Stourmouth - The People



Historically, Stourmouth was an agricultural community so many of the inhabitants lived there a few years and moved on - some returned, some didn't.  But a number of family names were prevalent in the area for generations ... names like Culmer and Hussey (owners of Northcourt in the reign of Henry III), Joad and Huffam ...

I've been contacted by descendants of Stourmouth families, and I've included brief outlines of their connections below.  I can, where permission has been granted, supply contact information.

Arthur and Sarah (nee Holness) Baxter were long time residents of Stourmouth; in his younger years, Andrew farmed 11 acres but eventually described himself, on census records, as a market gardener and then a farm labourer.  His life, and possible connection to her husband's family, is being researched by Kathleen Pittock. Arthur's parents John and Sarah ran the Rising Sun in the 1880s.

The Rising Sun was responsible for drawing the Bushell family to Stourmouth.  Stephen became the innholder c1850, baptising four sons at All Saints.  One of them, Ethelbert (born 1852), was grandfather of researcher Maggie nee Bushell Baldwin.  Maggie's sister was born in the Rising Sun Cottage, which stood where the front carpark is now. 

This is one of my own families, of course.  Since my early days of investigating this prolific family, I've connected with a number of descendants.  In addition to the handful who share my direct descent from Jane Culmer (who married into the Griggs family), there is Jennifer Steele and Les Culmer, both from Australia, who claim Charles Culmer and his wife Charlotte Coleman as their progenitors.

Culmers have been buried in the All Saints churchyard for centuries. 

This photograph is of four unusually-shaped Culmer graves (those of George and Eleanor Culmer, and their daughters Elizabeth and Eleanor). 


Culmer graves

This family has appeared in the Stourmouth parish register throughout the 19th century.  In 1828, James and his wife Frances Reader brought their firstborn, George, to church.  The
1881 and 1891 census records show George living in Stourmouth House, married to his Dover-born wife, Emily. They had baptised their 10 children in Stourmouth.  Researcher Mary Moatt is connected to this family and continues delving into their lives.

Welshman Richard Drake was rector of Stourmouth from 1840 until 1883; his wife Jane and son are commemorated in the church, and one of the stained glass windows was designed by Richard himself.  Carolyn nee Blackmore Geddes, of Perth, Western Australia, is connected to this family. 

1891 census includes William and Susan Hewitt and their seven children.  The youngest son was the father of Molly Hewett (Mrs Stuart Osmer), whose husband kindly contributed this essay with photographs. 

The Hogbins lived in School Lane in 1891.  
John, the head (born in Acol, baptised 1862 in Birchington by his father Thomas), is a farmer with a wife and three young children.  I was contacted by John's great grandson Andy Hogin, who advises that family lore places John Hogbin as estate manager of Lord Northbourne's holdings in Betteshanger.  Andy is investigating this.

Another name that appears, throughout time, in Stourmouth and nearby villages is Roalfe or Rolfe, sometimes Ralph.  Different branches of the family have settled in the area, even if just for a short while.  Margaret Pritchard's great grandfather George Roalfe lived in Stourmouth in 1891, although 10 years earlier he was in Molash, and by 1901 the family had moved again (to Bishopsbourne).  The different birthplaces of George's children - Eastry, Godmersham, East Langdon - gives an idea of the transience of a 19th century farm servant.

Henry Sladden of Preston, a thatcher by trade, was the landlord at Plucks Gutter at the time of the 1891 census; his wife was Rosa Culmer, daughter of Charles and Mary Ann.  A descendant of the Stone family believes that Henry was connected to Mary Sladden (Mrs. Edward) Stone of Stone House, Stourmouth.  Only a few Sladdens have appeared in Stourmouth over the years, although the name is quite common in the parish registers of Thanet.

Researchers Fred Spong and Steve McLean are descended from the Spongs and Keels of Stourmouth - a clan whose branches are entwined with many other families in the village, like the Impetts.  George Keel Spong was born and married in Preston, and he moved between there and Stourmouth while raising a large family.  His son William was the great-great grandfather of Steve, and William's twin Daniel was the great great-grandfather of Fred.

For appearances of Stourmouth residents in other parts of Kent, see Stourmouth Strays.

Make a free website with Yola