Sunday, September 27, 2015

Donhead St Mary Church and John G. Norris

     In the most recent posting I discussed the marriage record of James Norris and Eleanor Knype.  They were married in Donhead St Mary, Wiltshire, England in 1791.  Based upon baptismal records, they continued to live in Donhead St Mary Parish for about sixteen more years.   By my count Eleanor gave birth to twelve children between 1791 and 1807.  Several died in childhood but there are at least twelve records at Donhead St Mary.  Several more children were born in America.
   Wiltshire County is in the south-west England and Donhead St Mary is in the south-west portion of Wiltshire.   Donhead St Mary is about 30 miles north of Bournemouth and about 50 miles south-east of Bristol.
   Since so many family events occurred in this location, I needed to take a virtual trip.  Google Maps and a few internet searches found some needed information.  The church was started in the twelfth century and is still in use today.
   Another interesting connection is the name of my 3xGreat-Grandfather John Gilbert Norris.  His middle name (or middle initial) does not appear in the index of baptisms but appears on many subsequent documents.  The minister at Donhead St Mary around the time of John G Norris was Rev. Gilbert Jackson3.  John Norris was ordained many years later.
Donhead St Mary Church1  Photo by Simon Burchell

Interior of Donhead St Mary1 Photo by Simon Burchell

1. This file is licensed under Creative Commons  Attribution- Share Alike 3.0 Unported license Photo by Simon Burchell
2.   Jane Freeman and Janet H Stevenson, 'Parishes: Donhead St Mary,' in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 13, South-West Wiltshire: Chalke and Dunworth Hundreds, ed. D A Crowley (London: Victoria County History, 1987), 138-155, accessed September 15, 2015,
3.  "Assignment by Rev. Gilbert Jackson to Rev. William Lisle ..." 2015. 22 Sep. 2015 <>

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