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 2020 but there are various suggestions in ancestry trees
  • Married: Mary Shean c1746-1809 on 10 Aug 1764 in South Barrow, Somerset
  • Siblings: Not known in January 2020
  • Offspring: [add those born Queen Camel see Question answered by DNA in 2017] James Bartlett 1772–1791, Samuel Bartlett 1775 – 1851, William Bartlett 1779– 1781, Susannah Bartlett 1782–1838, William 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:

In 2013 it seemed odd that James and Mary appeared to have had their first child six years after their marriage. In 2017 a DNA link to Bob Watts showed us that James and Mary moved between Queen Camel and South Barrow. The parishes are marked QC and SB in the list below and the deaths marked * indicate that the burial entry is marked ‘son of James and Mary’

  • QC Mary Bartlett 20 October 1768-
  • QC John Bartlett 25 Jul 1770-1849 (QC) m Martha Cornish. DNA Link to Wattski39
  • QC Thomas Bartlett 3 November 1771- could have died Wayford 1843
  • SB James Bartlett 12 Jul 1772 – 9 May 1791 (SB*)
  • QC Sarah Bartlett 23 March 1774 – may have m Barter Chaffey 1777- of Sherborne 1799 in South Cadbury. Buried Yeovil 1825 57 yr so born 1768??
  • SB Samuel Bartlett 24 Jul 1775 – late 1851 DNA link to LizzieT2017 and many Oram family document and story links
  • QC Robert Bartlett 18 June 1776 –
  • SB William Bartlett 24 Jan 1779 – 17 Jan 1781 (SB*)
  • QC Honour Bartlett 22 August 1779 –
  • SB Susannah Bartlett 18 Jul 1782 – 17 Feb 1838
  • SB William Bartlett 9 Apr 1784 – ?
  • SB Thomas Bartlett 20 May 1787 – 22 Jan 1788(SB*)

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*

Question answered by DNA in 2017

I apologize for being slow to respond to your note. I guess there always is an opportunity for error in the conclusions we draw. But here are mine: 1st Babcary, Queen Camel and South Barrow are all adjoining parishes. The parish record (South Barrow) for James Bartlett and Mary Shean’s marriage 10 Aug 1764 shows James is from Babcary. There are parish records for their first six children born in Queen Camel beginning in 1768, and two more born in South Barrow (1782 and 1784) including your Susanna (born 18 July 1782), and all the birth dates are in logical sequence. I have a Queen Camel parish burial record for James Bartlett showing 1813, which would put his birth about 1745. As to my line, James and Mary’s second child John (wife Martha Cornish) is my 3rd great grandfather. I have parish records for all of this, so unless there is a second James and Mary couple, it appears to me that it fits well with your family. So, nice to visit with you ‘cousin’.

‘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 so born 1746

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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