Bitton Families



by Brian

I was working on my HOPES family, collaborating with my cousin, Caroline, when she introduced the GULLY link to me. GULLY/GULLEY and later GUL(L)WELL were it seems, entwined with several branches of our families. As our researches progressed we found that several other researchers were linking up with us and slowly we constructed charts for seemingly different strands of GULLY, and that in a couple of branches, GULLY and GUL(L)WELL were interchangeable. We also failed to find the link between the Devon/Cornwall and Somerset GULLY families.

I hope that researchers may find helpful the following summary of the GULLY/GUL(W)ELL situation which presently is that:

a) There is a very small branch of GULLY which centres on Taunton area, which is not as yet linked to any other branch

b) The GULLY people in the southwest, Devon, Cornwall and to a small extent Dorset seem to have migrated from the southwest to the wider London area and to a lesser extent, Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. Some of these used the name as GULLEY.

c) The sizeable population of GULLY in the Mendips of Somerset may have come from Devon and Cornwall though I have yet to see a link. They were substantially involved, like the Cornish in mining activities and in addition to coal and quarrying they were working the deadly cadmium deposits. This line produced a GULLY who moved to Bath and was the father of John GULLY b 1819 and went on to be New Zealand’s most famous landscape painter.

d) The Bitton area GULLY families appear to have originated from two sources. There were those working lime at Willsbridge and Longwell Green and others who came from the Cotswold GULLY line. The Cotswold GULLYs were from a line of GUL(L)WELL line, some of whom used the form GULL(E)Y. Many of them went to Australia and some to Glamorgan and Monmouthshire as Miners.

e) Then there was the WILTSHIRE GULY/GULLY line who spawned a very famous GULLY, namely John who was born at the Rose & Crown, Wick. He had strong links with Bath and went on to London, reputedly having sired 25 children, many of whom made successful careers in the Army.

f) Another famous GULLY who took up law and went on to be the Speaker at Parliament was William Court GULLY, grandson of a former plantation owner Daniel GULLY who lost his sugar empire in Jamaica following the emancipation of the slaves there. William’s father was James Manby GULLY a wealthy man who in the late 1870s became entangled in a notorious alleged poisoning case. He was also a Doctor who had a commercial involvement with the spas of Malvern. One of Daniel’s offspring ended up in Bath at the same time as John GULLY’s family was rooted there but it is not known if that is no more than a coincidence.

You will find all the details that are available on these families by going to Rootsweb Worldconnect on the Rootsweb site, which is entirely free. Once there select the Index and then GULLY, GULY, GULLEY or GUL(L)WELL and follow the links.


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

Please select the link to my website, included with my entry on the Researchers page, to see the details of my GULLY family, including the definitive famous JOHN GULLY b 1783, pugilist, Derby winner, industrialist and MP, John GULLY the New Zealand painter, and the 'rank and file' GULLY/GULLEY family.

My direct GULLY family came from Oldland, Longwell Green and Willsbridge and I would be happy to share what I know of the family both in Bitton and here in Adelaide, South Australia, where they settled in 1857. I know of other Bitton Gully descendants here in Australia who would also be interested.

See my interests on the Researcher page.


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