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Top Ten Names

We have this image of a rural England with generations of one family living in the same village for centuries.  But from a study of Badsey and Wickhamford, this is not the case.  If you lived in Badsey in the 16th century, your neighbours were most likely to be Pidgeon or Smyth, George or Grove.  Over in Wickhamford, it was the Bookers or Bowkers and Honybornes who ruled the roost.

In an attempt to discover who lived in Badsey and Wickhamford in centuries gone by, a study has been made of the parish registers to find out who the main families were.  From the 19th century, we also have census records to call upon.

As parish registers did not begin until 1538, inevitably there are gaps in our knowledge.  And, particularly in the first century or so of recording information, there were some years when no entries were made at all and others where it is obvious that the register was made up-to-date at a later period by a scribe who was writing up from notes.  As far as can be construed from the information available, here is a list of the top ten names for Badsey and Aldington by century.  You will note that there was sometimes overlap between the parishes, but more often than not the names were quite different.

BADSEY WITH ALDINGTON
1500s 1600s 1700s 1800s 1900s
  1  PIGGIN/PIDGEON   1  SMITH/SMYTH   1  KNIGHT   1  KNIGHT   1  KNIGHT
      SMITH/SMYTH   2  PIGGIN/PIDGEON   2  SMITH/SMYTH   2  HARTWELL   2  JELFS
  3  ROBERTS   3  WHITE/WHYTE   3  SIMPSON   3  HARRIS   3  KEEN
  4  GEORGE   4  HARWARD/HARWOOD   4  BYRD/BIRD   4  CRISP   4  HALL
  5  GROVE   5  DARK/DARKE       WILSON   5  PETHARD   5  HARTWELL
  6  WELLS   6  GROVE   6  JONES   6  JELFS   6  JONES
  7  DARK/DARKE   7  BADSEY   7  GROVE   7  KEEN   7  CRANE
  8  HARWARD/HARWOOD   8  BROOK/BROOKS   8  COTTON   8  JONES   8  PERKINS
  9  BUGDEN   9  MARTIN   9  ROBERTS   9  HALL   9  STEWART
10  YARDLEY 10  ROBERTS 10  DAVIS/DAVIES 10  WATKINS 10  BARNARD
         
WICKHAMFORD
1500s 1600s 1700s 1800s 1900s
  1  BOOKER/BOWKER   1  BOOKER/BOWKER   1  CLARK/CLARKE   1  HOWES   1  HALFORD
  2  BYRT/BURT/BIRT   2  OLDACRE/OLDAKER   2  WIDDOWS/WIDOWS   2  SMITH/SMYTH   2  SMITH/SMYTH
  3  HONYBORNE/HONIBORNE   3  BAYLIS/BAYLISS   3  BLISSARD/BLIZARD   3  TAYLOR   3  PETHARD
  4  KINMAN   4  BLISSARD/BLIZARD       RICHARDSON   4  HALL   4  COX
  5  SPOONER   5  HAWKES   5  STEPHENS   5  WINNETT   5  PITMAN
  6  ORDWAY   6  WIDDOWS/WIDOWS   6  MASON   6  PETHARD   6  HERITAGE
  7  WILSON   7  SMITH/SMYTH       SMITH/SMYTH   7  SEARS       TAYLOR
  8  BADSEY       WHITE/WHYTE   8  OLDACRE/OLDAKER   8  TOMLINSON   8  SUTTON
  9  MICKLETON   9  SPOONER   9  LANGSTON   9  FAULKNER/FALKNER   9  MASON
        WILSON       WHITE/WHYTE 10  ROGERS 10  JONES
        JONES