Peasants to Puddles
My Family History - By Nicky Rowberry
The first Stephen Rowberry was the youngest son of John & Mary Rowberry and was baptised in Thornbury in 1667. He appears to have been the first of a long line of Stephens. In fact, until this century, almost all Stephen Rowberrys, (of any spelling variation), anywhere in the country were descended from this one.
His only known son, Stephen (the second), was baptised in 1711 in Thornbury. This Stephen (the second), with his wife Anne, had at least 6 children. Although the baptism records of only five children have been found so far, his will includes six living children, shown on the tree below. Mary, the child whose baptism has not been found yet, was not to inherit until she was 21, so was presumably the youngest of the family.
In his will, Stephen (the second) was described as a Yeoman of Ocle Pychard. A yeoman in those days was a freeman who cultivated his own land, possibly a bit like a modern day crofter. His eldest son William seems to have got the bulk of his estate, providing he looked after his (William's) mother Anne. The rest of the children, apart from Stephen (the third), all got money and goods of some kind. Stephen (the third) only got the money. No further trace of this youngest Stephen has been found in Herefordshire. The most likely explanation seems to be that Stephen had moved away from Herefordshire and this might also explain why he got no goods in his father's will, as it would have been to costly to transport them. In fact a Stephen Rowberry (spelt Rowbury by now), of about the right age, appears in Chigwell Essex, fathering six children from 1781 onwards. For a long time I thought this was my missing Herefordshire Stephen, but could find no proof. But now thanks to the wonders of DNA analysis, we have managed to confirm he was indeed my missing Stephen. By comparing the y-DNA of a descendant of this Stephen Rowberry, with my Dad's DNA, we have shown that they have matching DNA - only possible if they shared a common male ancestor - so the Rowberry line is proven!
The Stephen (the second's) eldest son William married Theodosia Rowberry. Despite sharing the same surname, I have yet to find any link between these two Rowberry families. Again when I have time, I will try and provide details of Theodosia's family. So far I have only put details of their son James's children on the tree below. However, both Stephen, (born 1777) and John (born 1779) produced large families.
The Stephen (the second's) youngest son John married Anne Parker in 1771 in Ocle Pychard. They had at least 9 children, shown on the tree below, descendants of whom can be found around the world today.
The family tree below summarises what I know about the above generations of the Rowberry family. It is hopefully reasonably accurate, but if you spot any errors, or any relatives, please feel free to E-mail me
Please click on one of the red links on the tree to move to a different page.
If any of the above is of further interest, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© Nicky Rowberry 2017
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Peasants to Puddles - My Family History. By Nicky Rowberry