Sorting the Bartholomews


March 22, 2016 by auntkatefirmin

Bartholomew seems to be the favorite name in the early Horsell families, although Ruben was also pretty common. If I count Henry & Edith Horsell as generation one, then generation five has two Bartholomews and generation six has three.

It’s interesting that a family with a continuous line of seven generations of Bartholomews (starting with the Bartholomew baptised in 1607) lived in a place where the church was dedicated to St Bartholomew the apostle. The earliest Bartholomew Horsell lived in an era when names from the Bible were becoming more popular; he was a younger son of Henry, after William, Humphrey, Reuben, Nathan, and John. So some of the names in the family (Henry, William, Humphrey, and John) were traditional English names dating back to the Norman era and earlier while Reuben, Nathan[iel] and Bartholomew were names that indicate the influence of the Protestant Reformation which brought a different set of names into more common use.

Note the tomb of Reuben Horsell in the foreground.

The parish church of St Bartholomew and All Saints in Wootton Bassett. © Copyright Nick Smith and licensed for reuse under CC2.0

Of the Bartholomews baptised in 1703 and 1708, what I am calling generation five, I have assumed that the elder married Mary Mapson in October 1733. While I can’t prove the assumption without a doubt, the older man was the second son of Bartholomew (the eldest son of Bartholomew Horsell of the 1701 will), and the younger man was the youngest son, of a younger son, John Horsell. My conclusion is based primarily on the notion that the first of the two men to marry would be the one with the best prospects; I have assumed that man would be Bartholomew (1703) who I believe inherited one property from his grandfather Bartholomew and may have received money and property from his father as well. The Bartholomew who married Mary Mapson wrote a will in 1783, and in it devised a great deal of property to his heirs including more than one freehold messuage; nothing is known of a marriage or will for the other Bartholomew. In short, I believe that Bartholomew (1703) had more resources than Bartholomew (1708), that he was able to increase his wealth, and that he is the man who married Mary Mapson.

Since there is only one marriage record and only five baptismal records for a Bartholomew of this generation, I have also made the working assumption that of the cousins in the fifth generation only the one Bartholomew had a family. While hopefully time (and more study) can confirm these guesses, nothing discovered so far contradicts this assumption.


Seven generations of Bartholomew Horsells – chart simplified to show primarily the individuals discussed.

In generation six, all three of the cousins named Bartholomew married and had children. I don’t regard my current conclusions as proved, only as working assumptions. However, the assumption that the three married in order of age allows me to more easily review the possible relationships of the descendants. Of the first two marriages, only Bartholomew and Martha had a son who is believed to have survived to carry on the name of Horsell. Bartholomew and Jane had a large family of daughters and one son Bartholomew who has not yet been fully researched; I have not made it a priority to thoroughly track them all. While I have not verified the research, indications are that Bartholomew & Ann have many living Horsell descendants.

The three marriages are:
-1751 to Jane Andrews
-1754 to Martha Mapson
-1766 to Anne Rowley

The youngest of the three Bartholomews was baptized in 1738 and is thus the most likely candidate for the spouse of Anne Rowley in June 1766. Happily, after 1765 the baptisms include the mother’s name. Since only one Bartholomew of this generation married an Anne, their surviving children can be identified as: Mary (1767), Bartholomew (1769) & William (1772). He died in 1812 and based on his will he bequeathed two freehold properties, one known as “Greenhill,” to his son Bartholomew who was “beyond the seas in service of his country” at the time the will was written. He identified his daughter Mary as Mrs. William Parham. His wife Anne & son William were the residuary legatees. [Thanks, Liz!]

If, for the purpose of assigning children, I say that the Bartholomew baptized in 1728 married Jane Andrews in 1751, and the Bartholomew baptized in 1730 married Martha Mapson in 1754, that’s at least someplace to start. In this scenario the families look like:

Bartholomew & Jane (married 1751):
1752-1754 Mary
1757-1765 see below
1762 Jane [assumed as namesake]
1766 Anne
1770-1784 Susanna*
1771 Elizabeth*
1771 Joanna*
1774 Phebe
1777 Bartholomew

Bartholomew and Jane’s family continued to increase for 26 years until 1777 (which leads me to suspect that Jane was a younger bride as she would have been 47 in 1777 if she was 21 in 1751). While the baptism dates of *three of the girls are quite close, all three had Jane listed as the mother. I am currently assuming that this Bartholomew died in 1780 or 1782, in part because the burial of Susannah in 1784 is reported as “child of Jane” as opposed to child of Bartholomew, and in part because he is one of the three Bartholomews that could fit the 1780 or 1782 burial date and that leaves the other death as his uncle, Bartholomew (1708), who then died in either 1780 or 1782.

Bartholomew & Martha (married 1754):
1754 Sarah (possibly died as a pauper in 1792)
1757-1765 see below
1767-1768 Mary
1768 Edith
1769 Mary
1772 William
1775 Joseph (died in 1826)
1776-1776 Bartholomew
1783 Bartholomew

Bartholomew and Martha’s family continued to increase; however I am mystified by the young man baptised in 1783 and noted as the son of Bartholomew & Martha. For the sake of argument, let us say that Martha was 16 when she married in 1754; that would make her 45 in 1783. Stranger things have happened – however I think there is a story hidden somewhere which could be as simple as Bartholomew being baptised late for some reason. If his son was born in 1783, then he must be the Bartholomew who died in 1801, rather than one who died in 1780 or 1782.

Children of Bartholomew Horsell not yet assigned to Jane or Martha
1757 Elizabeth
1757-1757 William
1758 Elizabeth
?-1763 Anne
1764 Elizabeth
1765 Jude

Since Aunt Kate is not descended from any of these five Bartholomews, I will leave the final proofs to another researcher and (at least for the moment) content myself with this first draft as there are many other questions to pursue. In part, I have followed the descendants of Henry through the generation of Elizabeth Horsell (who married John Wayt and moved to Swindon) to get a better understanding of the extended family, including her brother (Bartholomew 1728). It would be interesting – but quite an undertaking to compare the lives of her children those of her nieces and nephews. If my conclusions are correct, Bartholomew Horsell (1703-1783) was a cousin of Elizabeth’s father Henry (1700-1762). I have no doubt that cousin Bartholomew was an influential person in Wootton Bassett in Elizabeth’s lifetime; she would have been nearly 60 when he died in 1783 at age 80.

In part, I was hoping that following the line of the eldest sons might provide a clue as to the location of the property in the will of Bartholomew (1642-1701). Alas, that is probably not a simple question although I will most likely return to the High Street and Beaman’s Lane in Wootton Bassett to review the clues that have been uncovered so far.














4 thoughts on “Sorting the Bartholomews

  1. Hello. First of all, thank you for making your research available. I am descendant of the marriage of Edith Horsell and John Masklyn of Wootton Bassett Wilts. I read with interest your analysis of the transcription Jdeth.

    I decided to reply to this page, as I came across mention of Bartholomew Horsell in the Will of Robert Baath of Wootton Bassett, Gent. (PROB 11/194/51, proved 17 Sep 1645). This is the same as Robert Bathe who married Millecent Jefferies on 6 Oct 1608 in Purton Wilts. Millicent is the first-named beneficiary in Robert’s will. He then goes on to bequeath 50 pounds to Anne Horsell, and another 50 pounds to Christian Horsell, to be paid them twelve months after his decease. Toward the end of his will Robert bequeaths all his other goods and chattels whatsoever moveable and immoveable to Bartholomew Horsell and makes Bartholomew the sole executor of his will.

    I assume that Bartholomew above is the same Bartholomew who married Dorothy Pickcott (parents of Edith abovementioned), and that Anne Horsell and Christian Horsell are the younger sisters of Bartholomew, born in 1609 and 1613 respectively, presumably still unmarried in 1645. As to the connection between the Bathe family and the Horsell family, I have no idea. But I thought I’d bring it to your attention, insofar as you are not already aware of it. I’ll add it to the jigsaw pieces that have yet to find a place in the bigger picture, as it were. I’m currently updating my online tree, and have added as a source of interest what you wrote about Edith Horsell (the link to her page on my website is posted below). I’ve embedded a link to your page ‘Ideth Horsell’ there. I have yet to create pages for Bartholomew et al.

    kind regards,
    Bernard Casimir
    Melbourne Australia

  2. Hello again.

    Bartholomew Horsall appears also in the will of John Parsons of Wootton Bassett, Gent. (PROB 11/141/559, proved 22 May 1623). You may have seen this one, but in difference to the abovementioned will of Robert Baath, the names and relationships are more explicit. To wit, on 22 Oct 1622, John Parsons wrote the following (I’ve paragraphed the items for easier reading and included only those sections of his will pertinent to the Horsells):

    “I give and bequeath unto Bartholomew Horsall, Ann Horsall, Elizabeth Horsall, and Christian Horsall the … somme of eight poundes of currant englishe money equallie to be devided amonge them being the sonne and daughters of Henry Horsall of Wootton Bassett aforesaide, which saide somme of eight poundes shalbe within halfe an yeare after my decease be delivered unto the Overseers of this my testament and put out for the best use and benefit of them, at their accomplishinge the age of twentie and one yeares.

    Item: I give Christian Bath my sister my howse at the Lawne gate duringe the terme of her naturall life and after her decease the residue of the yeares then to come I give and bequeath unto Ann my daughter.

    Item: I give and bequeath unto Edith now wife of Henry Horsall the somme of fortie shillinges to be payed delivered unto her within one halfe yeare next after my decease.

    Item: I give and bequeath unto the said Henry Horsall my second best cloake to be delivered unto him the next daye after my funerall.

    Item: I give and bequeath unto Bartholomew Horsall aforesaid my best Dublett and Breeches….

    …And to Bartholomew Horsall aforesaid the howse with thappurtenances wherein his father now dwelleth….

    Item: I desire and appointe my brother Robert Bath, my brothers in law Thomas Masklyn and Robert Maslyn and my cosens John Saye the yonger to be overseers of this my last will and testament…”

    I get the impression from the above that Edith, wife of Henry Horsall, was the daughter of John Parsons of Wootton Bassett. What do you think?

    kind regards,
    Bernard Casimir

  3. In hot pursuit of my above post, I did some more digging. I found the will of Christian Baath of Wootton Bassett (PROB 11/173/457), named above as sister of John Parsons of Wootton Bassett, Gent. Christian wrote her will on 10 Mar 1635, in which it appears that Edith (wife of Henry Horsell, one presumes), was not the daughter of John Parsons but rather his sister. Christian wrote, to wit:

    “Item. I give unto my sister Edith Horsell ten poundes.
    Item. I give unto Anne Horsell twenty nobles.
    Item. I give unto Christian Horsell twentie nobles.
    Item. I give my best coverlett unto my sister Edith Horsell and after her decease my will is that her daughter Anne Horsell shall have him(?)
    Item. I give unto Anne Horsell my greate brasse pott
    Item. I give unto Christian Horsell my greate brasse pann and a little Kettle and a skillett and one paire of my best fine sheets
    Item. I give unto my brother Robert Baath twelve pence
    Item. I give unto Christian Horsell all my lynnen and the Chest wherein it lyeth and my best petticoate
    Item. I give unto Anne Horsell the Chest in the lofte.
    For all my other goodes and chattells whatsoever moveable and unmoveable I give and bequeath unto Bartholomew Horsell and I make him my sole and full executor of this my last will and testament
    Item. I give unto Anne Horsell my greate Cowle and one fether pillowe and alsoe I give one fethere pillowe unto Christian Horsell….”

    I assume that when Christian refers to her ‘brother’ Robert Baath, she actually means her brother-in-law.

    If you would like copies of any of these wills I’ve cited extracts from, I’m happy to share. There may be more forthcoming.

    kind regards,
    Bernard Casimir

  4. Actually, now I’m not sure that Robert Baath was Christian’s “brother-in-law” as I surmised. When I look back at Christian’s will, there is no mention of her being either married or widowed. So Robert Baath may well have been her brother per se. If that’s the case, then John Parsons would have to have been her brother-in-law. This is making my head spin a bit 🙂

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