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One Name Studies

Standing: Mary Fisher, Lot and Emily (Baker) Fisher        Seated: Emily (Kitley) Fisher, Charlotte (Fisher) Blair, Lot Fisher                      

Ancestors in my direct line of descent are shown in italics. Many thanks to Ron Baker, Moyra Palm, Edith and Neil Harper, Steve Fisher and George Fisher for all the information they've sent me! 

1st Generation

I have traced my Fisher line back to a James Fisher born around 1737 in the Somerset village of Mark. Unfortunately there were 2 James Fishers born within a year of each other, and as both seem to have survived, it is difficult to know which is ours! James's parents were either Henry and Mary or James and Tabitha.

The James our line is descended from married (on 25.3.1765) Ann Baker of Wedmore. They lived in Mark and had the following children:

2nd Generation (children of James and Ann)

Joannah? (bap.15.5.1765), Joan (17.7.1768), Robert (bap.29.1.1769), Elizabeth (bap.14.7.1771), and Richard (bap.3.2.1775).

Richard married (9.6.1799) Sarah Pim. Richard was a labourer. He was buried 25.9.1816. Richard and Sarah had the following children:

3rd Generation (children of Richard and Sarah)

Hannah (bap.24.7.1802), Joseph (bap. May 1804), Sarah (bap.15.7.1806), Richard (bap.1.4.1808), Eliza (bap.25.10.1810), Maria (bap.27.3.1812), and Charlotte (bap.8.7.1814).

Joseph married Emily Lawrence, a Wedmore girl, in Wedmore on 26.5.1828, and moved to Wedmore. Joseph was a butcher (listed in the Somerset Directory 1859) and they lived at Guildhall, Wedmore, near the slaughterhouse he ran in Guildhall Lane. He is described as a labourer in baptism records up to 1840, and then became a butcher. Emily died on 8.5.1862 of phthisis (TB). Joseph died on 1.9.1876 of a cerebral effusion (10 months, coma 7 days). Joseph and Emily had the following children:

4th Generation (children of Joseph and Emily)

Richard (bap.27.10.1831), Elizabeth (bap.9.2.1834), Emma (bap.11.9.1836), Henry (bap.20.1.1839), Joseph (bap.18.7.1841), Eliza (bap.16.11.1843), Lot (b.22.12.1845 - his mother Emily signed the certificate with a 'X'), Charlotte(bap.38.3.1838), Surrenah (bap.6.6.1850), Edna (b.1852) and Walter (b.1857).

Lot married Emily Kitley (daughter of Daniel and Ann Kitley) of Weare in Weare Parish Church on 25.1.1869. Lot was a labourer at the time of his marriage. They both signed the marriage register with a 'X.' 

Bertha by Lot and Emily's cottage, Guildhall, Wedmore.  Lot and Emily lived in a small cottage in Guildhall (known as Guilo), Wedmore. They had originally live in a larger cottage behind it, but the owner sold it and Lot didn't want to be held down to a mortgage. The cottage was opposite Sunset Well, a holy well reputed to cure skin diseases and eye complaints. Neither Lot nor Emily could read or write - Bertha used to do their reading and writing for them - and were poor but industrious. Everyone in Wedmore knew them.

Bertha said Emily was a wonderful person and her grandson said she was always full of beans. She had a pony (Jenny) and trap with which she used to do taxi/hire work, taking people to local train stations, and would turn up in her pony and trap to watch her son Jack play football, shouting encouragement to his team. She also helped the local doctor, Dr Bracey, to deliver the babies, and was also caretaker at the Methodist Chapel. 

Lot was partial to a drink and could be cantankerous. He spent so much time sat on the wall next to the slaughterhouse, the stone has been worn smooth, as he passed rude and ribald comments on passers-by! It is traditional for all Fisher descendants who visit Wedmore to have their photos taken on the seat (where the white mark is, on the wall). On all official records his occupation is given as labourer until about 1874, when he is described as a road labourer, but I believe he ran the slaughterhouse for a time. Lot would haul stones for the council for use in road building and would keep a couple of big horses and a put (squat cart, 5' square). Many of the roads he built are still there today.

The slaughterhouse is now a holiday home called Holly Tree Barn! If you're interested in staying there or seeing inside, click here.           

Emily died of asthenia, liver cancer and ascites on 19.2.1929. Lot died on 1.3.1934 of "senile decay accelerated by shock and confinement due to the fracture of the right femur sustained by reason of an accidental fall owing to giddiness."

Lot and Emily had the following children: 

5th Generation (children of Lot and Emily)

Joseph (b.17.4.1869), Emily Ann (b.1870), Eliza (b.28.1.1872), Richard (b.1873), Elizabeth (b.18.4.1875 known as Lib), Mary Charlotte (b.1876), Lot (b.1878), John (b.1879, known as Jack), Selina (b.16.4.1884), George Henry (b.20.8.1886), and George Henry (b.14.5.1889). Lot and Emily also fostered Bertha Grimstead, Charles Tyley Fisher (b.28.10.1873, the son of Lot's sister Edna, who died of pneumonia when Charles was 2) and brought up their daughter Lib's son when she went to Canada. 

Joseph married Anne Elizabeth Leighton (b.1866 daughter of George and Eliza Leighton of Saul, Gloucestershire) on 6.5.1895 in Saul Parish Church. Joseph was a brickmaker at the time of his marriage, a year later his occupation was given as general labourer. 

Joe fought in the Boer War until he got malaria, which weakened his heart. He died on 10.11.1903 of a “rupture of the right auricle of the heart due to fatty degeneration of that organ.” My grandmother Beryl remembered how he came down to breakfast one morning and collapsed over the dining table. An inquest was held on 12.11.1903.

Annie was working as a charwoman, possibly for Richard Fisher (Joseph's brother) in 1908. She died on 16.2.1922 of heart failure.

Joseph and Annie had the following children: 

6th Generation (children of Joseph and Annie)

Wilfred George (b.6.4.1896), Henry John (b.10.7.1897, known as Jack), Reginald Charles (b.19.10.1898), Joseph Leonard (b.17.12.1903), and Evelyn (b.1.6.1908).Wilfred was born in Wedmore and went to grammar school there. Emily was very proud of him as he'd had tea with the lady of the manor - a great honour in those days. 

He served in WW1 as a Sergeant with Prince Albert's Somerset Light Infantry, but was honourably discharged on 8.8.1916 after being shot in the hip by a sharp shooter and sent to Taunton Hospital. He had a job as an agitant with the Territorial Army Training Corps in Taunton, inspecting the trainees.   

At some point, just after discharge I believe, he went to work for his aunt and uncle Li and Will Baker at their boot and shoe business in Pembrokeshire to learn a trade. He went with his brother Jack they'd been shot in opposite legs during WW1 and both ended up in Taunton Hospital.   

Wilfred wrote a book called “The History of Somerset Yeomanry, Volunteer and Territorial Units,” published by Goodman and Son, The Phoenix Press, North Street, Taunton in 1924. The book covers the period from 1794 to the Great War. He wrote a second book, “Somerset Worthies”, published by the Folk Press Limited, London in 1927. He later wrote a book on Freemasonry.

He married Ivy Edith Willsman (daughter of Thomas and Jessie Willsman of Devon) on 1.6.1919. His occupation is given as clerk, and he was living in Wilton Street, Taunton. Ivy was also living in Taunton, at 9 High Street. They moved to 24 Belvedere Road, Taunton, and had one child, a daughter, Beryl Doreen, born 23.5.1920.

Wilfred got a job with Somerset County Council as a committee clerk in charge of his own section, and the family moved to a bungalow on the outskirts of Weston-Super-Mare. He later took a job as secretary and director of a brewery in Wiveliscombe, where he worked until he retired aged 63. 

 He was a practicing Freemason and wrote a book entitled "The History of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset" published by the Lodge in 1962.

Wilfred died of a heart attack on 3.11.1967. Ivy moved to Bloomfield Avenue, Bath, next door to her daughter BerylIvy died in 1978.

Useful Wedmore links:

Wedmore Genealogy/History: www.tutton.org

Wedmore Information: http://www.wiredwedmore.co.uk/index.php