Family links with Kent

This information on this page summarises the ancestral line of Margaret Knight from Sandwich and Deal, Kent and nearby locations - see link at bottom of the page. Ian Starling and Margaret Tyler were the primary contributors to the content.

A short history of Sandwich from 1500 to 1600

The following narrative provides a brief overview of key events in Sandwich before and around the earliest events recorded below.

According to one source, '... the town of Sandwich is five miles from Deal, over the Sandowns, by the horse road, and about seven miles by the coach road, through Ham and Finglesham; twelve miles from Dover and Canterbury; six miles from Ramsgate, and nine miles from Margate. It was first built on a point of land left by the retiring waters of the Portus Rutupinus and now extends along the southern shore of the river Stour, which from hence to the sea is called 'Sandwich haven''. According to the same source, '... from its exceeding low situation, on what was once the bed of the sea, bounded by the present haven, or creek, on one side, and a vast quantity of wet and damp marshes on the other sides of it, this town cannot possibly be healthy, or even a desirable place of habitation. (Source:

Sandwich was one of the original Cinque Ports, a confederation of five harbours: Sandwich, Romney, Dover, Hythe, and Hastings plus the two Ancient Towns of Rye & Winchelsea. These were grouped together, for defence purposes, by Edward the Confessor. They supplied the Crown with ships and men. (Source:

The teenage English King Edward VI and son of Henry VIII reigned from 1547 - 1553. During the time of Edward VI the haven decayed 'and the navy and mariners dwindled to almost nothing ... and the houses then inhabited in (the) town did not exceed 200'. Queen Elizabeth I established a commission to review what could be done for the haven in around 1560. However, despite an attempt at a new cutting, it failed and the haven ceased to exist. (Source:

From 1553, Henry VIII's daughter Jane became Queen followed by Mary Queen of Scots. In 1558, the protestant Elizabeth I became Queen of England.

Between 1555 and 1559, Pope Paul IV sent his biggest ship to Sandwich as a mark of respect (and perhaps an attempt at Catholic support or inditimidation). The ship proved unmanageable when nearing the harbour and sank right in the midst of the only area of navigable channel that was left, completely blocking it up. As a result, the entrance to Sandwich haven was blocked and it continued to silt up. (Source:

In 1561 Queen Elizabeth granted refuge to 25 Protestant Flemish families seeking to escape persecution on the part of Catholics in Europe. At the outbreak of the plague in 1564, St Peter's church in Sandwich was given to the Strangers for their sole use to discourage the spread of infection. By 1565 there were 420 households in Sandwich, of which 291 were English and 129 Walloon/Flemish. According to the same source, in that year '... there were three merchants, one scrivener, two surgeons, and one master of sence [sic]. There were in the coasting trade, and in the fisheries, nine crayers, from fourteen to twenty-four tons; five boats, from six to ten tons; three hoys [sic], from twenty to forty tons; sailors sixty-two'. (Source: and

More 'strangers' came in 1567 and again in 1574. By this time the Flemish population numbered around 2,400 people, many of whom were said to have come from the Westkwartier area of Flanders and also the neighbouring Pays D'Alleu. Many were textile workers. 'These strangers, by their industry and prudent conduct, notwithstanding the obstructions they met with, from the jealousy of the native tradesmen, and the avarice of the corporation, very soon rose to a flourishing condition'. By 1582 there were 351 Dutch settlers in Sandwich which, despite the decay of the haven, helped to improve the town's economy.(Source:

Note that the existence of these strangers in Sandwich and others parts of Kent may provide the basis for mtDNA evidence linking the maternal line from Europe. This may, however, never be firmly established and is only speculation at this point.

Adams - Amy families (Canterbury and Ash, Kent)

Ash is a small town three miles west of Sandwich. It was on the main road from Sandwich to Canterbury. This fact may be connected with the travels of the following individuals to Sandwich on the coast, and to Canterbury and further west.

John Adams from Ash, Kent, had the following children, all baptised at St Nicholas, Ash, Kent:

John Adams may have had a brother, Robert Adams, whose son John Adams was baptised at St Nicholas, Ash, on 12 September 1585, as well as a brother, Christopher Adams, whose daughter Susan Adams was baptised in the same location on 8 March 1589, and another daughter Alcye Adams, baptised on 9 January 1591.

William Amy from Canterbury, Kent, had at least one child, baptised at St Andrew's, Canterbury:

At some point, Andrewe Adam/Adams met Mildred Amey, probably from Canterbury. They married at St Andrew's, Canterbury on 30 June 1593. (Source: Canterbury Archdeaconry marriages 1538-1928 U3/5). They then appear to have moved to Sandwich and had the following children, all baptised at St Peters's, Sandwich during a resurgence of the plague there - see below.

A Sara Adames was born to a Rychard Adames and baptised at St Peter's Sandwich on 22 December 1583. Given the dates, Rychard may be Andrew Adam's brother.

The Plague at Sandwich

In 1597 the plague raged at Sandwich. King James I became King of the England and Scotland in 1603 at the death of Elizabeth. He reigned until 1625 during which time the economy of Sandwich 'soon fell into decay again'. The various Flemish and Walloon residents who arrived earlier then 'mixed among the rest of the inhabitants in the exercise of the various occupations in the town'. (Source:

James Adam marries Elizabeth - at Burham? - children baptised at Sandwich

Thomas Adam, believed to be the brother of James Adam, married a Rose Gooden ('Shown as GOODIN in lic.and ADAM in PR') at St Peter's, Sandwich, on 30 November 1629.

Based on the details and date of birth of his and Elizabeth's children, James Adam appears to have married an Elizabeth before 1638 or earlier. Presently it is not possible to confirm who Elizabeth was. One possibility is that he married Elizabeth - or possibly two Elizabeths - in Burham.

The small village of Burham, 38 miles west of Sandwich, is known as the place where invading Roman legions, coming from the coast, met British tribes in AD43. The church of St Mary the Virgin, built in the 12th century, was (and remains) located to the west of the village along the so-called 'Pilgrim's Way', a route supposedly taken by pilgrams travelling from Winchester in Hampshire to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury. (Sources:,

There are two records of a James Adam marrying in Burham, Kent:

Perhaps James Adam married twice, or perhaps the James Adam above is not the same person as James Adam born in Sandwich. Perhaps his first wife Elizabeth Gaskin died (although we cannot yet find a match yet for her death) and James married Elizabeth Paris. The one factor that tends to go against James marrying Elizabeth in Burham (possibly twice) is the distance from Ash and Sandwich. It is also possible that the record of James and Elizabeth marrying has not, for whatever reason, survived.

The plague again hit Sandwich in 1635 and continued 'with great violence' for the greatest part of the two next years. Between 6 July and 5 October 1637 about ten people died every week. The plague again raged there in 1643. Many of the strangers left Sandwich and headed to London, and it is not surprising that some of the others listed below moved to Deal. (Source:

Whoever Elizabeth was, James and Elizabeth Adams were in Sandwich by 1638 where they had the following chidren, all baptised at St Peter's, Sandwich. The register clearly says 'Adam' and not 'Adams':

An Elizabeth Adam, the daughter of James and Elizabeth, was buried on 26 January 1640 at St Peter's Sandwich. Given Elizabeth's baptism in April 1640, it seems unlikely that the one who died in January was the same daughter; perhaps it is James' wife - but then who was Mildred's mother? (Source: Canterbury Archdeaconry burials 1538-1988 U3/12/1/2)

Two other people with similar names appear in record around the same time. Mildred Adams, the daughter of Peter Adams of Cranbrook, Kent, who was baptised on 22 November 1635 at Cranbrook. (Source: Cranbrook baptisms 1559-1812). Mildred Adams, the daughter of William and Alice Adams, was baptised in 1638 at Ash, Kent (St Nicholas church records. These names have been included for reference only because they are so similar; given the proximity, William Adams may be a close relative of James Adams.

Civil War - 1642 - 1660

Civil War broke out throughout England in 1642. In 1653 the government assumed control of all church registers and appointed civil officers in each parish to keep custody of the books. Those officers were also empowered with the sole authority to make entries in the registers. A fee of one shilling was charged for each entry to be made and many births went unrecorded. During 1654 the performance of marriages became the sole responsibility of Justices of the Peace rather than the clergy. Many couples not wishing to offend their beliefs in the sanctity of a church ceremony opted to not have their marriages performed. Many of those couples, instead, ran the risk of marrying clandestinely in a church ceremony or not at all. Upon the restoration of Charles II to the throne during 1660 the provision for the keeping of civil records was repealed. Unfortunately, many of the records of the Civil War and Interregnum period do not survive although some clerics did attempt, post-Restoration, to record the vital events that had occurred in their parishes between 1642 and 1660. (Source:

Adams - Saffery

A Laurance Safferie was baptised at St Clement's in Sandwich, Kent, in 1656, the son of Laurance and Jeane Safferie. The connection with the Saffery names below is not known but it is included for reference. Laurance Safferie senior may be related to John Saffery.

There are two records for Mildred's marriage to John Saffery: (a) The Canterbury Archdeaconry marriages 1538-1928 (reference U3/12/1/2) has a record of a Mildred Adames marrying a John Saphry at St Peter's Sandwich, on 15 January 1655. (b) The second record appears to refer to the first one: Mildred Adams married John Saffery, a mariner at St Peter's in Sandwich, Kent, on 9 January 1656 (although if the details above are correct, she would have only been 14 at the time). A note on the second record states 'S. (son) of John d. (daughter) of James also shown at Sandwich St.Peter and St. Clem. on 15th Jan.'. It is believed that the second one is simply a registration of the first marriage, given the note, and the year may be the same but incorrectly transposed. John and Mildred Saffery had at least two children:

It is worth noting that, in addition to the names above, other Safferys (also Saferie, Safferie) were born around the same period and baptised at St Leonard's in Deal. The following names are recorded:

Mildred's mother, Elizabeth/Elisabeth Adams 'the wife of James Adams' was buried at Sandwich on 5 August 1663 (St Peter's, Canterbury Archdeaconry burials 1538-1988 U3/12/1/2).

John Saffery, 'the son of John Saffery and Mildred his wife', was buried at St Clement's, Sandwich on 1 June 1664. (Source: Canterbury Cathedral Archives U3/17/1/1, (St Peter's, Canterbury Archdeaconry burials 1538-1988 U3/12/1/2). At this time their children were aged from 5 to 1.

Mildred's father, James Addams, died in 1668 in Sandwich. The executor to the will was 'son John Paramore' and refers to any heirs from his wife Mildred. It also notes a grandchild, James Saffery. At this point in her life, Mildred had lost both her parents and her husband and had three young children. (Source: Probate Index, Canterbury Archdeaconry Court PRC11/30/2).

John Paramour, a 22 year old carpenter from Sandwich in Kent (born around 1646, and so at least five years younger), married the widow Mildred Saffery, of Sandwich, at All Saints, Canterbury, on 30 June 1668. Mildred was the widow of John 'the seaman' Saffery. It appears that John and Mildred then moved to Deal. John and Mildred Paramour/Parramour had two children:

Rouss - Baker

On 17 January 1669, John Baker married Mary Rouss at Deal. (Source: England Mariages 1538 - 1973). Mary had two brothers, John Rouss (married 1665) and William Rouss (married 1671). John and Mary Baker had four children:

Paramour - Cheesman - Baker

Mildred Parramore died on 18 March 1678. At this time her eldest son James Saffery would have been around 19. John Paramore (shown as Jno Parramour) re-married, to Elizabeth Cheesman at St Leonard's, Deal on 13 November 1688. (Source: Canterbury Cathedral Archives, U3/95, page 82). John and Elizabeth had one or two children:

On 2 December 1700, William Baker (born 1677) married Barbara Paramour (born 1677) at the Parish Church of St Leonard's in Deal, Kent, England. (Source: Canterbury Cathedral Archives, 1679 - 1707, page 89).

A Mary Paramour married at Samuel Westwood at St Leonard's, Deal, on 15 February 1708. (Source: England Mariages 1538 - 1973). She has been included here as she may be related to Barbara.

William and Barbara Baker had four children:

Whitten - Pepper

Ann Baker married John Whitten (no other details known) on 22 January 1731. Their only known child was Margaret Whitten/Witten (bap 4 March 1732 - 1805). Margaret married Henry Pepper (? - 1780. No other details) and had the following children:

It is noted that in 1765/6 three young children were buried in the space of weeks. Two other Pepper children had previously died. Before Mary had been born, Henry and Margaret had lost five of their six infants. Mary’s only known living brother was John Whitten Pepper, who was eight years old when she was born. Another brother, Henry, (thought to have been younger) was buried in 1770. Mary’s father was buried in 1780; Mary Pepper would have been 14 at the time, and her brother John Whitten Pepper, about 23. Mary's mother died in December 1805 at Deal and was buried there on 23 December, at the age of 73.


Joseph Garrison Woodland was the son of Henry Woodland, described as a 'sojourner' off the 'Prince George', a ship on which he had presumably served. His ancestry is not known. His first wife, Elizabeth Budd (nee not known), was a widow with three young children (Elizabeth, nearly 7, John, 5, and William, 1 or 2) when she married Henry Wodland in Deal on 31 May 1757. Her first husband, William Budd, had died in March 1756, and had been buried at Deal on 16 March of that year. Four years after her marriage to Henry, Elizabeth had a son, Joseph Garrison Woodland, who was baptised on 29 July 1761. Joseph also became a mariner. Henry died in November 1775, and was buried at Deal on 26 November of that year. It is not known when Elizabeth died.

Woodland - Pepper

Joseph Garrison Woodland, was 21 when he married Mary Pepper, who had just turned 17. The marriage took place at Deal on 21 January 1783. The register states that the bride’s mother had given her consent to the marriage. Two other Peppers were witnesses - John (possibly the bride’s only surviving brother, John Whitten Pepper) and another Mary, who may have been John’s wife. Four months after Joseph and Mary were married, their first child, Henry, was baptised. In their first fifteen years of marriage the Woodlands had seven children. Their dates of baptism were as follows:

George Woodland married Sarah Holbrook in 1835 and had five children:

George Woodland was described in his children’s christening records as a mariner, making him the third generation of mariners in the Woodland family. It is likely that George, his father, and grandfather all were crew members of cross-Channel vessels. It appears that later some of George’s family moved to Liverpool and then to Runcorn, Chesire. George Edward Woodland died in Liverpool in 1906. Randall Woodland became a linen draper, moving around to Runcorn, Great Yarmouth, Norwich and Halstead.

In their later life both Joseph and Mary Woodland were living in the Union Workhouse at nearby Eastry. Eastry was a small town, about 7 kms NW of Deal. While there, Joseph senior suffered apoplexy early in 1839, and died in the workhouse on 9 January. He was buried three days later. After a further two years Mary, then aged 74, died on 14 December 1840, also in the Eastry Workhouse. Her death was described as being due to dropsy. Her burial took place two days later, and is recorded in the Parish register at St. George’s in Deal. Mary's death certificate describes Joseph's occupation as 'waterman'. In both cases some doubt remains about their age at death. Joseph's death certificate states he was 78, whereas depending on his age at baptism, he may have been only 77. Mary’s certificate states 72, whereas from her baptism to death, 74 years elapsed.

Bish/Bysh of Worth

Henry and Sarah Bysh are believed to have been from Worth, Sussex, 10 kms west of Deal. The records give the following names and christening dates:

Although there is no definite proof that David Bysh’s father (see below) is the William Bysh (1750 - ) listed above, it is significant that two of William’s children were Jane Anne and Henry, and that David named his first daughter Jane Ann.

Henry Bysh (1777 - ) and his wife Mary had three children:

William Bysh (1750 - ) was living in East Grinstead, Sussex, with his wife, Ann, when their first two (known) children, David and Fanney, were born. His wife Ann's maiden name or birth-place are not yet known. Their children were as follows. (Note that the family appears to have moved to Horsted Keynes in 1792).

Some time before 1815, both David Bysh and his brother Henry Bysh, and possibly others in the family, moved to Deal in Kent. Deal is about 80 kms to the east of Horsted. It is not known what caused them to move such a distance. It was there, in 1825 that Henry married in 1825 and was recorded as a grocer there in 1851.

Bysh/Bish - Woodland

On Wednesday, 22 November 1815, David Bish married Ann Whittin Woodland, the fifth of seven children born late in 1793 or January 1794 to Joseph Woodland and his wife, Mary (née Pepper). David and Ann’s marriage is recorded in the Parish records of St. Leonard’s Church. (There appears to have been two parishes in Deal - St. Leonard’s and St. George’s - and it was not uncommon for events to have been recorded in the records of both parishes.) Both bride and groom were described as being 'of this parish', and the witnesses were Robt. Ward and E. Pepper. (The latter witness was no doubt one of Ann’s maternal relatives.)

At the time of his marriage David was a yeoman (one who possessed free title to a small portion of land which he farmed, and which possibly gave him the right to serve on juries and some voting rights). David and Ann were living in Duke Street in Deal when their daughter Jane Ann Bish was born (baptised 25 April 1817). Jane would have been named after David’s younger sister, who had also been named Jane Anne. In 1819 another daughter, Margaret, was born (baptised 14 July 1819). At that time David and Ann gave their address was as 'Sandy Lane (N end)' in Deal.

David Bish died in 1820 followed by Ann Bish in 1823. At this time Jane was only 6 and her sister 4. They were probably then cared for by their grandparents or uncles/aunts.

In 1841 a 20 year-old Jane Bish was living at Copthorne Bank, Burstow, in the hundred of Reigate, Surrey. In the same dwelling were Mary Bish (aged 60), and a one year old child, Mary Bish. This Jane was noted as having been born outside Surrey (Deal is in Kent), and as the 1841 census shows adult ages to the lower quinquennium, 20 was correct for Jane. Both Marys had been born in Surrey. One possibility is that the older Mary was an aunt or great aunt and that young Mary may have been Jane’s child. Whether or not this is the same person, Jane Bish was in London by around 1841. According to death certificate, she contracted syphillis around 1842, but (as will be seen below) it may have been later.

Jane's sister Margaret moved north, first to London, and later to the outskirts. In 1841 she was servant to Edwin Hills, a surgeon, living at 17 Goswell St, St. James, Clerkenwell (in London). Ten years later, at the age of 32, she was still single, and was a servant in the employ of Edward and Sarah Garraney at Dachet in Buckinghamshire, near Eton. She could not be located in 1861, nor could any record of her marriage or death be found in the various censuses that followed. Possibly she emigrated.

The Bushell family of Deal, Kent

Thomas James Bushell married Mary Long White (born 1811) on 14 May 1832 in Deal, Kent. They had at least one child, James Thomas ('Tom') Bushell, who was born in 1833 or 1834. A TJ Bushell, possibly Tom's father, died in 1837. Mary Long Bushell died in 1840. At the time of the 1841 census, Tom Bushell (junior) was living in what appeared to be an orphanage, Admiralty House, in Queen Street, Deal. Ten years later in 1851, he was a farm servant on a farm at Ickham and Well, Kent. 18 years later in Geelong, Australia, he would marry the daughter of Jane Bish - Margaret Knight (see below).

Knight - Morland

Thomas Knight was born in Reading, Berkshire to Richard and Hannah Knight (see separate page), the eighth of nine children, and was baptised on 8 October 1817 in that location. Richard Knight was a carpenter. Both Thomas' parents (Richard and Hannah Knight) died in 1829 when he was only 12, and sometime after that Thomas ended up in London. In 1840, Thomas married Jane Ann Morland, a fellow resident of Charter House Lane, St John's Street, London. Unfortunately, Jane died in May 1841 aged 24 of causes unknown. It is not believed they had any children; Jane potentialy died as a result of complications in childbirth.

Jane and Thomas Knight - London to Geelong

Jane Bish and Thomas Knight met sometime before 1844. They were married in May 1844 in the Parish Church of St Vedast. The Church of St Mary-le-Bow was about 200 metres down Cheapside from St Vedast. Their daughter Margaret Knight was born in 1851, according to family history 'within the sounds of the Bow Bells. At this time the couple - and ten-week old Margaret - were recorded in the census as living at 9 Sandwich Street, St Pancras along with 5 other families, 16 in total. Thomas was a 'journeyman, carpenter, and joiner'. Perhaps the overcrowding and general living conditions led them to migrate to Australia, where they arrived on board the Marshal Bennett in Geelong on 11 August 1854.

See this page for details of Jane and Thomas' life in Geelong.

Page created 28 October 2015, updated 13 August 2016. Copyright Andrew Warland 2015 - 2017. email: andrewwarland(at)