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 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.
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
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
of the Surname Gidding(s) - Hearth Tax 1662/4
Olive Gidding (4 Hearths)
William Giddings (4 Hearths)
William Giddings (1 Hearth)
Edward Giddings (4 Hearths)
Thomas Gidding (2 Hearths)
Southo [Southoe] Parish
Nicholas Gidding (2 Hearths)
Faith Giddings widow (2 Hearths)
St Ives Parish
Robert Giddings (2 Hearths)
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 .
from a rent book, Hearth Tax
from the Map, Manor Court Rolls and Protestation Return
from Hearth Tax
from the Terrier, Sheep Commons and Manor Court Rolls
from Churchwarden and Overseers Accounts
from Lannd Tax
from the Census and Tithe Map
from the Census
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
The Brawns (1810 - 1964) (Richard Hasseldine,
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
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 Veazeys 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 Johns
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 Officers 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
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
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.
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 Faulkners cottage
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
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 Juniors 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 Watsons 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 Cheneys 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, Josiahs 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 Goodwins 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
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 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
In 1810, one of Josiahs 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 daughters 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
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 fathers 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 Snrs 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 Jnrs 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 Elizas 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)
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
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 Brawns 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 Brawns 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 Samuels son Leslie who ran the
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 Sarahs 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.
Garratts and Palmers - Two closely connected farmimg families
about 1840 and 1880, the Garratts and Palmers were closely connected
- by marriage and through property.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.