Bitton Families



Bush headstones at Bitton
Courtesy of Hidden Heritage


by Kirk, Marsha, Rosemary, Sarah.

It appears that the English pedigree of the family is recognized as being descended from Duyland/Dynland BUSHE (abt 1427, Carmarthenshire, Wales; m. Cicily RYDE, Carmarthenshire, Wales). It's more specifically documented back to early medieval Wales, largely based on College of Arms MSS D.13, 142, which begins with Cadwgan FAWR (ca1250) of Maenor Cadwgan, Cydwelli (aka Kidwwelly), Carmarthenshire, Wales. The early surname of this BUSH family was DEULWYN and variations (see Weaver's Visitations of Somerset 1531, 1573, 1591).

Pedigrees and other documents place members of the family in Dylton and Rowley, Wiltshire (near Frome; from the 1450s); Bristol; Southampton, Hampshire; Ubley (early 1500s), Dundry, Kelston (early 1600s), Bath Easton, SOM; Bitton, Dirham, Marshfield, Alveston, Cold Ashton, GLS

This section highlights what we think are the Bitton lines, but it is only a small portion of the overall family we are still learning about.

William BUSHE (1458, Dylton, Wiltshire; m. Unknown STRANGE, of Gloucester). They are the parents of Paul (1490-1558, first Bishop of Bristol) and John (abt 1489, Dylton, Wiltshire; m Elizabeth FFERNEFOLDE). The known family is descended from John/Elizabeth via their children (b abt 1520 - 1528): John, Edward, William, Walter, Elizabeth.

William (abt 1526, Ubley, Somerset; m. Johan, perhaps PACKER, of Ubley). Pedigrees have her first name only, no last name. A PACKER pedigree might indicate her last name, but we do not have solid proof at this time. Burke notes three children for this couple: John, of Dundry; William, of Kelston and Thomas. The same PACKER pedigree includes three other children: Richard, Edward and Luke. There was a Richard Bushe of Butcombe who left property to his five sons in Dundry in 1548, and an Edmund Bush, of Winscombe, who left money to his brother Thomas and cousin John in 1644, but we are still unsure of the connections.

Thomas (abt 1569, Ubley, Somerset; m. Unknown). Named in his mother, Johan's, will (but we have not been able to find any copy of her will). This seems to be the start of the families in/around Bitton, but the evidence is still not confirmed. A BUSHE pedigree (Burke copy of the one at the College of Heralds) shows William bap 5 Apr 1607, Ubley, but this is not yet confirmed. He m. Mary, perhaps nee PAINTER/PAYNTER. Thomas might also be the father of a George and John (Anthony's line), and there are Bitton/Hanham baptisms with fathers of these names. Sorting them is part of the ongoing research.

William (bap 1607 - 1680, Bitton) had two sons. Younger son John (Abt 1643 - 1711, Bitton; m. 1) Elizabeth BRITTON and 2) Margaret Unknown). We have his will and MI from St. Mary's, Bitton. Most of the information re his family comes from pedigree fragments, his will and Bitton entries for some of them.

William's son, William (b abt 1639 - 1711; m. Martha BERTRAM [bap 1648/49, Marshfield - 1733, Cold Ashton]). William's birth comes from Burke and the pedigree, but we don't know where. These were Civil War years when baptismal entries were haphazard. We know that he died and was buried at Cold Ashton in 1711, aged 72, and in his will he is of Noad, Cold Ashton.

From the Vestry Minutes for St. Mary's, Bitton we have learned that William had been called by the Heralds, but presumably didn't make it; by 1694 a John BUSH (likely his son who d. 1711) was on the committee and by 1714 John's son Samuel was on the committee.

Of William/Martha's 10 children, son William (bap 1677, Cold Ashton - buried 1754 at Bitton; m. Eleanor ENGLAND of Batheaston; parents of 11 children; first 4 baptized there, then they appear to have returned to Beach). William was a maltster who lived at "The Old House" Beach, Bitton. Wife Eleanor died 1759 and both are recorded on a large grave in Bitton churchyard.

Less is known of Thomas' older brother William, of Kelston (adjoins Bitton). He is documented as having been a churchwarden there in 1606 and as the father of a daughter, Joane, bap 1609. A 1623 will for a Thomas of Kelston (names among others, a sister Joanne and father William) has sparked speculation that he's an as yet undocumented son of William.

A group of researchers is collaborating on research into this very large BUSH/BUSHE family. Sarah has been busy transcribing many BUSH/BUSHE wills as part of her research efforts. They can be found in the Gloucester Wills section of the Genuki site.

Rosemary has focused on the line of James BUSH (1736 - 1813; one of the 11 children of William/Eleanor) and his wife, Susanna nee WHITTINGTON. One of their sons, John (1776 - 1840; m. Anne nee HARRIS), had 15 children. Another son, William (1777-1853; m Alice nee WHITTUCK), had one son that died in infancy. Several of John's children inherited from their Uncle William, went to Alveston and subsequently donated the church and village hall. These BUSHes were all born Doynton or Bitton (Beach), although they used the Cold Ashton church. Beach is half way up the hill from Bitton, and Cold Ashton was as near as Bitton church.

One substantial line of BUSH families in Bitton has not yet been identified/connected to the pedigreed family. The earliest of this branch (Michael's line) is a Samuel BUSH, blacksmith, who d. 1809. He m. Rachel NAISH (1740 - 1774) 1766, Bitton. We know only of son John (1767, Kelston - 1823) who m. Mary THOMPSON, 1793, Bitton. This branch is fairly well documented into the 1900s. It includes the families of John Naish (Sr and Jr), Henry Ellacombe BUSH, Henry Ryners BUSH (the Stores), Sidney Thomas BUSH (abt 1882-1964), a former landlord of the Upton Cheyney Inn.


Click on the names of researchers to see their additional interests and contact information on the Researcher page.

Until recently James BUSH (1739 - 1816), originally of Bristol (where he was a Burgess; later went to Kentish Town, Middlesex) was as far back as our branch of the family went. We now know that James is a s/o James BUSH (1703 - 1750; a yeoman who owned land at St. Philip and Jacob, Bristol). In his will he left everything to his children, Judith, Elizabeth, Giles and James. This James was bap 1703, Bitton, a son of George (of the Grange) and Susannah BUSH. We think this is the George who died and left a will, 1722, Bitton.

From tentative research, George may be a s/o yet another George, b abt 1628; George, in turn, a s/o George, b. abt 1598, Hanham; this George a s/o 1569 Thomas. This tentative segment is the current focus of our branch's research.

We are trying to verify the identity of Martha BUSH. It is possible that she is Martha, bap 18 Sep 1863, Bitton, d/o John BUSH, yeoman/Susanna nee BRIGHT, who m. 1 Dec 1754, Bitton [yeoman; spin; both otp]. There is no further information about the identity of John or Sarah.

From the Bitton Parish Register, Marriage: Samuel HAINS of this parish, bachelor, and Martha BUSH of this parish spinster, married in church by banns 17 November 1788, marks of bride and groom, Banns 26 Oct, 2 Nov, 9 Nov 1788

This marriage produced the following children, all bap Bitton.
Francis HAINS (1789); Mary HAINS (1793; 2 yr 11mo; m. George BAGGERIDGE); Susanna HAINS (1793); William HAINS (1794); Ann HAINS (1795); Hannah HAINS (1796) and Francis HAINS (1799)

Please see also the BAGGRIDGE and HAINS pages.

Dorcas BUSH was the daughter of James (not yet identified within the family) and Sarah BUSH. She was baptized on 29th March 1807 at Hanham. Her husband Thomas JEFFREY (sic) was a cordwainer. In 1851, Thomas and Dorcas lived at North Common Bitton.

I am seeking confirmation of the parents of my GGG grandfather, Thomas BUSH, who was born in 1799 (not in Hampshire), and died in 1842, a publican in Portsmouth. He may be the Thomas BUSH who was christened in 1799 in the parish church of Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire; the bastard son of Ann BUSH. This derives from some associations with William BUSH, a Royal Marine who lived in Portsmouth, but was born in Bradford on Avon in 1787/8.

I can also be contacted for information regarding BUSHes in Bradford on Avon, Wilts and Portsmouth, Hants, as well as the Bush aka Deulwyn connections to medieval pedigrees of Wales.

Marcia Bush was Baptised St Annes Oldland 7 February 1852 and married George Milton there 2nd May 1869. She was, I think, the eldest daughter of Henry Ellacombe Bush, village blacksmith, Bitton who was baptised St Mary's Bitton 8 June 1828, who married Eliza Hicks. Marcia and George went on to have 13 children of which one was my grandmother Lillian Milton who lived in Web Street in Horwich before she married my grandfather William Davenport in 1911. Marcia died of Dropsy at the age of 52 when my grandmother Lillian Milton was just twelve years old.

I have traced my Davenports back to the beginning of 1600 and I believe that they are linked to the Davenport gentry of Cheshire who can be traced back to the Norman Conquest, though I haven't found the link yet. In the 1881 census two of Marcia's sisters, Louisa and Ellen, were visiting her in Lowton Lancashire and one of Marcia and George's daughters, Bertha Rhoda Milton, sister to my grandmother, was with her grandfather Henry Ellacombe Bush in Bitton.

My earliest is abt 1785 James Bush, Pipe Maker.  He's documented in the 1841-1861 Censuses in Carmarthenshire, Wales.  His age is consistent as is his citing Bristol as his birthplace. Also per censuses, his wife was Ann, b abt 1787, Liverpool (but no marriage yet found in Lancaster, Bristol or Wales); daughter Sarah was b abt 1817, Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales and daughter Susannah b abt 1826, Carmarthenshire, Wales.  I'm of his son James, also bap 1817, Swansea, but per censuses b abt 1813.

From Bristol area baptisms, he could be James, bap 17.10.1784 Bitton, s/o James/Jane. Or perhaps he's James, bap 10.09.1787, all Saints (1yr 11mo), s/o Charles/Ann.

Marcia Milton nee Bush.
Seeking ancestry of only known family member Grace BUSH born by 1696 who married Sampson PHIPPS of Don John's Cross on 2.6.1712 at Bitton.

A small coal vein in Kingswood was known as Bush's described in 1726 "which lieth at the bottom of the hills by Cadberry Heath leading to the windmill."

, Martin  
Our direct connection to the BUSH family is that of Ann BUSH, who m. William MEERE, 1793, Batheaston. Thanks to Sarah and her will collection, we learned that Ann is a d/o Thomas (1731, Bitton - 1775, Batheaston) who m. Susanna (nee COATES, of St. Catherine or Stanton Drew). Thomas is a s/o William (of Beach, Bitton)/Eleanor (nee ENGLAND, of Batheaston). The added treat was learning that we share this line with Sarah's husband via Ann's brother, George.

There are several BUSH / THOMPSON connections, so please see also the THOMPSON family section.

My Great-grandfather was Sidney Thomas BUSH (abt 1882 - 1964), who was landlord of the Upton Inn, Upton Cheyney. I'm seeking the origins of our earliest, Samuel BUSH, Blacksmith (Bef 1746 - 1809). Samuel's son, John m. Mary THOMPSON and they have many identified descendants in the Bitton area.

Michelle is researching the PARKER family of Bitton, 1600s onward. Associated names are: BUSH, BUTLER, CLARKE, SMALLCOMBE, WHITTINGTON.

My great-grandfather Coster THOMPSON (from Pensford) married Ann BUSH in Bristol in 1863. Ann (from Norton Malreward) was the daughter of William BUSH and Eliza SILCOX. William (also from Norton Malreward) was a son of Lawrence BUSH and Hester PONSFORD (they never married). Lawrence died in 1841, age 68 (so born about 1773). I have not yet determined the origin of Lawrence, although I have found a Laurence son of Laurence and Elizabeth BUSH who was baptised in Stanton Drew on Christmas Day 1773, which sounds promising.

A recent revelation is that Ann was residing at Lawns Farm, Alveston when she died, a widow, in 1921 (according to the Norton Malreward burial register). The connection with Alveston is unknown, however Lawns Farm is associated with a large house called The Loans (or The Lawns), which belonged to the BUSH family (of Doynton) for some time, at least until Thomas BUSH died in 1902. Any help in clearing up this mystery would be gratefully received!

My interest in the Bush family started with a history exhibition in our local village Alveston, which I organized to celebrate 100 years of the village hall donated by the Bush family, who also paid 2/3 of the cost of the new 1885 church.

ANN BUSH 1818-1866 (G-G-Grandmother) When we started to investigate my husband's BUSH line, the only information we had was that Ann, 6th child of George, had married a Henry LAXTON, surgeon, at St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol in 1845. A partial copy of a BUSH pedigree linked George back to a brother of Paul Bush, first Bishop of Bristol (d.1558), and indicated that the family had come from South Wales, and adopted the BUSH surname, a couple of generations earlier. We wanted to check out the pedigree, as far as possible, and fill in the details, to try and get a picture of the family through the ages.

Well. several years on, we have a database of several thousand Bushes who lived and worked in the Somerset/Wilts/Glouc area from the 1400s onwards, and still loads of unanswered questions! We have managed to establish a link with Marsha's Ann Bush (1767?-1824), aunt of our Ann, and we are busy working on other possible links, especially in the Bitton area. George's father Thomas was from a family of maltsters at Beach, Bitton, and there is a family tomb in Bitton churchyard.

Reg Harris was able to provide the marriage of George BUSH, cooper, to Susanna BENNETT at St Thomas, Bristol in 1809, and a kind Bristol Lister discovered the baptisms of children Mary (1815), Ann and John (1818), Susanna (1820) and William (1822), all at St Thomas. However there should have been some earlier children of this couple, not yet discovered. Mary married Stephen JAMES, a Bristol brewer, and had numerous children, one of whom, Edward Burnett JAMES, was Lord Mayor of Bristol in 1908. We would be delighted to hear from any JAMES relations (or any others!) who might know a little more about our common BUSH line.


Bush headstone, Bitton
Courtesy of Hidden Heritage




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