The Ferry family of Burton Bradstock and Southampton

John Ferry = Sarah Bonnel

     |         other children

John Ferry = Elizabeth Trevett

      |         other children

Richard Ferry = Ann Trevett

      |         other children

Alice Jane Ferry = Walter Baggs

      |         other children

Ruth Elizabeth Baggs = Reuben Alexander Beck



Alice Jane Ferry was born on the 24th August 1846 in Burton Bradstock, Dorset. She was baptised in the parish church of Burton Bradstock on the 3rd September, and on the 17th was received into the church.1

In 1851 "Jane" was a scholar, living with her parents at 4 St Mary's, Southampton. In 1861 "Alace" was still a scholar, now living, with her parents, at 12 Amoy Street, Southampton. In 1871, now with no occupation shown, she was still living with her parents, now at 15 Liverpool Street, Southampton.2

On the 31st October 1877 she married [E2] Walter Baggs at St Luke's parish church, Southampton, at which time she was living at 2 Upper Dover Street, Southampton. Their children were: Walter William (1879–1931), Alice Margaret (1881–1970), [E1] Ruth Elizabeth (1882–1949), and Frank Henry John (1888–1944); all except John were born in Southampton, John being born in Tavistock, Devon.3

Alice Jane (Ferry) Baggs

By 1879 she was living at 15 Lower Dover Street, Bevois Town, Southampton. She is found there, with her family, in the 1881 census.4

In 1888 she was living in Princetown, Lydford, in the district of Tavistock, Devon.5

In 1891 she was living with her family in prison quarters, at H.M. Convict Prison, Gillingham, Kent.6

In 1901 she was living with her husband and three children at 2, H. Quarters, Portland Prison, Dorset.7

In 1911 she was living with her husband and daughter at 433 Canterbury Rd, Gillingham; 5 rooms.8

She died of pneumonia on the 20th April 1918, at 31 Marlborough Road, Gillingham. Her body was buried at Woodlands Road Cemetery, Gillingham, grave reference Section BE. Number 1143 (C).9

Alice Jane Ferry was the eldest child of [G2] Richard and [H1] Ann Ferry.10


1 birth certificate; parish register; TNA: RG 12/665 f121 p44 gives place of birth as Southampton; 1911 census return gives place of birth as Sherbourne, Dorset, and a birth year calculated to 1851—RG14PN3952 RG78PN150 RD47 SD2 ED23 SN25R

2 TNA: HO 107/1669 f237 p20; RG 9/677 f20 p33; RG 10/1187 f35 p19

3 marriage certificate; information from Sidney Beck—John; RG 11/1205 f45 p26; RG 13/1997 f79 p43

4 census returns; children's birth certificates

5 son's birth certificate

6 RG 12/665 f121 p44

7 RG13/1997 f79 p43

8 RG14PN3952 RG78PN150 RD47 SD2 ED23 SN25

9 death certificate; Kent Burials

10 birth certificate; RG 9/677 f20 p33



Richard Ferry was born about 1821, in Burton Bradstock, Dorset, and baptised there on the 6th December 1821.1

In 1841 he was a rope maker's apprentice, living in Southover, Burton Bradstock, with his mother, as well as his aunt, and brother. In 1841 there were only two ropemakers in Burton, but many Burton men worked at various trades, including rope making, at Bridport Harbour (now known as West Bay). It seems probable that his experience was very similar to that of another Burton boy, known to have been apprenticed, as a ropemaker, in 1840, to Ephraim Matthams and Co., Ropemakers, of Bridport Harbour—a seven year apprenticeship, in which he received 3/- a week in his first year, rising to 7/- a week in his final year.2

signature of Richard FerryHe married, first, [H1] Ann Trevett, on the 29th December 1845, at Burton Bradstock parish church, after banns, at which time he was a ropemaker in Burton; he signed his name. He was still a ropemaker there in the following year. Their children were: [G1] Alice Jane (1846–1918), John (1849–1943), Amelia (1852–1854), Harry (1855–1927), Annie (1857–1934), and Catherine (1860–1914). Alice Jane was born in Burton Bradstock, the others in Southampton.3

Shortly after 1846 the Ferrys moved to Southampton. In 1849 Richard was still a ropemaker, living with his family at St Mary's Street, Southampton. He continued working as a ropemaker until at least 1852, but by May 1854 he had become a railway porter. The 1854 electoral register records him as eligible to vote by virtue of his house in Saint Mary street.4

By May 1857 he had moved to 23 Amoy-street, Bedford Place, Southampton, and by February 1860 to 12 Amoy Street (though possibly the street was simply renumbered)—where he is found in the 1861 census, living with his wife and five children. The 1863 Post Office Directory records "Richard Ferry, S.W.R." at 1 Dover Street, Bevois Town, Southampton. In July 1865 Richard, of Dover Street, Bevois Town, voted for Geo. Moffatt and T.M. Mackay—both Radicals—in the Southampton parliamentary election. Cox's 1871 Directory also describes him as S.W.R., but at 15 Liverpool Street, Bevois Town. This is where the census also found the household, unchanged from 1861. The initials "S.W.R." confirm that his employer was, as might be expected for the location, the London & South-Western Railway. Richard's wife Ann died in August that year. At the time of his daughter's marriage in 1877 Richard was still a railway porter.5

On the 22nd December 1878 Richard married, secondly, Harriett Lavington, at the East Street Wesleyan Chapel, Southampton, following the rites and ceremonies of the Wesleyan Methodists. His bride was a 45 year old widow (cal 1834 – 1915), of 41 Rockstone Lane, Southampton, daughter of Charles Bell, carrier, and the widow of Thomas Lavington, tinman. Richard was described as a railway servant, now of 15 Dover Street, Southampton.6

Clearly he moved in with his new wife, as the 1881 census finds him living at 41 Bevois Place, Rockstone Lane, Southampton. He was again described as a railway servant, living with his and Ann's daughter Catherine, his second wife, and her two children. At the marriage of his daughter Annie, in June 1881, he is still described as a railway porter, though by December, when his son Harry married, he is described as a writer, which I take to mean a clerk.7

By 1884 41 Rockstone Lane had been named 'Rockstone Cottage'. Richard died at home there on the 1st July 1884, having suffered from a cerebral tumour for two months, culminating in four days effusion. Though his death certificate (and his daughter's marriage certificate from two months earlier) described him merely as a railway servant, it is clear by a delayed entry in the local directory that by the time of his death he had become superintendent of the railway coal department in Southampton.8

Richard Ferry was the sixth child, and fifth son, of [G3] John and [G4] Elizabeth Ferry (John's tenth child and eighth son).9


1 census; parish register. TNA: HO 107/280/16 f22 p5 suggests birth year 1821–6, TNA: RG 9/677 f20 p33 returns suggests 1820–1, RG 11/1205 f94 p29 suggests 1822–3.

2 HO 107/280/16 f22 p5; Elizabeth Buckler Gale (1984) Farmers, Fishermen & Flax Spinners: The Story of the People of Burton Bradstock (2e) 77, 111

3 marriage certificate; children's birth certificates; parish register; banns book; GRO index

4 letters to me from Maurice Ferry; HO 107/1669 f237 p20; 1853 and 1855 Post Office Directories; children's birth certificates; daughter's death certificate; electoral register

5 1859 and 1863 Post Office Directory; Cox's 1871 Directory; RG 9/677 f20 p33; RG 10/1187 f35 p19; wife's death certificate; daughters' birth and marriage certificates; poll book

6 2nd marriage certificate; GRO index

7 RG 11/1205 f94 p29; daughter's and son's marriage certificates (in 1890 his son John gave his late father's occupation as railway clerk

8 death certificate; daughter's marriage certificate; Stevens's Directory of Southampton (1884 & 1887); Hampshire Advertiser, 1884-07-05

9 parish register; censuses


John Ferry was probably born in 1771. He was baptised on 22 August 1771, at Compton Valance, Dorset.1

He married, first, Elizabeth Bridle (? – 1802), on the 28th August 1797, after banns, at Burton Bradstock, where he then lived; he marked his name. They had three children: Ann (1798–1880), Joseph (1800–1805), and George (1802–1802), all born at Burton Bradstock.2

the mark of John FerreyHis wife died in 18023; and he married, secondly, [G16] Elizabeth Trevett, on the 26th February 1805, after banns, at Bothenhampton, Dorset. He was said to be a resident of Burton Bradstock. Their children were: William (1806–1842), James (1808–1888), Jane Trevett (1810–1830), Joseph (1812–1867), Robert (1815–1884), Samuel (1816 – ?), Charles (1818–1911), [G2] Richard (1821–1884), and Sarah (1825 – after 1871); all were baptised at Burton Bradstock.4

In 1807 he had two of his children inoculated at the expense of the parish (5s.); on the 13th June 1811 he was given £3 by the overseers, in respect of his wife.6

He worked as a labourer.7

Before the end of December 1816 he and another man were paid 9s. for "Exuming and Order", 7d. expenses, and 4s. 6d. for accompanying overseers to Beaminster in relation to this. They also paid him 7s. for being ill, and 16s. for his family. In February 1817 he was paid 18s. for his family; the following month, being ill, he was paid £2 3s. 4d. At the end of 1817 he was paid £1 2s, "his Wife being confin'd & destitute of real [Necessaries?]"; in January 1818 he was paid a further £2, his wife being ill, and was given a blanket and sheet. In February, still being ill, he was given a further £1 3s, and 12s. in April; in mid-July he was again ill, and was paid 7s. A pair of shoes for his boy (not named) was bought in August 1818, at a cost of 6s. 9d. In February the following year he was awarded 5s. In September 1819 he was awarded a 5s. 6d. pair of shoes for his boy; and in December 3s. In July 1820 another pair of shoes was bought, @ 5s. 6d. In January 1821 he was paid 10s. "by order" (without further explanation). In February, March, and April 1823 he was paid £2, £1 6s., and 14s., for stone drawing. In June 1823 he was paid 6s. 6d. for drawing stone at Woolings, 7s. for a week of "breaking pebles", and 18s. for being ill for three weeks. In August 1823 overseers agreed to grant him 7s. 6d. till the following month; they also agreed seven weeks board for him at Exeter, totalling £3 3s., as well as 10s. 6d. for his fare from there. In September he was ill, and paid £1 8s. 6d. In October they again agreed coach hire to Exeter and back, @ £1 16s., and 6s. for his journey. In December they again bought a pair of shoes for his boy, at 4s. 10d, and another @ 4s. 6d. in February 1824. In July that year they bought a pair for his daughter (presumably Jane), @ 5s., and in December a pair of trousers and a jacket for his boy. In March 1825 they bought a pair of shoes for his boy, @ 5s., and another in June, @ 5s. 6d. In June they again paid his fare to Exeter, @ 12s., with 4s. for his expenses, a new pair of shoes @ 9s. and a new shirt @ 3s. In September he was again paid 10s. for his fare to Exeter. In December overseers paid 11s. 7d. for shirting for his family. In March 1826 they paid 9s. for his jury expenses. In November 1826 they again paid 5s. for shoes for his boy. In February, March, April, and May 1827 his son was ill, for which Ferry was paid 5s. and three sums of 10s. in May he was paid 9s. for his son's illness. In February 1829 he was paid 4s. for a pair of shoes for his boy, and similarly in December 3s. 9d. He was regularly in receipt of 1s. 4d. a month, but in April 1831 he was given an additional 5s., and from July that year until April 1832 he and his family were awarded £1 2s. a month, reduced to £1 from May. In March 1833 he was paid an additional 3s., being ill. From May that year his monthly pay was further reduced to 18s., from May 1834 to 16s., then to 12s. from May 1835.8

Of Burton Bradstock, his body was buried in the churchyard there on the 1st April 1836.8

John Ferry was the eldest child of [G4] John and [G9] Sarah Ferry.9

1 letters to me from Maurice Ferry; OPC Dorset; "England, Dorset, Parish Registers, 1538–2001", database with images, FamilySearch: 2 June 2020, John Ferry, 1771

2 parish register—named spelt 'Ferrey'; GRO index; censuses; parish register

3 bur. at Burton Bradstock on the 12th December; she had been given 10s. by the Overseers, before October that year, and a further 1s. 6d. by November, as well as 8s. for attending her; by year end she'd also been given "coles" costing 5s. 6d., and a further 6s. for attending her (Burton Bradstock, Overseers of the Poor Accounts, Financial Papers (online at Ancestry))

4 parish register; GRO index; censuses

5 parish register; son's marriage certificates of 1843, 1845 and 1878

6 Burton Bradstock, Overseers of the Poor Accounts, Financial Papers, online at Ancestry

7 parish register

8 Burton Bradstock, Overseers of the Poor Accounts, Financial Papers. Not all poor law payments are noted here, and the overseers' accounts end in 1835, at least in respect of individual claimants.

9 parish register; GRO index; censuses; information from Linda Sheraton-Davis; Our Family tree


John Ferry was baptised at Stinsford, Dorset, on 1 July 1741.1

On 21 February 1770, a shepherd, of Winterborne Abbas, Dorset, he married [G9] Sarah Bonnel there, by banns. He is elsewhere described as a labourer.2

The couple had twelve children: [G3] John (1771–1836), William (1773 – ?), Mary (1774 – ?), Robert (1777–1847), James (1779 – ?), George (1781–1864), Clementina (1783–1852), Samuel (1784 – after 1827), Isaac (1785–1785), Sarah (1787–1850), Elizabeth (1793 – after 1841), and Charlotte (1796–1850); the first three were baptised at Compton Valence, the remainder at Burton Bradstock, Dorset.3

On 2 April 1794 John Ferry was given 2s., on the distribution of of £2 from Broad Main Charity to the poor of Burton Bradstock. Before Easter 1795 the Overseers gave his children "close and making", costing £1 3s. 11d, as well as Robert Goddard's jacket and trousers for Ferry's son George. By 3 May 1795 they'd also given John Ferry bread to the value of 4s. 2Όd, meat @ 2s. 11d, and "bed close" @ £1 5s. He and his wife, in labour, were given a further 1s. 3d. In December 1796 he received 4s. from the Broad Main Charity. He received a further 1s. from the same charity before April 1802.4

From 1808 to 1810, and in 1814, John Ferry was a proprietor in Burton Bradstock, assessed for Land Tax of 1d. From January 1817 the parish overseers paid John Ferry Senr 6d. per week for his lodging; the following month they paid 12s. for his house rent, due to a Mr Atkins. From the financial year 1817/18 he was exempted from paying poor rate of Ύd, in respect of his own house. From January 1818 overseers agreed to pay him 4s. a month; in August that year he was ill, and paid 2s. 6d. In September he was paid 2s. and given a shirt costing 4s. 8d, and overseers agreed to pay him 3s. He was ill again in November, and was awarded another 4s; and in December £6 plus a payment of £2, then another of 8s., he being ill again. In June 1819 he was ill again, and awarded 8s. In June 1822 overseers bought him a blanket, costing 3s., and in August a shirt, @ 4s.5

Of Burton Bradstock, his body was buried there on 4 February 1825.6

John Ferry was the 2nd child and 2nd son of [G5] Robert and [G8] Mary Ferry.7


1 parish register

2 parish register; letters to me from Maurice Ferry; information from Linda Sheraton-Davis

3 Compton Valence and Burton Bradstock parish registers; GRO index; censuses; Our Family tree; Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 1827-02-24

4 Burton Bradstock, Overseers of the Poor Accounts, Financial Papers (online at Ancestry)

5 Land Tax returns, Dorset History Centre Qde(L)23/1-44; Burton Bradstock, Overseers of the Poor Accounts, Financial Papers. From this point onwards, not all poor law payments are noted here.

6 parish register

7 parish register (which gives a calculated birth year of 1739); information from Linda Sheraton-Davis



Robert Ferry was born in 1714 in Winterborne Steepleton, Dorset, where he was baptised on 3 October that year.1

Of Winterbourne Steepleton, he married [G8] Mary Rogers on 13 February 1737/8, at Compton Valence, Dorset. Their children were: James (1738 – ?), [G4] John (1739–1825), Hannah (1744 – ?), Elizabeth (1745 – ?), Jane (1749 – ?), William (1750–1751), William (1754–1832), and Mary (? – 1763); all were baptised at Stinsford, Dorset.2

In 1758, a labourer, he was listed as fit to serve as a militia man in the parish of Stinsford and Bockhampton.3

His body was buried at Stinsford on 17 February 1799.4

Robert Ferry was the second child and eldest son of [G6] John and [G7] Mary Ferry.5


1 parish register

2 Compton Valence parish register; Stinsford parish register

3 Dorset Militia Lists, L/A 4/1/1

4 parish register

5 parish register



John Ferry married [G7] Mary ____. Their children were: Ann (1711 – ?), [G5] Robert, James (1716–1782), William (1718/9 – ?), Hannah (1721 – ?), and John (1724–1757).1


1 parish register; "England, Dorset, Parish Registers, 1538–1936", database with images, FamilySearch: 7 December 2017, John Ferry, 1757


G7. MARY FERRY born ____

Mary ____ married [G6] John Ferry. Their children were: Ann (1711 – ?), [G5] Robert, James (1716–1782), William (1718/9 – ?), Hannah (1721 – ?), and John (1724–1757).1


1 parish register; "England, Dorset, Parish Registers, 1538–1936", database with images, FamilySearch: 7 December 2017, John Ferry, 1757



Of Winterbourne St Martin, Dorset, Mary Rogers married [G5] Robert Ferry on 13 February 1737/8, at Compton Valence, Dorset. Their children were: James (1738 – ?), [G4] John (1739–1825), Hannah (1744 – ?), Elizabeth (1745 – ?), Jane (1749 – ?), William (1750–1), William (1754 – ?), and Mary (? – 1763); all were baptised at Stinsford, Dorset.1

Her body was buried at Stinsford on 5 November 1770.2


1 Compton Valence parish register; Stinsford parish register

2 parish register; the register also notes "and her child sometime before"


Suggestions for further research

The birth and parentage details for [G6] John Ferry need to be found, as well as his marriage. No work has so far been undertake on the ancestry of [G8] Mary Ferry born Rogers.

In a letter to me dated 25 October 1985 the late Maurice Ferry wrote the following:


[ . . . ] it is nevertheless absolutely clear that they [the forebears of (G4) John Ferry] are descended from anyone of a group of five FERR(E)Ys that arrived in South Dorset from the Cherbourg peninsula in the 1480s. It will never be possible to positively link anyone with any of the five as their recorded particulars are so vague that it is not even possible to relate them one to the other and anyway there is a gap of 4-5 generations between their arrival and the first Parish records. That said these five were granted denisation (naturalisation) whilst still living in South Dorsetshire and married to English women in 1544 at which time I have been unable to find any record of other FERR(E)Ys in this country. The majority of FERR(E)Ys living in the UK at present are descendants of the Huguenot Refugees.

Maurice provided no sources for this information, and it is not something that I queried, at the time. It would be terrific if someone were to track this down, and establish whether or not this 'origin myth' is sustainable.


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This page was last revised on 2024-04-23.


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