Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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William TESTER (c1640-?)

and Deborah (?-1683)


William Tester and Deborah may have been my 9x Great Grandparents.  They may have married before or about 1669, but no possible marriage has been found for them in the Sussex Family History Group's marriage index or in the Sussex IGI.

William Tester's date and place of birth/baptism are unknown, to me.  It is possible he was born in Framfield, Sussex as there had been Testers in the parish since at least the 1540's.  He may have been the son of Richard Tester and Jane Harmer who married in Framfield in 1633, or he may have been baptised on 30 March 1634 in Framfield the son of William Tester.  William may have been buried on 26 October 1699 in Framfield, when he was described in the burial register as a pauper.  After the death of Deborah, he may have married Barbara Milliam on 18 May 1684, or Margaret Jener on 12 October 1684.  Both marriages took place in Framfield.  But, there was another William Tester who had married Mary Lambe on 10 July 1677, also in Framfield.  The second William may have been the son of Roger Tester and Margaret Waters who had married in 1638 in Framfield, or he may have been baptised there on 8 February 1657.

Deborahís date and place of birth/baptism are unknown, to me.  She was buried on 28 August 1683 in Framfield as the wife of William Tester.

Barbara's date and place of birth/baptism are unknown, to me.  She was buried on 28 March 1701/2 in Framfield and was described in the burial register as a widow.  As Barbara Sprei she first married Thomas Millham on 29 September 1676 in Dallington, Sussex.  He was then of Framfield and she a spinster of Dallington.

Margaret's date and place of birth/baptism are unknown, to me.  She may have been buried on 24 May 1690 in Framfield, as Martha, wife of William Tester.  She may previously have married Robert Jenner by licence dated 16 February 1670/1.  He was then a widower of Framfield and she Margaret Harmer, widow of East Hoathly.  Surety for their marriage licence was provided by William Shelton a Blacksmith of Lewes.


William Tester and Deborah had 4 known children:

  1. Jane Tester was baptised on 14 November 1669 in Framfield and buried there on 8 December 1669.  The baptism register records that she was the daughter of James and Deborah, but I think her father was probably William.  The burial register only records that Jane Tester was buried, and I am guessing it was infant Jane, or it may have been her possible Grandmother.

  2. Richard Tester was baptised on 7 March 1670/1 in Framfield.

  3. William Tester, my possible 8x Great Grandfather, was baptised on 18 April 1675 in Framfield.  He married Barbara Masiere in 1696.  (They have their own page.)

  4. Susan Tester was baptised on 23 April 1680 in Framfield.  Only her father's name was recorded against her baptism.

Could the following also be of this family, by a second wife:

  1. Samuel Tester was buried on 11 October 1688 in Framfield, as the son of William.  He does not seem to have been baptised in Framfield.

  2. Elizabeth Tester was buried on 16 Mary 1690 in Framfield, as the daughter of William.  No baptism for her in the Framfield register.


As you can see from the William muddle above, I am not at all sure whether I am on the right track.  But, given that William and Deborah seem to have named two children Richard and Jane, I think that William's parents were most likely to have been Richard Tester and Jane Harmer, even though they didn't have a known son named William baptised in Framfield.  If so, Richard may have been baptised in Framfield on 10 September 1598 the son of William Teaster, or on 16 September 1604 the son of Richard Tester, and according to the burial register neither seem to have died as infants.