James Hinvest

James Hinvest and his wife Ann(e) (nee Legge) are my next set of five times great-grandparents. When I originally started writing this blog about my family history, James and Ann(e) did not appear in my tree, and this was due to difficulties with their surname. I was quite certain that they would be living in the Eling area of Hampshire, and it turned out that I was right. The reason why I was having so many difficulties was due to the number of name variations in the different records. The variations that I have found so far are: Hinvest, Hinves, Henvis, Hinvess and Henviss. After carrying out the various researches, I was confident that I had the correct family.

James Hinvest was born in 1770 in Eling, Hampshire and was baptised on the 8th July that year:

It states that his father was John Hinvest, but it doesn’t state who his mother was. In the October 2016 edition of Family Tree magazine, there is an article in the Dear Tom section on page 12, column two about why parents may have been absent from their children’s baptisms. It could have been that the mothers were confined to bed for a long period of time after they gave birth to their children. According to the article, the mother was also said ‘to be unclean for 40 days’, and then had to be ‘churched’ before entering a church building. It was also thought that babies were baptised earlier due to high infant mortality rates.

The parish of Eling lies almost five miles to the west of the centre of Southampton. According to http://www.british-history.ac.uk the ancient parish of Eling included the modern parishes of Eling, Netley Marsh, Copythorne, Colbury and Marchwood. These five parishes were formed from Eling in 1894. The modern parish of Eling includes Rumbridge, Totton, Pooksgreen and parts of Hounsdown.

The village of Eling has a church called St Mary the Virgin and originates from the ninth century, possibly as a timber construction. It is thought that it was founded in the reign of King Ethelwulf, who was the father of King Alfred. The entry for Eling in the Domesday Book states that there was a church in existence in the area at that time, but little remains of it due to the nature of its construction.


St Mary the Virgin Church, Eling

When the Normans arrived, the church was re-built from stone. Due to a church standing in the area for over 900 years, the graveyard is estimated to hold 30,000 burials. There are currently two graveyards, with the newer one situated further down the hill from the church.

Just down the hill from the church is Eling Tide Mill. Although a mill was mentioned in the Domesday Book in Eling, there is no evidence that this current one is connected to it.  The current tide mill had to be re-built about 240 years ago, in the 1770s, due to a storm. This would have been around the time that James was born. Eling Tide Mill is one of two such mills still operating in this country today.

Looking at the baptism record of Anne Legge, there is only one record of this name in Hampshire. According to the Hampshire Baptisms Transcription on FindMyPast, Anne Legge was baptised on the 27th October 1775 in Headley, Hampshire. Her parents were Thomas and Sarah, and in the notes, it states that they were from Frensham. Frensham is in Surrey and is 4.8 miles north-east of Headley. I will need to visit the Hampshire Archives to see if there are any settlement records for the Legge family. Below is a copy of the baptism record:


The only marriage record that I could find for James and Anne is for a marriage on the 17th November 1794 in the parish of North Stoneham in Hampshire:

This parish is a fair way from James’ home parish of Eling. As this is the only marriage entry that I have found so far, I would like to have a look at the marriage record to see how the bride and groom’s parish has been recorded. This would then direct my research further. The date of the marriage would coincide with when they started their family.

Having researched through the various databases available to me, I was able to find ten children born to James and Ann(e), and they were: James, my four times great-grandfather (1796-1882), Elizabeth (1799-), Sarah (1806-1828), Henry (1808-), Richard (1811-), Thomas (1813-1814), Eliza (1815-1848), George (1817-1818), Hannah (1821), and George (1824-1824). As you can see, three of their children passed away at a very young age.

The next record that James and Ann(e) appeared on was the 1841 census return:


You can see on this census return that James was 70 years old, and that he was living with his wife, Ann and that she was 60 years old. This would mean that she was born in 1781. The 1841 census return was never very accurate when it came to recording ages, so we can use this date of birth as a rough guideline. If you look below Ann’s name on the census return, you can see that they had their daughter, Hannah, living with them, and that she was 20 years of age.

The next record that James appeared on was the 1851 census return, and you can see the transcription of this from FindMyPast below:


By 1851, James was a widower and he was living at the New Forest Union Workhouse. His age on this record was showing as 84, which would give a year of birth of 1767, and this fits in within a few years of the baptism record that I found.

According to http://www.workhouse.org.uk, the New Forest Union Workhouse was built in Ashurst in 1836, and it was to accommodate around 200 inmates. The architect was a man called Sampson Kempthorne, and he was the architect of many of the early Union workhouses. After 1930, the workhouse was taken over by Southampton County Council and it became a Public Assistance Institution. After 1948, it joined the National Health Service and became Ashurst Hospital, which provides care for elderly patients.

Hampshire County Archives should, hopefully, have a workhouse admission register for this workhouse, and this should tell me the circumstances of which James was admitted. Being admitted to the workhouse would have been a last resort due to the living conditions, and he would have probably been admitted if his family couldn’t take care of him.

As James was a widower, by the time of the 1851 census, we can assume that his wife, Ann(e), died between 1841 and 1851 as the last record that she appeared on was in 1841. I have only been able to find one death record for that period, and that is for Ann Hinves in September 1846 in the district of Southampton. I am currently in the process of requesting this certificate to make sure that it is the correct person. I’ve found a death record for a James Hinves for the first quarter of 1853 in the New Forest district of Hampshire. I will be requesting this certificate as well to make sure it is the correct person. I will keep you updated in a future blog.


About debbielou72

I am a genealogist who has been researching for quite a few years on mine and my husband's family tree. I also carry out research professionally for other people. I am a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies studying the surname Hiscock and its variations. I am also a member of CILIP. I am currently studying for the Pharos Tutors Family History Skills & Strategies (Intermediate) certificate
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