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John Tompkins, grandfather of Molly and Leigh de Fraine

John’s first wife, Sarah Jane Godfree, was baptised on 20 May 1829 in Great Rissington. In 1841, she was with her grandparents George and Mary Godfree and in 1851, she was with her maternal aunt, Jane Smith, in Bourton on the Water. She married John Tompkins of Oddington, Oxfordshire on 28th December 1853 in Great Rissington on the same day as Rebecca her older sister. John was the nephew of George Osborn, Sarah’s brother-in-law, husband of her oldest sister, Elizabeth. It is not clear from the image, but he may have been lodging in Stow on the Wold in 1851. In 1861, they were in Horsendon at Manor Farm and Emma was staying with them. Sarah had already had five children by then.

John’s second wife, Emma Gillett née Godfree, was the younger sister of his first wife Sarah. She was was born in 1838 in Great Rissington. In 1861, she was in Horsenden with Sarah Jane and John Tompkins. She married John Gillett, a widower with a small daughter, Susan aged 1 year old,  on 25 May 1864 in Great Rissington. In 1871, they were in Oddington, Gloucestershire where he was described as a retired farmer. He died of general dropsy, 3 months certified, on 12 December 1871 in Oddington. See also The Gillett Spoons.In 1871, Sarah was staying in Burford with the Strattons. The rest of the family were in Ivinghoe at Town Farm. The household included Fanny Osborne, cousin, from Lewisham in Kent. She was the daughter of John’s mother’s youngest brother William who was a silk merchant.Sarah died of apoplexy the following year, on 7th January, leaving nine children.aged from 3 to 18 years old. Their son, Robert George, had died when he was a year old in 1862.

Emma  married John Tompkins by Licence on 18th September 1873 in St Saviour’s Church, Paddington. The witnesses were Thomas Smith and Elizabeth Betts.

In 1881, Emma and John were at Aveley Hall, Aveley in Essex, where they stayed until John died on on 4th January 1907. Emma died on on 23 February 1910 and they were both buried at St Michael Aveley, with their three little sons. They had two daughters, Kate Isobel and Alice Florence, known as Flossie. Kate married a widower, Herbert Manning, a farmer, and they had four daughters and twin sons, one of whom did not survive. Floss did not marry.

Ancestors of John Tompkins

Descendants of John Tompkins

The Godfree Daughters

Week 27: Solo – choice or circumstance?

Catherine Godfree, born in 1844, was the youngest child of George and Mary Ann Godfree of Great Rissington. She had three older brothers and seven older sisters. Five of the sisters married and had large families, two sisters married but had no children, while two of the brothers never married and the one that did had emigrated to Australia following the death of his father.

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Week 23: Wedding

Marrying the sister of a deceased wife was illegal in Victorian England. " ...under the Marriage Act of 1835, which had the support of the established Anglican church, it was prohibited for a widower to marry his wife’s sister on the grounds of a passage in Leviticus,...

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Week 8: Prosperity

Week 8: Prosperity

George Godfree was my great x2 uncle, the sixth child and second son of George and Mary Ann, nee Smith, Godfree of Great Rissington. His father died in 1850, leaving the farm to Mary, "if she wants it", and then to George's older brother. Like many other younger sons...

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Week 2: Favourite Photograph

This is a hard one. Should it be the picture of Sarah Jane Tompkins née Godfree, a maternal great x2 grandmother, which I see every day as it is hanging over my mantlepiece? She also appears at the top of every page of this website. Perhaps it could be the group one...

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Godfrees of Great Rissington

Godfrees of Great Rissington

The Church of St. John the Baptist , Great Rissington.The first set of gates are the entrance to Manor Farm.© Copyright David Luther Thomas and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. The Godfree, Hambidge, Cambray and Baylis families intertwined with...

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Kathleen Mary “Molly” Tompkins

Kathleen Mary “Molly” Tompkins

From Buckinghamshire to Essex via Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.The Tompkins were tenant farmers in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex.The Gilletts and Godfrees and Baylis families were farming in Gloucestershire.Kathleen Mary “Molly” Tompkins (left), was the...

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The Godfree Daughters

George and Mary Godfree had 9 daughters. The oldest daughter, Elizabeth, was baptised on 7th June 1824 in Great Rissington. She married George Osborn of Charlton on Otmoor, Oxfordshire on 16th January 1850 in Great Rissington. They had four daughters and a son. In...

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The Ascott Martyrs 1873

Sarah Godfree's younger sister, Rose Hannah, married Robert Hambidge of Icomb, Gloucestershire.  They were married in Great Rissington in 1859. In 1861, they were farming in Westcote, Gloucestershire but by 1871 were living at Crown Farm in Ascott-under-Whychwood when...

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“Prominent resident of Yapeen”

“Prominent resident of Yapeen”

George Godfree was left two hundred pounds in his father's will,  which was proved on 1st January 1851, and by the 30th March he was an apprentice grocer, living with his maternal uncle, Thomas Smith, a grocer, in Paddington. Gold had recently been discovered in...

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Residents of Melbourne

  Only one of George and Marjorie's ten children married, their youngest, Ernest Graham. He followed a very different path altogether to his older siblings. Laurence, the fourth son died soon after birth. Charles John, the fifth son, stayed on the farm in...

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