Earlier Chatters




March 2011: A Brian Chatters contacted me with the suggestion that Rebecca Chatters might both have been born & married William Wilkinson in Rayne[~2 miles to east of Stebbing] 1800-1804. D/P 126/1/4 Rayne marriages 1751-1835. In 2011 this marriage was found by me. In 2012 Rebecca's 1783 baptism was found by Brian in Sible Hedingham . I was then able to build Rebecca's likely ancestry back to William Chatward of Bury St. Edmunds, who married Catherine Clears there in 1572, borrowing all Brian's research - for which many thanks.


Belchamp Otten & Belchamp St.Paul ~6-8 miles NW of Sible Hedingham

1.William Chatward (Chatters) m. Catherine Clears 1550-1601 at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk on 28th July 1572 & then settled in Belchamp St Paul, Essex ~1585. He died & was buried at Tilbury near Clare 21/2/1610. Catherine died 8/8/1601, buried 12/08/1601, Belchamp St Paul, Essex.

William and Catherine had five children, the youngest, Henry, was baptised on 21st September 1586 Belchamp St Paul.

William lived at Belchamp St Paul but he died in the neighbouring parish of Tilbury-juxta-Clare, where he was buried. He died on the 21st February 1609/10 and was buried the following day. His date of death is recorded in the court records. He left a will which is available from the National Archives. He made it on his death-bed. The following is Brian's attempt at transcribing it:

Memorandum that the one and twentieth daie of Februarie anno d[omi]ni iuxta computarum  Eccl[es]ie Anglicane 1609. William Chatwarde of Belchamp St Paule in the countie of Essex beinge at Tilbury neare Clare in the said countie and beinge there sicke in bodie but of perfect mynde & memorie did make his last will & testament nuncupative  in manner and forme followinge & shortlie after dyed. Vizt  He did give and biqueth unto William Chatwarde his sonne all his goodes and chattells whatsoevr on those condit[i]ons followinge. Vizt That he shoulde paye unto Margarett his mother in law five pounds & tenn shillings when sixe weeks next after his deceasse & give & delivr unto hir all the houshould stuff wich shee broughte with hir at hir marriage. And shoulde also paye unto his brother Henry Chatwarde five pounds when one yeare next after the second sixe weeks shalbe expired. And unto his brother John Chatward sixetie shillings when three quters of a yeare next after the foresaid years shalbe expired. And unto his sister Elizabeth Thetford sixetie shillings when three quters of a year next after the last [in]herited three quters of a yeare shalbe ended. And unto William Stevenson & Anne his wife five pounds oute of the bond wherein the saide William Stevenson shoulde bounde to the Testator aforesaid. And lastly he ordained and made his saide sonn William Chatward his executor of this his last will and testamt in the pr[esen]ce of Mr Richarde Hamond minister of Gapworde (?)& John Swayne witnesses.

Probate dated 1st May 1610

Thus William & Catherine had children William, who married Margaret Biatt in 1603 in Belchamp St Paul, John , Elizabeth, Henry & Anne, who married William Stevenson in 1605 in Belchamp St Paul . Does Brian have all their baptisms?

2.Henry Chatward 1586-1628 m. Margarie in ~ 1610 . Marriage probably not in Belchamp St. Paul 1608-1610 though fiche D/P 408/1/1 very difficult to decipher! Baptism & death there.

They had 9 children, the oldest, Henry, was baptised on 25th June 1611 at Belchamp St Paul as Henry Chatward, son of Henrio & Margarie. Image 32 of D/P 408/1/1 Seax. The other children were baptised 1613-1628. Another Henry Chatters died 1652 - who was he? - NBI.

3.Henry Chatters 1611- c1684? m. Abigail Galloway in ~1647. - her name from a property transfer from her mother in 1652 *

They had 7 children. one of whom was Henry 28/7/1650 -1713/4

4. Henry Chatters 1650 -1713 m Elizabeth??. Henry died 2/1713 in Belchamp St. Paul. Elizabeth maybe died May 1743 in Belchamp Otten - Nolan tree, >14000, Ancestry.

He had Francis c1693 baptisms around here seem missing: Peter 19/3/1695, mother Elizabeth - image 66: Sarah 4/7/1697, no mother's name given - image 71 D/P 408/1/1.Unfortunately there is nothing recorded on this fiche between 1689 and 1694, the years that my Francis and Brian's Henry were probably born. The speculation that Henry (c1694) and Francis (c1693, who married in Toppesfield) are sons of Henry (c1650) is based on two pieces of circumstantial evidence. Firstly, the geography because Brian found no other Chatters families living in the area in the 17th century (although there was a CHATTER family living in the Braintree area) and, secondly, the commonality of the male first names between the families of the two Henrys and Francis (which, of course, only holds true if the link is there): Henry (1650) sons Francis, Henry, Peter, and John; Henry (1694) sons Henry, John, Francis, Thomas & Peter; Francis (1693) sons Francis and John.

5. Francis Chatters c 1693 m. Elizabeth Russell 1718 in Toppesfield

They had John Chatters when?, likely 1719-1730 - parish records badly damaged . Also a son Francis, baptism found.

6.John Chatters ~1725 m. Rebecca Peacock 1752 in Toppesfield

They had John Chatters 1756 , baptised 15/2/1756 Toppesfield

John & Rebecca seem to have moved to Sible Hedingham sometime after their marriage as he was buried there 12/6/1795. Also their son John 1756 had his first 2 children, Eliza & Rebecca, baptised there in 1781 & 1783.

John Chatters 1725 was buried in 1795 at Sible Hedingham, as was his second wife, Hannah Clark [ so seemingly Rebecca died before this]. It is almost certain that John of Rayne is his son. The names of his first two sons were John and Francis, presumably after his father and grandfather. The names of his first two daughters were Elizabeth and Rebecca, presumably after their mother and grandmother.


7. John Chatters 1756-1826 m. Eliz. Ward, c.1752-1828, in G. Saling 31/1/1781, he signed, she mark. Sarah Ward was a witness. Banns were read on Dec31 1780, & Jan 7 & 14 1781, both of this parish. - D/P 311/1/2 Great Saling marriages 1754-1812 . I found no Chatters baptisms in Great Saling 1781-1799, D/P 311/1/1, nor in Bardfield Saling D/P 297/1/3 . .

They had Eliza Chatters 1781 & Rebecca Chatters 1783 in Sible Hedingham, then in Rayne, D/P 126/1/4 baptisms 1751-1812,

Sarah 20/3/1785, Jane 17/12/1786, John 15/1/1789, Francis 1791, Rachel 1793, & Amelia 20/7/1795

I also found that in 1792, Elizabeth Chatters an infant [ but in the Clerk's notebook she is given as 10, so this Eliza 1781] was buried 11/1/1792. This anomoly of a burial record for an infant Elizabeth can be explained by the fact that there are two different records at Rayne. The first set of records are in the clerk's notebook and these records are later transferred into the official records. The clerk's notebook give Elizabeth's age as ten years; the official register mistakenly gives her age as "infant" The clerk's notebook is also available at SEAX. I n 1802, Sarah Chatters aged 17 years was buried 3/12/1802in Rayne. In Rayne I found no Chatters baptisms or burials 1760-1780 .

John Chatters 1756 was buried Rayne on 19th August 1826, aged 73 [ 3 years out for our assumed 1756 birth!] and Elizabeth Chatters/Ward was buried Rayne on 19th March 1828, aged 76.

8. William Wilkinson m.Rebecca Chatters 14/11/1803 in Rayne.

* The court papers are the manorial records held at the Guidhall as Belchamp St Paul was part of the manor of St Paul's Cathedral. Henry (born 1611) was a juror for many years and his name is spelt variously as Chatward, Chatters, Chatwood, and Chatteris. The records give information regarding the transfer of property as, at that time, most property was copyhold which meant that, when someone died, his property reverted to the lord of the manor and it was then formerly transferred to the next of kin (or others). I did not find an entry when William died but there was a record in 1611 which confirmed his date of death. Unfortunately, the records are in Latin and I am working on a translation although I am no expert so it could be some time before I succeed! It refers to William's sons, William and John, but I am not sure if William junior is transferring the property to John or whether he is selling it off. I need to do more work and I will probably have to revisit the Guildhall to get more information. . The property papers are part of the court records . The reference to the property which was passed to Abigail is dated 11th June 1652 which was during Commonwealth period so, fortunately, it is in English. The transcript is:

Whereas at a court here held on the 6th April 1642 it was found for then the homage that before that court John Galloway died feifed of certain copyhold lands holden of this manor and before his death did surrender into the hands of the lord of the said manor according to the custom of the said manor all his copyhold lands tenements and hereditaments to the use of his last will and by his last will gave it to Mercy his wife for life and after to Hannah his daughter wife of Thomas Smith upon condition as in the said will. Now the homage present that the said Mercy Galloway and Hannah wife of Thomas Smyth are both dead and that Abigail the wife of Henry Chatters is the next heir. Now came the said Henry Chatteris and for the said Abigail his wife and her attorney in the behalf desired to be admitted tenant to one cottage customary with the appurtenants situated and being in Pauls Belchamp aforesaid and holden of the foresaid Mercy which the said Mercy took up at a court here holden the 6th day of April 1642 after the death and according to the last will and testament of John Galloway her husband to whom the lords by their said stewardship gave thereof feifin by the rod to hold to [blank] and their heirs at the will of the lords according to the custom of the manner by the rents and services thereof in and of right accustomed and she paid her fine.

There is a later record in 1695 but Brian has not yet translated it. It seems that Henry, son of Henry and Abigail, lost possession of the property and it was transferred to Elias Saville altohugh I am not that sure.


  Background for the above facts. Information from Brian Chatters - Sep 2011.

Assuming Rebecca was the daughter of John and Elizabeth (now proved-2012), then I think that I can link John into my tree although there are further complications. I have three individuals named  John Chatters about the same age. Two of them were born in Foxearth and the other was born in Toppesfield. Two sons of Henry Chatters of Belchamp Otten moved to Foxearth and they each had a son Henry (son of Henry) married Ann Cason at Foxearth on 4th Dec 1743 and they had six children. Their son John Chatters was born 29th July 1751. John (son of Henry) married Mary Walford on 30th April 1753 at Foxearth and they had five children. Their son John Chatters was born on 10th Oct 1753. The third possibility is John Chatters who was baptised at Toppesfield on 15th Feb 1756, the son of John Chatters and Rebecca Peacock[ married 1752 Toppesfield -FMP]. John (senior) was probably a son of Francis Chatters of Toppesfield [ married Elizabeth Russell 1718 in Toppesfield - FMP] although I do not have a baptism record for him as the parish records for that time are badly damaged [ but there is a TRANSCRIPT in the ERO, & on the damaged fiche the 1727 baptism of an Elizabeth to Francis & Elizabeth!] . I believe that Francis is a brother of Henry Chatters of Belchamp Otten although, again, I do not have enough evidence to be sure (although it is quite likely). I had assumed that John Chatters of Rayne was the same as John, son of John and Mary Walford based on his age given on his burial record but, as you know ages can be very suspect. In corresponding with you, I have realised that John could well be the son of John and Rebecca Peacock, especially as Rebecca is his daughter. There are no other instances of the name Rebecca in my tree at this time and it is possible/likely that your Rebecca was named after her paternal grandmother. Unfortunately, I do not have any other leads as to what happened to two of the three Johns so I cannot eliminate any of them at this point. Toppesfield is 10 miles from Rayne and Foxearth is 16 miles away so either place could be the origin of John.

Toppesfield Baptism register D/P 163/1/2 up to 1790 is badly damaged and impossible to find even 5% of its contents.There is a transcript: T/R 143/1, but not digitised

Brian is descended from the 3rd son of Henry Chatters born 1694? of Belchamp Otten, Francis who was born 15th April 1723. So our common ancestor is Henry c1660 . - Chris' 8x ggrandfather. . He does possess more details but these probably not relevant to me

"I do have some speculative links to earlier ancestors. Henry Chatters died in Belchamp St Paul in 1713/14 and he is possibly the father of Henry of Belchamp Otten and Francis Chatters of Toppesfield. Unfortunately, there are gaps in the parish records for Belchamp St Paul so I cannot confirm the relationship. During the seventeenth century, the surname CHATTERS was also recorded as CHATWARD in various records for Belchamp St Paul (parish registers and court rolls) and they are obviously for the same families. I have been able to trace the family line back to William Chatward (Chatters) who married Catherine Clears at Bury St Edmunds on 28th July 1572 and who settled in Belchamp St Paul in about 1585. William and Catherine had five children, the youngest, Henry, was baptised on 21st September 1586. Henry married Margerie in about 1610 but I do not have a marriage record. They had nine children, the oldest, Henry, was baptised on 25th June 1611. He married Abigail Galloway in about 1647 but, again, I do not have a marriage record. I know his wife's name from a property transfer from her mother in 1654. Henry and Abilgail had seven children, one of whom was Henry Chatters who died in 1713/4. Again, I do not have a baptism record but the court records confrm that he was the son of Henry and Abigail. "

So, Rebecca's lineage was likely to be one of the following three possibilities, but More research has confirmed the 3rd of these possibilities:

William Chatward (Chatters) c1547 - 1609/10 -> Henry 1586 - 1628 -> Henry 1611 - c1684 -> Henry c1660 - 1713/14 -> Henry c1694 - 1760 -> Henry 1719/20 - ?[ brother Francis 1723] -> John 1751 - 1826 -> Rebecca
William Chatward (Chatters) c1547 - 1609/10 -> Henry 1586 - 1628 -> Henry 1611 - c1684 -> Henry c1660 - 1713/14 -> Henry c1694 - 1760 -> John 1721 - ? -> John 1753 - 1826 -> Rebecca

William Chatward (Chatters) c1547 - 1609/10 -> Henry 1586 - 1628 -> Henry 1611 - c1684 -> Henry c1660 - 1713/14 -> Francis c1693 - 1766 -> John c1727 - 1795 -> John 1756 - 1826 -> Rebecca c 1783


 Another marriage record at Rayne is of interest to me: Amelia Chatters, the daughter of John and Elizabeth, married Samuel Wilkinson on 4th Nov 1817. Samuel 1788 was the younger brother of William Wilkinson 1780 who married Rebecca Chatters - thus 2 brothers married 2 sisters.



Toppesfield ~9 miles to the north of Great Saling. Sible Hedingham ~ 4 miles to the north of Gosfield, ~3 miles to the SE of Toppesfield.

Rebecca Chatters