Bob’s Your Uncle

(Well, if not yours, he may be someone’s uncle, or at least their fifth cousin!)

From time to time, I like to check through the database for any “loose ends” in the hope of connecting them to one of the main branches. In the course of this process, I have been struck by the number of times we find the name Robert, and I thought it might be interesting to write an article which brings together all these mysterious Roberts. We can often pick up connections on the basis of naming patterns, particularly with the less common given names. Robert, whilst not an uncommon name, does not occur much in our records, and may well therefore reveal links between branches which we have not so far been able to connect. There are currently 62 records in the database for ROBERT LINFIELD; of these about 20 are identified as duplicates. If we then ignore isolated entries from the more recent past, such as telephone listings and birth registrations, we are left with around 15 records which are worthy of further investigation. Similar total numbers occur with the LINDFIELD spelling, though with only a handful of unresolved mysteries.

The earliest Robert to occur as a “loose end” is shown as Rector of a parish called Polstead in Suffolk. He was discovered by IAN AND VALERIE ANDERSON while researching the Ipswich branch for the article which appears elsewhere in this issue, and he seems to have been the Rector of Polstead from 1463 until about 1485. As yet, we have absolutely no idea of his connection (if any) with the other Lin(d)field branches, and apart from GILBERT LINDFIELD and his relatives in Ipswich, there are few recorded instances of the name in that area.

The next Robert in this collection is found in Lincolnshire, which, like Suffolk, is not known to have many Lin(d)field connections. There are three baptisms in the registers of Stragglethorpe and Fulbeck between 1685 and 1691, the parents in each case being shown as ROBERT AND MARY LINFIELD. The children were called Elizabeth, Mari, and Anne. [#2874, #2875, and #2876 respectively]. Whether this Robert was born in the area, or merely settled there on marriage, we cannot yet determine.

Another isolated occurrence appears in the registers of Shackerstone in Leicestershire on 25th May 1686, where a ROBERT LINFIELD married one SARAH GREEN.

Also in the second half of the 17th century, we have ROBERT LINFIELD of Barnards Inn who featured in the very first issue of this journal (Ref. 1) . We know very little about his ancestry, and as yet cannot find the names of his father or grandfather. His mother’s maiden name appears to have been Keble, and from his will (Ref. 2) , we can see that he had an aunt called Alice, though we cannot tell which parent she was related to. It is possible that his father was the JOHN LINCKFIELD (Ref. 3) who lived in St Botolph without Aldersgate in 1638.

Robert himself appears to have born about 1650, and his will shows that he owned a shop. He appears to have had at least three brothers, James, Richard and Edward, and a sister called Farindon. Edward may possibly have been the same Edward referred to as Governor to Richard Montague in 1687 (Ref. 4) . His brother Richard appears to have had a son, also Richard, who was aged under 21 at the time of Robert’s will in 1685, but we have no clues as yet as to any other descendants.

We find no less than three interesting Roberts in the Lingfield area of Surrey in the eighteenth century. One is the son of JAMES LINFIELD (Ref. 5) who was born about 1683, and baptised on 9th June 1683 at Lingfield in Surrey. He is believed to be the great grandson of Richard LINGFIELD (Ref. 6) who was baptised in September 1590, in Chaldon, Surrey. His mother was ELIZABETH TURNER. Robert was baptised in 1713 at Lingfield. He was probably the Robert shown as a haberdasher of Southwark, Surrey, in the 1741 conveyance of land at Wrotham, Kent, to a certain WILLIAM STONE, though this has yet to be proved.

This Robert had a older brother EDWARD, baptised 14 October 1707 and also a younger brother MILLAR, both of whom had sons called ROBERT (Ref. 7). Edward is shown in the Stanford Smith papers as living from 1708 to 1744 and as having sons James and Robert. We have no firm evidence to connect the Stanford Smith entry with the 1707 baptism though it seems likely that these refer to the same person. We do however, have the probate records dated 3 June 1743 of a will dated 9 August 1740 and codicil 12 April 1741. These refer to EDWARD LINFIELD as of Linehouse in Lingfield, county Surrey, yeoman.

The will includes references to several of the immediate family: “…. Wearing apparel and linen to bro. Miller Linfield ……………. His silver spurs to Anthony Farindon, jun. of Linfield, esq. ………..Messuage and land near the Common in Lingfield in occupation of Thomas Stanford to be held by Robert Linfield in trust to hold the same, after the death of his mother Elizabeth Linfield, for the life of his wife Mary so that her annuity of 30 shall be paid. After her death the premises are to go to Henry Isted (Ref. 8) and his heirs for ever. ……… Rent charge of 5 to bro. Miller Linfield for life ………….Devises to brother Robert Linfield farm called Sugham and lands in Lingfield ……………”

His son Robert is shown on the Stanford Smith tree as being of Felcourt Manor, Lingfield, but the date of birth is unclear. Either this Robert, or his cousin described below, may possibly have married ELIZABETH MOOREY on 13 May 1769 at East Grinstead. We have a reference (Ref. 9) to Robert in connection with Felcourt Manor in a fine of 1774:

“In respect of the major part of the manor of Felcourt, Robert Linfield of East Grinstead levied a fine in 1774 by way of conveying it to John Mylam of Lewisham, but an indenture of the same date between the parties mentions only “messuage called New Felcourt and the lands belonging to it.”

The younger brother Millar, named no doubt after his paternal grandmother, MARY MILLAR, had a wife called REBECCA (Ref. 10) who was granted administration (Ref. 11) of the estate of her eldest son James in 1768. James is shown as a bachelor, late of St Saviours, Southwark, but of Carshalton. Rebecca is shown as the wife of THOMAS BYSH, so had presumably remarried. Their fourth child Robert LINFIELD [#1584] was baptised on 19 Mar 1747 at Lingfield, Surrey.

Of the most extensive and most thoroughly researched branches in our database also contains a series of Roberts. This is the branch from which descend JERRY LINFIELD and most of the Canadian branches, and about which articles have appeared in previous issues of LONGSHOT (Ref. 12). The full details of that branch as we have them recorded would fill at least an entire issue of the journal, so in this article I will include only the first six generations:

First recorded generation

1. Robert LINFIELD #5234 born bef 1708, Trull, Somerset, occupation Gent., married in Almesford, Somerset, marr ref: 3 Jan 1727, Bath [allegation], Grace GRAY #5235, born 1704, Castle Cary, Somerset (shown as spinster aged 22 on marriage allegation; mother consenting, implying perhaps that her father was deceased.)

 

Children:
2. i Robert LINFIELD #2464 born abt 1731.

Next Generation

2. Robert LINFIELD #2464 born abt 1731, Baltonsborough, Somerset?, bp. 19 Sep 1731, Baltonsborough, Somerset, married abt 1750, —– —– #16954, born abt 1731. No evidence for wife or for link to #2228; Baltonsborough is, however only about 34 miles from Marnhull, Dorset. IGI 1981 covers from 1599 and has no Linfield entries apart from this one baptism. This Robert could be a descendant of #1607, b. 1539, or #1637, b.1713. Spelling is Lincfield in IGI. Poss descendant of John Linfield of Thornbury, Gloucs (see map). Thornbury-Baltonsborough is about 45 miles. No entries in jurors list of 1748.

Children:
3. i Robert LINFIELD #2228 born 1753.

Next Generation

3. Robert LINFIELD #2228 born 1753, Marnhull, Dorset, married 26 Oct 1773, in St Gregory’s, Marnhull, Dorset, Grace PITMAN #2229, born abt 1752, bp. 26 Aug 1752, St Gregory’s, Marnhull, Dorset, (daughter of George PITMAN #16973 and Grace —– #16974). Robert died 1836, Marnhull, Dorset, buried: 3 Apr 1836, Marnhull, Dorset (Ref. 13). They apparently had 11 children of whom several died young. No evidence to link with #2464; linkage based solely on the proximity of Marnhull to Baltonsborough (about 15 miles) and the rarity of the name in these counties.

Children:
4. i Robert LINFIELD #2219 born 1774.
ii Alfred LINFIELD #2230 born abt 1786, Marnhull, Dorset, died q3—1863, Marnhull, Dorset {Reg: Sturminster}, living: 1841, Marnhull, Dorset. Copies of letters (Ref. 14) dated 1851 to his brother Robert show him in poor state of health. Probably sailed as crew on the Labrador in the employ of a Mr Birt – may have visited brother Robert at Twillingate on a trip in about 1831. Shown as LINKFIELD in CR41, aged 55, ag lab (Ref. 15). Death ref opcs/d 5a143; spelling LINDFIELD. Need to check death cert to ascertain whether he married. Shown in CR51 as aged 68, bn Marnhull (Ref. 16). Spelling LINKFIELD in CR51.
iii Lucy LINFIELD #2231 born abt 1787, Marnhull, Dorset, bp. 11 Mar 1787, St Gregory’s, Marnhull, Dorset, died q4—1858, Sturminster, Dorset, living: 1841, Marnhull, Dorset. Shown in CR41 as aged 55. [film #241342. see refs]. Death ref not proved to be for this Lucy. Shown in CR51 as aged 64 born Marnhull.
iv Mary LINFIELD #2232 born abt 1789, Marnhull, Dorset?, bp. 16 Apr 1790, St Gregory’s, Marnhull, Dorset, living: 1841, Marnhull, Dorset. Shown as aged 50 in CR41 [film #241342. see refs] . Shown in CR51 as aged 62, bn Marnhull
v Josiah LINFIELD #2233 born abt 1794, Marnhull, Dorset, bp. 12 Oct 1794, St Gregory’s, Marnhull, Dorset, died q1—1860, Marnhull, {Reg: Sturminster}, living: 1841, Marnhull, Dorset. Referred to in letter from brother Alfred to bro. Robert in 1851. Shown in CR41 as Josiah LINKFIELD, lab aged 45.[film #241342. see refs]. Poss married Eliza —– whose death shown Sturminster Q1 1842 opcs/d viii 76, surname shown as LINKFIELD. Shown in CR51 as aged 68; poss misprint for 58? .

Next Generation

4. Robert LINFIELD #2219 born 1774, Marnhull, Dorset, bp. 27 Apr 1774, St Gregory’s, Marnhull, Dorset, occupation Planter, married abt 1810, in Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada, Mary —– #2220. Robert died 18 Jan 1860, Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada, buried: South Side Cemy, Twillingate. Listed as a planter at Twillingate in 1819. Buried together with son James at cemetery in front of South Side United Church in Twillingate, Newfoundland. Migrated to Nfld. in 1793. Query date of death; referred to as late father Robert in will of Thos 1858. MI shows as aged 85, died 18 Jan 1860. Mary: Surname poss GOODISON [no evidence except given name of Lucy #9341]

 

Children:
5. i Robert LINFIELD #2221 born 24 Apr 1811.
ii Hannah LINFIELD #2222 born 23 Feb 1815, Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada.
6. iii George Edward LINFIELD #2223 born 22 Feb 1817.
7. iv Thomas LINFIELD #2224 born 23 Feb 1819.
8. v John LINFIELD #2225 born 18 Dec 1820.
9. vi Alfred LINFIELD #2226 born 24 May 1823.
vii James LINFIELD #2227 born 1826, Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada, died 29 Aug 1847, Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada, buried: ?? Sep 1847, South Side Cemy, Twillingate. MI shows as aged 21.

Next Generation

5. Robert LINFIELD #2221 born 24 Apr 1811, Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada, married —– —– #15428. Robert living: 1851, Marnhull, Dorset. Shown in CR51 aged 40, bn Newfoundland, living with Josiah aged 68 and Robert aged 9, both bn Marnhull. According to the notes from Linda Buffington, quoting family bible, Robert the eldest son of Robert the emigrant, himself went to Ontario as a young man but had no children. He is said to have looked after grandson Robert following the death of his parents, until he was placed in the workhouse.

Children:
10. i Robert LINFIELD #14036 born abt 1841.

The other children who had issue, (George, Thomas, John and Alfred) remained in Twillingate, Newfoundland and space does not allow us to list all their descendants here. The Twillingate branches have been thoroughly researched and will be the subject of a further article in LONGSHOT. Robert’s son, also Robert, born in about 1841, appears to have remained in England. The line continues:;

;

Next Generation;

10. Robert LINFIELD #14036 born abt 1841, Marnhull, Dorset, married q2—1861, [marr ref: opcs/m 5a465, Sturminster, Dorset], Jane DEAN #14034, who probably died 1862, London. Robert died q1—1866, London {Reg: St Olave}, living: 1851, Marnhull, Dorset. Shown as aged 9 in CR51; not proved to be son of #2221, but has same census ref. Shown as bn Marnhull; surname spelling LINKFIELD. Death ref opcs/d 1d34; age shown as 25, not proved

Children:
11 i Robert Thomas LINDFIELD #5051 born q1—1862, Sturminster, Dorset, ref: opcs/b 5a248.

The following letter from one Alfred Drew was sent in 1926 in answer to an enquiry about the surviving Marnhull branch. The original is held by Paul Linfield and was copied to the late Betty Kaiser who researched the family for a number of years: The following letter from one Alfred Drew was sent in 1926 in answer to an enquiry about the surviving Marnhull branch. The original is held by Paul Linfield and was copied to the late Betty Kaiser who researched the family for a number of years:

Sept. 24, ’26; Quarry House, Marnhull, Dorset

Mr F Linfield

In answer to your letter received. I have made enquiries about the family of Robert Linfield. I have seen Robert Linfields sister in law Miss Lousea (sic) Dean. She is between 70 & 80 years of age. He married her sister Jane and went to live in London and she gave birth to a son. The wife died at child birth and Robert died shortly after.

The child was brought to Marnhull with the grandparents and then was put in Sturminster-Newton work house. After a few years Capt. Hammon of Manston House took him and brought him on a nice smart young man. After Capt. Hammon’s death he went in Somerset as insurance agent and there married and had one daughter. Both father and daughter died there. His name was Robert Linfield.

I have asked several very old inhabitants here, but no one knows of any Linfields living. The last Robert Linfield’s widow came back to Shaftsbury and Miss Dean corresponded with her until she married again, not hearing from her since. This is all the information I can find for you but should I hear anymore I will write and let you know,

Yours truly, Alfred Drew

Next Generation

11. Robert Thomas LINDFIELD #5051 born q1—1862 (this being the only birth registration which fits the date.). The birth was registered at Sturminster, Dorset, though the letter above suggests that the birth might have taken place in London. He appears to have married(Ref. 17) in q3—1889. Without obtaining a copy of the marriage certificate, we cannot find the name of his wife, but she appears to have remarried after his death and died at Shaftsbury. Robert is believed to have died q1—1913, the death being registered at Wells in Somerset(Ref. 18) . The marriage reference is not proved to be the same person, but the date fits with the probable birth of their daughter Daisy Ellen in 1891. This daughter appears to have died in 1904 at the age of 12. It would appear therefore that there are no descendants of this branch remaining in the United Kingdom.

Another Robert who remains something of a mystery, can be found in the parish records of Canterbury in Kent. He and his wife REBECCA appear to have had at least 5 children, who were baptised in the 1790’s; their names were Charles, Sarah, Charlotte, Henry and Isaac. We have no idea where this Robert came from and no trace as yet of any other descendants.

Another isolated marriage occurred in Potsgrove, Bedfordshire on 27th May 1855, between ROBERT LINFIELD and MARY ANN WINDMILL. We have a few records relating to Bedfordshire, though some of those we have collected turned out to relate to the SINFIELD families, whose surname was frequently misread in old records.

Finally, we have ROBERT LINFIELD whose birth was registered at Petworth in 1844, and was baptised on 17th May of that year. He might have been the same Robert, who was a stoker in the merchant navy, and married Caroline Osben. They were living in 1876 at 36 New England St, Brighton, Sussex. No marriage reference has yet been found, though we have records of his descendants, who include Melza Linfield, our Treasurer.

They are believed to have had five children; Sarah Jane, Henry Robert, Louise, Charles Frank, and Archibald Joseph. Henry, who was born 29 Nov 1867 and married on 2nd Feb 1893, in Preston, Brighton. His wife was Mary Maud Green (born 6 Mar 1856, died 10 Dec 1958). Henry died 16 Apr 1916. CHARLES FRANK LINFIELD(Ref. 19) was born 6 Jan 1876 in Brighton and his occupation is shown as seaman. He married in 1913 and served many years in theNavy (Ref. 20).

Needless to say, if any of our readers can assist in identifying these various Roberts, or would like to do some local research to find out more about them, we would be very pleased to hear from them.

References

1. LONGSHOT Vol 1 No 1 May 1992.

2. His will is in the Whitmore Collection, a microfilm copy of which is available at the Society of Genealogists

3. #3279 in database

4. see #14876. Pass to travel beyond the seas, PRO: SP 44/70, p 268;

5. #1630 in database

6. #1612 in database; see The Early Linfields, LONGSHOT Vol 4 no 1.

7. #1639 and #1584 in database

8. He was the younger son of Edward’s sister Mary

9. Victoria County History of Surrey; vol iv p 304

10. #1580 in database

11. 1 Aug 1768 – SOG Great Card Index; Bax MS Ac 3805

12. LONGSHOT vol 1 no 2 and vol 2 no 1.

13. Rev A J Stott, Rector of Marnhull Parish Church of St Gregory; from Bill and Betty Kaiser of New Hampshire.

14. Transcripts of the letters appeared in The Marnhull Letters by Jerry Linfield; LONGSHOT vol 1 no 2.

15. Census return 1841, Sturminster, Newton Castle & Par of Marnhull film #241342, LDS Library.

16. HO107/1852 and /1851 from 1851 Index published by Somerset and Dorset FHS.

17. Marr ref: 5a419, Sturminster, Dorset

18. Death ref 5c613; age 50.

19. #3056 in database

20. letter 1959 B M Linfield of Oswestry, Salop.

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