The church to the left, St John the Baptist, is an 19th century reconstruction and addition to the 12th century original church. Just a quick note: this is the main church in Windsor... yes, just a very short walk down the hill from the Windsor Castle where the Royals stay regularly. Photo by John Salmon, Creative Commons licence.
Margaret TINKER, the only daughter of Robert TINKER and Anne/Agnis BERRINGTON, was baptised February 5th, 1597/98. Margaret's mother died aged 32 yrs, in childbirth along with her 4th child; both were buried on Dec 5th, 1599. Margaret's father, Robert TINKER, took a second wife, Mary Merwin, January 26th, 1599/00, with whom he had 8 children. Margaret grew up as the eldest girl in this blended family, and married about a year before her youngest step-sister was born.
On June 12th 1617, Margaret married Walter [alternate spelling, Gualter] MERWIN in Windsor, after banns were called, in their church, St John the Baptist. After their marriage, they lived a mile away in the village of Clewer, Berkshire, where their first 4 children were baptised. Clewer was the original name for Windsor, but after the Windsor Castle was built, it became a small borough on the outskirts.
I need to be doing more searching for church records for their 9 children, as the only child I have details on is my direct ancestor, Miles MERWIN, the immigrant. Children of Walter and Margaret are as follows, not necessarily in order, although since Walter and Margaret married in 1617, Miles likely was the second or third child:
3. Miles [immigrant ancestor], bap 1 Feb 1622/23, Windsor, m. abt 1647 Elizabeth POWELL [d.10 Jul 1664 in CT], 7 children; m. abt 1664 Sarah Platt [d. 15 May 1670 in CT], 5 children; m. 30 Nov 1670 Sarah Youngs.
After 1634, they moved to New Windsor, less than 2 miles from Windsor. Walter seems to have been well thought of and twice served as Mayor of Windsor Borough. Some of these details are from The English Ancestry of the Merwin and Tinker Families of New England, as well as from the Miles Merwin Association. [click on the link at the bottom of this landing page, Miles Merwin bio, for more details]
Walter was an overseer to the will of his father-in-law, Robert TINKER, and also witnessed a codicil to that will dated 1624. Robert died June 2, 1624 in Windsor. Robert bequeathed to Walter and Margaret and their son Thomas, the unexpired term of the lease which Robert held in a tenement at Clewer which the Merwin family occupied at that time. By 1634, Walter and Margaret were living in a house at New Windsor owned by Humphrey Collins and bequeathed to his wife Mary (Margaret's stepmother) to satisfy her dower rights to his estate.
In 1634, Walter witnessed the will of his uncle Anthony Merwin, Yeoman, of Clewer, as well as the will of his wife's stepfather, Humphrey Collins.
In 1640, their son, Miles MERWIN, emigrated from New Windsor to New England, settling in Dorchester Massachusetts, now a neighbourhood of Boston. He did well in New England and was a shipping merchant and tanner. I wonder if his parents heard from him after that time?
Two years later, Walter was buried on February 8th, 1642/43 in Windsor, aged 48 years. Administration of Walter's estate was granted to his son Thomas Merwin, on March 11, 1642/43, with the signed consent of his widow [rel = relict], Margaret.
However, Margaret died on that same day, March 11, 1642/43, aged 45 years. Perhaps there was a disease in the area which they both succumbed to, to die so close in time. Burial indexes or registers rarely ever gave the cause of death. I have not seen Walter's will, nor hers, nor abstracts, although wills are referred to in the book mentioned earlier.
Reading these old 1600s wills can be a challenge, with archaic terms, Latin and old English mixed together, formal sentences, random spellings and all. I hope to find images of the wills this year using the Index of the Prerogerative Court of Canterbury, where it would have been sent. Perhaps I might find parish registers showing the deaths/burials of both Margaret and her husband, Walter.
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