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Miller Heron

Eric Trudgill    -    2 April 2012

George Hall’s Heron Family Tree was one of the gypsiologists’ great accomplishments, but its early data is often doubtful, and where testable sometimes clearly wrong. It begins, for example by listing 22 children of the great Richard Heron, but the first, Solivino Heron,was not in fact Richard’s son (he was baptised in 1775 in Haslingfield Cambs son of Solivino and Rose); and the seventh, William Heron, was not in fact father by Potovene of a Macey (Macey Ern was baptised in 1808 in Wittering Northants daughter of Miller and Potovene, probably the Portovini Boswell christened in Seaton Rut in 1778 daughter of Letitia).

Miller himself was almost certainly baptised as Tullmilliar Bossell by unnamed parents in Norton Herts in 1774: I say almost certainly because Richard Heron’s two wives were reputedly Boswell sisters; because Miller’s principal wife, Winifred Boswell daughter of Shadrach, was baptised two years earlier (in the next county, in Asheldam Essex); and because Norton is a couple of miles from the area around Hitchin where Lawrence Boswell wintered 1777-82 and perhaps earlier, Lawrence being probably close kin of the aforementioned Shadrach, and certainly son-in-law of the aforementioned Letitia, and father and grandfather of the husbands of two of Miller and Winifred’s daughters.

I haven’t yet found baptisms for any of Miller and Winifred’s children but I take Hall’s word for all of them. Pisanna, Trenit (sometimes Mary), and Rhoda are found, where he claimed them to be, in the baptisms of their children; and Sarah (presumably Hall’s Yunaici), William, Aaron, and Perun, using the name Young which by now had displaced Heron in the family, are all with Miller in the 1851 census (with Winifred’s niece, Maria Boswell, and her children). From all this it seems either Miller and Winifred married somewhat late or most of their children did (Perun and maybe Rhoda the only exceptions).

Pisanna, perhaps the oldest, born perhaps about 1800, married her uncle, Thomas Heron son of Richard (baptised in 1797). I’ve documented all the children Hall gave them except Acorn and Norrit. Pisanna’s Khulai was christened, I believe, in 1820 in Gedney Lincs(not far from Spalding, where he said he was born) as Goliath Hurn son of Thomas and Susanna; perhaps the cleric was hard of hearing.Khulai had by Dorelia Boswell (daughter of Winifred’s brother, Tiso) the following children, all Youngs: Eubon (baptised in Cottingham Yks in 1845 son of Carli and Sarah) who married Isaac Heron’s daughter, Trenit; Thomas (baptised in Castleford Yks in 1848 son of Kali and Reely); Edward (baptised in Collingham Yks in 1850 son of Carlisle and Rhea) who married Jack Gray’s daughter, Isabella; Siarah (baptised in Yapham Yks in 1853 daughter of Elius Young and Oreliah Boswell); and Nelson (baptised in Rudston Yks in 1855 son of Goliath and Aurelia).

Pisanna’s Perpagellion was baptised in Tamworth Staffs in 1824 as Purpagilion Heron daughter of Thomas and Spizanni; I’m unconvinced as yet by the husband and children Hall gave her. Pisanna’s Airant was baptised in Kirk Smeaton Yks in 1830 as Aaron Heron son of Thomas and Pizanna. Pisanna’sOti, also known as Fiddler Jack, was baptised as Alfred Youngs in Holbeach Lincs in 1832, had a childless marriage with his cousin, Vashti Heron/Young daughter of Aaron, and was buried in Withernsea Yks in 1894 aged 63. Pisanna’s Goliath was baptised as Golliars Youngs in Long Riston Yks in 1834 son of Thomas and Boysianna, and married Jack Gray’s Youancry: they had an Aaron, born in Yks about 1863, who allegedly married Khulai’s Siarah; an Owen Young, baptised in Acklam Yks in 1867 aged nearly two, jointly with a daughter of Khulai’s son, Edward; a Sarah born in Yks about 1867; a Wilhelmina, born in Yks about 1870, who married successively Samson and Wymore Young, sons of Khulai’s Edward; a Joshua born in Durham about 1873; and a Conrad born in Northumberland about 1878.

To these children of Pisanna we can surely add the Frederick (following Hall) who married Lucy Williams (baptised in 1821, a granddaughter of Winifred Boswell’s brother, Tiso), and christened a Richender Young in Walkington Yks in 1846 and a Shandras Young in Humbleton Yks in 1847, both on the family’s turf. We can surely add the James Young, husband of Mary, who in 1850 christened an Abednego in the same church and on the same day as Khulai christened Edward; and we can possibly add the John Young, husband of Caroline, who in 1847 christened a Eustacia in the church Khulai used ten months later for Thomas. Maybe James or John was otherwise known as Norrit.

Miller’s Trenit, born in Lincs, perhaps about 1805, married the widowed Moses Boswell son of Lawrence (baptised in 1788) in Duffield Derbys in 1826. Their children, all Boswells, are easily traced: Campion, baptised in 1827, died in 1829; Nelson, baptised in 1830, married Eldery Boswell; Isaiah, born about 1833, married Eldery Sherriff; Clara, baptised in 1835, died in 1860; Emma, baptised in 1838, married John Williams; Gentilla, baptised in 1841, married first George Ride and then Alfred (Thomas) Sherriff; Merner, baptised in 1844, died a few months later; and John, baptised in 1846, also died young.

Miller’s Rhoda, born in Norfolk perhaps about 1810, married Nathan Boswell (baptised 1809) son of Trenit’s husband, Moses, by his first wife. Their children, all Boswells, like Trenit’s are easily traced: Samson, baptised in 1827, married his cousin, Caroline Boswell daughter of Aaron; Elijah was buried in 1846, supposedly twelve but probably a little older; Dilanda, baptised in 1834, married Charles Cutts; George, baptised in 1839, married a widow, Mary Ann Leonard; Makkeda, baptised in 1842, was buried in 1858; and Lucretia, baptised in 1844, died unmarried in 1905.

Miller’s Sarah/?Yunaici, born about 1813, I haven’t been able to trace beyond the 1851 census, but his son, William, born in Lancs about 1815 and husband of Shurensi Chilcott (baptised in 1818), appeared in the 1861 census with the following children: Walter, born in Yks about 1841; Noah, born in Yks or Lincs about 1843; Lorani, born in Ipswich Suffolk about 1847; Mackenzie, born in Yks about 1851; and Lenda, born in Yks about 1855. Walter and Mackenzie both died unmarried. But Noah married Caroline Lee (baptised in 1841, daughter of Charles and Union) and had Oscar Young, baptised in York in 1866, who married Louisa Robinson daughter of Samson in Blackpool Lancs in 1887; Beatrice Young, baptised in Tranmere Cheshire in 1873; Charlotte, born about 1877, who married Arthur Townsend; and allegedly a Percy and Leondra. Lorani married her cousin, Mackenzie Boswell, and had by him 1865-84 Alamina, Lily, Hamelin, Gertrude, Burns, Hetty, Ethel, and Harold Boswell. And Lenda married Rabbi Smith and had a Herbert Smith, born in Liverpool about 1880, and an Archer Smith, baptised in Walton on the Hill Lancs in 1889.

Miller’s Aaron was born in Leics about 1818 and married Riley Boswell’s daughter, Deloreni (baptised in 1820). They had Shandry Heron, baptised in Hedon Yks in 1844; Vashti, born about 1846, who married her cousin, Alfred son of Pisanna; Byron Young, baptised in Lissington Lincs in 1849; Oliver, born in Lincs about 1851; Louisa, born about 1854, who allegedly married Jack Freer; Ada Froniga Young, born in the Registration District of Holbeach Lincs in 1858; Delilah, born about 1860; Walter, born in Yks about 1862; Leanawell Young, baptised in Wighill Yks in 1866; and Rhoda, born in Yks about1868. Hall was right about Froniga’s marriage to Robert Johnson (which took place in Drypool Yks in 1878, and produced by 1891 a Maud, Walter, Algar, Mackenzie, and an unnamed daughter). You would expect Hall to be right too about Byron’s marriage to a Rodi Elliott he claimed was the daughter of Byron’s aunt, Perpagellion; you’d expect him to be right since two main sources of the Heron Tree, Isaac and Isa Heron, were the father and brother of Byron’s second wife. But Hall also claimed Byron and Rodi had no children, whereas the 1891 census gave them offspring, born about 1865-71, named after three of Byron’s siblings, Oliver, Louisa, and Walter. So, for me, the jury’s still out on this one.

Miller’s Perun, born in Barnsley Yks about 1820 according to the census, and buried in Sheffield Yks in January 1853 “aged 34”, married first Caroline Chilcott (born about 1822 and sister of the wife of Perun’s brother, William), and then Eliza Gray daughter of Winifred Boswell’s niece, Maria. By Caroline Chilcott Perun had two children: Albert Young, baptised in Thorpe Hesley Yks in 1841, who married in Blackpool Lancs in 1876 Dorelia Barnes (baptised in 1847) widowed daughter of Winifred’s nephew, Edward Boswell; and Regenda, born about 1843, who married William Townsend and had a Noah, Arthur, Lawrence, Maud and Flossie about 1868-81. And finally by Eliza Gray Perun had Fameridge (Phoebe) Young, baptised in Felkirk Yks in 1846, who married Shandras Gray (baptised in 1854); Esau Young, baptised in Bardsey Yks in 1848, who married Shandras’ sister, Elvira Gray; and Emperor Young, baptised in Dalby Yks in 1854, who died unmarried in 1876, childless like Fameridge and Esau.

Copyright © 2012 Eric Trudgill