Author Topic: Will clarification - can "godson" be a grandson?  (Read 1435 times)

Offline pimpernel

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Will clarification - can "godson" be a grandson?
« on: Thursday 23 March 17 16:28 GMT (UK) »
Hi everyone,
Research for my Shayler line has taken me back to Lyneham and the Wychwoods in Oxfordshire during the 16th & 17th Century. The key connection has been the name Austin (or Augustine) Shayler, which was used in successive generations of Shaylers in the area. As a relatively unusual name (in fact unique in the region) I assumed that these were fathers and sons, Austin son of Austin, who was son of Austin in his turn etc.  The parish records seem to fit this pattern neatly.

However I've come across one spanner in the works - the Will of Austin Shayler of Merriscourt, (compiled in 1638, though he survived until 1645) lists in point 3: "I give my godsonne Austin Shailer fiftie to bee payed with in 2 years after my dicease". Well, his son Austin had died in 1633, but there was another Austin who married Anne Castle in 1654 and continued passing the name down to his son in turn...  I assumed he would have been born around 1630, and was son of the 1633 departed Austin, thus being the grandson of the Will writing elder Austin, but suddenly I'm not sure!! 

In point 6 of the Will there is a grant to "every one of my grandchildren". Can Austin the younger (1630) be a Grandson and a Godson at the same time? Is he singled out for a clearly larger portion of the Will because his father is dead? Suddenly my assumption that the younger Austins were all sons of elder Austins is open to doubt!

There are Parish records for Shipton-under-Wychwood and surrounding villages recording the father of each of the Austin/Augustine Shailer/Shayler's, except for the Austin I assume born around 1630. Any thoughts?
Oxfordshire: SHAYLER, HERN,
Gloucestershire: MEADOWS, HERBERT,
Worcestershire: GRIFFIN, WOOD,
Denbighshire: WILLIAMS, JAMES, EDWARDS, DAVIES.

Offline lizdb

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Re: Will clarification - can "godson" be a grandson?
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 23 March 17 17:07 GMT (UK) »
I would say (and this has, of course, no evidence to back it up) that the Austin named as godson, is not a grandson. As I would have thought that he would then have been referred to as grandson.
He could well be a nephew or great nephew.

If Austin was a family name, then it wouldn't just be the child called Austin who passed on the name.
E.g. - if an Austin had say six children, Austin, Bert, Charley, Dave and Ed, then any of them that had sons could well have called a son after their father (the childs grandfather), not just Austin himself.
So Austin may have an Austin, and Bert may have a Bert and an Austin, and Charley may have children including an Austin etc etc. And the same in subsequent generations - Fred, son of Ed, may call a son Austin after Grandad.

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census information is Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline pimpernel

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Re: Will clarification - can "godson" be a grandson?
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 23 March 17 17:21 GMT (UK) »
Thank you lizdb!
Austin did have other children, but the only one I've traced with a child called Austin (or Augustine) is the son Austing who died in 1633.

Austin Shayler who died in 1633 (son of this will-writer), also recorded a will, which I'm having great problems deciphering (see attached). In it he states some funds to be "delivered in the hands of ??? (a third party I think) to be ?? to both benefit & ?? to my children; until they come of sufficient age to ??? it from ??. Thus? I give to my son Austin Shailer my Bill? to be delivered and unto  ?? ??? to come to sufficient age to ? it. Then I give to my son Austin Shailer and to my daughter Jane Shailer ?? ....." etc etc. I need to work on transcribing this, but point is it confirms he had a son Austin, even though I've not found a birth record.

The 1633 deceased Austin lived in nearby Sarsden, if his children were born there it's possible their birth records would not be in the Shipton records.
Oxfordshire: SHAYLER, HERN,
Gloucestershire: MEADOWS, HERBERT,
Worcestershire: GRIFFIN, WOOD,
Denbighshire: WILLIAMS, JAMES, EDWARDS, DAVIES.

Offline pimpernel

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Re: Will clarification - can "godson" be a grandson?
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 23 March 17 17:26 GMT (UK) »
The other option is as you say the Godson Austin is a nephew, but again, although the baptisms of other nephews and nieces are recorded in the Shipton records, there are no Austins mentioned - the only definite candidate I've found is the scrawled Austin record in the 1633 Will above.
Oxfordshire: SHAYLER, HERN,
Gloucestershire: MEADOWS, HERBERT,
Worcestershire: GRIFFIN, WOOD,
Denbighshire: WILLIAMS, JAMES, EDWARDS, DAVIES.


Offline jc26red

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Re: Will clarification - can "godson" be a grandson?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 23 March 17 18:16 GMT (UK) »
I'm with Liz on this one. Have you noticed any naming pattern other than the name Austin in each generation?

My husband's family followed naming patterns quite religiously and helped me for a while, as my oh is descended from the eldest son of the eldest son etc., Unfortunately the younger children are all Williams, Johns, Edwards, James! Records being a bit thin on the ground back in the late 1600-1700s in Ireland makes you think they are all the same family, until I uncovered 4 Edwards all living at the same time and dying within 15 years of each other... needless to say, there are just as many James, Johns, Williams etc.,  It is also an unusual surname. they arrived with one of the plantations... ::) DNA results have also muddied the waters too,  instead of one family and their descendants as expected there are 5 completely different results.... ;D

I would keep an open mind rather than making it fit....put a big question mark next to it, that will remind you it's still not totally resolved.  You may never really know who the "godson" is as records are hard to come by that early.
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Offline clayton bradley

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Re: Will clarification - can "godson" be a grandson?
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 23 March 17 19:25 GMT (UK) »
in to the hands of Mr Francis Haslewoode & John Rawlines to be emploied to the best benefit & behoofe of my children....to use it themselves
Item I give to my sonne Austine Sheller my Bible to be delivered unto him when hee come of sufficient age to use it
Item I give to my sonne Austine Sheller &  to my daughter Jane Sheller one yewe apeece
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Offline smudwhisk

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Re: Will clarification - can "godson" be a grandson?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 23 March 17 19:32 GMT (UK) »
I have seen in a few Wills the use of godson in place of grandson, something that was confirmed by other documentary evidence.  So yes it can but is dependant on corroborating evidence.  Its a bit like the use of cousin rather than nephew or niece.  Again confirmed by other documentary evidence.
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Offline Mowsehowse

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Re: Will clarification - can "godson" be a grandson?
« Reply #7 on: Friday 24 March 17 08:54 GMT (UK) »
I have seen in a few Wills the use of godson in place of grandson, something that was confirmed by other documentary evidence.  So yes it can but is dependant on corroborating evidence.  Its a bit like the use of cousin rather than nephew or niece.  Again confirmed by other documentary evidence. 

I agree, and you often see such instances on census returns.

But given there is also specific mention of grandchildren, I do think it is possible just one grandson was ALSO a godson, perhaps the first born boy? 

Probably best to leave a question mark for now though, and hope something else turns up one day.

Oh, and, Thunderous round of applause for Clayton Bradley.  :D
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Offline pimpernel

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Re: Will clarification - can "godson" be a grandson?
« Reply #8 on: Friday 24 March 17 09:31 GMT (UK) »
in to the hands of Mr Francis Haslewoode & John Rawlines to be emploied to the best benefit & behoofe of my children....to use it themselves
Item I give to my sonne Austine Sheller my Bible to be delivered unto him when hee come of sufficient age to use it
Item I give to my sonne Austine Sheller &  to my daughter Jane Sheller one yewe apeece
Oh wow, thank you Clayton!!! Well done on deciphering the text, that's terrific!!
Oxfordshire: SHAYLER, HERN,
Gloucestershire: MEADOWS, HERBERT,
Worcestershire: GRIFFIN, WOOD,
Denbighshire: WILLIAMS, JAMES, EDWARDS, DAVIES.