Introduction

 

INTRODUCTION 

Written at Calgary, Alberta – August 2010 – Angela Andrew (Ludwig). 

I have compiled the following history of both the GEE and the ANDREW family from many sources.  I do not have the book “ONE MAN`S FAMILY“ nor the book on the Andrew family written by Pat Tattersall from England. 

The first actual book with any data I received came from Avis Nielsen, called “A 2000 UPDATE OF ONE MAN`S FAMILY“, which I received in 2001. 

In my possession, I have two books:  one is Aunt Hetty`s diary and the second one is Edwin Andrew`s ledger from his days of running the post office in Aggardsley, Manitoba from 1923 – 1927.  In this old ledger, Aunt Jessie had written in long hand the entire IRON HORSE story.  I am sorry to say that I have had these books in my possession since 1973, shortly after my Dad, Harold Andrew, died and I put them away in a drawer and ignored them until approximately 2005. 

I found them while cleaning out my over-crowded drawers and then what to do with them!   I toyed with the idea of contacting perhaps an historical society in Plumas, Manitoba and donating the books to them.  However, both my daughter and daughter-in-law convinced me otherwise.  Both girls said, that if anyone could do something with them, they thought it would be me.  What a vote of confidence! 

I read Aunt Hetty`s diary from front to back several times, and I kept returning to the first 2 pages, repeatedly.  I have attached those two pages.  She speaks of the GEES with some authority, but her narrative made no sense to me.  So I numbered each line from 1 to 30 and then I put each line into the correct chronological order.  Then I went on the internet and started trying to prove or disprove all of her words, point by point. 

Early on in my research, haphazardly, I contacted an historian who lives in the Peak district, by the name of Robert Marchington; because I thought he might be able to shed some light on Roeside Farm, and the Francis GEE who married Elizabeth Marchington.  He not only told me their entire history, sent me a picture of the old farm, but he gave me full access to his journals for a period of one year.   What a wealth of information I received from that very generous gentleman!  He also steered me to the Wolley Charters Documents. 

My sources from 2004 until 2008 (when I joined Ancestry.Co.UK) were as follows: 

1.         The Robert Marchington Journals.

2.         The Wolley Charters Documents.

3.         Wikipedia.

4.         All British Library Archives.

5.         Parish registers of:

  • St. Mary’s Church – Stockport
  • St. Thomas A. Beckett Church.
  • St. Mathew’s Church – Hayfield.
  • St. Michael’s Church – Derby.
  • St. James Church – Taxal.
  • All Saints Church – Glossop.

6.         Wills of Derbyshire – Genuki.

7.         William Braylesford Bunting’s Book “Chapel-en-le-Frith It’s People and It’s History” – published 1940.

8.         Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society.

9.         Visitation of 1634.

10.        “Owners of Shallcross Hall”   by Reverend W. H. Shawcross. 

After hundreds of hours of research, I concluded: 

1.         Almost everything Aunt Hetty states on the first two pages is correct.

2.         She writes “Taken from the history of Chapel-en-le-Frith “.   Her source was Buntings book and she copied it in any format, regardless of        chronological order. That’s why it never made any sense.

3.         The only statement I cannot prove so far is that Sarah, who married Ralph Gee, was sister to John Shallcross XV.

4.         It wasn’t one of Ralph and Sarah’s sons who became a barrister in the Middle Temple in London.  It was Richard Shallcross XVI, her nephew. 

I have named the GEE lines as the “LYDGATE GEES”, and the “ASHES GEES”.  We are descendants of both lines as the Lydgate GEES spawned the Ashes GEES.  

In order for us to understand our roots, we need first a basic understanding of the area from whence we came, the society that shaped our thoughts and the people who were our forbearers.  So I have started my story with some of the history of the “PEAK FOREST.” 

I have copied some of the following information on the Peak district, mostly from the History of Derbyshire.  Also, there are many errors that need to be corrected over time, as more information becomes available or other persons with knowledge come forward. 

~HIERARCHY ENGLAND MID 15TH CENTURY~ 

The hierarchal scale in local society in the mid-15th century and later was:

1.         Knight:   Originally, a medieval tenant giving military service as mounted-man-at arms to a feudal landholder.  Then later a medieval gentleman-soldier who was armigerous.

2.         Esquire:  is cognate with the word squire, which originally meant an apprentice or assistant to a Knight.  It implies “gentle birth.”

3.         Gentleman:  Gentleman owned large tracts of lands were educated and had a family Coat of Arms.  Most never did any manual labor.

4.         Yeoman:  In the mid-15th century the word Yeoman meant a Knight’s servant or retainer. At that period there was a class of “freemen” called Franklins (men of substance and gentle birth) and in later centuries they gradually became either “gentlemen:” – non armigerous, which means not bearing arms or yeoman. 

Yeoman broadly means cultivators of the soil, either freeholders or tenants.  They differed from the minor gentry more by their way of life rather than their economic category. 

A yeoman could buy a Coat of Arms and become a Gentleman. 

During this narrative, many of the GEES are listed as Yeomen.  Simply put, they would be considered “men of substantial means”. 

5.         Husbandmen: person whose land-holdings were normally smaller. 

And then, below the Husbandmen, was the bulk of the English population, chiefly the tenants, indentured servants, etc., into which class the ANDREW family mainly belonged. 

The farms that the GEES lived on, bargained for, and fought for are as much a part of their history, as is the family.  Some of the farms are:  LYDGATE, SILK HILL, ASHES, BARBER BOOTH, UPPER BOOTH (CROWDEN LEE) OLLERBROOK (Booth), ALSTONE LEE, SHIREOAKS, STONES HOUSE, NETHER BOOTH (aka Lady Booth), LEE HOUSE/FARM.   I will add as much history on these farms, as I find it. 

This narrative is Aunt Hetty’s.  Her effort and research done almost 75 years ago made this possible.  I hope I have done her justice.

This is a modern day picture of Hayfield from the North-west.  It is possible that some of the farms that can be seen in the distance could be the “ASHES” or “STONES HOUSE” or “HILL HOUSE’ or “BARBER BOOTH” or “UPPER BOOTH.  Anecdotally Hayfield is often described as being “at the foot of Kinder Scout.”  This village appears in the doomsday book as “Hedfelt.”  In medieval times this village provided refuge for traders travelling by pack-horse from Castleton to Stockport.  When Ralph Gee received his deed to purchase the Ashes Farm in 1641, this area was then wooded and was used by Norman Rulers for hunting.                                                    Picture from     Wikipedia.

   “Chronology”           

 Andrew’s and Gee’s 

A brief history of some of our near relatives and friends. 

This information was gathered from relatives and friends. 

It has taken time to gather it and at the time of writing, January 23, 1949, I am still waiting to hear from relatives for their history. 

Having read the Lager-Johnson chronology compiled by Aunt Freda and enjoyed it so much, it inspired me to the task I am setting out to do. 

There will be many details to be added by each receiver of this book, which may be added individually. 

May this be an everlasting memory of our forefathers, who suffered pioneer hardships that we may have an abundant life with freedoms they knew not of.

                                    Written by Hetty.

                                                (Hester Victoria Lindstrom nee Andrew Thomas.) 

                                                Typed by Audrey.

                                                            (Mrs. Rae Thomas)

~THE FIRST TWO PAGES OF AUNT HETTY’S DIARY~     ~GEE~

It is interesting to note that the Gee’s first settled at the Ashes in 1651. Before then they lived at Lydgate and Silkhill (between Whaley Bridge and Bugsworth). Silk Hills is in the family once more. Mr. John GEE’s son, Mr. Fred GEE being the occupant of the farm. When the GEEs were at Silk Hill in 1604, the living of Taxal was then in their gift. Ralph GEE, the first of the GEE’s who came to the ASHES married Sarah Shallcross, sister of John Shallcross, High Sheriff of Derbyshire. One of whose sons became a barrister in the Middle Temple. Two members of the family, Robert GEE M.A. and John GEE held the levings of Chapel en le Frith and Taxal.

~TAKEN FROM THE HISTORY OF CHAPEL-EN-LE-FRITH~

Robert GEE a member of an old family living in Glossop at the beginning of the 16th century was a tenant of Lidgate Farm in 1519. In 1608 the then tenant of Lidgate bought Lidgate & part of Silk Hill from Thomas Bagshaw. This Thomas GEE in 1606 presented a rector of Taxal in right of a grant made to him by Thomas Downs. The GEES remained at Lidgate until 1750.

They were firm supporters of Chinley Chapel Ralph GEE being one of the original trustees. Dr. Clegg records many visits to the house. Dec. 25, 1741. They sold Silk Hill soon after [not true]. J. T. Gee of the ASHES, Kinder bought it in 1912 and is at present [1949] in the hands of two grandsons.

A Francis GEE with 5 others was by ye gentlemen and owners of ye said commons on boundaries in 1712. Ralph GEE fell from his horse and was killed 1729 of his family was the Rev. John GEE, curate of Taxal from 1757 to his death in 1786. His tomb is in Taxal Church. Robert GEE M.A. probably a member of this family was Vicar of Chapel En Le Frith 1645 – 1648; then he became Vicar of St. Peters, Derby. He returned to Chapel En Le Frith in 1651 and was buried in the Chancel on May 1, 1652.

A John GEE was Clerk of Works when the new road was made from Chapel to Sparrow’s Pit 8 miles.

Roeside Farm: Francis GEE who married Elizabeth Marchington died in 1679 devised his estate to his widow.

Austinlee Farm: Henry GEE tenant 1626.

Smithy Bridge: built re GEE constable RN1715. Ralph GEE trustee of Chinley Chapel gave 5,1711. [Pounds]. Harry GEE another Uncle Edwin was a cobbler. One of the GEES names Ralph bought the ASHES in Kinder, Hayfield in 1641 from the crown. So I take it, it was wasteland and unimproved. In 1651 took his bride there one of Sir John Shallcrosses’ sisters, Sarah. [This does not appear to be exactly true]. The eldest son carried on from father to son till 1912 when the Stockport Corporation bought all of the land up in that valley to make a reservoir, but it has never been made and a business man in Manchester bought the Ashes and is going to run a T.T. milk farm when they get the new buildings built.

Sally’s daughter Dora Ramwell and her husband are living there and managing the farm. The front of the house has been rebuilt but the back is very old and matches other buildings.

John Thomas Gee the last of the family to own the Ashes died in 1921. He retired in 1921. He bought the Mount in Hayfield and lived there. His eldest son was a first class farmer; talented but with a wander lust. He would go off for months at a time; then return as though he had never been away.

T.T. Gee’s only son died at the beginning of 1914, joined the army and through inoculation, died before leaving England. They are all dead except a daughter Margaret who lives at Hayfield.

John Thomas Gee, the last Gee to own the Ashes, specialized in Gritstone sheep and his services as a judge were requisitioned at the big national shows, so great an authority on sheep he was. For forty years he was president of the “Shepherds society.”

Over a long period of years Mr. John Thomas Gee was an auctioneer and valuer and at one time conducted practically all the land and cattle sales in the Peak. His father was a guardian of the Hayfield union when it was first formed and John Thomas Gee was a member of the board for thirty years and chairman for seventeen years.

He was regarded as one of the best authorities on the “Poor Law” in the High Peak District. The “Poor Law” was the system for the provision of social security in operation in England and Wales from its origin in 1552 until the establishment of the “Welfare State” in the twentieth century. It was made of several Acts of Parliament and subsequent Amendments. The extreme longevity of the “Poor Law” (almost five hundred years) meant that some of the generalizations made about it (for example, the use of workhouses) refer to only a part of its history. In 1579, Justices of the Peace authorized to collect funds for poor relief, created the post of “Overseer of the Poor.” 

In 1905 he ceased to be chairman and was presented with his portrait and a piece of silver-plate for long service.  His portrait hangs in the boardroom today in honor of his service.

Politically Mr. Gee is best described as a follower of the Cavendish’s and took his place on the platform at political meetings.

Mr. Gee was a lifelong Wesleyan Methodist; for many years was a local preacher on the New Mills circuit and a trustee of several churches.

At one time he owned the Wesleyan school at Stone Head and was deeply interested in Sunday school and was superintendent teacher of the young men’s class.  He had considerable interest in the Hayfield Gas Company.  He was a land owner in Union Road and New Mills.  He was a cricket enthusiast.  Mild mannered – easy to get along with.

Silk Hill is  in the family once more.  Mr. John Thomas Gee`s son, Mr. Fred Gee being the occupant of the farm.  Fred Gee of Silk Hill is dead. John Thomas Gee of the Ashes, Kinder bought Silk Hill in 1912 and it is at present in the hands of two grandsons.

THE END OF HER FIRST 2 PAGES. 

Here is a poem dated 1606 transcribed by Sonia Addis-Smith, Bedford, England entitled: 

“IN MEMORIAM HENRICIC GEE” 

            H                     HE WHOSE GOOD GUIFTS AND CHARITABLE WILL

            E                      ENRICHT THE POOR LET HIM BE THOUGHT ON STILL

            N                     NEW BENEFACTORS NOW TOO FEW WEE SEE

            R                     REMEMBER THEN THE OLD OLD HENRY GEE

            I                       IN THAT HE ADDED TO THE SCHOOLS AND POOR

            E                      ECH YEARE TEN POUNDS FOREVER TO ENDURE

            G                    GEVE DUE REMEMBERANCE FOR HIS KIND ADDICON

            E                      ELS TWERE INGRATITUDE AND FOULE OMISSION:

            E                      ENROLD HIS WILL ITH ARCHES MAY BE SEEN

                                    PROUD ANNO SIXTEENE HUNDRED AND SIX

                                    WHICH HERE AS HE DESIRD DECLARD YE SEE

                                    LEST IT IN FUTURE SHOULD FORGOTON BE

 (The British Pound Sterling was originally an actual pound weight of silver of 5760 grams of a certain standard of fineness (925 in 1000).  The name pound was used as early as 1158 and the pound (in weight) of sterling silver was originally coined into 240 pennies). 

In possession of Mr. John Smith of Wirksworth, England, the above acrostic [an acrostic is a composition usually in verse in which sets of letters (as the initial or final letters of the lines) taken in order form a word or phrase or a regular sequence of letters of the alphabet] engraved in lead, about 8 or 9 inches square, the original being all in capitals.  Copied and Examined this 27th day of July 1827, with the original tablet by me, Thomas Norris Ince, (solicitor and genealogist). 

Taken from the book Ince’s Pedigrees. 

~EARLIEST RECORDS OF THE GEE FAMILY IN NORTHERN ENGLAND~

As literacy increased, record keeping in medieval England started circa 1538.  The Parish Churches were mandated to keep regular, written records of BMD’s; some priests were more thorough than others.

Early records circa 1380 to 1600, show the GEE family radiating slowly from Lancashire, Derbyshire, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and Leicestershire, almost in that order – see map page 11. – And then onto large urban areas such as London.   Today, about 25 % of all GEEs in England claim their Gee roots back to these 6 “Shires”.

We find an Alexander GEE (1) of Rothley born circa 1380 in Leicestershire. This is the earliest Gee to whom many living Gees can continuously trace their ancestors. In “The History of Beverley” by George Paulson (1829) traces 17 generations of Gees from the 1800’s back to this Alexander who had two known sons, Edmond (2) and Richard (2).

Edmond had a son John (3), who married a daughter of Thomas Neville of Holt.  This John had two sons and a daughter.  His sons were Robert (4) and John (4).  John (4) and his wife, Elizabeth, had three known sons; Roger (5) b. 1520, Henry (5) b. 1522 and Thomas (5).   Henry (5) had several sons but I am going to follow only one of them, Eustace (6).

Eustace (6) married the daughter of Cornelius Gee.  Was this his cousin?  Possibly.  Eustace (6) had a son, Eustace (7) who was the heir to his grandfather’s (Cornelius) estate possibly suggesting that his father died fairly young.  Eustace (7) b. circa 1599, married Ann Savage, daughter of a clergyman from Sutton Bonington in Nottinghamshire.

Although he was living in Bonington in Nottinghamshire, in April 1629, it appears that he sold his holdings in Leicestershire, about 130 acres in all, and moved to Derbyshire.  They had 2 known sons: John (8) b. circa 1618; William (8) b. circa 1619.

Another record dating to 1485 from a will of the Grey Friars in London:  William GEE to be buried in the Conventual Church of the Friars Minors, “coram ymagine beate Marie Virginis in nave eiusdem ecclesie.” Will dated 27th September 1485.  Proved 3rd November 1485.  17 Logge.  Gee was buried in the second row in the third bay of the North Aisle, his grave being the last but one from the arcade.  The image of the virgin must be the same as that referred to in the Will of William Hoton in 1447.  Grey Friars, p. 120.”  This William was a descendant of the aforementioned Alexander.


3 responses to “Introduction

  • Mick Carr

    Hello I am the grand son of Francis gee the last gee to farm silk hill farm a really interesting article

  • Tony Gee

    Not sure if this is still active but my name is Anthony (Tony) Gee and I live in Melbourne Australia. I am tracing some of my ancestors and have found your writing/research really interesting. Much thanks for the work and if the site is still active ploease let me know. Regards, Tony

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: