Keeping it in the Family?

When I first examined the microfilm copy of Clent parish registers back in 1998, I wondered if this couple was connected to the Wilson family of Walton, Clent, from whom I am descended.

Bride: Catherine Hanbury
Groom: William Wilson
Date: 12 June 1789
Location: St Leonard’s, Clent, Worcestershire
Witnesses: Edward Price, Jane Price

The Will

The Will of William Wilson of Walton, made on 15 May 1788 and proved on 7 February 1789, identifies his nephew, also William and a grand-niece Catherine Hanbury as beneficiaries:

And I give to my Nephew Matthew Hanbury (Son of my late Sister Mary) and my Grand Niece Catherine Hanbury (daughter of my late Nephew John Hanbury) the sum of twenty pounds each


I give devise and bequeath all my messuages lands Tenements and Heredittaments and all other my real and personal Estate whatsoever and wheresover with all and every appurtenances unto my Nephew William Wilson of Walton aforesaid who now lives with me (another of the Sons of my late Brother Richard Wilson deceased) and to his Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns to his and their own use and behoof forever, and I do herby appoint the said last mentioned William Wilson sole Executor of this my Will

The relationships between the beneficiaries mentioned above are:


The Wilson-Hanbury connection. William Wilson of Walton – red. William Wilson, nephew – yellow. Catherine Hanbury, grand-niece – green

So, did William Wilson, the nephew and main beneficiary, marry his first cousin once removed, Catherine Hanbury?

The Gravestone

Sadly, parish registers of this period do not generally record ages of the nuptial couple.  However, William of Walton shares a gravestone at Clent with a couple named William and Catharine.

Wilson gravestone at Clent

Wilson gravestone at Clent

In memory of
who departed this life
the 28th day of January 1789
aged 81 years.
Also WILLIAM WILSON late of Bournheath
He departed this life October the 30th
1821 aged 82 years
and two of his daughters who died
in their infancy.
Also of CATHARINE, wife of the said
WILLIAM WILSON of Bournheath.
she departed this life Septr 2nd 1830.
Aged [8 or 6?]6 Years

The inscribed age of Catharine is worn, so I am not sure if it is 66 or 86.  The former suggests a birth year of 1764, making Catherine 25 years younger than her husband (born ca. 1739).  The age difference is consistent with the relationship suggested by the will.

The FamilySearch baptism index confirms that a Catharine Hanbury, daughter of John and Grace Hanbury was baptised at Halesowen, Worcestershire on 17 October 1764.  The pieces are fitting together quite nicely, but I have not yet made a connection between the gravestone couple and the Hanbury family.

Bournheath, the place named as the gravestone couple’s residence, lies in Bromsgrove parish, near the boundaries with Catshill and Belbroughton.  Clent lies on the other side of Belbroughton from Bromsgrove.  A search of the FamilySearch index of baptisms for the children of William Wilson and Catharine revealed this family in Bromsgrove:

Name Date
William Wilson 4 June 1790
Jane Wilson 6 January 1792
Eleanor Wilson 5 June 1793
John Wilson 20 February 1795
Hanbury Wilson 25 January 1797
Thomas Wilson 19 April 1799

Note the name of the third son, Hanbury, which suggests a connection with the Hanbury family.

So, it is looking very likely that William Wilson did marry his 1st cousin once removed, Catharine Hanbury.  Next steps include investigating property records, electoral rolls and possible connections with the marriage witnesses, the Price family.

© Sue Adams 2013

2 Comments on “Keeping it in the Family?”

  1. Steve. says:

    We have a clock with the name William Wilson Catshill. Made around 1720- 50, Any relative?


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