French Family Association
The Official Website of the Surname French
Chart #ED, Robert French, 1555
Sible Hedingham, Castle Hedingham,
Great Yeldham, Toppesfield,
all in County Essex, England
This chart updated by Mara French on 11/13/10. 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 email@example.com. Revisions: 1999, 2007, 2010.
Photos of French Family Homesteads in England (coming soon)
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. Sible Hedingham is very near Halstead, Gosfield, Greenstead Green, Wethersfield, Finchingfield, Steeple Bumpstead, and Coggeshall where French ancestors lived who immigrated to Massachusetts.
It's very difficult deciphering the Frenches of Essex England. Sometimes children were christened in their mother's hometown, not their fathers. Some villages didn't have a parish and the children were christened elsewhere. Other children were christened long after they were born, sometimes 2 or 3 siblings together, and not in the parish where they were born. No one had middle names back in the 1600s. Also, be aware that the name FINCH looks very much like FRENCH in the Old English script.
1.1 Robert French, b. ca. 1555 in Sible Hedingham, d. 1619
2.1 Grace French, chr. 28 Aug 1580 in Sible Hedingham, m. Francis Belleo or Belles
2.2 Elizabeth French, chr. 1 May 1582 in Sible Hedingham, m. Edward Buke
2.3 William French, chr. 13 Mar 1584/85 in Sible Hedingham,
3.1 Alse French, chr. 24 Jan 1605/06 in Sible Hedingham
2.4 Thomysin French, chr. 10 Mar 1587/88 in Sible Hedingham, m. Clement Linssille
2.5 John French, chr. 6 Jan 1593 in Sible Hedingham, m. Ane Bearde
3.1 Thomas French, chr. 4 Mar 1618/19 in Sible Hedingham
3.2 Samuel French, chr. 2 May 1621 in Sible Hedingham
3.3 Ane French, chr. 2 Jan 1624/5 in Sible Hedingham
1.2 Agnes French, b. ca. 1556 in Sible Hedingham
These are the Charts involved for DNA Group 6 Ancestry:
á Thomas French, b. ca. 1520, FFA Chart #E1 (line immigrated to New England – DNA Gp 6).
á William French, b. 1606, FFA Chart #E2 (line immigrated to New England – DNA Gp 6).
á John French, b. ca. 1599, FFA Chart #E3 (line immigrated to New England – DNA Gp 6).
á William French, b. ca. 1554, FFA Chart #EA.
á Thomas French, b. ca. 1504, FFA Chart #EB.
á Christopher French, b. ca. 1560, FFA Chart #EC.
á Robert French, b. ca. 1555, FFA Chart #ED
1.1* Robert French, b. ca. 1555, m. ca. 1578, raised family in Sible Hedingham . RobertÕs wife most likely was from Sible Hedingham. Robert wrote his will on 19 Oct 1619 in Sible Hedingham , a collier , see will at D/ABW 15/213. A copy is available at the ERO per Peter Nutt, researcher. I need to get a copy of it and have it transcribed.
1.2 Agnes Frenche, b. ca. 1556, Q/SR 129/88 on 12 Dec 1594, spinster of Sible Hedingham, accused of breaking into the house of Matthew Allison at the same, in the night-time, and stealing 3s. in money, Q/SR 129/88.
Children of Robert French, 1.1
Records of vital records from St. PeterÕs Church in Sible Hedingham, D/P 93/1/1 at the ERO (SEAX).
2.1 Grace Frenche, chr. 28 Aug 1580 in Sible Hedingham as the dau. of Robert, D/P 93/1/1, Image 10 .
She m. Francis Belles on 30 Oct 1613    in Sible Hedingham, in a double ceremony with her brother John, D/P 93/1/1, Image 88 .
2.2 Elizabeth Frenche, chr. 1 May 1582 in Sible Hedingham as the dau. of Robert, D/P 93/1/1, Image 10 .
She m. Edward Buke on 30 Dec 1611   in Sible Hedingham, D/P 93/1/1, Image 88 . Edward Buke could have been the son of William Buke of Burnham, Essex, who had a court case in 1588, Q/SR 106/13.
2.3* WyllÕm (William) Frenche, Sr., chr. 13 or 14 Mar 1584 in Sible Hedingham as the son of Robert, D/P 93/1/1, Image 11 . No marriage record of a William in Sible Hedingham .
2.4 Thomaysin Frenche, chr. 10 Mar 1587 in Sible Hedingham as the dau. of Robert, D/P 93/1/1, Image 12 .
She m. Clement Linssille on 1 May 1623 in Sible Hedingham, D/P 93/1/1, Image 89  .
2.5* John Frenche, chr. 6 Jan 1593/4 in Sible Hedingham as the son of Robert, D/P 93/1/1, Image 14 .
He m. Ane Bearde on 30 Oct 1613 in Sible Hedingham , a double ceremony with his sister, Grace, D/P 93/1/1, Image 88 .
Children of William French, Sr., 2.3
3.1 Alse (or Alice) Frenche, b. 24 Jan 1605/6, dau. of William Sr. in Sible Hedingham, D/P 93/1/1, Image 18 .
Children of John and Ane (Bearde) French, 2.5
3.3 Thomas French, chr. 4 Mar 1618 in Sible Hedingham as the son of Jhon French, D/P 93/1/1, Image 23 .
3.4 Sammull French, chr. 2 May 1621 in Sible Hedingham as the son of Jhon and Ane French, D/P 93/1/1, Image 24 .
3.5 Ane French, chr. 2 Jan 1624 in Sible Hedingham as the daughter of Jhon and Ane French, D/P 93/1/1, Image 26 . No more children born in Sible Hedingham after this child and until 1637 .
These Frenches have not yet been added to the chart above. More research is needed as to where they belong.
Barb French, 16 Oct 1603, dau. of Edm, D/P 93/1/1, Sible Hedingham, Image 17. This needs to be checked with an ultra-violet lamp. There is also a transcript reference T/R 250/1 that can be seen only at the ERO.
John French, b. ca. 1620 in Sible Hedingham, m. Mary ca. 1655
Mary French, 12 Mar 1653/4, dau. of John, d. 25 May 1656, age 3.
John French, 5 Mar 1656/7, son of John and My (Mary) .
Thos French, d. 12 Jan 1760 at Foundling Hospital.
Mary French, widow, 1650 had her house broken into in Sible Hedingham, T/A 418/138/15.
Henry French, recognizance, 30 May 1651 in Sible Hedingham, Q/SR 349/135.
Anthony French, innholder, of Castle Hedingham, 21 Feb 1681, Q/SR 443/43.
Anthony French, innholder, of Castle Hedingham, 20 Feb 1680, Q/SR 440/101.
Anthony French of Castle Hedingham, will of 1682, D/AMW 9/49.
John French of Great Yeldham, lease and release to Peter Muilman, 1769, A12323.
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, Sible Hedington, 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.
 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. Baptism registers for Sible Hedingham, 1560-1600. D/P 93/1/1 at the ERO (SEAX).
 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. Sible Hedingham Baptisms 1601-1635, Marriages 1599-1635. D/P 93/1/1 at the ERO (SEAX).
 Essex IGI.
 Calendar of the Commissary Court of London (Essex & Herts.), Probates between 1431-1660.
 BoydÕs Marriage Index, Essex, Males A-K, 1600-1625.
 Delpha Triptow research, July 1994, Sible Hedingham parish register.
 Wills at Chelmsford, Essex and East Hertfortdshire, 1400-1619.
 Later French families in Sible Hedingham, Thomas French 1685-1755, website: http://www.btinternet.com/~surrey.hypno/Genealogy/French/FREN-B9.htm. Dr. G. M. W. Mann, Baytrees Burnhams Rd, Lt. Bookham, Surrey, U.K. KT23 3AU, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date and Age
ca. 1685 -- 1755
Thomas born ca. 1685, d. ca. 1755. Children below:
1 May 1705 20
Thomas of Lt. Maplestead yeoman m Elizth AMES at Gt. Yeldham
21 Nov 1706 21
Elizth, wife of Thomas of Gt. Maplestead buried at Gt. Yeldham
19 Jun 1707 22
Thomas FRENCH wdr of Lt. Maplestead m Ann KIDDY of Braintree at Sible Hedingham
18 Apr 1708 23
son Thomas C at Sible Hedingham
16 Oct 1709 24
dau Mary C at Sible Hedingham
30 Sep 1711 26
dau Ann C at Sible Hedingham
26 Jul 1713 28
dau Elizabeth C at Sible Hedingham
14 Jan 1715 30
son John C at Gt. Yeldham
13 Sep 1736
Will of Elizabeth French of Sible Hedingham, widow, D/ABW 91/2/83
13 Sep 1737 32
dau Ann m John SPEAKMAN at Toppesfield
2 Feb 1738 33
dau Elizth buried at Gt. Yeldham
3 May 1754 69
Thomas made his last will
2 Nov 1755 70
Thomas buried at Gt. Yeldham
Thomas' wife Ann Ames died
28 Jan 1757
Thomas' will proved by son John
5 Sep 1793
Will of Mary French of Sible Hedingham, widow, D/ABW 112/1/56
 Sible Hedingham Baptism Transcripts, Essex Record Office, 31 Aug 1994, research by Mara French, also in SEAX, D/P 93/1/1, 1560-1679, 97 images:
John French, 5 Mar 1656/7, son of John and Mary
Mary French, 7 Apr 1640, dau. of Richard and Mary
Mary French, 12 Mar 1653/4, dau. of John, d. 25 May 1656.
Sam French, May 1621, son of John
Sol French, 15 Oct 1637, son of Richard
Thomas French, 4 Mar 1618/19, son of John
Barb French, 16 Oct 1603, dau. of Edm. D/P 93/1/1, Sible Hedingham, Image 17. This needs to be checked with an ultra-violet lamp. There is also a transcript reference T/R 250/1 that can be seen only at the ERO.
Richard French, d. 16 Jun 1643
Rob French, d. 8 Oct 1619
Thos French, d. 12 Jan 1760 at Foundling Hospital
Agnes French, 1594/5
 Be aware that the name FINCH looks very much like FRENCH in the Old English script. FINCH of Sible Hedingham:
Analysis of the wills from Essex shows that there was a will of Abraham Finch of Sible Hedingham proved in 1623. This is the only Abraham Finch will prior to the Winthrop sailing we have been able to identify. Abraham Finch of Sible Hedingham was baptised in 1590 and died in 1623. From his will dated 22 Nov 1623 held at the Essex Record Office at Chelmsford (Ref: D/ABW 45/171), we learn that his wife was named Ann and that he had a son John, a son Abraham (who was baptised in 1618 in Sible Hedingham) and a daughter Ann (baptised in the same parish in 1623). Abraham left the house called Peppers Wood to his two sons at the age of 21 years. The supervisor of the will was Robert Harrington of Sible Hedingham and also named are William Bellio alias Bust and Ambrose Brayge. The witnesses were Robert Harrington, William End and Edward Plebie.
Abraham born in 1590 was the son of George Finch of Sible Hedingham and had several sisters and brothers who all lived in the area. One sister was Mary who married one Francis Belleo on 1 Jul 1613. His brother Joseph who was a yeoman was married to Susan Bredg in 1613 and had two children, Joseph baptised in 1614 who died in 1625 and Edward who outlived his father. In JosephÕs will dated 10 Aug 1615 (ERO Chelmsford Ref: D/AB/W47/173), he mentions sons of his brothers Francis, William and Abraham. This shows that either John or Abraham, the sons of Abraham were still alive when the will was proved on 24 Sep 1625. The witnesses to this will were Francis Harris and Edmond Harrington. Joseph could not write.
Another of AbrahamÕs brothers, William was baptised in 1572 and died in 1633. He left a will wherein he is described as yeoman of Sible Hedingham. The document (ERO Chelmsford Ref: D/AB/W52/3) is dated 11 Jun 1633. William wished to be buried in the church of Sible Hedingham, and left to his wife Ann land called Bagges, Broomfield and Little Godwards. He had a son George and living children called Ann who inherited land called Hall and pasture land containing 6 acres, daughters Susan, Mary, Joan, Elizabeth and Rose and another son called John. The witnesses to this will were Edmund Harrington, William Butcher and Francis Bust alias Belleo who had married WilliamÕs sister Mary.
The parish registers of Sible Hedingham for the period after 1625 fail to show the fate of AbrahamÕs son Abraham (b. 1618). He and his brother John jointly received Peppers Woods from their father. This land is described in a rental of Sible Hedingham in 1592 (ERO Ref: D/DML M2) as:
ÒPeppers Wood lyeth between ye lands of Peppers Farm on ye east and a wood of the Demeanic lands of Great Yeldham called Rainspik land in part and land of John Wentworth & lyth parsel of his farm called Backen in ye parish of Wethersfield in part and ye Mannor of Old Hall in Wethersfield in part on the west on land therof abutells upon ye said lands of Peppers towards ye north ye other land upon ye lands of John Parker parsel of his farm called Lissen HallÓ.
Despite our searches, we have been unable to trace court rolls for Peppers manor that cover the period of interest, so it has not been possible to trace the passage of Peppers Woods through AbrahamÕs hands. A later deed, however, shows that Peppers Woods was in the hands of a George FINCH in 1662. This George may be the son of William (see above). If Abraham and John died, their burials are not recorded in Sible Hedingham. It seems more likely that they sold the land and moved away. These two brothers appear attractive candidates for the emigrants to America. An Abraham and John FINCH associated in New England closely, consistent with them being brothers. However, we cannot find a candidate for Daniel in Sible Hedingham, a close ally to both in New England. Also problematic are the ages of these men. In 1630, at the departure of the fleet, Abraham would have been just 12, and John probably a few years older, say 15. Studies of the New England Finches have led some to suggest that John Finch was already married before he set sail, possible bringing a son John with him. Clearly John Finch of Sible Hedingham is too young to be the same man. Also, we know from the New England records that Abraham married in 1634 Dorothy Moulton, at which time Abraham of Sible Hedingham would have been just 16 years old. Is that too young for such a marriage? An Amerindian Nepaupuck killed Abraham Finch of New England in 1637. If this were indeed our man, he would have had an eventful but very short life, being married at 16, and dead by 19. Although we cannot rule this candidate out, I suspect Abraham of Sible Hedingham is marginally too young to be the emigrant to America.
Adrian and Valerie Finch
 Some Marriage Entries from BoydÕs Index for Essex.
1777 Wm FRENCH
& Susan SUTTON, Prittlewell
1777 Wm FRENCH & Mary KENDALL, Sible Hedingham
1779 Wm FRENCH & Elizabeth BRIGHT, High Easter
1784 Wm FRENCH & Rebecca REEVE, Gt Chesterford
1785 Wm FRENCH & Sarah BISHOP, Wakes Colne
1786 Wm FRENCH & Jane CLARK, Bocking
1788 Wm FRENCH & Mary SULLINS, Gt Chesterford
1801 Henry FRENCH & Mary JONSON, Easthorpe
1802 Joseph FRENCH & Ann MARTIN, Chelmsford
1802 Sarah FRENCH & George CLERK, Birdbrook
1803 Sarah FRENCH & Thomas STAMMERS, Halstead
1803 James FRENCH & Sarah STILES, Chelmsford
1803 William FRENCH & Susannah HOWARD, Halstead
1804 Joseph FRENCH & Mary UNMAN, Southminster
1805 William FRENCH & Elizabeth SENDERS, Southminster
1807 Sarah FRENCH & Thomas WESTWOOD, Chelmsford
1807 Wm FRENCH & Jane POTS, Bocking
1808 John FRENCH & Sarah DIXON, Chelmsford
1811 John FRENCH & Mary PITT, Burnham
1813 Joseph FRENCH & Hannah CHANDLER, Alphanstone
1817 William FRENCH & Mary WOMBWELL, Bocking
1818 William FRENCH & Mary CONSTABLE, Wakes Colne
1818 John FRENCH & Sarah REEVE, Gt Chesterford
1818 Joseph FRENCH & Sarah POTTER, Halstead
1819 John FRENCH & Ann BUTCHER, Birdbrook
1820 Samuel FRENCH & Mary PATTEN, Wakes Colne
 Extra ancestors – I need to check where these go ???? They could not be of Chart EC because all of ChristopherÕs children are named in his will of 1616 and there was no Richard. It could not be of Chart EA because that chart daughtered out. It could not be of Chart EB because this wealthy line had several wills and no Richard. Most likely Richard is of this chart, Chart ED, but we donÕt know where. He could also be of Chart EH.
Rychard French, chr. 28 Jun 1607 in Halstead , D/P 96/1/1, Image 39. No father mentioned. He m. Mary, d. 16 Jun 1643, D/P 93/1/1, Image 68, lived in Steeple Bumpstead in 1589, Q/SR 107/14.
ThereÕs a record of a widower Richard French in Halstead who m. Mathie Penyall, who was also a widow at the time of their marriage on 2 Feb 1639/40 in Halstead . D/P 96/1/1 lists marriages only to 1630. ÒAÓ male Penyall is listed in the court records of Halstead of 1611. D/P 96/1/2, Image 36.
Richard d. 16 Jun 1643 in Sible Hedingham, D/P 93/1/1, Image 68, see below.
Children of Rychard and Mary French
Sol (Solomon) French, chr. 15 Oct 1637 in Sible Hedingham, son of Richard, D/P 93/1/1, Image 31. He lived in Little Maplestead in 1681-1689.
Solomon French of Little Maplestead, yeoman, 1681, Q/SR 443/43.
Solomon French of Little Maplestead, farmer, 1689, Q/SR 461/27.
Mary French, chr. 7 Apr 1640 in Sible Hedingham, as the dau. of Richard and Mary, D/P 93/1/1, Image 31.