Richard Frewin, grandfather of Henry/Harry

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Frewin message board 1 ] [ Search ]

Posted by Jean Chung on 30 October , 2002 at 17:11:02:

In Reply to: Richard Frewin, grandfather of Henry/Harry posted by Lawrence Frewin on 28 October , 2002 at 20:54:50:

Hi Lawrence,

I'm sure you've looked into this but I noticed the following on the LDS site.
James Frewin: Birth 1822, Newnham Murren, Oxford
LDS Film No. 445715

James Frewin: Birth 1822, Newnham Murren, Oxford
LDS Film No. 183579, page 44, ref. 1539

Just wondering if there's any possibility that this is a boundary issue with Oxford/Berkshire around that time. I believe that Wallingford was split between Oxford and Berkshire at one time. If that's the case, perhaps some of Richard's information is contained within the records in Oxford. Just a thought and as I say, you've probably looked into this already.

Hoping to receive that certificate shortly.

All the best


: Hi Jean,

I have spent some time today following up on Richard Frewin, (Harry/Henry's grandfather).

The 1811 census taken in Newnham Murren turned up from the Berkshire Record Office today, but it doesn't seem to be any help in furthering our overall knowledge of Richard sadly.

The 1811 census for Newnham Murren is on one single page, and contains a hand written list of forty three families living in the Newnham Murren area.

The census has recorded the name of the head of the household (in most cases), and also given a number of "souls" in the household.

The good news about the 1811 census is that there are TWO Frewin families listed.

The bad news is just how poor the quality of the information in the entries is.

Here they in full:

Name ....................... No. of Souls

Francis Frewin ................. 4
Frewin ............................. 6

That's it! Not even a Christian name for the Frewin with 6 family members.

The Francis Frewin mentioned in the census is almost certainly this one.

We only have one child for this Francis Frewin at the moment, a James Frewin, baptised in 1792, so perhaps there is another one to be added yet.

The other Frewin family in the census with 6 souls is almost certainly Francis's brother Richard (not our Richard), his wife Mary and their children seen here

Richard and Mary Frewin had six children from 1795 - 1808, but it's possible that by 1811 one child had already gone off to live and work elsewhere.

That means, I think, that our Richard & Hannah do NOT appear on this 1811 census.

I am fairly certain that Richard and Hannah had three or four children in total:

Eliza, baptised September 1811 in Crowmarsh (after the census probably)
Sarah, baptised 1813 in Crowmarsh
James, baptised 1822 in Newnham Murren (Henry/Harry's dad)

and perhaps one other child:

Richard Frewin, baptised 1809 Newnham Murren.

The evidence for this last Richard being a fourth child of our Richard and Hannah has improved slightly over the last couple of days.

Two nights ago I came across a baptism on our database for a Richard Fruin baptised in Wallingford (about half a mile from Newnham) in December 1808 to a "Richard and Ann of Nuneham".

There is a place called Nuneham Courtney a few miles north of Wallingford, but we don't have any other records for a Richard and Ann living in Nuneham Courtney, or having any other children in this area at around this period, so I suspect that Nuneham in this case is a misspelling of Newnham, and that Ann may actually be Hannah.

We know from the 1851 census that Richard was born in about 1809, in Newnham, so the match is fairly close. Not definitive admittedly, but close.

It does look like our Richard and Hannah, parents of James, grandparents of Henry/Harry arrived in Newnham after 1813 judging by this 1811 census though. They were certainly in Crowmarsh in late 1811 with the baptism of Eliza, but more on the relationship between Crowmarsh and Newnham Murren coming up next....

I spent most of today at the Public Record Office in Kew looking at maps of Newnham Murren for the 1840-1845 period, trying to find out what and where exactly it was.

I said earlier, the 1811 census shows 43 families in Newnham Murren, and you may have wondered how they could all have fitted in "a few outbuildings" that I was told Newnham Murren comprised of by a member of the local church at Crowmarsh recently.

You might also wonder why many of the Frewin's mentioned at the top of this message have "born in Nuffield, baptised in Newnham Murren" on them, when if you look at current maps, the two places seem to be about 3 miles apart.

The answer is that the PARISH of Newnham Murren is very different to the village of Newnham Murren, and it seems that parts of what are now Crowmarsh Gifford were previously the village of Newnham Murren.

The PARISH of Newnham Murren in the early 1800's was a wedge shaped area, about 3 -4 miles long, by about 1 mile wide at the Thames river end.

If you look at this map, you can see in the top left corner Wallingford Bridge, just under where it says "Wallingford", and underneath that, "Offices".

If you follow the River Thames south, to where it say "White Cross", that is the widest part of the parish of Newnham Murren Parish.

If you go east from that point, following the red line with red diamonds in this map, then further east on a straight line following Grims Ditch, in this map, and further east again, to this map, you can see, right on the far right hand side a black cross representing the church of Nuffield (just below where is says "212"). That is the far end of the parish of Newnham Murren.

If you then follow the Yellow Road on that map back (past Brixton Hill) to Wallingford bridge, that is the northern boundary of Newnham Murren Parish.

As you can see then, the parish of Newnham Murren comprised a long thin wedge shaped area from Wallingford Bridge to Nuffield, from Nuffield back to Newnham Farm, and from Newnham Farm back to Wallingford Bridge.

So you can see how it's possible for someone to be born a few hundred yards from Nuffield Church, yet be baptised in the church at Newnham Murren (about two or three miles away), because Newnham Murren is the parish church for that particular area.

Whilst searching the tithe map documentation today, I found a William Frewin living in a cottage in 1843 in Nuffield, or more precisely the area just above where is says "Mongewell Woods" on the last map.

Almost directly next William's cottage in Nuffield I found another cottage with a James Frewin in it. No ages or other family details for these two are given, but there aren't too many candidates for who they are. Both of these cottages are in the PARISH of Newnham Murren though.

The PARISH of Crowmarsh Gifford is a similar sort of size and shape to the parish of Newnham Murren, it just sits directly above it.

Perhaps more importantly though, I found the location of the (lost) village of Newnham Murren in the tithe maps.

Newnham Murren is NOT the farm and the few outbuildings that I was told it was a few weeks ago.

If you go back to this map, you can see actually see Newnham Murren!

If you look at Wallingford Bridge again, and follow it east to the roundabout just before Crowmarsh Hill, everything on the SOUTHERN side of that road is, or was, Newnham Murren. Everything on the NORTHERN side of that road is Crowmarsh Gifford. Newnham Murren is that bit directly above where is says "Crowmarsh Gifford" on current maps.

It was in THIS part of Newnham Murren, on the southern side of that main road, just in from Wallingford Bridge, that I found a Richard Frewin and James Frewin in the 1843 tithe documents. These two are probably the father and grandfather of Henry/Harry.

Richard Frewin is shown as occupying a small cottage on this road, James seems to have had a cottage about twice the size of Richard's.

All very interesting perhaps, and it clears up a lot of questions I had about the area, but it does not take us any further forward in finding out much more about Richard Frewin though, except perhaps where he lived.

We still don't know exactly how many children Richard had, why he wasn't listed in the 1841 or 1851 census's (although his wife Hannah says she is married in 1851), or the answer to any of the really important outstanding questions (like where he was born, and when and where did he get married).

I am still NOT convinced we have the ancestry absolutely correct when it comes to Richard.

We DO know Richard was a soldier. The only soldier Richard Frewin that the Public Record Office have listed does roughly fits the bill for our Richard, but there are problems with it too.

The only record for a soldier called Richard Frewin at Kew is listed on our database here under Frewen, but it may or may not be our Richard.

We currently have our Richard as born in 1790, the son of Edward Frewin and Elizabeth Coggin, but I am not sure this is right.

The Richard Frewin born in Ipsden in 1790 is not the same as the Richard Frewin born in 1784 in Henley who enlisted with the 62nd Foot Regiment, as far as I can see.

The problems with these two Richard's being the same person as our Richard are:

We know "our" Richard was a soldier from the baptism record for his daughter Sarah in 1813.

The 1811 baptism record for his other daughter Eliza does not give an occupation, and the baptism for James (Harry/Henry's dad) in 1822 gives "Labourer".

The papers for the soldier Richard found at Kew give a place of birth as Henley, and an age of 42 at discharge in 1828, making a birth date of about 1784. We do have a Richard Frewin/Frewen born in Henley in 1784 listed on the database, but it is not the Richard from Ipsden.

If Richard Frewin, baptised in Ipsden in 1790 by Edward and Elizabeth Coggin, was a soldier, where are his enlistment/discharge papers?

If the soldier Richard Frewin, born in 1784 in Henley, is the father of our James, Sarah and Eliza, why was he listed as a labourer at the baptism of James, in 1822, when according to the PRO papers, he wasn't discharged until 1828?

There are possible answers to both of these questions of course - perhaps the paperwork went missing in the first instance, or perhaps Richard left the army and rejoined later in the second instance, but neither are particularly convincing.

I really don't think that there is a "third" Richard Frewin out there waiting to be found by the way. The Newnham Murren area may have grown somewhat in size today, but it is still pretty much a one horse town.

There is a limit to how many Richard Frewin's would have been available for the job of being our ancestor, and it does seem to boil down to one of these two.

A philosophical note to finish on though:

Whichever Richard it was, they had James very late in life, with a gap of some nine years between the second child, Sarah, and the third and last child, James.

It seems we may be quite lucky to be here....


Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

Your name:
Your email:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Frewin message board 1 ]