Sunday, August 12, 2007

Prestons in England

From Doug Westwood in England about the Preston Family:

Thomas Preston's (Thomas is the Preston that came to the States) father was James and their mother was Herodias Puddle, whose line goes back to 1643.

James Prestons father was Thomas Preston from Naunton. I have James Baptism certificate for June 25 1786 and Thomas was born in 1749.

Now here comes the difficult bit which is why we are interested in you. Ann Preston (Thomas Preston's sister) got pregnant by a Benjamin Holtam. He lived down the hill from the Prestons, who lived a Brockhampton Quarry where dad James was a laborer. In April 1836, she had a son John (Preston). On 10 Oct 1837, Thomas was to marry Elizabeth Hobbs, so Ann and Ben made it a foursome at Bredon Church.

Bredon Church

Then 2 months later, on 8 Dec 1837, Tom and Ben raided a 80 acre farm and stole 3 hen fowl and a duck. On the 13th they were arrested. On 2nd Jan 1838 tried and sentenced to 9 calendar months. Thomas Preston's prison description was 5 ft 2 and 3 quarts brown hair dark grey eyes, dark complexion round face, scar on left eyebrow, tattoo tp 1816 (birthyear) on left arm mole on stomach and right hip.

They both had children (Baptized) born while in prison, William Hobbs Preston and Anna Herodias Holtam and had 3 names as sponsors or Godfathers.

On their release (from prison) on 9 Sept 1838, Ben and Ann left to live near Cheltenham.

For Thomas and Elizabeth, more children followed: Tom Baptized in Bredon, Agnes Herodias in 1845 but she died in 1848, and Annie was born, then George on 25 Dec 1851.

On 28 Nov 1853 they landed in Philadelphia on the General Dunlap from Liverpool England. I have the original passinger list copy. 11 days later, 9 Dec 1853, Agnes (no 2 a replacement for the one that died) was born. She later married her cousin, son of Ben and Ann Holtam in Davenport in 1873. In fact, 5 Holtam boys between 1864 and 1869 went to their Aunt and Uncle and Cousins there. Only 2 stayed.

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