Alan March’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 many generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Alan’s as (1)
ROBERT MUSGROVE and ELIZABETH ROOTS (10)
ROBERT MUSGROVE. Richard Musgrove was living in West Wickham, 4 m east of Croydon, when he married, but was born in Croydon in 1733 and brought up his family there. He was the child of Robert and Elizabeth Musgrove.
There is a marriage in Croydon in 1730 between Robert Musgrove and Elizabeth Roots, but the baptisms for children of Robert and Elizabeth begin in 1724.
There could be two Roberts with a wife Elizabeth, having children at the same time, but the spacing of the baptisms points to a single family
Another possibility is that Robert married twice, both to a wife named Elizabeth. We have, however, found no burial for Elizabeth Musgrove between 1724 and 1730. Still, this does seem the best explanation.
The age given for Robert at his burial puts his birth date at 1698-9. No baptism has been found for him in Croydon. The earliest Musgrave/Musgrove in the Croydon registers is in 1658, only a generation or two earlier, so it would not be surprising to find him born elsewhere. But we have not found him within a ten -mile radius, allowing a difference of 5 years either way. His baptism is probably in a parish whose register does not go back that far, or on a damaged page.
Croydon lies 10 m south of central London, and north of the North Downs. In the 18th century it was a separate town, and not part of London. Croydon Palace was the summer residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury, who wanted to escape the stench of London in the heat.
The low-lying ground around the church was subject to flooding. In the18th century the town centre shifted to higher ground. Croydon Palace was abandoned and pulled down, but it would have been a major feature of the town in Robert and Elizabeth’s day.
The early registers do not give men’s occupations. Robert’s descendants were labourers, so it is likely that he was too.
We have found no marriage for Robert earlier than 1730, but there are three baptisms before that for children of Robert and Elizabeth Musgrove.
1724/5 Jan 3 William
1726 Oct 16 Thomas
1728/9 Feb 16 Elizabeth
ELIZABETH ROOTS. Nor have we been able to find a plausible baptism for Elizabeth in Croydon or within a 5-mile radius, though there are Roots in the Croydon register back to 1543.
1730 Aug 16 Robert Mussgrove & Elizabeth Roots both of this parish.
Four more baptisms followed for children of Robert and Elizabeth in the reign of George II.
Baptisms. St John the Baptist, Croydon.
1733 Sep 16 Richard
1735 May 14 Jane
1736/7 Feb 20 Mary
1738 Jul 16 Joseph
Elizabeth died 20 years later.
1758 May 5 Elizabeth Musgrove wife of Robert
Robert outlived her by 8 years.
Burial. St John the Baptist, Croydon.
1766 Oct 23 Robert Musgrove. 67.
NEXT GENERATION: 9. MUSGROVE-GILBERT