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Johnny Ancorn Smith

Eric Trudgill    -    4 September 2011

Johnny was a son of William Ancorn and Aquilla Smith, and a brother of Bethulla and Nymphaney, the first baptised in Finmere, Oxon in 1785 daughter of William Anchorn, vagrant, and Equally, the second baptised in Launton, Oxon in 1787 as an Anscombe Smith daughter of Guilly, vagrant, and buried in Bicester, Oxon four months later as the unnamed infant daughter of William Anscombe and Aquila Smith. Johnny did use his father’s surname, but more often his mother’s.

His first wife was Fallowfield Smith, who was christened in Hatherop, Glos in 1784 daughter of Jonah and Constant, and died in Bisley, Glos in 1863 “aged 79” daughter of Jonas Smith, pedlar. Johnny and Fallowfield’s first child was surely a William Hancorn, named after Johnny’s father, christened in Corsham, Wilts in 1808 (“born 22/6/1804”), and misrecorded some time later as Welleno Hancock daughter of John and Fellowphaney, gypsies.

Their next child was Christiana Smith, baptised in Whichford, Wks in 1806, and the next after her I’ve found were Mary Smith, baptised in Bishopstone, Wilts in 1814, Dililah Smith, baptised in Southrop, Glos in 1817 (jointly with Cynthy Buckland, daughter of Absolom Buckland and Fallowfield’s sister, Eleanor), and Silverthorn Smith (named after Fallowfield’s brother), born about 1819 according to his stated age at his wedding.

Johnny and Fallowfield’s last four children were Edward (Ned) Smith, christened in Notgrove, Glos in 1824; Mary Ann, born (I’m guessing) in 1826; Eunetti (Unity) Smith, christened in Withingdon, Glos in 1828 (she and her husband witnessed Mary Ann’s wedding in 1849 in the church they’d married in two years earlier); and finally Alfred Smith, christened in Shrivenham, Oxon in 1829.

Johnny’s second wife was Fallowfield’s older sister, Agrippina (Gripy) Smith. Gripy had married the famous Major Lovell baptised in 1779, and had had by hima William Lovell, born about 1804 or a little earlier, an Eliza Lovell, baptised in 1807, and a George and Hercules Lovell, born respectively about 1810 and perhaps about 1812. By 1813 at the latest Gripy had left Major Lovell to travel with Johnny and Fallowfield, and Jubal Smith, baptised in Wroughton, Wilts in July 1814 “son of Gripy”, manifestly was also son of Johnny (at his wedding in Charlbury, Oxon in 1829 to Mary Smith, daughter of Wisdom and Elizabeth, he was recorded as Jubal Ancorn son of John, brazier).

I don’t know how long Gripy stayed with Johnny and Fallowfield, or whether she bore Johnny more children. It may be she soon returned to Major Lovell and had his Hercules at this point: she and Jubal, and Jubal’s half-brother Ned, certainly remained close to Major and Hercules Lovell; when Major died in Netherton, Worcs in 1853, his death-certificate recorded Edward Hancorn as present at the death, and 20 days later a daughter of Jubal Anchorn was jointly christened in Netherton with Jubal Lovell, son of Hercules.

Jubal in fact is the earliest of Johnny’s children I can follow into further generations. He and Mary had an Alfred Anchorn baptised in Oxon in 1842, who married Ellen Haines in Bristol in 1880. They had a Teana Smith baptised in Somerset in 1844, who married Adolphus Green (son of George Green and Gripy’s daughter, Eliza) in Bristol in 1867; Adolphus and Teana had 1871-1882 a Lydia (Melinda), Sophia, John, Ellen and Jubal (all christened as Greens, and all but Sophia in Bristol), plus an Arthur, born in Worcs about 1883.

After Teana came AlbinaAnchorn, baptised in Oxon in 1847, who married an Annie Russell and had in Bristol 1870-1887 an Albina, Alfred, Alice, Beatrice, Edwin, Ernest, James and Bertie. Jubal and Mary then had two short-lived sons, PharoahHancorn and Isaiah Ancorns, baptised respectively in Worcs in 1849 and Wks in 1850; next Sophia Anchorn, the daughter christened in Netherton in 1853, who allegedly married a John Farmer; then Jesse (possibly Jessie) Smith, baptised in Worcs in 1858; and finally William Smith, baptised in Wks in 1862, who married Relley Buckland (presumably the granddaughter of Gripy Smith’s sister, Eleanor) in Bristol in 1884.

Johnny’s son, Silverthorn, is harder to trace than Jubal. He married Mary Loveridge (18 daughter of William) in Stratton, Wilts in 1840, his father not named but John Smith was a witness. Thirteen months later, again in Stratton, an Eliza Smith was christened daughter of Silverthorn, labourer, and Eliza, and in Poulton, Somerset in 1861 an Edwin Smith was christened son of Silverthorn and Eliza. Otherwise I’ve found nothing.

Johnny’s son, Ned married a Mary Ann Smith, of unknown parentage, who when widowed married Shadrach Scarrott. Ned and Mary Ann had a Mizelli inWorcs about 1848, who married Francis Stephens, son of Leonard and Charlotte, and had between about 1869 and 1895 a Francis, Emmanuel, Nathaniel, Matthew, Edward, Matilda, Minnie, William, Mosella, Fiance, Sophia and Fear Not. Next came Deloraifi (usually Matilda) and Eldorai Smith, baptised in Worcs in 1851 and 1854 respectively, sisters who married brothers, Cornelius and William Lovell (grandsons of Gripy Smith): Cornelius and Matilda Lovell had between about 1873 and 1891 an Edith, Matilda, Elijah, Shandrus, Thomas, William, Aldy and Ambrose, but William and Eldorai Lovell were childless.

Next among Ned’s children, after Eldorai, came Temperance, born about 1857, who married Shadrach Scarrott’s son, Theophilus, and had between 1876 and about 1896 a Mizella, Meshach, Ada, Amelia, Alfred, Lily, Daisy, Thomas, Frederick and William. Then came Thomas Smith, baptised in Worcs in 1859, who in 1882 married Sinfoy Boswell, daughter of Bohemius; Shandrus Smith, born in Worcs in 1862, who in 1882, four weeks after Thomas and in the same Register Office, married Sinfoy Boswell’s sister, Lavinia; and finally Ambrose Smith, baptised in Wks in 1866, who married Ellen, the widow of Henry Scarrott. Of these three sons only Shandrus definitely had children: between his marriage and 1900 a Myra, Herbert, Mazelly, Bertie, Reuben and Albert (the gypsiologists gave him also an Ena, Tileni, Edward and Freedom).

Johnny’s daughter, Unity, is relatively easy to trace: I’ve found eight children christened under her husband,WilliamShayler’s surname: an Edwin in Brize Norton, Oxon in 1848, and a Frederick, Emma, Adelaide, Lizzie,William, Sarah Jane, and Walter in Leafield, Oxon 1852-1874.

Johnny’s son, Alfred, who married Peggy Buckland, daughter of Edward (Winggi) Buckland and Lucy, is more difficult. Alfred and Peggy appear in Gloucestershire in each census from 1861 to 1881, with children said to have been born in Gloucestershire:Eleanora about 1858, Alithea (alleged by some to have been Peggy’s child by Mantus Buckland) about 1860, John about 1863, Sibi or Subi about 1865, Mary about 1868, Delia about 1873, and Albina about 1875. But I’ve found baptisms only for Mary and Delia, and off-spring only for Delia (I think she married Isaac Smith, son of Thomas and Ann, and had between about 1892 and 1900 an Anne, John, Mary and Percival). It helps of course when you’ve got exotic names to deal with, like Bethulla, Nymphaney, Gripy and Fallowfield.

Copyright © 2011 Eric Trudgill