Chapter 2

William Ponting and Mary Pearce

William Ponting was baptised on 15 May 1740 at Berkeley. He was the son of William Pontin of Ham (Chapter 1).

On 24 August 1766 William Ponting married Mary Pearce in St James, Bristol. They were both resident in Bristol at that time.

Mary Pearce is believed to have been baptised on 2 April 1740 at Berkeley. She was the daughter of Robert Pearce and Elizabeth Archaud who had married on 8 September 1737 at Berkeley. Robert Pearce has been baptised on 9 January 1712 at Berkeley. He died on 10 August 1785 and was buried at Berkeley on 21 August 1785. Elizabeth Archaud had been born in 1716 and died on 4 April 1755.

William and Mary had twelve children

  • Sarah Ponting. Baptised 17 September 1766 at Berkeley
  • Mary Ponting. Baptised 12 January 1769 at Berkeley
  • Elizabeth Ponting. Baptised 19 February 1770 at Berkeley
  • William Ponting. Baptised 3 February 1772 at Berkeley
  • Martha Ponting. Baptised 22 December 1773 at Berkeley.
  • Hester Ponting. Baptised 10 June 1775 at Berkeley
  • Ann Ponting. Baptised 17 November 1777 at Berkeley
  • Charles Ponting. Baptised 26 January 1780 at Berkeley
  • Harriet Ponting. Baptised 12 July 1781 at Berkeley
  • Thomas Ponting. Baptised 11 June 1783 at Berkeley
  • Henry Ponting. Baptised 18 April 1785 at Berkeley
  • George Ponting. Baptised 24 May 1788 at Berkeley

William Ponting, yeoman of Hamsfield died on 28 March 1800 aged 60 and was buried at Berkeley on 31 March 1800.

The administration of the estate of William Ponting of Berkeley was granted on 5 October 1801. It reads as follows:

"On 5 October 1801 on which day appeared personally William Ponting, the younger, Sara Cox (wife of William Cox) and Mary Hale (wife of John Hale) and alleged that William Ponting the elder late of Berkeley had died intestate and that they the said William Ponting the younger, Sarah Cox and Mary Hale were and are the eldest son and daughter and three of the next of kin of the said William Ponting. Therefore they prayed that the administration all and singular goods and chattels might be granted to them"

The grant was made and the amount of the estate sworn to was "less than 10,000".

Mary Ponting, his widow had died on 7 August 1800, aged 59 and was buried in Berkeley on 21 August 1800. This may have been prompted their children to seek administration of their father's estate.

Our line of descent is through William and Mary's 11th child, Henry who is the subject of Chapter 3, but I have discovered quite a bit about William and Mary's other children, beginning with the following:

Sarah Cox nee Ponting.

Sarah Ponting was baptised on 17 September 1766 at Berkeley, daughter of Wm of Berkeley. 

She married William Cox on 5 November 1789 at Berkeley. The marriage was witnessed by her sister Martha Ponting and John Hale.

William and Sarah had eight children:

  • William Cox. Baptised 7 March 1790 at Berkley
  • Henry Cox . Baptised 6 October 1791 at Hill. Henry Cox, son of William and Sarah Cox was buried on 31 January 1792 at Rockhampton. How does this tie in with memorial inscriptions below? 
  • Unnamed male child. Baptised 6 October 1792 at Hill
  • Sarah Cox. Born 22 February 1794. Baptised 23 March 1794 at Hill
  • Elizabeth Cox. Born 18 January 1796. Baptised 14 February 1796 at Hill.
  • Mary Cox. Born 18 June 1801. Baptised 28 January 1803 at Stone
  • John Cox. Baptised 28 January 1803 at Stone.
  • Katherine Cox. Born 1812. Katherine died aged 14 days and was buried on 5 July 1812 in Rockhampton

William Cox of Worldsend, in the parish of Berkeley died aged 57 and was buried at Rockhampton on 6 July 1820. This would seem to be Sarah's husband. Memorial Inscriptions on the Aisle of Rockhampton Church include:

(Gloucestershire Notes and Queries, Volume 4 edited by William Phillimore Watts Phillimore, Sidney Joseph Madge, 1890, Gloucestershire, page 587

So Sarah had been widowed by 1841 and at the time that the census was taken she was living at White House Farm, Stinchcombe with her son John and although 75 years old it was she that was described as a farmer. Sarah died in December 1850 aged 86 and was buried on 9 December 1850 at Rockhampton, Gloucestershire.

William and Sarah's surviving children and their descendants are dealt with at Appendix A

I have a DNA match with a descendant of Sarah Ponting. 

Mary Hale nee Ponting.

Mary Ponting was baptised on 12 January 1769 at Berkeley daughter of William Ponting of Hamfield. 

She married John Hale at Berkeley on 10 May 1787. The witnesses were Mary Watts and Wm Ponting.

John and Mary had three sons and two daughters,

  • Sarah Hale. Baptised 22 May 1788 at Berkeley, daughter of John Hale, yeoman from Ham
  • William Hale. Baptised 3 June 1790 at Berkeley, son of John Hale, dairyman from Ham.
  • Henry Hale. Baptised 6 March 1792 at Berkeley, son of John Hale, yeoman of Ham.
  • Mary Hale. Baptised 14 August 1794 at Berkeley, daughter of John Hale, yeoman of Ham.
  • Charles Hale. Born 1795 . Baptised 2 February 1797 at Berkeley aged 8 months, son of John and Mary Hale of Ham

Mary Hale nee Ponting died on 13 August 1817 aged 49 years at Floodgates Farm, Ham, Berkeley. She was buried in Berkeley. The monumental inscription refers to her as the wife of John Hale, yeoman and daughter of the late William Ponting of Hamfield, yeoman.

John Hale later remarried. His second wife was Sarah Parker and they went on to have five more children. John Hale died at Coldharbour Farm, Nash, Monmouthshire on 25 January 1853 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1853 Newport M 11a 12).

Further detail of the family can be found at Appendix B. 

Elizabeth Ponting.

Elizabeth Ponting was baptised 19 February 1770 at Berkeley daughter of Wm of Hamfield. Elizabeth possibly witnessed her sister Hester's marriage in 1803, but nothing further is known about her. 

William Ponting and Fanny Jones.

Wm. Ponting was baptised on 3 February 1772 at Berkeley, son of William Ponting of Hamsfield. 

He married Fanny Jones on 28 March 1801 at Berkeley by special licence. Fanny Jones was the daughter of John Jones (Appendix K) and the aunt of Jane Jones (Chapter 4)

William and Fanny had five sons and five daughters.

  • William Jones Ponting. Baptised 18 February 1802 at Berkeley
  • Fanny Ponting. Baptised 13 November 1803 at Berkeley
  • Mary Ponting. Baptised 26 June 1805 at Berkeley
  • Ann Ponting. Baptised 29 April 1807 at Berkeley
  • Charles Ponting. Baptised 10 May 1809 at Berkeley
  • George Ponting. Baptised 27 May 1810 at Berkeley
  • Henry Ponting. Baptised 24 May 1812 at Berkeley
  • John Ponting. Baptised 15 June 1814 at Berkeley
  • Elizabeth Ponting. Baptised 15 December 1816 at Berkeley
  • Annis Ponting. Baptised 25 October 1818 at Berkeley

I have received a copy of a letter written by an Ellen Ponting Shipp who was the granddaughter of Charles Ponting and the great granddaughter of William Ponting and Fanny Ponting nee Jones.

She writes from Ontario in Canada (where she emigrated in 1919) to her brother Charles Clifford Daniell.  In the letter she gives details of family relationships. She mentions her grandfather Charles Ponting and his first wife having died giving birth to still-born twins, as well as his subsequent marriage to Francis Grove, all of which ties in with the details set out in Appendix C. Ellen also refers to her great grandparents, who I believe would have been William and Fanny Ponting (nee Jones) as Mr and Mrs Ponting of Appleridge Farm, Oldbury. She suggests that her grandfather Charles was the only one of Mr and Mrs Ponting's children to continue as a farmer. Also that they had a daughter who married a Welshman called Jones, presumably a reference to daughter Mary, but she also incorrectly states that another one of Mr and Mrs Ponting's son's went to "the big city of London and there opened up the widely known shop of "Pontings" of Regent or Oxford St". The shop to which she refers was run by the grandsons of William's brother Henry (Chapter 3) who were William and Fanny great nephews and Ellen Ponting Shipp's 2nd cousins once removed.

However the bulk of the letter talks about the history of some paintings of farm animals that have found their way into her brother Charles's possession and how he came to have them. She explains that Mr and Mrs Ponting were breeders of "pure bred cattle (shorthorns) and pigs (Yorkshires) and when an animal" "for looks and performance took his fancy" Mr Ponting would engage the services of Mr Jenner to paint them. She goes on to say that "Mr Jenner would often have his brother Dr Jenner from Berkeley accompany him - they both enjoying a chat with Farmer Ponting over a mug of good old Oldbury cider which was renown far and wide" and she goes on to recount Dr Jenner's work in producing the smallpox vaccine. This account does tie in with the picture of William as a renown breeder of cattle for when William Ponting died on 29 November 1838 and was buried at Berkeley, his obituary in the Gloucester Journal dated 8 December 1838 read

"November 29th, after a short illness, of Hamfield, Berkeley, aged 67, Mr Wm Ponting: he was a man much and deservedly respected in every relation of life, and few have died more universally lamented. Mr Ponting and his family have been tenants of Lord Seagrave for upwards of a century and as a practical agriculturalist and breeder of cattle he stood pre-eminent in the Vale of Berkeley".

The Dr Jenner referred to in Ellen Ponting Shipp's letter initially appeared to be the Edward Jenner, famous for introducing and promoting inoculation as a means of overcoming the threat of disease. Born in May 1749 to the local vicar and his wife, Jenner went to London to train as a doctor, before returning to Berkeley in 1772 where he established himself as a local practitioner and surgeon. In 1796 whilst experimenting in a hut in his garden at home - 'The Chantry'  - he was successful in inoculating his gardeners son, 8 year old James Phipps against smallpox using the cowpox lymph from the hand of dairymaid, Sarah Nelmes. Jenner continued to practice as the local doctor until retiring in 1815 when his wife Catherine became ill, although even on day before he died (26 January 1823) he had been called out to a local coroner who had suffered a stroke. Edward Jenner only had two brothers who survived into adulthood, Stephen Jenner (1732 - 1797) and Henry Jenner (1736 - 1798). Stephen followed in his father's footsteps as Rector of Berkeley. Henry Jenner married Anne Hazeland and in 1767 they had a son Henry Jenner (1767 - 1851). Son Henry, (Edward Jenner's nephew) married Susannah Pearce in 1792 at Stone. Henry and Susannah had a son Stephen Jenner (Edward's great nephew) who was baptised at Berkeley in 1796. At the time Henry gives his occupation as surgeon, so it seems that both Edward and his nephew Henry would have been doctors. Stephen Jenner remained in Berkeley and at the time the 1861 and 1871 censuses were taken he is described as "an artist, figure and landscape painter". It seems more likely that it was he who was painting William's cattle. He would have been 42 at the time William died. The doctor visiting with the artist was therefore, I suggest, more likely to have been his father Henry, than Edward Jenner.

'Blossom', the Cow by Stephen Jenner

In his will, William Ponting appoints his brother Henry Ponting of Mobley (below and Chapter 3) and John Jones Ponting of Mobley (Appendix K) as executors

  • Leaves his estate in trust with his wife to have all the income, until she dies and then
  • Pay his son William Jones Ponting £1,000 for his use absolutely
  • Divide the remaining between all his children with any amounts advanced to them in his lifetime to deducted from their share.

His wife Fanny Ponting was buried on 16 January 1849 at Berkeley.

In her will Fanny Ponting of Hamfield in the parish of Berkeley leaves

  • all her wearing apparel to be divided equally between her daughters living at the time
  • appoints Thomas Wetmore of Oldbury and Henry Ponting of Mobley (below and Chapter 3) as her executors and leaves them £20.00 each. If her son Charles has predeceased her and died without lawful issue to repay the loan of £400 plus interest he had from Henry Ponting as executor of her late husband
  • Divide the remainder of her estate equally between her children or if deceased, their issue.

The Bristol Times and Mirror dated 16 June 1849 lists

"Valuable freehold farm, lands, inn and premises in the Parishes of Berkeley and Stinchcombe in the County of Gloucester"

"To be sold by auction by Mr Thomas Wetmore"

"By order of the trustees acting under the respective wills of the late Mr William Ponting and Mrs Fanny Ponting, both of Hamfield (deceased) at the Bell Inn at Berkeley Heath (within half a mile of the Berkeley Road Station on the Bristol-Birmingham Railway) on Tuesday 10th day of July next at four of the clock in the afternoon subject to such conditions as shall be then and there produced in the following or such other lots as may be determined at the time of the sale

  • Lot 1 - All that the said well known inn called the Bell situate at Berkeley aforesaid consisting of a convenient dwelling house in good repair with stabling, sheds and yards, gardens, orchard and three closes of excellent pasture land and a small allotment next thereto adjoining the lands of Dr Heberden, William Cornock, esquire, Lot 8 and to the Turnpike Road from Gloucester to Bristol now in the occupation of Mr. William Lawrence Parslow and containing more or less ARP (Acre/Rood/Perches) 16.2.31
  • Lot 2 - All that allotment of land situate nearly opposite lot 1 bounded on the North West by the turnpike road from Berkeley to Dursley on the South East by the Bristol and Gloucester turnpike road and adjoining on the South West to the land of the Right Honourable Earl Fitzhardinge and containing admeasurement ARP 0.1.24
  • Lot 3 - All those allotments of land lying together situate near Berkeley Heath aforesaid adjoining on the North West and South West to lands of Mrs Hannah Player and on the South East to the turnpike road from Berkeley to Dursley and containing together by admeasurement ARP 1.0.34
  • Lot 4 - All that close of pasture land called Dingley's Leaze with a small allotment adjoining thereto , situate near Berkeley Heath, aforesaid adjoining to the lands of the trustees of Woodchester Charity and William Joyner Ellis Esquire, also in the occupation of the said William Lawrence Parslow and containing by admeasurement ARP 8.3.39
  • Lot 5 - All that brick built cottage or tenement together with the Garden Orchard and Close of rich pasture land adjoining thereto situate at a place called the Kite's Nest in the tithing of Hamfallow adjoining the lands of Earl Fitzhardinge, Geo Bengough Esq and the Woodchester Charity and containing by admeasurement ARP 7.2.18. Also an allotment in Ironmongers Lane adjoining Kites Nest and containing ARP 0.1.23. Total 8.0.11
  • Lot 6 - An allotment of land situate at Heathfield adjoining the north east to an allotment of said Earl Fitzhardinge on the north west to allotments of the said Earl and Mr Geo Hooper and on the south east to the Bristol and Gloucester turnpike road containing by admeasurement ARP 0.034
  • Lot 7 -  An allotment of land situate at Berkeley Heath adjoining on the north east to the newly made carriage road across Berkeley Heath on the north west to an allotment of Mr Robert Fitzhardinge Jenner, Esquire on the south west to an allotment to the said Earl Fitzhardinge and on the south east to an allotment to Mrs Mary Plait and containing by admeasurement. ARP 0.1.17
  • In the parishes of Berkeley and Stinchcombe
  • Lot 8 - All the messauge or tenement together with the outbuildings, Barton, Orchards and closes of land commonly known buy the name Kits Green Farm situate in the several parishes of Berkeley and Stinchcombe also in the occupation of the said William Lawrence Parslow and containing more or less ARV 53.1.33. Part of the premises in lot 8 is subject to the annual payment of £18 5S to the poor of the City of Gloucester
  • To view the whole of any part of the premises apply to Mr William Lawrence Parslow at the Bell Inn aforesaid and for further particulars to Mr Gaisford, solicitor, Berkeley..

It seems that William was a man of some means.

Details of William and Fanny's children and their descendants are at Appendix C

Interestingly I have DNA matches with the descendants of William Ponting, including Deborah Rosen who is descended from their son John Ponting. 

Martha Merrett nee Ponting.

Martha was baptised on 22 December 1773 at Berkeley daughter of William Ponting of Hamfield.

Martha married James Merrett of Slimbridge on 7 April 1798 in Berkeley. James Merrett had been born in 1767, one of nine sons of John Merrett (1) and Mary of Blissbury Farm, Berkeley. His ancestry is in brief.

  • John Merrett (1). Baptised 25 June 1732 in Berkeley, one of eight children of John Merrett (2) and Lois Smith. John married Mary Vergo on 26 December 1753 at Berkeley. Mary Merrett died in 1803 at Blissbury Farm. John Merrett died in 1808.
  • John Merrett (2). Baptised 27 August 1698 in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, the son of John Merrett (3) and Katherine Hooper, one of six children. John married Lois Smith on 8 August 1731 in Berkeley. John Merrett (2) was buried on 26 March 1769. Lois Merrett was buried on 8 February 1791.
  • John Merrett (3). Born circ. 1665. John was possibility the son of Joseph Merrett. John married Katherine Hooper on 7 October 1692 in Stone, Gloucester. Katherine died in 1729. John Merrett (3) died on 1 June 1740 at Clapton, Berkeley.
  • Joseph Merrett. Born circ. 1630. He had five children including son John. Joseph Morrett of Clapton was buried on 22 February 1670 at Berkeley. 

James and Martha had eleven children:

  • James Merrett. Baptised 12 August 1798 at Slimbridge. 
  • William Merrett, Baptised 15 December 1799 at Slimbridge. Buried 20 January 1809 at Berkeley.
  • John Merrett. Baptised 19 April 1801 at Slimbridge
  • Thomas Merrett. Buried 15 January 1803 at Berkeley.
  • Henry Merrett. Baptised 24 November 1805 at Slimbridge
  • Charles Merrett. Baptised 24 November 1805 at Slimbridge
  • Eliza Merrett. Baptised 30 August 1807 at Slimbridge
  • George Merrett. Baptised 12 June 1809 at Slimbridge.
  • Edwin Merrett. Baptised 11 May 1811 at Slimbridge
  • Daniel Knight Merrett. Baptised 1 April 1813 at Slimbridge
  • Mary Ponting Merrett. Born 1815

James and Martha's son William died on 20 January 1809 aged 9 and was buried at Berkeley on 26 January 1809. The monumental inscription also makes reference to an infant son Thomas, but no age or date of death is given. This would appear to be Thomas Merrett who was buried on 15 January 1803 at Berkeley. The register records that he was the son of James Merrett of Slimbridge, yeoman, but again gives no age.

James Merrett died on 27 January 1839 aged 72 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1839 Wheatenhurst 11 357). In 1841 Martha is farming at Clapsgate, Arlingham. In 1851 she is still farming in Arlingham, but, aged 78, she is shown as the joint occupier of 133 acres with her son Charles. George remains at home and is described as a farmers son. In 1861, aged 87, she is still shown as farming 123 acres at Clapsgate, Arlingham with the help of 3 men and 1 boy. Living with her are sons Charles aged 53 and George aged 50. Charles was a fisherman and George, working on a farm.

Martha Merrett died on 18 April 1865 at Arlingham aged 92 years old. She is described as the widow of James Merrett, farmer. The cause of death is "old age and general decay". The witness was Ann Merrett who was only able to make her mark. (Reg Gen June Qtr 1865 Wheatenhurst 6a 181)

This picture of Martha Merrett believed to have been taken on her 90th birthday in 1863. It is one of a number of photographs from the Burcher family's personal collection and is reproduced with their permission. It can also be found in "Antiquities of Arlingham", produced by Arlingham PCC and copyrighted to them. 

Jon tells me that the family farm at Clapsgate, Arlingham was rented by James & Martha Merrett from the Fryer family from circa 1820 and that they moved to Arlingham from the nearby village of Longney (ancestral home of the Fryer family) where they lived briefly after leaving Slimbridge. They were at Clapsgate in 1826 as there is a record of them making a payment to the parish church. Back then there would have been seven first floor bedrooms and four large habitable attics (one accessed separately for a maid), presumably all put to good use with their large family.

James and Martha's sons Charles and George Merrett continue to farm in Clapsgate, Arlington. In 1871 Charles was 65 years and George 62 years old and it seems that they never married. 

This picture of Charles Merrett is another of those provided by the "Burcher" family which forms part of "Antiquities of Arlingham", produced by Arlingham PCC and copyrighted to them.

Charles Merrett died in 1879 aged 74 (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1879 Wheatenhurst 6a 220). George Merrett died in 1887 aged 78 years old (Reg Gen June Qtr 1887 Wheatenhurst 6a 197).

Martha Merrett (nee Ponting) and her two sons Charles and George are buried in the same family grave in Arlingham churchyard next to the boundary wall with Church Farm.

The lives of James and Martha's other surviving children and their descendents are detailed in Appendix D.

Hester Baker nee Ponting.

Hester was baptised on 10 June 1775 at Berkeley, daughter of William Ponting of Hamsfield.

Hester married William Baker on 2 May 1803 in Berkeley. The witnesses were William Baker, Elizabeth Ponting and Henry Clark.

William Baker had been baptised at Berkeley on 13 May 1782. He was the son of William Baker, yeoman of Clapton. His mother was Sarah Neale who died on 14 March 1794. He had a sister Mary Baker who was baptised on 20 December 1785 at Berkeley. She married Daniel Long on 22 December 1808 at Berkeley (see below). 

William and Hester had six sons and four daughters

  • William Baker. Baptised 12 June 1805 at Berkeley. 
  • Sarah Baker. Baptised 19 March 1806 at Berkeley
  • Hester Baker, Baptised  19 May 1807 at Berkeley
  • George Baker. Baptised 2 January 1809 at Berkeley
  • Henry Baker. Baptised 15 November 1809 at Berkeley. Buried 24 March 1810 at Berkeley
  • Elizabeth Baker. Baptised 15 April 1812 at Berkeley.
  • Charles Baker. Baptised 28 February 1815 at Berkeley.
  • Samuel Baker. Baptised 31 August 1817 at Berkeley. .
  • Fanny Russell Baker. Baptised 7 February 1821 at Berkeley.

William Baker died on 5 February 1834 aged 52 and was buried at Hill on 9 February 1834 and his wife Hester on 15 January 1846 aged 70 and was buried in Hill on 22 January 1846.

Hester Baker shares a grave with William's mother, Sarah Baker who died 14 March 1794 aged 37. The memorial inscription tells that Sarah Baker was the wife of William Baker (senior) of Clapton, Berkeley and the daughter of Daniel Neale & Sarah Neale. Sarah's father Daniel Neale is also buried there. He died on 10 June 1779 aged 59. Also commemorated is Thomas Baker who died on 24 April 1857 aged 1 year and 3 months, the son of Samuel & Ann Baker of Hill, who was William and Hester Baker's grandson (Appendix E) and William Baker Long, the son of Daniel & Mary Long of Clapton and grandson of William Baker. This appears to be the grandson of William and Sarah Baker, who would have been William and Hester's nephew. 

William and Hester's surviving children are dealt with in Appendix E

Ann Wetmore nee Ponting

Ann was baptised on 17 November 1777 at Berkeley, the daughter of William Ponting of Hamsfield.

Ann Ponting of Berkeley married William Wetmore of Hill on 13 February 1801 at Berkeley. William Wetmore was the son of John Wetmore and Elizabeth Cox (Appendix I  - Part 2). William was 1st cousin once removed of Hesther Wetmore who married Henry Ponting (below and Chapter 3)

William and Ann had six children

  • Esther Wetmore, born 13 May 1801. Baptised 7 June 1801 at Hill
  • William Wetmore, born 28 October 1802. Baptised 28 November 1802 at Hill. William Wetmore of Hill, son of William and Ann Wetmore of Hill was buried on 2 October 1808 at Rockhampton.
  • Ann Wetmore, born 28 November 1803. Baptised 12 January 1806 at Hill.
  • Thomas Wetmore, born 25 January 1804. Baptised 19 February 1804 at Hill
  • Charles Wetmore, born 29 May 1807. Baptised 28 June 1807 at Hill.
  • Mary Wetmore, born 11 November 1808. Baptised 21 April 1809 at Hill.

William Wetmore, late of Scotland Farm, Hill died at Middle Hill Farm, Stone died aged 62 and was buried at Rockhampton on 6 August 1840. Probate on the oath of his widow Ann Wetmore was granted on 27 April 1858. It was granted with certain limitations. The former grant was made by the Constitutional and Epsicosol Court of Gloucester in November 1840.

In his will made on 18 January 1832, William Wetmore, of Scotland Farm, in the parish of Hill, makes the following bequests

  • All land and property to his wife Ann, for the term of her natural life. After her death

a) The land known as the Paddocks (approx. 18 acres) in Thornbury to his eldest son Thomas subject to the payment of £300 in relation to a charge to his daughter Mary to be paid within 6 months)

b) The pasture known as Hodgsmoore (approx. 10 acres) in Oldbury upon Severn, pasture known as the Harps or the Splatts (approx. 3 acres) and pasture known as Little Pool (approx. 1 acre) in Moreton, the last two of which were purchased from John Burroughs, and pasture called Masons Pool (approx. 5 acres). land late occupied by James Allen deceased purchased from Frances Harding and John Harding of Moreton. Also the arable land called Windridge Hill (approx. 3 1/2 acres) in Oldbury upon Severn and his freehold dwelling house, garden, orchard and messauges in Rockhampton to his son Charles subject to a payment of £600 in relation to a charge to his daughter Mary within 6 months

  • To his son Charles £500
  • To his son Thomas £400
  • To his daughter Mary £300
  • All household goods and furniture, dairy utensils, and farming stock to his wife during her lifetime and after her decease equally between his two daughters Hester, wife of Thomas Hewett and Ann, wife of William Cox as tenants in common.
  • The residue of all monies, goods, chattels, etc. to his wife after payment of funerary expenses

The will was made after his daughters Hester and Ann had married, but before his daughter Mary married in 1836.  

In 1841 Anne Wetmore, an 'independent' was living in Berkeley. Her 15 year old granddaughter Anne Hewett was living with her.

It is not clear where Ann was in 1851, but in 1861 Ann Wetmore, aged 84, described as a "landed proprietor" was living in Stone, Berkeley. 

Ann Wetmore of Stone died and was buried at Rockhampton on 15 March 1866. Probate was granted to John Cox, grandson of the executors. Her effects were worth less than £300.00. 

Their surviving children's lives are detailed at Appendix F

Charles Ponting and Mary Pearce

Charles was baptised on 26 January 1780 at Berkeley, son of William Ponting of Hamfield.

Charles married Mary Pearce of Amesbury, Wiltshire on 2 June 1803 at Berkeley. The witnesses were Hester Pearce, John Hale and Henry Clerk.

Mary Pearce was baptised on 22 July 1781 at Berkeley. She was the daughter of Robert Pearce. It is likely that she was the daughter of Robert Pearce (1746 to 1816) and Hester Alpass (1766 to 1840) who married on 6 December 1778 at Berkeley. Robert was the son of Robert Pearce and Elizabeth Archaud so making this a marriage of first cousins. 

Charles and Mary had three sons and three daughters

  • Charles Pearce Ponting. Born 1805 in Malmesbury
  • William Ponting. Born 1807. William Ponting of Amesbury died on 15 April 1839 aged 32 years old and was buried on 19 April 1839 at Berkeley
  • Mary Ponting. Born 1808. Died 20 December 1810 and buried at Berkeley.
  • Henry Ponting. Born 28 October 1818 in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
  • Mary Ponting. Born 1821.
  • Emma Ponting. Born 1827.

When their eldest daughter Mary died in 1810 Charles is first described as a draper. He is similarly described in 1866 when his other daughter Mary marries, although by this time he is deceased.

On 28 April 1841, the London Gazette records that 

"Notice is hereby given that the partnership between us, the undersigned Charles Ponting and Charles Pearce Ponting of Malmesbury in the county of Wilts, linen and woolen drapers, carrying on the business under the style or firm Charles Ponting and Son, will on 8 May next be dissolved by mutual consent. All debts due to or owing from the said partnershipwill be paid or received by the said Charles Ponting. Witnessed 

C Ponting

C P Ponting"

Charles Ponting died on 16 March 1851 aged 72 years old. At the time the 1851 census was taken only his wife Mary, son Henry and daughters Mary and Emma Ponting survived. His widow Mary Ponting was living at Gloucester Street, Malmesbury with her 24 year old daughter Emma. Both are described as "annuitants". Visiting them was 67 widow, Esther Merrett. It is not clear at present how, if at all, she fits in with Charles's brother-in-law James Merrett and his sister Martha (Appendix D). Mary Ponting died on 19 August 1852 and was buried in Berkeley on 26 August 1852.

The family tomb in Berkeley churchyard commemorates Mary Ponting of Malmesbury, Wilts who died on 20 December 1810 aged 2 years, son William who died 15 April 1839 aged 32 years, Charles Ponting who died 16 March 1851 aged 72 years, Mary "his relict" who died 19 August 1852 aged 71 and Henry their son who died 6 November 1851 aged 35.

Details of Charles and Mary's children surviving children are at Appendix G.

Harriet Perkins nee Ponting.

Harriet Ponting was baptised on 12 July 1781 at Berkeley.

Harriet married James Perkins of Berkeley on 7 February 1805 at Berkeley The witnesses were Mary Baker, Henry Jenner and Henry Clark.

James and Harriet possibly had seven children, one daughter born out of wedlock and five sons and one daughter after they married

  • Sophia Ponting. Baptised 9 October 1804 at Berkeley. Father James is described as a steward of Ham.
  • Henry Perkins. Baptised 21 August 1808 at Cam, son of James and Harriett. Cam is about 5 miles from Berkeley.
  • Frederick Perkins. Born 7 June 1810. Baptised 30 September 1810 at Cam, son of James and Harriett
  • John Perkins. Born 26 December 1811. Baptised 11 June 1812 in Cam, son of James and Harriett
  • William Perkins. Baptised 24 June 1813 in Cam, son of James and Harriett. Father James was a farmer. 
  • Thomas Perkins. Baptised 2 March 1815 in Cam, son of James and Harriett. Father James was a farmer. 
  • Jane Perkins. Baptised 21 January 1817 at Cam, daughter of James and Harriett. Father James was a farmer. 

Nothing more is known about James and Harriet.

James and Harriet's daughter Sophia Ponting Perkins appears to have never married. Sophia Ponting Perkins formerly of 23 Upper Bryanstone Street, Marylebone, Middx, but late of Hamfield nr Berkeley, spinster died on 3 August 1863 at Hamfield. Her will was proved by oath of William Sibley of 37 Seymour Street, Portman Square, Middx, gentleman. She was buried on 7 August 1863 in Brompton Cemetary, Kensington and Chelsea. 

Nothing more is known with any certainty about their sons, although John and William are mentioned in his sister Sophia's will.  

From sister Sophia's will it seems sister Jane Perkins had married and become Jane Clutton. I have traced the marriage on 28 August 1851 in St Mary, Bryanston Square, London. John Clutton was 31 years old, a gentleman, son of John Clutton (deceased), butcher. Jane was also 31 years old (although she would have been closer to 34), a housekeeper, daughter of James Perkins (deceased), cheesemonger!! One of the witnesses was Sophia Ponting Perkins.  

If this is "our" James and Harriett's daughter, nothing else is known about the family apart from John Clutton, gentleman, may have died on 24 May 1876 at 62, St Mary's Terrace, Paddington, Middx. Probate was granted to John Dickinson of Willett's Manor, Potters Bar. 

Thomas Ponting and Sarah Jones

Thos Ponting was baptised on 11 June 1783 at Berkeley, son of William Ponting, yeoman of Hamsfield.

He married Sarah Jones on 15 March 1810 at Hill. The witnesses were Betty Jones and John Jones. Sarah Jones appears to have been daughter of John Jones and Sarah Bennett (Appendix K). She had been born in 1776 and was seven years older than Thomas.

Thomas and Sarah had a daughter Mary Ponting who was born around 1811.  Mary died on 16 September 1830 aged 19 years and was buried at Berkeley on 22 September 1830. 

Sarah Ponting died aged 58 and was buried at Berkeley on 19 November 1834. Her memorial inscription confirms that she was the daughter of John and Sarah Jones of Hill and wife of Thomas Ponting. She shares a grave with her daughter.

Henry Ponting and Hesther Wetmore

Henry Ponting was baptised 18 April 1785 at Berkeley son of William Ponting, yeoman of Hamsfield.

He married Hester Wetmore on 22 June 1809 at Hill and they had the following children: .

  • Henry Ponting. Baptised 28 March 1810 at Berkeley
  • William Ponting. Buried 31 October 1811 at Berkeley.
  • John Ponting . Baptised 6 January 1813 at Berkeley
  • Thomas Ponting. Baptised 2 January 1815 at Berkeley
  • Charles Ponting. Baptised 15 May 1820 at Berkeley
  • William Ponting. Baptised 28 June 1826 at Berkeley. Buried 15 January 1827 at Berkeley aged 7 months.
  • Ellen Ponting. Baptised 10 September 1828 (as Helen?) at Berkeley.
  • Sophia Ponting Baptised 31 October 1830 at Berkeley.

It is through Henry Ponting and Hester Wetmore that our line continues and further details of their lives are in Chapter 3.

George Ponting and Hester Cullimore

Finally, George Ponting, son of William Ponting, yeoman was baptised on 24 May 1788 at Berkeley

He married Hester Cullimore on 9 May 1811 at Charfield. The couple had five sons and eight daughters.

  • Hester Ponting. Baptised 13 November 1811 at Berkeley.
  • George Ponting. Baptised 3 December 1812 at Berkeley.
  • Hannah Ponting. Baptised 15 December 1814 at Berkeley
  • Ann Ponting. Baptised 15 December 1814 at Berkeley
  • Mary Ponting. Baptised 29 January 1817 at Berkeley.
  • Eliza Ponting. Baptised 19 September 1818 at Berkeley.
  • Elizabeth Ponting. Baptised 19 September 1818 at Berkeley.
  • William Ponting. Born 1821 and baptised on 29 March 1822 aged 1 at Berkeley
  • Sarah Ponting. Baptised 29 March 1822 at Berkeley
  • Charles Ponting. Baptised 12 November 1823 at Berkeley
  • James Cullimore Ponting. Baptised 4 September 1825 at Berkeley.
  • Annis Ponting. Baptised 23 December 1827 at Berkeley.
  • Emma Ponting. Baptised 10 November 1830 at Berkeley.

Hester Ponting died on 18 November 1840, aged 51 and was buried on 23 November 1840 in the family tomb at Berkeley.

In 1851 62 year old George was a widower described as a farmer of 165 acres employing two outdoor labourers and was living at Alkington in Woodford. His children Mary, William, Sarah, Charles, James and Emma remained at Woodford.

George died on 25 January 1853 and he to is buried in the family tomb on 31 January 1853.

The family tomb at Berkeley commemorates "sacred to the memory of Hester, wife of George Ponting, yeoman of Woodford in this parish who departed this life 18 November 1840 aged 51 years. Also of George Ponting who departed this life on 25 January 1853 aged 61 years" and "sacred to the memory of Charles, son of George and Hester Ponting of Woodford who died 11 December 1874 aged 51 years".

In his will made on 25 January 1853 witnessed by his brother, Henry Ponting of Mobley, George Ponting of Woodford in the parish of Berkeley, farmer, makes the following provisions:

  • My pencil case and watch and appendage to my son Charles Ponting
  • My cottages and such premises at Charfield, Gloucestershire to my son James Cullimore Ponting
  • The rest and residue of his estate to my nephews John Cornock of Nibley and William Jones Ponting (son of William Jones Ponting and Fanny Jones) of Hamfield, farmers, on trust to sell and covert to money or to continue to farm and allow my sons and daughters to farm for the benefit of the family until such a time as they deem appropriate, and thereafter to divide the net proceeds between all my children except George who is already indebted to my estate and my daughter Hester, the wife of Elias Smith who I believe has already been provided for.

Probate was granted on 29 June 1853. His effects were worth less than £1,000.00.

George and Hester's children and their descendants are detailed at Appendix H

I also have a DNA match with a descendant of George Ponting. 

Click here to go to "Chapter 3 - Henry Ponting and Hester Wetmore"

Click here to go back to "Chapter 1 - The Early Years"