French Family Association
The Official Website of the Surname French
Chart #EB, Thomas French of Arkesden, Great Bardfield,
Wethersfield, Gosfield, and Stanstead Manor / Hall in Halstead,
all in Essex Co., England
This chart updated by Mara French on 12/5/10. Numbers in brackets [ ] show sources and refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. An asterisk (*) shows continuation of that line. Send any corrections or additions to this chart to firstname.lastname@example.org. Revisions: 2009, 2010.
This family did not immigrate to America, but the genealogy is presented here because the location is precisely where other Frenches lived who immigrated to America. This chart is especially important to disseminate because various researchers have confused these Frenches with those that immigrated to Massachusetts in the 1630s. The William French born 1603 did not immigrate to America, but the William French born 1606 did, and these two William Frenches lived only 2 miles from each other. The 1603 William died in 1621. The 1606 William immigrated in 1635 to New England.
Map shows Arkesden, Manuden, Albury, Farnham, BishopÕs Stortford, and moving eastward to Great Bardfield and Wethersfield, and eventually to Halstead. Note the London Stansted Airport and the M11 which makes it very difficult getting from the west side of M11 to the east side nowadays.
Source material exists for those words in red.
1.1 Thomas French of Arkesden, chr. ca. 1504, m. Elizabeth, d. wrote his will in 1551 in Arkesden, FFA Chart #EB. Elizabeth d. 1556. Children all listed in ThomasÕ will.
2.1 Elizabeth French, chr. ca. 1520, m. Rychard Bulle.
2.2 Joane French, chr. ca. 1522, m. Smythe.
2.3 Agnes French, chr. ca. 1523, m. Henre Grygge.
2.4 Jane French, chr. ca. 1524. (unknown – she may have died at birth)
2.5 Grace French, chr. ca. 1525, m. Nycholas Wryght.
2.6 Thomas French Sr., chr. ca. 1530 Arkesden or Wethersfield, m1. Elizabeth, m2. Bridget, Thomas d. 1599. Q/SR 4/7 on 6 March 1561 was accused of breaking into the close of William Waldegrave, esquire, as Great Wenden and cutting down and carrying away 2 cart-loads of wood.
3.1 Mary French, chr. ca. 1548, m. John Collin of Great Bardfield.
3.2 Elizabeth French, chr. ca. 1550, m. John Meade in 1581 in Farnham. She d. 1595 in Chipping Ongar.
3.3 Thomas French, Jr., chr. ca. 1551, m. Anne or Agnes Olmstead in 1587 in Farnham, Thomas d. 1613 in Halstead. Agnes Olmstead b. 1566 in Halstead, d. 11 Feb 1623/24
4.1 Thomas French III, b. ca. 1587 in Frating, m. Palladia Wood in 1611, d. 1620 before his brother William.
4.2 Mary French, chr. 1591 in Halstead, m. before 1621 to Bacon.
4.3 Anne French, chr. 1592 in Halstead.
4.4 John French, chr. 1595 in Halstead, d. 1638. Could have been the John Frenche, husbandman of Colne Engaine in 1625.
4.5 Ellianor French, chr. 1597 in Halstead, m. ca. 1630 to George Gunter.
4.6 Edward French, chr. 1598 in Halstead, of Thorpe Morieux in 1624, living in 1642 in England.
4.7 Margaret French, chr. 1599 in Halstead, d. in infancy.
4.8 Elizabeth French, chr. 1600 in Halstead.
4.9 Margaret French, chr. 1601/2 in Halstead, m. at Bures St. Mary in 1627 to Samuel Dike.
4.10 William French, chr. 1602/3 in Halstead, d. 1621 in London.
4.11 Robert French, chr. 1604, m1. Edith who d. 1644, m2. Elizabeth Man 1644, Robert d. 1660.
5.1 Thomas French, chr. 1636 in Gosfield, son of Edith, d. 1636 in Gosfield.
5.2 Francis French, chr. 1644 in Gosfield, son of Edith, d. 1644 in Gosfield.
5.3 Robert French Jr., chr. 1645/6 in Gosfield, son of Elizabeth.
5.4 Elizabeth French, chr. 1648/9 in Gosfield, dau. of Elizabeth.
5.5 Thomas French, chr. 1650 in Gosfield, son of Elizabeth.
5.6 Susan French, chr. 1652 in Gosfield, dau. of Elizabeth.
4.12 Francis French, chr. 1606 in Halstead – died between 1614-1621.
4.13 Jerrymya French, chr. 1607 in Halstead.
4.14 Judith French, chr. 1609 in Halstead, m. Edward Wygott.
4.15 Dorothy French, chr. 1611, m. Thomas Lewyn.
1.1* Thomas French I, of Arkesden, Essex, b. ca. 1504, lived on land called Shepecoote (Sheepcote) in Arkesden . No parish registers for Arkesden survive before 1690. There is a Sheepcote Lane in Manuden where Thomas owned land. Thomas held the Manor of Pitley in Great Bardfield, Essex  which still exists today . No early vital parish registers exist for Arkesden. I have a lot of photos of the Manor of Pitley, now called Pitley Farms, and I was lucky enough to spend the night there in this 14th Century farmhouse about in 1999. Mara French
Thomas m. Elizabeth  ca. 1520. She d. 21 Sep 1556 in Arkesden . ElizabethÕs probate refers to Reg. Garland 69 . The world ÒGarlandÓ was also used as a name of an Encyclopedia (Garland Encyclopedias of the Middle Ages) of Medieval England. See Ref.  to understand what Reg. Garland 69 means.
Thomas wrote his will on 28 Jul 1551 in Arkesden (see D/ABW 14/59) and was buried in the churchyard at Arkesden (no gravestones there that old)  . He had daughters Elizabeth, Joane, Agnes, Jane, Grace, and one son, Thomas, who are all mentioned in his will in 1551 along with his wife, Elizabeth . Thomas gave in his will to the poor people of Arkesden, Mallenden (Manuden), Ffarnham, and Aldeburye (Albury)  where he had family or friends. He owned land in Mallenden . He gave to poor people of Farnham because that is where his children were married. His will was probated at Stortford (BishopÕs Stortford) . See Note . Bishops Stortford is in Hertfordshire County. Address of County Record Office is County Hall, Hertfordshire, SG 13 8 DE. BishopÕs Stortford once was in the same diocese as parts of Essex .
Children of Thomas and Elizabeth French, 1.1
Only son Thomas carries on the French name, also having only one son named Thomas to carry on the next generation.
2.1 Elizabeth French , b. ca. 1520, m. Rychard Bulle , and had children by 1551 mentioned in fatherÕs will .
2.2 Joane French , b. ca. 1522, married and had children by 1551 mentioned in fatherÕs will . She may have married a man named Smythe as she appears in the village of High Easter in Essex which is SW of Braintree, Q/SR 41/1, with her sister, Agnes French, on 19 Sep 1572, Q/SR 41/1, as a servant, Joane Smythe. Mary Brocke was chr. ca. 1565 in Gosfield (perhaps a daughter of Michaell Brocke) and m. John Reeve on 24 Oct 1588 in Brasonhead, Essex, England. The French family today in 2010 own Brasonhead, a home in Great Bardfield on Daisyley Rd., and here Jim and Bridget Franklin lived their last years after leaving Pitley Farms in Great Bardfield in Essex, see FFA Chart #E2. Both Jim and Bridget died before 2000.
2.3 Agnes French , b. ca. 1523 m. Henre Grygge (Grigg or Gryffen or Grigge)  ), had children by 1551 who are mentioned in fatherÕs will . A John Grigg carved his name with date of 1635 in the beams at Assington Hall. ÒAÓ John Grigg bought land with brother Thomas in Great Parndon . The French family from Chart #1 lived in Assington Hall. Agnes Frenche is listed on 19 Sep 1572 in the village of High Easter in Essex which is SW of Braintree, Q/SR 41/1, as a servant. ÒAnÓ Agnes French was buried in Toppesfield on 6 Apr 1564.
2.4 Grace French , b. ca. 1525, m. Nycholas Wryght  ca. 1549, had children Thomas ca. 1550 and Grace Wryght ca. 1552 . Not mentioned in her fatherÕs will, perhaps because she died before his will was proved in 1551 . Not in Ref  below. ÒAÓ Nicholas Wright, shoemaker, was living in Walden on 20 Aug 1595 Q/SR 132/90. ÒAÓ Nicholas Wright, labourer, was living in Great Sampford on 1 Aug 1595, Q/SR 132/94.
2.5* Thomas French II , of Wethersfield, Essex, b. ca. 1530 in Arkesden. No parish registers for Arkesden survive before 1690.
Thomas m1. ca. 1557 Elizabeth and had at least 3 children (Mary, Elizabeth, Thomas).
Thomas m2. Bridget Burrough, born Hingham or Heigham, on 2 Dec 1597   when he was about 67 years old. She was the widow of Thomas Burrough of Wickhambrook, Suffolk, as his second wife ca. 1564 in Wickhambrook ; his first wife being Elizabeth Burrell. Bridget was b. ca. 1542 in Higham, Suffolk, England , the dau. of Thomas Higham and Phyllis Waldergrave . At their marriage, she was about 55 years old; therefore, no children were born to this couple. Their marriage ended 6 months latter when Bridget died. Therefore, in the year 1597, BridgetÕs first husband died, she remarried, and then she died herself, all in the same year. Two years later Thomas French died. Thomas Higham d. ca. 14 Dec 1559 in Gazeley, Suffolk, England. Bridget d. 19 Jun 1597.
It was through this very short second marriage of 6 months that the French family inherited quite a large wealth from the Burrough family.
Thomas Burrough d. 19 Jun 1597 . Thomas Burrough was b. ca. 1531 in Higham, Suffolk, England . A memorial in Elizabethan brass in a recess behind a wooden grill at the Wickhambrook church is dedicated to Thomas Burrough, shown between his two wives, Elizabeth and Bridget and their 9 children grouped above them.
Thomas Burrough and Bridget had at least 4 children born between 1565 and 1579 (these children were all grown when Bridget married Thomas French) :
Susan Burrough, b. ca. 1567 in Wickenhambrook, Suffolk, m. John Pound.
Thomas Burrough, chr. 25 Apr 1576 in Wickenhambrook, Suffolk, m. Elizabeth Hamon. who moved to Chancery Lane in the Parish of DunstanÕs-In-The-West, London, in 1610, aged 34. DunstanÕs-In-The-West was where William French lived when he died in 1621 (see 4.9); he was chr. in 1603.
William Burrough, chr. 15 Mar 1565 in Wickenhambrook, Suffolk, d. 25 May 1609, m. Elizabeth Woodhall.
George Burrough, b. ca. 26 Oct 1579 in Wickhambrook, Suffolk, England and d. ca. 24 Feb 1652/53. George m. Frances Sparrow ca. 1610 and had 5 children. The youngest child moved to Virginia ca. 1649.
Bridget Burrough m2. Thomas French of Wethersfield, Essex, England on 2 Dec 1597 in Wickhambrook, Suffolk, England, just 6 months after her first husband died. Bridget inherited Manor of Pitley from her father . She also inherited Shepecoote . See Note . Bridget was from Wickhambrook, Suffolk County . Purchased land in Great Parndon, Essex County  (near London) with brother-in-law Henre Gryffen  . May have had a brother Richard of Saffron Walden . Thomas gives to the poor people of Halstead, West Wratting, Snettisham, Great Bardfield, Little Bardfield, Wethersfield, and Arkesden. Bridget died 6 days after her marriage on 8 Dec 1597. Thomas lived until 1599 dying at Wethersfield.
Thomas French d. 23 Jul 1599 in Wethersfield , probated 31 Oct 1599 . See his will on the National Archives website: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk, will of Thomas French or Frenche, Gentleman of Wethersfield, Essex, 31 Oct 1599 PROB 11/94. This will includes the 3 children of Thomas plus his wife Elizabeth, and no other children. A close parallel is that this family and the family of William French, FFA Chart #E2, resided in Halstead, Essex Co., during the same period.
Regarding FFA Chart #EB, the Canterbury Marriage Licenses, 1568-1618, held in Salt Lake City, state on p. 161 ÒFrench, Thomas of Halstead in Essex, g., and Pulludia Wood of the Precincts Ch. Ch., Cant., v. At St. M. Northgate, Cant. Elias Meade, vicar of St. M. Northgate, bonds. Nov 20, 1611Ó. Canterbury covers an entire area, I believe Essex and Kent Counties are included. Elias Meade was vicar from 20 Nov 1609 until 1612 of the Church of St. Mary Northgate. Before this date and in 1579, Elias Meade obtained a lease of the rectory at the South Malling Church of England on Church Lane and Malling Close in Lewes, East Sussex, England. This location is of particular interest because Lewes was the location of the immigrant to Connecticut, Thomas French, FFA Chart #9.
One of the Thomas Frenches in this line owned various farms as noted in an undated auctioneerÕs notebook on SEAX, D/F 35/3/285. Farms at Great Dunmow, Lt. Dunmow. Finchingfield, Lindsell (see Ref ) and Thaxted; Town Field, Thaxted, belonging to Thomas French; timber on Stansted Hall estate [in Stansted Mountfitchet]; estates belonging tot he late Wm,Barnard, Thaxted and Stebbing, including farm at Thaxted and malting at Stebbing; estate belonging to Frederick Byatt, Lt. Sampford, including farm; estate belonging to the late John Dare, Finchingfield, including farm; estate belonging to the late Mrs Wm.Ridgewell, incl.shop; property belonging to the Misses Barnard at Holls Villa, Stebbing; property belonging to David Hollingsworth at the Worthings, Thaxted; house in the Bull Ring, Thaxted, belonging to Mr O.E. Ratecliff; cottages belonging to Messrs Albert and Thomas H. Perry, Thaxted; cottage belonging to Robert Lawrence, Barfield End Green, Thaxted; steam mill and cottage belonging to the late Mr Moore, Hempstead; building land at Hatfield Broad Oak belonging to the late Peter Sullins and Alfred Nockolds; business property belonging to Daniel Chaffer, Town Street, Thaxted, including extensive fellmongers buildings, yards and pits; property belonging to Messrs Whitbread & Co., Reindeer Inn. Takeley.
Children of Thomas and Elizabeth French, 2.5
The will of Thomas French lists only these 3 children:
3.1 Mary French  , chr. ca. 1558 most likely in Wethersfield, mentioned in fatherÕs will of 1599 (see Ref. ), m. ca. 1578 John Collyn (Collin)  ,
All their children were christened in Muche Bardfeild, now called Great Bardfield: John Collin, William Collin, Mary Collin, Elizabeth Collin , d. 1612, a widow, in Blackmore (Blackmore End) . A John Collyn d. 1567 in Halstead . He could have been MaryÕs father-in-law.
St. Mary the Virgin Parish Church in Farnham, Essex
3.2 Elizabeth French  , chr. ca. 1560 most likely in Wethersfield, mentioned in fatherÕs will of 1599, m. John Meade    on 9 Oct 1581 in Farnham, Essex, England, D/P 290/1/1, Image 33, see below.
Elizabeth had children: Edward Meade, Elizabeth Meade, John Meade, Agnes Meade .
Elizabeth Meade, daughter of John Meade was chr. Mar 1588 in Farnham, D/P 290/1/1, Image 12, see below.
John Meade, son of John Meade was chr. Jun 1589 in Farnham, D/P 290/1/1, Image 13, see below.
Elizabeth d. 1595, a widow, in Chipping Ongar . Notes . John Meade, Esq., was son of Thomas Meade . No Frenches born in Farnham 1559-1600 . Elias Meade was Vicar of St. M. Northgate and he performed the marriage ceremony for Thomas French and Pulludia or Palladia Wood. The Canterbury Marriage Licenses, 1568-1618, held in Salt Lake City, state on p. 161 ÒFrench, Thomas of Halstead in Essex, g., and Pulludia Wood of the Precincts Ch. Ch., Cant., v. At St. M. Northgate, Cant. Elias Meade, vicar of St. M. Northgate, bonds. Nov 20, 1611Ó. Canterbury covers an entire area, I believe Essex and Kent Counties are included. Elias Meade was vicar from 20 Nov 1609 until 1612 of the Church of St. Mary Northgate. Before this date and in 1579, Elias Meade obtained a lease of the rectory at the South Malling Church of England on Church Lane and Malling Close in Lewes, East Sussex, England. This location is of particular interest because Lewes was the location of the emigrant to Connecticut, Thomas French, FFA Chart #E9.
3.3* Thomas French III, , , , born ca. 1565 in Wethersfield, Essex, and christened 13 Aug 1598 in Halstead, Essex, England. He was mentioned in fatherÕs will of 1599, Executor of fatherÕs will . Thomas is mentioned in a chancery deposition (PRO C24/280) concerning Roger Harlakenden on 3 Feb 1603 in which he is referred to as Thos French of Halstead, gentleman, age 38. See: http://linux02.lib.cam.ac.uk/earlscolne/equity/17600522.htm. The John Holmstead (or Olmstead) below was his father-in-law, having married his daughter Anne Olmstead.
Thos Frenche of Halstead Essex gentleman of the age of 38 yrs and upwards sworn etc saith that he this deponent doth hold and farm a portion of tithes late parcel of the late dissolved priory of Colne in the said county of Essex as he taketh it which portion of tithes amongst other things was first granted by lease for years from the complainant unto one Fynner the complainant's then servant and from him conveyed over to one Jn Holmested gentleman this deponent's father in law and so from him unto this deponent and this deponent further saith that he knoweth not of his own knowledge but hath heard that the same portion of tithes doth lie in the hamlet or leet of Stansted in the parish of Halstead but what and how much of that portion is or out of what lands there the same portion doth or should arise and be issuing he knoweth not neither doth he know what person or persons do occupy the same lands or of which the said portion of tithes should issue nor can tell what to think thereof for that this deponent hath made great enquiry to know the same but could never learn the certainty thereof and this deponent also saith that there is 40s a year rent reserved upon the said lease for the said portion of tithes and this deponent by virtue thereof hath paid for the said portion of tithes unto the defendant in all the sum of 8li rent and he also saith that he taketh it he hath a year or two or more to come in the said lease assigned by the said Fynner as aforesaid but the certainty thereof he doth not remember for that he hath not for long time seen and perused the same assignment of lease and therefore refereth himself to the said assignment itself which he is ready to show and more etc Thos Frenche
Thomas m. Anne (Agnes) Olmstead   in Farnham, Essex, England on 26 Jul 1587 , D/P 290/1/1, Image 34, see below.
Thomas was buried 20 Nov 1613 in Halstead   . Will written 28 Oct 1613, and proved 27 Jan 1613/14 in Halstead , see below.
See the will of Thomas Frenche of Halstead (pdf), proved 27 Jan 1614, written in Latin. It is from the National Archives website: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk, will of Thomas Frenche of Halstead, Essex, 27 Jan 1614 PROB 11/123. In his will he mentioned his wife Ann, son Thomas, and his mother-in-law Palladia. He also mentions sons John, Edward, William, Robert, and Francis, and his daughtersÕ names are not mentioned.
Anne d. 11 Feb 1624 as the widowe and Gentt. from Stansted Hall . Her estate was administered by her son Edward and daughter Margaret.
ThomasÕ will mentions wife Ann, son Thomas and his mother-in-law Palladia Wood, which means his sonÕs mother-in-law. However, her name was Palladia Wood, not Olmstead, and she was more likely to be the wife of his son Thomas. Paladia Wood (Mrs. Wood), d. 12 Oct 1620, the mother-in-law of Mr. Thomas French.
He also mentions sons John, Edward, William, Robert, and Francis. It appears that entire family left Halstead after ThomasÕ death in 1614. Youngest dau. was only 2 yrs old when her father died. Bought land in Halstead in 1596 . Bought land in Halstead in 1601 from Anthony Bland . All 60 acres sold to a non-family person in 1602 . No manorial record of a French at Manor of Stanstead 1637-1651 . Inherited Pitley Manor from father.
Thos Frenche of Halstead Essex gentleman of the age of 38 yrs and upwards sworn etc saith that he this deponent doth hold and farm a portion of tithes late parcel of the late dissolved priory of Colne in the said county of Essex as he taketh it which portion of tithes amongst other things was first granted by lease for years from the complainant unto one Fynner the complainant's then servant and from him conveyed over to one Jn Holmested gentleman this deponent's father-in-law and so from him unto this deponent and this deponent further saith that he knoweth not of his own knowledge but hath heard that the same portion of tithes doth lie in the hamlet or leet of Stansted in the parish of Halstead but what and how much of that portion is or out of what lands there the same portion doth or should arise and be issuing he knoweth not neither doth he know what person or persons do occupy the same lands or of which the said portion of tithes should issue nor can tell what to think thereof for that this deponent hath made great enquiry to know the same but could never learn the certainty thereof and this deponent also saith that there is 40s a year rent reserved upon the said lease for the said portion of tithes and this deponent by virtue thereof hath paid for the said portion of tithes unto the defendant in all the sum of 8li rent and he also saith that he taketh it he hath a year or two or more to come in the said lease assigned by the said Fynner as aforesaid but the certainty thereof he doth not remember for that he hath not for long time seen and perused the same assignment of lease and therefore refereth himself to the said assignment itself which he is ready to show and more etc Thos Frenche
It was John Olmstead, the father of Anne Olmstead, who had the wealth to purchase Stanstead Hall.
TL 82 NW GREENSTEAD GREEN AND HALSTEAD RURAL 5/136 Stanstead Hall 7.8.52 GV II*
Large house. Mid-C16, extended in C20. Red brick in English bond, with dressings of clunch and plaster imitating stone, roofed with handmade red plain tiles. S range of a former substantial courtyard plan, facing N, with early C20 extension to rear right, and extension of 1935 to front of right end, all in matching style. 2 storeys and attics. The N front has on each floor four 3-light and two 2-light windows, all lights with pointed arched heads and leaded glazing, each group with a moulded label of plastered brick. 3 smaller similar 2-light windows with similar labels in dormers with curvilinear gables. The small off-centre entrance has moulded jambs and arched head of clunch. Brick plinth, moulded string course and parapet between gables. Some diaper pattern of black brick. The left end has octagonal corner turrets with crocketed pyramidal roofs enclosing a C19/early C20 oriel window of 2 storeys in similar style, and a 3-light window in a curvilinear gable similar to those on the N front. The rear elevation has 3 external stacks, one with 3 octagonal shafts to the former kitchen, the others each with 2 octagonal shafts. Gabled brick stair-tower between the latter, with an original 3-light window opening of chamfered brick with shallow arched heads. Internally there are partitions of typical mid-C16 timber framing and 2 heavily moulded timber door surrounds with arched heads, and early examples of joists of deep narrow section tenoned at the top and at the soffit. The S extension has one room with re-used C17 panelling with frieze and pilasters. Adjoining is a stair hall with heavily moulded beams, possibly re-used, one with .cresting, crenellations and a bead-and-reel strip among the Tudor chamfers. Roof much altered, with remnants of original wind-braced side-purlin structure. Large rectangular moat with fragments of brick revetment and enclosing wall. Former home of Lord Butler of Saffron Walden. RCHM 1.
Children of Thomas and Anne (Olmstead) French, 3.3
4.1 Thomas French IV  , mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1613, b. ca. 1587 in Frating, Essex , see D/P 349/1/1, Frating register from 1560, Image 7, cannot be found. Thomas is not mentioned in his brother William FrenchÕs will of 1621 because Thomas died that same year.
Thomas French m. Palludia Wood   in Prerogative Court of Canterbury  on 20 Nov 1611  . After Thomas died without heirs in 1621, his widow Palludia m. William Beckingham and had son William Beckingham, son to William Beckingham and Palludia his wife, 2 Jan 1622 in Frating, Essex, D/P 349/1/1, Image 11, see image below. Palludia Wood French Beckingham died 17 Feb 1635/6. During the 10-year marriage of Thomas French and Palludia Wood French, there were no heirs.
Thomas French, gentleman, buried 27 Feb 1621/22, Image 21, D/P 349/1/1, in Frating, Essex.
See his will on the National Archives website: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk, will or Sentence of Thomas French / Frenche of Frating, Essex, 6 Nov 1622 PROB 11/140. No male issue. Mentioned in his father Thomas FrenchÕs will of 1614 . Sold Stanstead Hall in 1620 . I had 3 tours of Stanstead Hall and have various photos and notes which IÕll add as time permits. See notes    .
Since he had no male issue, on 17 Feb 1635/6 a commission was issued to John French, brother of Thomas, to administer the goods left unadministered by Palladia, his widow, who had died. On 15 Jul 1639 a commission was issued to Edward French to administer the goods of Thomas left unadministered by John French, who had died. In 1642 this commission was revoked and the power given to Thomas Lewyn and his wife Dorothy Lewyn, alias French. Therefore, this is not the French family who immigrated to America.
Another Thomas French, yeoman, wrote his will on 20 May 1629 in Wethersfield, D/AMW 2/6. Yet another Thomas French wrote his will on 30 Jun 1780 in Wethersfield, D/AEW 39/5/9. These two men were probably of the Felsted, Essex, line, click here.
4.2 Mary French , bp. 3 Oct 1591 in Halstead as the child of Thomas French.
Not mentioned in her brother WilliamÕs will of 1621  probably because she was married by that time before 1621 to a man named Bacon , perhaps Sir Edmund Bacon. Mary d. Aug 1671. They had a son named John Bacon who is mentioned in MaryÕs brotherÕs (Robert) will in 1653. Mary m2. Thomas Peirson on 12 Dec 1649 in Gosfield. Thomas Peirson is also mentioned in Robert FrenchÕs will of 1653 as his son-in-law. Thomas Peirson was listed of Stisted, yeoman, as an adult on 1 May 1599, Q/SR 146/17. He is also listed on documents dated 21 Jun 1585, Q/SR 93/53, and 1576 Q/SR 56/4, and on 30 May 1552 in Saffron Walden D/B 2/4/18, and in 1582 Q/SR 82/5, and 1614 Q/SR 206/42 in Witham, and 26 Sep 1590 Q/SR 114/9 in Chafford.
4.3 Anne French , bp. 21 Sep 1592 in Halstead as the child of Thomas French of Halstead. D/P 96/1/1, Image 27.
Mentioned in her brother WilliamÕs will of 1621  . Unmarried in 1621 . Mentioned in her fatherÕs will of 1614 , d. 11 Feb 1624 in Halstead .
4.4 John French  , mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1613, mentioned in his grandfatherÕs will of 1599 as receiving a silver bowl, bp. 14 Nov 1595 as the child of Thomas, gent. of Halstead. D/P 96/1/1, Image 30.
Mentioned in his brother WilliamÕs will of 1621  . John m. perhaps Jane Pratt in Halstead in 1631 per BoydÕs Marriage Index. John was living in Halstead on 17 Feb 1635/6 when Palludia Wood, widow of his deceased brother Thomas died, and John administered goods. On 15 Jul 1639 goods were turned over to brother Edward because John had died (age 39) as Gentt. Of Halstead. John d. 11 Mar 1638/39, see below   . Brother Edward took over the will on 15 Jul 1639 .
The turnover of the will was noted in a court case. In 1642 power was given to JohnÕs sister Dorothy (French) and her husband Thomas Lewyn as Edward had died. John was mentioned in his grandfatherÕs will of 1599 . This is not FFA Chart #3, because that John French died in 1646 in Cambridge, MA.
4.5 Elenor (Eleanor or Ellen or Elianor or Ellanor) French , bp. 29 May 1597 in Halstead as the child of Mr. French. D/P 96/1/1, Image 31.
Her father has to be Thomas French because Eleanor is mentioned in her brother WilliamÕs will of 1621 . She m. George Gunter   before 26 Nov 1637 since she was executrix to her brother WilliamÕs contested will .
4.6 Edward French  , mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1613, bp. 13 Aug 1598 in Halstead as the son of Thomas French. D/P 96/1/1, Image 32.
Edward was mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1614 . See notes . Lived in Thorpe Morieux, Suffolk, in 1624 when he was 26 years old . Administered his motherÕs (Anne) will in 1624/5 . Mentioned in his brother WilliamÕs will of 1621 . Living in England on 15 Jul 1639 to handle JohnÕs estate . Estate turned over to his sister Dorothy Lewyn and her husband Thomas Lewyn in 1642 , when Edward died.
St. Mary Church in Thorpe Morieux, Suffolk, England
4.7 Margaret French , chr. 25 Feb 1598/99 in Halstead , D/P 96/1/1, Image 33. Her father is not mentioned here. She probably died in infancy because a second Margaret was baptized in 1602.
4.8 Elizabeth French , bp. 26 May 1600 in Halstead as the child of Thomas French. Mentioned in her brother WilliamÕs will of 1621  . Unmarried in 1621 . D/P 96/1/1, Image 34.
4.9 Marget (Margret or Margaret) French , mentioned in her motherÕs will of 11 Feb 1624/5, bp. 2 Feb 1601/2 in Halstead as the child of Thomas French, gent. Mentioned in her brother WilliamÕs will of 1621  . Unmarried in 1621 . Administered her motherÕs (Anne) will in 1624/5 , m. Samuel Dike, clerk, at Bury St. Mary, Suffolk, 16 Jul 1627 . D/P 96/1/1, Image 35.
4.10 William French , bp. 15 Mar 1602/3 in Halstead as the child of Thomas French, gent., see below. D/P 96/1/1, Image 36.
William wrote his will on 14 May 1621. He died on 16 May 1621 at age 18 at St. Dunstans-In-The-West, London, England . William mentions most of his brothers and sisters in his will . This is not the William who immigrated to Billerica, MA, in 1635, see Ref. . Mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1614 . No baptisms, marriages, or burials at St. Dunstans-In-The-West for Frenches between 1620 - 1635 except William , and one unrelated marriage of Mary French to Nicholas Bulfeild on 10 Jun 1632. This is not FFA Chart #2 because that William French died 20 Nov 1681 in Billerica, MA. See Ref . His will names all his unmarried siblings: John, Edward, Robert, Francis, Ann, Elianor, Elizabeth, Margaret, Jemima, and Dorothy French.
The Cambridge Historical Society published proceedings from 25 Jan 1916 to 24 Oct 1916 about the French family at Stansted Hall. On p. 95 he states that William French was baptized in Halstead in 1606, son of William French of ÒThe LeeteÓ, not Thomas French. This is FFA Chart #E2.
St. Dunstans In-The-West, Fleet Street, London, England (tower on right). Most buildings in this area are now side-by-side; therefore, there is no longer a graveyard behind the church, but there is a basement where several crypts are kept. I looked down the staircase, but was not able to go downstairs.
4.11* Robert French, Sr. , b. 1608 (according to the age in which he started college)  in Halstead, or perhaps 1604/05 , not mentioned in the Halstead baptism records, but mentioned in his brother WilliamÕs will of 1621 . Mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1614  . Robert was Adm. Sizar (an undergraduate at Cambridge University receiving financial help from the college and formerly having certain menial duties) at age 15 at ChristÕs, June 26, 1623, son of Thomas of Halstead , BA Degree 1626/7 in Halstead, MA Degree 1630 in Halstead . This Robert is not in the Halstead parish register as are all the other children, but he is listed in his fatherÕs and grandfatherÕs wills. He is the only child who lived in Gosfield and the only one who received a formal education.
Robert m1. Edith ca. 1632. Edith d. 17 Jan 1644/45  giving childbirth to her son Francis in Halstead, born that same day. D/P 165/1/1 Image 59. Edith is mentioned in RobertÕs will not by name, but as his deceased wife whom he wants to be buried next to.
Robert French m2. Elizabeth Man on 17 Feb 1644 in Gosfield, Essex   . D/P 165/1/1, Image 6. The Man family was most likely from Gosfield (see image below). Robert d. 10 Dec 1660 in Gosfield  . RobertÕs wife, Elizabeth Man, is mentioned in his will, along with RobertÕs children Phillipp, Richard, Elisabeth, Thomas, and Susann. He also mentions the unborn child his wife Elizabeth was carrying at the time he wrote his will in 1653.
Elizabeth was the dau. of John Man, who was an alehouse-keeper, and whose father was Thomas Man of London . The Man family and the Symmes family have some connection . Randall Symmes was the son-in-law of Thomas Man of London. This Robert did not immigrate to America during the Puritan Migration because he had children born between 1636 and 1652 in England.
10 December, 1651.—Wheras Robert French of Gosfield in the county of Essex gentleman is charged by Mr. Underwood upon suspicion to be one of the persons that feloniously and burglarily (sic) did break the dwelling-house of the Master of the Rols, and did steale out of the same one thousand nyne hundred pounds in money, Now on the behalf of the said Robert French, by the affidavits of Jonas Stubbins and Edward Til it appearing that the sayd French is so dangerously sick that through his inability of body hee is not able at this tyme to attend the court, It is therfore Ordered, That it be referred to Justices of the Peace of the county of Essex, recyding near to the place where the sayd French inhabits, to take sufficient bayle of the sayd French to appear at the next Sessions to be holden for the county of Middlesex, the sayd French and his sureties to be bound by recognizance in the sum of 1,000£ a-peece, or upon the default or refusal of the sayd French heerin the sayd Justices are to commit him to the Gaole of the County, there to remayne til further Order or otherwise until hee shalbe discharged by due Cours of Law.—By the Court. G. D. Reg. (from the Middlesex Sessions Rolls, 1651 British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=66047
Robert French, gentleman, moved to Gosfield where he made his will on 29 August 1653 and died on 10 Dec 1660, D/AMW 6/4. Mentioned in Q/SR 322/57 on 16 Aug 1644 as Robert Frenche, living in Gosfield, along with other men from Halstead and Sible Hedingham. Also Man genealogy.
Will of Robert French of Gosfield ERO D/AMW 6/4, transcribed by Peter Nutt, researcher from the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford, Essex, England, Nov 2010.
In the name of God Amen The 29th of August Anno Domini
one thowsand six hundred Ffyty and three I Robt French of Gosfield in the countie of
Essex Gent Being sick and whole of body att this present but of perfitt
memorie praised be god Doe make and ordaine this my last will & testament in
manner and form following Imprimis I bequeath my soule into the handes of
Allmightie God trusting through the merrits of my blessed Saviour that the same
shall be received to everlastiang happiness My bodie I commit to the earth
from whence it was att first taken stedfastly hoping for a ioifull resurrection att the last
day And my request is that my executours hereunder named [when it shall please
god to call mee out of this sinnfull world] I doe cause my corps to be buried in the
chancel of the p[ar]ish church of Gosfield near unto my former wife
And as for the outeward estate it hath pleased god to bless me withall I dispose of
the same as followeth I give to the poor of the p[ar]ish of Gosfield twentie shillings
Item I give unto Thomas Wiltshire the sonne of John Wiltshire the summe of tenn
shillings to buie him clothes Item I give unto John Bacon a boy now in my house tenn
pound to binde him an apprentice Item I give unto the said John Bacon
and annuitie of ffortie shillings to be allowed and paid by my executours for the
keeping of the said John till he come be puttforth to prentice Item do give and
bequeath to my loving wife ffortie pounds in monie to be paid her within seven months
after my decease I doe also give unto my wife the lease of Highgates
with all the landes comprised in the said lease Conditionally and provided that shee do
bring upp my daughter Elisabeth my sonne Thomas my daughter Susann and the
childe she now goeth with. Item it is my will that my executors doe allow unto my wife
one moiete of the profits that shall be raised out of my children portion towards their education
and bringing upp Item I doe give unto my sonne in law Thomas Peirson fortie shillings
to buie him a ring Item I give unto my sonn Richard fourescore pound to
be paid him att the age of twentie one years Item I give unto my daughter
Elisabeth my sonne Thomas my daughter Susann and to the childe my wife
Elisabeth [sic] now goeth with to each of them threescore pounds to be paid unto them according
as they shall attain unto the age of one & twentie yeares Item my will and minde is
that if any of my aforenamed children shall decease before they shall accomplish the said
term of one and twentie yeeres that then the portion due to that childe shall be equally divided
between the surviving children Item my will and intent is that all my plate [except
what is allreadie my childrens] together with all my goods and chattels shall be sold att
the best rate to pay these legacies allwaies provided that I doe herein except the lease
of the tenement named Highgates above mentioned together with the landes
comprised in the said lease my leases of my houses in Oxford and some small things
hereunder specially bequeathed. Item I give unto my sonne Phillipp twentie pounds
and the leases of my houses in Oxford Item I give to my sonn Phillip my
watch Item I give my sonne Richard my new stocket? gunn and my little wheellock?
gunn I give my daughter Elisabeth a silver picture which I have appointed my wife to
keep for her and also I give her my Indian Carpett I give to my sonn Thomas my best silver
and silke belt Item my will is that after my debts and funeral discharged if my goods
and chattels shall amount to more then my former legacies bequeathed that them the over
plus shall be equally divided betweene these my children Phillipp Richard Elisabeth Thomas
Susan and the childe my wife now goeth with & no other I give unto my win.. mother
twenty shillings a yeer during her life Item I doe appoint and ordaine my loving friend
Jonathan Stubbin Gent and Edward Cornell yeoman my true and lawfull executours
and I give to each of them twentie shillinjs to buie them a ring And my will and desire is
that my said executors doe improve my childrens portion to the best advantage of my said children
them having a reasonable allowance for their paines In witness the premises??
I have hereunto sett my hand and seale this twentie ninth of August 1653
sealed and delivered in the presence of us
Proved 10th December 1660
Notes on Robert FrenchÕs will: Highgates in Gosfield stands today as Grade II Cottages 1, 2, and 3 (3 dwellings) on Church Road, built in the 15th century.
House, now three dwellings. Early C15 or earlier with later additions and alterations. Timber framed and plastered. Red plain tiled roofs. Three red brick chimney stacks. Of complex plan. Hall house with jettied gabled crosswings to right and left. Left crosswing outshot to left and with ground floor bay below jetty. There is a forward gable to right of hall with a leaded three light transomed window. The right crosswing with red tiled lean-to porch. Crosswings of two storeys. Hall one storey and attics. To far right is a forward two storey gabled crosswing with jetty to left return. Various gabled wings to rear. 1:1:1:1 window range of various C17, C18 and C19 casements, some leaded. Some mullions remain, one with original shutters. Curved jetty brackets. Pentice board to left crosswing gable. Three vertically boarded doors, those to centre and right with lights. Interior features include original brick fireplaces with mantel beams over, that to first floor right with a cambered mantel beam. Part of the arches of screens passage doors visible. Sooted, cross quadrate crownpost roof to Hall. Reputed to have been used as a nunnery of the Order of the Poor Clares following their persecution and flight during the French Revolution.
Also, RobertÕs oldest sister married a Bacon and the boy John Bacon mentioned in RobertÕs will could have been a child or grandchild.
In Robert FrenchÕs will, he mentions Òmy sonne in law Thomas PeirsonÓ. Apparently Robert was very ill when he wrote his will. His children were all minors and therefore could not have married. Perhaps he is referring to a son by perhaps a former marriage of his first wife. In any case, a marriage did exist between a Thomas Person and a Mary French on 12 Dec 1649, D/P 165/1/1, Image 7:
ÒAÓ Thomas Person was listed of Stisted, yeoman, as an adult on 1 May 1599, Q/SR 146/17. He is also listed on documents dated 21 Jun 1585, Q/SR 93/53, and 1576 Q/SR 56/4, and on 30 May 1552 in Saffron Walden D/B 2/4/18, and in 1582 Q/SR 82/5, and 1614 Q/SR 206/42 in Witham, and 26 Sep 1590 Q/SR 114/9 in Chafford.
WALDINGFIELD. 243 in right of his wife in 1590. The manor was then stated to be held of the Honor of Clare. Thomas Barrow 1 was succeeded by his son and heir William Barrow 2 who died in 1623, when the manor, or rather the share in it of the Barrows passed to his son and heir Maurice, who died without issue in 1666. 3 The manor had, however, been sold in 1657, and the deed of conveyance will be found amongst the Additional Charters in the Brit. Mus. 4 From this conveyance it appears that in 1657 the manor was vested in Sir Edmund Bacon, Bart., of Redgrave and Robert French and Richard Buttely, for by deed dated 18 August 1657 they sold what was described as the Manor of Morvies al. Morris with messuages, lands, &c., in Great Waldingfield, Great Cornard, Little Cornard, Little Waldingfield, Assington, Acton, Chilton, Newton and Melford to Roger Kedington described as of Acton and Ambrose Kedington his son and heir. The whole ultimately vested in Ambrose Kedington and at his death in 1764 passed to his son and heir Henry Kedington, and on his death in 1773, to his son and heir Robert Kedington, who died in 1787, when it passed to the Rev. Robt. Kedington, who died in 1830 without issue. The manor then went together with Babergh Hall, which is also in Gt. Waldingfield, to John Medows Rodwell of Little Livermere in right of his wife Marianne, sister and sole heir of the above mentioned Robert Kedington, and it is now held by John Kirby Rodwell of Bury St. Edmunds.
D/ABW 80/117, will of Elizabeth Mann of Braintree,
widow, 8 March 1711.
Elizabeth Mann of Braintree, Essex, gives to the poor of Braintree (5 pounds), to her sister Sarah Wood, spinster (20 pounds), to her sister Rebecca Field of East Greenwich, Kent, widow (5 pounds), to her son Joseph Mann and to his heirs her tenement in Black Notley and White Notley in Essex plus more of her belongings stated in her will. No other names mentioned. (I assume this means she was born Elizabeth Wood, married a man named Mann. The name Wood is also connected to this line).
Q/SR 296/75, 29 Nov 1636, Recognizance of John Sams of "Toulson" Major gentleman and Thomas Goulding of Brentwood carpenter; Sams to perform the order of two justices inhabiting next' to Shenfield as at a child to be born of ELIZABETH MAN of which Sams is the reputed father. Note that this child was not yet born as of this date.
T/A 418/69/46, 5 April 1601, Indictment of John Rayment of Ulting labourer at Wickham Bishops broke into the house of JOHN SAMS between 10 and 11 o'clock at night, with the intention of despoiling the said JOHN SAMS. Pleads not guilty; acquitted. Witness: Hugh Humsted. (ASS 35/43//46)
Q/SR 136/2, 13-15 Jan 1597. This document mentions several men engaged in the French family activities: William Smythe, Roger Harlakendon, John Sams, William Higham. Because of this document, I would imagine that these men were adults and born before 1580. These men could also have had sons with the same names in the early 1600s, as with Roger Harlakendon who was baptized in 1611.
4.12 Francis French (male) , bp. 29 Jun 1606 in Halstead as son of Thomas French, gent. Not mentioned in his brother WilliamÕs will of 1621 , because he had died. Mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1614   as a son. In 1614 Francis was 8 years old, but he perhaps died before 1621 when he would have been 15 years old. This is not the Francis who immigrated to America (FFA Chart #8) because that Francis was b. 1625. At the present time, we cannot locate a burial record for this Francis, nor can we locate a baptism record for Francis b. 1625 in Halstead . See Note . D/P 96/1/1, Image 38 below of this birth in 1606.
4.13 Jerrymya (Jemima) (Jemonia) Frynch (female) , bp. 21 Nov 1607 in Halstead as the daughter of Thomas French Esquy[er], mentioned in her brother WilliamÕs will of 1621  . D/P 96/1/1, Image 39.
4.14 Judeath (Judith) French , bp. 26 Oct 1609 in Halstead as the child of Thomas French.
Mentioned in her brother WilliamÕs will of 1621 , m. Edward Wygott  .
4.15 Dorryty (Dorothy) French , bp. 2 Sep 1611 in Halstead, the child of Thomas French, gen., mentioned in her brother WilliamÕs will of 1621  , m. Thomas Lewyn before 1642 . D/P 96/1/1, Image 43.
Children of Robert and Edith French, 4.11
No French born in Gosfield 1653-1700 . Robert may have had a daughter named Mary ca. 1630 who married Thomas Person on 12 Dec 1649 in Stisted. Thomas Person is listed as RobertÕs son-in-law in his will.
5.1 Phillipp French, born no later than 29 Aug 1632 – he was older than 21 in 1653 when his father wrote his will as being his son. No record of his birth or christening has been found. In his fatherÕs will he was bequeathed, among other things, Òthe leases of my houses in OxfordÓ. Not much else is known of him, but he could have moved to Oxford. It is strange that this name has never been used in this entire family.
5.2 Richard French, under 21 in 1653 when his father wrote his will as being his son; therefore, born between 1633 and 1635. Not much is known of him. He was born after 1632; however, it is strange that this name has never been used in this entire family. No record of his birth or christening has been found.
5.3 Thomas French, chr. 28 Dec 1636 in Gosfield as the son of Robert and Edith, D/P 165/1/1, image 25 below .
Thomas d. 17 Jan 1636/7 in Gosfield, aged 2 weeks . D/P 165/1/1, Image 57. Another child was named Thomas after this Thomas died.
5.4 Francis French, chr. 17 Jan 1644/45 in Gosfield as the son of Robert and Edith , D/P 165/1/1, Image 27, below.
Francis d. 3 Feb 1644 in Gosfield, aged 2 weeks . His mother, Edith, died giving birth to this child the day he was born on 17 Jan 1644. D/P 165/1/1, Image 59. Francis is not mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1653 because he was deceased. On 17 Feb 1644 Robert married Elizabeth Man.
Children of Robert and Elizabeth (Man) French, 4.11
5.5 Robert French, Jr., chr. 8 Jan 1645/6 as son of Robert and Elizabeth of Gosfield , D/P 165/1/1, Image 27, see below.
Robert d. 19 Nov 1648 in Gosfield, age 2 1/2 , D/P 165/1/1, Image 60, as Robert French the younger. He died before his father died in 1660. Robert is not mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1653 because he was deceased.
5.6 Elizabeth French, chr. 8 Feb 1648/9 as dau. of Robert and Elizabeth of Gosfield . D/P 165/1/1, Image 28, see below.
Elizabeth is mentioned in her fatherÕs will of 1653. Her father died when she was only 11 years old.
ÒAnÓ Elizabeth ffrench died in Gosfield on 14 Jun 1687, D/P 165/1/1, Image 65. If this is the same one, she would have been 38 years old. If this Elizabeth was her mother, she would have been 67 years old which would seem correct as her husband, Robert French, died in 1660.
Perhaps another sibling was buried in Gosfield about the same time (2 months earlier) as Elizabeth, above: Mary ffrench buried in woolen on 22 Apr 1687, D/P 165/1/1, Image 65.
This Mary was probably the one who married Thomas Person on 12 Dec 1649.
5.7 Thomas French, chr. 29 Oct 1650 as son of Robert and Elizabeth of Gosfield . D/P 165/1/1, Image 28. His father died when he was only 10 years old. He is mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1660. Thomas was named after his brother Thomas who predeceased him.
5.8 Susan[n]a French, chr. 15 Apr 1652 as dau of Robert and Elizabeth of Gosfield . D/P 165/1/1, Image 28. Her father died when she was only 8 years old in 1660. She is mentioned in her fatherÕs will of 1553.
5.9 Child of Robert and Elizabeth French who was still unborn when Robert wrote his will in 1653.
I need to check vital records of Gosfield after 1652, D/P 165/1/1, 1538-1733. In checking the years 1653-1669, the register was not kept up as the years are written in, but the rest is left blank except for 1 or 2 entries, none of which are French.
Register of baptisms, marriages, and burials in Halstead at St. Andrew Church from 1564-1631 is online. Go to http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/.
1561 -- Thomas Frenche of Arkesden, yeoman, 1561, Q/SR 4/7, FFA Chart #EB. I also found a will of ÒaÓ French of Arkesden dated 1551, D/ABW 14/59, first name not given. But, Thomas French wrote his will on 28 Jul 1551 in Arkesden, D/ABW 14/59. ThomasÕ wife Elizabeth died 21 Sep 1556 in Arkesden.
1562 -- Thomas Frenche, Jury for the Hundred of Hinckford (Hynckford), 1562, Q/SR 6/41.
1567 -- GEORGE LAW of Arkesden, 20 Oct. 1567. To Grace my wife my house and land, free and copy, in Arkesden for her life and to bring my children up till they come to lawful age; after her death, to George my son, paying to his brethren Henry and Thomas and my daughter Grace £3 6s.8d. each. If George die without issue, to Henry, paying Thomas and Grace the said sums; if Henry die without issue, to Thomas, paying Grace; if Thomas die without issue, to Grace; if all die without issue, to Henry my brother. To my four children at 10 2 ewes apiece. The rest of my goods to my wife, whom I make my executrix. I make my supervisor Thomas FRENCHE. Witnesses: Richard GIPPES, George LAW, John WATER, Robert CLERKE. Proved 8 Jan. 1567/8.
1573 -- Thomas Frenche, Sessions Roll, 1573, in Chelmsford.
1586 -- Thomas French of Birchanger, clerk, 1586, Q/SR 97/43 and 1597, T/A 418/65/37 and 1591 Q/SR 117/63. Birchanger is just south of Arkesden. This could be Thomas French of the second generation; in 1586 he would have been about 36 years old. No Birchanger parish records until 1688.
1587 -- Thomas Frenche of Waltham (most likely Little Waltham), labourer, 1587. I need to check the many parish registers of Great Waltham and Little Waltham.
1593 -- Thomas Frenche, including John Holmstead and John Coggeshall of Halstead, 1593, Q/SR 126/59. FFA Chart #EB. House was burnt by fire. Also 1595 Q/SR 131/2-5.
1594 -- Thomas Frenche of Bardfield (Great Bardfield or Much Bardfield), yeoman, 1594, D/DHt/T182/5, FFA Chart #EB. John French owned land on a parcel called Reden and land called Edwardes Croft in 1577-1579, T/B 86/1 and T/B 86/2.
1595 -- Thomas Frenche and his tenant Alexander Harrington of Pitley Farm in Bardfield, 1595, Q/SR 131/78, FFA Chart #EB.
1598 - Thomas French of Halstead, Sir Robert Gardener, George Sawell of Knight of Shimpling, Suffolk. ÒJernynghamsÓ or Jemynghams (10 ac) between the lane to Parsonage bridge (W) and land of Thomas French, abutting on land of Francis Hunwick and rivers in Halstead, 1 Aug 1598, D/DHt/T 119/9. FFA Chart #EB.
On the map above, you can spot Parsonage Bridge precisely in the middle of the map, crossing the River Colne. NW of that area, you can spot the Gatehouse Yard on High St. This gate lead SE across Parsonage Bridge and to Stanstead Hall where Thomas French lived (see red line above). It is assumed that Thomas French owned all the land to the left of the red line.
The name Jernyngham is a surname, as in Sir Henry Jernyngham, 1572. Also, Sir Robert Jernyngham formerly the Duke of Buckingham. Also Sir Richard Jernyngham and Anne his wife, the said Sir Rich, having died without heirs of his body and his wife Anne still surviving 1539.
Robert Gardiner of BishopÕs Stortford, Hertfordshire, gentleman, wrote his will on 14 May 1661, D/ABW 61/141.
George Sawell was a clothier of South Halstead and lived on land called ÒJernynghamsÓ in 1599, D/DHt/T119/8.
Hunwick Senior, was a clothier of Halstead and made his will in 1705, D/ABW 78/126, and gives to his wife Susan, son Francis, grandson Francis, son John, and others (easy to read). Francis Hunwick, Jr., clothier of Halstead, made his will in 1728, D/ABW 87/1/86.
1607 - Will of William French of Peldon, yeoman, 1607. No known connection to FFA Chart #EB at this time. To be a yeoman, William probably would have had to be an adult.
1607 - Court record of 27 Mar 1607 recognizances of Anthony Basey of Little Waltham, yeoman, and William Frenche of Felsted, husbandman, for John Lorde of the same, clother, to perform the order heretofore set down by Sir Ralph Wiseman and Sir Henry Maxey, knts, touching the keeping of the base man-child born of the body of Rose Gipps whereof he is the reputed father. Q/SR 179/40.
This William French was undoubtedly the one chr. on 8 Mar 1561/62 in Felsted. The Felsted French family has different DNA test results than the French family of FFA Chart #EB.
1612 - William French, Thomas Pilgryme a yeoman, and William Baylyfe alias Smyth a tailor, were all of Halstead. French to keep the peace toward Richard Harrold, Court Record Q/SR 199/127 at the Essex Record Office, 5 Jun 1612. FFA Chart #E2.
All four of these men were adults in 1612; therefore,
they were all born before 1590.
Thomas Pilgrym was in a court case on 28 Oct 1602 in Halstead where his sheep were stolen, Q/SR 160/148.
William Baylyfe alias Smyth was the owner of Green Street Hall.
1614 – Agnes French, of Halstead, widow of Thomas French, lease on 28 Nov 1614, John Sotherton, Baron of the exchequer D4, Scite of manor of East Mersea for 25 pounds a year and a dozen mallard to be delivered at Stanstead Hall, D/DHt/T 182/8, FFA Chart #EB.
This document shows that Thomas French died before 1614, and records show that he died in 1613.
1617 - Court record of 5 Jun 1617 recognizances of William Frenche, weever, Nathan Wade grocer, both of Halstead, and John Diglett of Colne Engaine miller, Frenche to answer. Q/SR 218/45. FFA Chart #E2. – or perhaps he is FFA Chart #EC.
Nathan Wade, gentleman, wrote his will in Halstead in 1745 (this must have been his son). He was a tallow-chandler, who was in a court case in 1626 with Thomas Heigham the Justice (he was the father of Bridget who married Thomas French of FFA Chart #EB).
1620 - Thomas French of Halstead, feoffment (a grant of ownership of freehold property to someone used in the English Middle Ages), Sir Oliver Luke, Sir Henry Maxey, Robert Cooke, Esq., and Nicholas Spencer, Manor of Stanstead Hall, Halstead, 1 Nov 1620, D/DHt/T119/81 and D/DHt/T119/60. FFA Chart #EB.
1628 - Court record of 8 Oct 1628 recognizances of John Ellingham, William French, and Henry Ellingham, weaver; John to keep the peace to Elizabeth Evans; all of Foxearth. Q/SR 264/61.
1636 - A deed recording of 14 Jul 1636 shows Thomas Pilgrim of Frating, yeoman, Court Record D/DU 161/154 at the Essex Record Office. Frating is a town where various members of the French family lived. Thomas Pilgrim was the son of Robert and Anne Pilgrim of Copford, born before 1612.
1636 - Will of William French of Purleigh, Essex, yeoman, 1636.
1640 - Will of William French of Finchingfield, Essex, husbandman, 1640.
1642 – Recognizance of Tho. Hickman bailiff, John Millar yeoman and tho. French labourer, Hickman to keep the peace to Robert Bush bailiff, all of Halstead, 21 May 1642, Q/SR 317/66. FFA Chart #EB.
1646 -- Essex Record Office in Chelmsford, work done by Dr. Emmison, May 1989. Unpublished typescript Calendar of Essex Quarter Sessions Rolls, Q/SR 329/29. 1646. Presentment for parish of Halstead by the surveyors of the highways of all such as have peremptorily refused to do their duties [in maintaining the roads]. Landowners [8 names] include Mr. Frenche. [Each fined 40 shillings.]
1649 – Indictment of Margt. Willowes of Halstead spinster there in the house of Henry French yeoman gave birth to a female bastard whom she put into Òa holeÓ in Òan open yardÓ which she died of cold, etc. Pleads not guilty. Witnesses: John Letch, Thomas Greene, Elizabeth Wood, Alice French, Math. Wood, 1 Jan 1649, T/A 418/136/45.
LetcheÕs Farm is on the map above, very close to Greenstead Green and Stanstead Hall. An indictment of Thomas Willowes took place in south Halstead for theft in 1649. These two places were exactly where Thomas French of FFA Chart #EB lived. Also, Roger Willowes was from Halstead. Alice French could have been a wife of one of the French men from Halstead.
ÒAÓ Henry French of Ridgewell, yeoman, wrote his will in 1693; gave to wife Elizabeth, son John and his heirs to receive all the lands in Finchingfield and Birdbrook; daughters Martha, Mary, Thomasine, and Ann; and daughter Elizabeth now married to Robert fflanner, D/ABW 74/135. Thomasin French m. Jeremie Pearson on 23 Jun 1615.
ÒAÓ Henry French of Birdbrook wrote his will on 10 Jan 1661/62. Very short will written in Latin.
1650 – Henry French of Halstead being accused of begetting a bastard child of his maid servant now in prison, which child is supposed to be made away by them, 16 Jul 1650, Q/SR 345/40.
Henry must be the son of one of the French men of Halstead. He was born in 1635 or earlier. If he was the son of FFA Chart #EB, his father might have been in the Fourth Generation below, John or Edward French. There is a Henry French in FFA Chart #EC.
1662 -- Anne French of Birchanger, 6 Jul Charles II (1662-1667), T/A 418/163/44.
These superly-detailed historical Ordnance Survey maps date back to between 1860 and 1910, and are available for every town in England and Wales.
Zoom in on this satellite map of England to visually see the approximation of these towns: Boxford, Assington, Edwardstone, Bures St. Mary, Lamarsh, Twinstead, Groton, Halstead, Coggeshall, Gosfield, Wethersfield, Arkesden, Great Bardfield, Farnham, and Wickhambrook where large French families lived.
The Essex Record Office in England recently began posting high resolution images of the early parish registers (more extensive and better quality than the LDS filmings) on their website. All parish registers before 1700 are now available to view online. The main shortcoming is there is no plan as yet for any date indexes to these images that makes finding particular years and events a little awkward. This might interest French's with origins in Essex. There are also images of wills and other documents. Go to http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/.
Numbers in square brackets [ ] are bibliography notations. FFA stands for French Family Association Library Number.
 Thomas French I will, probated 28 Jul 1551, Essex Record Office, Chelmsford, England. Transcribed by Delpha Triptow, 20 Nov 1986, D/ABW 14/59 from SEAX.
 Thomas French II will, probated 23 Jul 1599, Essex Record Office, Chelmsford, England. Gave to poor people of West Wrattinge (Cambridge Co.), Snettisham (Norfolk Co.), Muche Bardfeild (Essex Co.), Little Bardfeild (Essex Co.), Wetherfeilde (Essex Co.), Arkesden (Essex Co.). No parish registers for Arkesden survive before 1690.
English Origins of American Colonists, p. English Origins of AMERICAN COLONISTS WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO NAMES OF IMPORTANCE IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES. BY WILLIAM GILBERT, [p.237] A DIGEST OF ESSEX WILLS. WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO NAMES OF IMPORTANCE IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES. BY WILLIAM GILBERT, page 239
163. FRENCH, THOMAS, the elder of Wethersfield, Essex, gentleman, 23 July, 1599. To poor of Halstead 40/- Ditto of West Wratting Cambridge 20/- Ditto of Snettisham Norfolk £3. Ditto of Much Bardfield 40/- Ditto of Little Bardfield 20/- Ditto of Whethersfield 40/- Ditto of Arkesden 20/-. To my daughter Mary now the wife of John Collin £20, and to her children John, William, Mary and Elizabeth Collin £20 each to be paid them "in the South Porch of the Parish Church of Much Bardfield." To my daughter Elizabeth now the wife of John Meade £20 and to her children Edward, Elizabeth, John and Agnes Meade £20 each to be paid as before. To the children of my son Thomas French (not named) £10 each. To Thomas Girton one of the servants of my said son 10/- To John French son of my son Thomas a silver bowl. To my wife Bridgit £5 and such goods as I had with her and possessed at the time of our marriage. Res. & Ex. son Thomas. Wit: Thomas Reynoldes, William Younge, William Purcas. Proved 31 Oct., 1599 by the Executor named. (P.C.C. Kidd, 73.)
 Thomas BurroughÕs will, from Wickhambrook, Suffolk, England. This Thomas m1. before 1559 to Elizabeth Barrell, m2. Bridget Higham who was b. before 1527, after Thomas Burrough died on 19 Jun 1597, Bridget m2. Thomas French on 2 Dec 1597 when she was about 70 years old. Also found in the Parish Registers of Wickhambrook. Thomas French died 1 1/2 years later.
 Thomas French III will of Halstead, will written 24 Oct 1613, probated 27 Jan 1614, Prerogative Court of Canterbury (1614, 1 Lawe). Thomas French, of Halstead in Essex, Gentleman and Pulludia Wood of the precincts Canterbury Cathedral, Christchurch, Marriage bonds at St. Mary, Northgate parish, in Canterbury (City). Elias Meade, Vicar of St. Mary Northgate, (marriage bonds), 20 Nov 1611.
Canterbury now refers to different things. It was one of the first villages in England, beging the center of the area of southern England, called Jutland, in about 410, after the Romans left. By 669, Christianity began to be developed and the Greek monk was sent by the Pope to be Archibishop of Canterbury. Then by 1170, King Henry appointed Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury. Of course, the big area of southern England was finally divided into specific shires, or counties, with Canterbury being the principal city in the county of the area called Kent, which eventually produced 16 separate parish churches, beginning as early as 1538, in Canterbury alone. Besides these instances, we have the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, which is the largest probate court in England, covering the lower 2/3 of England. Along with the Prerogative court of York, it is the highest court system for probates. Precincts Cathedral, Christchurch, is in the city of Canterbury, one of the 16 above-mentioned parishes.
 William FrenchÕs will of Halstead, buried in the former courtyard of the Parish of St. Dunstans-In-The-West, London, England. Will proved in 1637 by Elianor French Gunter when John died and in 1642 when Edward died [London Record Office]. Also mentions a sister Harmond Johnson. The actual administration of the will (or the probate of the will) took place after the death of the testator, in this case, it was just before the probate date of 12 Feb 1637/8, which was, in actuality, 1638, due to the old calendar system of that time. This will does not reference Halstead nor does it refer to his age at death. It does reference his brother John, of Halstead, and all siblings match to those of this chart.
 Calendar of the Commissary Court of London, Essex & Herts, 1431-1660.
 A Genealogical History of the French and Allied Families, by Mary Queal Beyer, 1912. Erroneously combined this chart with Chart #2.
 Essex County Council, Essex Record Office, County Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 1LX, England. Research completed in 1989, document ref. E.R.O. D/P 96/1/1, Search ref. G.S. 173/89, dated 22 June 1989, of all baptisms in the Parish of Halstead in the county of Essex from 1564 to 1616. These records list a variety in the spelling of Thomas (Thomas, Thomas gent, Mr., Thomas Esquyer). These could all be different men, however, none of the baptism dates overlap of all 12 children mentioned. 22 French baptisms listed in Halstead between 1564 and 1616.
 Essex County Council, Essex Record Office, County Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 1LX, England. Research completed in 1989, document ref. E.R.O. GS 207/89, dated 9 August 1989, of all baptisms between 1617-1650, and all burials 1564-1607. No French was born between 1617 and 1650 in Halstead. Only two deaths were recorded in Halstead between 1564 and 1607, a William and John, both in the year 1604.
 1777 Map of Halstead.
 Nesta Evans, researcher at the Suffolk Record Office, Bury St. Edmonds, May 1989.
 Records in Ipswich Record Office, Peile, I. 352. See , Matric 1623-4, BA 1626-7, MA 1630.
 Thomas Burrough m1. before 1559 to Elizabeth Barrell, m2. Bridget Higham who was born before 1527. This was BridgetÕs first marriage. She m2. Thomas French 2 Dec 1597. Thomas Burrough had a son by his first marriage, Charles, who m1. 24 Mar 1590/91 to Mary Debenham, m2. 14 Oct 1598 to Elizabeth Sayer. Charles d. before 6 June 1637.
 Thomas may have had three other sons: The only proof of connection is that Christopher, William, and Thomas are the only men listed as fathers of 22 children born in Halstead between 1564 and 1616. See . Only son Thomas is me Mara FrenchÕs trips to England, August 1985 and May 1989.
 NEHGR, Vol 65, p. 284. Anne/Agnes Olmstead, dau. and co-heiress with her two sisters of John Olmstead, gentleman, of Stanstead Hall, Halstead. Standstead Hall is on Greenstead Green mentioned in FFA Chart #EA. After an Australian couple sold Standstead Hall, it was bought by a couple from France and they did vast renovations between 1995 and 2006.
 Sold Stanstead Hall to Sir Oliver Luke for 3,500 Sterling Pounds in Nov 1620 . Gave to poor people of West Wrattinge in Cambridge County and to poor people of Snetesham in Norfolk County. Bury St. Edmunds Record Office in Suffolk lists Bridget French, b. ca. 1527 in Higham, Suffolk. Essex Record Office in Chelmsford, reference 134/1715, no. 35 (1589), lists Thomas Frenche, Andrew Brockys, and Henry Gryffen bought 6 acres in Great Parndon. Henry was ThomasÕ brother-in-law.
 Administered Palladia FrenchÕs will (wife of his brother, Thomas) on 17 Feb 1635/6 . Buried in Halstead on 11 Mar 1638 .
 Married about 1630 to George Gunter . Other records say John Gunter.
 Administered motherÕs will in 1624/5 . Edward was of Thorpe Morieux, Suffolk, in 1624 , and was living in England in 1642 . He administered his brother JohnÕs will on 15 Jul 1639 . This administration was revoked in 1642 by his sister Dorothy Lewyn. This could not be Edward French, FFA Chart #4, who was already in America in 1637. His first 3 children (all sons) were born in England, probably born between 1631-1636. These children married ca. 1653-1664. EdwardÕs name is not on the ship list for the Angel Gabriel of 1635 which was shipwrecked in a hurricane off the coast at Pemaquid, Maine on 16 Aug 1635. We do not know on which ship Edward French, FFA Chart #4, came. See Chart #E4 for details on the birth of the Edward French from Rugby who immigrated to America.
 Index of Wills at Chelmsford, 1400-1619 lists a Mary Collin, 1612, widow in Blackmore, reference 225 E W 14 at the Essex Record Office. John Meade, Esq. was son of Sir Thomas Meade. John Collyn, sawyer, d. 1567 in Halstead.
 Index of Wills at Chelmsford, 1400-1619 lists an Elizabeth Meade, 1595, widow in Chipping Ongar, reference 156 ER 17 at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford.
 Frating, Essex, 27 Feb 1621, Thomas French, gentleman, buryed Feb 27. Thomas was b. 1567 or 1570 (llegible in will).
 Court cases in Halstead found at the Essex Record Office.
Petition addressed to the Justice from the inhabitants of Halstead, recites that whereas the bearer, Robert Dod of Halstead, by sudden misfortune had his dwelling-house and goods consumed and burnt with fire, to the great hindrance and utter undoing of the said Robert, his poor and small children, and now he is desirous to build a poor cottage for to dwell in; and forasmuch as there is a waste plot of ground by the highwayÕs side in the same parish meet and convenient for such purpose, prays therefor for the JusticesÕ favour in this his earnest and needful suit. Subscribed with the names of John Holsted, Thomas Frenche, John Coggeshall, John Watson and Geoffery Little. Let License be made by the court. Reference Q/SR 126/59. 20 Jul 1593.
Order by the Court that all matters in controversy between Hercules Turnor, Anthony Bland, George Sparrows, John Bullocke, and Robert Boyes, be referred to Thomas Frenche and William Sewell of Halstead, arbitrators indifferently chosen by consent of the said Turnor and Bland for that purpose, so that the same and be made before ÒHollonstydeÓ next; and if the said arbitrators cannot end the same, then Mr. Arthur Beame, esquire, is chosen to be umpire; and if the same matters be not ended according to this order then the said Turnor shall appear at the next Sessions. Reference Q/SR 131/4, 2 and 3 October 1595.
 Bury St. Edmunds Record Office, Thomas French, b. 1587 in Frating, Suffolk (at that time, now Essex), Reference 27 TM 0923.
 Essex County Council, Essex Record Office, County Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 1LX, England. Research completed 26 Apr 1990, Order No. GS 99/90 for 3 hrs, Halstead Parish Register, burials 1608 to 1639. Nine deaths of French in Halstead between 1608 and 1639. Mr. Thomas FrenchÕs mother-in-lawe died 12 Oct 1620, her name being Mrs. Wood. The term Òother-in-lawÓ often described a step-mother.
 No French children born in Halstead 1617 - 1650. John m. (perhaps) Jane Pratt in Halstead 1631 .
 BoydÕs Marriage Index, 1600-1650, varied counties, FFA E003-1.
 IGI, Essex County, England.
 Essex County Council, Essex Record Office, County Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 1LX, England. Research completed 13 Jun 1990, document ref. E.R.O. GS 149/90, burials in Halstead, 1639-1650, only one surname French, 26 Jan 1641, the child of Thomas French. Marriages 1564-1650 (5 total). Earls Colne Parish Register, Baptisms 1628-1635. None of surname French. Private research also done on names Greenstreet and Leete.
 Parish records need to be checked for Mallenden, Ffarnham, and Aldeburye from the first records of these villages to 1650. These villages are in Hertfordshire, not Essex.
 Most sources  connect this line to William French of Billerica, MA, Chart #2; however, it is proven here that this is not true. The information in this chart is from wills translated by Delpha Triptow in Salt Lake City. Related towns in England are: Mallenden, Farnham, Albury (or Aldeburye), Little Bardfield (all in Essex), West Wrattinge (Cambridge), Snettisham (Norfolk), and Wickhambrook (Suffolk), all mentioned in the wills.
Delpha Triptow also found a William French of Honiton on Otter in Devon, England who had three children born in Honiton on Otter with the same names as those listed in Mary Queal BeyerÕs book, but the dates are different. These children are: Elizabeth, b. 1622 (Beyer and ship records says 1629), John, b. 1628 (Beyer says 1635), and Mary, 1632 (Beyer says 1633). There is also a Mary born on 20 Nov 1630 in Wantage, Berkshire, England. No Francis is listed, but the other three children are all listed as the children of William French of Honiton on Otter, Devon County, England.
A gentleman or Esquire is a man of noble or gentle birth who did not engage in a menial occupation or in manual labor.
 Year Books of Probates, 1620-29, edited by John and George F. Matthews, 93/94 Chancery Lane, London, W.C., 1911. Thomas French of Frating, relict Pulludia French, alias Beckingham, Nov 6, 1622. Mentions sister Frances.
 Francis (male) probably d. before 1621 since he is not mentioned in his brotherÕs will; however, there was a Frances (female) living in Halstead in 1622 . Francis is mentioned in his fatherÕs will of 1613 as the son of Thomas French.
 Mrs. Wood, mother-in-law of Mr. Thomas French, was buried 12 Oct 1620.
 Essex County Council, Essex Record Office, County Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 1LX, England. Research completed on 7 Aug 1990 of all baptism, marriage, and burial records of Gosfield, Essex, England, 1538 to 1650.
 Essex County Council, Essex Record Office, County Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 1LX, England. Research completed on 27 Sep 1990 of all baptism, marriage, and burial records of Gosfield, Essex, England, 1651-1700. No others listed.
 Essex County Council, Essex Record Office, County Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 1LX, England. Research completed on 17 Oct 1990, order number GS 262/90, 3 hrs research. No surname French found in baptism registers for Farnham, 1559-1600.
 Genealogical Gleanings in England by Henry F. Waters, A.M., Vol II, Boston, NEHGS, 1907.
 Canterbury Marriage Licenses, SLC 942.23 V25C 1568-1618, collated by Phillimore.
 BoydÕs Marriage Index, Essex.
 Research done by John B. McKee, 9, Downland Close, Woodingdean Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 6DN, England, 17 Jan 1992. No migration pattern of Frenches to St. Dunstans-In-The-West. Marriage found was for 10 Jun 1632 for Nicholas Bulfeild and Mary French. Rate Assessments for the parish for 1628 and 1630 indicate no French found. Rate Assessments list only heads of household.
 Letter from Frederick G. Emmison, 20 Jun 1989 to Mara French. Dr. Emmison, researcher and about 80 years old. lives at 8 Coffins Close, Chelmsford, England CM26AY.
 English Origins of New England Families. Genealogical Research in England, transcribed by Miss Elizabeth French and communicated by the Committee on English Research.
 "Reg. Garland 69", associated with the probate of Elizabeth Frenche of Arkesden, was a system by which the probates were kept. Different scribes were responsible for different periods of time in the early years. It was particularly common, in regards to the General Court systems of England, namely, the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, which covered all of the southern 2/3 of England, and the Prerogative Court of York, which covered the upper 1/3. The court systems were the highest court system of England and governed according to how much property a man had and whether he owned land or property in more than one county. These cases were governed by the Prerogative Court System. If a person had land in just one county, the probate was administered within the county court system. The index to the Prerogative Courts was distinguished by the identity of the scribeÕs code or name. Occasionally the lower courts used this system in very particular circumstances. As for Elizabeth FrencheÕs probate, we have been unable to determine which court had jurisdiction over her probate, thus it is not found yet. We have checked the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, where there is only a Thomas Frenche, Esquire of Halstead, Essex listed and Thomas Frenche of Wethersfield, Essex of 1599. Since the entrees are all identified by a name of a court code or scribe, the one for Thomas is "1 Lawe". That means that, in the index of 1614, there is a special department labeled "Lawe". On the folio "1", is the probate.
Before 1858 the probate of wills were matters for the church courts. It was normal for the will to be proved in the court in which the testator died. If his possessions fell into two archdeaconries, however, it would be necessary for the will to be taken to the higher court which could have been an overriding court within that county or to the Prerogative Court.
Other court systems besides the Prerogative Court:
"Peculiar Court System" was exempt from the local authority, having their own court system within a single parish or group of parishes. If the Bishop died in this court, those court proceedings during the hiatus, could be placed in the established court of the county, usually designated as a "Consistory Court". In times of Civil War in England, during the commonwealth period and some time before when a Court of Civil Commission was set up, the authority of the "Peculiar Court System" was abolished.
There are 5 known major probate court systems within the County of Essex, not counting the higher court or the Prerogative Court:
Court of Colchester - Arkesden (no Frenche probates)
Commissary of London - Essex and Herts. Counties, Arkesden, Felstead
Peculiar Courts (has 8 separate courts) - Halstead
Archdeaconry of Middlesex - Wethersfield
I have the entire Prerogative Court Index to Frenche names, 372 pages from two books. Unable to find the will of Elizabeth Frenche.
 Bridget m1. Thomas Burrough of Wickhambrook ca. 1564. Had children William 1565, Susan, Thomas 1576, George 1579. Thomas moved to Chancery Lane in the parish of St. DunstanÕs-In-The-West, Ondon, in 1610, aged 34.
 List of Educated Frenches, large-sized black portfolio from the Ipswich Record Office.
 UTZ@aol.com, 11 Aug 2000, genealogy of William Drury in 1590.
 Jonathan Webber website.
Thomas BURROUGH 1 was born about 1531 in Of, Higham, Suffolk, England. He was christened in , Wickhambrook, Suffolk. He died on 19 Jun 1597 in Wickhambrook, Suffolk, Eng. He was buried on 21 Jun 1597 in Chancel Of, Wickenhambrook, Suffolk, England. He married Bridget HEIGHAM about 1552 in Of, Higham, Suffolk, England.
Bridget HEIGHAM 1 was born about 1542 in Of, Higham, Suffolk, England. She died on 19 Jun 1597 in , , , Ag 66. She married Thomas BURROUGH about 1552 in Of, Higham, Suffolk, England.
They had the following children:
Susan BURROUGH 1 was born about 1567 in Of, Wickenhambrook, Suffolk, England.
Thomas BURROUGH 1 was born in 0034/1610. He was christened on 25 Apr 1576 in , Wickenhambrook, Suffolk, England.
William BURROUGH 1 was born on 15 Mar 1565 in Wickhambrook, Suffolk, Eng. He was christened on 18 Mar 1565 in Adm. 25 May1609. He died on 25 May 1609.
 The word ÒgentÓ or ÒMr.Ó or ÒEsquireÓ is used for Thomas French of Stanstead Hall in Halstead, FFA Chart EB, because he owned land.
Since all of the following baptisms in Halstead are fathered by 3 men (Christopher, William, and Thomas), it seems as though these 3 men could be brothers since these births all occur between 1582 and 1611. The chart number is listed at the end of each line. See England Parish Registers of the surname French.
 6 July 1643 -- Petition of Christopher Newstead. According to the order, petitioner repaired to Stisted in Essex, and demanded of Thomas French, the churchwarden, and Robert Wood, the constable, the possession of the church. French and Wood refused to assist petitioner, but allowed him to be beaten and his coat torn off his back. (Note the families of Wood and French in this line indicating that they could have moved to Stisted.) FFA Chart #EB.
 Ancestry.co.uk, London, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials of St. Dunstans-in-the-West, William French was buried on 16 May 1621.
 Bill Delker, email@example.com. Incorrect lineage listed on his rootsweb website.
 Douglas Richardson: Magna Charta Ancestry, Baltimore, 2005, page 159. Bridget Hingham has a well documented descent from Magna Charta Surety Roger Bigod. Unfortunately, Douglas Richardson does not mention if Thomas French had any children. He traces the line from Bridget's first marriage to Thomas Burrough. However, if you have a connection to Thomas French and his wife Bridget Hingham, you also have a connection to Roger Bigod and other historical figures connected with the Magna Charta. There is also a line in Douglas Richardson: Plantagenet Ancestry, Baltimore, 2004 that shows a descent for Bridget from Henry II, which, of course, is a descent from William the Conqueror and a host of other figures in mediaeval history. If you have a descent from this Thomas French, I suggest you take a look at Douglas Richardson's books. See http://www.royalancestry.net/ -- from Robert Sewell, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (good in 2008).
 The above article was also sent to me by Gavin French, email: email@example.com (email good in 2009).
 Burrough(s) and Burrows of Suffolk Family History, website: http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,201586.msg1016434.html.
 French Family of Stallishall and Stisted, http://books.google.com/books?id=m-zx7FWMnRQC&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=Stisted+%2B%22Thomas+French%22&source=bl&ots=WcX0RQ7rQq&sig=CrNRvEyrG0laFo-3PBug6FPNOr0&hl=en&ei=QXyXTJ36J5GosQPjhvDACg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&sqi=2&ved=0CBsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Stisted%20%2B%22Thomas%20French%22&f=false
 Q/SR 5/32, 8 Jan 1562. To the Sheriff to take and have at the said Easter Sessions, of William Staynes of Aveley, mariner, Robert Matlope of Aveley, mariner, Richard Clarke of Aveley husbandman, Thomas Arnold of Aveley, baker, Christopher Bredges of Ridgewell, husbandman, Thomas FRENCH of ARKESDEN, yeoman, Robert Foxe of Ashdon, husbandman, Nicholas Webbe of Ashdon, husbandman, Thomas Gardiner of Ashdon, husbandman, John Howes of Ashdon, husbandman, Nicholas Lasshe of Great Salinge husbandman, and Agnes his wife, Barbara Barnes of Finchingfield, widow, Thomas Spycer of Wethersfield, yeoman, Henry Byflet of Finchingfield, tailor, John Sokelinge of Finchingfield 'sporer' (Sporier) and John Fletcher of Finchingfield, tyler.
 Ancestors of Janet Wheeler Buchanan, website: http://mildlyamused.com/www/family/janets/july18jan/aqwg26.htm#2431, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Thomas French, miller of Halstead, purchased the Bocking Churchstreet Windmill (north of Braintree) in 1734 and sold the mill in 1774 to Bartholomew Brown of Wethersfield. Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bocking_Windmill
 Wethersfield Records from SEAX: (Searching for Wethersfield French)
Deeds including agreement to levy a fine. Messuage called Garnons alias Garlands with lands in Pebmarsh, Lamarsh, Alphamstone, Mount Bures and White Colne; messuage called Simswell in Belchamp St. Paul with 5 closes of land c. 14 acres, 1/2 acre meadow in meadow called Gallowe Meadowe, 1 rood land, 5 acres meadow called Sairs Meadow or Gaile Meadow, in Belchamp St. Paul, the cottage of Avice Harvey on Rosemary Lane, Halstead; messuage called Crowes Cross with one bay of the barn, with garden and acre of
Parties include Richard Bridge the elder of Wakes Colne and wife Mary Bridge, Thomas FRENCH of Halstead, yeoman and wife Margaret FRENCH, George Guyon of Great Yeldham, Chrisopher Finch of Sible Hedingham, yeoman and wife Sarah Finch, Isaac Belchamp of WETHERSFIELD yeoman and wife Barbara Belchamp, John White of Shalford yeoman, and wife Damaris White, Edward Clarke of Shalford tanner, Richard Bridge the younger of White Colne, Joseph Sidey of Mount Bures and wife Parnell Sidey, Mary Bridge of Halstead, Phoebe Bridge of Halstead, Susannah Bridge of Halstead, Thomas Sewell of Great Henny, gent., Thomas Robinson of Sudbury, tanner.
Probate of Will of William Pasfield; Richard French was a witness.
Precept, Thomas French of Wethersfield
Records of Great Yeldham, comprising (i) deeds of a property in Great Yeldham, abutting the road to Little Yeldham, 1685-1893; (ii) lease and release by John FRENCH to Peter Muilman of a strip of land (40 r.) in Great Yeldham, 1769 [found with (i) and possibly a related property]; (iii) probate accounts and related papers of the Root family of WETHERSFIELD etc., 1755, 1821, 1853-1893, with two mounted photographs by Oscar Way of Colchester of an unidentified elderly couple, mid 20th century; (iv) Kodak
Deed: Grant. (Appointment of new trustees). (i) John Purcas of Great Yeldham yeoman; (ii) Samuel Symonds Pepys esq., Nathaniel Plume gent., John Pollard miller, Henry Lawshall gent., Edward Elliston, clothier, John Ames yeoman, Thomas Reynolds yeoman, John Butcher yeoman and William Olley butcher, all of Great Yeldham, and Francis Bythiel of WETHERSFIELD esq., Robert Edgar of Ipswich, Suffolk, esq., Thomas Underwood of Ridgewell yeoman and Jonathan Bull of Clare, Suffolk Tenement called Fords near th
Deed: Grant. (Appointment of new trustees). (i) John Purcas of Great Yeldham yeoman; (ii) Samuel Symonds Pepys esq., Nathaniel Plume gent., John Pollard miller, Henry Lawshall gent., Edward Elliston, clothier, John Ames yeoman, Thomas Reynolds yeoman, John Butcher yeoman and William Olley butcher, all of Great Yeldham, and Francis Bythiel of WETHERSFIELD esq., Robert Edgar of Ipswich, Suffolk, esq., Thomas Underwood of Ridgewell yeoman and Jonathan Bull of Clare, Suffolk Tenement called Fords near th
 The Antiquary, Volume 31, edited by Edward Walford, John Charles Cox, and George Latimer Apperson. Jim Franklin of Brazen Head Farm in Great Bardfield, a retired farmer, died 21 Jun 2001. Frenches, otherwise known as KingÕs Farm, an off-license beerhouse at Great Bardfield on 45 acres next to Brazenhead Farm in Lindsell, 304 acres, was sold in 1905, SALE/B 1478 Sale Catalogue in SEAX.
The name Brazen Head is called this from a large lion's head of brass which was affixed to the outer gate. This leonine door knocker which gave the farm its name is now exhibited in the British Museum.
 Allegations for Marriage Licences Issued by the Bishop of London, by Joseph Lemuel Chester and Sir George John Armytage, London, website: http://books.google.com/books?id=xTIEAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA203&lpg=PA203&dq=%22Edward+Davenant%22+%2BLondon+%2BSymes&source=bl&ots=mdrNsCi5iN&sig=gBDgboxTl5I6iSC5OmO1TgiiA0Y&hl=en&ei=_QPwTLbWMIjQsAPZ7P3sCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=French&f=false