Chitterne Now and Then
Blog Archive - April 2013

Tuesday 30th April 2013 - The George Family

After reading in the May edition of Chit Chat that JG, the last member of the George family, has quit the village I thought it would be interesting to see exactly how long there have been Georges in Chitterne.

I found that they go back quite a long way. The first to arrive here as far as I can tell was William George, the son of a yeoman from Maddington, just a few miles down the road to Shrewton, who married Mary Gye at Chitterne All Saints Church on the 21st of December either in 1692 or 1699 (the record is not very clear). They had two children to my knowledge, William and Anne. William was baptised at Chitterne All Saints on 7th January 1700, but we lose track of him after that. Unless he is an ancestor of the William George who married Betty Parker on the 14th October 1759 at Chitterne All Saints and died there in 1792. We can't make the connection yet between the William Georges and our own Ernie George, not until we look at Thomas George, born about 1760, so he may have been a son of William and Betty although I can't prove that.

Thomas George was said to be a labourer 'of Chitterne All Saints' when he married Betty Sainsbury of Chitterne St Mary in Chitterne St Mary Church on the 1st August 1784. Betty was a member of the Sainsbury family who ran the White Hart Inn (pictured right) at that time, and that is interesting because a branch of the George family were landlords of the White Hart themselves in the 1850 - 1860s. James George, Thomas and Betty's eldest son born 1787, was a carrier by trade and James' son Thomas born 1815 was a carrier and beer house keeper at the White Hart.

We need to backtrack a bit to find Ernie's line though, as Thomas George and Betty Sainsbury had seven children. Their third son Thomas, born in 1795, leads us to Ernie via his eldest son John George, born 1816. John's mother was Jane Poolman, so a link was made with another established Chitterne family. In 1846 John married Caroline Dewey, of the Dewey family who were the village blacksmiths back then, although John himself is described in the records variously as a farmworker, a groom and a gardener. John and Caroline's eldest son another Thomas, born 1847, a farmworker and maltster, married Maria Mabbitt of Imber in 1868. Their youngest son William Frank, born 1887, was Ernie's father. William Frank was a waggoner, a private in the first World War and lived in Chitterne All Saints. He married Ella Susannah Hillier in 1913 and Ernest Frank was their fourth son. Ernie was in the army in the second World War and met J on returning home to Chitterne, where her family were running the King's Head (see left), and so the story of the Georges comes full circle.

Thursday 18th April 2013 - Dillington

I'm back from a stitching course at Dillington, where we are known as the Urchfont Sewing Group. This is because of the demise of Urchfont Manor residential college our group's erstwhile home. Urchfont's loss is Dillington's gain, or to put it another way: Wiltshire's loss is Somerset's gain since Dillington House is near Ilminster and run by Somerset County Council. And run very well, I must say. I am feeling several pounds heavier than before I went thanks to the marvellous food, and well-rested thanks to the luxurious accommodation. Each room in the new purpose built Hyde Building has its own wet room and is equipped with five-foot wide beds with cotton sheets etc. Some rooms even have their own balconies. No wonder Dillington describes itself as the only 5 star residential college in the country.

This time we were stitching in one of the new studios in the Hyde Building. See the photos. It was fabulous, not only for the light and space but for the beautiful view across the Somerset countryside. After a 3-course lunch I took advantage of the good weather, which arrived with perfect timing, and walked some of the quiet country paths around the estate in an effort to make more space for the tea and cakes on offer at 3pm.

I am now stitching the first of two of the square back cushions for my sofa. This is how it is looking after my Dillington efforts.

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