Fay Sampson’s Family History
This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)
VALENTINE PETTIT and HELEN STOKES (13)
VALENTINE PETTIT was the eldest son of the yeoman Richard Pettit and his wife Jone.
He was born in Ringwould before the start of the registers. His estimated birth date is around 1567, in the early years of Elizabeth I’s reign.
He had four younger siblings, but two of them died in infancy. His mother died shortly after the birth of the youngest child. Valentine would have been around ten.
He grew up to become a yeoman like his father.
Richard Pettit, Valentine’s father, died in 1591, when Valentine was about 24. He left Valentine the house where he lived and all his other lands and tenements, except for another house and some small parcels of land which went to Valentine’s younger brother George.
HELEN STOKES. In the licence for her second marriage in Feb 1622, Helen, who is often known as Ellen, was said to be about 45. We have not found a baptism for her that quite fits this. The nearest is in the village of Chillenden, 7 miles NW of Ringwould.
1579/80 Jan 22 Ellen Stocke daughter of James Stocke.
This would make her 13 at the time of her marriage. This is early, but not impossible, especially in a family affluent enough to employ servants for the heavy work. We have found no other plausible marriage for this Ellen of Chillenden. But the identification must be treated with caution.
The Chillenden registers at this time often name the child baptised, but not the parents. It is therefore difficult to determine how many of the Stocke baptisms are siblings of Ellen.
Valentyne Pettit and Helen Stokes were married by licence at St Nicholas, Ringwould, on 6 Aug 1593. This was two years after Valentine inherited his father’s house and farm.
Valentine is stated on the marriage licence to be a yeoman.
In some records of the marriage the bride’s name is spelt Ellyn.
St Nicholas, Ringwould 
The couple had three known children baptised in Ringwould.
Baptisms. St Nicholas, Ringwould
1594 Mar 10 Helen
1597 Nov 13 Marye
1600 Apr 23 William
Three years later Queen Elizabeth died and James I, son of Mary Queen of Scots, ascended the throne as the first Stuart monarch of England.
Valentine was about 48 when he died. “Valentine Petyt householder” was buried in Ringwould on 5 Nov 1615.
He made his will on 27 October 1615, when he was already “very sick and weak of my body”.
He left the burial of his body to his wife’s discretion.
To the poor of Ringwould he left 20s, to be distributed at his funeral by his executors.
His two daughters Hellen and Mary received the substantial sum of £100 each. Hellen’s bequest was to be paid to her within a year of Valentine’s death and Mary’s within three years.
To his nieces Elizabeth and Millicent, daughters of Richard Pettitt of Canterbury, he left £4 each, to be paid within 3 months from the time of their marriages.
Valentine was holding £4 belonging to the four children of John Durbourne deceased. The two eldest were to receive their share within two years of Valentine’s death, and the two youngest when they reached the age of 20. To this, Valentine added £10 from his estate, to be divided equally among them and to be paid at the same time.
He gave his nephew and godson Richard, son of George Pettitt, £10 to be paid when he reached 25.
To his godson Mathias(?) Stokes he left one ewe, to be delivered after his death.
He appointed as his executors his “welbeloved wife Hellen” and his only son William Pettit.
To them he gave all his goods and chattels to execute his will with.
… Marsh of Dover Castle was appointed overseer of his will, to settle any differences or doubts.
He left to Helen “my new build tenement and the half acre of land adjoining to it in Newsole shott in the parish of Ringwould to be had unto her for term of her natural life”. Also an annuity of £10, to be paid quarterly. In default of this, she would be entitled to take it from his lands and tenements.
To his son William and his heirs he left “ all my acreages, lands, tenements and hereditaments” in Ringwould and elsewhere in Kent.
Helen was to be the guardian and tutor of 15-year-old William and his inheritance, until he was 21.
The witnesses were Richard Marsh, William Stokes and John Philpott.
The will was proved the same year.
Within the next few years, possibly when William reached his majority, Helen moved to Shoulden, on the outskirts of Deal. In 1616, her daughter Helen junior married William Hilbe in Shoulden. It is very likely that the widowed Helen went to live with them.
William remained in Ringwould to carry on the Pettit line there.
Helen married again. The marriage licence is for Eleanor Pettit aged about 45, widow of (blank) yeoman of Ringwould, residing at Shoulden, to Will Chillengden yeoman, aged about 35, widower residing at Reculver. The wedding was to take place at Sandwich St Mary on Feb 12 1621/2.
“Eleanour “ may be the clerk’s attempt to spell “Helena”
The entry in the Sandwich St Mary marriage register reads: William Chillengden and Ellena Pettet by licence.
Something has been crossed out after Ellena, but the word that replaces it is now illegible.
Reculver is on the north Kent coast, between Herne Bay and Margate. It is chiefly known for its impressive Roman fort.
We have found no children from this marriage.
There is a burial for William Chillenden in Minster, Thanet, on 13 Sep 1628.
We have not found a burial or a remarriage for Helen/Ellen.
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