Our Early Ancestors
Although many of our earlier ancestors are quite widely documented in both original, documents and transcripts, quite often there is not enough evidence to be able to allocate them a place on a family tree. In the past some accounts regarding the family, can I believe be a little misleading.
These accounts , were some times based on circumstantial evidence, or be based on other details published in yet earlier accounts. one of these being “hutchins history Of Dorset” which was largely used as a source of reference by historians. This publication is a large and quite comprehensive work produced in 1898 and was compiled by a Dorset clergyman , who over a number of years, with the aid of students and assistants managed to assemble this magnificent Magnum Opus of reference.
In respect of our family however it is a little misleading, as I discovered early on in my researches The discrepancies became apparent to me, after I had consulted a number of original documents and transcriptions, I will be going into more detail regarding this later on in this account
It not surprising that given the enormous amount of research that the rev Hutchins and his assistants had to carry out , and having to consult original documents without the aid of modern indexes and transcriptions and at that the material he had to research would have been dotted about in various parts of the country, that there should be a few discrepancies in such a magnificent work
Ignoring the above and only taking them into account when reading the text, the rest of the chapter dealing with our family is of great interest particularly in respect to details of the amount of properties and land they owned. Much of this account however does not deal with our line of ancestry the branch of the family to which he is largely referring became extinct by aprox 1650 the reasons being that their were a great number of female heirs in the family in these earlier days to whom these holdings passed and from thence, to their descendants bearing their husbands family name, many of these families were quite wealthy in their own right, since the earlier bearers of our family name, appeared to be very adept at, marrying off their daughters to wealthy and well connected families.
But by the time that the last male heir to that branch of the family had died their actual fortunes had dwindled drastically by reason of that a great deal of both the estates and properties had been mortgaged to enable the mortgagee to maintain his life style has a gentleman.
of In our family line however things appear to have been a little different although our own early ancestors were often referred to as gentlemen they did take an active interest in their estates and performed more the role of squire, rather than that of Gentlemen independent means.
As you will see later on in this history although the Dorset branch of the family continued to farm for several centuries in the Buckland Newton, Hilton and Mappowder area, as the years passed the families got larger and there were more descendants after each death to take their share of the legacies. In my researches I have never been able to find out when the Hilton properties an disappeared from the families holdings I rather think it was just after the civil war, which is not surprising since they were only held under grant from the Crown.