'A Millennium History of Great Gidding'. Copies may be purchased at £10 (plus postage and packing) per copy from Great Gidding village shop or by contacting:

Patrick Ellis at prc.ellis@ndirect.co.uk or on +44 (0)1332 840064 or

David Shepherd on +44 (0)1832 293479 .



Little Gidding Church
St John's Church, Little Gidding
Great Gidding | Little Gidding | Steeple Gidding | Family Histories

The Gidding Name
The village name
The family name

Family Histories
The Crawleys (1700 - 1880) (Janine Glass, Ian Hicks, Maureen Bryson)
The Cheneys (1750 - 1960) (Cynthia Cheney)
The Goodwins (1714 - 2001) (Elaine Lloyd, Elaine Mclean)
The Brawns (1810 - 1964) (Richard Hasseldine, Gill Adams)
The Garratts and Palmers - Two closely connected farmimg families NEW

The Gidding Name

The following information has been kindly supplied by Patrick Ellis

I have been contacted by several people with the surname Gidding who are interested to know if there are any records of people of that name in the village. I thought it might be worth bringing together the small amount of information that we have.

The Village name
The village of Gidding is an early one and was probably first in settled between 500 and 700 AD. Villages with "ing" in them ('ingas' meaning 'people of' or 'followers of') are among the earliest Anglo-saxon villages - . "Gidding" is said to mean "Gydel's People" or "settlement of the family or followers of a man called Gydda".

In a transcription of Domesday Book the village name has been transcribed as Redinges (but the R is believed to be a misreading of a G) and Gedelinge (but the "el" is more probably a "d") - so we have the spellings : Gedinges and Geddinge.

There is also a Gedding in Suffolk and there is/was a Giddinge in Kent.

Some of the variation of names by which the village has been known over the years can be put down to the fact that until the mid 1700's there was no standard way of spelling. In later documents Gidding Engaine, Gidding Prior, and Gidding Moynes referred to particular parts of the Parish. The Latin forms Gidding Magna (and Gidding Parva) were used even when the rest of the document was in English, and Magna was sometimes translated as Much or High. Greate Gyddynge, Grette Gidden and Gros Giding are some of the many spelling variations on Wills, Inventories and Deeds. There does not seem to be any consistent change of spelling through the centuries - just people showing degrees of independence.

The Family name

Before surnames were in common use, people were often named after the places they came from. A very early record is from 1205 where Richard de Geddinges was mentioned in Pipe Rolls for Huntingdonshire.

The earliest list of names we have for Great Gidding is from 1327 containing names like Henry de (from) Weston, William de Bernwell, John de Ramsey etc. In particular there were two : Randolph de Gydd and Robert de Gydd.

However if everyone in Gidding was named Gidding it would become very confusing and not helpful. It was usually only when you moved away that there was some sense of distinguishing between John de Gidding and John de Barnwell and John de Weston etc. Maybe they left the village for a while - assumed the name and later returned to Gidding. Perhaps other people called Randolph and Robert arrived from another village and it was necessary to identify the resident Randolph and Robert? Perhaps they were (or considered themselves to be) important people in the village or came to represent the village.

In 1337/8 a Feet of Fines document mentions Henry Geddynge (of Warwickshire) where the 'of' or 'de' has been dropped.

By the 17th century there were many examples of the name. Between 1662 and 1674 Charles II tried to raise money to build a navy by charging Hearth Taxes - depending on the number of chimneys in the house. Ken Sneath has found the Gidding surnames listed below in the Huntingdonshire 1662 or 1664 Hearth Tax lists. I understand that there are also many Giddings in Bedfordshire at about this time - including Baron in the Clay.

There is also a record on the Protestation return of 1642 from Devon of a John Giddins.

I have searched all my records, but can find no Giddings who have lived in the village since 1327. However I have just heard from someone whose mother - a Giddings - lived in one of the Giddings. Watch this space.

Patrick Ellis - October 2002

Huntingdonshire occurrences of the Surname Gidding(s) - Hearth Tax 1662/4

Easton Parish
Olive Gidding (4 Hearths)
Ellington Parish
William Giddings (4 Hearths)
William Giddings (1 Hearth)
Barham Parish
Edward Giddings (4 Hearths)
Doddington Parish
Thomas Gidding (2 Hearths)
Southo [Southoe] Parish
Nicholas Gidding (2 Hearths)
Faith Giddings widow (2 Hearths)
St Ives Parish
Robert Giddings (2 Hearths)
Francis Giddings
Ramsey Parish
William Giddings

Family Histories

The following name lists have been kindly supplied by Patrick Ellis. Further information has been compiled in 'A Millenium History of Great Gidding" .

Lists of names from the past 400 years .

1599 from a rent book, Hearth Tax
1641 from the Map, Manor Court Rolls and Protestation Return
1674 from Hearth Tax
1724 from the Terrier, Sheep Commons and Manor Court Rolls
1788 from Churchwarden and Overseers Accounts
1827 from Lannd Tax
1851 from the Census and Tithe Map
1891 from the Census
1951 from Voting list

A brief history of several families associated with Great Gidding

The following information has been kindly supplied by Patrick Ellis. There are also some additions and updates kindly supplied by living relatives. (These are reproduced in their entirety)

The Crawleys (1700 - 1880) (Janine Glass, Ian Hicks, Maureen Bryson)
The Cheneys (1750 - 1960) (Cynthia Cheney)
The Goodwins (1714 - 2001) (Elaine Lloyd, Elaine Mclean)
The Brawns (1810 - 1964) (Richard Hasseldine, Gill Adams)
The Garratts and Palmers - Two closely connected farmimg families NEW

I have written a brief history of these principal families from which we are descended ( a slight expansion of the entries in the appendix of the Millennium History (pages 104 and 105)) to take these families down to mention people from whom more recent individual entries could be added.

The Crawleys – Successful Farmers and later – Innkeepers (1700 – 1880)

Edward Crawley arrived in Great Gidding from nearby Wooley before 1700 and farmed a few acres of land, which he increased to perhaps twenty acres by the time of his death in 1748. He lived in the cottages which Tom Faulkner owned until very recently at No 57 Main Street. His Inventory, valued at £118 shows the house was well equipped (for example he had sheets, pillow-cases and table napkins and a clock) and there were the basic necessities of farming in the stable and the yard. He had 2 horses, a cow, a pig and 39 sheep. It also shows that the cottage consisted of a kitchen and a parlour downstairs and two chambers upstairs, with a buttery and a back buttery behind and a shop and stable in the yard. He left but a shilling to his younger son, Thomas, who must have benefited from the good times of the period as he died in 1779 running a 100 acre farm called Town Farm which might have been situated where Veazey’s shop stood, next to manor Site Farm (together with 5 horses, 8 cows and 86 sheep) and leaving an Inventory valued at £335. By 1787 there were four Crawley Brothers who signed the Cow Common Officers’ book as Principal Inhabitants of the village (see Chapter 5.2), and by the turn of the century three of the Crawleys between them farmed over 350 acres.

It appears that Robert Crawley, Thomas’ eldest son, took over Town Farm from his father until about 1782 when he moved to another farm. Thomas’ second son, Thomas farmed a 150 acre farm (which I cannot yet place) from 1783 until in 1786 he handed over 50 acres to his youngest brother David, and in 1788 he appears to have left the village. David farmed his 50 acres until 1804 when he seems to have left the village, before reappearing before 1822 and dying two years later.

I believe John Crawley, Thomas’ third son farmed from Manor Farm from about 1785. Sometime between 1800 and 1803 he handed the farm over to his son Strickson (named after John’s wife, Martha Strickson – the Stricksons were first farmers and later leather-workers), who disappeared from the record in 1827, and was said to be ‘of Hemington’ when he died in 1858.

Robert, as well as farming was also dispensing ale (as recorded in the same Cow Common Officer’s accounts) from the early 1780s until at least 1796 and this points the way to the future for the Crawleys. In 1804 he gave up farming and lived until 1815. He was followed in this trade by his younger brother John and in 1811 there is a record of John's son Strickson Crawley owning what was then known as the Bull and Boar Inn. John died in 1804 and by 1807 the job of running the Inn fell to Sarah Crawley, the widow of Edward Crawley (Thomas’ fourth son and a carpenter and wheelwright). By 1827 it had been taken over by Sarah's eldest son, William, who as well as being a farmer, ran it until after 1850, by which time it was known as the Fox and Hounds.

William's younger brother, John - also a farmer, took over the running of the Rose and Crown Inn before 1847 until his death in 1867, when his wife Ann (Nee Bellamy) took over until her own death in 1876.

When William died, his son-in-law George Smith (husband of Eliza Crawley) took over at the Fox until 1869. For a number of years the Inn went outside the Crawley family - but by 1881 it was back with William, the eldest son of the long-serving William.

The Crawleys were a widespread family and it is understood that it was a Crawley from Lincolnshire who built at least three of the larger houses in the village following the 1862 fire.


Crawley family update from Ian Hicks

Patrick Ellis has asked me as a descendant of William Crawley to send you a short review of the Crawleys after leaving Great Gidding which is attached.

William Crawley, landlord of the Fox & Hounds until 1850, had married Lydia Heighton, daughter of Jeffrey Heighton a Great Gidding blacksmith, and they had twin sons William Heighton, named after his mother, and Edward and also five daughters.

William Heighton left Great Gidding between 1841 and 1851 and became apprenticed to a baker near Wantage and subsequently married his daughter Harriet Hyde about 1871, set up a bakery business in Woolwich and in 1877 moved to another bakery in Beenham, Berks. In this period they had three sons who all emigrated to Canada in 1908, and three daughters. William returned to Great Gidding as tenant of the Fox & Hounds from 1881 to 1884 where a fourth son was born but died in infancy.

In 1885 William moved to Battersea where he owned a bakery and off-licence until he died in 1900.

The eldest of the daughters, Rhoda, married Charles Collins and their two grandchildren live in the Brighton area.

The second daughter married William Oldham but had no children of her own.

The youngest daughter, Harriet Lydia, married Harry Humberstone and had a daughter Aleen who had two sons Peter retired CEGB engineer who lives in Surrey and Donald retired local government officer in Cambridge. The other daughter Olive had a son David retired sales manager who lives in Worthing a son Ian retired shipping and oil company manager who lives near Chichester and a daughter Maureen who is a journalist in Canada. The son Harry had two sons Anthony retired who lives near Chester and Michael retired Shell (Malaysia) manager who lives in Sidmouth.

Arthur Crawley who lives in Northampton is a direct descendant of John Crawley (and Phoebe Cheney) the son of John Crawley and Ann Bellamy.

There is also a descendant of Horace Crawley, son of John Crawley and Ann Bellamy living in Devon.


Crawley family update from Maureen Bryson, Las Vegas, Nevada

I am Maureen Bryson, my husband is a Crawley descendant from Great Gidding. I am sending some brief notes on our "branch" of the family which you may or may not want to add to the information that Ian Hicks sent you. Thank you for the Great Gidding site. We were in England for six years and have wonderful memories of our time there. Rainy days in Las Vegas (which are few and far between) make us "homesick."

Elizabeth Crawley, born 1748, was the 7th child of the Jane Clark and Thomas Crawley, who died in 1799, son of Edward Crawley. She was married in 1767 in Great Gidding to William Hopper, whose grandfather, John Hopper, had come from Tansor, Northamptonshire in the early 1700s.

In the next generation, Elizabeth Hopper, born 1813, also the 7th child, married Richard Abbott in 1799 in Great Gidding. In the course of our family research, we have concluded that Richard Abbott came >from Twywell, Northants. (It is interesting to note that their 7th child was also an Elizabeth!)

Their third child was Sarah Abbott, born 1803 in Great Gidding. She married John Butterworth in 1823 in Great Gidding. John Butterworth was born in 1797 in Luddington, Northants, and he and Sarah raised their family in Winwick. Their headstone is still in the Winwick churchyard, though at last report it was no longer standing. They had eleven children. The Butterworth family originated in Gretton, Northants, and has been traced back, so far, to William Butterworth or Butterwick, born about 1541.

John Butterworth and Sarah Abbott's second child was William Butterworth, born 1828 in Luddington. He married Mary Rose, born in 1825 in Oundle, Northants, in 1849 in Winwick. They had ten children all born in Winwick. In about 1854 William and Mary joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and in 1870 they left England, settling finally in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they both died. A full history for William and Mary (including brief histories for their parents) can be found at:

They have a large posterity in the United States, including descendants of one son who never came to Utah, but settled in Illinois. They are my husband's (Layne Bryson) gg grandparents.


The Cheneys – Another Farming Family (1750 – 1960)

The first sign of the Cheneys is when two brothers and a sister settled in the village in about 1769, having been born in Woodford, near Raunds. Josiah remained only about ten years . James was a cordwainer (shoemaker) and grazier and from him were descended the family who eventually farmed Grove Farm from 1861 for about fifty years. When he arrived in the village, he bought the copyhold on what would become Faulkner’s cottage – No 57 Main Street. James then rented another property – where Nos 52/54 Main Street now stand. Before they became successful enough to be able to rent Grove Farm, they farmed smaller areas. James’ eldest son, William from about 1805, farmed a hundred acre farm and a farm-house (which was later to be burnt down in the 1861 fire and not rebuilt) – just down the street from No 67, Warren House.

James’ second son, another James, rented the 120 acre farm directly across the street from about 1798. It, too, was burnt down in 1861 and was replaced by Laurel Farm. James Junior left the village in about 1815, for Luddington, (where he died in 1845), whereupon his elder brother, William took over this larger farm until, by 1827 he farmed nearly 300 acres, and moved to Lutton to run Manor Farm.

James Junior’s eldest son was another William, born in 1804, who was presumably brought up in Luddington, before marrying Elizabeth Ambrose in 1825 and setting up at Hamerton Lodge, where his first daughter, Susannah was born, and then moving to Old Weston where his only son, named William James was born.

William James came back to Great Gidding in about 1860 and moved into Gidding Grove Farm. The rent returns show him as ‘of Winwick’, so he may have spent some time there between farming at Old Weston and Great Gidding. We know that he married twice, as he was described as ‘widower’ when he was married to Elizabeth Coles in 1863. He stayed at Grove Farm until his death in 1888, when he was succeeded by his 23 year old eldest son who was also, helpfully, named William James. He was still there at the time of the 1910 Land Tax return.

The Cheneys, as was the case of the Brawns, were probably typical of many families, who did not stay settled in one village, but the generations moved around, no further than Hamerton, Old Weston, Winwick, Lutton, Luddington and Stilton.

The sister mentioned at the start of the Cheney story, Sarah, married Samuel Goodwin in 1778 – part of the Goodwin family, who had arrived in the village two generations before.


The Goodwins – Eight Generations in Great Gidding (1714 – 2000)

The first Goodwin to arrive was William, a turner from Cottingham, (very close to the Watson’s seat of Rockingham Castle), whose family very probably originated from Elton. William was married twice and had many sons, but there is only any record of one of them staying in the village. He was John, who was a labourer about whom we know little, except that he appears to have married Mary Andrews – a family who had been in the village since the 1500s – and when she died after 11 years of marriage, he appears to have married three more times in quick succession. At 4 wives he holds the record for the village!

John and Mary Andrews had two sons, Samuel and Thomas. Samuel started life as a shoemaker but later became a successful farmer – farming over 100 acres. In about 1816 a farm was taken over by Samuel from William Cheney (1772-1852). It is likely that Samuel made the advance from shoemaker by marrying Sarah Cheney – William Cheney’s Aunt. Samuel Goodwin died in 1826 and his son Josiah Goodwin took over until his death in 1841. This needs more work, but their house/cottage was probably on the site rented by Nathaniel Ditchins (or more likely Dickens) and shown on the 1851 map on page 59 of the History and was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1861. There is no dwelling house on the site now, which is just below Warren House. By 1851, Josiah’s widow Rebecca lived in the cottage just below the Rose and Crown. After 1851 this side of the Goodwin family appears to have left the village.

John Goodwin’s other son, Thomas, was not so clever with his marriage, as Sarah Turner came from another labouring family. Thomas had only one son, John, but he became a shoemaker, and possibly learned his trade from his uncle Samuel. By 1841 he was living immediately across Main Street from Church Farm, in the cottages which were replaced by the Village Hall. By the time of the 1851 Tithe Map he is shown as owning this land and renting the close below it. John died in 1855 and we find his labourer son John living in the same place, and by 1910 his eldest son Charles was living there.

There is still a Goodwin in Great Gidding in 2001 descended from one of Charles’ younger brothers, Edward – the eighth generation to live in Great Gidding, and the Goodwins are therefore easily the oldest Great Gidding family to start the new millennium.

In 1810, one of Josiah’s elder sisters, Elizabeth, married John Brawn, who was newly arrived in the village.


More information about the Goodwins supplied by Elaine Margaret Rose Lloyd of Rockhampton, Queensland Australia (Great-granddaughter of Arthur Goodwin Snr)

Arthur Goodwin Snr was born on 5th May 1862 in the village of Great Gidding as were four Goodwin forefathers. In 1879 Arthur and his wife Mary Ann (Boor) had a son also named Arthur and in 1881 a daughter Eliza was born followed by another daughter Amy born in 1883.

In 1888 Eliza contracted tuberculosis the local Doctor examined Eliza then informed Arthur Senior that if he did not take his daughter to a warmer climate she would die as chest problems from the cold and dampness from the snow was complicating her illness. After this advice from the Doctor, Arthur Senior was in the village of Great Gidding and investigated migration to a warmer place to take his family.

He returned home to his wife Mary and informed her that he had made arrangements for them to go to Australia because it was very warm in Australia and better still it was very dry as it only rained every few years and so for the sake of their daughter’s health they had to leave their parents and siblings behind in England.
On 6th February 1889 Arthur Snr, Mary, Arthur Junior ten years old, Eliza seven years old and Amy five years old left England for Australia on the British India Liner the "Dacca" and one week later on 13th February Eliza celebrated her eighth birthday on board and Amy celebrated her sixth birthday ten days later on 23rd February also during the voyage.

On arrival in Rockhampton in Queensland Australia on 30th March 1889 some seven weeks after leaving England, they sailed up the Fitzroy River to disembark at the Wharf but instead of being met with sunshine it was pouring rain which was a memory which stayed with this family, because they had been told that it was very warm and dry in Rockhampton, and it was warm but certainly not dry.

Arthur Snr and his children were taken to the Immigration Depot and Mary was taken to hospital due to complications experienced whilst pregnant by now with her fourth child, but she carried the baby for a further three months to give birth to a daughter Emma who was born on 6th June 1889. This baby was born with a cleft palate and died on 15th June at the age of three months.

Arthur acquired work with the Government Railway and worked in the harsh Australian sun to provide for his family but when 35 years old he became very ill with a heart condition and at the age of 37 years passed away after being in Australia for just ten years. By this time Arthur Jnr was 20, Eliza was 18 and Amy was 16 but there were a further four boys by now John 9, Edward 6, Charles 4 and Archibald 2..
Arthur Junior became the sole provider for the whole family and took over his father’s position in the Railway, pumping water for the steam engines, but a major benefit here was that a house had also been provided by the Railway.

In 1903 Mary Ann Goodwin married to Patrick Dowling and then applied for a Selection of land from the Australian Government and acquired it in her name only and with the help of her son Arthur she worked the property with great success followed in later years by the other boys as they grew in age whilst Patrick worked around other properties picking cotton and in 1905 they had a daughter Mary Ann.

The land Selection granted to Mary was named "Colorado" and is still in the Goodwin family today owned and managed by Arthur Goodwin Snr’s descendants.

In 1909, at the age of 30 years, Arthur Goodwin Junior married Elizabeth Sarah Smith and they had eleven children, the third born child being my mother Amy Adeline Goodwin who was born in 1914 and named for her Aunt.

The Goodwin family have kept a tradition of meeting every Friday lunch time for more than sixty years and during the time of Arthur Jnr’s life which lasted 91 years and ended in 1971, he would sit at the head of the table and tell his stories of the his early years of life in the village of Great Gidding and also stated relatives names, dates and other important family history information was provided and this was subsequently recorded by his children. One story was that he drove teams of horses to collect the wood when he was just eight/nine years old and it was something he enjoyed doing, another was that he went to school and was upset with the teacher and so he left and never went back therefore having very limited education but he was literate.

He provided for his wife and family by remaining in the Railway during the two WW1 and WW2 and for many years following. He assisted his stepfather in building the homestead on the property "Colorado", he also built his own house in Rockhampton, which was previously the Golden Arms Hotel, he taught himself to play the accordian, he tap danced, he grew his own vegetables and fruit trees, he had chickens and ducks from which the family had fresh eggs and their own cooked fowl on the dinner table, he also bred cattle and horses, he loved to take photos with a camera of the old style with a stand and black cloth, these being taken with glass slide negatives, which could be wiped and reused, he would then process his own photos in his dark room which he also built himself. He resoled all of the families shoes and repaired anything and everything in and around the home himself and made cutlery and cups etc from tin and metal, he was a respected, strong, caring and loving man providing in every way possible for family.

Because of the history of the Goodwin family in and around Rockhampton, the Rockhampton City Council are dedicating a Street name to our family of Goodwin.

Arthur Goodwin Senior left his homeland Country of England in 1889 to save his daughter Eliza’s life which was successful as she lived for 100 years, his son Arthur lived for 91 years but he himself lived for just 37 years. leaving behind his direct descendants in Australia which to date (year 2002) exceeds 278.

This information was supplied by -
Elaine Margaret Rose Lloyd of Rockhampton, Queensland Australia
Great-granddaughter of Arthur Goodwin Snr.


The Brawns – Bakers, Millers and Farmers (1810 – 1964)

The 1832 Ordnance Survey map shows a farm in Steeple Gidding called Brawns Lodge. This was probably named after a John Brawn who married one Rebecca Whitwell in 1770 and it would have been his son, also John, who settled in Great Gidding and married Elizabeth Goodwin in 1810. This first Great Gidding Brawn was a baker and made enough money to have bought three cottages (for nearly £600) by the time of his death in 1829. He had four sons all of whom were various combinations of miller, baker and later, farmer. Clearly Great Gidding was too small to hold so many in the same trade.

William, the eldest son, moved to Leighton Bromswold before 1850. Samuel moved to Winwick before 1840. Thomas moved to Lutton in the 1850s. The youngest, John stayed in Great Gidding.
In 1850 the Brawns farmed some 200 acres of land in Gidding (the area to the east of the mill which contains Brawn’s Gorse) and owned about 100 acres more together with about eight cottages in the village. They eventually sold up most of the property in about 1870, but kept about three cottages until the 20th century.

The Brawns were strong supporters of the Baptist chapel and they were at their strongest at the time of the 1861 fire. It was in John Brawn’s yard that the second fire started, in which Laurel Farm was built in 1862. Fourteen members of the various Brawn families contributed nearly a third of the money raised to build the Baptist Ministers new Manse – also in 1862.

When Thomas left for Manor Farm, Lutton, Samuel returned to Great Gidding leaving his eldest son, John Samuel, to run the Winwick business. It was John Samuel’s son Leslie who ran the shop at the bottom of Main Street with his wife Ellen Kate. His other two sons Jimmy and Page both lived in Chapel End, Jimmy at Thatch Cottage and Page at one of the two cottages adjoining Woodway Farmhouse. I have been told that Page at one time lived in one of the cottages which were pulled down to make room for the Village Hall. This seems quite likely as Page's daughter, Eva, married Norman Nash and it was the Nashes who donated the land for the Hall to the village.

Samuel and Bithia Brawn's daughter, Sarah, met a journeyman shoemaker from Raunds, Joseph Hasseldine, and they travelled to Kings Lynn in about 1870 where they set up shop. They both died there before the end of the century leaving four children, most of whom moved to north London to find work. Ernest Hasseldine became an artist, and there remain several of his paintings of Great Gidding in the village to this day.

One of Ernest's sons, Howard, died only last year in Devon, aged 96. His son, Richard, moved to Australia and currently lives in Melbourne (working in Banking).

Another of Joseph and Sarah’s sons Wilfred became a master builder, the most notable building for which he was responsible being the BBC Headquarters in London . He retired to Barton-on-Sea near Bournemouth. His son Paul became a smallholder in the same area and Paul's daughter, Gill lives there still. Wilfred's daughter, Barbara married Humphry Ellis, who was a writer of books and also wrote for Punch and other humourous magazines. Their son, Patrick, joined Rolls-Royce, selling aircraft engines in Asia and Europe before retiring to study and write about the history of Great Gidding, while their daughter, Susan, has spent a lifetime in Medical research, currently working in Cambridge.

The Garratts and Palmers - Two closely connected farmimg families

Between about 1840 and 1880, the Garratts and Palmers were closely connected - by marriage and through property.

John Palmer arrived in Great Gidding from Glapthorn, where Palmers can be traced to the middle 18th century. John Palmer really became very closely associated to the Garratts, as he married three of the daughters of Thomas Garratt. What brought him to Gidding has not been established.

The first Garratt record in GG is the burial of John Garratt in 1809. He came from Finedon. He was not mentioned in the Land Tax of 1806, so that shows his arrival in the village fairly accurately. The Land tax records of 1813 and 1816 show the tax-payer to be John's widow, Catherine, and by 1822 it is their son Thomas. The farm he rented was owned by one Robert Horne, and had previously been rented by Edward Cox.

I will try to place this and other farms in the village at a later date, when I have finished placing the village houses from 1841 onwards. It was not the position shown for Thomas Garratt on page 59 of my book, for he moved between the Land Tax records of 1827 and 1831, taking over from Edward Ashwell. Thomas was very helpful to me in reconstructing the village occupants, for he stayed put from 1831, probably to his death. There is no picture of his house in the book, although a distant view has come to light very recently.

John Palmer's first residence is today number 66. The 1851 tithe records show he also rented a wheelwright's shop on the same side of the street, where the 1851 census shows George Garratt to live, (see page 59 in my book). By 1861 John had moved more or less across the street to the house previously lived in by Thomas Brawn - also a baker and farmer, when he moved to the neighbouring village of Lutton. I know about this family - as it was the Brawns who first brought me to Gt Gidding. They are my relatives via my mother's side. This house exists today as 59 Main St, (see page 12 and figure 6 on page 20).

The Great Fire in 1861 and the subsequent rebuilding replaced some old cottages with more desirable residences. One of these was No 69 - now known as Somersby House, where John Palmer was established by 1871. For a photo see Fig 3 on page 20. A possible connection which might have brought him here (if a letter you showed me naming Mary Almond as the owner of this property is correct - although my own records differ - I must check them !) is that Mary Almond also owned the wheelwright's yard where George Garratt lived. This was also a victim of the fire.

John Palmer stayed in No 59 for some time but in 1884 a bigger and better farm became available following the death of Charlotte Brighty. John moved into Church Farm, immediately across the street from the Village Hall, but died a few years later. His wife Elizabeth is listed as "farmer" in 1891 and by 1901 their son Nelson had taken over. Nelson is recorded up to 1906 and then seems to leave the village. An Ernest Palmer is shown in the 1910 Tax returns, but he is not related.

My relation James Brawn appropriated all the area next to the Fox and Hounds and moved into the newly built Laurel Farm with stables attached. I believe George moved into one of the pair of cottages - Nos 55 and 57 - shown on page 12 and fig 7 on page 21, and until recently inhabited by Tom Faulkner. This cottage is probably one of the oldest still standing - with a timber frame, later rebuilt and re-roofed. Its history is posted elsewhere on the Giddings website.

When John Palmer left No 59, George followed him into it. It is amazing how these things stayed in the family - even when the properties were not owned by those involved. George eventually handed it on to his step-brother Cornelius who was still there in my latest record - the Land tax return of 1910.

George's younger brother - Richard Stevens Garratt - who confusingly kept being recorded sometimes as Richard and sometimes as Stephen - first appears in 1851 in one of the cottages (fig 21 - page 26) where the village hall now stands, as a Journeyman Carpenter. He then moved right to the top of the village as a carpenter and I think he lived at the end of the four cottages in Fig 13, page 23 furthest away in the photo, where he was in 1861 and 1871.

Richard was an important member of the community - for by 1901 three of his children ran both the main pubs. By 1881 Richard was looking after the Crown (sometimes the Rose and Crown) - although he was away on census day. The trade directories say he was there until about 1895, when he seems to have handed over to his son, Arthur who stayed until about 1910.

In 1891 his son Frederick was also listed as "publican" at the Crown but by 1894 he had moved to the Fox and Hounds, where he was joined by his younger brother, Richard Junior. Whether he lived at the Fox is not clear, for by 1901 he was in one of the only farms not previously inhabited by the Garratt/Palmer mafia! This was at No 61 (see page 12 and fig 5 on page 20).

Richard Senior was away on census day in 1901 but by 1910 he was living in one of the cottages at the top of the village, where he was throughout the 1860s and next to his step-sister Sarah Ann who never married. We have a picture of her and she is mentioned in Jean Withers' memories of the village.

The last Garratts seem to have left the village after 1931, when both Frederick and Harold (either the son of Frederick or of Richard, though I suspect the former), are both recorded as voting. Harold farmed from Cow Pasture Farm, at the far end of Milking Slade Lane on the boundary with Sawtry parish - yet another farm on the list.


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GENUKI - UK and Ireland Genealogy
Enter this large collection of genealogical information pages for
England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.