THE HISTORY OF THE ROGERS FAMILY Ļ

The first record we have of the Rogers family is a marriage that took place at the Hanham Abbots Chapel of Grace in the Parish of Bitton, near Bristol in Gloucestershire on the 6th August 1635, this was the marriage between Dennis Rogers and Katherine Lyddiate. They would have been about 25 years of age and have been born circa 1610. The records continue and show a christening of a Dennis Rogers in the same church on the 20th April 1647, the parents were Dennis & Katherine. Other children of the marriage were, James 1636, Thomas 1640, then Dennis 1647, Ann 1649, followed quickly by another Ann 1649 and finally Katherine 1649. The use of the name Ann twice would indicate the first child Ann had died.

There seems to be a long gap between this and the next generation, from 1647 to 1699, it seems unusual to be fathering offspring at the age of 45 years. There were 10 children named to Dennis Rogers in the Hanham & Oldland Parish Register during this period and he may have married twice. In two cases the children had the same Christian name, this usually indicates that children have died young and another is given the same name. A common occurrence. The children were Ann 1692, Mary 1695, Dennis 1699, Thomas 1700, Rachel 1701, another Thomas 1703, Henry 1704, James 1706, another James 1707 and finally Shana 1708. The name of the mother is unknown but could have been Susannah.

This period needs more investigation, the normal spacing of generations is between 25 and 30 years and it would be possible that another Dennis Rogers generation could come to light in this period of time.

The records show that there was a christening of a child Dennis Rogers the son of Dennis Rogers on the 30th April 1699 in the Hanham & Oldland Parish Church. This generation Dennis reached maturity and at the age of 26 years married Ann Brayne in St Maryís, the Bitton Parish Church on the 19th November 1725. Bitton was the Parish that covered the chapel at Hanham Abbots a distance of two or three miles.

There were children of this marriage and one of these was a Dennis born in 1730 and he married a Sarah Gough on the 6th January 1754.This partnership produced six children and the apprenticeship records show that one child another Dennis Rogers was indentured by his late father Dennis on the 18th July 1771, this is recorded in the Apprentice Registers of the City of Bristol. The entry reads: -

"Dennis Rogers son of Dennis Rogers late of the Parish of Saint Georges in the County of Gloucester, coal miner, does put unto Richard Hill of Bristol, tyler and plasterer and Mary his wife for 7 years. Friends to find apparel. Paid with this Apprenticeship £5."

St Georgeís Parish was formed in 1756 when it was split off from the Parish of St Phillip& St Jacobís, a search of the baptism records of these two churches traced the marriage and the baptisms of the six children that Dennis Rogers and his wife Sarah produced .

6th January 1754 Dennis Rogers married Sarah Gough. St Phillip & St Jacob.
21st February 1755.Thomas son of Dennis Rogers, St Phillip & St Jacob.
7th January 1757, Dennis son of Dennis & Sarah Rogers of Stoney Hill, St Georgeís.
8th Sept.1758, Sarah daughter of Dennis & Sarah Rogers of Stoney Hill, St Georgeís.
1st June 1760, George son of Dennis & Sarah Rogers, St Georgeís.
17th October 1762, Anne daughter of Dennis and Sarah Rogers. St Georgeís.
26th August 1764, Benjamin son of Dennis and Sarah Rogers, St Georgeís.

Dennis was a miner, at this time there were many small coal mines to the east and south east of Bristol worked by independent miners and mine companies. This coal industry supplied the needs of the city and the industry is well documented. The village of Bitton lies at the southern end of the coal field and that Parish adjoined the Parish of St Phillips & St Jacobs.

The Dennis Rogers of this generation died in 1766, he would have been 36 years of age and left a wife with six children under eleven years of age. This information comes from a copy of Dennisís Last Will & Testament. This states: -

In the Name of God Amen. I Dennis Rogers---------- of the parish of Saint George in the County of Gloucester, Yeoman, being indisposed in body but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding. Thanks be to God for the same. Do make this my Last Will and Testament in the manner following, that is to say first and principally to commend my Soul into the hands of the Almighty God and my body I commit to the earth to be decently interred at the discretion of my Executrix hereinafter Named and for such worldly Estate which it has pleased God to bestow upon me I give and Dispose thereof as followeth: -

Imprimis I give devise and bequeath unto my Dearly Beloved Wife Sarah Rogers all my three leasehold tenements and Appertinences therein to belonging insituate lying and being in the Parish of Saint George, in the County of Gloucester and also all my goods and chattels both within Doors and without and all my wearing apparrell both linen and woolling. Presently after my decease and during her natural lifetime and after her decease to fall to my void children, Thomas Rogers, Dennis Rogers, George Rogers and Benjamin Rogers, Sarah Rogers , Anne Rogers my sons and daughters to be equally divided up amongst them share and share alike. And do make my Dearly Beloved Wife Sarah my whole and sole Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament in witness thereof I have to this my Last Will and Testament set my hand---- on this twenty third day of December 1765.

Signed sealed published and declared of the void
Dennis Rogers as his Last Will and Testament in the
presence of us who at his bequest and in his presence
subscribe our names as: -

Witnesses,

Joseph Owen
Isaac Smith
George Tarman

Dennis Rogers.

13th Day of December 1766
Proved at Bristol before the Reverend
John Camplin,Clerk.M.A. by the Oath
of Sarah Rogers his widow--------
and sole executrix

 

From various sources of information it is possible that Thomas became a tradesman like Dennis, one son, possibly George or Benjamin went to the West Indies where he died. The sister Anne was probably known as Nancy and is the person referred to in the letter below.

Dennis Rogers married Hannah Iles at Bitton Parish Church in the County of Gloucestershire on the 26th May 1784 , six children have been traced who were all baptised in St Michaelís Church, Bristol, they are as follows.

3rd August 1788, John son of Dennis and Hannah Rogers.
14th February 1790, Pamela daughter of Dennis and Hannah Rogers.
11th December 1791,Sarah daughter of Dennis and Hannah Rogers.
6th October 1793, Mary Ann daughter of Dennis and Hannah Rogers.
27th August 1797, Benjamin son of Dennis and Hannah Rogers.
20th March 1800 born, baptíd 18th May 1813, Elizabeth Betsy daughter of Dennis and Hannah Rogers.

 

Like his father Benjamin was placed into an apprenticeship. This information is confirmed
by an entry in the Apprentice Registers of the City of Bristol for the 6th June 1812.The
entry reads:-

"Benjamin Rogers the son of Dennis Rogers of Bristol, tiler, puts to Joel England tiler and plasterer and Betty his wife for 7 years, friends to find him apparel and washing, paid with the apprentice 40/- the gift of Mr A.W .Kitchen deceased."

It would appear that it was normal practice for friends to find apparel and do the washing for the apprentice and that a payment was made to the Master when the indenture was signed, on this occasion the payment was made by a local charitable bequest.

Dennis Rogers.

The family was in the building trade and were listed in the Bristol Trade Directories of thatperiod. It is known as the result of the letter written by Benjaminís sister and signed W. Lewis that Dennis also had a brother who died in the West Indies and a sister Nancy.

The signatory to the letter was most likely the daughter Mary Ann who is believed to have married a coachbuilder and wheelwright named William Lewis in 1819.

The connection with Bristol is logical as Bristol was the main port for trading with the Americas and the West Indies, the importance of the link declined throughout the nineteenth century as Liverpool grew in importance.

The following extracts from the Mathewís Trade Directory show :-

St Jamesís Churchyard ,Maudlin Lane ,Bristol.
1812   Dennis Rogers,Tilers.
1813
  to
1820
Thomas Rogers ,Tilers
1821 T & B Rogers, Tilers, Plasterers and Painters.

After 1821 there were no more entries for this address, other entries that could be relevant

that were found between the years 1793 and 1809 were as follows:-

1793 Thomas Rogers, Dock Gates, Hotwell Road
1794 Ditto
1795 Dennis Rogers , Engine , Newchurch.
Thomas Rogers , Dock Gates , Hotwell Road.
1796 Dennis Rogers , Engine , Newchurch.
Thomas Rogers , No 1 Newchurch Street
1799 Thomas Rogers , ditto
1801 Dennis Rogers , Tiler and Plasterer , Lewinís Mead
1803 Dennis Rogers , Tiler and Plasterer, Black
FryersThomas Rogers , No 1 Somerset Street.
1805 Ditto.
1807 Thomas Rogers , No 18 Trinity Street
1808 Ditto.

There is an entry in a Poll Book that shows a Thomas Rogers at No 16 St Jamesís Churchyard, Bristol who cast a vote in an election in the year 1812.This information points to a connection with Benjamin who could have been in partnership with Thomas his uncle. Other evidence to support this comes from an old tradesmanís business card in the name of T & B Rogers, Tilers, Plasterers & Painters, of 16 St Jamesís Churchyard adjoining Maudlin Lane, Bristol, there is no date on the card but by the style and layout it would appear to be early 19th century.

Benjamin Rogers, Senior.

We now move to Marylebone, London, the letter referred to above was addressed to Benjamin , at 22 John Street North, London. I think this was an error by the sender and the address would more likely to have been 22 John Street, North London. This address existed in London at the time and is the most likely explanation. You will see that there was a family connection with Marylebone and this connection continued for the next eighty - ninety years.

Being a skilled tradesman, Benjamin would have had to move as would many others to where work was available. The 1820ís were years in which the port of Bristol declined with the growth of a rival in Liverpool and Marylebone together with London as a city was rapidly expanding. He would have moved to where there was work available for the building trade.

Benjamin was married in the St Marylebone Parish Church on the 15th June 1823. His bride was Ruth Chidsey who was from Charlings or Charlinch in Somerset where she was born in the year 1799. There, were four children of the marriage, Sarah Jacobs, born 1823, Benjamin, born 1826, William born 1830 and George born 1834.This information is recorded in the Parish Registers which are now located in the London Records Centre.

The Parish registers show the following information:-

Marriage.

15th June 1823, Benjamin Rogers married Ruth Chidsey, address given
St Marylebone, no other details.

Baptisms.

Sarah Jacobs Rogers, father Benjamin Rogers, mother Ruth, born 19th July 1823.Baptised 3rd September 1823.Address St Marylebone, the occupation of father was a mechanic.

Benjamin Rogers, father Benjamin Rogers, mother Ruth. Born 29th December 1827 , baptised 23rd December 1827. Address given as East Street, St Marylebone, occupation of father given as painter.

William Rogers, father Benjamin Rogers Mother Ruth. Born 28th May and baptised on the 19th October 1828.Address East Street, St Marylebone, occupation of father given as plumber.

George. No trace in the Baptismal Register however he does appear on the Census Returns. It is believed he was born in 1834 at St Marylebone.

Census Returns have been a useful source of information .The return for the year taken on the 31st March 1851 shows that the family lived at No 31 George Street, Portman Square, London.

Name Age Where born
Benjamin Rogers 53 Head Clifton, builder.
Ruth Rogers 52 Wife Charlinch , Somerset.
Sarah. 23 Daughter St Marylebone.
Benjamin. 22 Son St Marylebone
William 21 Son St Marylebone
George 17 Son St Marylebone
William Jacobs 35 Nephew Shepton Mallet. Painter.

The name Charlinch in Somerset does not exist, the nearest sounding name is Charlings in the same county. The spelling could have been an error by the enumerator. You will see that the family name Jacobs appears where was the name used in Sarahís christening.

Benjamin Rogers.

The Census Return taken on the 7th April 1861 for No 31 George Street, Portman Square shows:-

Name Age Where born

Benjamin Rogers

34 Head St Marylebone, plumber

Jane

32 Wife Nymphsfield

Charles  F.

6 Son St Marylebone.

William  J.

2 Son St Marylebone.

Daniel  T.

2 mths. Son St Marylebone.

 

After this date and sometime before the next Census which was taken on the 7th April 1871 the George Street area was redeveloped and we next find the family at No 20 Northumberland Street. Marylebone.

Name Age Where born
Benjamin Rogers 43 Head St Marylebone. Plumber & painter
Jane 43 Wife Nymphsfield.
Charles F. 16 Son St Marylebone
William J. 12 Son St Marylebone
Daniel T. 10 Son St Marylebone
George 7 Son St Marylebone

The family remained at Northumberland Street and the Census taken on the 7th April 1881 shows the following entry:

Name Age Where born
Jane Rogers 53 Nymphsfield. Dressmaker
William J. St Marylebone. Bootmaker

The Post Office Directory shows continuous occupation of the 31 George Street address from 1846 to 1863, together with the information taken from the Census Returns this would indicate that the business was passed from father to son of the same name.

The parish church for the family was St Maryís, Bryanston Square, a search of the baptism register for this church shows the following entry.

William Joseph son of Benjamin and Jane Rogers 1st May 1859 the address given was 31 George Street and the occupation of the father was a builder.

No other baptisms have been traced, when the younger children were born the family had moved and have not been traced.

Benjamin Rogers and his wife Ruth disappeared from the 1861 Census, this does not necessarily mean that they had died, they may have returned to the West Country. There is little to add about the other family members of this generation no firm information was found on Sarah, George or William.

The letter addressed to Benjamin Rogers at 22 John Street, North London and undated reads as follows:-

Dr Brother,

I donít know weather you have heard of the death of your fathers brother he died in the West Indies so we hear and that he left property to the amount of twenty thousand pounds to the surviving family of the Rogers. Uncle Hemmings has been to mother and your fathers sister Nancy and one of Watts sons and they all seem in a great bussle about it. They begin to call mother already with their how de doos------------mother is such a surrious women ------------do not interfere so much about it-------but Dr brother if you have a friend in London I would like for you to consult him about it and send me word what you would wish to be done in it and I would use my endeavours so to do. Write as soon as convenient.

Adieu yours,
W.Lewis.

There are places where the writing is indecipherable and you will have to put your own interpretation on the contents. I have no information as to who or what relationship uncle Hemmings was to the family. I would imagine the £20,000 has long gone and if it ever existed would have a similar status to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The name Hemmings does occur in that an apprenticeship record shows that a Thomas Rogers was apprenticed to a cordwainer named Richard Hemmings, at Bristol in the year 1742.

A search of the probate records for the period 1820 to 1835 did not throw any light on the above mentioned information. The Diocese of Canterbury who handled probate for all wills where the deceased person died overseas shows only one possible name Thomas Rogers.

This was the will of a landowner on the island of Antigua, he died in 1828, reading this Will gave no information that would link to this Rogers family. I also believe the evidence shows that Thomas stayed in the Bristol area and is the T. Rogers shown on the trade card.

Therefore the brother in the West Indies could have been Benjamin or George and I have been unable to find a Probate reference for either of these names.

Benjamin Rogers.

Benjamin Rogers carried on his fatherís business and was continuously shown in the Post Office Directory for London as a Builder, at No 31 George Street, Portman Square, Marylebone.

Benjamin married Jane Bick, on the 3rd January 1854 in the church of St George the Martyr, Holborn. At the time of the marriage the address of both parties was given as 56 Great Ormond Street, London. Janeís father was Thomas Bick of Nymphsfield in Gloucestershire, occupation clothier. Benjamin died in October 1878 and was buried at the Marylebone Cemetery, East Finchley on the 21st October 1878 in Plot C15, No 27. The Census returns show that there were four children, Charles, William, Daniel and George.

There is reason to believe that one more child was born after George who was called Nellie, she died at an early age and of whom nothing more is known. She has not appeared on any of the Census returns up to 1881. It is known that Daniel died at the age of sixteen on the 11th March 1877 and is buried in Marylebone Cemetery, Plot F5 No 25. With the exception of George there is nothing known of the other children, it is thought that William who was a boot and shoe maker moved to Brighton where he had his own business. Charles lived in the St Johnís Wood area where he followed his trade as a plumber.

George Rogers.

The direct line of descent continues with George Rogers who married Agnes Minnie McGowran or McGowern and they had seven children, they were as follows:-

Leslie George Born 1890 Died 1974
Winifred Mary 1891 Deceased.
Daisy Constance 1893 1966
Stanley Edwin 1895 1967
Herbert Arthur 1896 1981
Ernest Cyril 1900 1965
Gwendoline Marjorie 1908


The research for the History of the Rogers Family was carried out entirely by Clifford Rogers, and I am most indebted to him for allowing me to include it on my website.

 

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