Robert I son of William and Eleanor
Of Hilton and Buckland Newton
Married Susana Coombes
Robert and Susana appear to have had only two children Luce and William, which was another case of this branch of the family only surviving by a shoestring.
There does not appear to be much on the records regarding Robert only that he is referred to in the records as being a yeoman of Buckland Newton and Hilton.
Robert it appears was the first of the family to be christened at Mappowder his parents however do not appear to have lived there.
of Buckland Newton
Married Fanny 1779
After the death of Robert, Williams father, there appears to be no mention of the family living at Hilton after this time the family appears to have been mainly centred on Buckland Newton with some involvement in other surrounding villages including Duntish, Mappowder and Plush.
William and Fanny had four children Susana, John, James, William and Robert.
Died 1847 aged 64
Married Eleanor Tizzard 1808
Robert and Eleanor had seven children Susana, Mary, Thomas, William, Joseph, James, and Robert,
From this it is easy to understand that from here on, the various farms would not be of sufficient size to support such a large family and this would lead to the family becoming more wide spread.
Around this period there were more printed records, in one such a record which was a directory of the area, giving the names of trades people and farmers, Robert was listed as being a dairy man and general store owner of Mappowder. Whether they lived in Mappowder or not it is not clear. In the same directory there is a reference to their son Joseph being a miller and storekeeper also a smallholder and as being of Duntish and Buckland Newton.
At one time the store at Mappowder appears to have been run jointly by Eleanor and her son James, at around this time James’s nephews wife Caroline worked there as a sub-postmistress, James appears to have run the shop and a farm until his death in 1896, Caroline’s husband was the village blacksmith.
Due to the foregoing it would appear that during Robert’s lifetime that they had diversified from being just farmers into local businessmen, and thus it would appear that they had
what under normal circumstances, would have been a very thriving enterprise going in this small community. But with this amount of children to support the going must have been tough.
In the villages at that time the general store would have been the mainstay of local life, they would not only have sold essential foodstuffs, but also tools ironmongery, drapery and sewing and dressmaking material, and they would have also acted as agents for farmers and others who wanted to purchase larger items from outside the locality and through arrangement with the local carrier for the purchase and delivery of goods for ordinary villagers from shops in Dorchester and Blandford.
As with a number of his ancestors I have not been able to ascertain the exact date of Roberts death but I believe it to have been around about 1881.
The time of death of a great number of family members, was not recorded unless they left a will, the reason being that, they were nearly all nonconformists for a great number of years, and in the earlier days some being Anabaptists, and later on Wesleyans.
Most of the present day Dorset family appear to have descended from Roberts’s two sons Robert and William, as will be seen from the family tree.
Married 1 Sarah Jeans 1841
2 Martha Tucker 1858
William appears to have had five children with Sarah, these were John 1842, Robert 1844, Fanny 1846, James 1848, Priscilla, 1851, and with Martha, Frederic 1861.
Died 1906 aged 91
Married Harriet Jeans 1836
It is rather difficult to compile any accounts on the last three these later generations due to the large number of offspring. I have however I hope been able to include most of them on the family tree up until approximately 1888,
As mentioned in an earlier paragraph, for at least the last three generations of that period the family diversified into new occupations, among these was operating the mill at Duntish, one of the miller members of the family, I do not who, but was an uncle of my father. Utilised his skill at recutting the mill stones, to carry on a second trade of Stonemason, various members of this early family also became, Shoemakers, Blacksmiths, Gardeners, farm Bailiffs etc.
Quite often some these earlier kinsmen still maintained small farms whilst carrying out these other occupations. Later on most of the younger generation moved away into the towns notably Bournemouth,( which was by the now a relatively new and fast growing town) and also Dorchester . Bridport and Weymouth.
A very interesting fact, that does not appear in the records, which is purely anecdotal and as related by the older generation, it is that, the family at that time contained, quite a number of accomplished country musicians, at least in the case of Robert III’s family, who were in great demand at local functions particularly noted for their flute and fiddle playing, at least one of them was also a very adept concertina player (A type of small accordion) which in those days was a relatively new instrument.