Sunday, January 31, 2010

East Peckham, Kent

The family of Thomas and Elizabeth DAW spent eight years or more in East Peckham on their trek from Hadlow, Kent back to Uckfield, Sussex. I know this because four of their children (Frances, Elizabeth, Mary and George) were born there between 1814 and 1821. The 1831 census of Uckfield confirms that they were there then. (See previous post here)

East Peckham is located in the west part of Kent on the Medway River. According to the Kelly's 1882 Directory of Kent it is a large straggling village. See the full description at

The oldest parish church is St. Michael's where the children born in East Peckham would have been christened.

The church has been replaced by Holy Trinity which is closer to the town, however, St. Michael's is still open daily as a historical site.

While reading about East Peckham in the 1882 directory, I discovered a Thomas DAW who was identifed as the owner of the Rose and Crown which would be either a pub or hotel. Further investigation of the 1881 census revealed him as a licensed victualler living with his family at the Rose and Crown Hotel.

At left is an image of the census return. Thomas is living with his wife Emily and unmarried daughters Emily and Ellen all of whom probbaly helped with the running of the hotel. Thomas was born about 1825 in Yalding, Kent. I have no idea if this family is part of my DAWES family.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Surname Origins

The DAWES is usually found with the following variations DAWS and DAW. It is less frequently found as DAWE although there is a large number of these families found in Newfoundland, Canada.

There are a number of different explanations for the surname's origin:

1) From a biblical perspective it is supposed to mean the Son of David. This is the explanation usually given in the generic genealogy books on various family names.

2) Another concept is named after the Jackdaw bird. There are numerous pubs named after this bird such as "The Three Daws" in Kent and it could indicate that a DAWES family lived in the vicinity of these birds. See Wikipedia

3) There is a third variation that could be associated with a physical location and I think that this might make the most sense. The name could have started in Normandy and been brought over with William The Conqueror and have been spelled as a D'awes meaning near or by something. This last variation needs a lot more research.

Friday, January 29, 2010

In The Beginning (RE-CAP)

A lot of work has transpired since the beginning of this blog so I thought it would be good to go back to the beginning and review the family tree.

At left are 3 generations taking the family of Thomas DAW and Elizabeth WHITEBREAD through to their grandchildren and their spouses.

To get this to work I had to create a chart in the Family Tree Maker Charting Companion and format it in a 2 page legal size PDF. I then rotated the PDF page 90 degrees to use the maximum screen space and grabbed the image as a BMP file using SnagIT. Next, I opened the file in Irfanview and reversed the rotation saving the final image as a JPG for easy uploading. All of this image manipulation results in a bit of a fuzzy image but you can enlarge it by clicking on it.

Unfortunately, the chart spanned two pages so there are two images. If anyone wants a nice printable PDF file just leave me a comment with your email and I'll send it to you as an attachment.

In fact, if anyone wants any kind of DAWES Family report such as a register report or chart with more details, I will be glad to oblige although, I won't include any living individuals or people for whom I don't have a death date unless they were born before 1910. This is to protect the privacy of the people who have supplied me with detailed family trees. If you need more on any particular line I will gladly put you in touch with the appropriate cousin.

My primary interest is the family of Thomas DAWES and Ann LANGRIDGE which is the green middle part of the chart, however, I am in touch with living descendants of all branches shown above that have survived into the twenty-first century.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


William DAWES (1804-1842) married Elizabeth UNKNOWN (1804-1867). More about their family can be found in an earlier post available here. I have not been able to find Elizabeth's surname which leaves a gap in my family tree.

What do I know about her:
1) I have found her on the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses and from these I have deduced that she was born about 1804 in East Peckham, Kent.

2) I have her death certificate from 01 Dec 1867 when she died of bronchitis in Uckfield.

3) She and William had five children born between 1828 and 1841.

4) Her first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1828 in East Peckham while the next one, Henry, was born in 1831 in Uckfield so we know the family moved sometime between those dates.

I have looked at the records held by the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the International Genealogical Index to find a marriage between William DAW, DAWS or DAWES without success. The reason I am adding to this post is because I have just received CD #27 from the Kent Family History Society that contains baptism and marriage data for East Peckham. Unfortunately, the CD doesn't have a marriage for William and Elizabeth in St. Michael's church however, there is still Holy Trinity Church but their records on the CD start in 1843 which is too late.

My final attempt to solve this riddle was to look at baptisms for Elizabeth's between 1803 and 1804 in the hope that she and William followed the old English naming pattern for their children and using these I could identify her parents. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, the first son is named after the father's father and the second son after the mother's father. The third son is named after the father with the same pattern applied to the daughters except that it starts with the mother's mother and so on.

Therefore, Elizabeth's parents should have been Elizabeth and Daniel. However, this doesn't hold water because their first son was Henry and William's father was Thomas. Besides, looking at the baptisms for Elizabeth's in East Peckham in the 1803-1804 timeframe here's what I have to choose from:
HODGE, John & Sarah
WATERMAN, Susanna (baseborn)
BARTON, Jane (baseborn)
CHILTON, Thomas & Elizabeth
BATES, John & Ann
MOORE, John & Rebecca
RICHARDS, Thomas & Jane

What did William and Elizabeth name their children? ELIZABETH, HENRY, CATHARINE, CHARLOTTE, and DANIEL. There are some large gaps where other children could have been born but didn't survive such as the five years between Catherine and Charlotte which were before civil registration started. Daniel only survived a few months in 1841 but got picked up by both a birth and death registration.

My choice is Elizabeth CHILTON bap. 12 Feb 1804. Since both sets of parents were Thomas and Elizabeth, they decided to name their children differently after their first daughter was born.

This dosen't mean that I am changing her name from UNKNOWN to CHILTON as I don't really have any proof, however, it does give me a lead to follow as I keep looking for her surname.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The PANNETT Family (Updated)

Through a contact I made on GenesReunited [] I have been able to add more detail to the PANNETT Family which was originally blogged here. To re-cap, Harriet(t) DAWES was the oldest child of George DAWES (1821-1869) and Esther COTTINGTON (1831-1863). Esther died when Harriet was 13. Father George quickly re-married the recent widow of his nephew, Sophia (DAWES) SANTER (1831-1914).

Harriett married George PANNETT (1849-1899) in Lewes 1870 and had eight children with him.

I am in touch with cousins in the UK who remember a couple of PANNETT sisters coming to visit in Uckfield. They were Emily (1873-1959) and Hephzibah (1887-1967).

This chart updates the PANNETT ancestry back to John PANNETT (1828-1906) and Maria RHODES (1828-1869).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Belated Christmas Greetings

Jesse DAWES (neƩ WYATT) passed down a recipe for Christmas cake and pudding which was reproduced last year by a cousin and his wife. We are not sure if this is an old DAWES or WYATT family recipe but it's close enough.

Here are the actual recipes used by her daughter, Winifred DAWES RHODEN (1906-1994), so you can try your hand at carrying on the tradition. You'll have to figure out the baking time and temperature yourselves.

The TILLET/TILLETT Family Going Back

At the request of a cousin, I have done some research into the TILLETT family. Reginald Thomas Fromant BARNES (1905-1983) was the son of William BARNES (1880-1962) and Minnie DAWES (1874-1945). Reg married Ethel Gladys Emma TILLET (1906-1990) on 28 Oct 1936 in London. I have a previous post on the BARNES Family Going Back available here.

While Ethel TILLET only had one sibling, her father (Ernest Edward TILLETT 1874-1951) came from a family of five and her mother ( Eliza Emma RAINES 1869-1947) came from a family of eleven. As you can see from the chart there are lots of opportunities for living cousins to be found.

Most of this family hails from Brightingsea, Essex and were mariners. This made them very difficult to find in the census records as they were usually away at sea on census night. Except for a few, they haven't strayed too far from Essex as current as the 1960's although those individuals aren't shown on the chart for privacy reasons.

If you are interested in the TILLETT family or want to contact current generations get in touch with me through this blog.

Breaking News About William DAWS

In an earlier post, I lamented the fact that I couldn't find the marriage for William DAWS and Elizabeth which would have happened about 1828 given that their first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1828. This all happened in East Peckham, Kent before the family moved on to Uckfield in Sussex. For more on Uckfield see my previous post here.

I have lots of information on the family of William and Elizabeth gleaned from the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses. Since Elizabeth was married at the time of these tabulations her maiden name is not known but she did report in 1851 and 1861 that she was born in East Peckham.

The good news is that the Kent Family History Society [] has just released their 27th CD-ROM of baptism, marriage and burial data which includes the parish of East Peckham from 1563-1947. As you all know, civil registration of births, marriages and deaths started in the U.K. in 1837 and the census in 1841 so records of our ancestors prior to this time is dependent on church parish registers. I have ordered the CD and will update my family tree and this blog when the CD arrives. Stay tuned!