The Backlers of Ashwell Hertfordshire – and Apothecaries Hall

Early uses of the ‘Backler’ name are found clustered in parts of East Anglia. Over the past few years, I have enjoyed researching the life and times of one branch of this family – the descendants of Samuel Backler, Vicar of Ashwell Herts, who died in Ashwell in 1720, his birth date suspected to be 1662, but that is unconfirmed.

Notable among his descendants are the five Backlers named ‘Sotherton’, two of whom were apothecaries, one a 19th century vicar, and two who did not survive childhood. Of these, I have traced the descendants of the apothecaries’ families (they were father and son), and in this blog will follow the fortunes of successful and rather less successful apothecaries, the above-named vicar, a convict artist, and the waxing and waning fortunes of the several daughters.

I have yet to find how this family links with the many early East Anglian families, and in later blogs (after I finish the above stories) I will explore early records, wills and more, to set out what I know and hope that others may help with the necessary links between ‘my’ family and the others.


  1. Hi Barbara,

    I read your Blog about the tragic sisters, Laura Louise and Florence Sophia with great interest. I have to say that you write extremely well and your research is excellent too. Have you got a background in research or writing or both?

    Being an accountant, I get busy with payrolls and last minute VAT returns at the end of each month, hence me not responding earlier. I tend to have more time in the middle two weeks of each month.

    I have carried on sifting through my aunts papers and have now joined Ancestry, so I have begun looking at my own original sources. I wasn’t able to locate your tree on Ancestry. Is there any further help you can give me to locate it?

    I am considering writing a Blog myself, but I need to fill in some details first. I already have a account.

    Best wishes,


  2. Hi Barbara,

    Well I finally did it! I have started my own Blog and I have made entries on two pages called Australian Backlers and Sugar Refiners. The address is

    1. Ray I like your blog. I can’t figure out how to become a ‘follower’. It really does seem that these Backler families are unconnected. But it’s good to keep in touch ayway. You never know…

  3. Hi Barbara, I knew I had the correct blog as soon as I saw ‘Apothecaries’! It was lovely to meet you this afternoon and I am now going to settle down with a cuppa and read your blog before tea 🙂

    Hilary (and David)

  4. Hello! I’m writing from St Thomas’ Church in Dudley – we are hoping to begin restoring the East Window at the end of this year. I’m not sure if this blog is still monitored but it would be great to get in touch!

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