Christian, Edith, and John


March 7, 2017 by auntkatefirmin

With many thanks to Bernard Casimir of Australia we have some clues about Edith, the wife of Henry Horsell of Wootton Bassett. At the risk of masking foolish guesses when not all the evidence has been sifted I will play with some ideas in the hopes of clarifying how the relationships stand.

The will of John Parsons in 1623 names Christian Bath as his sister – which in that era might also mean sister-in-law. Therefore she was either Christian Parsons before her marriage to Mr Bath, born Christian Maslin (as the sister of John’s wife Anne, who was born a Maslin), the sister of an earlier wife of John from the Bath family, or had a previous marriage to a brother of John Parsons, or some other permutation I haven’t thought of.

The will of Christian Bath names Edith Horsell as her sister – which again could mean sister-in-law. It is unclear who was Christian’s husband (or even if she was married) but she named Robert Bath as a brother.


Christian born ?, married?, died about 3 June 1636
her “sister” Edith born ~1570, married Henry Horsell before 1593, buried 9 Feb 1638/9
her “brother” John Parsons born ?, married Anne Maslin in 1618, buried 30 Nov 1622
Anne Maslin born ?, married John Parsons in 1618, and Thomas Hooper in 1626
her “brother” Robert Bath born ~, died after 1636 – also “brother” of John Parsons

I will look at various possibilities (in no particular order) but starting with the assumption that all the characters were of the same generation even though they might be many years apart in age. John Parsons and Anne Maslin appear to be the youngest of the group – assuming that his marriage in 1618 was his first marriage (Anne was not described as a widow). Still, it was not unusual in this era for the eldest child to be 20 years older than the youngest child in a family.

  1. MASLIN/MASKELYNE – Christian, Edith, and Anne were sisters

Christian Maslin married Mr Bath at an unknown date prior to 1623, and was survived by her husband’s brother Robert Bath, her sister Edith (Maslin) Horsell, and but perhaps not by  her sister Anne (Maslin Parsons) Hooper. In addition to the three women the siblings included Thomas and Robert Maslin. Robert Bath is John Parsons’ “brother” in the sense that Robert is the brother-in-law of his sister-in-law.

  1. BATH – Christian never married

Christian never married and was survived by her brother Robert Bath, her sister Edith (Bath) Horsell, and John Parsons who had an earlier marriage to an unknown sister in the Bath family (or John Parsons had a brother who married a Bath sister and the family’s use of “sister” was rather generous). Robert Bath is the brother of John’s unknown presumed first wife – his brother-in-law.

  1. PARSON – Christian was John Parsons’ sister

Christian Parsons married Mr Bath at an unknown date prior to 1623, and was survived by her husband’s brother Robert Bath, her sister Edith (Parsons) Horsell, and predeceased by her brother John Parsons. Anne (Maslin) Parsons was her sister-in-law.

  1. HORSELL – Christian was Henry Horsell’s sister

Christian Horsell married Mr Bath at an unknown date prior to 1623, and was survived by her sister-in-law Edith (Parsons) Horsell, Edith’s brother John Parsons (who is only her brother-in-law in a very extended sense), and her husband’s brother Robert Bath.

  1. OTHER – Christian had an earlier marriage before Mr Bath. I’ll stop here before this gets entirely out of control …


While I have easy access to the Wootton Bassett records (with thanks to the Wiltshire Family History Society index) and I will take a look at the name index for the collection that includes Purton as the families appear to have properties in both locations. For example, John Saye (named as a cousin by John Parsons) had a messuage in Purton and a burgage property in Wootton Bassett. Research during the period 1570-1630 in these Wiltshire parishes is hampered by the incompleteness of the parish records and because the surviving records for Wootton Bassett don’t start until roughly 1596. I on the other hand, the Maskelynes were a prominent family at the time and it may be possible to start with them to prove or disprove option one, as in addition to wills there will probably be land tenure records that might help clarify family members.

How exciting to possibly get back another generation!


One thought on “Christian, Edith, and John

  1. Donde Hart Smith says:

    Very exciting if you can untangle that. I got a headache just trying to follow the possibilities. Good luck.

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