Tracing the movement and settlement of the family in Berkshire with the hope of finding the earliest date and possibly where they originated!

Many professional researchers seem to be of the opinion that people generally stay within the district they are born. Maybe many folk did, especially before transport became easier with trains and other transport but I cannot wholly agree with this view.

How did the Romans get from London to Hadrian’s Wall let alone across the globe? What about troop movements in our own Civil War (1644 ish). What about waterways and the horse & cart, stage coaches etc plus we forget that people walked miles without thinking about it.

We are already aware from past research that the family were established in Fyfield & Longworth from the second half of the 18th century and through most of the 19th.

There are many gaps in the early part of the tree which hopefully this research may help us to complete.


The 13th century church of St. Nicholas was restored in 1883 but burnt down on 26th October 1893 so many very early records became useless for reference purposes. The Berkshire Records Office restored the later records which begin about 1605.Looking in the baptism records from 1605, no Barrett’s appear before Hannah in1784 and she belongs to our family. The marriage records start 1605 and there is an Ann Barrett married in 1761 and then no more Barrett marriages until 1806 and some later from 1831 who are connected to our family. The burial records show a Mrs Amy Barrett in 1669 but there is no indication as to whose wife she may have been. Then no more Barrett’s appear until our Thomas & John in 1796.


All records here commence in 1559.  No Barrett’s appear in the Baptisms until our Thomas in1729 son of Thomas & Mary.

Marriage records. The earliest Barrett is an Ann who married in1822, not sure at this stage if she is linked to our lot. There is a Richard Barrett married in 1823 and he comes from the parish of Shipton upon Cherwell, Oxon. Not aware of a link to us but will examine it later.

Burial records at Longworth commence in 1562 and the earliest Barrett appearing is a Mary in1739 who is possibly ours. There are other burials 1741 & 1742, 1764 and 1769 then no more Barrett’s until 1835 and steadily through to the early 1900’s.

Conclusion therefore is that the Barrett’s, especially our lot, were not established in Fyfield or Longworth much before the middle 1700’s. So, where were they? Need to examine some other parishes in the area.

Will look first at Tubney, Marcham and Kingston Bagpuize as these villages are close to Fyfield & Longworth and it is already known that there are family links to these places.


The records begin in 1847 as it was linked with Fyfield. The earliest Barrett baptism is 1875, Marriage 1874 and there are 3 burials in 1888, Percy, Walter & Rhoda. Percy applies to our tree.

Kingston Bagpuize

Records start 1539 and no Barrett’s appear in any of the records much before the middle 1800’s with the exception of a marriage of a Mary in 1769.


Records begin in 1658 and in the baptism records, Barrett’s start appearing in 1759 through to 1798 with a couple of children of a Jonathan & Ann , a couple for a Richard & Elizabeth and a few for a William & Alice. There are no Barrett marriages but a few burials between 1781 & 1798.


Attention is now turned to Abingdon which has been the main town in the area for at least 5 centuries. The records from St Helen’s Parish church have proved quite interesting.

In the baptism records which begin in 1538 found:

Edmund son of William 20th September 1561 but buried 6 days later.

Richard son of William baptised 30th May 1563.

Anne daughter of William baptised 3rd May 1565.

Jane daughter of William bapt 22nd Jan 1568

Dorothe daughter of William of Northcote 24th December 1571and she married a Robert Bowles on 22nd April 1594. (There is a Northcourt a mile or so north of Abingdon)

James another son of William was found in the burial records for 10th August 1577 but had not seen him amongst the baptisms.

William himself was buried on 13th November 1583.

There are a handful of Barrett baptisms in the records which appear between 1760 and 1806.

Not all of these are linked to our tree.

As a great point of interest to our family, the name Ferberd was found in these early records but as a surname.

In 1566 there was an Elan Ferberd daughter of a Richard. In 1597 a Fearberd, 1600 a Fayerberd, 1603 a Fairbeard but the recorder has put Fereberd in brackets. There are other occasional references until about 1723 and then no more. Perhaps Ferberd is old English for Fairbeard?


In the marriage records, apart from Dorothe (Dorothy) already mentioned, there is a Thomas who married Alice Scoppe in 1608 and an Alice (or Ann) who married a John Gregory in 1620.


Apart from a couple already mentioned, there is a John 1588. Ene 1595, Marc 1603, Elizabeth 1609, 1613 & 1614.

There were 2 very intriguing entries found for 1538.

John Hunt alias Barret and immediately underneath the names have been turned round to read John Barret alias Hunt. Also, there is an Elizabeth Barret alias Hunt.

What could this mean??

As a point of historical interest, the 1644 burial register tells of many soulders (soldiers) being buried.

I cannot find a Northcote on today’s map. There is Northcotes near Grimsby, a Northcott in Cornwall and a Northcourt  just above Abingdon.

There is no proof that any of the Barrett’s found in the Abingdon records are linked to our family but at some stage they will be investigated as far as records allow to see if there is a connection and if they moved around the other villages.

Parish church of St Nicholas, Abingdon.

Barrett’s do not seem to feature in these records although about 5 were found for the late 1700’s and first half of 1800’s.


There is a baptism of an Ann daughter of Thomas & Mary 1st February 1601 which will need to be checked out at some stage. No more Barrett baptisms appear until1724 and are numerous through this century and the next. They can’t all be linked to our family but again, interesting as it shows Barrett’s were not seen here much before 18th century.

Strangely enough in the marriage records there was a Margaret Barrett who married in 1585 but again nothing else until the 1700’s and nothing at all found in the Burial records.


Nothing found in the records before 19th & 20th centuries.


Parish records do not commence until 1847 and has been strongly linked with Fyfield so earlier records are at Fyfield.

Sutton Courtney 5 miles South of Abingdon

There are some early 17th Century Barrett baptisms.

Elizabeth 1639 d of George & Elizabeth  15/7/2017 N.B need to look at again 

Mary 1659 d of Richard & Elizabeth

John 1661 s of Richard & Elizabeth

Ann 1663 d of Richard & Elizabeth

Jonathan 1665 s of Richard & Elizabeth

Sarah 1667 d of Richard & Elizabeth

Martha 1669 d of Richard & Elizabeth

Then no more Barrett Baptisms until 19th century and no Barrett marriages before 19th century.


There is only one appearing in 1673, Elizabeth wife of Richard so am assuming the mother of the above. Again, no Barrett burials until 19th century.

Could go on enumerating the parishes but feel it would be boring for those reading and it was just an exercise for me possibly to help the research.


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Paul Barrett

    It’s worth pointing out that a 1973 boundary change resulted in Abingdon moving from Berkshire to Oxfordshire.

    Since genealogists are historians the addresses for hstiorical records reflect the county as it waas at the time. Therefore the majority of the records refer to Berkshire. There are a few that post date 1973 and these will show Oxfordshire.

    Contributors therefore have be careful to select the correct address from the two entries in the database, when adding fresh records.

  2. Sheila

    Well, yes, I am aware of the boundary changes but with regard to our research it is pre boundary changes.

    1. Paul Barrett

      Oh, yes, I know. I was just making the point for others who read this article and are wondering why we refer to Abingdon as being in Berkshire

  3. Sheila

    I’m sure I’ve got an old map of Berkshire. When I find it I’ll put it on then people can see the changes. If I look up Fyfield today it is Fyfield, Oxen

    1. Paul Barrett

      Oh wow, that would be great. It really helps bring things to life (well it does for me, but then I’m a map freak). Do You have the software to scan it in sections and join it together as one big map? If you don’t I do.

  4. Sheila

    Ok. Will investigate over next couple of days how I can add it. I can scan what I have then need to see how I can add it to articles or send it to you through OneDrive perhaps

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