Marriages at Churchdown around 1800 (General)

by Nick Dub @, Sunday, June 12, 2022, 10:58 (738 days ago)

I believe I am descended on my mother's side from a whole raft of Worgans who lived in the Newland, Hewelsfield and St Briavels areas.

Specifically, in a family tree I was given I have a John Worgan born 9 May 1779 in Hewelsfield who marries a Sarah Jordan. A John Worgan with a wife Sarah turns up in later baptisms and on the 1841 census. So far so good - there are also births for Sarah Jordan(s) in English Bicknor in the same period.

The problem is that the marriage record on the tree is for :- "John Worgan and Sarah Jordan married 2 Mar 1802 Churchdown" which is recorded in the BT's for Churchdown, but there is no obvious reason why a couple would go from the other side of Coleford to Churchdown to get married.

The only explanation I can think of is that they were non-conformists and wanted to make sure their marriage was legal - non-conformist marriages being legally questionable at this time.

Other explanations include an unrecorded or lost marriage - or a marriage of John Worgan to a different Sarah - i.e. not Jordan.

If anyone has any other ideas and/or knowledge of non-conformist marriages in Churchdown at the time, I'd love to find out more.

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by MPGriffiths @, Sunday, June 12, 2022, 19:49 (737 days ago) @ Nick Dub

If you check with the Marriage Allegations and Marriage Bonds on this site, (under Resources) you will find

Record ID …. 52821
1 March 1802

Aged 24: Bachelor. (Makes his birth c1778)
Rank/Profession: Yeoman
Groom Residence: Newland

Aged 22. Spinster. (c1780)
Bride Residence: Churchdown

Marriage by Licence

Marriage Allegation

Sworn before Thos Rudge to marry at Churchdown.


They married in the Bride’s Parish

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by MPGriffiths @, Sunday, June 12, 2022, 19:59 (737 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

There is also a Bond (again under Marriage Allegations etc)

For a John Jordan, a labourer of Churchdown, marrying an Elizabeth Cole of Churchdown, 7 May1774.

May be Sarah’s parents and not the English Bicknor baptism?….

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by Nick Dub @, Sunday, June 12, 2022, 22:35 (737 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Thanks a lot for that.

I was sceptical that there was a simple explanation like that, as the couple involved seemed to be living rather far apart. I'd not heard of the bonds section before - rather new when it comes to family history research.

I'll have a think about this new info and also your other suggestion in your subsequent comment and try to figure out what happened.

Very helpful - Nick

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 07:31 (737 days ago) @ Nick Dub

When using the Bonds and Licence section, I always use the Soundex on the surname to make sure nothing is missed, especially in the early records, which are more difficult to read etc.

For example, there is a Workjohn and a Wargen in the records. Also there are often two records transcribed for the marriages, one being the Bond, one being the Licence, each giving more info.

Place names can be spelt in various ways as well. Sometimes I just put in the Surname (with Soundex)

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 07:59 (737 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Just in case you are unfamiliar with

Men in Armour for Gloucestershire 1608, this lists the able bodied men able to fight, over 20,000 names

There us a Robert Worgan in Gloucester, 3 in Clearwell and a couple in Etloe.

This records, some of their ages, and dependent on their height, what they are fit to serve as.

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by Nick Dub @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 09:03 (737 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Thanks again for your help.

A mixture of stupidity and ignorance on my part meant not thinking through that a marriage licence might have extra information attached to it and that a record would have been kept.

In the case of John and Sarah, I believe they are my gggG-parents. They went to live at Berry Hill/ Five Acres and their first child was born approx 3 months after they were married.

I can't say for sure if Sarah Jordan was born in Churchdown or not, but my feeling is it's more likely she was from the Bicknor/Newland area originally. Possibly her family moved to Churchdown, or perhaps she got a job as a maid there.

Incidentally, one of John and Sarah's children was called Mary Anne. She married a George Morgan, and they emigrated to Canada. That is touched on in another thread on this site.

All the best Nick

PS I may delve around further back into the 17th C but for now I'm testing the information I have to see if it stands up to scrutiny or not.

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by shepway @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 11:02 (737 days ago) @ Nick Dub

The marriage took place on 2 March at Churchdown and details are available on Ancestry:
Name: Sarah Jordan
Gender: Female
Event Type: Marriage
Marriage Date: 2 Mar 1802
Marriage Place: Churchdown, St Bartholomew and St Andrew, Gloucestershire, England
Parish as it Appears: Churchdown
Spouse: John Worgan
Witnesses: Benjamin Jordan and Mary Barrett

The 1841 Census places them at Five Acres and this is a transcript of the 1851:
Lower Lane, Tything of Coleford.
House Number Given Name Surname Relationship Age Estimated Birth Year Gender Birth Place
79 John Worgine Head 76 1775 Male Newland, Gloucestershire, England
79 Sarah Worgine Wife 75 1776 Female Lidbrook, Gloucestershire, England

Sarah's place of birth is given as Lydbrook and baptism is most likely to have taken place at English Bicknor as Lydbrook Church did not open until 1851.


Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by Nick Dub @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 13:59 (736 days ago) @ shepway

Hi Mike,
Many thanks for taking the time to have a look at this.

Benjamin Jordan is a new name in this context - I'm not sure how he fits.

I agree with you about the Lydbrook/English Bicknor deduction. Quite a few families of Jordans in that area and it's impossible to know if all births were registered.

Of the ones I can find for English Bicknor, I favour
Year: 1779
Month: Feb
Day: 7
Parents_Surname: JORDAN
Child_Forenames: Sarah
Fathers_Forenames: Richard
Mothers_Forenames: Sarah

mostly because the mother's name is Sarah too.

I know the dates are a little off, but I've been finding that a lot.


Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 14:24 (736 days ago) @ Nick Dub

This is probably a long shot..... (but may be worth eliminating)

Searching for Benjamin Jordan, Churchdown Glos.....

Up comes on Google Books

.... copied from the Sheriffs Books..... The Poll at the Election of a ....... (dated 1811)

is listed Benjamin JORDAN - residence: Barnwood, land his own.....

Even by road, Barnwood is about 3.2. miles from Churchdown - and even quicker as the crow flies.....


Looking at National Archives, (Google A2a) and dated 1810 is

Benjamin JORDAN, born Barnwood, Gloucestershire. Attestation papers to serve in the Royal Marines. Attestation papers to serve in the Royal Marines at Chatham 1810 (when aged 23) Discharged (discharge date not given)....


The only record on the Forest of Dean site, is a baptism at Eastington, 22 April 1816

of a George JORDAN - parents: Benjamin (occupation Soldier) residence : Eastington and mother's name: Hannah.

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 14:42 (736 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

I can see, on the Marriage Allegations, Benjamin JORDAN married 24 August 1808 aged 24, he was a Baker at Barnwood.

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by Nick Dub @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 14:46 (736 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Thanks for taking the time to find that.

I will follow it up. It's possible there were two families of Jordans - one Lydbrook, one Churchdown.

I remember when discussing nicknames with my family the River Jordans always being mentioned, along with the Moocher Bennetts and Gobble Meek :-)

These Jordans are a bit too long ago for any family memory of them to have lasted, though.

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 14:54 (736 days ago) @ Nick Dub

I don't belong to Ancestry any more, but there does seems to be Public Members Trees.... for Barnwood

Benjamin JORDAN - 1760-1813 and his Wife, Sarah GIBBS, 1763-1822. Benjamin’s Will 1814 is listed on Gloucestershire Records Offiice Index and will be on Ancestry.

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by Nick Dub @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 15:17 (736 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Thanks - I'm not a member of ancestry either - too mean.

There were definitely several families of Jordans in the Barnwood/Churchdown area back then. Apart from the marriage of Sarah which started this, I haven't yet found links between them and any of the Jordans living in the Lydbrook and Coleford areas. It seems that there has to be a family connection pre-1800. Off-hand I'd have said it would be more likely to be a move from the Forest to Gloucester - villages like Lydbrook and Ruardean were very tightly-knit places, hard for outsiders to move in to.

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by sidtoomey01 @, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Monday, June 13, 2022, 21:13 (736 days ago) @ Nick Dub


I can remember reading that there used to be a custom for couples if both came from different Parishes, then the marriage ceremony would be held in the Brides Parish. I don't remember where i read this but in my own family tree there are several instances of this happening.
One of my Ancestors, William Toomey came from Birdwood Common in Churcham Parish and he married an Elizabeth Burnett in Churchdown Parish in 1809. Their first born also William Toomey was born there in 1810 before the family returned to Birdwood Common.

Doesn't help you find your forebears but might offer an explanation.

Good luck

Sid Toomey

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by Nick Dub @, Monday, June 13, 2022, 22:55 (736 days ago) @ sidtoomey01

Hi Sid,
I agree with what you say for the most part - what has me puzzled is how they got to know one another in the first place - it's a longish old walk from Coleford to Churchdown - especially if you don't know anyone at the other end.

I think the clue is Sarah being born in Lydbrook - I don't know how long she would have to have lived in Churchdown for to be described as "of this parish" - probably up to the vicar at the time I suppose.
Cheers Nick

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by MPGriffiths @, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 07:19 (736 days ago) @ Nick Dub

According to the Gloucester Geneological Database, the Benjamin Jordan Will of Churchdown dated 1814 was a Victualler, so ran the local Pub! Perhaps Sarah was a barmaid and John popped in for a beer or two after a hard day at work. if it’s the same Benjamin!
Labourers etc. did move around the area at certain times of the year, harvesting, turnip picking, etc. etc. One of my Forest of Dean Ancestors was a Gamekeeper and he certainly moved around different areas.

The couples first baby was christened in June, 3 months after the Wedding. Harvest the year before!

Marriages at Churchdown around 1800

by Nick Dub @, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 09:06 (736 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

I'd say Sarah would be working doing some sort of practical job - barmaid, kitchen work, cleaning etc.

John might have been able to hitch a lift on a wagon going in to town, I suppose. I'm still thinking they had known one another previously when Sarah lived in Lydbrook. May be went to the same church or chapel - something like that.

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