James Bartlett c1750-1800 and Mary Shean c1746-1809

James Bartlett c1750 – 1800

Born: Babcary, Somerset  The marriage record gives Babcary as James’ parish.

Parents: Not known in January 2013

Married: Mary Shean c1746-1809 on 10 Aug 1764 in South Barrow, Somerset

Siblings: Not known in January 2013

Offspring: James Bartlett 1772–1791, Samuel Bartlett 1775 – 1851William Bartlett 1779– 1781, Susannah Bartlett 1782–1838William Bartlett 1784-?, Thomas Bartlett 1787–1788

Died: Probable burial record: 2 Jan 1800 South Barrow, Somerset

See map of locations for places mentioned on this page 

Offspring of James and Mary:

The baptisms of five children of James and Mary are recorded in the South Barrow parish records and a possible sixth, though this is likely to have been a database/transcription error.  Three of these offspring , marked * below also feature in the South Barrow burial registers as ‘Son of James and Mary’:

  • James Bartlett 12 Jul 1772 – 9 May 1791*
  • Samuel Bartlett 24 Jul 1775 – late 1851
  • William Bartlett 24 Jan 1779 – 17 Jan 1781*
  • Susannah Bartlett 18 Jul 1782 – 17 Feb 1838
  • William Bartlett 9 Apr 1784 – ?
  • Thomas Bartlett 20 May 1787 – 22 Jan 1788*

James and Mary were married in 1764 so why did they have no offspring until 1772? Maybe they lived in James’ home parish Babcary for the first few years of their marriage. Unfortunately there is a gap between 1689-1800 in the Babcary birth records held in the Somerset archives, so we will probably never be able to answer that question.

‘Parsonage Farm’ South Barrow:

Parsonage Farm

The earliest record we have found that gives the name of the family’s South Barrow residence is the 1881 census when they were living at Parsonage Farm.

Extract from http://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk “The rectory house was repaired in 1400-1. In 1650 it comprised a hall, kitchen and six other rooms built of stone and thatched. It was rebuilt in the 19th century as Parsonage Farm.”

The 1789 Land Tax Records show that James Bartlett was occupier and proprietor of land in South Barrow.   Did James and Mary always live in the house that was to become Parsonage Farm?

Available Bartlett -South Barrow parish records:

All Bartlett baptisms can be assigned to the offspring of James and Mary or of their son Samuel and one of his two wives.  One of the two Bartlett marriages are for James and Mary, the other for their offspring Susannah when she married James Oram. Three of the six Bartlett burials are for the offspring of James and Mary and one for Samuel’s first wife. This leaves:

  • James, age unavailable, 09 Jan 1800
  • Mary, age 63 y, 05 Oct 1809

Therefore it is not unreasonable to assume that the two remaining burials refer to James and Mary themselves.

Mary Shean c1746 – 1809

Born: 1746 taken from possible death record, South Barrow, Somerset. South Barrow baptism records not available for period  July 1738-Feb 1748

Parents: Not known in January 2013.  South Barrow baptism records not available for July 1738-Feb 1748

Married: James Bartlett c1750-1800 on 10 Aug 1764 in South Barrow, Somerset

Siblings: Not known in January 2013

Offspring: see list under James Bartlett c1740-1800, above

Died: Probable burial record 5 Oct 1809 South Barrow, Somerset

Shean family in South Barrow

At the time of James and Mary’s marriage there was at least two nuclear family of Sheans in South Barrow. Jonathan Shean who witnessed the marriage could have been Mary’s brother. Twenty years later, in the 1789 Land Tax Records Thomas and Simon Shean both owned land they occupied and Richard rented land.

The baptismal records show that during the 1780s and 90s a total of a dozen children were born to three Shean couples. The last burial was in 1796 and the last two marriages in 1808 and 1821.   The 1851 and later censuses only include one Shean who said that they were born in South Barrow.  Although this could be explained by the natural rhythm of the generations and marriages of daughters, it is quite likely that the family emigrated in the early 1800s.

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