Tuesday, 3 March 2020

On Abigail Austen, wife of William Huckvale, 1609-1667

There is an oft cited 'fact' that Abigail Austen, wife of William Huckvale, is the daughter of William Austen and Anne Taylor, resident in Southwark, London. Trees and descents which claim this either don't cite a source at all, or cite the Millennium File, a notorious sink of unsourced user supplied information, often wishful thinking, created by the now defunct Institute of Family Research.

In this case the Millennium File entry is a clearly a vague and poor estimate based on where Abigail lived as a married women and 20 years before her marriage.There is no baptism of an Abigail Austen in the Over Norton or Chipping Norton parish records at or around this time, nor any William or Anne Austen as parents at the time. There is a Richard Austen having children in the parish at the time, but not an Abigail.

There is no record of any Abigail baptised for William and Anne Austen that I've seen, nor is an Abigail mentioned in William's will of 1833. William has some fame as a religious author and I suspect was therefore a favorable ancestor to try and achieve in some circles.

In summary, this connection is another piece of Millennium File nonsense based on no actual sources.

The real Abigail Austen is the daughter of Nycholas Austen and Abigail (surname as yet unknown), baptised in Banbury, Oxfordshire on 23 April 1609. Wigginton, where she married, and is described as resident, is pretty much equidistant on a line between Chipping Norton and Banbury, which themselves are only 13 miles apart. Indeed Wigginton's modern address town is Banbury. William leaves money to the church of Wigginton, as well as certain interests there, in his will of 1613 and Abigail, his wife, is buried there in 1643.

(Note: in the records various spellings of Abigail, Nycholas and Austen appear, Austen often spelt as Awstin.)

No comments:

Post a comment