Bix on 28th September 1814.

Upon his father’s death, John Daniel should have inherited Hill House, being the eldest son. However he was disinherited due to his “wild drunken ways” and his wish to marry the family cook, Caroline Rogers. (Photo 6) They moved away from Bix to Hedding Hill, near Oxford, where they raised ten children, living on a legacy of 25 per month, payable out of the estate that his younger brother John Burton inherited in 1845. John and Caroline’s children were Caroline (1849), John Daniel (1851), Kate (1852), John William (1853), Alice (1855), Charlotte (1856), Elizabeth (1857), James (1859), Alfred (1860) and Edgar (1862). Caroline, John’s wife, had a brother known as “Uncle Rogers” who farmed in the Cathcart district of South Africa, and it was largely due to him that three of his children (Caroline, James and Edgar) came to emigrate to that country.

In later years John continued to live by independent means, but in letters that he wrote to his family in South Africa he seemed regretful about his habitual drinking.

The 1881 census names John as John Daniel ABear.

Caroline died in 1888. She was buried on 13th September 1888 at Cowley, St James aged 67.

John Daniel was buried on 24th May 1894 at Cowley, St James, aged 80.

See also “The South African Branch”.

 

John Burton A’Bear (1816 – 1881) (Photo 7) was born in Bix on 5th May 1816. He was baptised there on 23rd June 1816. But though he grew up very much in the farming community, after leaving school in 1831 he began a seven year apprenticeship to William Dodds of Leadenhall Street, London, a Tea Dealer, Citizen and Clockmaker. (Ref p 55 TAFOW). Perhaps at this time it seemed likely his older brother would inherit father’s property and land. By 1845 though he had lost both parents and so presumably continued managing the estates.

In 1855 John Burton married Jane Ann May (Photo 8) (who was sixteen years younger than him) and they began their family of nine children. Their first three were born at Hurst – Jane (1856), John Burton (1858) and John Edmund (1859) – then in 1860 the family moved to Hill House. Until this time, Hill Farm was owned by his cousin Edmund Whitfield (1822) and the move coincided with Edmund’s marriage. The exact terms of the transaction are not known, but one supposes Edmund wanted to move back to his father’s estates at this time, but felt Hill House and its 300 acres of land should remain in the family. John Burton and Jane on the other hand had a growing family who may well have appreciated larger accommodation and the opportunity to move back to the estate his father had previously inherited.

At Hill Farm John Burton and Jane had six more children, Thomas Newell (1861), Alfred (1863), Sarah (1865), Alice (1867), Emily (1869) and Edward (1875). The census report for 1871 indicates the acreage remained constant, but by 1881, the year that John Burton died, Jane is recorded as a Farmeress with 170 acres at Hill Farm, employing seven men and two boys. Jane struggled on for several more years raising her younger children, aided by her sister-in-law Alice A’Bear, then in 1901 the property was put on the market. (Branch 2 Photo 7) At this time the estate had been reduced in size to 114 acres and Jane was 69 years old. The 1901 census lists Jane as Jane Anne A'Bear agreeing a year of birth of 1832.

Jane continued living locally (at Ivy Dene, Victoria Road) and died in 1909.

John Burton lies buried with his daughter Alice (1867 – 1876) in a grave at St Mary’s, (Group Photo 9), and there in another grave lie Jane Ann and John’s sister Alice A’Bear (Group Photo 10).

Alice A’Bear (1818 – 1895) was born on 19th July 1818 in Bix, and baptised there on 30th September 1818. She seems to have remained close to her brother John Burton A’Bear. She remained single and lived at Hill House helping with the raising of her nephews and nieces. Alice owned a property at White Waltham nearby. She died in 1895. (Group Photo 10)

 

 

Edmund Whitfield A’Bear and Mary Ann had six children, all born at Rotherfield Grays:

 

Kate A’Bear (1814 – 1877) was baptised at Rotherfield Greys on 2nd September 1814. She married Charles Sarney of Nettlebed in 1835 at Rotherfield Greys. It is known that Charles died in 1875 at Henley, so it would seem they remained in the locality.

 

Elizabeth A’Bear (1816 - 1895) was baptised at Rotherfield Greys on 3rd May 1816. She married John Milner at St Mary's Church, Marylebone, on 12th March 1842. John was a widower of Oakford, Devon.

Elizabeth and John are listed in the 1851 census living at Hordle Farm, Hordle, Hampshire, near Lymington. John, aged 33, was born at Cavisham, Oxford, and was farming 500 acres of land. Elizabeth, aged 34, born Rotherfield Greys. Their two children aged 5 and 7 were also born Rotherfield Greys.

The 1861 census lists the family again, John now occupied as a land agent in Brockenhurst.

In 1871 the census lists John and Elizabeth living in Chelsea where John is now a wine merchant. He died three years later in 1874.

The 1881 census lists Elizabeth, aged 64 years and a widow, living with her married daughter in Kilburn.

The 1891 census lists Elizabeth aged 75 years as a widow. She died in April 1895.

 

Mary Ann A’Bear (1819 – 1896). Mary Ann was born in April 1819 and baptised at Rotherfield Greys on 7th May 1819.

In the 1881 census she is named as Mary Ann A’Bear agreeing with an age of 62 years.

She died (according to her will) a spinster and was buried at Rotherfield Greys, aged 77, on 18th April 1896.

 

Edmund Whitfield A’Bear (1821 – 1888). Edmund was baptised on 3rd July 1821 at Rotherfield Greys.

He inherited Hill House whilst still a young man in 1845 when his uncle John A’Bear (born 1775) died. He is recorded in the 1851 census as living at Hill House which then stood with 300 acres of land.

In 1860 he married Mary Ann Willis. She was born in 1836 in Middlesex and so was fourteen years younger than Edmund. According to the 1881 census though, Mary was born in Greywell, Hampshire.

Edmund then moved back to the Rotherfield Greys area with Mary where their seven children were born: Frances (1861), Kate (1862), Elizabeth (1866), Mabel (1868), Edmund Whitfield (1869), Alice (1871) and Margaret (1873). The family lived at Rocky Lane Farm, Bix. (Canadian Branch Photos 2 & 3). How long this property had been owned by the family is unclear, but it is possible it may have been purchased one or even two generations previously. It is believed Edmund and Mary lived there from about 1861, although the census report of that year shows that Rocky Lane Farm was then occupied by Henry and Sarah Willis and their four young children. The surname matches that of Mary, and doubtless this family was closely related. Henry was an agricultural worker, and it is possible he rented the property from Edmund’s father and worked the land whilst the family lived at Hill House. Soon after Edmund’s marriage, the Willis family must have moved out and Edmund, Mary and family moved in.

According to the 1881 census, this impressive property stood with land amounting to 216 acres. At that time six men and two boys were employed to farm this land. In this census Edmund is named as Edmund W ABear.

Sadly, farming declined in prosperity around this time, and land and properties were mortgaged during the 1880s. When Edmund (senior) died in 1888, the family had grown up and some of the daughters may well have already left home.

Mary died in 1892 and the property was then sold.

 

Thomas Bowlby A’Bear (1824 – 1883). Thomas was baptised on 17th February 1824 at Rotherfield Greys. He never married and lived all his life in the same area.

He died on 11th March 1883 and was buried on 15th March 1883 aged 59 in Rotherfield Grays churchyard. His burial record stated that he was of “The Romary”.

 

Harriet A’Bear (1828 - >1881). Harriet was baptised on 12th December 1828 at Rotherfield Greys.

She married Alfred Piercy in 1867 at Henley. They moved away to Tonbridge, Kent, where Alfred’s death is recorded in 1897.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 12B

 

John (1767 – 1843) and Molly had one child:

 

John Abear born and baptised on 6th Dec 1795 at Chalfont St Peter, but his parents are listed as John and Molly Abear, not John & Mary Abear. [Molly is an old form of the name Mary].

It seems certain that John died in Jun 1830 at St Sepulchre, London, for his burial record states his age to be 34 years, which corresponds exactly with his baptism date. John's address at the time of his death corresponds with William & Hannah's address, namely White Hart Court, Long Lane, Holborn, confirming a close family link.

 

John (1767 – 1843) and Mary probably had six children:

 

Francis Bear/Abor was baptised on 25th February 1798 at Fulmer, Bucks, listed under the St James baptisms as "son of John & Mary Bear".

His son Francis's christening record of 1822 at Burnham, Buckinghamshire, a few miles to the west of Fulmer, gives his father and mother's names as Francis & Harriet Abor. (ref: England Deaths & Burials 1538 - 1991 c/o Latter-day Saints).

His son Francis's marriage record of 1845 states his father Francis's occupation to be a servant. (ref: London, England, marriages and Banns, 1754 - 1921) c/o Ancestry.co.uk). 

He died in 1822 at Burnham, for there is a burial record at St Peter's Church on 5 May 1822 for a Francis A…? aged 24 of Burnham Town where a few other Bear records exist. Also Latter-day Saints have a record filed under Francis Abor agreeing this data.

 

William Bear/Aber was baptised in 1800 at Fulmer, Buckinghamshire. His baptism record states him to be the son of William & Mary Bear, but this is thought to be an error. He heads the Aber Branch of the family.

 

Mary Bear/Abear was baptised on 29th May 1803 at Fulmer, Bucks, listed under the St James baptisms as "daughter of John & Mary Bear". Listed under the Iver St Peter baptisms on 28 Dec 1823 there is an Elizabeth born 21 Nov 1823, illegitimate daughter of Thomas & Mary Abear? of Iver, Shoemaker. There is a reference which gives the father's name as Thomas Wainwright and which names the child as Elizabeth Wainwright which agrees this data. (ref: England Births and Christenings, 1538 - 1975 c/o Latter-day Saints).

On 21st May 1825 Mary married Jonathan Edy/Eady at St Mary the Virgin, Langley Marish (otherwise known as Langley) near Slough, Buckinghamshire, situated only three miles from Iver. He was a widower of that parish, and her a spinster of that parish.

The 1841 census lists Mary and Jonathan Edy at Iver with Jonathan's son Charles Edy, aged 20. Jonathan, aged 50 years, is an agricultural labourer. Mary is aged 35.

The 1851 census for Iver lists Mary Edy as a dressmaker, aged 48, born Fulmer, and Jonathan Edy an agricultural labourer, aged 59. This would make his date of birth c1792. Also listed is a son Edwin Edy aged 35 years (presumably from his first marriage), an agricultural labourer, and Elizabeth Abear aged 27 years, an unmarried servant.

The 1861 census for Iver confirms that Jonathan was a farm labourer. He was born in Nettlebed, Oxfordshire, and then aged 69 years. Mary is aged 58 years with no occupation given, Elizabeth is named as Elizabeth Edy, aged 36 and an unmarried servant. Also a grandson to Jonathan named James is listed, aged 8 years.

Jonathan died before the 1871 census when Mary was declared a widow and occupied as a needlewoman. She then lived with her grandson Thomas Edy aged 20 years. She does not appear in the 1881 census so presumably died before this year.

 

Ann Bear/Aber was born and baptised in 1806 at Fulmer (St James) where she is listed as "daughter of John & Mary Bear". Thanks to Liz Holliday,we have established that Ann was Liz's great great grandmother. Ann married Samuel Rayment in 1841 at Southwark, just before the 1841 census was taken. Her marriage certificate shows her to be a spinster living at London Road, Southwark, and the surname she then used was Aber. Her father's name and occupation were also given as John Aber, labourer.

Samuel was then a widower, aged 29 and so born about 1812, working as a porter and living at London Road, Southwark. Only months later in the census of that year she and Samuel are listed as living in High Street, Croydon, Surrey.

Their family all carried the Rayment surname. Jane Elizabeth was born in 1842, then

Frederick Charles was born in 1844 when their address was Southbridge Row, Croydon. Ellen Sarah was born in 1846 and then Caroline in 1849.

In 1851, 1861 and 1871 they were living at 55 Church Street, Croydon. Samuel died in 1873, then occupied as a carman/groom.

In 1881 Ann was working at the Croydon Workhouse and she died on 21 April 1881.

 

Sarah Abear was baptised on 28th January 1810 at Chalfont St Peter, "daughter of John & Mary Abear". Nothing more is known of this Sarah.

 

Charles Abear was baptised on 16th May 1813 at Chalfont St Peter, "son of John & Mary Abear, father labourer". The 1851 and 1861 censuses give his birthplace as Iver, Buckinghamshire, about three miles from Chalfont, and confirm 1813 to be his likely year of birth. In both censuses his surname is given as Abear.

It is thought he married Mary ? in about 1832 as they previously had a daughter Sarah who was baptised (and stated ‘illegitimate’) at Wargrave in 1831.

Charles appeared in a January 1837 issue of the Eton & Windsor Express which stated that Chas. Abear, and a man named Marlin, were charged before the magistrates with being armed and in pursuit of game without being qualified. The defendants were caught at Iver, the one being in possession of a gun, and the other having a dog. They were convicted in the penalty of 2 and costs. Abear, in default of payment was committed to Aylesbury gaol for six weeks.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~dutillieul/ZWindsorEtonExpress/21stJanuary1837.html

The name Marlin crops up again under his daughter Mary Ann Abear.

There is a record of a Mary Abear being buried on 18th June 1837 at Hillingdon, Uxbridge, aged 38 years. This would make her year of birth about 1799. (ref: England Deaths & Burials 1813 - 1980 c/o Ancestry.co.uk)

Charles was tried for the offence of larceny on 4th Jan 1841 at the County Sessions in Buckinghamshire, aged 27, and was imprisoned for a number of weeks. (England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791 - 1892 Ancestry.co.uk).

In 1845 Charles married Ann Church at Eton, five miles southwest of Iver. Ann’s maiden name was Dorsett, so this was her second marriage, and she came from Hedgerley Dean, Buckinghamshire, though the earlier census states Farnham Royal, which is very close. Her age of 40 years in 1851 and 50 in 1861 agrees well with her given year of birth, 1812.

Charles and Ann had two daughters Mary Ann born in 1845 and Jane in 1848. Mary Ann’s name is a combination of Charles’s two wives’ names.

A timeline report for Charles confirms that between 1837 and 1850 Charles was convicted for criminal activity and that in about 1850 Charles was occupied as a Rat Catcher & Chaff Cutter.

The 1851 census for Iver includes Charles and Ann, Mary Ann and Jane and also Ann's stepdaughter Elizabeth Church aged 12 years, all three children being born at Iver. Charles is then recorded as being occupied as an agricultural labourer.

The 1861 census states that Charles and Ann had by then moved to Harefield Row, Uxbridge, ten miles north of Iver. Charles was then still employed as an agricultural labourer. Also listed in the census is a boy named John Hok or Hook – nephew, aged 10 years, born Hillingdon, Middlesex. So perhaps Hok or Hook was Ann’s sister’s married name.

Ann died at Uxbridge in 1869. Their daughter Jane married not far away at Eton that same year.

From 1870 Charles spent the remainder of his life in and out of the Hillingdon Workhouse. 

Charles and Ann’s daughter Mary Ann married at Uxbridge in 1872.

Charles died aged 66 years in the Hillingdon Workhouse on 26th May 1876. He was buried on 1st June 1876.

 

 

William (1774 – 1847) and Sarah had seven children:

 

John A’Bear / Abers was baptised on 7th June 1801 at Wargrave “ son of William & Sarah”, so he may have been born there. However, it seems his father William grew up and started work in Buckinghamshire along with the rest of his family, so it is likely John was born there and also grew up around Chalfont St Peter. This notion is supported by Attestation Papers held in the TNA catalogue (ref ADM 157/341/203 Folios 203-204) in which "John Abers, born Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, applies to serve in the Royal Marines at Portsmouth in 1820 (when aged 20)".

His father joined the army the same year John was born, serving until 1814, so John may have been brought up primarily by his mother Sarah. He was buried at Wargrave on 9th December 1820, aged twenty years according to the burial list. The discharge date and reason for discharge from the Royal Marines is left blank, probably because he died just before joining them. 

 

Anne Abear was baptised at Cheriton, Kent on 29th July 1804, where her father’s battalion was stationed at the time. Sadly the burial registers reveal that Anne Bear, Infant, was buried on 6th September 1804.

 

Sarah Abear was baptised at Wargrave on 3 November 1805, "daughter of William & Sarah". A Sarah Ann Abear married Nathaniel Stocker at Wargrave on 21st May 1832 when both were declared to be ‘of this parish’. Records suggest Nathaniel died in June 1843 at Wokingham.

 

Twins Hannah A’Bear and Rebecca A’Bear were born and christened (sixteen days later) in 1814 in the Scilly Isles. The year ties in with their father’s discharge from the army, and this remote location may be connected with his situation at the time.

Thanks to information from Ken Hogburn, we now know that Hannah married James Ogburn at Wargrave on 29th June 1828 when she was only fourteen years old, and where they had a family of eleven children. James (born 1806) was an agricultural labourer who was baptised in Wargrave and grew up there; in fact the marriage record states both to be ‘of this parish’.

Their first child Mary Ann was born in 1829 when Hannah was only fifteen years old, and their subsequent children were named Sarah (1831), William (1833), Sophia Jane (1836 - >1901), Henry (1838), George (1840), Fanny (1844), Elizabeth Rachel (1847), James John (1850 – 1886), Emily Hannah (1854) and William (1858). All had the Ogburn surname. The first five children were all baptised at Hurley, Berkshire, about four miles north of Wargrave, where Hannah’s father worked as a labourer. But from 1838 the Ogbourne children were baptised at Wargrave. It is possible they moved from Hurley to Wargrave at this time. The year coincides with the marriage of her uncle James A’Bear (1802 – 1877) who seems to have been living at The Holt with Hannah’s father, but moved away to start a family in Isleworth.

According to the 1851 census, the family then lived at Kiln Green, Wargrave. This is the area immediately to the east of the Holt on the A4 - it has no real centre, but is more of an entity than the Holt. By 1871 their address is given as The Holt, but it is thought that as early as 1841 the family were living at one and the same property, now named La Chaumiere. This early census records the Ogbourne family, and with them William A’Bear aged 60 years and William A’Bear aged 8 years. The elder William is taken to be Hannah’s father (actually aged 50 years). The younger William was almost certainly their son William Ogbourne born in 1833 and aged 8 years, for he is not listed with their other five children.

See also “The Holt”.

Of Hannah and James’s children, only information concerning Sophia is known. She appears in the 1861 census aged 24 years, unmarried and working as a housemaid at 7 Andrews Place, St Pancras, Middlesex, for James and Sarah Comerford. Sophia married John Carroll in December 1862 at Marylebone, but in the 1881 census she is declared a widow, working for Julia Doyle in Bray (near Maidenhead) as a nurse and domestic. In 1883 she married Matthew Shepherd of Twyford at Wokingham. By 1891 she and Matthew are running a grocer’s shop in Netley Street, Farnborough and living there with Matthew’s children by his first marriage. This business was apparently previously owned by Matthew’s father, but it seems from the wording of the census of that year that she was considered the head of the family. By 1901 they had retired and were living at Oxford Villa, Southampton Street, Farnborough, when Matthew is named as the head of family.

James died in 1874, and in the 1881 census Hannah is declared a widow still living at The Holt. Hannah died in December 1886 at Hartley Witney (north-west of Farnborough) attended by her son-in-law Matthew Shepherd.

Rebecca presumably grew up in Wargrave too, for she married James Stevens there on 29th August 1829 whilst only fifteen years of age. She was declared ‘of this parish’ in her marriage record, as was James. Thanks to Angela Sherry, a descendant of Rebecca and James, we know a little about them. James was born in about 1806 at Lime Prestel ? in Kent. He was a bricklayer by trade, and they seem to have moved to Dorney, Buckinghamshire, as their eldest son was baptised there. Rebecca also sadly died there of consumption in 1841 aged only 27 years.

James and Rebecca had four children named William (c1830), James (c1834), Mary Ann (c1837) and John (1839). All carried the Stevens surname, and Angela descends from William Stevens’s marriage to Mary Hartstone.

Following Rebecca’s death, James married Hannah Richards in 1842.

 

Sophia A’Bear was born and christened on 22nd June 1817 at Wargrave, “daughter of William & Sarah”.

She married Elias Woodward in 1840 at Cookham, Berkshire. Elias was a shoemaker working at Hurley, Berkshire, where Sophia’s father was working as a labourer. Cookham is about five miles north-east of Hurley, and possibly the village where Elias grew up.

 

Jane A’Bear was baptised on 26th September 1819 at Wargrave, "daughter of William & Sarah".

She married Ezekiel A’Bear (her second cousin) in 1853 and heads Branch 4 of the family. See Branch 4.

 

 

John (1784 – ?) and Mary had four children:

 

Sally A’Bear was baptised on 26th March 1809 at Wargrave, "daughter of John & Mary". Nothing more is known of her.

 

Magdalene A’Bear was baptised on 5th May 1811 (ref: Latter Day Saints) "daughter of John & Mary" at Wargrave, when her father was declared to be a labourer. She probably grew up there too.

To Magdalene and John Piggott (who is recorded as dying in about 1865) it seems an illegitimate son was born named John A’Bear in 1833, either in Wargrave or possibly Buckinghamshire – census information varies. [It happened that a landowner named Mr Piggott of Buckinghamshire recommended John Abear gen 11B (born June 1767) for an award for 42 years of service. Given that Magdalene was recorded as a labourer in 1834 one wonders if she may have found work on the same farm and had an affair with the landowner]. Later when John A’Bear married, his father was named as John A’Bear, farmer. His identity is discussed a little later. Son John's baptism was at Wargrave on 28th December 1834 "son of Magdalene" when her occupation was given as a labourer.

Magdalene also had at least three daughters, Eliza (c1840), Elizabeth (1845 – c1846) and Elizabeth (1847) and probably Mary Ann Abear (1848). Eliza’s marriage certificate of 1866 names her father as John A’Bear, Engineer (deceased). The first Elizabeth’s father is uncertain as no name was given on her birth certificate or christening record making it appear that she was illegitimate. For there to be two Elizabeths, this Elizabeth must have died in infancy. The second Elizabeth’s birth certificate also gives no name for her father, suggesting she too was born out of wedlock. However, her marriage certificate of 1873 named her father as William A’Bear. There is no record of Magdalene ever marrying, which raises the question as to which John Abear and which William Abear were fathers to her son and daughters. There are four known John A’Bears living around 1840 who were deceased before 1866, namely John A’Bear (1775 – 1845) of Ipsden, John A'Bear (born June 1767) who was possibly working on the same farm, John Abear (born Feb 1767) and possibly Magdalene’s own father John A’Bear (1784 – 1870) though his year of death would have to be wrong or the word ‘deceased’ misinterpreted and so incorrectly recorded. Given the choice, it seems likely it was Magdalene’s father who simply helped to raise John and Eliza.

Likewise, there are three William A’Bears known to be living in 1847, namely William A’Bear (1774 – 1847), his son William Bear/Aber (1800 – 1867), and William A’Bear (1790 – 1854). All were deceased in 1873 when William’s name was given - a fact not disclosed on Elizabeth’s marriage certificate - but the last William was recorded living with his younger brother James A’Bear virtually adjacent to Magdalene’s abode in 1841. This William was her uncle and, being on hand, may have helped raise Elizabeth; for by this time Magdalene’s father was a widower living and working at Bray and then Cookham, and her only brother was living and working in London.

The census of 1841 actually records Magdalene (aged 30 years) lodging in the Queen Victoria Beer House at The Holt in Harehatch, Wargrave, with son John (8 years old) and Eliza (8 months). The ages of the children here do not quite tie up, but the record indicates she may have been raising her family independently at this time.

In 1846, according to baptism records, Magdalene was a farmer.

The 1851 census lists Magdalene as Madelina Abear, aged 37 years and unmarried, working as a servant at the Union Workhouse, Wokingham. At least two of her daughters seem to be at Wargrave District School on the night of this census, as an Elizabeth Abear aged 8, and an Eliza Abear, aged 13, are listed amongst the pupils. There is also a Mary Ann Abear aged 3 years listed, another likely daughter.

Magdalene next appears in the 1861 census, then living and working at Lucas Hospital, Hornes Green, in the district of Wokingham. She was employed as a cook and again stated to be unmarried.

In 1871 the census lists Magdalene as aged 56 years, unmarried and occupied as a nurse (or boarder?) living at Union House, Easthampstead, Berkshire.

It seems she moved after this to London, probably to be nearer her family. Her son John and his family were living at Islington in London, her two daughters married in London in 1866 and 1873, and Mary Ann probably lived in Lambeth by then.

Magdalene died at Hackney in 1880.

 

Ezekiel Thomas A’Bear was born at St Pancras, London, but baptised on 15th August 1813 at Wargrave, “son of John & Mary” when his father was declared to be a labourer. Ezekiel heads Branch 4 of the family. See Branch 4.

Eliza A’Bear was baptised on 25th December 1817 at Wargrave “daughter of John & Mary” when her father was declared to be a labourer. She sadly died in 1818.

 

 

Edward A’Bear (1785 - ?) and his wife had a son Edward:

 

Edward A’Bear was thought to be born in about 1820, but it now seems he was born in about 1827, probably in London.  He married Margaret Kelly on 24th July 1848 at Christchurch, St Marylebone when his occupation was recorded as a labourer. Their ages were given as "full age". They were then living at 9 Grays Buildings and his father was confirmed as Edward Abear 'deceased'.  

They had three children all born in Maryebone: twins Edward Abear and Margaret Abear (1850) and Martha Abear (1851). Only Margaret survived, and when she was baptised in 1850 at Marylebone they were living at 7 Conway Court. Edward was then still a labourer.

The 1851 census lists an Edward Abar, married, aged 24 years and born at Marylebone. His occupation was then a cab driver and he was lodging at 16 Grays Building, Marylebone ( the same building as stated in 1848). Margaret is not listed.

It is thought Edward died in 1852.

 

 

Sarah A'Bear had a son:

 

George Augustus A’Bear was born in Southwark in 1821 and married Lucy Jones in 1844. George and Lucy head branch 8 of the family. See Branch 8.

 

Betty A’Bear had a daughter Susanna:

 

Susanna A’Bear who was baptised on 18th February 1816 at Wargrave, “daughter of Elizabeth”. Her mother was declared to be a labourer. Nothing more is known of her.

 

 

James A’Bear (1802 – 1877) and Eliza had ten children:

 

John A’Bear was born in 1838 at Isleworth. John married Fanny Johnson in 1863 also at Isleworth, although Fanny was born in Aylesbury. They had two children both born in the Brentford district, namely Elizabeth (1863) and John (1868 - 1880). The 1881 census report states that John was occupied as a coachman at this time and living at Retreat Cottage, Brickfield Yard, Isleworth. In 1882 Fanny died, and John remarried two years later. His second wife was Caroline Cloke. They had a son named John Ernest A’Bear in 1887 who was born in Brentford. John died there in 1891.

The 1901 census lists an unnamed widowed Abear, presumably Caroline, aged 40 years with son John Abear aged 14 years, a gas fitter born at Brentford. They are living with the mother's brother John Stoffel and his family in Ilford. Both John Stoffel and John Abear's mother are stated to be of German nationality.

There is a recorded death of a Caroline A’Bear at Romford in 1936, aged 85 years.

 

Thomas Beckett A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave on 10th May 1840 “son of James & Eliza”. He was thought to be born in 1840 at Isleworth, but the 1851 census actually states Woodgrave, Berkshire, (presumably Wargrave) as his place of birth.

He married Mary Charlotte Baigent at Kensington in 1861. Thomas and Mary head Branch 5 of the family. See Branch 5.

 

James A’Bear was born in 1842 at Woodcott, Wallingford, about 13 miles north-west of Wargrave. This location is out of keeping with her other nine children, and it may be that Eliza’s parents lived there. It seems James did not survive as their next son was also named James. There is a death record for a James Abare who died at Brentford in the third quarter of 1843.

Eliza A’Bear was born in 1843 at Brentford, and married William Ilbrey there in 1864. Eliza heads Branch 6 of the family. See Branch 6.

 

Mary Ann A’Bear was born in 1846 at Brentford, but died in 1847.

 

James A’Bear was born in 1849 at Brentford and appears in the 1851 census aged 2 years. He married Caroline Smith there in 1884. At this time he was a platelayer working in the locality. It seems they had no children. Caroline died in 1900 at Brentford and James died there in 1911.

 

William A’Bear was born in 1851 at Brentford and died at Marylebone as a young child in 1854.

 

Sophia A’Bear was born in 1854 at Brentford. In 1875 she had a son named John Henry A’Bear (born at West Bromwich, Staffordshire) before marrying George Whawell Roy in 1878 at Brentford. Thanks to Jan Drake, granddaughter of John Henry Roy, we know that Sophia and George had four children, namely Robert William Roy born 1883, John Henry Roy born 1885, Beatrice Lillian Roy born 1892 and Alexander Whawell Roy born 1895. Sophia died in 1932 at Brentford.

 

George A’Bear was born in 1857 at Brentford. The 1881 census report records George as a labourer at a soap factory together with his younger brother Henry, and living with his widowed mother Eliza at London Road, Smith Cottage, Isleworth. George did not marry and died at Brentford in 1904.

 

Henry A’Bear was born in 1860 at Brentford and married Emily Elizabeth Winn there in 1886. Henry and Emily head branch 7 of the family. See Branch 7.

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 13A

 

John and Caroline had ten children:

 

Caroline A’Bear was baptised on 5th August 1849 at Summertown, Oxford. She emigrated to South Africa in about 1875 where she married Jonathan Dorning in 1877. See “The South African Branch”.

 

John Daniel A’Bear was baptised on 25th July 1851 at Summertown, Oxford and married Jane Joyce Rogers in 1874. See “Branch 1”.

 

Kate A’Bear (Photo 11) was born in 1852 at Garsington, Oxford and married William Henry Mountain at Cowley St Mary & St John, Oxford on 4th August 1890. Kate was a spinster aged 38. William was aged 31 and a draper from Biggleswade. He was born in Baston, Lincolnshire and the son of Jarvis Mountain, a painter.

 

John William A’Bear was born in 1853 at Garsington, Oxford. He married Sophia Packford at Cowley St James on 2nd April 1877. John was a bachelor and a tailor living in Cowley Road, Oxford. Sophia, a spinster, was born in Headington, Oxford, and also lived in Cowley Road. She was the daughter of Benoni Packford, a tailor.

They continued living in Headington where their two daughters Kate Alice A’Bear (1878) and Caroline Lucy A’Bear (1880) were born.

Sophia died in 1914. John died aged 82 in 1936 at Abingdon, Oxfordshire. He was then living at Eynsham Road, Ipsden and was buried on 12th July 1936 at Rosehill Cemetery.

 

Alice A’Bear was born in 1855 at Headington, Oxford, and died aged one month. She was buried aged one month on 26th March 1855 at Garsington.

 

Charlotte A’Bear (Photo 12) was born in 1856 at Garsington, Oxford and died in 1938 at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

 

Elizabeth A’Bear was born in 1857 at Headington, Oxford but died the following year. She was buried on 21st April 1858 at Headington, St Andrew.

 

James A’Bear was born in 1859 at Oxford. He was baptised on 20th February 1859 at Headington, St Andrew

James emigrated to South Africa in about 1875. He married Margaret Florence Marshall in Chilton, South Africa in 1885. See “The South African Branch”.

 

According to the 1901 census, Alfred A’Bear was born in 1860 at Bristol. He is the only sibling to be born there and it is a mystery how this came about. However, he was baptised on 29th July 1860 at Headington, St Andrew.

Alfred married Emily Harvey – a tailoress from Islington, London - in 1886 in Oxford where his four children were born, namely Bertha Emily A’Bear (1886), John Edgar Harvey A’Bear (1888), and twins Mabel Gladys A’Bear and Elsie Margaret A’Bear (1891). At the time of his marriage his occupation was a Bed Seller’s Assistant in Oxford. According to baptism records, in 1886 he lived at 93 Bullingdon Road. Later in 1891 they lived at 13 Aston Street.

In 1901 he is recorded as living in Bristol and occupied as the Manager of a sack company. In his retirement years Alfred was enjoying cycling and fishing, described by a newspaper article of the times. (Photo 13)

He died aged 73 in 1934 in Oxford, when living at 145 Iffley Road. He was buried on 12th March 1934 at Rosehill Cemetery.

Emily also died there in 1949.

 

Edgar A’Bear was born in 1862 and baptised on 24th November 1861 at Headington, St Andrew.

He emigrated to South Africa in about 1885 where he married Julia Kate Ballam in 1900 in East Griqualand. See “The South African Branch”.

 

 

John and Jane had nine children:

Jane Mary Anne A’Bear was born in 1856 at Hurst. Whilst still a young child she moved to Hill House in Wargrave. In 1901 Jane was recorded in the census report as living in White Waltham, a village close to Wargrave, as was her youngest sister Emily. Presumably she either moved here after the sale of Hill Farm or perhaps earlier, if Jane inherited her Aunt Alice’s house in White Waltham when she died in 1895. Jane never married. A little while later she joined her brother John Burton A’Bear and his family who had moved to a rented farm called “Cowfields” near the village of Rotherfield Peppards. (Branch 2 Photos 5 & 6) She died aged 55 years at Cowfields (according to her will) where she was buried in the graveyard on 28th August 1912. (Photo 14) [In fact, her grave was discovered when visited by a group of cousins on the occasion of the Family Gathering in May 2002].

John Burton A’Bear was born in 1858 at Hurst. He married Elizabeth Manners Aldridge in 1890, then Ada May in 1896. John heads branches 2 and 3 of the family. See Branch 2 & Branch 3.

John Edmund A’Bear was born in 1859 at Hurst. He grew up on Hill Farm, Hare Hatch, and is recorded in the 1881 census report, the year of his father’s death, described as the Farmer’s Son of his mother Jane Ann A’Bear (nee May). John later emigrated to New Zealand, as did his brother Thomas Newell and sisters Sarah and Emily, where he continued farming. He remained single and died whilst still quite young at Waipatiki, Danniverke, Hawkes Bay in 1895.

Thomas Newell A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave in 1861 “son of John Burton & Jane Anne”, and grew up on Hill Farm.

He is recorded in the 1881 census report, the year of his father’s death, described as the Farmer’s Son of his mother Jane Ann A’Bear (nee May). Thomas emigrated two years later in 1883 to New Zealand where he farmed near Dannivirke. (Photo 15) Later he was joined by his brother John and sisters Sarah and Emily. (Group Photo 16) Thomas retired and then lived at Napier when amongst other pastimes he was keen on playing bowls. (Photo 17) He remained single and lived to the age of 104 years Hawkes bay’s oldest citizen. (Photo 18) (Group Photo 19) He died in 1965 at Havelock North, Hawkes Bay. A tribute in the local paper stated:

“Big Bear” dies at 104

Hastings, Friday (P.A.). Hawkes Bay’s oldest citizen, Mr Thomas A’Bear, known as “Big Bear,” died at Havelock North yesterday in his 105th year. Mr A’Bear, 104 on August 27, was born in England and came to New Zealand in 1883. He farmed near Dannivirke, then retired to Napier. Mr A’Bear has one surviving relative living in NZ, grandnephew Mr James A’Bear, of Auckland. Mr A’Bear’s sister, Miss Emily A’Bear, who shard his home in Napier for many years, died in 1963 aged 93.

Alfred A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave in 1863 “son of John Burton & Jane Anne”, and grew up on Hill Farm.

He too is recorded in the 1881 census report described as the Farmer’s Son of his mother Jane Ann A’Bear (nee May). He married Ada Isabel Trehearn Richards who came from Nailsea, Avon, in 1893 at Bedminster, near Bristol. At this time Alfred was occupied as a farmer and farm bailiff at Ardingly, West Sussex. They settled near Cuckfield, West Sussex where Alfred and Ada had three children, George Burton Trehearn A’Bear (1894 - 1947), Dorothy May Edith A’Bear (1895 – 1980) and Audrey Varena M A’Bear (1897 – 1968).

It seems that in later years Alfred and Ada returned to Berkshire, for Alfred died in 1932 at Pinkneys Green and Ada died in 1952 at Maidenhead.

 

Sarah Bertha A’Bear (Photo 20) was baptised at Wargrave in 1865 “daughter of John Burton & Jane Anne”, and grew up on Hill Farm.

She is also recorded in the 1881 census report, though her age in the report is incorrectly stated. She emigrated to New Zealand some time later, joining her brothers John and Thomas Newell and sister Emily. (Group Photo 16) (Group Photo 19) She remained single and died in 1957 at Napier, Hawkes Bay.

 

Alice Jane A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave in 1867 “daughter of John Burton & Jane Anne”, and grew up on Hill Farm.

She died as a child aged 8 years and 11 months in 1876 and lies buried at St Mary’s, Wargrave, in the same grave as her father who died fourteen years later. (Group Photo 9)

 

Emily Elizabeth A’Bear was baptised at Wargrave in 1869 “daughter of John Burton & Jane Anne”, and grew up on Hill Farm.

In the 1881 census report her age is recorded incorrectly as 15 years. In the 1901 report she is correctly recorded as aged 31 years and is then living in the parish of White Waltham, a village nearby, as was her eldest sister Jane. Emily never married and emigrated to New Zealand joining her brothers John and Thomas Newell and sister Sarah. (Group Photo 16) (Group Photo 19) She lived with Thomas and died aged 93 years at Havelock North, Hawkes Bay in 1958.

 

Edward A’Bear was born in 1875 at Harehatch and died in infancy.  

 

 

Edmund and Mary had seven children all born at Rotherfield Grays:

 

Frances A’Bear was born in 1861. She is recorded as “Farmer’s Daughter” in the 1881 census report and seems to have remained single. She died at Reading in 1938, so appears to have lived locally all her life.

 

Kate A’Bear was born in 1862 and is referred to in her mother’s will dated 1892 as a spinster. She died at Reading in 1937, so appears to have lived locally all her life.

 

Elizabeth A’Bear was born in 1866. It is thought she died a spinster in 1926 at Camberwell, London, as there is a corresponding record for an Elizabeth A’Bear.

 

Mabel A’Bear was born in 1868 and died a spinster in 1919 at Wallingford.

 

Edmund Whitfield A’Bear was born in 1869.

He is listed in the 1881 census as Edmund W A’Bear, aged 11 years.

He emigrated to Canada where he married Florence Cambency in 1907. See The Canadian Branch.

 

Alice A’Bear was born in 1871 and died at Reading in 1950 so appears to have lived locally all her life. There is no record of her marrying.

 

Margaret A’Bear was born in 1873 and died in North West Surrey in 1937. There is no record of her marrying.

 

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

 Generation 13B

 

Francis Bear/Abor had one child:

 

Francis Abor/Abear was baptised on 26th May 1822 at Burnham, Buckinghamshire, his father and mother's names being recorded as Francis & Harriet Abor.

He married Amelia Emily Aylmore on 25th February 1845 at the Parish Church, Paddington. He was living at Connaught Terrace at the time and occupied as a servant. Amelia was unoccupied and living at Harrow Road. Her father Josiah Aylmore was occupied as a Ship Steward. (ref: London, England, marriages and Banns, 1754 - 1921) c/o Ancestry.co.uk).

Francis and Amelia had a daughter Anna Elizabeth Abear born on 30th July 1846. The date is stated on her baptism record.

Francis was buried on 23rd June 1847. The burial record confirms his age as 25 years, and their address at the time as Charles Street.

Anna was baptised on 5th September 1847, after Francis's death. Her baptism record states her parents as Francis and Amelia, their abode as Marylebone and her occupation as a servant. (ref: London, England, Births and baptisms, 1813-1906 c/o Ancestry.co.uk)

The 1851 census lists Amelia Aber as an unmarried house servant, aged 29 years and living at 44 Upper Gower Street, St Pancras. Her year of birth was therefore about 1822. Her place of birth is given as Portsea, Hampshire, which ties up with her father's occupation as a ship steward. 

Later that year, on 9th October 1851, Amelia Abear (widow) married William Henry Hawkins. They were both living at St Pancras and William (and his father) were occupied as saddlers.

The 1861 census lists William and Amelia Hawkins with four children, an apprentice saddler and Annie Abear aged 16, living at 56, Whittlebury Street, St Pancras. Amelia's age is given as 36 years and her place of birth is recorded as Southampton, not Portsea. William's age of 35 years suggests about 1826 as his year of birth. 

The 1871 census lists the family living at 56 Oxford Street, Walsall, Staffordshire. Amelia, aged 48 years, gave her place of birth again as Southampton. William, aged 45, is now a journeyman saddler.

No later records have been found.

 

 

Mary Bear/Abear had a child Elizabeth:

 

Elizabeth Abear / Wainright / Edy was born 21st Nov 1823 and baptised on 28th Dec 1823 at Iver (St Peter's). She was stated to be illegitimate to Thomas & Mary Abear?, Shoemaker. Her father's surname was Wainright. Her mother's married name was Edy.

There is a record of banns being read three times for Elizabeth Abear's intended marriage to James Crockett in May 1847 when both were living in Hillingdon, three miles from Iver, but no evidence of a marriage has been found. This is supported later by the 1851 census in which she is listed as Elizabeth Aben (although the writing reads Abear), a servant aged 27 years and unmarried, born Iver, living with her mother Mary Edy and her stepfather Jonathan Edy. The 1861 Iver census names her as Elizabeth Edy, unmarried servant aged 36 years, born Iver. She has not been found in the 1871 census, so she may have married or died before this year. 

 

 

Charles Abear had three children:

 

Sarah Abear was baptised in 1831 at Wargrave “daughter of Charles & Mary” and declared her to be illegitimate, having being born before they married.

She may have been born at Iver, Buckinghamshire, where her father Charles was born and is thought to have lived and worked around that time. Her baptism record declares her to be illegitimate, being born before Charles married Mary. Nothing more is known of Sarah.

 

Mary Ann Abear was born at Eton (probably Iver, five miles north-east of Eton) in 1845, the same year that her parents Charles and Ann married there.

The 1861 census lists Mary A Bear, aged 15 and born Iver Heath, occupied as a servant working in Uxbridge for the Marlin family. The name Marlin crops up regarding an incident concerning Mary's father Charles Abear in 1837.  

Mary Ann bore an illegitimate daughter in 1871 at Scarborough, Yorkshire, named Ethel Louisa A’Bear. She then married Richard Rawlings in 1872 at Uxbridge.

The 1881 census lists Mary Rawlings, aged 37, living with Richard at Marsh Gibbon, Buckinghamshire, when Ethel is not listed. Richard was an agricultural labourer aged 43, making his year of birth about 1838. He was born at Marsh Gibbon.

Mary died in Kensington in 1891.

 

Jane Abear was born at Iver, Buckinghamshire near Eton in 1848. But by the time of the 1861 census when she was twelve years old she was living with her parents at Harefield Row, Harefield near Uxbridge, ten miles north of Iver. She married John Snape at Eton in 1869. No death records have been found for either person, so it is possible they emigrated.

 

 

Magdalene A’Bear had a son John A’Bear and probably four daughters named Eliza, Elizabeth, another Elizabeth and Mary Ann:

 

John A’Bear was born in 1833 either in Wargrave or possibly Buckinghamshire - census information differs. He was baptised at Wargrave on 28th December 1834 “son of Magdalene, labourer”.

The Buckinghamshire connection may be explained by the fact that his family still had strong links with this county, as John’s great grandmother Mary A’Bear (nee Beckett) was still living at the time of his birth and came from this county.

John’s father is named as John Piggott on his birth certificate. Given the similarity of his half sisters’ birth details, and the facts that his surname was A’Bear and not Piggott and that there is no record of his mother ever marrying, it seems certain John’s birth was illegitimate. Later, when John married, his father was named as John Abear, farmer, but this John is thought to be his grandfather who perhaps helped to raise him.

In 1841 the census report records John (8 years old) and his half sister Eliza (8 months lodging in the Queen Victoria Beer House at The Holt in Harehatch, Wargrave. His three half sisters were all born within the district of Wokingham, the last in 1847, so John certainly seems to have grown up either in or near Wargrave.

John Abear is listed in the 1851 census aged 20, working as a servant footman at 32, Oxford Square, Paddington, Marylebone. His place of birth was then given as Wargrave.

Thanks to Peter Bloomfield’s research, we know that on 1st March 1855 John began a career with the North London Railway as a station clerk at Chalk Farm. Full details of his career have been appended.

In 1861 he is listed in the census for Marylebone as John Bear, aged 28, occupied as a collector and cashier. He is then living at 123 Great College Street and again gave his place of birth as Wargrave.

On 7th June 1865 John married Anne Austin (who came from Bognor Regis, Sussex) at Marylebone [LMA, Saint Marylebone, Register of Marriages, P89/MRY1, Item 238

At this time he was occupied as a railway clerk at Stoke Newington in London. Anne’s father was Richard Austin, a brewer.

Their two children Magdalene Anne Mary A’Bear (1866) and John Adolphus A’Bear (1869) who died an infant in 1870 were both born in Islington, only a short distance from Stoke Newington.

The 1871 census lists John A'Bear, aged 38, born Wargrave, occupied as a cashier for the railway company, living with his wife Ann, aged 40 and their daughter Magdalene aged 4. They were then living at 122 Mildmay Road, Islington. Ann's place of birth is confirmed as Bognor, Sussex, and Magdalene was born at Stoke Newington, Islington.

The 1881 census lists John incorrectly as John A. Bead, aged 48, born Wargrave and occupied as a railway cashier, living with Ann, aged 50, and Magdalene, aged 14. Their address was then 46 Gordon Road, South Hornsey, Finsbury.

The 1891 census lists John as John A Bear (though it is clearly written A'Bear), aged 58, born Hare Hatch, Berkshire, occupied as a railway cashier. His wife Ann is aged 59 years and Magdalene is then aged 24 and 'lives at home'. Their address at this time was 56, Hyverdale Road, Hackney. 

John retired on account of ill health in February 1893. They then moved to St Mary in the Castle, Hastings, in Sussex, perhaps soon after his retirement for health reasons, as their daughter Magdalene married Ernest Bruce Millar at Hastings in 1894. 

They are recorded in the census report of 1901 as living at 83, St Helen’s Road, St Mary in the Castle, Hastings, when John was recorded as aged 68 years, retired. His place of birth was then given as Bucks.

John died at Battle, East Sussex in 11th July 1902. His death probate record states he was then residing at “St John’s”, Cantelupe Road, Bexhill, Sussex.

Anne died at Sutton, Surrey, six years later on 31st October 1908 at her daughter’s address.

 

John Abear’s North London Railway Service:

 

Station clerk, Chalk Farm. Appt 1 Mar 1855. [RAIL 529/132/61 Folio 13.]

Station clerk to collector. Pay 150. Oct 1856. [RAIL 529/132/61 Folio 13.]

Salary to 200 as soon as the entire cash had been transferred to his charge. [RAIL 529/77 10 Jan 1866, FGP Com Min 90.]

Cashier. Transferred to Camden Road. 1 May 1866. [RAIL 529/132/61 Folio 13.]

Travelling audit clerk to cashier. [RAIL 529/21 18 Oct 1866, Board Min 524.]

Cashier. Pay 200 to 225. 1 Jan 1872. [RAIL529/25, Board Mtg 14 Mar 1872, min 1627.]

Cashier. Pay 225 to 250. 1 Jan 1874. [RAIL 529/78 3 Dec 1873, FGW Com Min 950.]

Cashier. Pay 250 to 300. [RAIL529/27, Board Mtg 15 Nov 1877, min 2732.]

Cashier. Pay 300 to 325. 1 Jan 1881. [RAIL529/27, Board Mtg 16 Dec 1880, min 3197.]

Cashier. Pay 325 to 375. 1 Jan 1884. [RAIL529/28, 13 Dec 1883, Board min 3643.]

Cashier. Pay 375 to 425. 1 Jul 1888. [RAIL529/80, 4 Jul 1888, FGW Com min 2127.]

Cashier. Pay 425 to 450. 1 Jul 1892. [RAIL529/80, 29 Jun 1892, FGW Com min 2364.]

Cashier. Resigned on account of ill-health. Service with NLR nearly 38 years. Desiring to recognise his services to the company, his superannuation about 127 to be supplemented by NLR to give him a retiring allowance of 250 a year. Effective 1 Feb 1893. [RAIL 529/80 1 Feb 1893 FGP Com min 2393.]

Died 11 Jul 1902. [RAIL 529/81 31 Jul 1902, FGW Com Min 2857.]

 

Eliza A’Bear was born in about 1840 at Wokingham and christened at Wargrave “daughter of Magdalene”.

Her precise year of birth is difficult to determine due to disparity amongst the records. She was aged 8 months in the 1841 census suggesting 1840, baptised in 1842 suggesting 1841 or 1842, aged 13 years in the 1851 census suggesting 1837 or 1838 and aged 22 when she married in November 1866 suggesting 1844. Given the choice, the age of 8 months seems the most reliable, so 1840 is a likely year, in which case her baptism was postponed.

At least some of her childhood must have been spent in Wargrave, for her younger sisters were born in the locality. Indeed the 1851 census lists an Elizabeth Abear aged 8 years born Wargrave as well as an Eliza Abear aged 13 years, both attending Wargrave District School. (There is also a Mary Ann Abear aged 3 years listed too).

Eliza married Edward Francis Curley on 29th November 1866 at St James, London, and her marriage certificate names her father as “John A’Bear, Engineer (deceased)”.

Amongst the candidates it seems probable this John was her grandfather who helped out when her mother Magdalene was working.

The fact that both her and her sister Elizabeth married in London does suggest that they were living in that area prior to 1866.

The 1871 census lists Eliza Curley aged 29, born Eton, Berks (county error) and Edward aged 25 years living at 19 North Street, Lambeth. Edward's place of birth was Windsor and he was occupied as a waiter. They have a daughter named Mary Ann Curley aged 3 and a son named Edward Curley aged 1 year, both born in Surrey, presumably Lambeth.

It seems Eliza died before the next census, and there is a record of an Eliza Curley's death at Barnet, Middlesex in April 1880, aged 36 years.

The 1881 census lists an Edward Curly, a widower aged 39 years, born at Windsor, visiting a William Curly and family living at Westminster. William's occupation is a waiter. Lodging with the family is an Edward Curly aged 12 years, born Lambeth, Surrey, presumably Edward's son.

Edward died in March 1900 at Fulham.

 

Elizabeth A’Bear was born in 1845 and christened on 26th June 1845 at Wargrave “daughter of Magdalene”.

It is uncertain who the father was as no name was given on her birth certificate making it appear that she was illegitimate. Elizabeth must have died in infancy soon after her birth, as in 1847 Magdalene’s next daughter was given the same name.

 

Elizabeth A’Bear, born in 1847, was also born in the district of Wokingham, so must have started life in or near Wargrave. Her birth certificate also gives no name for her father, suggesting she too was born out of wedlock. She was baptised in November 1847 at Wargrave.

When she married William Shufflebotham in 1873 at St George, Hanover Square, Middlesex, their marriage certificate named her father as William A’Bear. This may have been her uncle, who lived close by when she was young and acted as a father to her.

 

Mary Ann Abear was born about 1848, for she is listed in the 1851 census aged 3 years attending Wargrave District School along with Elizabeth aged 8 and Eliza aged 13 years. Her year and place of birth and later association with Wokingham where Magdalene Abear worked at the time suggest she was a daughter to Magdalene.

However, there is a problem here regarding dates. To be aged three in the census taken on 30th March 1851 she must have been born between about April 1847 and March 1848 and conceived nine months earlier than this. Her older sister Elizabeth was born in 1847 and baptised in November of that year. Unless Elizabeth’s baptism was postponed or they were twins it brings into question whether Mary Ann was a daughter to Magdalene.

The 1861 census lists a Mary Bare aged 12 years, born Wargrave, boarding in Wokingham with Robert May (a bricklayer) and family. Magdalene was then working at the Union Workhouse in that locality.

There is a death record for a Mary Ann Bear born about 1851 in October 1888 at Lambeth. This could be the correct person as her siblings and Magdalene lived in London prior to this time.

 

 

Edward and Margaret had three children:

 

Edward A’Bear was twinned with Margaret A’Bear (1850). They were born at Marylebone, but Edward died a young child in 1852. Margaret married John Owens in 1878 at Kensington.

 

Martha A’Bear was born in 1851 at Marylebone but did not survive.

 

 

John A’Bear had two children, Elizabeth and John, by his first marriage to Fanny Johnson, and a son John Ernest by his second marriage to Caroline Cloke:

 

Elizabeth A’Bear was born at Brentford in 1863. She is recorded in the 1881 census report as being occupied as a dressmaker and still living with her parents at Retreat Cottage, Brickfield Yard, Isleworth.

 

John William S A’Bear was born in 1868 at Brentford. He died in his childhood in 1880 at Brentford.

 

John Ernest A’Bear was born in 1887 at Brentford. He is recorded in the 1901 census report as aged fourteen and living in Ilford, about twenty miles across London from Brentford, where he was working as a gas fitter. John is not believed to have married, and died in 1953 at Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

 

 

Sophia A’Bear had a son named John Henry A’Bear:

 

John Henry A’Bear was born illegitimately at West Bromwich, Staffordshire in 1875, though his mother grew up in Brentford and married George Roy there three years later. John’s mother Sophia had four more children to George and died at Brentford, but it is not known what became of John Henry.

  

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 14A

 

John & Sophia had two children:

 

Kate Alice A’Bear was born in 1878 at Headington. She was baptised on 12th May 1878 at Cowley, St Mary & St John.

She married William Charles King in 1899 there. She died in 1940.

 

Caroline Lucy A’Bear was born in 1880 at Headington. She was baptised on 7th November 1880 at Cowley, St Mary & St John.

Aged 28, Caroline married Arthur Oakley at the same church on 16th June 1909. Arthur, aged 31, was a shop manager, born in 1878, and of All Saints, Bryne Hill. He was the son of Charles Henry Oakley, a picture framer.

Caroline died in 1950.

 

 

Alfred & Emily had four children:

 

Bertha Emily A’Bear was born in 1886 at Headington. She was baptised on 25th July 1886 at Cowley, St Mary & St John.

Bertha died in 1956 at Birmingham.

 

John Edgar Harvey A’Bear was born in 1888 at Oxford.

He married Rose Alice Stiles at Birmingham in 1912. Rose was born in 1884.

John died at Birmingham in 1956 followed by Rose in 1975.

 

Mabel Gladys A’Bear was born at Headington on 26th July 1891 and twinned with sister Elsie. She was baptised on 30th August 1891.

She married Arthur J Smith at Headington in 1917.

Mabel died in 1950.

 

Elsie Margaret A’Bear was born at Headington on 26th July 1891 and twinned with sister Mabel. She was baptised on 30th August 1891.

She married Arthur T Winchester in 1917 at Headington.

Elsie died in 1960.

 

 

Alfred & Ada had three children:

 

George Burton Trehearn A’Bear was born in 1894 at Cuckfield, West Sussex. He remained single and was a farmer and clerk. He died at Paddington in 1947.

 

Dorothy May Edith A’Bear was born in 1895 at Cuckfield, West Sussex. She died at Pinkneys Green in Berkshire in 1980.

 

Audrey Varena M A’Bear was born in 1897 at East Grinstead. She died at Stratford in 1968.

 

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

Generation 14B

 

Francis Abear had one child:

 

Anna Elizabeth Abear born on 30th July 1846. The date is stated on her baptism record. There is also a Female Abear record of birth at Marylebone for this year. (ref: England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 c/o Ancestry.co.uk).

Anna was baptised on 5th September 1847, after Francis's death. Her baptism record states her parents as Francis and Amelia, their abode as Marylebone and her occupation as a servant. (ref: London, England, Births and baptisms, 1813-1906 c/o Ancestry.co.uk)

The 1861 census lists Annie Abear aged 16, living at 56, Whittlebury Street, St Pancras with her mother, stepfather, their four children and an apprentice saddler. Her place of birth is given as Paddington. She is employed as a servant.

The 1871 census lists an Ann Abear aged 24 and unmarried, working as a domestic servant in Birmingham, born London, Middlesex. Since her mother, stepfather and family were living nearby in Walsall, it seems likely this is the correct person.

No further records have been found.

 

 

Mary Ann Abear bore one daughter who carried the family surname:

 

Ethel Louisa Abear was born illegitimately in 1871 at Scarborough, Yorkshire. Nothing more is known of her.

 

 

John Abear & Anne had two children:

 

Magdalene Anne Mary A’Bear was born in Stoke Newington, Islington in 1866. The 1871 census lists her, aged 4, living with her parents at 122 Mildmay Road, Islington.

The 1881 census lists her incorrectly under the surname A. Bead living with her parents, aged 14. Their address was then 46 Gordon Road, South Hornsey, Finsbury.

The 1891 census lists her again, aged 24 under the surname A Bear when it stated she 'lives at home'. Their address at this time was 56, Hyverdale Road, Hackney. 

Probably before 1894, she moved with her parents to St Mary in the Castle, Hastings, in Sussex, for Magdalene married Ernest Bruce Millar at Hastings in 1894.

The 1911 census lists Magdelena Anne Mary Millar, married aged 44, born at Stoke Newington. She was living with her husband, aged 50 so born c1860 and a solicitor. Their son and daughter and two servants are also listed, and their address was then Upperton, Stanley Road, Sutton, Surrey.

Ernest B Millar died at Epsom, Surrey, aged 60 years in March 1921, also suggesting a year of birth c1860.

Magdalena, a widow of Upperton, Stanley Road, Sutton, Surrey, died on 3rd March 1932 at Briarwood, The Avenue, Old Malden, Surrey, aged 65 years.

 

John Adolphus A’Bear was born in Islington in 1869 and died in infancy in 1870.

 

 

*    *    *    *    *

 

 

 

 

Return to top