Earlier Parchments


This page encompasses my finds for any Parchments prior to Samuel Parchment 1788.

Not infallibly proved but:

on IGI, a William Parchment was baptised in 1796 to William Parchment, shoemaker, mother not named, at Bocking Independent Chapel.

Samuel Parchment, ~1788,Witham -from 2 censuses, no baptism found and thus no certain parents, definitely had a brother, James Parchment.~1792, also no baptism found, whose m.c.gives father as William Parchment, shoemaker.

Hence, I have assumed that William 1796 & James 1792 were brothers, & from here to the parents of Samuel & James being William Parchment, and maybe Elizabeth Amiss.

Inspite of Geoffrey Lewis' assumption [ see his logic lower down] that this William Parchment was born ~ 1755, I am not convinced, no baptism having been found to confirm this, and would say there is a greater probability that he was the William Parchment baptised 1745 to James & Sarah Parchment, Witham.

1778 William Parchment marries Elizabeth Amiss[Amyes?] in Witham , 21/4/1778 - first found on TR203. Could he be William Parchment 1745, marrying aged 33?


Image 50 of D/P 30/1/6 , Witham marriages 1754-1783, both given of Witham parish.

An Elizabeth Amies was christened 8/10/1755 at the Independent Chapel in Hatfield Heath,[ >16 miles from Braintree,] together with 2 siblings, John Firmin and Mary, offspring of "Susannah Firmin Amies of Braintree in Essex", and a further sibling, Abigail, was christened there 11/08/1757 - IGI. I find it interestingthat no father is mentioned. Although Hatfield Heath is a long way away to the west, the baptism does give her mother, Susanna Firmin Amies, as being of Braintree.


LFLS has ficheMicrofilm 1483324 in LDS Exhibition Road- they were not there in 2014!!: look in 2015 for any Firmins in Hatfield Heath.- this a longshot as Susannah was from Braintree!. Susanna Firmin Amyes, spinster, of Bocking parish, then married, by licence, a Samuel Smith, of Braintree parish, in Braintree in April 1767: both could seemingly write- Braintree marriages Seax. Cannot find anyone on Ancestry or Genes with her in their tree. -2014 . But did find a descendant of Abigail Amies 1757 and have contacted him - Guy - via Ancestry-28/6/2014: replied once with no answer to my questions about an Isaac Amies he has. . Also searched Bocking baptisms 1725-1740, images 56-74, for a baptism of Susannah- just found a William baptised 1728 to William & Sarah Amyes . Also searched for Susannah baptised in Braintree 1731-1739, images 135-153. Could go on and look for a marriage between an Amies and a Firmin 1710-1735 but not necessarily in Braintree nor Bocking !!. Have tried using FMP - only possibility is a death of a Susannah Amies in Braintree on 1/11/1729, a possibility for her mother - No, a daughter of Robert Amies, image 93: this proves there were Amies in Braintree!!!. An Isaac Amies is buried 27/7/1757 Braintree- image 45, no extra info. And an Isac Amies, of Braintree, marries a Mary Fitch, of Bocking, 19/2/1735 in Bocking - image 164 . One would have thought there should be more Amies baptisms in these 2 parishes 1735 onwards!! Also a Will of Isaac Amyes of Bocking, clothier, 23/5/ 1743 - D/APbW 3/37- looked at 2014, but could find no connection: his wife was Mary & he had sons Isaac & John & dauts Mary Butris & Susannah Hickes: he cannot be the Isaac who married in 1735 as his children could not be married . No Isaac Amyes seemingly buried in Bocking 1742/3, images 290 & 291, nor in Braintree, images 9 & 10

William & Elizabeth Parchment had: Witham D/P 30/1/3

Bocking - baptised, to William Parchment, shoemaker, at the Independent Chapel, IGI, another William 25/5/1796. The Independent Chapel, at Bocking End, adjoining Braintree, is a large and handsome building which was erected in 1707, but greatly enlarged and partly rebuilt in 1818, at the cost of about £2000. It has sittings for more than l600 hearers, and during the last 47 years [1801-1848] , it has been under the ministry of the Rev. Thomas Craig. Excerpt from Whites Directory 1848. Many photos of Bocking in ERO.

Going back a generation to the parents of my probable William Parchment 1745.

1737 James Parchment 1709? marries Sarah Lionel, both of this parish, 2/10/1737, Witham - D/P 30/1/1. They appear to have te following children baptised in Witham:

On the above tree the children of William & Elizabeth Parchment partly come from Dorothy Law's jottings - see lower down - and are not proved. But the Witham Burial Register 1678-1789 is now digitised on Seax: and I found:

From the 1786 entry, I would suspect that William 1745-55 & Elizabeth Amiss had a son William b.1783-5 who died 1786: not shown on tree. In fact a William was baptised to them in 1782

Also from D/P 30/1/1 baptisms - 1650-1743 - we have James & Jane Parchment producing:

A James Parchment marries Jane Wakling 5/1/1723 and would seem to be producing children 1723-1733: William 21/7/1723, James 11/6/1724, Jane 25/6/1729, Elizabeth 15/4/1733. Hardly think this could be James 1709!! No other marriage found in Witham 1694-1723 No tree done for this.

Nicholas Parchment, 1711? -1751, widower, marries Mary Bateman, both of this parish, 7/10/1739. They have :

A female Parchment seems to marry in 1724 but register very faded.

Margaret Parchment 1715 marries William Brand 24/10/1734.

1732. Jane Parchment , 1713?, marries in Witham.

1742. James Parchment marries Mary Turner, both of Hatfield Peverel parish, 1/11/1742 in Witham .

1746. Mary Parchment marries in Witham.

1748. James Parchment of Hatfield Peverel married Elizabeth Clark, of Witham, in Witham. Another James Parchment from Hatfield Peverel!!! - though could be the same -widowed. This only ~2 miles S W of Witham

D/P 30/1/4 , Witham baptisms 1793-1812: I found no Parchments 1793-1804

I have also looked at fiches D/P 299/1/4 ...for Terling, and at Faulkbourne fiche

D/P 30/1/3 Witham Baptisms searched 1743-1766

Baptisms 1743-1751 to James Parchment & Sarah Lionel shown higher up with 1738-1740 baptisms. I do not know who is Sarah, wife of a James, buried in 1744 - but feel the 1793 burial of Sarah Parchment, pauper, is Sarah Lionel, dying 4 years after her husband

Also a James Parchment baptised to James & Jane Parchment in July 1743.

Searching Witham D/P 30/1/3 for the period 1787-1791, when it seems to end, but later Images 44-47 do show 1792 & 1793 baptisms!

Benjamin & Elizabeth Parchment had:


Many thanks to Geoffrey Lewis for much of the rest of the content of this page. But lots on Apprenticeships now added by me.

G.L says: " The furthest back we have got is to William Parchment born in Witham or Terling [4k W of Witham - but not baptised Terling as have searched its baptisms online 1750-1760 & no Parchments ] in about 1754. I work this out from an indenture of William Parchment to Thomas Thurrowgood of Terling dated 21/5/1761: this indenture,[ do some work on indentures] on D/P 299/14 ?, at a young age,~7,- from GL but see below! -is the only basis for William's assumed birth ~1754! : and in 2011, in the bundle of 28 indentures, that of William Parchment no longer existed[ but is now on Register of Duties paid for Apprenticeships' Indentures on Ancestry, just a one line entry, £4.4s paid, says 7yrs- this being the length of the apprenticeship, not his age from 6 April last, so apprenticed from 1761-1768 - no extra details, no trade!] - it must have been withdrawn due to its condition, most of the others being almost in shreds! An Apprenticeship Indenture is a legal document binding a child (usually around the age of 12 or 13 but sometimes as young as 7. Also until 1767 a parish apprenticeship normally lasted until the age of twenty-four for boys and twenty-one or marriage for girls. So, our William Parchment here could have been born 1745) to a master or mistress for seven or more years. These indentures seemed to have been paid by parishes for Pauper Children. A sum of money (premium or consideration) was usually paid to the master, and in exchange he (or more rarely, she) agreed to train the child in their trade or profession, and to supply them with appropriate food, clothing and lodging for the duration of the apprenticeship. - Search Witham/Terling records 2011.: Terling baptisms online,Seax, D/P 299/1/4 , and no William Parchment or any other Parchments baptised there 1743-1768. [a John Parchment married Elizabeth Turner there in 1730 and they had John 1731-2,Ellen 1733, James 1734, John 1736, Elizabeth 1738, Mary 1740, Hannah 1742: most of these also on IGI] . Witham Baptisms - D/P 30/1/3 1743-1793, searched July 2011, results shown just above: my Samuel~1788 not found. 2014-also searched hatfield Peverel baptisms 1750-1755 , images 35-40 - and no William Parchment found. Thomas Thurgood must have married 1755-7, and he & Ann had children 1757-1767 at least- have not searched further. Unfortunately Thurrowgood's occupation is not stated but if it were 'shoemaker' ** we are on the right track. William married Elizabeth Amiss 21/04/ 1778 in Witham. She signed [ thus she was not of peasant stock] her name as Amyes?, whilst the curate wrote Amiss. An Elizabeth Amies was christened 8/10/1755 at the Independent Chapel in Hatfield Heath,[ >16 miles from Braintree,] together with 2 siblings, John Firmin and Mary, offspring of "Susannah Firmin Amies of Braintree in Essex", and a further sibling, Abigail, was christened there 11/08/1757 - IGI. I find it interesting/curious that no father is mentioned. The fact that Susannah is 'of Braintree' gives substance to the argument that this Elizabeth is William's 1778 wife, but there are many Amies burials in Bocking & Braintree 1700-1800. Also Faulkbourne has an Elizabeth Amys in its records in the 1730s. .Searched for her baptism Bocking 1750-60. I have searched Witham baptisms 1749-1766, D/P 30/1/3 image 7-24, and she is not baptised there - just a William Amis to Thomas & Elizabeth Amis in 1758, image 15. Look in 2013 for any Firmins in Hatfield Heath

** From Seax Index T/G 390/1 . Traces the history of the family from marriage of Ralph THURGOOD and Philip[pa] Johnson, 1581, but concentrating on successive generations of postmen, postmistresses and postmasters at Terling, 1847-1963, notably William THURGOOD of Terling (1795-1866), shoemaker and postman, and his son Joseph THURGOOD of Terling (1819-1901), shoemaker and postman, 'the oldest postman in England'.
Includes reproductions of photographs of members of the family and of Terling; sketch maps; transcript of will of Ralph THURGOOD, 1588
. . . look this up when next in ERO.

I contacted Wendy Hibbett, a descendant of Thomas Thurgood 1734-1787 and:

"I have looked up my ancestors and I have the will of Thomas THURGOOD 1734-1787.  he is recorded as a cordwainer (shoemaker) but there is no references to apprentices, but his eldest son Thomas may have taken over by then.  He had 13 children of which about 11 survived and I am descended form John the 2nd son 1762-1840
Sorry I can't help you any further as no PARCHMENTS are mentioned in the family tree I have.  Witham is not far to walk across the fields as latter generations of THURGOODs collected the mail from Witham and delivered it in Terling everyday "


Bocking is the north part of Braintree on the above map.

Years of birth and places of birth for Samuel 1788 & James 1792 have only been obtained from Censuses: no baptisms found by me nor by G.L.[but D.Law's notes below?]

1801 & 1802. "We next encounter a William Sparchment, in St. Michael the Archangel, Braintree[ I corrected this from Bocking] where the Church Clerk's Fee Book - D/P 264/1/19 - 1794-1806, other such books exist for 1767-1826 - records on 14/12/1801 a burial fee of 3/6d for William Sparchment. A Mary Sparchment has been buried five days before, 9/12/1801, & a Sarah Sparchment was buried on 11/03/1802..These burials also on the main burial register and the first 2 say’parish’, indicating that the family was too poor to pay for the funerals  . There must have been some sort of epidemic at the time"- G.L. This William Parchment is most likely the father : whereas both father & son 1796 seem to have died before 1837, if we take Elizabeth as a widow in 1807, then William, son, is still alive that year.[ or could be James & John living with her, if latter existed & was still alive!!]

Have now searched Braintree baptism records online at Seax - Jan 2012. .

I also have info. from Dorothy Law's jottings:{The following was sent me from Australia by Carol Keam: "I have some notes from Dorothy Margaret [Law, 1918-1989, the granddaughter of Charlotte Parchment,1869-1944,[ & thus the gggranddaughter of Samuel] & George Turner 1865] which read:

June , 1789 - Sam Parchment - he could well be ours!
April 1, 1793 - James Parchment - Died
Nov. 1, 1795 - John Parchment
July 2, 1779 - Elizabeth Parchment I - Died
July 13, 1780 - Elizabeth Parchment II - Born
Jan 3, 1782 - William Parchment - Died
Nov 8 , 1783 - Mary Parchment - Died .Is she the Mary who died in 1801?
July 22, 1787- Sarah Parchment - Died. Is she the Sarah who died in 1802? I am mystified as to how she obtained these facts, with precise dates[ of baptisms I assume] as neither G.L. nor I have uncovered them in the ERO - have certainly covered Witham and Bocking registers. Carol has re-examined them ,Nov 2009 and scanned Dorothy's original notes for me. Thought as of Nov 2009 is that she could have got this info. out of a relative's bible on a 1993 visit to England?
And Queenie, who she visited, did have a Bible then, which was later mislaid!! They do not seem to come from the Witham Burial Register, see top of page and Carol is adamant that Dorothy would not have visited any Archives!.

1807. D/P 268/18/1. In a house to house survey in Bocking in 1807 there is a widow Parchment in Bradford St. with 2 boys aged under 15. William~ 1745/1754, having prob. died in 1801, G.Lewis thinks this is almost certainly Elizabeth with James~15 and William,11. If so, maybe Samuel, 18-19, has already joined the East Essex Militia, a unit that could be posted anywhere in the United Kingdom whilst the Army was abroad with the Napoleonic Wars

Samuel Parchment [ by now returned from Ireland with wife Bridget] surfaces again in 1822 when he is shown as one of the tenants in a property in Bocking left by a Daniel Teader to one of his daughters[G.L]

James Parchment , 1792, has shoemaker down as his occupation on his Nov.1841 marriage to Sophia Hitchcock in Spitalfields, his father also given as Shoemaker. William Parchment , c1754, was indentured to a Thomas Thoroughgood in 1761 [but as a shoemaker? yes, confirmed above by Seax & Wendy Hibbett], but his 1778 marriage entry unfortunately does not give his occupation - but now we know it!.Also there is a 25/05/1796 baptism record [ERO- Bocking Ind. Chapel- minister Rev I Thorogood!] for almost certain? brother, William Parchment, born 4/4/1796, and his father is William, shoemaker, but no mother named!. Do not understand where the Bocking Independent Chapel Records have come from? - why can I not find them???

I decided William's wife, Elizabeth Parchment, must die 1807-1837, as not in 1841C and no deaths 1837-1841. She was buried, Elizabeth Parchment [ widow] aged 59, on 8/5/1809, in Bocking church This would lead to a birth ~ 1750: other, Bennett, burial ages in Bocking have been correct, so still not convinced she was the Elizabeth Amies baptised 1755 way away in Hatfield Heath .

Possible[ some with little fact other than the above jottings!!, but also 2 Witham baptisms & 1 Bocking baptism

Children of William Parchment c1745/1754.

Elizabeth 1778/9 - 1779

Elizabeth 1780 - ? Baptised Witham

William 1782-1786 Baptised Witham & buried Witham as "son of William Sparchment, shoemaker"- not on IGI

Mary 1783 - 1801. No baptism Witham, Bocking, Braintree. Buried 1/12/1801 D/P 264/1/19 Braintree burials - Church Clerks Fee book - 3s/6d. But in the Braintree burial register it says 'parish' implying that the family were too poor to pay

. . . . As the family were using Witham Church for burials up to 1786, it seems odd that Mary 1783 was not baptised there.

Sarah. 1787. . - 1802. No baptism Witham, Bocking, Braintree. Buried 11/3/1802 D/P 264/1/19 Braintree burials - Church Clerks Fee book - 3s/6d - not sure of this, No 'parish, meaning poor- written beside her burial. Also on IGI

Samuel. Parchment c1788 - 1861. No baptism Witham, Bocking, Braintree. Covered on his own page.

James Parchment . c1792 - 1873. The Turnkey. No baptism Witham, Bocking, Braintree. He, 1793, does survive in Dorothy's notes!

John 1795. No baptism Witham, Bocking, Braintree The John Parchment who died Braintree Sep 1847 was not he but the 4yr old son of Samuel 1824.

William Parchment 1796- 1809 Baptism exists on IGI : at Bocking Independent Chapel. He does not exist in Dorothy's notes! Seems to die aged 13, buried in Bocking Church 31/12/1809



A James Parchment was baptised 29/5/1789 to James & Elizabeth Parchment

Searched IGI and FMP records again in Jan 2014- to see if any more records had appeared.

. Return to Samuel Parchment 1788.