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This question is related to Interpreting "married by Licence as I am credibly informed" on 1732 Gloucestershire marriage record? in which I began to try to find the birth family of my 5th great grandfather Edward Chichester, who was buried at Leighland, Old Cleeve, Somerset, England on 4 May 1823, aged 89, which puts his birth year at about 1734.

As a recap:

He married Constant/Constance Lyddon on 6 Jun 1765 at Leighland and they baptised all their children at Leighland/Old Cleeve: John (29 Sep 1765; which may be why he agreed to a 200 pound marriage bond), Robert (1767), Giles (1769), William (1773), Jane (1776), Charles (1777) and Thomas (1779).

With Edward naming his first son John, I would not be surprised to find that as the name of Edward's father, and there was a John Chichester baptised to Giles on 11 Sep 1703 at Old Cleeve.

John Chichester (presumably that one), and his wife Elizabeth baptised a son John on 11 Apr 1733 at Leighland, which I think makes a reasonable case for Edward having a brother named John (1733) and a father named John (1703).

In Ancestry.com's "UK, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710-1811" I recently found a record for Robert Row of Leigh, Somerset, Surgeon taking on an apprentice John, son of Giles Chichester, of Lyland, Somerset, Yeoman on 9 Oct 1717.

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This John Chichester is the candidate I have for Edward's father.

Also in Ancestry.com's "UK, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710-1811", some time ago I found a record for John Ball of Williton, Somerset, Surgeon taking on an apprentice named John Chichester on 30 Apr 1782.

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This John Chichester is Edward's eldest son. He was baptised to Edward and Constant on 29 Sep 1765 at Leighland, Somerset. Note that the baptism record which is on its own at the bottom of a page is clearly dated 1775 but this is believed to be an error because all other records on that page and the next page are from 1763, 1764, 1765 and 1766.

What type of records might I expect to find that mention West Somerset surgeons in the 18th century?

If I could find a record that says one John Chichester is the grandson/grandfather of the other, then I think I will have my best proof yet that Edward (1734-1823) is the son of John (1703-1774).

I am aware of "Eighteenth century medics (subscriptions, licences, apprenticeships)" which I suspect is likely to mention both surgeons named John Chichester but I have not been able to view a copy.

The younger John Chichester married Elizabeth Armstrong on 24 Feb 1783 at Leighland, but was later a physician in South Carolina, USA where he married Mary Beatrix Powell on 10 Nov 1794 and he practised at Charleston until at least 1806 (before returning to England to live in Gloucestershire where he died at Cheltenham in 1830). Consequently, any writings about his life may be found in the US as well as England.

  • I don't think directly answers your question, but if you don't have it already, this 1732 NA will of "Robert Rowe of Leighland" names "Giles Chichester of Leigh" and "cousin John Chichester of Arlington" as trustees, among others. – AndyW Aug 5 '16 at 9:07
  • Incidentally, I've done a few searches related to your questions, and always hit the mess of "noble" Chichester families of Arlington, Raleigh etc. I wasn't sure if they were yours", but this will appears to link the Arlington Chichesters, via Rowe, to a Giles Chichester at least, and is in the records of the "Chichester family of Arlington Court, Devon". – AndyW Aug 5 '16 at 9:12
  • Thanks @AndyW - yes, I think the new apprenticeship record along with that will (which I have seen but not dissected) could be what connects our Chichesters to the Arlington Chichesters. Leighland seems to have strong Catholic connections and I suspect the name Giles is after Giles Poyntz. – PolyGeo Aug 5 '16 at 9:34
  • I think there were two Giles Chichesters (of Leighland and Arlington) extant around then, and that Robert Rowe was married to Prudence the sister of Giles of Arlington. The will description says "appoints wife, cousin John Chichester of Arlington" and I think John Chichester of Arlington was his brother-in-law so the definition of cousin used may not be the same as we use today. In any event, once I know that John (1703) and his father Giles of Leighland are the ancestors of Edward (c.1734) and me I will start to look harder at any Arlington connections. – PolyGeo Aug 6 '16 at 4:48
  • Work avoidance time! This Bristol Council Report includes a timeline for Arlington Court (start aruond p59 of the PDF). There's a John(1633)-Giles(1677)-John(1707) sequence, but the dates don't match your Leighland Giles and son John(1703), so there must be (at least) two parallel Chichester families. And comment fields are too short, so... – AndyW Aug 15 '16 at 13:52

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