The Communities of Brize Norton and Carterton

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The following article has been kindly prepared by Wendy Morgan who, amongst other things,  edits the Carterton Community Magazine and serves as both Secretary for St Britius DCC and archivist.


Everyone has ancestors.   Most families can go back at least two generations to their grandparents. If you wish to research further there are many official records to help you. In Brize Norton parish records started in 1538 and another way to find your forebears is by looking through census records; these took place every 10 years from 1841 up to the present day. Only the census records from 1841 to 1901 are available for the public to view and with them you can trace your family, where they lived, where they were born, what they did for a living and who their neighbours were.   As an example I have taken one Brize Norton family and traced them through the census records. The Pratt family ran The Chequers pub from about 1821 to at least 1916 which makes nearly 100 years in the same family.

1841 John Pratt, born in Lynham, then about 60 years of age. He had married Hannah Akers in 1820 and in 1841 had 6 children ages ranging from 17 - 3 years old, namely Ann (working for her uncle Richard Lord at Church Farm), John, Elizabeth, James, Richard, Jane and Joseph.

1851 John Pratt was now 72 and Hannah his wife was 57. Children living at The Chequers were Elizabeth, Richard, Jane and Joseph, with daughter Ann still living with the Lord family. James and John had left the village.

1861 John had died in 1853 and Elizabeth his daughter, age 26, in 1854, (parish records). His wife Hannah was now the publican with her son Thomas, age 40, unmarried, as her assistant and daughter Jane 25, unmarried, as the barmaid. Daughter, Ann, was now housekeeper to the Lord family and John, James, Richard and Joseph Pratt had all gone their own way from the village.

1871 Hannah had died in 1868 and in 1871 her son James had taken over the pub with his wife Mary Ann (nee Packer) The other son Thomas and his sister, Jane, now no longer in the village.

1881 Things had now changed around with James, a farmer since 1872, his wife, four children; his sister Ann (now no longer at the Lords) now on a village farm. We find Thomas Pratt back as the publican at The Chequers with a wife, Jane, born in Kent, and two children - Louisa age 9 and Thomas age 8 both born in Kent, so now we know where Thomas had been these past years.

1891 Thomas is still at the Chequers with his wife and two children but 4 years later he had died (parish records) and his wife Jane had then taken over as publican.

1901 Jane, now the licensee of the pub with her unmarried children still at home. Louisa, 29, and her son Thomas, age 28, a horse dealer in a stable.

The next records to trace the family are from Trade Directories, which shows Jane still in charge in 1916, and parish records, her death recorded in 1926 age 85. The pub was then taken over by Rose Lardner. In 1919 Louisa, age 48, married Eli Collett, age 46, a farmer from Alvescot, for both it was a first marriage and her brother, Thomas age 46, married Ellen Seacole of Witney. Thomas Pratt died in 1932 age 59 and Ellen in 1962. Thomas's wife Ellen became a farmer (Trade Directory 1935/39) at Upper Haddon farm. The gravestones of Thomas and Jane as well as that of his son, Thomas, and his wife Ellen can be seen in the churchyard.

Here our story ends regarding the Pratt family, landlords of The Chequers.


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© Phil Holmes  Updated on Sunday, 22 February  2004