William Pursey & Hannah Hawkins (Shapwick, Somerset)

William died in 1792 in Shapwick, Somerset.

Having married Hannah in 1769, they had seven children – the first were William, James and Thomas. They are perhaps, the most-researched Purseys. On the other hand, little is known of their three sisters Hannah Mary and Sarah or younger brother Joseph.

The posts below aim to pull together all the research on William, James and Thomas and their descendents, add some new facts and hopefully, clarify some of the conflicting information out there.

Grateful thanks to Stuart Bartrum. Do visit his Stuart Bartrum’s site for later Pursey descendants from Walton and Street.




7 Comments to “William Pursey & Hannah Hawkins (Shapwick, Somerset)”

  1. Joan says:

    I am a descendent of William and Hannah Hawkins Pursey also, my father was Metford C Pursey, his father was Adolphus, his father was Thomas who’s father was Henry, is father was James who is the son of William and ann Taylor who was the oldest son of William and Hannah I am very interested in learning more about my family and I have some secrets to share

    • Pip Rabbitts says:

      I am a direct descendant of William Pursey and Hannah Hawkins, my great grandmother was Phoebe Annie Rebecca Pursey born 1871 in Shapwick.
      Would love to share your secrets and I may have other relatives to add to your tree

  2. Graham Pursey says:

    I’ve just discovered this site (with great excitement!) and I’m a direct descendant of William and Hanah Hawkins. I’ll study the posts when I’ve a little more time and will comment further.

    I have their children as William (1770), Thomas (5 Jan 1773), James (1775), Hanah (1779), Joseph (1782), Mary (1785) and Sarah (1788).

    Someone gave me William’s parents as Joseph and Hanah Langford, but they were born in the 1690’s which would make them too old to be William’s parents… possibly they were grandparents and much more research is required.

    My information probably has some errors, but I’m happy to share my tree with anyone interested.

    Graham Pursey

    • nic says:

      Thanks for getting in touch Graham. I’ll be interested to see your comments.

      The more people who do comment on the forum means more opportunities to uncover some of those Pursey secrets and brick walls that have so long frustrated us – especially those trying to go back beyond William and Hannah – for so long

  3. nic says:

    The family of Thomas Pursey.

    Thomas was the third son of William Pursey and Hannah Hawkins, born 1776 in Shapwick.

    His first wife was Frances Frampton. She died in 1799 giving birth to their only son Francis Frampton Pursey.

    Francis Frampton married Nancy Ann Gallop in 1823. Between 1824 and 1842, they had eight children: Elizabeth, Sarah, Francis, George Gallop, Hannah, Joseph, Theodore and Mary Alice. On Nancy’s death in 1856, he remarried – widow Sarah Cullen in her parish of Greinton. Listed as a labourer, he gave his father Thomas’s occupation as stonemason.

    Francis and Nancy’s eldest child, Elizabeth, married Theophilis Plenty. Sarah seemingly never married. She died in Wandsworth, London in 1890. Likewise son Francis who died in Ashcott, Somerset in 1897.

    George Gallop married Mary Ann Browning. He died in Ontario, Canada in 1919.

    Hannah married Silas Pitman.

    Joseph and Theodore both went to find their fortune in Australia. Joseph married Annie Lang in Coraki, New South Wales in 1869 whilst Theodore married Ann White Norster.

    Youngest Mary Alice died aged just 16 in 1858 in Somerset.

    Thomas’s second wife was Mary Palmer whom he married in ascot in 1803.

    They had five children: Hannah, William, Cornelius, Elizabeth and Thomas.

    Hannah married Uriah Frampton. Interestingly, a Mary Palmer was witness.

    Cornelius married Mary Marks. They had five children: William, Elizabeth, Charles, Jane and Frederick.

    What happened to William and his younger sister and brother Elizabeth and Thomas is a mystery.

  4. nic says:

    The family of James Pursey and Joannah Durston

    James was the second son of William Pursey and Hannah Hawkins, born 1775. A labourer, he died in 1839, leaving everything to his “beloved wife Johanna” (nee Durston). By 1851, Joannah is listed in the census as a turf dealer.

    James and Joannah married in Catcott in 1796. They subsequently had nine children.

    The eldest daughter Maria married Joseph Durston and possibly John Jones later on. Sister Sarah married John Tucker.

    Then came James, a thatcher then inn-keeper, born 1801. With Eliza Every, he had seven children. He married Ann Cox in 1851. He died January 1857. Of James and Eliza’s first three children – all daughters – two (Janetta and Constance) died young. Hannah, on the other hand, lived till 92 years of age, having married Robert Barnett and moved to Cardiff, Wales. She and Robert had nine sons and a daughter! She had another son prior to meeting Robert.

    Then came John who married Louisa Pocock from Ashcott. He moved to Louisa’s village and their six children – James, Jeremiah, Thomas, Clara Jane, Janet and William were all born there. After John came Joseph Every, Thomas and Jane.

    In his will, James left his house and goods in trust to his uncle Joseph (yeoman) and once the mortgage was paid, half would good to his wife Ann and half to his four children John, Anna Barnard (Barnett), Joseph and Thomas.

    James and Joannah’s forth child was William, born 1803. He was married three times – first to Mary Haxton, then Ann Treloggan and finally to Fanny Goodwin. In 1851, William was originally a thatcher becoming a turf merchant by 1861. It appears he took over his mother’s business as she died in 1860 and older brother James had pre-deceased her.

    William and Mary had five children – Anna Maria, John, William, James and Eliza. John was a baker/grocer and married Louisa Bailey before emigrating to Iowa, USA where he became a farmer. He died in Maltby, Washington in 1911 followed by his wife in 1912. Curiously, William was not mentioned in his father James’s will.

    After William, came Elizabeth in 1805 and then Thomas in 1807. Thomas married Rebecca Badman. He was an agricultural labourer then farmer of 60 acres by 1861. Thomas and Rebecca had three children – Joseph Thomas, Mary Ann and Silas Dibbsdale. William died in Wedmore in 1873.

    Then came Joseph. He must have died young as he was followed by another Joseph in 1817. Joseph was a baker who married Johanna Lawrence in Bristol in 1840. Joseph and Johanna had five children – James, Elizabeth, Ellen, Emma and Walter Harry – all born Bath.

    He emigrated to Massachussetts in 1864 where he remarried twice at least – to Sarah Crapper in 1871 and Mary Oakes in 1875. He died in Boston in May 1876.

    See also Stuart Bartrum’s post which attempts to trace what happens to the grand-children of James and Joannah: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/eng-somerset-street/2013-09/1378954468

    James and Joannah’s last child was son John who died in his first year.

  5. nic says:

    The family of William Pursey and Ann Taylor

    William was the eldest son of William Pursey and Hannah Hawkins, born 1770. A yeoman (farmer), he died in 1827, leaving his wife Ann the west end of his house called the Barn, land to his his sons William, James, and John as well as to his daughters Rebecca, Frances, Jane, and a house to daughter Ann Badman.

    William and Ann married in Walton in 1797.

    Eldest of their seven children, James, a thatcher, married Lucy Ann Frampton in May 1826. They in turn had eight children – Keziah, Sarah, Henry, John, Thomas William, Frances, Susan and Joanna – all of whom lived well into adulthood.

    Keziah married David Westlake. She lived and died in Somerset. Sarah married George S Bartrum. They emigrated to New Zealand.

    Henry married Ann Howe, and John, Sarah Jane Davey. Both remained in Somerset.

    Thomas married Sarah Ann Cone, having seven children.

    Frances (Fanny) married Edward John Jones. They married in Christchurch, New Zealand but their life was tragically cut short when returning to England in 1872, the ship they were on, sank en route in the waters off Indonesia.

    Susan married James Lock, whilst Joanna married Cornelius Vinnell. Both sisters remained in Somerset.

    After James came four daughters: Ann – who married Benjamin Badman, Rebecca, Frances who married John Young and Jane Taylor who married John Porter.

    Next in line was John. He married Elizabeth Young. He died at just 28 years of age in 1836.

    The youngest, William, married Elizabeth Ann Godfrey, having four children – Julia, Elizabeth Ann, John and Joseph.

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