Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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Robert DADSWELL (1756-1830)

and Mary BROOKER (c1745-?)


Robert Dadswell and Mary Brooker were my 5x Great Grandparents.  (Click here to see their place in my pedigree chart.)  They married by banns on 16 January 1782 at the parish church of St. Deny's in Rotherfield, Sussex.  She then married as Mary Bridger, widow and they were both of Rotherfield.  The witnesses to their marriage were William Wickens and Thomas Coles.  Previously Mary had married John Bridger by banns on 10 March 1763 in Rotherfield, at which time they were both of Rotherfield.  This was John's second marriage and he had first married Mary Burgess on 27 November 1735 in Rotherfield.

Robert Dadswell was baptised on 1 January 1757 in Rotherfield.  He was the son of 5 233 David Dadswell (1723-1803) and 5 233 Ann Oakill (1731-1800).  He was buried on 26 February 1830 in Rotherfield.  (It has been suggested that this Robert married Ann Ovenden in 1771, but he would only have been 14 years old at that time.  It was the Robert Dadswell born in 1712 who married Ann.)

Mary Brookerís date and place of birth/baptism are unknown, to me.  Given that she first married in 1763 and her last known child was born in 1790, I think she may have been born around about 1745.


Robert Dadswell and Mary Brooker had 4 known children:

  1. Mary Dadswell was baptised on 21 April 1782 in Rotherfield.

  2. Robert Dadswell, my 4x Great Grandfather, was baptised on 29 July 1784 in Rotherfield.  He married Ann Kitchenham (1792-1871) in 1812.  (They have their own page.)

  3. James Dadswell was baptised on 28 January 1787 in Rotherfield.

    James married Mary Maynard by banns on 27 February 1810 in Rotherfield.  They were both then of Rotherfield.

    Mary was baptised on 15 April 1792 in Rotherfield and was the daughter of Edward Maynard and Mary Foster.

    At the time of the 1841 census the couple were living at Beacon Hill in Rotherfield along with 12 year old Harriet Dadswell and 7 year old David Dadswell. When the 1851 census was recorded the couple were living in Crowborough along with 2 year old lodger, Sarah Ann Dadswell.  James was then a 63 year old agricultural labourer and Mary was 59.  In 1861 the couple were living at Pellings in Rotherfield and had 2 visitors with them, namely 65 year old John Comber and his 25 year old son also a John Comber.  (John Comber senior had married Mary Dadswell on 19 November 1825 in Rotherfield.  When the 1851 census was recorded the Comber family were living at Hole Farm in Rotherfield, either with or next door to the family of 40 year old William Dadswell and his 38 year old wife Mary.)

    James and Mary had the following children:

    1. William Dadswell was born on 15 January 1811 and baptised on 24 February 1811 in Groombridge.  William married Mary Relp.  In 1851, 40 year old William Dadswell was living with his 38 year old wife Mary, and a 39 year old William Dadswell was living with his 46 year old wife Mary.  Both Williams were born and living in Rotherfield.

    2. Mary Dadswell was born on 7 August 1813 and baptised on 10 October 1813 in Rotherfield.  She died aged 57 years in the East Grinstead Union Workhouse and was buried on 25 March 1871 in East Grinstead.

      Mary married John Lampon on 28 February 1832 in Rotherfield.  He was then a 57 year old widower.

      John died aged 74 years and was buried on 13 March 1849 in East Grinstead.

      John and Mary had 1 known son:

      1. Thomas Lampon was baptised on 5 February 1835 in East Grinstead and buried there on 7 September 1835, aged 8 months.

    3. James Dadswell was born on 12 May 1816 and baptised on 11 August 1816 in Rotherfield.

    4. George Dadswell was born on 26 February 1819 and baptised on 4 April 1819 in Rotherfield.

    5. Henry Dadswell was born on 25 December 1821 and baptised on 3 March 1822 in Rotherfield.

    6. Edward Dadswell born on 25 April 1825 and baptised on 29 May 1825 in Rotherfield.

    7. Harriet Dadswell was born about 1829.  She married Ezra Brooman on 2 May 1852 in Rotherfield.  Ezra was born about 1830 and was the son of Stephen Brooman.

    8. John Dadswell was born and baptised on 2 June 1831 in Rotherfield.

    9. David Dadswell was baptised on 2 September 1833 in Rotherfield.

    10. Sarah Dadswell was born on 21 August 1835 and baptised on 8 November 1835 in Rotherfield.

  4. Ann Dadswell was baptised on 9 August 1790 in Rotherfield.


John Bridger and Mary Brooker had 8 known children:

  1. Joseph Bridger was baptised on 26 June 1764 in Rotherfield.  He was buried there on 25 October 1792.  He married Elizabeth Stapley on 29 April 1788 in Rotherfield.  They had 3 known children.

  2. Benjamin Bridger was baptised on 24 January 1766 in Rotherfield.  He married twice.  Firstly to Sarah Rochester on 25 November 1788 in Rotherfield.  They had 3 known children.  He then married Sarah Guy on 26 December 1796 in Rotherfield, by whom he had 9 known children.

  3. Edward Bridger was baptised on 16 August 1767 in Rotherfield.

  4. Barbara Bridger was baptised on 2 February 1768 in Rotherfield.  She married John Bridger on 14 April 1790 in Rotherfield.

  5. Sarah Bridger was baptised on 30 November 1769 in Rotherfield.  She married George Ovenden on 9 October 1789 in Rothefield.  They had 3 known children.

  6. Michael Bridger was baptised on 3 September 1772 in Rotherfield.

  7. Elizabeth Bridger was baptised on 5 November 1774 in Rotherfield.  She married Thomas Berry on 28 April 1795 in Rotherfield.  They had 5 known children.

  8. Annesly Bridger was baptised on 12 July 1777 in Rotherfield.  She married William Brown on 20 September 1798 in Rotherfield.  They had 3 known children.


John Bridger and Mary Burgess had 9 known children:

  1. Mary Bridger was baptised on 24 July 1736 in Rotherfield and buried there on 26 March 1749.

  2. Thomas Bridger was baptised on 25 September 1737 in Rotherfield and died in childhood.

  3. John Bridger was baptised on 24 February 1737 in Rotherfield and buried there on 26 March 1749.

  4. James Bridger was baptised on 25 April 1740 in Rotherfield.

  5. Thomas Bridger was baptised on 21 October 1742 in Rotherfield and died in childhood.

  6. James Bridger was baptised on 3 January 1744 in Rotherfield and died in childhood.

  7. Jane Bridger was baptised on 29 August 1746 in Rotherfield.  She married Edward Page.

  8. John Bridger was baptised on 17 October 1748 in Rotherfield.

  9. Martha Bridger was baptised on 25 June 1751 in Rotherfield.



The following has been copied from the A2A web site:

FILE - Attested copy of deed - ref.  SAS-WH/330  - date: 5 Mar 1763

Between John Bridger of Rotherfield, yeoman (1), Mary Brooker of Rotherfield, spinster (2) and John Alchorne of Buxted, yeoman (3), whereby - in consideration of an intended marriage between the said John Bridger and Mary Brooker - the said John Bridger covenanted to stand seised of and in a messuage or tenement and toft of land containing 4 ac. at or near Town Gate; a piece containing 4 ac. adjoing the said messuage; 3 ac. adjoining; all called the Little field, the Four acres otherwise Gutchers field, and the Pit Field, all in Rotherfield Also 2 ac. called Woodcroft at Town Gate

The said premises to stand charged with the payment of an Annuity of £6 to the said Mary immediately after the decease of the said John Bridger, for her life; which said annuity the said Mary Brooker agreed to accept in full of all dower and thirds and any share of the personal estate to which she might be entitled in case the said John Bridger should die intestate in the lifetime of the said Mary

Now for some speculation!

At some point I will check the East Sussex Record Office Baptism Index for any Mary Brooker's born about 1745.  But I think she may have been in some way related to Michael Brooker (c1662-1751) - see BROOKER FAMILY of Framfield, Sussex for more details (external web site).  The reason being that Michael was a fairly uncommon name and John and Mary Bridger (nee Brooker) named a son Michael.  They also named a daughter Barbara Bridger in 1768, which was also fairly unusual, and in 1758 a Barbara Brooker was born to Michael Brooker (1716-1805), grandson of c1662 Michael.  1716 Michael also had a daughter named Mary Brooker born in 1765 who married James Dadswell (1761-?), who was the brother of Robert Dadswell (1756-1829).

Possible parents for Mary could be John Brooker and Mary Stephens who married on 22 April 1742 in Framfield.  But when was John born?  Might he have been born in 1713 the son of Edward Brooker (1688-1746) and Elizabeth Newnham (1690-?)?  1713 John died before 1751.  1688 Edward was the son of Michael Brooker (c1662-1751).  In Michael's 1751 ill he did not mention 1713 John, instead he did mention that the next child in line was the eldest (i.e. Michael Brooker born 1716).

Or, was Mary the daughter of Edward Brooker and Mary Akehurst who married by banns on 5 June 1744 in Waldron, Sussex?  Edward was then of Mayfield, Sussex and Mary of Waldron.  Might Edward have been born in 1720 in Framfield and have been the son of Edward Brooker and Elizabeth Newnham?

And to confuse even further, there was a Barbara Brooker born 1735 in Isfield to William Brooker (1704-1785) and Frances Taylor (c1702-1786).  They also had a daughter named Mary Brooker born in 1725.  1735 Barbara first married William Shadrick in 1756 and then David Midmer a widower of Framfield in 1771.

I also have a direct line Brooker ancestor - Frances Brooker born about 1744 and married in Cuckfield, Sussex in 1765.  (Eventually I will add more Brooker details to this site.)


Many thanks to Michael Bridger for additions to this page.