Background to Venables & Barretts of Andrew 1682

Genealogy for the Heath family's of Saffordshire and surrounding areas.

Background to Venables & Barretts of Andrew 1682

Postby Peter Dzik » Fri Jul 29, 2022 6:47 pm

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I've chosen April 20th A.D. 1703 in Burlington county, New Jersey, as a starting point. That day, in a Deed, John Hutchinson conveyed two acres of land to be used for a church, a public meeting house , and burial ground. It was situated on the east side of the highway between the houses of said John Hutchinson and Andrew Heath. The land was then conveyed to Andrew Heath and three others (wardens?). The important factor for me was that the register of St. Anne's (later St. Mary's) recorded entries on 27th September 1705 for Hopewell chapel. These were for the baptism of the three children of the recently deceased John Hutchinson and wife Joyce (nee Venables), thus being grandchildren of Elizabeth Barrett Venables. Following were four children of Andrew Heath 1 and his late wife, the above Elizabeth: - John, Elizabeth, Andrew and Sarah. And also Joseph Tindall, son of Thomas and Isabel.

    On 3-14 -A.D. 1702 in Book 3 of DEEDS of the Recorder of Deeds of Doylestown, page 67, initial steps were taken over the transfer of 220 acres of land in Makefield Township, Bucks County, in the ownership of deceased William Venables. Signed as heirs were his two daughters, while widowed wife Elizabeth made her mark. Also signed were Elizabeth's now husband Andrew Heath, and John Hutchinson, husband to Joyce Venables. The legal transfer to Peter Worrall was finalised on 6th day of 7th month A.D.1702.

In the Pennsylvania Archives 2nd Series, Vol. 29. p.243 are around one and a half pages covering legal cases dated 12th of 11th month 1701 (1702 calendar year? ) concerning acreage left to Elizabeth Venables (now Heath) and her daughters by her brother's partner John Heycock, who died in June A.D.1695. It also covered some 416 acres farmed by William Venables in 1682/3 without full legal ownership. Andrew Heath and John Hutchinson were there to sign also. Apparently, Elizabeth signed on this occasion. She is thus alive later than nearly all genealogies have stated.

Frances, sister to Joyce Venables, married a neighbour John Ely, and their first child John was born in 1707. And as he fathered twelve children, I assume there are many descendants who can claim Elizabeth Barrett Venables (and her first husband William) in their ancestry.

Andrew Heath may or may not have met Elizabeth Barrett Venables and her husband William for the first time when the couple travelled to the port of Liverpool to join other Quakers for the July 1682 sailing to Pennsylvania. The approx. 65-day voyage on a small sailing ship would have ensured all the passengers becoming well acquainted. The Venables party included Elizabeth's brother Thomas Barrett and his farm co -owner John Heycock (from Slindon, Eccleshall parish), plus the two young Venables girls. William Venables died about December 1683, and Elizabeth had a brief marriage to a Mr Banner. Eventual marriage to Andrew Heath has been deduced at about A.D. 1688, with four children born during their marriage. Andrew was apparently a full Quaker by 1685, as he was a listed witness at a Quaker wedding that year in Bucks County.

      The parish map attached at end gives general positioning of places mentioned in west Staffordshire. The scale of lined rectangles is six by four miles.

Details of the background to the Venables and Barretts has hindered past researchers, mainly through missing registers etc. besides people moving parishes. First, the Venables marriage in A.D. 1675 or 1676 in Gnosall parish, is marred by awful writing in the small page register, without even a date visible. But after William Venables name and then Elizabeth's is a big ink stain on the bride's surname. Further, there are limited entries in the 1650's, and also up to mid A.D. 1677, with none in some years. But no other possible marriage of a William Venables fits. The couple are listed as being of Knightley village in central Gnosall parish, a manor of fifteen farms surrounding the tenants' homes. Various records show Venables and Barretts (especially) there for long periods. However, in 1922 a printed book of Gnosall parish registers was produced by Percy W.S. ADAMS F.S.A. He actually gives Barrett as the hidden name in that marriage.
(F.S.A. = Fellow of Society of Antiquairies of London).

The couple may have moved to populous Adbaston parish after marriage, and eventually to the lightly populated Chatcull area of Eccleshall parish, six miles to the north. But Joyce Venables was baptised on 21st April 1679 ,of William and Elizabeth Venables at St. Michael's church, Adbaston, followed by Frances on April 18th 1681. In both cases the recorder had written "daughter" after each entry. What was interesting is that there is a long standing specialised Venables joinery business still, at Chipnall, five miles from Adbaston township (see online for prestigious contracts done). Adbaston village in the 2011 census had a population of 561. At last minute I came across a Court case in 1677 between a Joseph Venables and a Mr. Holland over property in Adbaston. Possible link as to the Venables couple's early residence there.

Note. Of interest is that Adbaston Hall had 21 chimneys in the Hearth Tax listings. Owned by Charles, Lord Gerard of Brandon, a very successful commander in the royalist forces in the earlier Civil war. Also involved in assassination plots against Republican leader, Oliver Cromwell. His grandmother was Anne Barret, daughter of James Barret of Gawsworth, north of Congleton, Cheshire.

Secondly, Chebsey parish records did not survive before A.D. 1713. I then remembered the existence of the basic Bishops Transcripts of parish records, but I have been informed they only start from A.D. 1687 for Chebsey. Neighbouring parish records are good but show no relevant entries. I knew that the prominent Quaker Thomas Wolrich lived there with his family; and as buyer of 1000 acres in Bucks county, Pennsylvania. The 1666 Hearth tax records for the area include Thomas, four other Wolrich home owners, a William Heath, William Venables and Thomas Barrett. It is six miles from Chebsey to Chatcull hamlet, adjacent to Standon on its raised uplands. Constable for the area, overseeing the survey, was a George Venables.

In 1669 a William Heath baptised a son Andrew at St. Michael's church, Stone town, which is 5.4 miles from Chebsey. Baptism may have little connection to age, especially if the father had not been a practising Anglican. And Chebsey still retains a large Quaker building - apparently the original of Thomas Wolrich's centre for the area. No Heaths, besides a John (no sons) are listed in the very full records for Stone parish 1666 Hearth tax records - including non-chargeable persons.

Gnosall parish. The Will of yeoman Richard Venables of Knightley, Gnosall, was filed in A.D. 1632, mentioning spouse Catherine. Eldest son Thomas presumably had the family farm, while younger son William was given ownership of " a toft (house) in Chebsey, with an orchard, eight acres of land, an acre of meadow, and an acre of pasture" there.
On 12 July A.D. 1633 in Gnosall parish church, there were the joint baptisms of Thomas Venables, son of Thomas; and George Venables, son of William. Obviously, grandsons of Richard and Catherine. But no entry in surviving Gnosall records for baptism or marriage of Thomas senior and William. The elder Thomas of Knightley, Gnosall is recorded buried in A.D.1673.

It seems that William Venables of Chebsey had another son, named William, who married Elizabeth Barrett, and went to Pennsylvania. The elder William Venables above is fairly certain to be the William listed in 1666 at Chebsey on his inherited land. The husband of Elizabeth Barrett is likely to be his son , while Thomas Barrett (of Elizabeth) appears to be the children of an earlier Thomas and Joyce Barrett, originally of Gnosall.

George Venables above is listed, as a yeoman, being apprenticed to Edwin Sandes (Sandys) of "the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers" of London in early A.D.1652. A brief search did not show the apparent relationship to Sir Edwin Sandys (A.D.1561 -1629), a founder and Treasurer of the Virginia Company formed in A.D.1606. It's an unusually influential connection, as it would be with other members of that group.

Other possible links. What first drew me to investigate this area was the death of a 67-year-old married Andrew Heath of Standon in December 1671. I found it was only nine miles from hilly Standon to Newcastle under Lyme, where a prosperous cousin of his, Richard Heath lived. A whim caused me to check the route from Standon to Keele village; found it to be also only nine miles distant. The route from Keele goes sharply south by the ancient trackway called Three Mile Lane to Whitmore, and then via smaller roads. This was because some Venables lived at Keele at this time.

Past researchers looked at General Robert Venables of Kinderton in Cheshire, he apparently being the senior Venables by ancestry. His wife, Elizabeth Rudyard was from the main Rudyard family just outside Leek. She was aunt to William Penn's lawyer, Thomas Rudyard (also Acting Governor of East New Jersey).
Peter Dzik
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:12 pm

Re: Background to Venables & Barretts of Andrew 1682

Postby Peter Dzik » Fri Sep 15, 2023 5:25 pm

Wolrich and his Quaker farmstead still here.


1). The Quaker farmhouse in Shallowford, Chebse parish, belonged to Quaker Thomas Wolrich. And later in the 17th century, was passed on to son Thomas. His daughter Susannah married merchant Robert Heath of Kingsley and Tean, whose mother was from Burslem. Robert took Susannah and their five children to Bucks County, Pennsylvania c. A.D.1700. Wolrich's house was a meeting place for the area, and its records would be in the Stafford Quaker meeting book. Neighbours of Wolrich included a Thomas Barrett and William Venables.
Alongside the farmhouse is a small field containing a Quaker cemetery.

In William Pitt's published 1817 Topographical History, the parish population was 406, split slightly in favour of males, within 73 families.

The other minor information is that a Will filed after Thomas Barrett's death (in Chebsey in A.D.1696) referred to Thomas and Elizabeth. Assuming this is the same Thomas baptised in A.D 1633, it makes him aged 63 at death.

2). Just a little north of Chebsey is Standon, where Andrew Heath died a few years after brother Thomas, in A.D.1672. They both referred to cousin Richard in nearby Newcastle in their Wills. However in Newcastle town records it is noted that the older [color=#400000]Richard Heath, a burgess[/color], never revealed his origins to the council. Andrew and Thomas, along with a William, were sons of William Heath in Standon parish. I note that in nearby Chebsey resided a William Heath in 1666, and that three years later a William Heath baptised a son Andrew at nearby St. Michael's church, Stone town.

bye Pete
Peter Dzik
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:12 pm

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