Tag Archives: Polstead

Wrights of Boxford & Polstead, Suffolk, England: Burials

Around this time last year I was in Bury St Edmunds record office, Suffolk, tracking down my Wright ancestors. An IHGS assignment required me to record register events for a family over a period of at least 50 years in one parish, and then construct family trees from those events. Knowing (from census records) that my Wrights had lived in Boxford and Polstead, I chose to research both parishes. You can find the baptisms and marriages online at FamilySearch, though Boxford’s data appears to be limited in date range and includes entries taken from the bishop’s and archdeacon’s transcripts (BTs), which are sometimes noted as “Boxford BTs”, but also noted as being from “Sudbury”, the name of the deanery. However, burials aren’t included, and I thought it might be useful for others if I listed the burial entries I found.

I viewed the parish registers on microfiche, and in some cases the entries were quite difficult to decipher.  As with any transcription, errors may be lurking!

Wright burials in the parish of Boxford, Suffolk 1759-1848

Burial date Name Age Residence
3 Jun 1759 Gabriel Wright from London
14 Oct 1762 John Wright 89
26 Aug 1790 Elizabeth Wright 27
26 Dec 1809 William Wright 22 Boxford
15 Jan 1816 Mary Wright 47 Boxford
24 Oct 1817 William Wright 64 Hadleigh Hamlet
1 Apr 1819 Mary Wright 4 Boxford
5 Mar 1820 Charlotte Wright 4.5 Boxford
1 May 1820 Robert Wright 6 months Boxford
7 Jul 1834 Samuel Wright 3 months Groton
19 Mar 1835 Mary Wright 25 Boxford
19 Nov 1837 Mary Wright 2.5 Boxford
19 Mar 1848 Matilda Wright 19 Groton
6 Dec 1848 William Wright 42 Boxford
10 Dec 1848 Harriet Wright 17 Boxford

Wright burials in the parish of Polstead, Suffolk 1773-1845*

Burial date Name Age Residence
21 Apr 1773 Mary Wright
4 Sep 1788 Susan Wright 45
2 Jan 1803 Mary Wright 45
16 Dec 1804 Judith Wright infant
9 Mar 1806 Phoebe Wright 21
14 May 1809 Mary Wright 1
10 May 1810 Mary Wright 72
10 May 1810 Benjamin Wright 72
6 Jul 1810 James Wright 1
27 Aug 1810 Sarah Wright 37
20 Jun 1813 Robert Wright 5 weeks Polstead
25 May 1817 Elizabeth Wright 39 Stoke
30 May 1820 Clarke Wright 41 Boxford
19 Feb 1823 Sarah Wright 57 Polstead
22 May 1823 William Wright 78 Boxford
20 Jan 1827 Joseph Wright 2 months Polstead
13 Jul 1829 John Wright 4 Polstead
8 Jul 1845 John Wright 69 Polstead

Boxford Parish (Suffolk, England), Parish Registers, Burial entries, Fiche no. 10 (1754-1807), Fiche no. 11 (1807-1808), Fiche no. 16 (1808-1831), Fiche no. 17 (1831-1858), Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds.

Polstead Parish (Suffolk, England), Parish Registers, Burial entries, Fiche no. 8 (1772-1783), Fiche no. 11 (1783-1788), Fiche no. 12 (1789-1813), Fiche no. 15 (1813-1825), Fiche no. 16 (1825-1858), Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds.

*There appeared to be a gap in the register of burial entries for Polstead parish between 1781 and 1788.

St Mary’s Church, Polstead, Suffolk ~ revisited

Some weeks back I posted a photo I took of St Mary’s church in Polstead, Suffolk.  It’s a beautiful old village church, and when we visited back in August, we could just walk in and take a look around.

Inside, I picked up a copy of Polstead Church and Parish1 for a small donation, and the following information comes from there.

Interior of St Mary's church, Polstead, Suffok ~ August 2011

Interior of St Mary's church, Polstead, Suffolk ~ August 2011

The  church was built early in the reign of Henry II, probably about 1160 A.D. and was dedicated to Saint Mary.  There have been two major alterations to the orginal twelfth-century Norman church, one towards the end of the fourteenth centur and another about 1510-1520.

The interior of the church is given a unique appearance by the use of brick and tufa blocks (a porous stone used for building at Rome and Naples) in the construction of the nave arches – Norman arches of brick are very rare; there is no other church like this in the whole of Suffolk.

Baptismal font c.13th century, St Mary's church, Polstead, Suffolk ~ August 2011

Baptismal font c.13th century, St Mary's church, Polstead, Suffolk ~ August 2011

The plain baptismal font probably dates from the 13th century, and was completely restored in 1961.  The original base has been enlarged and the lead bowl with drain has replaced the original.   The original 17th century wooden font cover has been replaced by one made of fibre-glass, in a symbolic design design of the Dove and undulating waters of Baptism. (It was designed by a nun of Oxford, who had trained at the Slade School of Art.)

There is much architectural joy to be discovered in this church.  I found it to be a very lovely and simple place of worship, with lots of historical bits and bobs to savour.  It’s where some of my Wright ancestors were baptised and married, and some buried in the graveyard.

St Mary's church graveyard, Polstead, Suffolk ~ August 2011

St Mary's church graveyard, Polstead, Suffolk ~ August 2011

  1. Polstead Parochial Church Council. Polstead Church and Parish, based on an original history by Laurence S. Harley FSA, first published in January 1951, Polstead Parochial Church Council (Suffolk: 2005)

Polstead, Suffolk ~ Wordless Wednesday

Polstead, Suffolk - August 2011

Polstead, Suffolk - August 2011

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

St Mary’s Church, Polstead, Suffolk ~ Wordless Wednesday

St Mary's Church, Polstead, Suffolk - August 2011

St Mary's Church, Polstead, Suffolk - August 2011

Are you trying to trace members of your family in Polstead?

Are you trying to trace members of your family in Polstead?

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Ephraim Wright

Mary Jane‘s second husband was my great great grandfather, Ephraim Wright.  He was born on January 8th 1860 in Polstead, Suffolk, England.1 His parents Benjamin Wright and Mary Ann Peggs had married on October 23rd 1858 in Boxford, Suffolk – Benjamin’s home town.2

I haven’t been able to find Ephraim and his parents in the 1861 census, though there are a couple of likely candidates for his father, both of whom are in jail!

The family turn up in the 1871 census at Potash Lane, Polstead, Suffolk. Along with his parents Benjamin 40 and Mary A 37, the 11 year old scholar Ephraim is living with his 8 year old brother Arthur.3


View Polstead & Boxford, Suffolk in a larger map

At the time of the 1881 census, I think he is living at 56 Railway Grove, St Paul Deptford.  There is an Ephraim Wright, 21,  labourer, living with a 63 year old widower by the name of George Boxhall, who is also a labourer.  Ephraim’s birth place is given as Suffolk.4 It’s possible this is not my man  – there are several other Ephraim Wrights born in Suffolk around – but given that this is a year before he marries Mary Jane in a neighbouring area, I think it’s likely to be the right one.

On March 13th, 1882 he marries Mary Jane Freeth (formerly Clark) at St Stephen’s church, Lewisham, Kent.  At the time he was living at Brookbank Road, Lewisham, and his occupation is “Fitter”.5

By 1891, Ephraim and Mary Jane and five children are living at 11 Alvar Street in Deptford. Thirty year old Ephraim’s  occupation is listed as General Labourer and Mary Jane (35) is a Laundress.6 The children are:

  • Mary Freeth 14, Ephraim’s stepdaughter,  Mary Jane’s daughter from her previous marriage, born Meath, Ireland
  • Lavinia Wright 8, daughter, born Deptford
  • James A  Wright 6, son, born Deptford
  • Joseph Wright 4, son, born Rotherhithe, Surrey
  • Ephraim G Wright 2, son, born Deptford

My great grandfather Alexander was born just after the census, on June 27th 1891.

Sadly, Ephraim died three years later at the age of 34 on November 26th 1894 at the South Eastern Hospital in Deptford.  His address was given as 23 Berthon Street, Deptford, and occupation “Engine fitter”.7 (By the time his son Alexander marries in 1917, Ephraim’s occupation has been upgraded to “Engineer”.)

The cause of death was Enteric Fever, another name for typhoid, “a common worldwide illness, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces [sic] of an infected person… The impact of this disease fell sharply with the application of modern sanitation techniques.”8

I’d love to find out where Ephraim was in 1861.  If his father was in jail, where would his mother have gone with a baby?  I did search a couple of years ago, looking at his mother’s family to see if she’d gone there, but found nothing.  Time to have another hunt.  I also want to know what his father was in jail for, if indeed that’s where he was.

And why did Ephraim move away from Suffolk?  I would think it would be because of work, or lack thereof.  Maybe following up what happened to his brother Arthur could offer some clues.

I also want to check out the places Ephraim was living in against the Charles Booth poverty maps of London, to see what kind of housing it was, what it might have been like.

  1. England, birth certificate for Ephraim Wright; 08 Jan 1860, Cosford, Suffolk; citing 1860 Mar [quarter] 04a [vol] 456 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  2. England, marriage certificate for Benjamin Wright and Mary Ann Peggs; 23 Oct 1858, Boxford, Suffolk; citing 1858 Dec [quarter] 04a [vol] 925 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  3. “1871 England Census, Benjamin Wright (age 40) household, Polstead, Suffolk,” Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 11 Sep 2008), citing PRO RG10/1723, folio 96, p 2 & 3, GSU roll: 830763, Cosford registration district, Hadleigh sub-registration district, ED 19, household 11, 02 Apr 1871.
  4. “1881 England Census, George Boxhall (age 63) household, St Paul Deptford, London,” Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 11 Sep 2008), citing PRO RG11/708, folio 58, p 16, GSU roll: 1341165, Greenwich registration district, St Paul Deptford sub-registration district, ED 34a, household 81, 03 Apr 1881.
  5. England, marriage certificate for Ephraim Wright and Mary Jane Freeth; 13 Mar 1882, Lewisham; citing Mar 1882 [quarter] 01d [vol] 1019 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  6. “1891 England Census, Ephraim Wright (age 30) household, St Paul Deptford, London,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 01 Oct 2010), citing PRO RG12/494, folio 67, p 63, GSU roll: 6095604, Greenwich registration district, St Paul Deptford sub-registration district, ED 2, household 323, 05 Apr 1891.
  7. England, death certificate for Ephraim Wright; 26 Nov 1894, Greenwich; citing Dec 1894 [quarter] 01d [vol] 552 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  8. Wikipedia “Typhoid fever”, article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoid_fever accessed: 2 April 2011.