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New Zealand / What exactly does this auction notice mean?
« on: Thursday 18 July 24 23:03 BST (UK)  »
I have come across the attached notice of auction in the Lyttelton Times for the 16 August 1873. What exactly does the "Under Bill of Sale" mean? Who are the parties involved that the bill of sale might refer to? What does "Stonyer to Birch" imply? I know that William later moved to Pleasant Point, near Timaru, but I can't find a place called Birch.The items appear to be stuff from William Stonyer's mill at Ohoka, possibly in preparation for a subsequent sale of the mill itself, although later newspaper ads seem to indicate that the mill was withdrawn from sale later that year, and was not actually sold until 1877. The ads are on FindMyPast.

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / George Jackson's occupation
« on: Sunday 07 July 24 22:44 BST (UK)  »
Can anyone provide suggestions for the occupation of George Jackson's occupation, please?

Shropshire / Deuxhill and Glazeley Parish registers
« on: Monday 17 June 24 22:45 BST (UK)  »
I popped over to the Shropshrer Archives the other day was I was searching for the baptism of one William Stonyer whose baptism I found on FamilySearch:

Name:          William Stonyer
Sex:          Male
Father's Name:       John Stonyer
Father's Sex:       Male
Mother's Name:      Susannah
Mother's Sex:       Female
Event Type:       Christening
Event Date:       11 May 1820
Event Place:       Deuxhill, Shropshire, England, United Kingdom
Event Place (Original):    Deuxhill and Glazeley, Shropshire, England

Household    Role    Sex    Age    Birthplace
John Stonyer    Father    M        
Susannah    Mother    F        

Source Details:       - 2:TRNL5T
Digital Folder Number:    007566429
Microfilm Number:       992297
Originating System:    VR
Indexing Batch:       C01692-2

Citing this Record
"England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975", database, FamilySearch ( : 4 February 2023), William Stonyer, 1820.

Unfortunately, the Shropshire Archives do not hold the regster with this baptism in it, stopping somewhat short at about 1812.

However, the FamilySearch record clearly indicates a batch number and film, so there must exist, somewhere, a copy of either the PR of BTs for this baptism. The question is, where?

The Common Room / Calling all 19th century legal experts
« on: Friday 14 June 24 13:27 BST (UK)  »
I have recently been led in my research to the will of one John Heptinstall of Astbury in Cheshire. The initial document that started me to look at John Heptinstall was a page in the Salop Fire Office Policy Book, where insurance on several properties in Deuxhill in Shrophire is detailed. The insurer was the Reverend John Heptinstall, and the policy was taken out on the 1st May 1818. At the foot of the page is the note, assuming my transcription is correct, see the attached image: 

Memm June 24th 1836 The interest in this insurance is become the property of the Excrs of the late Revd Jno Heptinstall (decd)

Dropt 1867

From this I assume that John Heptinstall's properties continue to be insured by the executors of his will, but that the insurance lapsed in 1867.

John Heptinstall actually died in 1825, so an inital question is why the memo regarding that the interest in the insurance only appears to be noted in 1836, some 11 years later.

The will of John Heptinstall is available to view on FindMyPast, for those with an appropriate subscription at

It is four pages long, and I have made a transcription. The details of his disposition of the properties in Deuxhill are to be found on page 2, but I am having difficulty in understanding what is being given, devised and/or bequeathed in the first part of the will. The transcript of that part is as follows:

I John Heptinstall of Astbury in the County and Diocese
of Chester Clerk, do make this my last Will and Testament
Imprimis, I direct that all my just debts, funeral expenses,
and the charges of proving this my Will be paid and satisfied
Whereas by Indentures of Lease and Release and Settlement
having date respectively the 20th and 21st days of September 1791
the Release being the Settlement made previous to my marriage
and made between me the said John Heptinstall of the first
part, my wife Alice Heptinstall then Alice Sambrooke Spinster
of the second part, and Richard Marshall since deceased
and Joseph Curtis therein described of the third part, contain
Pieces or Parcels of Land, Messuages or Tenements and Her=
aditaments therein particularly mentioned were conveyed to
the said Richard Marshall and Joseph Curtis To hold to them
their heirs and Assigns from and after the solemnization of the
Marriage To the use of me the said  John Heptinstall for life
with remainder to the said Richard Marshall and Joseph Curtis
to preserve contingent remainders with remainder To the use
of the said Alice Sambrooke for life with divirs remainders
over And whereas some time after the solemnization of the
certain parts of the state thereby conveyed to and vested in the
said Richard Marshall and Joseph Curtis were sold and
disposed of by me and my said Wife and the purchase money
arising from such sale was invested in my name in the
purchase of 1500 Bank 4 P.Cent Annuities And whereas
the said sum of 1500 Bank 4 percent Annuities was on or
about the 20th day of July last sold and the same at the
Market price of the day after deducting the Commission

Page 2

thereon produced the sum of ^^1509.^s^7.^d^3 And whereas the
said sum of ^^1509.^s^7.^d^3 was with other monies advanced
and lent by me to Boykett Breads of Hastings in the County
of Sussex Esq upon Mortgages of certain Freehold Estates at
Hastings aforesaid Now I the said John Heptinstall do
hereby direct my Executor hereinafter named to pay the said
sum of ^^1509.^s^7.^d^3 to the said Trustee of the said Indenture of
Settlement of the 21 day of September 1791 to be held by him upon
the Trusts and for the ends intents and purposes by such Inden=
ture of Settlement declared of and concerning the Hereditaments
and Premises thereby conveyed and assured as aforesaid or such
and so many of them as shall be undetermined and capable
of taking effect  -- And I declare that the bequest hereinafter made
in favor of my Son Thomas Sambrooke is upon the express
condition that if called upon by the Owner or Owners of the
Premises sold and disposed of by me and my said Wife as
hereinafter mentioned, he do all such acts as shall be necessary
on his part to complete the sale so made as aforesaid

The principal elements of the estate, namely properties in Deuxhill, Walsall and Sussex (I can post clips/transcripts if necessary) are to be divided between his three surviving children, 3 sevenths to his daughter and two sevenths to each to his two sons. It is made clear that his children shall hold the premises as tenants in common and not joint tenants, seemingly until the premises are sold. The sale presumably is c1867 when the insurance lapses.

My question is in the first part of the will who gets what, and why?

The Common Room / Quarter Sessions, Inquisitions
« on: Monday 27 May 24 18:49 BST (UK)  »
I have been looking a Quater Session records for Shropshire, and I have found a number of inquisitions into the deaths of people. The documents begin with, in the margin:

County of Salop
(to Wit.)

Why, and what does this signify?

Second, the rest of the document starts:

An Inquisition, indented, ....

What does indented mean in this context?

The clip is taken from a Quarter Session document for 1869 that lists the Coroners, Superintendents of Police, and Jurors for the County of Shropshire.

In the lists of jurors, can anyone please offer suggestions for:

a. The subscribed writing under entry 35 for William Thomas of Chetwynd.
b. The meaning of the letter or symbol in the third column. There is no heading for the column.

There is no image of this document online, the one attached if from my own photo taken at the Shropshire Archives. The document itself was very large and I had to take up to 9 separate photos to get it all! There is a second column of names in the same format as that in the image, but the untitled column in this case contains only the symbol/letter, with no number alongside. The numbers, where they occur, are sequential, except for that in my example, which is a duplicate, the only number to be so duplicated.

I have that the comment for John Venables, number 36, is "On trial in London".

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Quarter Session Recognizance 1836
« on: Tuesday 21 May 24 13:42 BST (UK)  »
Help, please, to interpret the the inserted words above Goods and Chattels, and the description of Bewldey.

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Shropshire Quarter Sessions
« on: Sunday 19 May 24 16:23 BST (UK)  »
What is the word after the inserted "cause of his death" at the start of the last line, please?

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Thomas Stonyer, birthpace?
« on: Friday 10 May 24 23:01 BST (UK)  »
I have attached a clip from the UK regimental Registers of Service for a Thomas Stonyer. I can't make out his birthplace in Staffordshire. It appears to say Hansame, but I can't find any place with that name in Staffordshire. There's also what appears to be an occupation in the third column from the right that I can't quite make out. Any ideas, please?

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