Help with the SMALLMAN family of Monkhopton

3 replies [Last post]
Last seen: 9 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: Monday, 17-11-2014

Hello all,

So I've managed to trace one branch of my family tree back to the SMALLMAN family of South Shropshire and i was wondering if anyone has more local knowledge on this particular name/family that might help me further my research.

What I know for sure:

My 4x great grandfather was a Richard Davis of Much Wenlock. He married my 4x great grandmother Mary SMALLMAN on the 17th September 1787 in Much Wenlock. Mary is listed as being of the parish of Monk Hopton (sic).

Richard and Mary clearly spent at least some time in Monkhopton as they had one child there, a Thomas Smallman Davis, baptised on the 8th June 1788 and buried on 23rd September of that same year. At some point they moved back to Much Wenlock as they baptised my 3x great grandfather George Davis there in 1793 and possibly an older sister, Mary, the year before (unconfirmed by me).

Current conjecture:

So the only other Smallman couple in Monkhopton baptising children I can see (according to transcripts of the Parish records here) are a Thomas Smallman and a Mary. They have a number of children between ~1765 and 1775. There is a Mary, born of a Thomas and Mary (no surnames given in the entry), baptised on June 30th 1765 that I suspect is the same couple. The transcriber notes: [Barris or Davis written over in a later hand and erased. Was the omitted surname Smallman ?]. The mention of 'Davis' makes me wonder if someone went back and added my 4x great grandmother's married name at a later date.

I know that the Smallman family is fairly well known round this part of Shropshire and I was wondering if anyone had any further information that might help me confirm the above thinking or help me work out how the Smallmans in my tree map to the wider Smallman family.

All help gratefully appreciated!

Michael J Hulme
Last seen: 15 sec ago
Joined: Saturday, 4-06-2011


The entries you have found on Mel Lockie's web site are taken from a series of printed parish registers of Shropshire.  Since then the original parish registers have been filmed and indexed by the subscription web site Find my Past  Put Shropshire in the search box at the top.

There are six entries at Monkhopton for SMALLMAN and sixteen for DAVIS plus eleven for DAVIES.

If you haven't got a subscription you may be able to access the site at your local library or achieves.


Last seen: 9 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: Monday, 17-11-2014

Hey Michael, Thanks for that, I didn’t realise this was also part of the digitised collection on FMP! Luckily I have an account there. So I just looked up the Mary baptism of 1765 in Monkhopton listed above, and the scribbled out name (If it is indeed ‘Davis’) is inserted just after the name ‘Thomas’. To me, that would suggest someone was trying to clarify ‘Thomas Davis’. On the other hand, it was crossed out, so maybe that was a mistake either way. I don’t think there’s enough evidence there to conclude that this Mary is actually Mary Smallman.

Last seen: 9 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: Monday, 17-11-2014

Apoligies for the double post, but having done some more digging, I'm now fairly sure that this Smallman family of Monkhopton is indeed the right one and is connected to my tree.

The evidence is admittedly circumstantial, but I think I have enough to link all the following together:

  • Mary Smallman and Richard Davies married by license in September of 1787, having my 3x great grandfather George in Much Wenlock in 1793. Mary was listed as being of the parish of Monkhopton.
  • Mary and Richard have seemingly died by the time of the 1841 census, but George is living with his wife Mary in the household of his uncle and aunt Thomas and Sarah Norrys. A search for their marriage finds a result for a Thomas Norrys and Sarah Smallman in 1795 in Much Wenlock, wed by license. Witnesses Richard Davis and Ann Smallman. Sarah's age matches up with the Sarah Smallman born in Monkhopton in 1777. To me the evidence of Richard Davis as a 'brother in law' all but confirms a link between Mary Smallman in this particular group of names.
  • A search for Ann Smallman finds a marriage by license to an Andrew Dodd in Much Wenlock for 1797. Among the witnesses: Thomas Norrys.
  • The final surviving sister Martha seems to have married a Richard Moore in Monkhopton by banns in mid 1787, before Mary. One of the signed witnesses is Thomas Smallman, who I believe is the father of all the above daughters.

It would be very helpful to have a more experienced researcher than me skim through the above and check that it holds water. Assuming that I do have the right family, and the right father, I want to see if I can nail down a marriage between a Thomas Smallman and a Mary in the local area. As far as I can see, there are two potential candidates so far:

  • A 1761 marriage between a Thomas (Parish of West Bromwich, servant) and Mary Smallman in Monkhopton. Witnesses William Smallman and Richard Guy.
  • A 1764 marriage between a Thomas Smallman (labourer) and Mary Fowler in Ditton Priors. Witnesses Richard Fowler and William Smith.

Any help that anyone can give with the above would be gratefully appreciated!