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William Beesley, Son of Charney

I’ve traced my family tree back to Charney Bassett. The records I’ve looked at show that the Beesleys were in Charney for about 150 years, starting with the christening of Mary in 1770 and ending with the burial of Sarah Esther in 1914.

I can tell you a little of the story of one son of Charney and his descendants.

My great-great-grandfather, William Beesley, son of John and Elizabeth (Née Dewe), was christened in Charney in March 1799. In 1832, in Hanney, he married Mary Frogley (born about 1810) of North Denchworth. William built up a business as a “Baker and Mealman” in Newbury Street, Wantage.

The couple had eight children that I’m aware of: Elizabeth, born 1833, William Henry, christened in Charney July 1835 but buried in Wantage aged “about 10 weeks”, George Frogley (1837-1838), Mary (1838-1841), William (b. 1840), Ann (b.1843), John (My great-grandfather b. 1844) and Maria (b. 1847).

In October 1848 William died of phthisis, which I think is TB. The following year Mary sold the business to Richard Symonds. By 1851 Mary was at London Street, Faringdon, with a “Shoe and Fancy Repository” and five children living with her. There is now a “Granny Beesley’s” sweetshop in Faringdon; I contacted them but it seems their family comes from Oxford, so there is no obvious connection. Mary died in 1871, aged about 60.

John left Faringdon. By 1871 he was a “shopman” living in All Saints, Northampton. In 1873 he married Elizabeth Wall at All Saints Church. I’ve identified six children for the couple, born from 1874 to 1888; a seventh child died in infancy, I haven’t found any information on that child. The first two children were born in Northampton and the family then moved to Aston (now part of Birmingham) before the third child was born in 1871.

Starting about 1900, three of the sons moved to the Liverpool area, one daughter moved to Enfield, Middlesex and one son and one daughter stayed in Birmingham.

The Beesleys spread across England from Charney. I still have a lot of research to do in tracing the spread of the family and finding how they got to Charney in the first place!

Steve Beesley, Birmingham, May 2018.