The Rolfe family of Baughurst and Hannington

?   =   ?


William Rolfe = Jane Thomas

      |         other children

Elizabeth Rolfe = Henry Baggs

      |         other children

Walter Baggs = Alice Jane Ferry

      |         other children

Ruth Elizabeth Baggs = Reuben Alexander Beck


Elizabeth Rolfe was born around 1813 in Baughurst, Hampshire.1

In 1841 she was a servant in the household of George Buckeridge, grocer, of Bridge Street, Newbury, Berkshire.2

signature of Elizabeth RolfeShe married [E3] Henry Baggs on the 16th March 1843, after banns, at the parish church, Dummere, Hampshire, where she lived at that time; she signed her name. Their children were: Henry (1844–1916), Rachel (1846–1882), John (1848–1927), Elizabeth (1851–1919), Jane (1851–1943), Hannah (1853–1863), [E2] Walter (1854–1935), and William (1858–1881); all were born in Kingsclere, and baptised in Hannington, Hampshire.3

In 1851 and 1861 she lived with her family at Cottington's Hill, in the Kingsclere parish part of Hannington; for a short period around 1853 she and her family were at Walkeridge Farm, to the west of Freemantle Park. By 1871 she and her family had apparently moved into the centre of Hannington village. By 1881—following the death of her husband—she had moved in as a lodger in the household of one James Cleave, 48, a labourer with a wife and eight children, living in Hannington. Of Hannington, she died there on the 7th December 1885, after ten months malignancy of the liver, and two months ascites (an accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity). Her body was buried in Hannington churchyard on the 12th.4

Elizabeth Rolfe was a daughter of [F2] William and [F3] Jane Rolf(e)/Roff.5

*** For an exhaustive treatment of the lives of Henry and Elizabeth Baggs, please go to this pdf file (updated February 2023). ***


1 1814 census return (TNA: HO 107/33/7 f17 p28) suggests 1812–16, not Berkshire, 1851 and 1871 census returns suggest 1812–3, 1861 suggests 1813–4. Baptism not found in Baughurst, Hannington, Wolverton, Tadley, Wootton St Lawrence, or Ewhurst. [parish register]. An Elizabeth Rolfe was baptised in Kingsclere on the 30th July 1815, described as base-born, daughter of Mary Rolfe, spinster, of Marsh [parish register]; FamilySearch also has a Mary Rolfe, daughter of John and Sarah Rolfe, baptised at Kingsclere on the 14th April 1797. Also in Kingsclere is an Elizabeth Rolfe, baptised on the 2nd June 1816, daughter of William and Ann Rolfe. FamilySearch does not show any Elizabeth Rolfe baptisms in the adjacent Berkshire parishes of Brimpton, Wasing, Aldermaston or Padworth. For reasons there isn't space to go into here, I don't consider either of the Kingsclere baptisms to be the ancestral Elizabeth (see my Henry and Elizabeth Baggs, 1997).

2 HO 107/33/7 f17 p28. This entry is the only Eliz* Rolfe [soundex] resident in Hampshire or Berkshire who is apparently single. As her father died in Newbury only a year later, this seems more than coincidental.

3 marriage certificate; parish register; census returns; son's marriage certificate; children's birth certificates; Ken Smallbone (2010) Baggs: The History of a Family. The Ancestors and Descendants of the Baggs Family of Hannington, Hampshire, England. Basingstoke: The Changing Seasons

4 HO 107/1684 f162 p14; TNA: RG 9/718 f30 p13; RG 10/1246 f29 p12; RG11/1266 f133r; children's birth certificates; death certificate; parish register; Smallbone (2010); Hampshire Chronicle, 1885-12-19

5 marriage certificate; Dummer and Baughurst parish registers; census returns; siblings' marriage certificates


William Rolfe was born in the early 1780s, in Hampshire.1

A resident of Dummer, he married [F3] Jane Thomas on the 30th June 1806, in Dummer.2

Their children were: [F1] Elizabeth (1813–1885), Rachel (1817–1896), John (1820–1821), and Robert (1822–1892), all born in Baughurst.3

From 1817 to 1822 he is described as a labourer, of Baughurst. He had probably left Baughurst by 1831, and was certainly not a head of household there at that date.4

In 1841 he was a male servant, living in Dummer with his son, another family and a single blacksmith.5

He died of a liver complaint on the 11th June 1842 in Sandleford, just outside Newbury, Berkshire.6

In 1843 and 1866, at the weddings of his daughters, William Rolfe was described as a gardener.7



1 death certificate suggests 1780, 1841 census returns 1782–6. In the period 1778–1790 no 'William Rolfe' was baptised in Dummer, Baughurst, Tadley, Ewhurst, Wolverton, North Waltham, Deane, Church Oakley, Winslade, Farleigh Wallop, Nutley, Chilton Candover, Northington, Woodmancote or Popham. However there were two individuals named William Rolfe baptised in Kingsclere at roughly this time. One was baptised on the 15th April 1780, son of John and Sarah Rolfe; the other on the 6th August 1786, son of William and Elizabeth Rolfe. In view of the age at death, the 1780 baptism is the best fit, however it also fits details for a different William Rolfe. Additionally, there are two couples named John and Sarah Rolfe, who could be his parents (John Rolfe and Sarah Bennett, who married in Kingsclere in 1779, and John Rolfe and Sarah Morgan, who married in Basingstoke in 1773), and it's not clear which is correct. [Kingsclere register is Hampshire RO 90M72]; Hampshire baptisms (HGS); Hampshire Marriage Index. The Wootton St Lawrence parish register has a baptism for a "William Roffe", son of Wm and Mary, on 25 February 1781, which, too, is clearly a possible candidate.

2 parish register; census returns

3 parish register; census returns

4 parish register; Hampshire RO 58M80/PO18

5 TNA: HO 107/385/21 f8 p11

6 death certificate

7 daughters' marriage certificates


Suggestions for further research

Well, no progress can be made without disentangling the possible parentage of [F2] William Rolf(e)/Roff, as outlined in note 1 above. Probate records might help.


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