Saturday, 14 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - M

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is...
My Family Tree Places.


Moretonhampstead (Moreton Hampstead) is a market town, parish and former manor in Devon, EnglandIn 1207 Moreton was granted the right to hold a market. This made it a seigneurial borough, in which the lord of the manor benefitted from the tolls and tallages of goods traded. In 1823 the population was 1,932.

In the Doomsday Book, a survey of 31 counties of England done in 1086, Moreton Hampstead was home to 28 households: 16 of villagers, 6 of smallholders, and 6 of serfs (Latin translation is slaves). There were 20 ploughlands, 3 lord's plough teams, and 8 men's plough teams, 1 cob (work horse), 4 cattle, 6 pigs, 42 sheep and 11 goats. Other resources of the village consisted of 1 lord's land, 20 acres of meadow, and 1 league of woodland. 

Ambrose Frost of Alphington married Philippa May and they lived in Moretonhampstead, where they had four children that I could find. In 1640 Ambrose signed the Protestation Oath, which was a declaration of their belief in the "Protestant religion, allegiance to the King and support for the rights and privileges of Parliament".

According to the returns of the Bishop's Visitation in 1744 there were about 455 families living in the village, half of them dissenters. There was a charity school with 2-3 students and an almshouse turned into a work house. In 1779 the minister didn't know how many families lived in the parish. There were no reputed Papists in the Parish. There is a Meeting-House for a dissenting Congregation. Another for Anabaptists and another lately built for Methodists.

My 6x great grandfather Gilbert Frost was listed as a freeholder in the 1762 Devon Freeholders Book, while his son, my 5x great grandfather Gilbert Frost Jr, was listed as a Leaseholder in the 1783 books. 

Gilbert Frost Jr Married Sarah Mudge in St Andrew's Church on 9 March 1769. They had 8 children. Gilbert died in 1805 and was buried in St Andrew's churchyard, where all the Frost ancestors are buried.

This is a partial copy of his will, leaving money to his children...

Israel Frost of Moretonhampstead, sole executor 
~William Frost, Natural son, forty pounds
~Grace Perriman, daughter, twenty-two pounds
~Salathiel Frost, son, thirty pounds if he should return from sea, if not to be divided between his four children. 
~Robert Frost*, son, forty pounds
~John Frost, son, thirty-six pounds
~the said Israel Frost, son, all the residue  

Salathiel was actually onboard the HMS Santa Margarita with the Royal Navy when his father died in 1805. Salathiel was transferred to the newly built HMS Carnation in 1807. 

Pay Book - FindMyPast

Salathiel did return from sea and he and his wife Elizabeth Valentine had more children. Salathiel died in Moretonhampstead in 1840 and was buried in St Andrew's Churchyard.

Wednesday, 22 June 1803 Mr. Gilbert Frost (my 5th great uncle), farmer, & Robert Tremlett husbandman, were drawn in the Supplementary Militia for this Parish.   Both got substitutes, at about 14 Guineas each. On Friday, July 8th  Robert Frost*, my 4x great grandfather, & George Tremlett were sworn as substitutes in the East Devon Militia. Robert spent more than 22 years in the military. He was discharged as a Sergeant in 1825.

Robert married Elizabeth Cunnett 13 January 1796, and this couple had eight children. Robert died 17 March 1833 and was buried in St Andrew's Churchyard.

I was able to learn a lot about my Frost ancestors because the Moretonhampstead History Society has a great site, with transcriptions of "Silvester Treleaven's Diaries of Moretonhampstead", which chronicles the comings and goings of the residents. 

This is the third of my ancestors that I discovered things about them from diaries written by a citizen in the towns where the lived. 


  1. I am just blown away by all the information you have on the towns of your ancestors. So interesting in their own right, but how it sheds light on their lives must be gratifying to learn.

    1. If I'm writing about things my ancestors did, besides looking up what was going on in the world around them, I also look up the weather LOL

  2. You have so much information o your ancestors and the town they came from. Inspirational.

    1. Thanks. When I have nothing to do, I also take a look at the neighbours.. LOL

  3. Those neighbors can shed light on our own ancestors. I like the idea of looking at the weather! Now I'm wondering what kind of weather was on the days of some of the weddings I'm writing about.

    1. I started doing that when I was doing my ex-husbands genealogy in Quebec and I read about the big earthquake of 1663! The people thought the world was ending!


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