In which I give some information about Samuel Backler of Ashwell, Hertfordshire ([?]1662 – 1720), his marriage and children; and then pose some questions about his origins.
In my next blogs I will trace the life and times of the many men named Sotherton Backler, who, apart from the cleric son Samuel, are the descendants about whom I have documented evidence.
Samuel BACKLER – my 6x great grandfather – died in Ashwell Herts in 1620 (the parish church of St Mary is in the photo). He was buried on September 5th. He was ordained deacon (Lincoln) June, 1683, then was Vicar of Newnham, Herts, 1684-1713, Curate of Astwick, Beds, 1697-1701, serving as Vicar of Ashwell and schoolmaster there from 1713 until his death. Sadly, his records on the Church of England database do not give his father’s name. Nor do those of Christ’s College, Cambridge, whose records show:
Name: Samuel Backler
Matric. sizar from CHRIST’S, Michs. 1678; B.A. 1679-80; M.A. 1683.
At London’s St Gregory by St Paul:
‘Samuel Backler of the County of Harford Clerk to Mary Howorth of St Botolph Aldersgate by License. Marryed 4 January 1686′. (Ancestry features in its London Metropolitan Archives – LMA – collection, a marriage bond signed by Sa Backler and Jo Somerscales in its marriage bonds and allegations collections. It is in Latin and seems pretty undecipherable – any Latin specialists out there?)
On the same day, Elizabeth Howorth of St Botolph Aldersgate was married to John Somerscales of St Michel Wood Street
In November 1686, Mrs Margaret Howorth had been buried in woollen in Newnham. Was she related to Margaret and Elizabeth?
The births (and deaths) of the Backler children
Samuel and Mary had nine children, many of whom did not survive infancy. As vicar, he had the sad task of burying 4 of his infant children. The family comprised:
Mary Backler c. 27 December 1687 [her fate is not known]
Ann Backler christened 5 April 1689, buried August 1689 in Newnham
Samuel Backler c. 1690. Educated at Ashwell School, he also attended Christ’s College Cambridge, matriculating in 1710, and receiving his BA in 1713-14. According to Alumni Cantabrigiensis, he was ordained Deacon, St Mary Aldermary and Priest Sep 22 1717, Lambeth Parish Church. He then became Vicar of Lowesby, Leics, 23 Sep 1717, Curate Rearsby, Leics. 5 June 1719, succeeding his father in 1720 as Vicar of Ashwell, Herts. He moved on 17 Feb 1728 to be Rector at Battlesden Beds., from which he is said to have resigned in 1733. No further information is known of him – did he marry? When and where did he die? Did he emigrate? Send word!
John Backler christened 2 December 1692, buried 26 December 1692 in woollen, in Newnham, Herts
Anne Backler christened 1694, buried on 12 July 1694 in Newnham, Herts
Anne Backler christened 1698 [her fate is not known]
John Sotherton Backler christened 4 August 1699 – buried 13 August 1699. This is the first known use of the name ‘Sotherton’ in this family. Was it a geographical association with Sotherton, Suffolk (see below)?
Sotherton Backler (my 5x great grandfather) christened 5 February 1703/4. Much, much more about him and his descendants to come in future blogs!
John Backler christened 19 July 1706 [his fate is not known]
Mary (Howorth) Backler was buried on 1 September 1728 in Ashwell.
Some questions to ponder
Was Samuel Backler, Clerk, the son of Samuel Backler and Ann Ede, who married in Huntingdon in April 1660, and whose son Samuel was born on 13 April 1662 and christened in Huntingdon on 30 April 1662? The dates seem possible – BUT there were quite a few ‘Samuel Backler’s’ around at the time. How can we be sure this is the right one?
A Mrs Anne Backler, widow, was buried in Ashwell on 31 May, 1716, in woollen, in ‘ye 87 year of her age’. This extra information is highlighted in the entry written by Samuel Backler, vicar. Could this have been his mother, Ann Ede?
How did Samuel Backler (Clerk’s) father Samuel – if, indeed, that is his father – link in with the various Backler families in East Anglia in the 16th and 17th centuries? For instance, the family of Richard Backler in Dedham; or John Backler, Grocer, of Stratford? Or, as one record suggests, was he the nephew of Samuel Backler, of Whatfield, who was ejected in 1662 and died in East Bergholt? Whose family was he part of?
Is it too much of a coincidence to link the name ‘Sotherton’ – about which there will be much more in future blogs – with the record on findmypast showing that Mary BACKLER was christened in Sotherton, Suffolk, on 4 April 1659, daughter of Thomas and Margaret Backler?
And there I will leave my first Backler blog. I hope to be back soon, to introduce readers to the First Sotherton Backler and his career as an apothecary in London.
My name is Margaret Backler , married to Peter Backler , whom is descended from Thomas Christian Backler , born 1831 , St Anne Soho , Westminster , London , ( parents Henry Backler & Elizabeth Meddings ) . Thomas emigrated to Adelaide 1856 on the Albuera , lived & died ( 5th Nov 1902 ) at Robe .
Great job you are doing on your Backler’s , I have done some research on them , thought they may have been connected ,
regards Margaret .
Kingston , Sth Australia .
Hi Margaret. How nice to hear from you. As I think I mention in the intro to my blog, I have yet to place ‘my’ Backlers in the wider Backler context. I feel sure that all their origins were in East Anglia, and would be interested to see your tracing back of your Thomas Christian and his father Henry, who I see was born in Bristol, just to confuse things! I am very fond of the Backlers. In my blog I haven’t even got to ‘me’ 3x g. grandafther Samuel. I have found the stories of all the children of Sotherton Backler (d. 1819) so interesting that I just wanted to post them, even though there are precious few descendants to read them! I have found it very difficult to ‘find’ my particular Samuel Backler among the Backlers in Dedham and nearby places in the 17th centuries…and as I’m sure you now, there became a great cluster of them in the Haverhill area, but I can’t place myself with them. This is partly because ‘me’ Samuel went to Cambridge, and then moved on to become a vicar – although there are earlier ‘Samuel’ vicars and others on the borders of Suffolk and Essex – a very beautiful part of the country. Let me know if you’ve found anything that might shed light on any of this, and I will be happy to share any of it with you. I have a family tree on ancestry – do you?
Best wishes, and thanks for your kind comment on the blog. There aren’t that many readers, partly I think because this particular branch of Backlers has relatively few descendants, although more will appear in future blogs! By the way there are descendants of Joseph Backler, one of whose sons was Joseph Backler, convict artist, in Australia. You have no doubt come across them? I will be ‘doing’ Joseph once I finish with the sad story of Henry McLauchlan Backlers daughters!