Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Proof of Cisely Tawyer's Grandfather as Thomas not John

Copy of the top of page 391 in the parish records of Thornbury in April 1611 which actually reads:

"The 30th Day was buried Mrs Mary Cooke
whose firste (May) husband wast the
Thomas Tawyer who died in Año 1573"

Note: The month of May is inserted in the original quote with an arc over the top to separate it from the top burial entry.

In the Thornbury records a Thomas Tawier was buried 17 Mar 1572/1573. I have extracted the Tayer names from Thornbury. See Tayer of Thornbury. Unfortunately, almost all the records list only the godparents not the parents.

Thornbury PR FHL-ENG#0414766

Word of the Week:

Badinage = Playful banter

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pay as You Go

Death Duty Tax
In England and Wales numerous duty taxes were enacted between 1796 and 1853. The tax was adjusted depending on the relationship of the beneficiary. Close relatives such as spouses, parents, grandparents or children did not have to pay the tax. More distant relatives and acquaintances had a percentage assessed. The Stamp Act of 1815 only exempted spouses. Small estates as well as those dying in the service of their country were exempt.
Will abstracts and administrations were made for the time period 1796-1857, which included names, relationships, locations and dates. During this period, many wills and administrations from Cornwall, Devon and Somerset have abstracts, which is very useful because of the destruction of the original records in 1942 by a German bombing raid on Exeter.
There are several registers, depending on the court or jurisdiction of the deceased’s property. The Estate Duty registers are in two parts, the PCC (Prerogative Court of Canterbury) and the Country Courts. The Country Courts include all of the remaining ecclesiastical courts in England including the PCY (Prerogative Court of York). The index to these registers is also divided into two year groupings 1796-1811 and 1812-1857.
The reference book for the indexes and originals, at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City is found in the middle reference section on B2. Ask the people at the desk.

Word of the Week:
Conjobble = Settle, as in conjobble down.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Fig for the Law

In celebration of National Women's History Month I could have picked from many, but decided to go with a woman from the sixteen hundreds. I, as a guy, have a hard time getting all mushy so this might be a little mechanical.
Dionis Coffin nee Stevens wife of Tristram Coffin was born in Brixton, Devon, England. She was baptized 4 Mar 1609, daughter of Robert and Dionis Stevens. She married Tristram Coffin about 1629 and had nine children. She and her husband immigrated to New England around 1641 during the time of the puritan uprising. He may have been a royalist. They settled in Haverhill and then in Newbury and were licensed to make and sell beer and wine at their ‘ordinary’.
Quote from some unknown source past down many times:

In September 1653, Tristram Coffyn’s wife Dionis Coffin was presented for selling beer, at his ordinary in Newbury, for three pence a quart, higher than the set price for beer. Having proved upon the testimony of Samuel Moores, that she put six bushels of malt into a hogshead she was discharged. Dionis was found to be doctoring the beer sold at the ordinary. Contrary to current practice Dionis was making her beer stronger and charging a correspondingly higher price. The law at the time called for beer to be good wholesome beer of four bushels of malt to the hogshead. Goodwife Coffin is said to have remarked “I’ll have better beer than my neighbors and be paid for it. A fig for the law.”

Tristram and Dionis later settled on Nantucket Island where Tristram was Governor for a time. They were both buried there. Dionis was a plucky woman defiant of the law for something she felt was her right. She has many descendants, and some of her female descendants are just as plucky. I had a feisty grandmother who used to whip my grandfather with a willow for being late for dinner. I can still see my grandfather trying to protect his behind while she herded him
like a donkey all the way to the house. I also had a feisty mother and two aunts. And I have four sisters and four nieces that manifest the same spirit.

Old Families of Salisbury & Amesbury V1 p103
The Coffin Family a5 a9 p52-53
N.E.Hist and Gen. Reg. 68:129
Am.Pub. H. V24 p150

Word of the Week:
Ordinary = A tavern

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Taxed

There are various taxes in England at certain time periods. Most of these records are limited in availability. The tax records are photographs of the time period much like a census record.

Lay Subsidy returns are certainly some of the earliest records, which is a tax to subsidize the coffers of a royal personage, mostly during times of conflict or war. The subsidy tax showed value of the appraised property or goods and the rate of tax charged to each tax payer. Do a keyword search for lay subsidy, subsidy returns, subsidy tax or subsidy rolls.

The Hearth taxes in England 1664-1666, 1672-1674, and the Hearth tax in Scotland in 1691 taxed dwellings based on the number of chimneys or hearths in each house or mansion. The Hearth Tax is one of the most complete of the taxes. The tax gives location and the number of hearths, indicating wealth by the higher number of hearths. Many people avoided the tax by knocking down some of their chimneys and using the hearth opening as an alcove or storage facility.

The Window taxes charged a per house tax of two shillings and an additional tax for the number of windows above ten windows. Properties with between ten and twenty windows paid a total of four shillings, and those above twenty windows paid eight shillings. In 1766 the minimum number of windows was change to seven and in 1825 to eight. In England there is still evidence of some older cottages having the windows blocked up to avoid the tax.

A bachelor and childless widower tax was enacted in 1694 and came into force on 1 May 1695, initially for a five-year period, but was later extended until 1 August 1706. This tax was to help pay for the war with France and to encourage people to marry as to lessen the financial burden on communities supporting widows and spinsters. Bachelors more than 25 years of age and upon childless widowers, paid one shilling a year or if your property was worth more than £100, six shillings and on up depending on societal class. The records for these taxes are mixed in Quarter Sessions and parish chest records.

There are also poll taxes (head tax), occupation taxes and much like today in California taxes on just about anything.

Word of the Day:
Henchboy = a page or servant