link between Westbury and Bitton (Documents Articles)

by Keith Thomas @, Friday, December 13, 2019, 10:32 (773 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?

link between Westbury and Bitton

by JaneyH ⌂ @, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Friday, December 13, 2019, 13:30 (773 days ago) @ Keith Thomas

Hi Keith,

While I can't help directly with your enquiry about Westbury and Bitton, I thought it was worth mentioning that I have seven different William Bellamys in my family tree, either in Westbury itself or nearby Elton. A William Bellamy baptised in Westbury in 1745, son of William and Elizabeth, is my 5x great-grandfather. Might this fit into your tree anywhere?

I'm at work so can't give you more information right now, but I'll go through things properly over the weekend and get in touch.

Best wishes, JaneyH

link between Westbury and Bitton

by MPGriffiths @, Friday, December 13, 2019, 14:33 (773 days ago) @ JaneyH

For Starters.....

There is a Will on Ancestry - dated 1744 for

Thomas COAL of Bitton - Yeoman - signed at the end COLE

He mentions various sons i.e. William & Samuel *and some daughters (with their married names) -

Samuel christened at Westerleigh - 12 March 1709

this is best guess

Mary ANGOL (Widow)
Sarah BONNOT - wife of Samuel
Elizabeth CHANEL/CHAMBERS wife of Philip
Hannah ILES - wife of Samuel (Hannah COAL christened 13 November 1715 - Westerleigh - father: Thomas COAL

(Samuel ILES of Bitton - Will 1749 is on Ancestry - mentions his Wife Hannah, and children Samuel & Hannah)

? not sure age of Thomas when he died


Men in Armour for Gloucester 1608

Westbury on Severn (Lower Ley)

William BELLAMY - tanner - A40 (age around 40) - tallest stature

Westbury on Severn (Rodley)

Thomas BELLAMY - tanner A40 - tallest stature

Westbury on Severn (adcet part of the manor of Rodley)

Richard BELLEMY - tanner - tallest stature

Tortworth (South Glos. Wotton-under-Edge

William BELLAMY servant to Uswell Bellshere - A20 - lower stature


Checking with Gloucestershire Genelogical Database


Robert COOL - 1746 - coalminers

Isaac COOL - 1740 - bitton/oldland - coal miner

Charles COOL - 1794 - bitton/hanham


There are COOL(E) marriages at Bitton - on the Licences Section of this website and include George 1719 and Hester 1719 , Amy - 1728, Frances - 1747


A Number of early COOL marriages at BITTON etc


Mary COOLE married Willm LACY - 24 Mar 1754, Bitton, Gloucester (tree on Ancestry)

link between Westbury and Bitton

by MPGriffiths @, Friday, December 13, 2019, 15:44 (773 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Bitton Familes Genealogy & Local History (website)

Had a quick look

Mary COOL married Moses BRAIN - 11 December 1748
Grace COOL married robt LEONARD - 14 April 1748

and inc

George COOL/E ? 19 September 1753 - to Sarah DARK

link between Westbury and Bitton

by Keith Thomas @, Monday, December 16, 2019, 10:37 (770 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

MPG, Thanks for reply. I do not subscribe to Ancestry so cannot check the will to see the daughters married names. I did my research into the Bellamy's between 1985 and 2005 and have a large file of wills and deeds traced after many days at Gloucester Archives. I have a comprehensive Bellamy tree back to the 16c. recently I have been reviewing the information, identifying weak links and dead ends. One of these is at about 1720-40 with a missing marriage, William to Elizabeth. there are several William B's at this time and I have eliminated all but two, both cousins who fit. Marriage info might assist in choosing. Both fit the tree which is still OK but with this one query. I searched far and wide for this marriage without success in the 1990s. A check a few years ago with "Family Search" produced the one in Bitton which is a perfect fit to the one I was seeking. But there is insufficient info in the record to be certain.[There are Bellamys in North Somerset but no William that would fit this marriage]. I still need some confirmation that the William in the marriage is from Westbury but cannot see how to find it. A positive link between Westbury and Bitton is needed.

link between Westbury and Bitton

by Keith Thomas @, Monday, December 16, 2019, 10:53 (770 days ago) @ JaneyH

Janey, we are distant cousins! Your William 1745 is an elder brother to my Jane [b 1752]. In the 1990s I corresponded with two other descendants from William [who married Hester Drew]. They were Katherine Bonson of Bradford and Jessie Hoare of St. Albans. I don't know if you are linked to either but can give you contact info if you wish, as it was some time ago they may not still be around [I am just approaching 80 myself!!].
I would like to know if you have traced your tree back beyond William's father. I have a Bellamy tree back to 16c but still have two options for his parents. I have not found a baptism or birth which fits his age, 88, calculated back from his death in 1802. There are two possibilities each side of 1714. Which have you taken?
I also had correspondence with Barbara Dubberly of Canada who is descended from Elizabeth [born 1759]
My email address is if you want to reply directly.

link between Westbury and Bitton

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, December 16, 2019, 15:36 (770 days ago) @ Keith Thomas


There is a Marriage Licence - Gloucestershire Records Office


Marriage licence allegation for William BELLAMY - of Westbury, widower and Anne CRUMP of Westbury - aged 30 - 14 June 1714.

Transcript on the Forest of Dean records

Marriage Licence/Bond 23 Jan 1714 -

William WINTLE, of Westbury
Mary CRUMP of Westbury (aged 30)

Licence for

William BELLAMY (Widower) and Ann CRUMP aged 30 - 14 June 1714

and another one in the marriages

William WINTLE aged 28 of Westbury and Mary CRUMP (aged 30)


Then we have a baptism of William WINTLE - 14 March 1714 of

William WINTLE - parents: William & Mary - he was buried 21 August 1714 - Son of W of Mary

William WINTLE - christened 17 Jun 1716 - at W of Seve - parents: William & Mary



link between Westbury and Bitton

by Keith Thomas @, Monday, December 16, 2019, 16:02 (770 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Thanks, the one I need is William B to Elizabeth. Some years ago I searched everywhere in and around Gloucestershire including Hereford without success. I did not realise at the time [and not until I found the marriage in Bitton] that Gloucestershire records and the GFHS did not cover all of Gloucestershire. The diocese of Bristol covers the south of Gloucestershire. I assumed that I had searched all of Gloucestershire. Only when I recently put the search into Family Search did this one turn up.
I have asked Bristol Archives if there is a marriage license for the marriage, I am awaiting a reply. The PR and BT records give no information on either "by banns" or "by License" just a simple statement that "William Bellamy and Elizabeth Cole were married and the date.

link between Westbury and Bitton

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, December 16, 2019, 16:41 (770 days ago) @ Keith Thomas

By Googling

Bellamy Westbury on Severn

(on Goolge Books)

The Monthly Magazine - Volume 16


..... Mrs Bellamy, relict of the late Mr. W BELLAMY, of Weftsbury upon Severn. ----- At an advanced age

link between Westbury and Bitton

by Keith Thomas @, Monday, December 16, 2019, 17:04 (770 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Yes this is Elizabeth, died in 1803 age 84. A good omen? I am 80 next week!!

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