Henry Ricketts of Coombe Keynes (1736 – 1808)

Coombe Keynes parish Church
Coombe Keynes parish Church

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Ricketts’ families lived their lives in a small corner of Dorset around Winfirth Newburgh and Wool. They thrived in small villages in the heart of the countryside working primarily as farm laborers.

Henry Ricketts of Coombe Keynes is the earliest Ricketts I have found so far. His family took a little while to unpick because he had two sons, both of whom were called Henry Ricketts. As you pour over the records, it’s easy to mix the two generations up. Indeed, looking at some of the personal family trees on Ancestry, it’s clear that other researchers have done exactly that.

I unpicked the families by going methodically through the Winfrith Newburgh birth and death records, at which point I spotted the birth and death of the first son called Henry, before the birth of the second.

Birth and Marriage

Henry Ricketts was born in Coombe Keynes, Dorset, England about 1736.

He married Susanna Harding on 25 Jul 1753 in Sturminster Marshall, Dorset, England. This is confirmed in marriage records but also in a Settlement Certificate, I found on ancestry (see below).

Children of Henry Ricketts

By 1757 Henry and Sussana were living in the parish of Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset, where their first son, John Ricketts was born on 27 March 1757.

Daughter Orchard Ricketts was born on 15 Jun 1760, in Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset, England

Henry and Sussana’s second daughter, Mary Ricketts was born on 15 Jun 1762, in Winfrith Newburgh. She died just over a month later on 24 June 1762 and was buried in Winfrith Newburgh.

Their second son Henry Ricketts was born on 1st March 1764 in Winfrith Newburgh. He also died a little more than a month old on 5 April 1764.

Henry and Sussana’s third son was born on 6th October 1765, in Winfrith Newburgh. They also named this son Henry. Henry went on to form the family line that my family is descended from.

Son number four, Robert Ricketts was born on 22 October 1769, in Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset, England.

Henry Ricketts and Sussana Move to Corfe Castle

Around 1791 Henry and his wife appear to have moved to the parish of Corfe Castle. According to a settlement certificate signed by Henry on the 20 October 1791.

The Poor Relief Act of 1662 laid out rules that defined which parish people belonged to. The purpose of the act was to ensure that if a man moved to a new parish and then needed poor relief, the “home” parish would pay the costs of having the individual removed from the host parish.

The documentation was called a Settlement Certificate. As you can see from the transcription, this gives us quite a lot of detail about Henry and his family, helping confirm various facts such as birth and marriage information.

20 Oct 1791 in Corfe Castle, Dorset, England

Copy of the examination of Henry Ricketts now residing at Ailwood in the parish of Corfe Castle in the said County of Dorset [notes] taken on his oath 20th day of October 1791 before two of his Majesty’s justices of the peace of and for the said county.

Who sayeth he is about 55 years of age and was born in the parish of Coombe Keynes in the said county [no] he hath heard and believes – that this examinant occupied five or six tenements at Benton in the parish of Winfrith in the said county of the annual value of 50 pounds and upwards for more than 20 years residing the whole time in the said parish of Winfrith during which time he served the offices of business of the said parish constable of [raphingman] of the hundred of Winfrith aforesaid and the [raphing] of Burton – and this examinant says he has not since rented any other state, served any [annual] office, paid any rates or taxes, nor to the best of his knowledge and belief done any other act to gain a settlement. In fact previous to his renting the said tenements at person he married Susanna his present wife at Thurminster Marshall in the said County by whom he has had four children. Three sons and one daughter who have all left this examinant. Three of whom are married and the other is now living as a servant with M Chinchon of Swanage

[signed] Henry Ricket

Henry Ricketts of Coombe Keynes Death

Henry died in 1808 and was buried on 24 Jul 1808 in Wool, Dorset, England.

Sources:

  1. Ancestry.com, Dorset, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Ancestry.com, Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers; Reference: PE/WOO:RE5/1.
  2. Ancestry.com, England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com.
  3. Ancestry.com, England, Select Dorset Parish Registers, 1538-1910 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com.
  4. Ancestry.com, Dorset, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Ancestry.com, Dorset History Centre; Dorchester, England; Dorset Parish Registers; Reference: PE/WFN: RE 1/3.
  5. Ancestry.com, Dorset, England, Poor Law Settlement and Removal Records, 1682-1862 (Lehi, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2017), Ancestry.com, Dorset History Centre; Dorchester, England; Settlement Examinations; Reel: MIC/R/1478; Reference Number: PE/COC: OV 188/1 – 188/260.
  6. Ancestry.com, Dorset, England, Quarter Sessions Order Books, 1625-1905 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com.
  7. Ancestry.com, Dorset, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Ancestry.com, Dorset History Centre; Dorchester, England; Dorset Parish Registers; Reference: PE/WFN: RE 1/3.
  8. Ancestry.com, England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008), Ancestry.com.
  9. Ancestry.com, England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com.
  10. Ancestry.com, England & Wales Marriages, 1538-1940 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008), Ancestry.com, Collection: St Denys; -; Film Number: 1279373.
  11. Ancestry.com, Dorset, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Ancestry.com, Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers; Reference: PE/SML: RE1/3.
  12. Ancestry.com, England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com.
  13. Ancestry.com, England, Select Dorset Parish Registers, 1538-1910 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com.
  14. Image By Peter Watkins, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9191984