Glovers’ History

Glover family history


Picture of Parkham, taken May 2003

Surnames come in three broad groups. Place names such as those with ton or ham at the end, personal names such as Rogers, Peters , Jackson , Anderson etc and trade names such as Taylor, Mason, Smith and Glover. And to a certain extent with these three categories , you have a greater or lesser chance of finding documentary evidence of their lives . With the place name people , inevitably you will have at some period, land ownership or tenanting, and with that comes the chance of wills , IPMs , land tax assessments, subsidies , musters, Hearth Tax and many other bureaucratic documents. With the latter two categories the chances are slimmer although there are always the Overseers and Churchwardens accounts , settlement certificates and removal orders , local bureaucracy, and despite the paucity of their belongings, wills . ..

Since Tudor times , Great Torrington has been well known for its glove making industry. Not the same world wide fame as Honiton attracted for its lace, but none the less the glove industry was important to the town and to the many surrounding villages as the women provided the main source of outworking. Indeed even as late as 1871 , the Bideford Gazette reports that Mary Clements the late wife of Anthony Clements was a pack walker, and her job was to collect gloves from all the houses in the village of Parkham and perhaps others, and to walk these packs of finished gloves to Torrington. Presumably at Torrington , she would have collected the payments for the glovers and would bring more cloth and orders for the next batches of gloves . It is good to know today when so few people wear gloves except in the course of their jobs, that once gloves were a commonplace necessity, and my grandmother for instance had a glove drawer, with a pair of gloves for every occasion . And I like to think our mutual ancestors were THE makers of gloves of a high standard , sufficient to warrant being named after their craftsmanship in this part of North Devon.

Luckily the parish registers of Parkham have survived , with gaps , to the early 16th C and the Glovers appear first in the marriage register , in 1538 when ——– Baker married Sible Glovr. But the main tree starts with William Glover married to Sible Sanders in 1544, and their first child recorded in Parkham is Alice bapt ” in festo St Maria ” 1546. In the next year 1547 , John Glover married Mary , no surname given. And William and John may very well be brothers and the sons of John Glover who appears in the 1525 Subsidy both for Alwington in goods and Parkham in lands. The registers continued un-interrupted by the Prayer book revolt , Pilgrimage of Grace, in 1549, and only break for the Civil War period 1650 – 1665. And although this is a big wide spread parish , there seems at all times to be just the one family of Glovers and they all descend from this first William and Sible and John and Mary.

No doubt it is possible to find documents about Parkham and about the Glovers in the archives of one of the manor owning families, in their wills, but the first bureaucratic information comes with the Subsidies of Henry Vlll, like all monarchs anxious to assess how much he can call on in taxes, and how many men owe him service , the Subsidy roll of 1525 shows our first Glovers even before the start of the parish registers, as John Glover assessed as taxable in Parkham in lands, and John Glover, maybe the same man, as taxable in Alwington in goods.


Picture of Parkham pub The Bell Inn, taken May 2003

This John may very well be the John buried at Parkham in 1548/9 and maybe the husband of Johana buried Jan 1560/1 and the father of the above William and John. In parenthesis , the words maybe , perhaps, likely , will appear often in the pages below, because it is not possible to be 100% certain of any of the relationships early on in the registers, when there is no other supporting documentation, and when the entries are of only the bare bones of fact, ie John son of John baptised.

John and Mary have four recorded children and it would appear that their only son Thomas died without issue in 1546, and the other three were daughters bapt 1551, 1558 and 1562 all in Parkham.

William and Sible had three recorded daughters and a son William bapt at Parkham Jan 1550/1 . This is probably the William who married Johana who was buried at Parkham in Jan 1585/6 Although it was the law from 1537 that all baptisms marriages and burials should be recorded, it does seem that quite a few failed to be noted in the intial decades . And therefore these early generations are not as well documented nor can the relationships be guaranteed. William and Johana `s children are John bapt Parkham 15 July 1578, and Lewis bapt Parkham 10 July 1580. They may also have had Thomas born circa 1585 who is the only Glover of the 1538 – 1858 period to have left a will. He certainly paid 4s 8d tax in 1642, and he was buried in Parkham in Feb 1649/50, will proved Exeter 1650. This will did not survive the Luftwaffe nor did it warrant inclusion in the Murray /Moger will extracts.

List of wills of Glovers of North Devon

(none of these wills survive either in original form or in transcription but they do give an indication of the level of prosperity of the early Glovers ) . All were proved in the Barnstaple Archdeaconry court .
GLOVER …….. Parkham 1607 W Barn/B
GLOVER Andrew Woolsery 1780 W Barn/B
GLOVER Elizabeth Parkham 1776 W Barn/B
GLOVER Giles Parkham 1723 W Barn/B
GLOVER Jane Alwington 1693 W Barn/B
GLOVER John, senior, Alwington 1673 W Barn/B
GLOVER John Parkham 1564 W Barn/B
GLOVER John Parkham 1566 W Barn/B
GLOVER John Parkham 1669 W Barn/B
GLOVER John Parkham 1685 W Barn/B
GLOVER John Parkham 1762 W Barn/B
GLOVER John Parkham 1822 A Barn/B
GLOVER Daniel Parkham 1732 W Barn/B
GLOVER Philip Parkham 1587 W Barn/B
GLOVER Rebecca Woolsery 1713 W Barn/B
GLOVER Richard Parkham 1675 W Barn/B
GLOVER Thomas Parkham 1629 W Barn/B
GLOVER William Milton Damerel 1805 W Barn/B
GLOVER William Northam 1744 W Barn/ B


Picture of Parkham,
taken from the road from Horns Cross in May 2003

From the 1600s onward the registers seem to be more detailed, and taken more seriously, perhaps it is from this period on that copies of the registers had to be sent each year to the Bishop in Exeter, and every seventh year to the Archdeacon, in order to prove that records were being properly kept . These have survived with a greater or lesser degree of continuity. Some parishes have good Bishop`s and Archdeacon`s transcripts and these complement the registers, in some parishes early transcripts are all that survive in the way of registers at all.

John Glover bapt 1578 married Joan and they had just two children , which seems unlikely but these are all that are recorded. A daughter bapt 1605, and Lenerd bapt 1610 in Parkham .

Lewis bapt 1580, named for some unknown benefactor ? Hero of the day ? Who knows ?, married an un-named wife, and is buried in Alwington in Jan 1639/40. He had four children, Richard bapt Dec 1610, John bapt 1612 , Joan bapt 1615 and William bapt 1618.

Thomas the will leaver born circa 1585, also married an un-named wife and had nine recorded children, which perhaps reflects his comparative affluence, diet and surviving children going hand in hand, more money equalls more food equalls more children surviving childhood . Thomas`s children were all bapt in Alwington, George in 1605, Mathew 1612, John 1613, Richard 1614 , Thomas 1617, William 1620 , and three daughters Alice , Elnor and Ema.

Richard , son of Lewis , bapt 1610 , married Aliess surname unkown, date and place unknown. They had Daniel bapt Parkham 1648, and may possibly have had other children but the registers stop at 1650 and only resume in 1665. So one or more of the male Glovers having children in the 1670 -90 period, may be sons of Richard and Aliess. This includes Giles Glover born circa 1660 buried in Parkham in 1723, who married Elizabeth Bragge at Langtree in 1685, who died the same year, and who married secondly Ann ??, by whom he had John bapt Parkham 1688, Giles 1697, William 1699/1701 and three daughters Margaret 1691 , Ann 1694 and Mary 1701. There is also Arthur who was born circa 1659, married Honour Whitfield in Parkham in 1684, who had two daughters, Susan and Mary 1686 and 1689. There are also three other unattributed Glovers, William b c 1647, Thomas b c 1647 and John b c 1650 who may be the sons of Richard and Aliess , or John 1612 – 1685, or William b 1618, or William b 1620 . Without the registers , these are unattributable as all their children bear the usual names of John William Thomas, and the same with the daughters, Mary Ann Margaret and Susan , nothing by which it is possible to link them to one of the earlier generations. Nor is it 100% certain that Richard of Richard and Aliess b 1610 , is not the Richard of Alwington b 1614. Except that he is Alwington and Richard of Richard and Aliess is Parkham. Richard was buried in 1675 and Aliess in 1673..

The Protestation Returns of 1641 for Parkham however show 6 adult male Glovers. Three Johns , Richard , Thomas and William. In the Tax Assessment of 1642 it shows 3 Glovers, Thomas paying 4s 8d, and John senior paying 7s 2d for Worthyeat, and John , junior , paying 6s 0d. Clearly the Thomas born c 1585 is the Thomas in both lists and two Johns are possibly the two cousins, John b 1613 and son of the will leaving Thomas, and John b 1612 and son of Lewis brother to Richard. Junior is the description normally given to a same name son, ie John son of John to distinguish father from son, but in this case John senior was buried in Jan 1639/40 and had no son John yet found.

In the Hearth Tax return of 1664 , Jno Glovier is recorded as paying tax on three hearths at Alwington, and this would be John the son of Thomas the will leaver, and so the family fortunes are passed on a generation further.

It would be interesting to know if they , individually, played any part in the Civil War, Parkham being a hill top inland village seems not to have been involved, but the war ebbed and flowed through Devon between 1642 and 1650, and certainly came as close as Bideford and Appledore. And the main coast road from Barnstaple to Bude passed then as now through Horns Cross and Hoops , and the people living just a couple of miles off the road could not help but know the troop movements and where they were billeted.


Picture of Horns Cross looking towards Bideford,
taken May 2003

The post Civil War period was obviously a prosperous time for the Glovers and they all had more children surviving childhood and the parish registers fill up with Glovers marrying and baptising their numerous children. As a downside to this productivity, and allied to increasing mechanisation , more and more young people were leaving their native villages and moving to other jobs than the land, to the sea in some cases, with Bideford and Appledore prospering, and to service trades for the growing ports and towns. The three hearths in Alwington may have gone to the oldest son, but for the other sons, there would have been nothing, and they would have been expected to make their own way in the world. And not being of the Alwington line, my immediate ancestors stayed resolutely in Parkham for a further century.

Richard and Aliess`s son Daniel bapt Parkham in mid Civil War in 1648, married Mary Ashton in Buckland Brewer in 1676, and he is buried in Parkham in 1732, and she earlier in 1725. It is noticeable that in the century between John of Alwington and Parkham b c 1500 buried 1548/9 , and Daniel born 1648 buried 1732, the average age of the father of the family has risen from about 50 years, to John bapt 1578 buried 1639/40, that is 62 years to Daniel bapt 1648 buried 1732, aged 84. Longevity however does not bring prosperity, and Daniel `s grandson and namesake born 100 years later, dies in the poor house aged 71.

Daniel 1648 – 1732 and Mary Ashton had eight known children , and they were bapt at Buckland Brewer starting with Mary in 1677, William 1679, Alice 1681, Honour 1684 , Ann 1687, , then a worrying gap to John bapt at Buckland Brewer in 1694, Thomas 1697 and Andrew 1699. The gap may indicate that the first wife Mary died , and that Daniel remarried another Mary who then had three sons. But no burial of Mary 1687 – 1694 has been found, nor a second marriage for this Daniel. So the 7 year gap remains a mystery.

William b 1679 married Sarah Prance in Bideford in 1707 and have two known children Mary b 1708, and Thomas b 1712. This Thomas was married to Margaret Clatterey in Parkham in 1734, and they had John dsp 1735, two daughters Sarah and Elizabeth , and two further sons Thomas bapt 1746 and William bapt 1748 both at Parkham and both seem to have survived John b 1694 married Mary Chappel in Bideford in 1724 and had five daughters, two Marys, two Thomasins , an Anne and a Susanna, and a son William bapt 1728 who married Patience Barrow in West Putford in 1750 and went on to have children in Milton Damerel. There are Glovers in Milton Damerel from this period but they are not included , at present, in these pages But William and Patience return to Parkham to be buried in 1805, and 1807. Thomas b 1697 married Mary ? C 1736, and this again seems problematic. First the marriage cannot be found either in IGI nor in Boyds marriage index, and Thomas would have been nearly 40 when he married . Yet in the Parkham registers the first half of the 18th C baptisms are dominated by the children of Thomas and Mary and Thomas and Margaret Clatterey . The only other Thomas who may be a candidate is Thomas son of Thomas and Mary bapt at Abbotsham in 1714. The Abbotsham registers show a gap from these first three baptisms 1712 1714, and 1719, to 1779. This Abbotsham Thomas and Mary maybe the Thomas and Mary Glover who married at Parkham in 1709, but if so , he is buried in Abbotsham in 1772, which would make him around 82 years old, which again is not impossible .But there is no baptism of a Thomas around 1680 -9 which fits except the son of Thomas and Mary Glover bapt Parkham 1685, this may be Thomas b c 1647 married Mary Brown at Parkham in 1672, and who again are problematic in that they have Mary bapt Parkham 1673, and then a gap until Susan b 1683 and Thomas b 1685, which rather indicates that this is perhaps not the same family as the Abbotsham family but there is no way of distinguishing one Thomas and Mary from another . Neither do they have sufficient numbers of children to be able to make approximate connections by the use through generations of one or other different Christian name,


However Thomas bapt Parkham in 1697 and Mary ??, have eight children , William dsp 1737, John dsp 1739, John 1740, Thomas 1744, Daniel 1748 and William 1749. From this the connection is made that this Thomas is in fact the son of Daniel, and perhaps to confirm this, William b 1749 has both Andrew and Daniel amongst his sons.

Finally of this family of brothers, Andrew bapt Parkham 1699, who thankfully has a different Christian name and is relatively easy to trace. He married Elizabeth Hooper in 1724, and they had three daughters and a son William bapt 1728.

Thus of the sons of Thomas b 1697, John bapt 1740 married Elizabeth ?? , and had 4 daughters and two sons John bapt Parkham 1767, and Thomas bapt Parkham 1770. Both appear later in life to have lived and worked at Hoops , their deaths being recorded for John in 1834 aged 67 and for Thomas aged 67 in 1837, thus fairly placing them in the baptism registers as the sons of John and Elizabeth. Of the four daughters only Elizabeth seems to have survived but this John was sufficiently well off to have gravestones for his daughters, who died aged 4 , 5 and 7 years old, ” the fairest flowers are taken first “and one for himself, which says he died on 8th April 1786 aged 47, which clearly makes him the John bapt 1740 rather than the John bapt 1742. On his gravestone is written , ” on earth my grief was great , / with sickness sore opprest / till God thought fit to take me to / a place of eternal rest ./ I lived in peace with those I left behind / and died in Charity with all Mankind / dear wife and children / mourn not for me / but live in love and unity ./ Then God will bless you here on earth / and make you happy after death .” Certainly with the early deaths of his daughters , and his own early death, he was indeed , with sickness sore opprest . Of his two surviving sons see more below.


Picture of Coach Horses Inn, Horn Cross, taken May 2003

Daniel bapt 1748 and died in the poor house in 1819, married in 1779,Elizabeth dau of Richard and Grace Found of Woolsery, where she was bapt 1759. She was still living in 1841 with her son James at Hawkestone. This was land tenanted by John Glover from Richard Coffin as Hawkes Holwill in 1780 LTA . And by Elizabeth Glover in 1800 as Hawkestone still from Richard Coffin, although it has passed into the ownership and occupation of Wm Clement by the 1830 LTA.. Daniel and Elizabeth had four children William 1780, John bapt Alwington 1783, James bapt Parkham 1790, and Elizabeth bapt 1793. Of Thomas bapt 1744 nothing more is known at present , for in this 1760 – 1770 period the baptism registers of Parkham are dominated by the two Johns and their wives Dorothy and Elizabeth .

William the last son bapt Parkham 1749. ,married Sarah Pedlar at Parkham in 1774. They had three daughters and six sons of whom five appear to have survived. All baptised at Parkham, they were, Mary 1775, Daniel 1777, William dsp 1779, Elizabeth 1781, Sarah 1783, William 1786, John 1788, and the twins Andrew and Thomas in 1793. . Of these Daniel is of interest, in 1820 he was accused at the Assizes in Exeter with Samuel Wakely both of Alwington labourers, of stealing two fowl valued at 12 pence each, belonging to Thomas and Charles Downing, farmers of Parkham, but found not guilty. He was also with brother Andrew and cousin James a member of the North Devon militia in 1813, and in Captain Hanfords company of the 1st North Devon Regiment of Infantry in Oct 1807. He also appears to have married twice, to two Marys, one Mary Ham at Parkham in 1796, and Mary Bond in 1798 Elizabeth his daughter by his first Mary is bapt in Parkham in 1796 and his children by the second Mary are bapt from Maria in Abbotsham in 1799 , to William 1801, John 1805, Thomas 1809, and Daniel 1812 baptised in Parkham.

John bapt 1767 buried 1834 of Hoops aged 67, married Elizabeth Trick in 1811, and they had 7 sons and one daughter. ; William bapt Parkham 1815, Jane b and b 1820, John b 1821, Thomas b 1823, Henry b 1827, George b 1829, James b 1831, Josias b 1834 .

Thomas bapt 1770 buried 1837 of Hoops aged 67, married Mary ? , as yet undiscovered , and had Thomas bapt Parkham April 1813, and then a long gap to William who was bapt and buried 1819 /20. This seems unlikely unless his wife was in her thirties and Thomas was their only child surviving his birth.

This Thomas for whatever reasons, probably work, married Asenath Wood Evans dau of Charles the Northam blacksmith. Thomas became a fisherman and they lived in Appledore , moving house as the family increased in numbers, spending twenty years at least at 22 Meeting Street where their nine daughters were born. All survived childhood and only Mary Ann died aged 29 of typhoid in 1870 . Various daughters married into local Appledore families, Emma married Will Popham and Susan married Philip Bailey but Sally Harriet went with her eldest sister Margaret to Budleigh Salterton when Margaret married in 1868, Richard John Rogers , fisherman., of Budleigh Salterton ( a Rogers website is under construction and will be available shortly ) . Sally Harriet worked as a cook for the Pembers family of Westbourne Terrace , and in 1878 had a daughter Ethel, father unknown. And in the 1881 Census for Budleigh Salterton , Ethel aged 2 is living with her aunt and uncle John and Margaret Rogers , their two daughters and two sons , as part of the family, and Sally Harriet , her mother is in service to the Pembers. This seems a particularly odd family, George Pember the head of the household , is 44 and his occupation is given as M.A. , his wife aged 50 , has been married before because she brings her 26 year old daughter , Sarah Lemon, and joining them is George Pember`s 12 year old niece , Blanche. Also part of the household is Mrs Pember`s 31 year old imbecile brother. Sally Harriet is the live in cook , and we know from a chance encounter that the Pembers employed a page, and presumably living out cleaning, washing and gardening staff.

Sally Harriet died in 1913 of ” softening of the brain ” at the home of her niece Mary Asenath Trent at 8 Greenway Lane. Ethel meantime was in service in London, and had married John Melbourne Bennett a master mariner who took his masters and first mate`s certificates in London in 1913 and 1914. ( A Bennett family website is almost ready to be put on line ). Their only daughter Joan Estella Bennett was born in London in 1914 and died on 4th November 2002, she is buried with her mother and her grandmother and the aunts and uncles , in Budleigh Salterton churchyard.

Thus it is possible to trace a straight line back from Joan Bennett 1914 – 2002 to Ethel Glover 1878 – 1959 to Sally Harriet Glover 1843 – 1913 to Thomas Glover 1813- 1873 to Thomas Glover 1770 – 1827 to John Glover 1740 – 1786 to Thomas Glover 1697 – ?1755 to Daniel Glover 1648 – 1732 to Richard Glover 1610 – 1675 to Lewis Glover 1580 – 1640 to William Glover 1551 – 1600 to William Glover b c 1520 – ?1570 to John Glover b c 1500 – 1548. There may be anomalies and errors in the above and perhaps someone can correct them, but this at this time looks like the most likely line of descent from 1500 to 2000.


Picture of the river Torridge looking toward Bideford , taken May 2003

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