Joseph Oliver 1635, Brede to Heathfield

Joseph Oliver baptised 19 April 1635 in Brede, Sussex

St George's Brede
St George’s Brede

Wife – unknown Mary in Sussex
Jane (1661-1677, Heathfield)
William (born 1665, Heathfield)
Nicholas (born 1669, Heathfield)
John (born 1671, Heathfield)
Thomas (born 1676, Heathfield)

Finally getting back to my own family research after a few years concentrating on study and other people’s research.  I received an email from a contact wanting to see my family tree with regard to the Oliver family.  This fired me on a couple of weeks ago to pick up the family and carry on the research.

Now I had searched to find Joseph for some years but couldn’t find an appropriate baptism anywhere near Heathfield where he married and had children. But back in 2009 with some help from another contact also descended from the Oliver family we found an earlier family of Oliver’s in Sedlescombe and Brede near Battle in Sussex.

By checking the Sussex Family History Group baptism database I eventually found a baptism that looked promising.  Joseph baptised at Brede on 19 April 1635.  I found a number of siblings for him including a set of twins, Lydia and Rebecca.  There are twins everywhere in my family tree!  If I search the baptisms for a Joseph Oliver between 1620 and 1640, this baptism is the only one to appear.  All the children were baptised to William Oliver and by checking the Sussex Marriage Index a likely marriage was found.  William Oliver and Susan Weekes married on 10 June 1634 in Warbleton.  Both of this parish.  So could this be the connection?

So what do I believe links this William back to Brede?  Well firstly I could not find deaths for either William or Susan in Warbleton or anywhere close by.

But in Brede, William Oliver was buried 16 May 1653.  Susan his widow, was buried in Brede on 10 January 1669.

Secondly they baptised all their children as above, in Brede, none were baptised to a William and Susan in Warbleton.  And there was no other suitable Joseph to be the father to the next generation all baptised and living in Heathfield.

I am yet to search for Susan Weekes’ baptism but I wonder if she was born and baptised in Warbleton and that was where William met her.  Perhaps Joseph went to Warbleton to work or live with relatives?

Lastly there are a number of documents that I need a closer look at, that I found on The Keep (East Sussex Records Office) website that show a William Oliver witnessing various records in Heathfield, (next to Warbleton) but I cannot find a William Oliver from Heathfield or Warbleton.  So again I believe this to be the correct William.

Now of course I could be completely on the wrong track and will continue to explore all avenues but I think I have found the connection to Joseph.  Now I have just got to find his death!


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Hannah Oliver 1780 – 1868 – who was she?

Hannah Oliver – 1780 – 1868?

Probable ancestry of Hannah baptised 17 September 1780 at Warbleton:
Father – Joseph Oliver baptised 23 October 1737 at Warbleton, Sussex
Mother – Mary Moor (married 4 May 1768 at Wartling, Sussex)
Mary baptised 10 February 1771, Warbleton, Sussex
Sarah baptised 19 June 1774, Warbleton, Sussex
James baptised 6 October 1776, Warbleton, Sussex
Thomas baptised 20 July 1783, Warbleton, Sussex
Jesse baptised 16 October 1785, Warbleton, Sussex
Ann baptised 4 May 1788, Warbleton, Sussex

The story so far:
The search for Hannah began with the baptism record for her daughter Elizabeth Harriet Message. She was baptised at the Independent Chapel, Chapel Cross, Cade Street, Sussex on 1 April 1823 to __________ and Hannah Message.

From this I presumed that Elizabeth’s father had died somewhere during 1821 to 1823, however after extensive searches of local parish registers nothing could be found. On Elizabeth’s marriage certificate to John Funnell, 27 October 1840 at Herstmonceux she gives her father as Richard Message. (Although it should be noted on her second marriage certificate dated 5 February 1868 at Warbleton to James White she leaves her father as blank).

So I started searching for a Richard Message and came up with a marriage to Hannah Oliver on 20 October 1803 at Dallington, Sussex on the Sussex Marriage Index. Then I found the baptism of a Richard Message on 9 February 1807 at Warbleton in the parish registers to Richard and Hannah Message. Then all went quiet.

Then to my surprise on a search on Ancestry for Richard Message I found records of a transportation to New South Wales as a convict in 1807 on the Admiral Gambier. To cut a long story short Richard Message from Sussex was convicted of Larceny in 1807 and transported, pardoned in 1816 and then married the same year to Mary Ann Mullins in Hobart. He died in 1821 in Hobart. The ages fit with the Richard Message married to Hannah Oliver, supposing he is the Richard Message baptised in Shoreditch 1786 on the IGI to Richard Message and Mary. No baptism has been found for a Richard in Sussex and various family trees that I have seen have Richard Message senior as coming from Dallington, Sussex. This is yet to be proved by me.

Hannah also had an illegitimate child before she married Richard, Benjamin Carley Oliver baptised at Warbleton on 16 February 1800.

Possible census returns for Hannah 1841 to 1861 are as follows:
1841 – Herstmonceux, Alehouse
John Catt 50 Ag Lab
Hannah Message 60

1851 – Herstmonceux, Bodle Street
John Catt, head, widower, 63, Ag Lab born Warbleton
Hannah Message, servant, widow, 70, born Warbleton
Emily Sands, servant, unmarried 15 born Arlington

1861 – Warbleton, on common (not far from the Three Cups Inn where her daughter and family were living)
John Catt, head, widower, 74, Ag Lab, born Warbleton
Hannah Message, servant, widow, 80 Housekeeper, born Warbleton
Caroline Funnell, granddaughter, 4 born Wartling (although Caroline, daughter of John Funnell and Elizabeth Harriot Message is also with her parents at the Inn the details are exactly the same so I am sure this is the same child with her grandmother).

The last bit of the jigsaw is the death certificate I obtained from GRO which could possibly be Hannah. She died on 12 November 1868 at 3 Cups, Warbleton, 88 years which does fit with the baptism I have. However the informant, Hannah Hedgcock who I believe was a neighbour, there were certainly Hedgcocks next door on the 1861 census has entered that Hannah was the widow of Thomas Message, Farm Labourer. I have been unable to find a marriage for a Thomas Message with a Hannah. There was a Thomas Message who lived next door to Hannah and George Hedgcock in the 1861 census but he was half Hannah’s age. Therefore I am assuming this is a mistake, Hannah Hedgcock did not know who Hannah Message had been married to or more interestingly Hannah had spread that rumour around to stop gossip about Richard Message who was a convict!

So the hunt for Hannah continues. Who exactly was she, was her husband a transported convict? Sadly the records I have acquired about Richard all say he came from Sussex but nothing more than that, sadly none add Warbleton. If you have any details about this woman please contact me.

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