Dennis Bill’s Family History

Researching the BILL and WISEMAN families in UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and wherever

Research

Listed below are my main areas of research, detailing where I am seeking help and where I have data that may be of help to other researchers.

The BILL Family - of Belfast

My WISEMAN research

The MORANT family papers

French Canadian WISEMANS

Newfoundland WISEMANS NEW

BENNETTS and TROWBRIDGES of Tollard Royal, Wilts

The WATERS family of Waldron, Sussex

FOSTERs, PENNICOTTs

TOUHEY/TOOHEYs of Feakle, County Clare

CARROLLs of Birr, County Offally (King’s County)

DELANEYs of Birr, County Offally (King’s County)

LOVETTs - Portsmouth from 1799 but where before that?

The BILL family - of Belfast

When my great-grandfather James Bill joined the army in Belfast in 1868 he gave his place of birth as Shankhill, Belfast (born 1848). The army records indicate that he was a Presbyterian. I visited PRONI in Belfast in June 2004 and searched the parish records then available and the only potential baptism I could find was one in St Anne's, Shankhill, in 1849 that could have been James BILL or BELL - there appear to have been many Bills and Bells in Antrim at this time. The date and the father's name, William, fitted with what I knew but of course it wasn’t Presbyterian. Then a couple of years ago I had a contact from Terry Morrow, a possible distant cousin, saying that he thought he had found James and his family in Glasgow in the 1851 census. When I had time to look I found this record very convincing. However, a revisit to this research in early 2017, thanks to a couple of house-bound wet summer days, revealed that they were recorded in later censuses in Scotland but recorded as BELL not BILL and with spurious ages, no wonder I couldn’t find them initially. In June 2018 I visited the new PRONI in Belfast and went through all the available church records again - but with the same result. I have now done a Y-DNA test in addition to the Autosomal test I did some years ago in the hope that it would help with this direct male line but nothing so far. Since my 2018 Belfast visit I have compiled a database of all the BILLs I could find In the Belfast/Co Antrim area. The data has been drawn from the 1901 and 1911 censuses, civil registration records, parish registers at PRONI, 1833 census of Templepatrick and other online resources. I have over 400 BILLs in this database (some of these are probably duplicates where the father’s name has been taken from Marriage Certificates) plus over 500 spouses and other in-laws’. - HELP someone! back to top

My WISEMAN research

I began by finding that most of my WISEMAN ancestors didn't stray far from Ringwood in Hampshire, about 30 miles from where I live. I soon found a family tree online that went back to about 1540. It seemed too good to be true - and it was! When I checked the data against the parish records there were discrepencies. As the WISEMANs had been fairly static, I decided to extract all WISEMAN records from the parish registers and then see if I could construct a tree that way. I have gathered the data but it does not form a contiguous tree. There are small related groups but without connections between them. This is not helped by some gaps in the parish registers, one as much as 20 years (1680-1700). Apart from these obvious gaps the registers are clearly very poorly kept with many events not recorded, this is evident not only in the WISEMANs but in the other Ringwood familes I have researched. I have also collected data from the adjoining parishes (Ellingham, Ibsley, Harbridge, Sopley, Fordingbridge and Christchurch to date - see below) to see if that helps. I’m confident about the links back to Phillip Wiseman (1724-1797) but the links beyond that, potentially back to Simon Wiseman (ca 1540), are pure conjecture, despite what you might see elsewhere on the internet. back to top Ringwood Parish Registers I have transcribed information from the church registers of St Peter & St Paul's, Ringwood, Hampshire from michrofiche records and the transcriptions made by Dr Little in the 1960s. The data collected is as follows: WISEMAN - Births, banns, marriages & burials involving WISEMANs. WITT - Births, banns, marriages & burials involving WITTs CURL/E - Births, banns, marriages & burials involving CURL/Es All cover the period from the beginning of records (about 1580) to about 1840. All this data is now available on the Hants Genealogical Society’s CDs or online at Findmypast, but if anyone hasn’t got access to these sources I will be happy to respond to enquiries related to these families in these parishes. Ringwood Tithe Apportionment & Maps, 1838-41 I’ve extracted all the information about WISEMANs from these records and have started to identify who the records relate to in my tree. Some are obvious from information in census returns and family stories but others are not so easy. If you have WISEMANs in Ringwood at this time and do not have access to these records please contact me and will help if I can. Harbridge, Ellingham, Sopley, Ibsley, Fordingbridge and Christchurch Parish Registers I have also copied all WISEMAN, WITT and CURL/E records from the available transcriptions of these registers. Again this information covers the period from the beginning of records (about 1580) to about 1840 and the availability and offer to help applies to these records as well. back to top The Morant Family Papers The Morant family owned the manor of Brockenhurst, which includes Ringwood, from 1792 to about 1918 (having bought it from the bankcrupt Lord Arundell). I have extracted information about WISEMANs, WITTs and CURL/Es from these records held in Hampshire Record Office. They mostly relate to farm and house tenancies. WISEMANs, WITTS and CURLEs Altogether I have collected over 800 WISEMAN, WITT and CURL records in addition to those in my Family Tree plus another 160 surnames related to them by marriage - all records are pre-1840. If you have an interest in any of these families in the south west area of Hampshire, email me the details and I will look them up in my data described above. Equally any information you have will be gratefully received. Included in the above are some records I have collected from east Dorset and south west Wiltshire as I have researched other family branches in those records. back to top

French Canadian WISEMANs

Please see the story on my Skeletons page. I would like to hear from descendants of: James (Jacques) Wiseman who married Madeleine Delisle in Quebec on 16 Sep 1783, and his great (x2) grandson Elzear Phillipe Wiseman (born Quebec 1858) who perished on RMS Titanic in 1912. back to top

Newfoundland WISEMANs

Thanks to Brian Bursey who contacted me through Ancestry DNA I have become aware of some Ringwood Wisemans in Newfoundland, arriving there in the early 19th century or even before through the fishing trade operating out of Poole in Dorset. The most identifiable one is James WISEMAN, born in Upper Kingston, Ringwood and baptised there on 7 Oct 1789 he was the son of John & Lucy WISEMAN. He settled at Heart’s Content on Trinity Bay and died there in 1874, allegedly aged 87 having spent 68 years in the province. There are quite a number of WISEMANs in the Newfoundland & Labrador archives but not all were from Hampshire, some were from Scotland and at least one other had a Northern Irish background. I would appreciate any information about James’s descendants in Newfoundland and any other Ringwood WISEMANs in the province. back to top

BENNETTs and TROWBRIDGEs of Wiltshire & Dorset

My great-great-great grandparents were James BENNETT and Dinah TROWBRIDGE of Tollard Royal, Wiltshire. I have traced their families back and after only two generations they end at the same place - they were apparently cousins descended from John BENNETT (born 1723) and Sarah BENNETT. I am still looking for the baptism of their daughter, my great great grandmother, Rachel BENNETT, about 1816. See my James Bennett story on the Skeletons page. I have a number of unpublished records from south west Wiltshire and east Dorset parishes. back to top

WATERS of Waldron, Sussex

I have done some research on-line and in East Sussex Record Office into the Waters family that were resident in Waldron and the surrounding area back to Richard and Mary WATERS about 1740, but there are no WATERS records in the Waldron registers before this. I would appreciate any information on the family whereabouts prior to this or additions and corrections to my published data. back to top

FOSTERs and PENNICOTTs - DNA testing comes to the rescue

My great grand-father was Amos FOSTER (b 17 Jul 1850, Whetstone, Middx), son of Mary Ann FOSTER and allegedly Charles FOSTER. He gave Charles as his father when he married Louisa PENNICOTT (father Joseph Pennicott) at St Mary's Church, Portsea, Portsmouth, on 24 Sep 1871, but his birth certificate shows no father's name. After much searching (before the census data came online) I found him in the 1861 census as a boarder, age 10, with a family called COOPER (husband, wife and six children). This quickly led me to the 1851 census where he is with the same family as a 'foster child', age 8 months. It was some time afterwards that I noticed that the wife of the COOPER household was called Mary Ann !! Could this be the answer? Again after much trawling through the Portsmouth area marriage registers I found the marriage of William COOPER to Mary Ann FOSTER in Alverstoke on 14 Aug 1826 - Bingo?! Well I thought so until last year when I had two autosomalDNA contacts from Australia. They both have a family link to another, I thought seperate, FOSTER in my tree. My great aunt Annie Georgina Wiseman’s second husband was a retired Royal Navy Pettty Officer called Joseph Foster (see about her first husband on the Skeletons page). I researched his ancestors as best I could online but could not prove a link between the two Foster families. However, these Australian autosomalDNA links show me having a ‘cousin’ relationship to them and they having a proven connection to Joseph FOSTER’s family means that I must be related to him as well. Joseph FOSTER had an aunt called Mary Ann who would have been about 17 at the time of Amos’ birth. She subsequently married Charles Henry Scovell in 1853. Judging by her age, the Mary Ann that fostered Amos is probably this younger Mary Ann’s aunt - but I have yet to prove this connection, but DNA doesn’t lie, does it? If you know anything about these FOSTER families I would like to hear from you. Amos and Louisa FOSTER had twelve children between 1873 and 1891. I have searched all the Portsmouth churches but cannot find a single baptism for these children, nor are they in the civil registrations. Also I have failed to find any birth record for Louisa nor can I find her parent's marriage. All help welcomed. back to top

TUOHEY/TOOHEYs and GAVINs of Feakle, County Clare, Ireland

My great-grandmother was Mary TUOHEY who was born in Feakle, County Clare in 1860. Her father was Patrick TUOHEY and her mother Catherine GAVIN. They had at least five other children, Bridget (1862), Michael (1863), Catherine (1866), Patrick (1868) and Edmund (1870). There do not appear to be any other GAVINs in Feakle at this time so I would appreciate any information on Catherine's history and on Patrick's as well. There are many TUOHEYs buried in Feakle churchyard and I was told (by a man in the pub!) that there are three families in the village now. Any information on TOUHEYs and GAVINS in the Feakle area gratefully received. back to top

CARROLLs of Birr, County Offally (King's County), Ireland

My great-great-grandfather was Michael EGAN (b1812). He married an Ellen CARROLL about 1830/40ish but I can't find the marriage (it probably pre-dates the church registers that start about 1838). I searched the 1821 Census for Birr and found the following five Ellen CARROLLs within an acceptable age range: A - Ellen CARROLL (b 1819) of Tim (b 1771) and Catherine (b 1786) B - Ellen CARROLL (b 1818) of Daniel (b 1789) and Catherine (b 1792) C - Ellen CARROLL (b 1814) D - Ellen CARROLL (b 1812) of Michael (b 1776) and Eliza (b 1783) E - Ellen CARROLL (b 1810) of John (b 1770) and Mary (b 1786) HELP !! back to top

DELANEYs of Birr, County Offally (King’s County), Ireland

My great-grandfather was Daniel DELANEY (b about 1860) who married Mary TUOHEY (see above) in Birr on 25 Oct 1884. His father was recorded as Daniel DELANEY, bellhanger. In the 1901 and 1911 censuses Daniel and Mary are both recorded as being born in 1860, his birthplace is shown as King’s County (now County Offaly). There is no baptism record for him in St Brendan’s RC Church, Birr nor is there a birth registration for him with this place and birth date. When the Roman Catholic Church Registers came online in 2016 I could find no matching record anywhere. However, there is a record for the baptism of a Daniel DELANEY with a father of the same name and mother Sarah CARROLL in St Brendan’s in 1856. There is also a baptism for an Eliza born to the same parents (although the mother is recorded as Sally) on 18 Jan 1853, presumably the same couple. There is no record of a marriage for this couple but the St Brendan’s registers only start in 1848 so it is probable that they were married before that. There is no matching marriage anywhere else in Ireland. It seems that the 1856 baptism is ‘my’ Daniel and his birth date is incorrectly recorded in the censuses although it must be pointed out that his occupation is variously recorded as pound master, gamekeeper and labourer, which may or may not indicate that these records refer to more than one man. There was also no obvious death registration for him in County Offaly either, the only Daniel Delaney death registered in Birr was recorded as 61 years old in 1928 when ‘my’ Daniel would have been 71. On my last Ireland trip (2018) I visited the Council Offices and with the help of the Cemetery Caretaker, Michael Spain, I was able to check the original registers and maps which recorded his age correctly as 71. Stangely he was not buried with his wife Mary (nee Tuohey) but in an adjacent grave. Any help with this family line would be much appreciated. back to top

LOVETTs- Portsmouth from 1799 but where before that?

My late cousin Ted Wiseman and I have traced his maternal line of LOVETT back to 1799 when John LOVETT, the youngest son of Thomas LOVETT and Sarah CASSELL, was baptised in St Thomas's, Portsmouth on 18 Sep 1799. According to the 1841 census Thomas and wife Sarah were both born about 1761 and Thomas was born outside Hampshire. Help with locating this LOVETT family before 1799 would be most welcome. back to top
Dennis Bill 2021

NEW

Dennis Bill’s Family History
Researching  BILL and WISEMAN families in UK, Ireland , USA, Canada and wherever

Research

Listed below are my main areas of research, detailing where I am seeking help and where I have data that may be of help to other researchers. More details are available on my ‘full size’ web site.

The BILL Family - of Belfast

My WISEMAN research

French Canadian WISEMANS

Newfoundland WISEMANS NEW

BENNETTS and TROWBRIDGES of Tollard Royal, Wilts

The WATERS family of Waldron, Sussex

FOSTERs, PENNICOTTs

TOUHEY/TOOHEYs of Feakle, County Clare

CARROLLs of Birr, County Offally (King’s County)

DELANEYs of Birr, County Offally (King’s County)

LOVETTs - Portsmouth from 1799 but where before

that?

The BILL family - of Belfast

When my great-grandfather James Bill joined the army in Belfast in 1868 he gave his place of birth as Shankhill, Belfast (born 1848). The army records indicate that he was a Presbyterian. I’ve searched the PRONI records in Belfast twice over the last 15 years but with the same result - no sign of a baptism for James anywhere - HELP someone! Since my 2018 Belfast visit I have compiled a database of all the BILLs I could find In the Belfast/Co Antrim area. The data has been drawn from the 1901 and 1911 censuses, civil registration records, parish registers at PRONI, 1833 census of Templepatrick and other online resources. I have over 400 BILLs in this database (some of these are probably duplicates where the father’s name has been taken from Marriage Certificates) plus over 500 spouses and other in-laws’. back to top

My WISEMAN research

I began by finding that most of my WISEMAN ancestors didn't stray far from Ringwood in Hampshire, about 30 miles from where I live. I soon found a family tree online that went back to about 1540. It seemed too good to be true - and it was! When I checked the data against the parish records there were discrepencies. As the WISEMANs had been fairly static, I decided to extract all WISEMAN records from the parish registers and then see if I could construct a tree that way. I have gathered the data but it does not form a contiguous tree. There are small related groups but without connections between them. This is not helped by some gaps in the parish registers, one as much as 20 years (1680-1700). I have also collected data from the adjoining parishes (Ellingham, Ibsley, Harbridge, Sopley, Fordingbridge and Christchurch to date - see below) to see if that helps. I’m confident about the links back to Phillip Wiseman (1724-1797) but the links beyond that, potentially back to Simon Wiseman (ca 1540), are extyremely ‘iffy’ and I doubt if they will ever be proven to any degree of certainty. I have also extracted records from the wills, tithe map, estate records, etc, held in Hampshire Record Office, so please contact me if you have any connection to the WISEMAN, WITT or CURLE families in this area. back to top

French Canadian WISEMANs

Please see the story on my Skeletons page. I would like to hear from descendants of James (Jacques) Wiseman who married Madeleine Delisle in Quebec on 16 Sep 1783 and his great (x2) grandson Elzear Phillipe Wiseman (born Quebec 1858) who perished on RMS Titanic in 1912. back to top

Newfoundland WISEMANs NEW

Thanks to Brian Bursey who contacted me through Ancestry DNA I have become aware of some Ringwood Wisemans in Newfoundland, arriving there in the early 19th century or even before through the fishing trade operating out of Poole in Dorset. The most identifiable one is James WISEMAN, born in Upper Kingston, Ringwood and baptised there on 7 Oct 1789 he was the son of John & Lucy WISEMAN. He settled at Heart’s Content on Trinity Bay and died there in 1874, allegedly aged 87 having spent 68 years in the province. There are quite a number of WISEMANs in the Newfoundland & Labrador archives but not all were from Hampshire, some were from Scotland and at least one other had a Northern Irish background. I would appreciate any information about James’s descendants in Newfoundland and any other Ringwood WISEMANs in the province. back to top

BENNETTs and TROWBRIDGEs of Wiltshire & Dorset

My great-great-great grandparents were James BENNETT and Dinah TROWBRIDGE of Tollard Royal, Wiltshire. I have traced their families back and after only two generations they end at the same place - they were apparently cousins descended from John BENNETT (born 1723) and Sarah BENNETT. I am still looking for the baptism of their daughter, my great great grandmother, Rachel BENNETT, about 1816. See my James Bennett story on the Skeletons page. I have a number of unpublished records from south west Wiltshire and east Dorset parishes. Also see my World War 1 memorial page for the sad story of the BENNETT brothers. back to top

WATERS of Waldron, Sussex

I have done some research on-line and in East Sussex Record Office into the Waters family that were resident in Waldron and the surrounding area back to Richard and Mary WATERS about 1740, but there are no WATERS records in the Waldron registers before this. I would appreciate any information on the family whereabouts prior to this or additions and corrections to my published data. back to top

FOSTERs and PENNICOTTs (and COOPERs)

My great grand-father was Amos FOSTER (b 17 Jul 1850, Whetstone, Middx), son of Mary Ann FOSTER and allegedly Charles FOSTER. He gave Charles as his father when he married Louisa PENNICOTT (father Joseph Pennicott) at St Mary's Church, Portsea, Portsmouth, on 24 Sep 1871, but his birth certificate shows no father's name. In the 1851 census he was listed as a “foster child” with a family called Cooper, the wife’s maiden name was Mary Ann Foster and I thought that she might be the mother. At least I thought so until last year when Ihad two autosomalDNA contacts from Australia. I have another Foster family link in my Wiseman family, my great aunt Annie Georgina Wiseman’s second husband was a retired Royal Navy Pettty Officer called Joseph Foster (see about her first husband on the Skeletons page). I researched his ancestors as best I could online but could not prove a link between the two Foster families. However, these Australian autosomalDNA links show me having a ‘cousin’ relationship to them and they having a proven connection to Joseph FOSTER’s family means that I must be related to him as well. Joseph FOSTER had an aunt called Mary Ann who would have been about 17 at the time of Amos’ birth. She subsequently married Charles Henry Scovell in 1853. Judging by her age, the Mary Ann that fostered Amos is probably her aunt - but I have yet to prove this connection, but DNA doesn’t lie, does it? If you know anything about these FOSTER families I would like to hear from you. All help welcomed. back to top

TUOHEY/TOOHEYs and GAVINs of Feakle, County

Clare, Ireland

My great-grandmother was Mary TUOHEY who was born in Feakle, County Clare in 1860. Her father was Patrick TUOHEY and her mother Catherine GAVIN. They had at least five other children, Bridget (1862), Michael (1863), Catherine (1866), Patrick (1868) and Edmund (1870). There do not appear to be any other GAVINs in Feakle at this time so I would appreciate any information on Catherine's history and on Patrick's as well. There are many TUOHEYs buried in Feakle churchyard and I was told (by a man in the pub!) that there are three families in the village now. Any information gratefully received. back to top

CARROLLs of Birr, County Offally (King's County),

Ireland

My great-great-grandfather was Michael EGAN (b1812). He married an Ellen CARROLL about 1830/40ish but I can't find the marriage (it probably pre-dates the church registers that start about 1838). I searched the 1821 Census for Birr and found the following five Ellen CARROLLs within an acceptable age range: A - Ellen CARROLL (b 1819) of Tim (b 1771) and Catherine (b 1786) B - Ellen CARROLL (b 1818) of Daniel (b 1789) and Catherine (b 1792) C - Ellen CARROLL (b 1814) D - Ellen CARROLL (b 1812) of Michael (b 1776) and Eliza (b 1783) E - Ellen CARROLL (b 1810) of John (b 1770) and Mary (b 1786) HELP !! back to top

DELANEYs of Birr, County Offally (King’s County),

Ireland

My great-grandfather was Daniel DELANEY (b about 1860) who married Mary TUOHEY (see above) in Birr on 25 Oct 1884. His father was recorded as Daniel DELANEY, bellhanger. In the 1901 and 1911 censuses Daniel and Mary are both recorded as being born in 1860, his birthplace is shown as King’s County (now County Offaly). There is no baptism record for him in St Brendan’s RC Church, Birr nor is there a birth registration for him with this place and birth date. When the Roman Catholic Church Registers came online in 2016 I could find no matching record anywhere. However, there is a record for the baptism of a Daniel DELANEY with a father of the same name and mother Sarah CARROLL in St Brendan’s in 1856. There is also a baptism for an Eliza born to the same parents (although the mother is recorded as Sally) on 18 Jan 1853, presumably the same couple. There is no record of a marriage for this couple but the St Brendan’s registers only start in 1848 so it is probable that they were married before that. There is no matching marriage anywhere else in Ireland. It seems that the 1856 baptism is ‘my’ Daniel and his birth date is incorrectly recorded in the censuses although it must be pointed out that his occupation is variously recorded as pound master, gamekeeper and labourer, which may or may not indicate that these records refer to more than one man. Any help with this family line would be much appreciated. back to top

LOVETTs- Portsmouth from 1799 but where before

that?

My late cousin Ted Wiseman and I have traced his maternal line of LOVETT back to 1799 when John LOVETT, the youngest son of Thomas LOVETT and Sarah CASSELL, was baptised in St Thomas's, Portsmouth on 18 Sep 1799. According to the 1841 census Thomas and wife Sarah were both born about 1761 and Thomas was born outside Hampshire. Help with locating this LOVETT family before 1799 would be most welcome. back to top
Dennis Bill 2021