Wills and Location – Further Evidence supporting the Inherited Family History

The hand-written Wilson family history discussed in Pieces of Evidence – Corroborating a Family Tale gives details of another marriage which I now feature in the 50 Marriage Mondays series:

Wilson-Boraston extract from Wilson Family History

Wilson-Boraston extract from Wilson Family History (Carno document)

Ann youngest daughter of Matt. & Sarah [Wilson] m. George Boreston of Hodgehill Nr Kidder.  Ann Boreston died at Hodgehill & was buried at Kidder.  issue 2 sons & 1 daughter George John Catherine

This extract makes several claims: the marriage, the residence location, Ann’s burial, and the couple’s children.  Can these claims be confirmed?

A check on the FamilySearch index yields a likely marriage[1]:

Bride: Ann Wilson
Groom: George Boraston
Date: 2 July 1778
Location: Kidderminster, Worcestershire

Family wills provide evidence of the timing of the marriage and identity of Ann’s spouse.  The will of Ann’s father Matthew Wilson, proved in 1776[2], makes no mention of any husband, which suggests that Ann had not yet married:

I give to my four children, viz, Mary, Ann, Thomas and Joseph the sum of one hundred pounds to be paid within one year next after my decease.

The will of Ann’s uncle, William Wilson, who died in 1889[3], calls her Nancy (a pet form of the name Ann) and gives her husband’s surname, Boraston:

I give to my Nephews John Matthew William Thomas and Joseph Wilson (Sons of my late Brother Matthew Wilson deceased) the Sum of twenty pounds each, and to my Nieces Sarah (Wife of       Crowder), Mary (Wife of Edward Pratt) and Nancy (Wife of          Boraston) who are the Daughters of my late Brother Matthew Wilson the Sum of twenty pounds each

Finally Ann’s mother, Sarah, explicitly named Ann’s husband, George Boraston, in her will in 1895[4]:

give and bequeath unto my four youngest children viz Mary the wife of Edward Pratt, Ann the wife of George Boraston, Thomas and Joseph the said sum of one hundred pounds each

A second search of the FamilySearch index, on parents named George Boraston and Ann, and filtering out all results except baptisms in Kidderminster, Worcestershire gives these children:

Name Baptism date
William Boraston 6 October 1779
George Boraston 17 February 1781
John Boraston 30 January 1783
Elizabeth Boraston 24 February 1785
Ann Boroston 19 June 1786
Betty Boraston 29 April 1788
Catharine Boraston 28 February 1791
Mary Boraston 12 January 1793

Given the marriage in 1778, these 8 baptisms commence the year after and are spaced at about 2 yearly intervals.  The timing pattern of baptisms reflecting births is what I would expect to see for George and Ann.  The three children named in the family history are also in the correct birth order.  Further research to show that the other 5 children did not survive to adulthood would add credence to the inherited family history.

The location of George Boraston’s residence, Hodge Hill, near Kidderminster can be found on a modern map, on the eastern outskirts of the town.

Place names may persist over long periods of time, but we should check that Hodge Hill is associated with this location at earlier times.  An interactive version of the 1842 tithe map is available at the Worcestershire Tithe Mapping website.  The land parcel at this location, recorded as ‘Hedge Hill Farm’, refers to a farmstead owned by the Earl of Derby’s estate and occupied by a tenant, George Wilson.  The farmstead is named as Hodge Hill Farm on earlier estate map created for a sale in 1833[5].  If the tenant George Wilson is a relative of George and Ann, it would support the claim of their residence at Hodge Hill.  Property records may also contain further evidence.

© Sue Adams 2013


[1] “England Marriages, 1538–1973”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NKS8-2YL : accessed 28 Jun 2013), George Boraston and Anne Wilson, 02 Jul 1778. citing Family History Library film no. 435263. citing Church of England. St. Mary’s Church (Kidderminster, Worcestershire), Marriages, 1767-1789.

[2] Will of Matthew Wilson of Kidderminster, Worcester, made 2 Feb 1776, proved 16 July 1776. Worcestershire County Records Office.

[3] Will of William Wilson the Elder of Walton, Clent, Worcestershire, made 15 May 1788, proved 7 Feb 1789. Worcestershire County Records Office.

[4] Will of Sarah Wilson of Wannerton, made 19 January 1795, proved 2 February 1795. Worcestershire County Records Office.

[5] Sale plan of Park Hall mansion & estate (in Churchill & Blakedown) 1833. Worcestershire County Records Office, 705:554 BA4813.

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One Comment on “Wills and Location – Further Evidence supporting the Inherited Family History”

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