link between Westbury and Bitton (Documents Articles)

by Keith Thomas @, Friday, December 13, 2019, 10:32 (245 days ago)

Westbury on Severn and Bitton parishes
Can anyone suggest a link between these two parishes? Bitton is a small village on the river Avon midway between Bristol and Bath. It is in the diocese of Bristol and although in Gloucestershire is therefore not covered by GFHS. Is there any connection between these two parishes? Was there travel or trade from Westbury to this area possibly via Bitton?
For some years I have been searching for a marriage in or near Westbury of my g x4 grandfather William BELLAMY to an Elizabeth around 1741-43 and have found nothing in or around Gloucestershire. However I had not covered the Diocese of Bristol and have recently found a marriage in Bitton in 1741 which fits.
BELLAMY’s, farmers and tanners, lived and farmed around Westbury on Severn and have been traced back to the early 1600s. William died in Westbury in January 1802, age 88 indicating a birth about 1714-15. Elizabeth died in 1803 aged 84, giving a birth about 1718-19. The first child recorded in Westbury was Mary, baptised in February 1743. So a marriage about 1740-42 is probable. [Their seventh child Jane, born in 1752, (who married James WINTLE in 1778), is my g x3 grandmother]. This marriage in Bitton is a very good fit to these facts but without any substantive information cannot be definitely said to be the one I have been seeking. I am looking for any information that could help me prove this.
Unfortunately the information in the Bitton records is very brief, simply that on 30th September 1741 William BELLAMY and Elizabeth COLES were married. No indication of banns or licence or parish of either. There are no BELLAMY or COLES entries in this register before this entry and none afterwards. There are COLES in Westbury however and baptisms of two Elizabeth’s in 1718 and 1719. Is it possible that this is the marriage I have been seeking? It seems quite remote from Westbury. Is there any link between these parishes which could explain this marriage?
I rented a microfilm of the PR and BT’s from LDS and viewed it at my local LDS Family History Centre. Bitton seems to have a lot of marriage entries for a small parish, many with no other related baptisms and burials. Is this because Bitton had a large non-conformist population or was it the Gretna Green of South Gloucestershire?
Is anyone researching the COLE family in Westbury and has a “missing” Elizabeth or any wills or other documents in the 18c that could refer to her and help resolve my problem?


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