Copyright © Potton History Society. Compiled with Serif WebPlusX8. Author Dave Thompson.

New version started 17 January 2016 | Site last updated  14th October 2021

We have a great deal of information in our files of interest to the family historian. We have copies of all Census returns from 1841 to 1901 including full (and updated) details of all burials in Potton. Research by our founding Chairman the late Norman Parry produced a detailed collection of local Wills. We also have copies of Potton entries for the local trade directories from the late 1700s to 1940. Our photographic collection has a wealth of detail about local families.

We aim to create a family database to enable ease of access to our material.

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Solomon Brown of Sutton:- Sole survivor of Australia’s worst shipwreck.

Emily Shore

Emily, who lived for a while at Brook House, Potton, was one of the daughters of the Rev. Thomas Shore and died of consumption, aged only 19, at Funchal, Madeira on the 7th July 1839 and was buried in the New British Burial Ground on the 9th Of July 1839. She left behind her her Journal (published in edited form in 1891 by her surviving sisters), giving us an insight into her observations on the social and natural world around her.

Both our late Treasurer Anita Lewis and Programme Secretary Peter Ibbett have made a visit to the Cemetery and have written several articles both based on their visit and her background. To download this research, please click on the picture above. We will be expanding this work in the future so please keep revisiting this page for further updates.  

We have been contacted by Thomas Sartell Potton from Alaska. He tells quite a shocking story (see below) about many local residents killed in a shipwreck. For further information from Alaska click the picture or link below.

      We now have many  people who have contacted us from overseas whose ancestors set off from their  poverty stricken lives to find themselves a new life in far-off places such as Australia.  Four familes from Sutton left our shores on 20th April  1845. Solomon Brown and his  family left Liverpool bound for Melbourne on the emigrant ship “Cataraqui” or  “Cataraque” which was wrecked on rocks off King Island near Melbourne in 1845. On  board were 369 emigrants of whom, 21 were from Sutton, 10 from Eyeworth and 23  from Guilden Morden. The only emigrant to survive was Solomon Brown from  Sutton, the older brother of Charles Brown. Also on board were three other  families from Sutton: Gilbert and Anne Daisley with 2 children, George and Ruth Daisley and William and  Maria Waldock with 7 children.

For further information please on the image below.

We have recently been contacted Mr & Mrs Valentine who have been researching their family tree which contains many miller's from down the ages. Of particular interest to those of us in Potton is Stephen Docwra Webb, born 1873 in Great Gransden, Huntingdonshire.

Stephen Docwra was the son of William Jabez (b 1850) and brother of William Edwards (b 1872) and Aubrey Lemuel (b 1878). In 1891 Stephen was lodging at St Mary’s Street, Eynesbury, Huntingdonshire where he was a Miller Improver. Stephen was the Miller at Potton from 1899 until the mill closed in 1932. He lived with his wife Lizzie (nee Sherman) and family at the Windmill, Mill Road, Potton, Bedfordshire. For a more detailed version of their family tree please click the Windmill picture.

We have been contacted by Robin Hoare from the Hokianga Community Educational Trust in New Zealand. Robin has been tracing his family history through the Freemans. He has however found a link with the Richardsons of Potton. Potton has never been short of Richardsons, they were the second most numerous family in the 1901 and 1911 Census returns.

Robin has found a link with William Richardson who was the stepfather of Amos Freeman and is hoping that by trying to find out more about him he may be able to find out more about his natural father whom he presumes may have died between 1818 and 1839.

Robin has provided us with an excerpt from a copy of the contents of a Ledger by Amos Freeman, Basketmaker, Girtford, Sandy, Bedfordshire, 1872-1889.

Neville Spriggs has recently donated material regarding his late uncle Frederick to the Society. Included in the article are several letters from the front line. One letter mentions his sister Maud and the other refers to Mr Jones, a shoemaker in Potton who Neville's Father, Horace, was apprenticed to.

Mr Spriggs knows of his Uncle's listing on the Potton War Memorial but wondered if there had ever been a grave. The Society undertook some research for Mr Spriggs and found that he had been killed in action in Flanders on 13 April 1918. Mr Spriggs body was recorded as 'Lost In Action' but we were able to inform Mr Spriggs that his uncle is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.

Please click on the image above to download the items donated to the Society.

Albert And Lizzie Field  

Society member Keith Lawrence has been researching a man that his studies led him to come across. Albert Field was born in Biggleswade on the 12th of August 1888. He emigrated to Australia in 1910. During the Great War he met a nurse called Lizzie and later they married.

Keith has researched their story in great depth and it makes fascinating reading.

To download the full story click here.   

Do You Remember The Braybrooks Family?

We have had a request from a lady who remembers two ladies, Marjory and Dorothy Braybrooks whose father owned the Tanyard at Potton'. We have plenty of material about the Tanyard and Alderman F.W.Braybrooks but little in the way of memories about the family. Can anyone add to our family files for this and any other Potton Family?

WANTED. Enthusiastic Family Historians to develop our ever growing collection of family material. No pay or contract but unlimited pleasure!