#52ancestors (Wk11): Lucky – Elizabeth Vickery

The Vickery family line flows back from my Mum’s Mum’s Mum’s side of my family tree and is one of the lines I can trace furthest back, with still further promise. I am on pretty solid foundations going back to at least my 8x great grandparents John Vickery (1675-1737) and Elizabeth Page (1675-1729) of Bentley, Hampshire, and there are side branches to which I shall return in future weeks which have the potential to go back another five hundred years or so.

Photo of Saint Andrew's Church, Farnham, taken from the road in front, looking up above a large brick wall lining the road. The tower stands proudly above the main sections of the church, with a Union Jack flag flying on the mast above it, against a fairly cloudy sky.
St. Andrew’s Church, Farnham from Middle Church Lane. © Paul Simpson.

If we come forward a few generations, in this week’s post I’m interested in one of the daughters of my 6x great grandparents James Vickery (1738-1815) and Elizabeth Rogers (1746-1804). I’m descended from their son, my 5x great grandfather John Vickery (1771—1852), but my attention has been drawn to one of their daughters, his sister, and my 5x great grand aunt, Elizabeth Vickery [5 May, 1773 (Crondall, Hampshire) – 15 December, 1847 (Bagshot, Surrey)] for the simple reason that she was lucky enough to be married in one of my favourite local landmarks, St. Andrew’s Church, Farnham.

Farnham – beautiful, but not home to my family

Farnham is a beautiful market town. I am so lucky it is on my doorstep. Its beauty is thanks to its historical associations and the town’s beautiful location on the Surrey/Hampshire border. It is steeped in craft and culture (not something that can be said for many places in the area) and was awarded ‘world craft town’ status by the World Crafts Council in 2020 – the first town in England to have been so. It has one of the finest examples of a weekly local newspaper you will find in the UK (Farnham Herald) and an amazing arts/cultural space in the Farnham Maltings that was once generous enough in supporting me to set up a community podcast studio project called Sound Vault for a couple of years. Farnham Castle stands on the crest of a hill overlooking the town.

One of my best friends Elisabeth-Madalena standing in front of the grave of William Cobbett, which is just in front of the main entrance to the church. © Paul Simpson.

The tower of St. Andrew’s Church casts its majesty over many views within the town, and the grave of political reformer William Cobbett (1783-1835) lies just outside the church entrance.

Many times I thought to myself that I would be extremely lucky to find myself an ancestor in my family tree who was either baptised, married or buried at St. Andrew’s Church, Farnham. I resigned myself to never making such a discovery. Although I had family who had lived nearby in either Bentley or Crondall just across the border in Hampshire, it just felt that this church and the streets of Farnham themselves were too beautiful, too perfect for the likes of my family.

Maybe I should not have doubted myself so much. After all, I had been lucky enough to be born in Farnham. All those years ago, there was not a hospital at this end of the county, and births were routinely directed towards the hospital at Farnham.

And so the aisle at St. Andrew’s Church, Farnham beckoned for Elizabeth Vickery. On 18 October, 1797, she was married to agricultural labourer Richard Berry [31 January, 1772 (Crondall, Hampshire) – March, 1847 (Bagshot, Surrey)]. I feel so lucky to finally find one of my ancestors with a connection to one of my favourite local landmarks.

The couple went on to make the fifteen or so mile journey to settle in Bagshot in the parish of Windlesham, almost celebrating fifty years of marriage before both dying in the same year, 1847. They were both buried in the cemetery of Bagshot Chapel.

Elizabeth had been baptised back on 2 June 1773 in All Saints Church, Crondall, the village where her parents had raised her. That particular church has been a popular haunt on many sides of the family for special occasions.

Elizabeth’s parents had been married at St. Michael’s the Archangel, Aldershot back on 6 September, 1769.

Prior to that, Elizabeth’s father and his family had been regular users of the parish church at Bentley, Hampshire where they had lived. Many more places of worship will feature in future weeks, but since I was always transfixed by St. Andrew’s, it felt only fitting to flag up Elizabeth Vickery’s wedding taking place there, since this week’s #52ancestors theme is ‘lucky’ – and she has finally given me a family connection to that place.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any queries or corrections, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


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