Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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Thomas ROBERTS (c1535-1593)

and Joanna OCKENDEN (c1540-1600)


Thomas Roberts and Joanna Ockenden were my 11x Great Grandparents.  (Click here to see their place in my pedigree chart.)  They married on 1 September 1564 in Cowfold, Sussex.

Thomas Roberts may have been born in the 1530's.  He was the son of John Roberts (c1510-?).  He was buried on 5 May 1593 in Cowfold.  His will was dated 2 May 1593 and proved at Lewes on 18 May 1593 (ref Lewes A9 164).  He held Denwood in Cowfold.   He was a Church Warden in 1567 and again in 1592.  Thomas was an overseer to his Father-in-law's Will of 1586/7.  He signed the Parishioners' Resolution of 31 March 1588.

Joanna Ockenden may have been born in about the 1540's.  She was the daughter of John Ockenden (c1520-1593).  She was the executrix of her husband's Will of 1593.  She may have then married John Dumbrell of Cuckfield by licence on 11 June 1596 in Lewes.  And as Joan Dumbrell she may have been buried on 14 February 1599/1600 in Cuckfield.


Thomas Roberts and Joanna Ockenden had 3 known children:

  1. John Roberts, my 10x Great Grandfather, was baptised on 3 January 1570/1 in Cowfold.  He married Anne Gratwick in 1593.  (They have their own page.)

  2. Henry Roberts was said to be of Brighton, Sussex.  He may have been born about 1572.  He was under 21 when his father made his Will in 1593.  Henry was buried on 4 June 1617 in Cowfold.  His Will was dated 2 June 1617 and proved on 10 June 1617 at Lewes.  He named his brother John Roberts and Thomas Jenner of Brighton as executors of his Estate.  He married Tasmsin Nycholas on 9 February 1606/7 in Cuckfield.  She was mentioned in her husband's Will.

  3. Ockenden Roberts was baptised on 13 March 1585/6 in Cowfold.  He was buried on 15 July 1626 at St. Nicholas in Brighton.  Ockenden married Elizabeth Darby on 24 October 1608 in Steyning, Sussex.  She was granted Administration of his Estate on 17 July 1626.  Ockenden's brother Henry mentioned 3 children of Ockenden and Elizabeth in his 1617 Will, one of whom was:

    1. Henry Roberts was buried at St. Nicholas in Brighton on 29 August 1640.  He was  Fisherman.  He married Elizabeth Boys by Licence on 26 November 1636 in Brighton.  She was granted Administration of her husband's Estate on 9 January 1640/1.

    Another son may have been Ockenden Roberts who was buried in Brighton on 16 August 1659.

    Elizabeth may have then have married Jonas Rivett Clerk of Brighton on 10 September 1626 in Ditchling.  She may have been buried in Brighton on either 23 November 1666 or 16 March 1676.  Jonas may have been buried on 29 July 1638 in Brighton.


The Will of Ockenden Roberts, Yeoman of Shermanbury, was proved on 4 May 1653 (available to download from The National Archives web site.)