John Oram’s ancestors

Map of places in Somerset mentioned below

The best starting point for research into John’s past is a transcription of the entry in his bible. This was made by his daughter Jane Charity after John’s death in 1907 and before John Samuel, her eldest sibling took the bible to Cleveland, USA.

Transcription of the entry in John Oram’s bible

Following family research in the 1930’s, 1960’s and in the internet age we are pretty certain that we have established the family’s roots back to Ansford in Somerset.  In 2013 I, Carolyn double-checked a lot of the information against microfiche images of parish records held at the Somerset Archives in Taunton.

The furthest we can go back is to Elizeus Oram and Elizabeth Heywarde who were married in Ansford in 1589, the year after The Spanish Armada sailed against England. The next three generations of Oram family also lived in Ansford.  Then the first of two Isaacs was born in Ansford in 1705. The second marriage of this Isaac, celebrated in Ansford, was to Sarah Higgins of Ditcheat.  Their first two children were baptised in Ansford, and were ‘of Ansford’.  Their third child Isaac was baptised in 1745 in Ansford but ‘of Ditcheat’.  This was the Isaac of Ditcheat mentioned at the top of the above transcription.

John’s father James moved away from Ditcheat but his sole sibling John stayed there, probably living in  Alhampton,  a hamlet within the parish of Ditcheat.  This John Oram had a son also called John who lived in Alhampton. When John mentioned in his diary that he had been to Alhampton he would have visited his cousin John.

Readers may connect Ansford with James Woodforde’s diaries published as ‘The diary of a Country Parson’.  James Woodforde was born in 1740 in Ansford where his father Samuel was Rector of Ansford and Vicar of Castle Cary, a small market town close to Ansford.  In the parish register the baptism of James Woodforde was recorded by his father in the line above that of Sarah, daughter of Isaac and Sarah Oram. These are in the same handwriting as the marriage record of Isaac senior and Sarah and the baptism record of the younger Isaac.

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