The Price Families

F. E. C. Gregory’s History of Price’s School was written in 1971, well before the age of the Internet. Since then, findmypast.com has placed images of a majority of the parish registry records online, making it much easier to find family histories from the 17th century. William Price’s pedigree in Frank Gregory’s book comes from the Fareham parish register. However, a newer source, not yet in any of the Internet genealogy web sites, suggests a significant extension and possible changes to that pedigree.

The Titchfield History Society produced two volumes of Titchfield parish records in 1998 and 2006 covering 1589-1634 and 1634-1678, containing many Prices. The 1634-1678 volume’s introduction tantalisingly says “Much time and effort has also been expended on later Registers, which it is hoped to publish in due course”. If only we had a volume covering 1678-1721! The originals are in the Hampshire Records Office (bundle 37M73), which also includes apprenticeship indentures; this might well tie up several loose ends.

Unfortunately, before the introduction of the birth certificate in 1837, establishing a family history is largely a matter of informed guesswork. A discussion of the problems follow in the section On Finding Family Histories in the 17th Century.

Dates have been converted to the Gregorian calendar when abbreviated to just year. Registry entries are usually in the Julian calendar, where the year ends in March. When a date is given in full below, it’s in the Julian calendar.

William Price senior (1617-1665)

William Price snr. was born about 1617 (the tombstone gives his age as 48 at his death), and had three children with Ann, all baptised in Fareham. The only William Price baptism for 1617 in Hampshire was in Titchfield, so it’s reasonable to identify this for William Price senior. Three more Prices are baptised in Titchfield about that time, after William: Sarah, Frances, and Ellen . This suggests their parents perhaps married around 1610-1616, though there are no marriage records in Titchfield for any Prices between 1600 and 1633. William Price senior’s family is thus:

  1. William baptised 29th June 1617;
  2. Sarah baptised 27th December 1619;
  3. Frances baptised 4th August 1622, died in infancy, buried 11th August 1622; and
  4. Ellen baptised 4th June 1624;

and at a guess, assuming the usual conventions of naming children at the time:

  1. father William? born about 1590;
  2. mother Sarah? born about 1595, married about 1615-1619; and
  3. wife Ann, born about 1620, died after 1665, married about 1645.

There are no local records of William and Ann’s marriage, so her maiden name is unknown. We can guess Ann’s birth as being around 1620 based on their marriage date and children’s ages.

William Price snr. dictated his will on 11th April 1665. According to the tombstone, he died the next day, and according to St. Peter and St. Paul’s parish records, he was buried the next day,13th April 1665.

William Price snr. and Ann’s children are:

  1. Elizabeth, baptised 20th April 1649. Presumed to have died sometime between 1665 and 1721, as she is mentioned in her father’s will in 1665 but not her brother William’s in 1721. There are no records of a marriage or her death.
  2. William, baptised 10th October 1651. This gives his age at death as 74, though the tombstone says 71; it says he died on 31st May 1725, and the register gives his burial on 3rd June 1725. It’s of course possible he wasn’t baptised until he was aged 3.
  3. John, baptised 19th April 1662. Like Elizabeth, he’s mentioned in his father’s will but not his brother’s, so we might put his death between 1665 and 1721. However, an alternative is discussed in the section about the Cooperage shop below.

William Price junior (1651-1725)

William Price jnr. married Mary Sewatt at St. Peter and St. Pauls on 9th May 1674. There are no records of children in the parish register or in his will.

A Mary Sewatt (also spelled Sewet, and possibly Suet and other variations) was baptised on 28th October 1649 in St. Peter’s church Bishop Waltham. William Price jnr.’s tombstone gives her date of death as 20th May 1718, and says she was aged 68, consistent with her baptism. She was buried on 23rd May 1718 at St. Peter and St. Paul’s.

Her father was Henry Sewatt of Bishop’s Waltham, and her mother was Ursula Allen, who Henry married on 3rd July 1638 at St. Peter’s. Their family were all baptised there. She had six sisters, Ursula b. 1641, Ann b. 1643. Frances b. 1644, Elizabeth 1648, Mary b. 1649 and Martha b. 1652, and brothers John b. 1645, Henry b. 1647 and Richard b. 1650.

Titchfield has it’s own Sewatt family, parents Henry & Mary Sewatt, children Henry b. 1663 dies within 3 days, Ann b. 1665, Mary b. 1667 and Jane & Sarah b. 1670. Tragically the twins Jane and Sarah and their mother Mary all die within a month of their birth. Henry then married Katherine Brown in 1671 and had yet another Henry b. 1672 and Richard b. 1674. It’s possible Henry is the one baptised 1647 in Bishop’s Waltham, but he’d be only 17, which is unusually young to marry in the 17th century.

The Extended Family in William Price’s Will

The name “William Price” refers to several people. For clarity, the following discussion uses “WP” to refer William Price junior 1651-1725, the founder of Price’s school, and WP snr. to refer to his father. All other William Price’s are (probably) different individuals.

WP’s will makes bequests to several of his cousins and kinsfolk. Unfortunately. there are few records to identify their relationship with him. The cousins and kinsfolk named, in order, are:

  1. The family of Mary, wife of Thomas Enon. She appears to be Mary Bradford, who married Thomas in 1712. They have property in Portsea bequeathed by WP. Their children are Thomas 1712, William b. 1714 who died in infancy, Mary b. 1715, William 1718 and Price Enon (spelled Onion in the register) 1721. There are no records linking Mary Bradford to the Price or Sewatt families.
  2. Kinsman Thomas Price the son of Peter Price receives land called “Butterwick” in Fareham, from which he’s to pay several legacies, including one to his sister Mary, wife of Thomas Bryant.

Mary Price marries Thomas Briant at Fareham in 1701. She appears to be baptised at Fareham in 1676, the daughter of Peter (or Petter or Peeter) & Elizabeth Price. Her siblings include Peter in 1661, Elizabeth in 1663 (died in infancy), Robart in 1674, and Elizabeth in 1678.

There are few Thomas Price sons of Peter in Hampshire at that time; the only nearby one is baptised in Titchfield in 1671, with a brother William in baptised in 1669. They neatly fit in the gap between Elizabeth and Robart previously mentioned. As there are no competing candidates, it’s reasonable to assume Peter and Elizabeth Price moved between Titchfield and Fareham.

It’s worth noting that a Peter Price Cooper, is buried 31 March 1665 in Titchfield.

  1. The beneficiaries to whom Thomas Price is to pay legacies are:
    1. his sister Mary, mentioned above;
    2. cousin Mary Furze, the only record for whom is her marriage to a Stephen Higgins in Portsea in 1718;
    3. cousin Mary Bradford; the only Mary Bradford seems to be the one married to Thomas Enon already mentioned, but that would be Mary Enon;
    4. cousin John Shaw, who marries Elizabeth Price in Portsmouth in 1703; that fits with the Elizabeth daughter of Peter Price mentioned above, who’d be 25;
    5. cousins Thomas Sherwin jnr. and Edward Sherwin; Thomas marries Frances Sewatt in Bishop’s Waltham in 1671; presumably he’s the son of the Thomas Sherwin who is buried in Wickham in 1701 aged 100; there are no records of Edward;
    6. cousins Henry, Richard, John, Peter and Thomas Sewatt are WP’s in-laws; they may be Mary Sewatt’s siblings or more likely their children, among whom these names occur frequently in the Bishop’s Waltham area;
    7. James Hunt is included in the same list as the Sherwins and the Sewatts, but there are no records of anyone by that name;
    8. cousin Mary Knight wife of John Knight; a Mary Suet married a John Knight in Droxford in 1706;
    9. cousin William Hunt of Swannick; a William Hunt of Waltham marries Sibble (Sybil?) Price in Titchfield in 1669; Sibble b. 1647 was the daughter of John Prise the collier; if she was a relative, perhaps John the collier was another brother of WP snr.
  2. Cousins Anne Barry, Mary Palmer and William the son of John Oxford, none of whom left convincing records connected to the Price or Sewatt families. William the son of John Oxford may be William Hoxon, son of John & Mary, in Alverstoke b. 1670.
  3. Peter Price son of Peter Price receives land in North Fareham. This could be the Peter Price born in 1661 mentioned above.
  4. There’s a bequest to John Price son of Peter Price. He could be the child of Peter & Elizabeth born in Titchfield in 1665, or more likely a later relative.
  5. John Woolgar of Wickham, WP’s executor, probably buried on 18th December 1754 in Wickham, which puts his birth around 1660-1700; there are several Woolgars and Wollgers in Titchfield, but no Johns.

Peter Price snr. of Fareham; Possibly WP’s Uncle

The list of bequests involving Thomas Price and his sister Mary makes it likely that they’re children of Peter and Elizabeth Price, most of whose family were baptised in Fareham. The Titchfield and Fareham registers provide the following possible family:

  • “Petter” Price son of “Petter” Price b. 25th April 1643 in Fareham;
  • Peter and Elizabeth marry about 1660; I can find no records for this marriage;
  • son Peter b. 1661 in Fareham;
  • daughter Elizabeth b. 1663 in Fareham; she dies less than a month later;
  • son John b. 1665 in Titchfield;
  • son William b. 1669 in Titchfield;
  • son Thomas b. 1671 in Titchfield;
  • son Robart b. 1674 in Fareham;
  • daughter Mary b. 1676 in Fareham; marries Thomas Briant 1701; and
  • daughter Elizabeth b. 1678 in Fareham; marries John Shaw in 1703.

Presumably Petter snr. is a close relative of WP snr.; he’s likely to have been born before 1620; possibly he was WP snr.’s brother. Petter jnr. may be the “Peeter” Price who marries Ann Knight in Titchfield in July 1642. A Peter Price Coopar dies in Titchfield in 1665; assuming that means “the Peter Price who is a cooper”, the only candidate is Petter snr. Unfortunately, there are no records to tie up these loose ends.

John Price son of John Price; Possibly WP’s Nephew

WP’s will make special provision for John Price, son of John Price, releasing him from a mortgage worth £100. Given the size of mortgage, it seems reasonable to suggest this is WP’s nephew. However, the will calls him neither kinsman nor cousin. The will also requires John to acknowledge this my will by writing under his hand and seal. Perhaps WP had fallen out with his brother John, or John’s son.

The History of Price’s School mentions a rumour quoted by W. Dumerque, chairman of the trustees in a pamphlet in 1876 that WP was annoyed at some relatives becoming Dissenters. All this makes it possible that WP’s brother John might still have been alive in 1721. If the identification of him with the John Price who marries Deborah Walter in Portsmouth described in the next section is correct, the marriage being in Portsmouth and not Fareham must reflect some schism between the Price’s, but the marriage was still in an Anglican church.

The Price’s Cooperage Shop in 1775

Moving well into the 18th century, the court rolls record the transfer of ownership by inheritance of a shop 10’ wide by 8’ in Fareham, in 1775. (The shop is the northern part of a larger shop owned by one Richard Cole.) The records are in the Hampshire County Archive documents 36M72/E/T98.

The court roll says that the ownership was transferred to a William Price on the death of his father William Price, eldest son and heir of the late John Price and his late wife Deborah

A John Price married Deborah Walter on 8th Jan 1695 in Portsmouth, and the register entry describes them as “both of Fareham”. Deborah Price is buried in Fareham 13th Nov 1747. John Price, master cooper of Fareham, take an apprentice in 1712, and in 1727 leaves a will (Hampshire County Archive document 1727B/47), and is buried 17th August 1727.

A William Price was buried in Fareham on 10th September 1774 aged 72, and therefore born about 1702. William Price, cooper of Fareham marries Sarah Pasford of Titchfield 30th September 1730. This looks to be the William, eldest son of John & Deborah who inherits the shop on their death. (A Sarah Price is buried in St. Mary’s Portsea on 30th April 1770.)

A William Price, son of William, is baptised in Portsea in September 1735; this seems to be the eldest son of William & Sarah, who inherits the shop in 1775 in turn on his father’s death.

As John Price was a master cooper, he’d have served his apprenticeship, and was therefore unlikely to marry before he was 25; he marries Deborah in 1695, so that makes his birth before 1670. The only likely candidate is WP’s brother.

Plausible Family Tree for William Price junior

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On Finding Family Histories in the 17th Century

There are very few records for William Price’s family; the only significant sources are parish baptismal, marriage and burial records, the Price family wills, and the tombstone in St. Peter and St Paul’s churchyard in Fareham. Unfortunately, the tombstone is not original, so its veracity is uncertain, but, we have to start somewhere!

The registers are of variable quality, legibility and spelling. The following analysis is based on digitised records on the Internet (largely findmypast.com, who appear to have the most comprehensive collection of parish records), and are subject to the vagaries of their efforts to extract readable text from the handwritten registers. There are known gaps, particularly between the civil war and the restoration of the monarchy. There may be missing records, sometimes because they’ve been irretrievably lost, or they have yet to be found or digitised.

In general, births are not recorded in the 17th century, so we have to use baptism dates as a proxy. Similarly, deaths are rarely recorded, so we use burials as their proxy. In the same way, there are few records of a family’s address, so we use the parish of their children’s birth as a proxy, or failing that, the parish of their wedding, though that is less reliable.

Parish records contain very limited information; for example: 1725 June 3 William Price Buried. Baptisms usually give just a little more: October 1651: 10 Willm Price son of Willm baptised, and marriages: 1674 May 9th William Price and Mary Sewatt were then married. We can infer families in a single parish’s records from a series of children born every 1 or 2 years with the same surname and father’s given name. A marriage a year or so before the first child with the groom having the same name as the father gives the likely parents. But it’s supposition, not proof.

Sometimes the registers contain rather more information. While chasing Prices’, I happened upon February 1589 Pomella Whight Kyld by he’ hosbond y’ ix Day in the Titchfield register.

One source remains to be explored: as the Prices had “copyhold” land, the transfers of ownership across generations should be recorded in the manorial court rolls. These have yet to be digitised or placed online, so the only way to research them is painstaking examination of the microfilms in the Hampshire Record Office in Winchester. Some of them are in legal Latin. This is a project for the future.

The entire parish records for Prices in Hampshire up to 1700 can be summarised as follows:* 197 people surnamed Price, including 32 Johns, 21 Williams, 17 Marys, 10 Elizabeths, 10 Roberts, 9 Thomases, 7 Peters and only 1 Charles;

  • 36 distinct Price families, fathers: 15 John Prices, 9 William Prices and 4 Thomas Prices ;
  • the largest family is Ellis Price and Ann Rathborne’s in Gatcombe, Isle of Wight, with 14 children baptised between 1624 and 1642;
  • 61 Prices baptised in 10 families in Titchfield; and
  • 35 people baptised in 10 families on the Isle of Wight.

Parishes of 17th Century Price families in Hampshire

HampshirePrices.jpg

List of Prices in 17th Century Hampshire

The list contains all members of Price families baptised before 1700. It contains a few other people for completeness. Parents are given first, then children with their baptism dates. Marriage dates and wives’ surnames are given when known.

As the name “Price” is an Anglicisation of the Welsh patronymic “ap Rhys”, it’s a common surname for people with Welsh ancestry. Therefore the Prices listed are unlikely to be WP’s relatives without corroborating evidence.

Fareham St. Peter & St. Pauls’

  • Petter Price; Peeter Price 1643 – see also under Titchfield.
  • Peeter & Elizabeth Price; Peter 1661, Elizabeth 1663-1663, John 1665, Robart 1674, Mary 1676, Elizabeth 1678.
  • William (WP snr.) 1617-1665 & Ann Price; Elizabeth 1649. William (WP) 1651-1725, John 1662-1727.
  • John Price & unknown; Mary 1667.
  • William Price (WP) 1651-1725 & Mary Sewatt 1649-1718 m: 1674.
  • John Price 1662-1727 & Deborah Walter m: 1695; Deborah, William ~1702.

Bishop’s Waltham St. Peter’s

  • John Price & Jane Cutler m: 1629; John 1630.
  • John Sewatt & unknown; Alice 1631, Mary 1634.
  • Richard Sewet & Martha Leach m: 1633; Richard 1634, John 1649.
  • Christopher Price 1609-1684 & Mary Greetom m: 1636; Nicholas 1637, Mary 1640, Sarah 1644.
  • Henry Sewatt & Ursula Allen m: 1638; Ursula 1641-1641, Elizabeth 1648. Mary 1649-1718, Richard 1650.

Titchfield St. Peter’s

  • John Prise & Margaret Waller m: 1601; John 1602, Nicholas 1605-1608, Christopher 1609-1684 (see Bishop’s Waltham), Marcy 1611.
  • Nicholas Price ?-1610 & unknown; Marcye 1606, John 1608.
  • Unknown Price & unknown; William (WP snr.) 1617-1665, Peeter ?; Sarah 1619; Frances 1622-1622, Ellen 1624.
  • John Price jnr. 1602 (above) & unknown; John 1632, Peeter 1633, Will 1636. Will may be the husband William of Sarah Bassat below.
  • Robert Prise & Barbery Hills m: 1633; Jane 1636, Agnis 1638, Robert 1640, William 1644. William may be the husband of Agnes Winter below.
  • Peter Price & Ann Knight m: 1642; Peeter 1643. Peter may be WP’s brother.
  • John Price (possibly John Price jnr. above or the collier below) & unknown; Dorathey 1643.
  • John Price the collier & unknown: Alice 1641, Sibbell 1647.
  • Peter & Elizabeth Price – the same Peter and Elizabeth as in Fareham above. Peter may be Peeter born 1643 to Peter Price & Ann Knight.
  • Peter & Joan Price: Peter 1661, Joan 1665-1665, Ralph 1667, William 1677.
  • Peter Price of Sarisbury or Swannick; Mary 1669, John 1672, Robert 1676.
  • William Price & Sarah Bassat m: 1665; a son 1669-1669.
  • John Price & Ann Cortnell m: 1670; John 1671-1673, Marey 1672, Mary 1673, John 1674.
  • William Price & Agnes Winter m: 1670; Jane 1671, Sarah 1674.

Further Afield

Alverstoke St. Mary’s

  • Thomas Price & Joane Hicks m: 1607; Elizabeth 1606, Joane 1609.
  • Thomas Price & unknown; John 1636, Robert 1637.
  • Israel Price & Mary Printon m: 1679; Mary 1679.
  • John & Sarah Price; Elizabeth 1687, John 1688-1689, Sarah 1690, William 1692, John 1695, Thomas 1699.
  • Robert & Joan Price; Robert 1678-1678, Robert 1683, Thomas 1685.
  • Simon & Mary Price; Mary 1690.
  • John & Mary Price; Mary 1696.

Andover

  • David Price & unknown; Mary 1612.

Basingstoke

  • Elizabeth Price 1640.

Charlton

  • William Price 1579; took oath of allegiance before sailing to Low Countries 1618.

Gosport Holy Trinity

  • John Price & Jane Kirby m: 1697 in Portsmouth; Catherine 1698, John 1700.

Kingsclere St. Mary’s

  • Matthias Price & unknown; Jane 1646.

Micheldever St. Mary the Virgin

  • James & Elizabeth Price; Agnes 1541.

Old Alresford St. Mary the Virgin

  • William Price & Luce Scriven m: 1592;

Portsea St. Mary’s

  • Thomas Enon & Mary Bradford 1689-1728 m: 1712 Rowner; Thomas 1712, William 1714-1714, Mary 1715, William 1718, Price 1721.

Portsmouth St Thomas of Canterbury

  • Cornelius Price 1624 & Elizabeth Knight m: 1671; Anne 1674.
  • John Price & Mary Martin m: 1680; John 1688, Christian 1692.
  • Thomas Price & Mary Blundell m: 1683; Mary 1681.
  • William & Elizabeth Price; Elizabeth 1694, Sarah 1699, Mary 1700.
  • John & Elizabeth Price; John 1698.
  • Thomas & Jane Price; Jane 1700.

Rockbourne St. Andrew’s

  • Evan Price & Amie Keylweye (Kenwyn?) m 1581; Thomas 1581, Margaret 1584, Ellis 1588, Alice 1589. William 1592, Andrew 1595.

Romsey

  • Raphe Price & unknown; Anne 1627.

Isle of Wight

Brook St. Mary the Virgin

  • Joanne Price 1604.

Calbourne All Saints’

  • Arthur Price (possibly m: 1606 Jane Wyn); William 1619, Frances 1621. Edward 1622, Jane 1623. Elizabeth 1625, Mary 1627.

Cowes St. Mary the Virgin

  • John Price & unknown; Mary 1688-1689, Mary 1690.

Gatcombe St. Olave’s

  • Ellis Price & Ann Rathborne m: 1624; John 1624, Theodore 1625, Sampson 1627, William 1628, Abraham 1629, Katherine 1630, Ann 1631, Dorothy 1632, Ellis 1633, Peter 1635-1635, Morgan 1636, Thomas 1639, Henry 1641, Richard 1642.

Godshill All Saints’

  • Charles Price; Mary 1698.

Newchurch All Saints’

  • Richard Price & unknown; Richard 1700.

Newport Minster Church of St. Thomas

  • John Price & Jeane Boyes m: 1632.

Shalfleet St. Michael’s

  • Robert Price & unknown; Joan 1621, Elizabeth 1624.

Yarmouth St. James’

  • John Price& Mary Luttery m: 1641 in Carisbrook; John 1642, Jane 1645.
  • John & Jane Price; Mary 1647, Robert 1650.
  • Richard & Jane Price; William 1667.
  • Robert & Jeane Price; Jeane 1691, Mary 1694.
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