KEY Family of South Shropshire/Clee Hill

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Jason Arnold Key
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I am researching the Key family of South Shropshire particularly around the Clee Hill area. I have managed to trace them back to Thomas Key and Mary Reynolds who married at Bitterley in 1790. I have so far been unable to locate a baptism record for Thomas Key, although there are records for Thomas Key baptisms in the Whitchurch/Doddington and High Ercall areas.  Is anyone else researching this particular family and have they had better luck?! The descendants of Thomas and Mary were baptising their children at Clee Hill Wesleyan Chapel and the one at Broad Street in Ludlow so Thomas himself may also have been Non-conformist.  All suggestions gratefully received!

Martyn Freeth
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Sorry to note, Jason, that you have received no useful reply to date following my suggestion last week that you might join this Forum.

To recap our chat, there must be a possibility that your Thomas came in from north Herefs or the north-west corner (in Hereford diocese) of Worcs, both of which are not or are barely covered by IGI.

Such idea apart, it might be worthwhile to examine further the fate of the one bap at Ombersley. I don'treadily see a marriage for him in Worcs. Try the BMSGH site to see if there is yet a burials index for Worcs. (There was a steadily expanding marriage index).

00000

We talked of Tompkis and variants in Baschurch. A Thomas "Tompikes" of Eyton, Co Salop is shown in Harl Soc edition of Visitatation of Shropshire as husband of Mary, daughter of Ralph Clyve (= Clive), of Walford [ Baschuch ] and his wife Dorothy Kynaston, the coheir of Walford. Ralph was third son of Richard Clyve, of Styche [ ancestor of Clive of India ] and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Richard Corbet (died in early middle age 1492), of Moreton Corbet. Sir Richard's wife Elizabeth Devereux brought in two lines from King Edward I. (Ancestress on my reckoning of thousands of Salopians).

Any issue of TT would have been born well before the start of Baschurch registers. Wills at Lichfield / PCC worth searching - but the latter would require patient permutation.

See the several of the family in H E Forrest's Index of Shrewsbury Burgess Rolls, 1924. Copy on open shelves at Archives.

The above Eyton has to be the one in Baschurch parish, and it can be seen in several ranges of sources that Tompkis etc continued there or at adjoining Fenemere / Fennymere. I cam across a reference to a Humphrey T [ did not note the spelling ] of Fenemere this morning. Try www.a2a.org.uk using the combination, not exact words, "humphrey fenemere"

Jason Arnold Key
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Thankyou Martyn, I am back in Shropshire in a couple of months so shall follow up your leads!

All the best, Jason.

Martyn Freeth
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Another line that you mentioned, Jason, was Lovett. What were the approx dates for your Thomas Lovett alias William Evans and where did he lurk? ("Lurk", I gathered, was appropriate here).

I ask because I noted yesterday that a cousin has a Thomas Lovett forebear with interesting female-line ancestry in the Oswestry area.

Somme1918
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Hi Jason

I can not help you with locate a baptism record for Thomas Key but one of my family members married a Key, I have not done a lot of work on family history but may have a few details that you may be interested in ?

 

Annette

Jason Arnold Key
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Hi Annette, that would be wonderful, I'd be happy to share any of my notes on the Keys! Which is your particular Key out of the bunch (!) ?

Look forward to hearing from you, Jason.

Jason Arnold Key
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Hi Martin, my Thomas Lovett claimed to have been born in Shawbury around the year 1815, but as you know he was a bit of a shady character and details that he gives (including names!) are often deliberately sketchy. When he married under the alias William Evans he gave his father as being Edward Evans so it is possible that he was the son of an Edward Lovett. Who knows?! It's good fun piecing together the truth! Jason.

Somme1918
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Hi Jason

My Gt. Gt. Grandfather (my dad's side) sister, Mary Pope, married a Thomas Key (born 1799 in Caynham). This Thomas had been married to a Elizabeth Edwards, they had married in 1825, they had at least five children before she had died. He then married Mary Pope in 1847, and they had at least two children, John & Mary Ann. I am not sure if Thomas Key 1799 is related to your Thomas ? I know some of the Key family from the Hill in fact I work at the some place as one of them.

Annette

Martyn Freeth
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Jason, as regards Thomas Lovett alias William Evans, I suspect that there may be a gap in the IGI coverage of Shawbury after 1812 until a period some years after 1815. (Sampling shows "real" coverage in 1840s / 1850s). Thus, if not already tried, you may be best to browse the fiches for a span of years, looking for likely candidates of various names. Ditto Moreton Corbet. Stanton-upon-Hine Heath is covered after 1812.

The earlier Thomas Lovett ("died 1683") married an Alice Lloyd, of Myddle, daughter of Peter, whose male line has been researched back to John Lloyd, esquire, of Llanforda ("died 1579"), of the ancient Llwynymaen family.

Of course, Lovetts seen in north-east Shropshire may have had roots in Staffs, where, I believe, the name was frequent.

Jason Arnold Key
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Hi Annette, yes! Your Thomas Key is the brother of my great great great  grandfather John Key who was baptised at Caynham in 1793. Their parents were the Thomas Key and Mary Reynolds who were married at Bitterley in 1790. I know that John Key lived and died (1849) at a farm called (variously) The Gost/Gorst/Gorse which I believe is somewhere in the area of Doddington/Hopton Wafers. You don't happen to know it do you? Am in a bit of a rush today but will get back to you with more details. Many thanks for the reply, Jason

Somme1918
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Hi Jason

 Great so we are very distantly related through marriage. I have not heard of  The Gost/Gorst/Gorse  The Gost/Gorst/Gas there are many or where many small holds in the area, and with a name like Gorse I am guess it was on or near the common (which is very large). Looking forward to hearing from you again, and I will go through what information I have (not a lot on the Key family).

Annette

Linda Clayton n...
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Hi Jason i am a former Key still living in the local area my my great grandfather 5 removed was thomas who married mary reynolds bitterly  My father was Cyril Key  is father Thomas Key is father thomas Key and is father Ruben Key i am sure our famlies are related .If you require futher information about  The Gorse Farm let me know as i no where it is .

Regards Linda

temetime
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Hi Jason

I am also tracking Thomas Key and Mary, in my wife's tree. Her line comes in through son Carles Key 1802. So would be grateful of any good hints.

Our trees are on Ancestry which comes up with 16 member connections for Thomas, many of them have him coming from Bitterley birth 12 Aug 1764. I have not found this entry through the Melocki web site or by looking at the original Philimore images on line in the USA for Bitterley. Others have him from High Ercall and the same date. No one has posted any backup to their entries. He may have gone up the 'Clee' as an incoming miner like one of my wife's other relatives Joseph ICK who also married there, and came via Bockleton, Worcs with his parents from Sheriffhales, Salop. Also several of the Key sons including Charles also were  miners.

What do you make of Mary Reynolds, did she come from Caynham, parents Thomas and Jane, or Stanton Lacy, parents William and Margery? Again there are 24 Ancestry connections with no really good logic to my mind. The marriage witness Elinor Raynold does not come up as a sibling, but her parents could be Thomas and Mary from Caynham, so I favour Caynham as the birth place at present.

Regards Richard Beck

Jason Arnold Key
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Hello Annette, Linda and Richard, sorry for the delay in getting back to you all. A mixture of "man flu",work commitments and the re-furbishment of my local library where I get my computer access has meant that all family history research has been on the back burner these last few weeks!

I'm hoping to visit Clee Hill in June so any help with finding the Gorst farm would be great. Hope they're not sick and tired of random Keys turning up and asking for a photo!

Last time I was at the Shropshire archives I noticed quite a few mentions of Keys from the Clee Hill area in the indexes for the Quarter Sessions. I am going to start transcribing them all and will let you know what I find, our ancestors may have been upstanding citizens doing "jury service" or they may have been a bunch of vagabonds, crooks and ne'er-do-wells! (For the purposes of family history I'm hoping for the latter!) 

 

With regard to the elusive baptism record for Thomas Key, I too was initially thrilled to find all sorts of on-line family trees that traced his ancestors back to the 16th century, but they soon proved to be poorly researched and based on a lot of wishful thinking!

Richard, I checked the Bitterley records for 12 Aug 1764 at Shropshire Archives and there was no record of a baptism for Thomas. The researcher must have looked at the High Ercall record and just tried to make it "fit".

In any case, there is a record of marriage for a Thomas Key to a Phillis Dawes at High Ercall on 21 Feb 1785 and this couple are having children into the 19th century, so unless "our" Thomas in Clee Hill was a bigamist with a fast car it is unlikely that the 1764 High Ercall Thomas is the one we seek! 

I have also considered that Thomas may have come from North Herefordshire/Worcestershire as there seems to have been a lot of "traffic" between there and South Shropshire. Martyn Freeth who is an experienced researcher on this forum has informed me however that Herefordshire is not well covered on the IGI so it may be that there IS a record for Thomas but a trip to the Hereford archives is required.

Have you come across this record ?

Thomas Key Baptised 6 Sep 1762 at Ombersley Worcestershire. Parents Thomas and Sarah Key.

I think I may have solved the puzzle of which is the correct Mary Reynolds.

As you know one of the witnesses at the 1790 wedding at Bitterley was Elinor Reynolds who I surmised might be Mary's sister.

Thomas and Mary Reynolds had the following children: (IGI records)

John Baptised at Caynham 11 May 1763

Thomas Baptised at Bitterley 26 May 1765

Eleanor Baptised at Bitterley15 Jan 1769

Mary Baptised at Caynham 15 Oct 1771.

If this is correct then Elinor was Mary's older sister.

It is therefore likely that their parents were Thomas Reynolds and Mary Hatton who were married at Caynham on 4 Dec 1762.

There is a record for a Mary Hatton being baptised at Coreley on 26 Dec1730, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Hatton.

Further, there is a marriage record for a Richard Hatton to an Elizabeth Roden at Ludlow on 13 Jul 1719.

THIS IS ALL OFF THE IGI SO NOT YET PROVED!

Cheers! Jason

 

Jason Arnold Key
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Ps There is a record for the baptism of a Thomas Reignolds at Caynham on 2 Jan 1739, the son of William and Mary Reignolds.

William Reynolds had married one Mary Turner at Caynham on 14 Nov 1730. From the IGI it looks like she may have been the daughter of Edward and Mary Turner baptised at Bitterley on 11 Sep 1711.

As well as son Thomas (1739), William and Mary named one of their children Eleaner (bap Caynham 31 May1748) and another Mary (bap Caynham 31 May 1748).

If these records are correct then it would seem that Thomas Reignolds (1739) married Mary Hatton in 1762

and named two of his daughters Eleanor (1769) and Mary(1771) after his sisters.

His daughter Mary (1771) married Thomas Key in 1790 with her sister "Elinor" as witness.

Does this make any sense or am I rambling?!

Jason

temetime
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Hi Jason

Sorry for delay in getting back to you.

Your thoughts on Thomas and Mary of Caynham as parents of Mary seem to fit.

Re. Thomas Key 1762 of Ombersley, at present I have just let it lie as I am trying to find if there are any links to people coming into the coalfield.

As you say the records for North Worcs are not good. I have a CD for Tenbury Parish Records not on the IGI, No Key's found.

Last Monday I was in Ludlow and purchased a book 'Titterstone Clee Hills Everyday life Industrial History and Dialect' by A E Jenkins, also went to Cleobury Mortimer to purchase 'Cleobury Chronicles' Volume 5, with an article on ' The Clee Hill Coalfield' by Dr D R Poyner. Thus am looking for inspiration on what attracted the miners. Visited Bitterley Church for a quick scan of the gravestones for other parts of my wife's Tree.

Richard

Jason Arnold Key
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Annette, Linda and Richard (plus any other interested parties!)

I have been to the Shropshire Archives and transcribed the baptism records for Keys from the original register for Hopton Wafers which is not available on microfiche or on the IGI. Unfortunately for me :(  none of my direct Key ancestors were listed but children from their extended family were.

The baptisms at Hopton Wafers for Keys were:

1861 Jan 27th Anne Elizabeth   Daughter of Reuben and Sarah Key

Abode Great Shote 

Father's occupation Farmer

Ceremony performed by Edward Taylor. 

1862 Apr 20th John  Son of Andrew and Elizabeth Key

Abode Shuckfields Coreley

Father's occupation  Miner

Ceremony performed by Charles Smallman

1863 May 3rd Fanny Louisa  Daughter of Rueben and Sarah Key

Abode Clee Hill

Father's occupation  Miner

Ceremony performed by Edwin Bytheway

1865 May 16th (born April 25th)  Thomas Son of Rueben and Sarah Key

Abode Hopton Bank

Father's occupation Miner

Ceremony performed by Charles Smallman.

1865 May 16th (born April 17th) Emma Louisa Daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Key.

Abode Shutfield

Father's occupation Miner

Ceremony performed by Charles Smallman.

1865 October 23rd (born illegible September) Andrew son of Andrew and Elizabeth Key

Abode Shutfield

Father's occupation Miner

Ceremony performed by William Jones.

(Last two entries a bit confusing as only 5 months between the two births?)

1867 May 21st Mary Anne daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Key

Abode Shutfield

Father's occupation Miner

Ceremony performed byWilliam Jones

Jason Arnold Key
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1869 Lucy Elizabeth Daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Key

Abode Shutfields

Father's occupation Miner

Ceremony performed by W Griffiths Chubb.

Does anyone mind if I just put in the basic facts from this point as I'm at risk of repetetive strain injury!

1870 Nov 27th/ Edwin William/son of Reuben and Sarah Key/Hopton Bank/Miner/ Wm Russell

1873 Mar 4th/ Eliza/ dau of Ruebin and Sarah Key/Hopton Bank/ Engineer /George Hinton

1877 April 29th/ Reuben/son of Reuben and Sarah Key/ Doddington, Cleobury Mortimer/ Ingeneer (sic)/E Green

1877 Dec 17th (born Nov 12th)/Clara Elizabeth/daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Key/ Shutfield/ Miner/ Robert Bowen

1883 Feb 27th (born Feb 3rd)/ Walter/ son of Andrew and Elizabeth Key/ Shutfields/ No trade given/ W Wright.

1889 Ellen Mary / dau of William and Louisa Key/ Hopton Bank/ Miner/ G Hinton

1892 Mar 15th (born Feb 9th)/ Alfred Leonard / son of William and Louisa Key/ Cleeton/ Carter/ George Hinton

Hope the above will prove useful to one of you!

I have also received a copy of baptism and burial entries for Keys at St John the Baptist church at Doddington which is also unavailable on fiche or on the IGI. Nineteenth century baptisms are for the children of Andrew and Elizabeth Key, Benjamin and Emma Key, Charles and Martha Key, Reuben and Sarah Key, Thomas and Ann Key,Lydia Key, Aubrey and Mary Ann Key.  I'll happily send anyone a copy, too much info for me to type out here!

Linda- the baptism record for your father Cyril is there if you would like it,  I won't detail it on this forum without your permission.

Richard, yes I have read the Alf Jenkins book, have you seen the photo opposite page 47? Key's Quarry!

Best wishes to you all, Jason

Jason Arnold Key
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Hello to all my fellow Key researchers! It's been over a year since our last messages and I was wondering if any of you have had better luck than I have in tracing the elusive baptism for Thomas Key?! (married at Bitterley, "of this parish", in 1790) Jason.

Lorna Flanagan
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Jason Arnold Key, I have read your website and discovered that we are, indeed, related.
I have 13 pages of KEY ancestry  i.e, Thomas Key and Mary Reynolds, dating from the middle of the 1700"s. I noted that you have copies of Charles Key and Martha Keys baptismal papers. He was my Grandfather and his sister, Martha, my Great-Aunt.
I am living in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and there are a number of Key descendents here and they are also spread across England, from the Midlands to the South of England. I also have a brother, Grendon, who is teaching in London, England. Some family members also emigrated to Australia. I tried to trace them but have not had any luck as yet. It would be wonderful if you could respond to this message or e-mail me: The Shropshire Family Society has my information.  I hope I am now a member of this Society as I have been trying to get information of my Mother's family who came from the same area as well as my Grandfather, Charles Key.
I hope that we will soon connect.
Lorna Flanagan

SFHS WebMaster
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Hi Lorna, just to clarify, you aren't, to my knowledge a paid-up member of Shropshire Family History Society, you have just registered with us on our web-site, registering allows you to post on the Forum and attempts to reduce the amount of Spam messages that get posted, however if you wish to become a member please follow this link for instructions on how to do so, also note that at present we do not have the facility to join on-line. wink
Postscript: Membership status now sorted smiley

Lorna Flanagan
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To SFHS Webmaster

On September 4, 2013,I sent,a letter along with 10 pounds($l6.85,CDN) in the form of a draft from the Toronto Dominion Bank together with a filled out membership form to Mrs. Emery, Honourary Secretary of the SFHS in Shrewsbury, as stipulated. I had to copy the form out by hand  from the web page since I do not at the moment have a printer. Meanwhile, I have been trying to find out whether it was ever received but have had no concrete reply.  Therefore, I am not sure where I stand. I would appreciate hearing from the SFHS to find out what further steps I must take, if indeed, any at all. Thank you for your help. Lorna Flanagan

Lorna Flanagan
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Webmaster Shropshire Family History Society

I have just collected my mail and found a letter from Mrs. Emery with all the information sent to new members. If you need my membership number I will gladly forward it to you. I hope that this clears the problem of not knowing whether I am a member or not.  I am looking forward to participating even from such a long way away.Thank you again.

Lorna Flanagan

Jason Arnold Key
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Hello Lorna!

I was really thrilled to read your post, your grandfather Charles was cousin to my great grandfather Benjamin Key and was also best man at his wedding. It would be great to exchange e-mails as I would love to share my research with you.I have some transcriptions from the Shropshire Quarter Sessions relating to our family, one of which from 1853 contains statements from Charles and Martha regarding a burglary at their home!

I am one of the few people left on the planet who does not own a computer (will get round to it one of these days!) so only check this board at my local library once or twice a week.

With very best wishes to you, Jason Key

Michael J Hulme
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Hello Jason

I have forwarded your email address direct to Lorna Flanagan.

Mike, Admin

DavidFarmery
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Hi Jason,

I was delighted to see this thread as I ahve been researching Thomas, his descendants, and his ancestors for over 10 years and have a database of about 3000 names (including spouses), which runs to a report of 130 pages.  I would dearly love to get in touch with as many people as possible who are descended from Thomas, and am more than happy to share my research with any of you.  Please contact me and we can swap info.

 

Best regards,

David Farmery

davidfarmery99@fsmail.net

Barbara Handley
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I was just revisiting the 1851 census for some of my ancestors and noticed their neighbours were a family called KEY. Address being Road Side, Clee Hill. Thomas KEY from Caynham was a coal miner. He was married to Mary.There was also Charles and Sarah KEY from Coreley. Charles also being a coal miner. It might not help you but it appeals to me to see other members of my ancestors' families' community. They must have interacted and known each other quite well I should think.

My ancestors of interest on this census were HAN(D)LEY and POUNDFORD.