My family are traced back to Westerham Kent with the following entry Thomas Wallis married Katherine Allingham 06th April 1641 in Westerham Kent BUT i cannot find in any records where Thomas Wallis was born or lived BEFORE he moved to Westerham to marry Katherine.

How can I find his baptism or other early records of his life?

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    Do you know if he left a will? One of my ancestors mentioned a bequest from his father to his son in his will. That was the lead that led me to his birthplace. (He lived much of his life and died in London, but was born in Gloucestershire). Oct 1, 2017 at 10:58
  • Hi sempaiscuba thank you for your reply, I must admit with my limited resources I could not find a will, I would think there might be one because looking at my family from Westerham they seem to be of means.
    – wally
    Oct 2, 2017 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


An avenue to explore would be property transactions, especially if you believe they may be a family of means.

For some reason (!) the English state has always paid particular attention to creating and retaining records about property. (A short version of this says: Follow the money -- the records of baptisms marriages and burials at this time were in the not-completely-reliable hands of the church, but money and property matters were important).

Searching at The National Archives, I discovered that The Kent History and Library Centre has a Release by

Deborah Hubble of Westerham, spinster and Anne Hubble of Chiddingstone, spinster to Thomas Wallis of Chiddingstone, yeoman

Date 1706

and a Lease for a

Farm in Penshurst and Chiddingstone

Description Messuage and land and also parcels of land called Row Garden, Lodge Field otherwise Lower Smithyham, Starborough Field, the Two Barnfields now in one, Little Smithyham in Penshurst and Chiddingstone

Includes, 1702, mortgage, Richard Hollamby to Henry Saxby of the land only; 1703, settlement by Richard Hollamby on trustees for benefit of his brother William Hollamby of a moiety of the land; 1705, trustees to William Hollamby of his moiety; 1708, assignment of Henry Saxby's mortgage to Elizabeth Hilton of Rottingdean; 1708, conveyance by William Hollamby of St. Mary Cray, tanner, to Thomas Wallis of Chiddingstone, yeoman; 1715, assignment of mortgage to Henry Streatfeild; 1768, mortgage by the daughters of John Wallis to George Lock of Sevenoaks, carpenter, of the house and land, with deed to lead the uses of a fine; 1768, conveyance to Ann Streatfeild and deed to declare uses of a fine

Nottingham University says:

The lease and release was the most popular and widespread way to record simple sales of property from the seventeenth century up to 1845. The lease and release format was also used to convey property for the purposes of mortgages and settlements.

You'll need to consult the documents themselves (not available online) to know if the individuals and places mentioned are relevant (unless they're already familiar to you from other lines of research).

Even if you eliminate these records, it's worth bearing property records in mind.

  • Thank you so much for the time you have taken in helping me with my problem , you have been very kind. I will try to obtain the documents as in your post and hope this could be the "breaker" i need, this is a fantastic journey for me and its still going thanks to you.
    – wally
    Oct 11, 2017 at 4:43

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