One Name Guild Gloucester Regional Meeting

 One Name Guild Gloucester Regional Meeting

Last Saturday was the last day of March and also the Gloucester shire one Name Guild meeting at the National Star College near Cheltenham. Gerald Cook had organised a very interesting agenda. He also made sure that the weather was not as hot as in the previous week so we did not feel too bad about being indoors. Thanks, as well, to Alan Moorhouse for facilitating use of the college in the school holidays.

Teresa Pask gave a polished and comprehensive presentation on The Master Genealogist (TMG) and Second Site. She kept exactly to time over the two morning sessions. What stuck me was how comprehensive and configurable TMG is but also that it would take a fair bit of time to master fully.  This was also useful as extra information for my talk on Tuesday in Devizes on “Documenting Sources using Family History Software” with a demonstration using Rootsmagic.

Richard Scantlebury gave an excellent presentation on naval research with several examples on Scantlebury coastguards. I raised a question about a non-Peapell possible ancestor William Richards from Newport.  In successive censuses he had been a mason, then a Greenwich pensioner and then a mason again. The group agreement was that being a mason is compatible with being in the navy,  and that his children being born in a village in Devon did not mean that he was working there. There may be information on him, his pension payments and his service in the ADM series of the National Archive.

Looking at future meeting there was a lot of agreement that understating more about “Social Media” (Facebook, twitter, Google Circles and Hangouts etc) and sharing our experiences would be very beneficial for those of us who have not yet even dipped our toes in the water.

Kevin Hurley April 2012

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The Family of Henry and Sarah Peapell

Henry and Sarah Peapell


I have to thank Sean Barrett for some extra information on this post. I also spent some time at Wiltshire History Centre in Chippenham looking up information on the Zion Chapel  and was interested in all its strife. The book by R A Beck – Highworth United Reform Church was particularly helpful but I need to spend more time looking at the original records that they hold including minutes of meetings etc.   Apparently some pages from the 1860′s were removed as they were derogatory to some members of the church.

I have a one name guild meeting to attend this weekend near Cheltenham and then the next week I am giving a talk on Rootsmagic and documenting sources to the Devizes branch of the Wiltshire Family History Society. Its a busy times with lots to do before the canoeing season starts.

The Family of Henry and Sarah Peapell

For some reason most of Henry and Sarah Peapell’s sons became bakers at one point or another in their lives. Henry James in Highworth, London and Fairford, John Crook in Swindon, South Marston and Stratton St Margarets, William Webb in Highworth, Frank,  Ambrose and James were bakers in Highworth. Charles Smith was the exception with no record of him ever being a baker but along with Ambrose and Jim he became a mat maker in Highworth.

Their eldest child Louise was known as “Lou”. She married Jim Powell and lived at Reading. They only had one child Harry. Louise was very careful with her clothes, and Harry always said that she wore an apron to keep her dress clean, an apron over that to keep the first apron clean, and a “rough” apron over that for housework to keep the second one clean.

William John their second child died after only a few days and was buried in Highworth cemetery on 1st December 1861.

Henry James was a Bakers assistant in Highworth probably the first of the family to take up the baking trade. He then worked as a baker and bakers vanman in London where he married his masters daughter Charlotte Grace Chanin. He returned to Fairford as a baker. Something went wrong with the business and he wanted to borrow money from the family but they refused. He seems to have fallen out with them and set up as a confectioner in Bournemouth where he died in 1942. His only child May Peapell died in 1981 and that started off the Peapell one name study.

John Crook was known as “Jack”. He became an assistant baker in Swindon. It is said that when the baker decided to retire he offered John Crook the business. He may have had to pay him, but from then on he described himself as a master baker even if the only people he employed were his family. He supplied bread to the local workhouse for a while.

It is likely that John Crook delivered bread to some of the local hotels as that is probably how he met his wife, Fanny Richards. She was working at the Goddard Arms in the High Street, Swindon. The Goddard Arms was (and is) one of the long established and more expensive hotels in Swindon.  We do not how long she was there, she is said to have worked for a family as a ladies maid and even went to America with them, but we do not know how much of that is true, or how she came from Newport, Monmouth to Swindon. She gave her place of birth as Newport in the census but even that is not proved and called herself at various times Fanny, Alice and Alice Fanny.

When John Crook and Fanny were married in January 1890 they  both gave their address as 8 King William Street, Swindon. This was the home of John’s uncle (and Sarah his mother her brother), William Crook.

William Webb was a bread baker and lived in Highworth. He had two children with his wife Elizabeth Poole.

Charles Smith also stayed in Highworth as a Mat maker and when Henry died in 1926 he was the informant to the authorities. His middle name “Smith” is not obviously from anyone in the family but Thomas Angel Smith and his wife joined the Independents at the Zion Chapel fellowship in April 1870. He seems to have brought with him several families of weavers and set up the Oriental Fibre Mat and Matting Company at the Vorda Works. This may be where Charles Smith Peapell worked in the 1911 Census as a fibre Mat maker. Was he given the middle name “Smith” due to association through the Zion Chapel with Thomas Angle Smith?

Leah was known as “Lil”. After 1887 Henry was described variously as a Contractor, Road Contractor, Road Foreman and Roadman. This was enough for the family to look down on their daughter Leah marrying an Agricultural labourer (Albert Edward Giddings)

She married Albert Giddings in the Church of England but when her children were old enough to attend services, her husband took the boys to their local parish church and Leah took the girls to the chapel – and then they all met for a walk after service.

Soon after her marriage, she asked her mother to help her make shirts for her husband, but Sarah who was said to be very hard told her to unpick an old one and find out that way. If anyone was ill in the family and they needed help they were not too proud to call Leah back home.

Sarah Ann was known as Top or Topsy. In 1897 she had a child out of wedlock. Henry and Sarah would not allow her to stay at home so she went to her brother John Crook Peapell and Fanny her sister in law. Her son Walter died with-in a few months. Sarah married George Cook in 1898 and had four more children.

George and Sarah’s eldest daughter was Winifred known as Dolly. Dolly’s husband Ted Richards was a traveller (known as an outrider in those days) for Ushers, the brewers at Trowbridge. Ted was murdered on Christmas Eve in 1925 leaving Dolly with a small daughter, who married a GI in the Second World War, and went to live in the US. Dolly went to live with them where she died in 1991.

Ambrose was known as “Brush”. He worked first as a baker and later by 1911 as a fibre Mat maker in the Cocoa Mat Factory in Highworth.  James, the youngest of the family, was known as “Jim”. He also worked first as a baker but when he died, sadly young,  at the age of 20 in 1904 was working as a mat maker. They probably obtained their employment as mat makers through their elder brother Charles Smith or because of contacts through the Zion Chapel with the “Smiths” the owners of the Mat factory

Stories have been told that the brothers often played tricks on one another and on one occasion they had a bet on who was the heaviest. John Crook won by putting weights in his pockets.

Kevin Hurley- March 2012


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February 2012 – Sarah Crook wife of Henry Peapell

February 2012 – Sarah Crook wife of  Henry Peapell

I have spent some time looking for Sarah Crook. I have some information and will continue to look for more.  Particularly as I have come across as much information about her siblings than I have about her.


Sarah Crook

Sarah Crook and her twin Elizabeth were born on 1st December 1838 at Highworth in Wiltshire. They were baptised the next day in the parish church.  Her father and mother, John Smith Anns Crook and Harriet Webb, had married in Highworth on 21 July 1834. They already had three children of which two were twins Ambrose and Elizabeth. These twins had died as soon as they were born and were buried 6 September 1835. Jane Crook was now the oldest child being age two years when Sarah and Elizabeth were born.

Two years later they were joined by William, and four years later again by Mary. William Crook would become well known in the area and was destined to own a mineral water bottle factory in Old Town Swindon.  One of Sarah’s sons John Crook Peapell lived with William Crook for a time in the 1890’s.

The family lived at Eastrop in Highworth. In 1851 they are living at Faringdon Road.


When Sarah was twenty she married Henry Peapell two years younger than herself.  They were married in Highworth Church. Henry was a labourer at this time. For many years Henry lived in a cottage on the road out of Highworth towards Faringdon. In 1881 the address in the census is 38 Eastrop Cottages, Highworth and in 1891 onwards at 12 The Gardens Eastrop. These may of course be the same place or close by but I am not sure. In 1901 her sixth son Frank Peapell lived at 11 The Gardens Eastrop which is probably next door.


Sarah had eleven children ten of which lived to become adults, including my great grandfather John Crook Peapell.

Sarah was known as being hard. Leah was her second daughter, and Sarah considered her to have married beneath the rest of the family. Once Leah asked Sarah to  help her make shirts for her husband. This was soon after Leah’s marriage. Sarah told Leah to unpick an old one and find out that way.


Sarah’s husband Henry died on 3 August 1926 aged 85. Sarah lived on eighteen months and died on 1 May 1928. She was buried in Highworth Cemetery.  She had lived to

  • bring up ten of her eleven children with eight still living,
  • had seen twenty six great grandchildren, three of whom had died, and thirteen of whom were married by this time
  • seen eleven great grandchildren

She had also heard about the husband of one of her grandchildren(Charles Ingram Richards)  being murdered in Trowbridge.



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Peapell Family Photograph

January 2012 – Peapell Family Photograph

The photograph used on the web page banner was taken on the occasion of the Marriage of Frank and Phene (2nd August 1897). It has Henry and Sarah at the centre and all their children and spouses. Some Grandchildren are also present but mostly cut off the bottom of the picture


Back Row – Will (William Webb) (son married to Bessie Poole) , Bert (Albert Edward) Giddings (Son-in-law married to Leah) , Frank (Married to Phene – Josephene Racine), Charlie (Son – Married to Alice Coffee who was pregnant and therefore could not have her photograph taken), Sarah Ann (Daughter), James Powell (Son-in Law married to Louise) Henry (Oldest Son) John Crook (second Son)

Middle  Row James (Son), Bessie (Elizabeth Poole – Daughter in Law) holding her second daughter Bernice Bessie (Granddaughter). Leah (daughter – married to Bert Giddings), Phene ( Daughter in Law married to Frank – Maiden name Josephene Racine) Sarah Crook (Wife of Henry ), Henry (Married Sarah Crook), Louise (daughter Married James Powell), Lottie (Daughter in Law – Charlotte Channin – Married Henry ), Fanny Richards (daughter in law married John Crook ) holding Fanny Richards  (Granddaughter parents John Crook and Fanny)

The Front Row is off the picture so I have included a copy of the photograph below

Harry Powell (Grandson ( Parents James and Louise Powell), Rosie  (Granddaughter parents William and Bessie), Ethel (Granddaughter Parents John Crook and Fanny ), May (granddaughter – Parents Lottie and Henry , John Grandson Parents John Crook and Fanny ), Reg Peapell (Grandson Parents John Crook and Fanny ), Ambrose son

If you want a digital copy please e-mail me

Peapell 00011 1024x762 Peapell Family Photograph

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Henry Peapell

January 2012 – Henry Peapell


Henry and Sarah Peapell are the couple at the centre of the banner picture on the web pages.


The earliest “Peapell” are recorded at Hannington in North Wiltshire just west of Highworth. They were born, married and died and the family gradually branched out from there into the nearby areas.  At the end of the 17th century my direct ancestor moved to Highworth where I still have relations today.

One moved to Coleshill, at the time in Berkshire and now in Oxfordshire, but even then some of his family moved back to Highworth. Common occupations were as carpenters, Butchers, and of course as labourers or the slightly more elevated husbandman, although there were also inn keepers and even a village constable and Baptist Minister.

My great great grandfather was Henry Peapell who with his wife Sarah, nee Crook, had eleven children, ten of who lived to be adults.


On the 21st of November 1840 James Peapell and Elizabeth his wife had their fifth child Henry Peapell in Westrop Highworth. One of their children James had died only a few days after being baptised. Henry was to have four more younger brothers and sisters. His mother was a Leighfield from Board Hinton on the other side of Swindon although the peculiarity of the Wiltshire dialect meant that her surname could be spelt as Lyvill or Livell.


Henry Peapell was baptised at the Methodist church on 25th December 1840, Christmas day, This was one of the few holidays that his parents would have had. All his brothers and sisters were also baptised at the Methodist church except for James born in 1834 and who died five days after being baptised at Highworth Church. The family had converted from the established church when one of the girls had married a Methodist lay preacher. Later when Henry & Sarah’s children married, some returned to the Church of England, while other attended either the Primitive Methodist or the Zion chapels.


Elizabeth, his mother died on 15th April 1855 aged forty five when Henry was aged fourteen. Henry would probably been working by now as an agricultural labourer. Elizabeth was certified with phthisis which probably means she died of Tuberculosis. She was buried in Highworth Churchyard.  The next year James Peapell, his father remarried to a widow Ann Herbert (nee Alexander). The marriage was short as within four months she died of Child Bed Epilepsy. James married again another widow Sarah Cooper (nee Lawrence) and together they had two more children.  James eventually died in Cheltenham age seventy.


When Henry was eighteen he married Sarah Crook who was two years older than him. They were married in Highworth Church. Henry was a labourer at this time. For many years Henry lived in a cottage on the road out of Highworth towards Faringdon. My mother knew the site but I cannot be sure where it was at the moment – I need to do more research Later in 1881 the address in the census is 38 Eastrop Cottages, Highworth and in 1891 onwards at 12 The Gardens Eastrop. These may of course be the same place or close by but I am not sure. In 1901 his sixth son Frank Peapell lived at 11 The Gardens Eastrop which is probably next door.


After 1887 Henry is described in various places as a Contractor, Road Contractor, Road Foreman and Roadman. This suggests that he had become something more than a labourer at least in the eyes of his family.


Henry died a couple of years before Sarah his wife in 1926 but not before he had seen great grandchildren. His cause of death was given as 1) Chronic bronchitis, 2 Syncope Morbis

Syncope is complete and, commonly, sudden loss of sensation and motion, with considerable diminution, or entire suspension of the pulsations of the heart and respiratory movements. Syncope is, commonly, an affection of no consequence; but, sometimes, it is an index of diseased heart.


Charles Peapell Henry’s son was the (in attendance, The Green Highworth)


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December 2011 – New Zealand Peapell

December  2011 – New Zealand Peapell

Christmas has gone and New Year swiftly follows. I need to get this out in the short gap between the two holidays as I am also working.

I have had another contact through the “Peapell” website and again a distant relative. Another one I can follow up and find more and different information.

I have started to explore New Zealand Peapell. I have been greatly helped by the papers that I have inherited and am bringing them together. I have correspondence that my mother kept going back over 15 years and have now tracked down some of the missing Peapell families that just seemed to disappear. One of the letters (From New Zealand) referred to information that my mother had supplied on a “Henry Peapell” who was sent to Australia as a convict before 1800 by the look of it. I cannot find the information she had but I will keep looking and see if I can follow up the Australian end as well.

And finally I have upgraded this month from Rootsmagic 4 to Rootsmagic 5 which has a number of new features including research logs.

Kevin Hurley 29 December 2011

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November 2011 – George Peapell

November  – 2011 George Peapell


Today the British Library has made four million pages of newspapers from the 18th and 19th centuries available online. This is a wonderful opportunity and potential resource for one name studies anywhere.


I am coming to the end of capturing the main information on the “Peapell” name for the UK. I have been tidying up the parish baptisms, marriages and burials that I have gleaned from a number of sources (London, Wiltshire and Berkshire mainly).

I have found several interesting “Peapell” three of them named George. The first George is one I knew about from Mum’s research. He was a Baptist preacher in Highworth and also village constable.    He was buried in a vault in his house in Highworth which became a Baptist chapel.  An interesting character and needs a full write up from all the sources available at some time.

The second George is George Peapell the Metropolitan Sergeant born in 1815 – I wrote about him last month. My real interest is not so much about him but his children who seem to have varied and difficult to follow lives. One of George’s children (William) would appear to have been disinherited by the family but was still living close by for many years perhaps 30 or more.  In 1881 he was at the Royal Victoria Coffee Shop in London. After 1891 Williams is living with another relative Jane Peapell either his wife, niece, or sister depending on which source I look at!  Today the announcement that some newspapers are on line allowed me to search for Peapell. The first to come up was a newspaper called “The Era” – heard of it … no neither had I. On 24 Mar 1883 it reported “William Peapell, ‘aged forty, late Manager of the Victoria Coffee Palace Tavern (late Victoria Theatre), was brought up at Southwark Police-court, on Thursday, from Margate, by Detective-Sergeant Jupe, IL division, charged with stealing 102 Ss. 5d”.   Then I found the “Reading Mercury” on 31 Mar 1883 “William Peapell, late manager of the Victoria Coffee Palace Tavern, has been sentenced to six months’ hard labour for stealing £102 the property of the working committee. The Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland has commuted the sentence of death passed at Kild …”. So that was why he was his family seems to have disowned him!  I will have to get the full articles and any others I can find.

The third… well I have found a George Peapell who married Jane Allen on 18th October 1866 at St Luke Chelsea, London. He was a “servant” and his father, also called George, was also a “servant” according to the marriage register (on line through I cannot link them to the main Peapell tree yet although it is likely they are. Why do I think so…the witnesses to the marriage are Charles and Ann  Marie Peapell.  I am certain they are the Charles Peapell and Ann Marie Warren who married in April 1851 in London.  Charles was a servant to Lord Radnor (rising to Butler) at Coleshill before becoming a railway constable in London.  But I have no record of George as a brother or cousin but he was a similar age to Charles.  George became a coachman later and George and Jane died without children The next entry in the newspapers archive is  “London Daily News” 14 September 1874 “George Peapell, a coachman, was reexamined, charged with assaulting Jane, his wife, Mr. W. Doveton Smyth defended. The wife, who was unable to walk from the effects of kicks she had received, said that seven weeks ago she and her husband left the serv …” – This looks like the same George Peapell.

So I know I have to get the full articles now and find what other information I can glean – I think a years subscription is over the top for a few pages but a two day subscription for £6.95 may be just right if I can make sure I know what I am looking for.


Next is a choice or choices, do I follow up these loose ends, start on the overseas “Peapell”, or start on “Peapell variants”…


Kevin Hurley 29 November 2011



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October – 2011 Peapell Website new contact

October – 2011 Peapell Website new contact

I had a second contact through the Website this month. This time it was from Highworth.  After an exchange of e-mails I feel I really need to start making more of the information I have… but one thing at a time – first I need to finish off the current trawl through Peapell.

I have extended the number of “Peapell” linked to the main Branch to around 65% of all GRO Births Marriages and deaths. I have also re- confirmed the links my mother identified with the Australian and New Zealand branches.  I am not intending to research those branches in detail but to document the information that my mother collected from overseas contributors.

What I have been engaged in and somewhat sidetracked me is George Peapell the metropolitan Police Sergeant and later a gardener. He was born in Lydiard, Wiltshire and moved to London with his father and mother John and Ann. The story of his children and families is fascinating me and I need to spend more time on tracking them down.  I have found some of his cases at the National Archive and Old Bailey websites.  Trying to follow what happened to his children and work out will keep me going for some time so maybe next year I can report on what I have found out.


Kevin Hurley 31 October 2011


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October 2011 – Guild of One name studies – Regional Meeting at Ullenwood

October – Guild of One name studies – Regional Meeting at Ullenwood

This was a bright sunny Saturday day in mid October.  I drove up from Wiltshire on my way back to north Worcestershire to the National Star College at Ullenwood just outside Cheltenham


First of all I must start with my thanks to Gerald Cooke and  Alan Moorhouse for organising an excellent day.

The meeting was a small but livly group and there was good discussions from which I found out so much.

Guild Wiki – The talk from Gerald Cook was an excellent reminder of the value of the guild Wiki and Gerald gave a very useful demonstration of some of the contents.  This is definitely something I need to look at again as there is so much information and helpful tips available.

DNA – Polly Rubery outlines use of DMS in a one name stidy based on her previous seminar presentation.  From this I learnt how  her study had used DNA to prove and disprove family relationships.  I also found out about types of tests. This was useful as I have little knowledge before the session.

One-name study over decades – SERMON – John Sermons talk over a five decade study was interesting. The twists and turns and particularly the DNA results to help the study along is fascinating. Clearly he has a bigger study than “Peapell” but food for thought.


Other things that I will follow up includes Facebook usage for both extending my study and  making contact with GooNs ion the area, FaNUK study of places and names and looking at how the guild marriage challenges may help me.


Kevin Hurley 30 October 2011

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September 2011 – one “Peapell” family tree

2011 September – Progress towards one “Peapell” family Tree

After last month, when we had the kitchen renewed and then a holiday, I now have had a chance to continue building the extended Peapell Family.

I have completed a first check through all the England and Wales GRO Index (Births Marriages and Deaths) for “Peapell” from Quarter 3 1937 to 2005. I have also checked all the England and Wales census information from 1841 to 1911.  I have now linked together in one “Peapell” extended family nearly two thirds (over 60%) of Births, Marriages and Deaths and around three quarters (65% to 80%) of the Census entries. This is far higher than I expected when I commenced three months ago as long ago Beryl Hurley established there are at least two separate families back as far as 1600.

There are other “Peapell” that may be linked in as well but I need more information from my mother’s files or by checking original records but we now know that one extended family relates together the majority of the “Peapell” through time and also that are alive today.

I have been fascinated by some of the stories that I have turned up and want to know more about some of these relations of mine.

So what next – I need to extend both to other variants of the name and also to non UK based “Peapell” families. There is lots of information in the files still to mine so the first step is to read through all my mothers files again knowing a lot more about they family

That means learning to read the many old wills and other documents is on the back burner for the time being.

Finding  Family

A contact from a third cousin who I have never met but who found this site from google has made me think about seeking out relations. I know that my mother had correspondence with lots of relations and I need to see if I can find them and re-establish friendship. Thankyou Karen for getting in touch.


Kevin Hurley

Looking for Peapell

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