Thursday, February 12, 2015


This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was Plowing Through.  This week's theme is So Far Away.  I think that John COX,  my 11th great-grandfather, is likely one of the most distant ancestors I've found to date.  Many details have come from The Pardee Genealogy by Donald Lines Jacobus, plus from records filmed at Family Search.

It appears John COX was born about 1550, likely in the Pitminster region of Somerset in the southwest of England.  Cox is sometimes seen as Coxe and other variants.  For an interesting write-up of the Cox surname, click here.  

On the 20 Jan 1576/7, in Pitminster, at the St Mary & St Andrew church, John married Alice WALSBEER (variously seen as Walsbrow, Walsheer).  The various spellings seem to indicate the trials of transcribing a messy handwriting.  I have not looked for other surnames in parish registers to see what I might make of a register listing. Not all registers have been put online as yet. 
John & Alice appear to have had the following children (as seen in baptism records in the Pitminster church:

  1.  Margaret, bap 4 Oct 1577, bur 15 Sep 1596.
  2.  Elizabeth, bap 24 Jan 1580
  3.  Grace, bap 24 Mar 1582, bur, 5 Oct 1606.
  4.  Anstice [ancestor], bap 25 Jun 1587; m. 3 May 1614 to Anthony PARDEE; 7 children

The area around Pitminster is farming and the woolen trade, and it is possible that the Cox family were involved in some fashion in the trade.

The Pardee Genealogy book states that John COX died about 15 Oct 1607 in Pitminster, but he was already widowed at that time.  Alice may well have had other births than the four seen above, registered in Pitminster - as note the 5 year gap between #3 - 4 children.  

Somehow, John's death in his mid-50s seems too early.  Certainly that was not unusual, because of epidemics, accidents, and the like. But to think that several of his daughters died as young women, is definitely sad.  I have not found more information on the 2nd daughter, Elizabeth.  It is possible she married, and I will look for more details of her, if possible.  

It is quite remarkable to be able to know anything at all about an ancestor from the mid-1500s in England.  I look forward to continuing my searches for more details of this family.  

If you know anything more about the family or region, do please share that information with me, and if you have corrections - I am thrilled to correct my work on my ancestors.  You can add your information in the Comments section below, or via calewis at  Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. 


Unknown said...

I too am a descendant of John Cox through Anthony Pardee. I have been trying to find information about Anthony's ministry at St Mary's but with no luck yet. His son George, who immigrated to America around 1644 is my direct ancestor. Thank you for any help going in the right direction.

Celia Lewis said...

Unfortunately I have yet to find more information on Anthony PARDEE. I would have expected him to have spent a year or so at a university but have drawn a blank on the universities of the time. It is possible another priest taught him instead. As for his work as a Curate, I have only the limited information of the years he worked in the Church. Parish church chests can be very helpful, but I have not found any details of interactions with others. Good luck. Sometimes, there simply are no records for this very early time. - Celia


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis