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52 Ancestors in 52 weeks Challenge: Week 3 – Long Line

January 14, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 3: Long Line

For the three decades that I have been researching my family history, I can honestly say that I’ve never been a collector of names and dates. Personally, I am more interested in the stories that make my ancestors come to life. Probably because of this preoccupation, I only have a few family lines that go back for many centuries. Many researchers really enjoy getting their family back to very early times. I applaud them for that, but for me names and dates, are not the main reason for the research.

One of my family lines that does go back quite a long way, even though my research of those early years is not complete, is the WATERS family. This is my mother’s maternal line. My grandmother’s name is LEOLA JEAN WATERS.

I have information that has been given to me that dates the Waters family back to the 15th century. I’m hesitant to quote those ancestors as being mine as I haven’t yet authenticated the information or seen sources that authenticate them.

For that reason the first Waters ancestor that I have officially claimed in a long line is Thomas Waters who was born 1698 and died in 1761. Thomas was born in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, England and lived his life there until his death in July 1761. Thomas described himself at different times, as a labourer and a brick maker.

The fall firing at Colonial Williamsburg's brickyard kiln

Re-encactment of workers in an 18th century brick making plant. Colonial brick making was often compared to farming because of it’s seasonality and to backing because of it’s production methods –

On December 12, 1720, Thomas Waters married Sarah Barnet at Orwell Cambridgeshire, England, where Sarah had lived with her parents, since her birth.

Sarah gave birth to five children:

  •  Martha born 1723
  • Thomas born 1725
  • Elizabeth born 1728
  • Sarah born 1731

One of the gaps in my research is that I don’t know the date of Sarah’s death. But I am presuming that she died betwen 1731 and 1734 when he married ANN GRAY. They married on January 13, 1734 at Gamlingay.

On January 13 1734, Thomas married Anne Gray at Gamlingay. Their daughter Mary was born and died in 1736. Ann Gray died in Gamlingay in October 1777, sixteeen years after Thomas passed away. She was buried at Gamlingay on 4 October 1876.

*Thanks to Graham for providing me with the results of his many years of research, including sources such as parish records, family documents and letters. Unfortunately, I have lost contact with Graham who lived in Surrey, England. If anybody has contact with him, I would appreciate if you could please ask him to contact me through this blog, as a starting point.


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