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)

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? MARGARETSON. From his baptism we know only the surname of John Margerson’s father.

Baptism. All Saints, Thurgarton, Norfolk.
1793 born Sep 29, bapt Oct 7  John son of  Phebe Margaretson.

When only the mother is named, it is usually because the child was born out of wedlock. In this case, the baptisms either side of John are said to be of an “illegitimate daughter”. John is not said to be illegitimate, nor have we found a baptism for an unmarried Phebe Margaretson.

The other possible reason is that the father had died. This would appear to be the case here.

No wedding has been found for a bride Phebe to a groom with the surname Margaretson, any of its alternative spellings, or John’s alias Payne.

Margaretson is an unusual surname. It seems to have originated in Norfolk, and is not found elsewhere until the 19th century. It occurs in a wide scatter of parishes across eastern Norfolk. It is often shortened to Margerson or Margetson.

Thurgarton is a village 5 miles south of the North Sea coast at Cromer.

There is only one Margetson baptism in Thurgarton in 1720 before the 19th century. It is for Elizabeth daughter of Robert Margetson.

There are a few more in the village of Hanworth, just a mile away, where Robert Margetson moved. Phebe grew up and was buried here. The only likely-looking candidate is Francis Margaretson, who was born there in 1749. But he did not die until 1831.

It is by no means the only time we have failed to find a wedding in the records. It could be in a parish whose records do not go back that far, or on a damaged page of a register.

No plausible burial has been found shortly before John’s baptism for a man of this surname in a 20-mile radius.

Another possibility is that Phebe was not married, but passed herself off a widow, using her partner’s name.


PHEBE MAYS. We know her first name from John’s baptism, and her approximate date of birth from her burial. Phebe is an uncommon name. Since she had John baptised in Thurgarton, this leads us to the following baptism.

Baptism. All Saints, Thurgarton.
1758 Jul 8   Phebe the daughter of William and Mary Mays.

We have not found an early burial or another marriage for this child.

She was the eldest of four children. The first two were baptised in Thurgarton, and the younger two in the neighbouring church of Hanworth, a mile away. This is where Phebe grew up.

She was 20 when her mother died. The following year, her father married the widow Elizabeth Turner.

If Phebe was indeed married to a man named Margaretson, he appears to have died in 1793. In Sept of that year, Phebe gave birth to their son and had him baptised in her birth parish of Thurgarton.

We have found no evidence that John had siblings.

She does not appear to have remarried. We find her burial in Hanworth in 1829.

Burial. St Bartholomew, Hanworth.
1829 Jun 14  Phebe Margetson  Believed to be 72 years.

In fact, she was just short of 71.

St Bartholomew, Hanworth [1]


[1] Wikimedia Commons




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