Sunday, 30 March 2008

Sir Robert de Sadyngton (? - circa 1361)

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to say that we were descended from Sir Robert de Sadyngton, Lord High Chancellor of England in the reign of King Edward III?

Sorry, folks, but it isn't going to happen! Although I am led to believe that some Saddington researchers in the past have tried to claim descent from Sir Robert, it isn't true, so this post is a cautionary tale, which you can pass on to anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.

Sir Robert de Sadyngton probably did come from Saddington in Leicestershire, and is believed to be a son of John de Sadyngton, who was a valet of Queen Isabella, wife of Edward II, and custos (principal justice of the peace) for the Hundred of Gartree, an administrative area of Leicestershire, which includes places such as Billesdon, Foxton, Laughton, Market Harborough and Saddington.

Robert was a professional lawyer, who was listed in the records as an attorney as early as 1317, and appeared as an advocate in the year-books from 1329 to 1336. He was a Knight of the Shire (Member of Parliament) for Leicestershire in 1327 and 1328. He sat on various Royal commissions and fulfilled a number of judicial roles from 1329 onwards.

He was knighted in 1336, and on 20 May 1337, Sir Robert was appointed Chief Baron of the Exchequer, which meant that he was the top judge in the common-law court of the Exchequer of Pleas. He became a member of the King's Council in 1340, and on 29 September 1343, he was appointed Lord High Chancellor of England, a post which he held for just over two years, until 20 October 1345. He became Chief Baron of the Exchequer again on 8 December 1345, and held that office until 1 February 1349, when he was effectively permitted to retire, having "served the king long time and without intermission".

Despite retiring from the King's service, Sir Robert remained a Justice of the Peace for Leicestershire until at least 1357. The last record of him is on 25 April 1361, when he was the principal witness to a charter relating to Noseley chantry college.

So that is who he was and what he did out of the way. Now comes the important bit for Saddington researchers. Robert de Sadyngton married Joyce de Martivall, possibly a sister or a niece of Roger de Martivall, Bishop of Salisbury, in or around 1334. Robert's daughter and sole heir, Isabell, married Sir Rafe (or Ralph) Hastings in or around 1352. On her father's death, she inherited lands at Saddington, Laughton, Humberstone, Gilmorton, Scraptoft and Noseley. However, it appears that she did not have any children, and died before 1385. Her lands went to her husband, and passed down to the children of his second marriage to Maud Sutton, daughter of Sir Thomas Sutton of Holderness, High Sheriff of Yorkshire.

And there we go! Sir Robert de Sadyngton had one daughter, Isabell, who died without issue. This means that nobody by the name of Saddington or who is descended from a Saddington can claim to be descended from Sir Robert! And if anyone tells you otherwise, then they are wrong.

Sources for this post include: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; "The Itinerary of John Leland the Antiquary" (pub. 1745, OUP) ; "A Political Index to the Histories of Great Britain and Ireland" by Robert Beatson (pub. 1806);"A Topographical History of the County of Leicester" by John Curtis (pub. 1831); "The Origins of the English Gentry" by Peter R Coss (pub. 2003)

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Frederick William Saddington (1899 - 1918)

This is one of the posts that I have been holding back until I had more information. It relates to the life and family of Frederick William Saddington, whose Death Penny I purchased on Ebay back in February.

Frederick William Saddington was born Frederick William Pearson Saddington on 23 November 1899 at Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire. He was the illegitimate son of Frances Emily Saddington, a clothing machinist, also of Burton Latimer.

Frederick and his mother appeared on the 1901 census in the household of his grandmother, Frances, and her second husband, Arthur Henry Pearson,

RG13/1446, Folio 39, Page 3
Registration District - Kettering, Sub District - Kettering, Enumeration District - 3
Schedule No. 14 - Kettering Road, Burton Latimer, Northants (living in 4 rooms)

Arthur H Pearson Head M 34 Baker Worker Northampton Irthlingborough
Frances do Wife M 38 Clothing machinist do do Tilbrooke [should be Bedfordshire]
Walter H do Son S 4 - - do Burton Latimer
Emily F Saddington Daur S 18 Clothing machinist do do do
Alfred A do Son S 16 Heel Builder (Boot) do do do
Frederick W P do Son S 1 - - do do

In the June quarter of 1902, Frances Emily (or Emily Frances) married either Walter James Freestone or Harry Stephen Hedges (Volume 3b, Page 368). As yet it is unknown whether her son, Frederick, went to live with her and her new husband, or whether he remained with his grandmother.

Frederick's life then becomes a blank sheet until his death on 28 September 1918. We know from "Soldiers Died In The Great War" that he enlisted in Northampton, although he was living in Burton Latimer. We know also that initially he was Private 25573 of the East Kent Regiment. We know that he was transferred to the 20th Battalion, The Duke of Cambridge's Own, otherwise known as the Middlesex Regiment, where his Army number changed to G/62045.

Frederick was killed in action on Saturday 28 September 1918, aged 18 years. This was the first day of the Battle of Flanders, a successful Anglo-Belgian attack along a 23 mile front from Dixmude to Ploegsteert under the command of King Albert of the Belgians. On this first day, the Allies captured part of Houthulst Forest and over 4000 German prisoners.

Frederick is buried in Grave J.15, Plot XIII of Voormezeele Enclosure No. 3, 4 kilometres south west of Ieper (Ypres), West Flanders, Belgium. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Plots XIII to XVI were created after the Armistice on 11 November 1918 by concentrating burials from isolated graves and smaller cemeteries. This means that Frederick was probably buried somewhere behind the lines after he fell, and then reinterred where he now rests after the end of the War.

Despite knowing relatively little about Frederick himself, I know more about his family. His mother was baptised Emily Frances Saddington on 7 January 1883 in the Parish Church at Burton Latimer. Her parents were Allen Dickins and Frances Saddington, and her father's occupation was "Laborer". Her brother, Alfred Allen, was baptised on 4 January 1885, also at Burton Latimer.

Emily's parents, Allen Dickins Saddington and Frances Johnson, were married in the Parish Church at Burton Latimer on 26 June 1882, after banns. Allen Dickins came from Cranford St John, Northamptonshire, and was a labourer. His father, Joseph Saddington, was also a labourer. Frances Johnson was the daughter of John Johnson, also a labourer. Neither the bride nor the groom could sign their names. The witnesses were William Wilford and Eleanor Saddington, who was a sister of the groom.

However, the marriage did not last long. The Burial Register for Burton Latimer shows Dicken Allen Saddington being buried on 13 November 1886, leaving Frances, his wife, with two children under 5 years old to bring up.

Frances Saddington went home to Mum and Dad. The 1891 census shows the young widow and her children living with her parents.

RG12/1215, Folio 20, Page 5
Registration District - Kettering, Sub District - Kettering, Enumeration District - 2
Schedule No. 35 - Osbourne's Row, Burton Latimer, Northants

John Johnson Head M 58 Farm Labourer Empd Tilbrook, Norths
Sarah do Wife M 54 - - Catworth do
Charles do Son S 19 Farm Labourer Empd Tilbrook do
Arthur do Son S 16 do do do Denford do
Frances Saddington Daur Wid 25 Machinist do Tilbrook do
Arthur do Grandson - 9 Scholar - Norths Burton Latimer
Fanny do Granddaur - 5 do - do do

[There are a number of inaccuracies in this census return. Tilbrook was in Bedfordshire at the time, and Catworth was in Huntingdonshire. Arthur Saddington should be Alfred Saddington, and he and his sister have had their ages swapped round.]

In the September quarter of 1896, Frances Saddington (nee Johnson) remarried to Arthur Henry Pearson (Volume 3b, Page 418). Their son, Walter Henry Pearson, was born on 28 February 1897 at Burton Latimer and was baptised in the Parish Church there on 18 April 1897. The family was then living on Meeting Lane, Burton Latimer.

In the March quarter of 1905, Frederick's uncle, Alfred Allen, married Emily Whiting (Volume 3b, Page 256). Their first child, also Alfred Allen, was born on 6 June 1906 and was baptised on 5 August 1906 at Burton Latimer. Their second child, and first daughter, Rose Lily, was born on 13 July 1908 and was baptised on 4 October 1909. Their third child, Daisy Violet, was baptised on 5 March 1911, but died not long afterwards. Their fourth child was also named Daisy Violet, and was baptised on 1 September 1912.

Frances Pearson (formerly Saddington) (nee Johnson) died on 14 December 1943, and is buried in the Public Cemetery at Burton Latimer. Her headstone reads as follows:

In loving memory of my dear mother Frances Pearson who passed away Dec 14th 1943 aged 82 years. 'Peacefully sleeping.' Also Pte. F.W. Saddington G/62045 20 Bn. Middlesex Reg. killed in action 28th Sept 1918 aged 18 years. Buried Voormezelle Enclosure Belgium.

Frederick is also remembered on the Burton Latimer War Memorial. However, he is not listed on the Roll of Honour, but this is accepted as being incomplete.

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."

Laurence Binyon - "For the Fallen"

Sources for this post include: Burton Latimer: A Sense of Place; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; First World ; "Soldiers Died In The Great War"

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Horace Claude Saddington (1884 - ?)

I have a confession to make - I am a perfectionist. Quite often, the reason why I haven't posted for a while is because I am still trying to locate that last piece of information which will complete the story of the person that I want to post about. It has occurred to me that this is foolish - I just don't have the time or the resources to do this for every post. Besides, you, the readers of this blog, would probably rather have more posts and perhaps do some detective work yourselves to fill in the gaps. I can always do an update post at some point in the future.

So, this post contains everything that I currently know about Horace Claude Saddington. The name might seem familiar, and that is because he is listed amongst the Saddingtons whose names are mentioned in the post about World War One Army pension records.

Horace Claude Saddington was born in the December quarter of 1884 in Leicester (Volume 7a, Page 203). His parents were probably the Joseph Saddington and Sarah Ann White who married in Leicester in the December quarter of 1881 (Volume 7a, Page 492).

In the 1891 census, the family are living at 23 Frank Street, Leicester, which is in the Parish of St Margaret.

RG12/2528 - Folio 8, Page 9, Schedule Number - 53
Registration District - Leicester, Sub District - East Leicester, Enumeration District - 31

Joseph Saddington Head M 35 Railway Ganger Employed Northants Geddington
Sarah Ann do Wife M 34 - - Rutland Caldecott
Horace C do Son - 6 Scholar - Leicester
Edward Holt Boarder Single 25 Railway Labourer Employed Leics Denford

A ganger was responsible for the actual railway tracks - the points, the sleepers etc - making sure that they were all in good condition.

Ten years later, in the 1901 census, the family are still living at 23 Frank Street, and Horace has joined his father on the railway. Perhaps the house was owned by the railway company.

RG13/2999 - Folio 179, Page 34, Schedule Number 198
Registration District - Leicester, Sub District - North East Leicester, Enumeration District - 40

Joseph Saddington Head M 45 Railway Platelayer "Ganger" Worker Npton Geddington
Sarah A do Wife M 44 - - Rutd Caldecot
Horace do Son S 16 Railway Labourer Worker Leicester

According to his pension records, Horace married Florence Emily Biddles in Leicester on 5 August 1905 (September quarter 1905, Volume 7a 551). A Florence Emily Biddles born in the Aston Registration District in the September quarter of 1886 (Volume 6d, Page 319) appears to be a likely candidate for Horace's wife.

Horace's pension records state that he and Florence had four children; Beatrice Florence May (1904), Joseph Harry (1909), Violet Ada (1912) and George Albert (1914), all of whom were born in Leicester.

By January 1917, the family were living at 4 St Peters Cottages, St Peters Lane, Leicester. Horace was employed as a railway platelayer, just as his father had been before him.

On 15 January 1917, Horace enlisted into the Royal Flying Corps as a Third Class Air Mechanic. He was 31 years and 6 months old, and was classed as having B (ii) Two Fitness. If anyone can tell me what this means in plain English, I would be very grateful, as I cannot find an explanation on the Internet.

However, Horace's career in the RFC did not last very long. On 15 March 1917, just two months later, he was discharged as being "no longer physically fit for War Service".

As this lack of fitness boiled down to the partial loss of his right hand, which had happened in 1907, one wonders why the Enlisting Officer had not taken this into account before signing him up!

To be precise, Horace's medical notes state that the first, second and third fingers on his right hand were missing, and that the fourth finger was contracted. The movement of his thumb was limited due to scarring, but there was no wasting (presumably of the muscle). His wrist movement was fairly good, but less than 20%!

The most likely cause of this damage is an accident at work, which would be understandable with him working on the railway. However, I am told that another possibility would involve some macho dare game for railway workers i.e. who can leave their finger on the line longest before the train comes along! Your guess is as good as mine - I just hope that he was left handed!

If Horace Claude and his family are relations of yours, as usual, I would be delighted to hear from you. Also, if you have any additional information about any of the topics mentioned in this post, please do drop me a line.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

DNA Project Update - March 2008

Well, the results are in!

The Saddington DNA Project now consists of a 12 marker Y-DNA result for the Appleby Magna Saddingtons and a 37 marker Y-DNA result for the Foxton/Great Bowden Saddingtons.

Of course, at the moment, it is only possible to compare the first 12 markers for these two tests, and these are as follows:

Appleby Magna 13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 13 13 30
Foxton/Great Bowden 13 24 14 12 11 15 12 12 12 13 13 30

Taking the Appleby Magna results as the base, you can see that two of the Foxton/Great Bowden markers are one number different from their Appleby Magna equivalents. This is technically known as having a genetic distance of 2 between the two people tested.

A genetic distance of 2 generally means that the probability of those two people being related is not high. The fact that research into the paper records shows that the two Saddingtons that have been tested so far are definitely not related in the male line at any point during the last 9 generations makes the probability even lower. In fact, based on these 12 markers, the probability that these two men share a common ancestor in the last 33 generations is only 52.79%.

However, all is not lost, my friends.

Increasing the number of markers tested could also increase the probability of a common ancestor. Testing other members of these two branches of the Saddington family could also increase the probability. This is because different DNA markers mutate at different rates, and so mutations in different markers change the probabilities of sharing a common ancestor.

What must also be taken into account is that Saddington is what is known as a locative surname, i.e. it is a surname adopted from a placename, in this case, the village of Saddington in Leicestershire. Locative surnames only tend to occur when the original person moves away from the place whose name they later adopt. For example, if a man named John moved away from Saddington to a nearby village, where there was already at least one other man named John, it would be likely that his new neighbours would refer to him as John from Saddington. In time, this could become John Saddington, and the new surname might then be passed on to his children and to their children.

So, with a locative surname like Saddington, DNA testing can show one or both of two options. Either that all branches of the family come from a single common ancestor, or that each branch comes from a different ancestor, or that some branches share a common ancestor and others don't.

This means that all is still to play for - we just need more male Saddingtons willing to be tested! Ladies, although this is not something that we can do ourselves, we can encourage the Saddington men in our lives to have a test done!

As usual, any comments or queries gratefully received.