Sunday, August 21, 2016

I Didn’t Know Syllina's Maiden Name Showed Up in Her Last Will & Testament

Remember Syllina “What’s Her Name?” my 7th great grandmother who was married to William Portas – blog post November 3, 2013? Well, I've been doing a little revisiting of previous blog posts and discovered something I hadn't picked up on before.

As we found out in the blog post of July 15, 2014 her maiden name is Birket or Burket/Berket. We uncovered it by UV light on the original Wold Newton, Lincolnshire, Parish Register. Spelling doesn’t mean much because it changes oh so often in these old records.

Recently I revisited the blog post of April 5, 2014 which talks about her Last Will and Testament of 1717. Wills are suppose to give you a good clue to various family members whether they are spouses, children, siblings, or even parents. Most of the time the Testator would “spell” out how they are connected…my dear husband/wife; my son/daughter, etc. Sometimes the Wills bequeath money or belongings or land to friends or servants, but there would be an adjective describing how they are connected…my good friend and partner; my devoted servant. You really have to pay attention to the detail and check out the connections between all of the names and the deceased. Well I did pay attention to two names in Syllina’s Will, but there was no identifier.

Not knowing until July 2014 what Syllina’s maiden name was, I wasn’t aware of a connection of one of the names in her Will until just recently when I revisited the transcript. In my post of April 5, 2014 further down in the text I explained the DISPERSEMENT… I wrote “Sillenia doesn’t distinguish what connection she has to two more people named further on – John Berkett(?) and Elizabeth Smith who received 10 Shillings a piece. Could they have been her servants? They must have been special to her to be named in her Will.” Well, low and behold, John Berkett turns out to be her brother!

Now I’m suspecting Elizabeth Smith could be her sister. I did go through the Parish Reg. pages on Lincs to the Past, and searched and….nothing showed up on any site. The family could have moved away sometime after 1653 prior to Elizabeth being born and when the last “known” child was baptized and buried in Ludborough. I might find her somewhere in my search wanderings, but I suspect not any time soon.

So I’m at a loss for Elizabeth Smith, but I know who John is. That's not bad for a couple hours sleuthing.

St. Mary's church in Ludborough, where John and Margaret Birket's first five children were baptized. According to "The parish church, dedicated to St. Mary, retains elements from the 13th to the 15th century but was substantially renovated by James Fowler in 1858. Following the lengthy closure for renovation the church was re-opened on 1 May 1860." (photos by me)

Named after Syllina’s father John, her brother John was baptized on 7 Feb 1646 in St. Mary's church, Ludborough, Lincolnshire, England. Syllina was baptized 20 Dec 1648 and is buried in Tetney. Hannah was baptized 4 Nov 1651 and Adsolon and Dinah were baptized 2 Jan 1653. Dinah was buried the following March. I’m not sure if Adsolon and Dinah were twins or not, but most likely. Those are all the children I could find for John and Margaret Birket of Ludborough. It’s interesting there isn’t a daughter named Margaret. I guess the family didn’t practice the naming patterns.

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