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Joseph SNARY and ?Hester - my 6x great grandparents

Michael’s father, Joseph SNARY, was christened on 5th April 1697 at St Philip & Jacob.  He was the second of six known children of William SNARY and Dorothy LORD (formerly Elliot), and the first of a run of Joseph SNARYs (I have located 15 to date).  Joseph appears in Bristol Poll books as a Butcher of St Philip and Jacob in the years 1734, 1739 and 1754 – in the last of these entries his son ‘Joseph Snary jun’ also appears (he too is a butcher) .  In 1727, Joseph became a Burgess of Bristol by patrimony.


I believe this Joseph must be the 'Joseph Snary, Churchwarden' whose name was found to be engraved on the Tenor Bell of St Philip and Jacob which was cast by Thomas Bilbie in 1739 (Source: Thorold, Rev M E 'The Church of St Philip and Jacob Bristol', G Owen & Co Ltd, Bristol 1933)


Despite searching across all Bristol parishes and those in neighbouring counties, I have failed to locate Joseph's marriage - he had nine known children, born at regular intervals between 1722 and 1740, three of whom were buried soon after their christening.  Unfortunately, neither christenings nor burials of these children named their mother.  However, from the names of Joseph's first two daughters and that of his son Joseph's daughter, it is possible Joseph's wife was named Hester or Ester. This theory is supported by the fact that two months after Joseph's own burial (inside the Church, a privilege possibly earned through his role as Churchwarden), an Esther SNEARY was also buried 'in Church'. There were no other known Hester/Esthers living in Bristol at this period.


Children of Joseph and ? - all christened (and those dying in childhood also buried) at St Philip & Jacob:


Joseph, chr 27 Jan 1722, buried 6 Mar 1722


Hester, chr 8 Apr 1724, buried 30 Aug 1725


Michael, chr 1 Sep 1725 - Michael became a butcher like his father, married Hester Sergeant in 1746 and was buried in 1784 - see previous generation


Hester, chr 11 aug 1726 – this seems to be the Hester SNARY who married a George KINDON in 1745 at St P&J – George and Hester had 8 children – 6 boys (none named Joseph) and two girls (one named Hester and one named Mary)


Mary, chr 30 jul 1728 – she could be the Mary who married Edward STONE in 1744 at St P&J – Edward and Mary had just two children a boy named Samuel and a girl named Martha

Joseph, chr 9 jun 1730 – Joseph married Hannah WILLIAMS on 9 oct 1758 at St P&J – they had just one child,a daughter named Hester, who appears as the 2nd life, when Joseph purchased a lease for three lives on a property in King’s Marsh in 1781 . Joseph was a butcher, and also became a Burgess of Bristol in 1754 through Patrimony

William, chr 10 feb 1735 – I believe this William was buried six weeks later at St P&J.


Susannah, chr 13 dec 1737 – Susannah married Joseph JAMES in 1758 at St P&J, and their only child– a son George (a butcher) - was named as the third life in his uncle Joseph SNARY’s lease(ref 68)


Martha, chr 10 feb 1740 – I believe Martha married Richard Brown in 1766 at St P&J (though I have not located any children of this couple).


Joseph SNEARY was buried on 9 April 1768 at St Philip and Jacob 'in the church'.  Just two months later, on 19 June 1768, an Esther SNEARY was buried at St P&J, also 'in the Church'.


(Note: the spelling of the surname SNARY varies considerably in earlier parish registers - SNEARY, SNARRY and SNARY were all common; and the transcribed versions include SWARY, IVORY etc.  However, to date, all holders of the surname in the Bristol region appear to belong to our family although there is an entirely separate cluster of holders of the surname in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Huntingdon)

William SNARY and Dorothy ELLIOTT - my 7x great grandparents

William SNARY was a Merchant – almost certainly the son of William and Mary (Thurston) who married at Bristol St Stephen on 12 Feb 1666, though I am still searching for his baptism. He is recorded in the Bristol Burgess records as the Patron (deceased) of his son Joseph the Butcher who became a Burgess in 1727 (though William’s own admission is missing from the Burgess Book).  William’s marriage to Dorothy LORD (formerly ELLIOTT) took place on 18 Sep 1694; I believe he was buried on 11 May 1705 at St Philip & Jacob.  Two years after their marriage, the couple appear in ‘Inhabitants of Bristol in 1696’ :

‘William SNARY, Dorathy Snary wf.  Mary & William ch.’

(Mary was Dorothy’s daughter from her previous marriage) appear at The Back (St Nicholas), the only other SNARY to appear in this publication was living at ‘Head of the Key’: “Thomas TERRY & Ann wf, Rachell SNARY and Mary TERRY sr”


Dorothy ELLIOTT is believed to be the daughter of John ELLIOTT.  She already had four known children from her first marriage to Robert LORD in 1683 (he died in 1693) their children were all christened/buried at St Philip and Jacob. A Dorothy SNARY was buried at St P&J on 9 July 1745 who may be William's widow, though there is no further information on the burial record to confirm this.


William and Dorothy SNARY had seven known children:


William, chr 6 jul 1695 at St Nicholas – a William SNARY, aged 30 years appears in the description of an ‘Atlantic Incident’  which took place in 1724 .  Snary was one of two sailors who gave evidence to Governor John Hart of the British Leeward Islands regarding the illegal taking of free negroes as slaves by the Master of the Sloop ‘Two Brothers’, Peter Roure.  There is a possible burial for this William in 1736 in Bristol


?Mary (bef 1696) - although no christening has been located, there were two children living with William and Dorothy in the 1696 'Inhabitants of Bristol' survey - William and Mary - though she could have been Mary Lord, b. 1689, one of Dorothy's children from her first marriage to Robert Lord


Joseph, chr 5 apr 1697 St P&J – son of William and Dorothy (see previous generation)


John, chr 1 may 1699, St P&J– son of William. John was buried on 7 May 1699 at St P&J


Shusanna, chr 10 nov 1700, Bristol – dau of William.  I believe Susanna married Robert DOLLING at St P&J  in 1719.


Martha, chr 1 oct 1703, Bristol – dau of William. This may be the Martha SNARY who married Thomas PARSONS in 1723 at St Philip and Jacob

Micael, chr 1 oct 1703, Bristol – I believe this is the Michael who was apprenticed to a Butcher in 1718 (where he was listed as the son of William SNARY, deceased)  – but I have not located him in any further records.


I discovered most of the details about William and his wife (and her ancestors!) from a Lease held at Bristol Archives.  This describes the agreement between the Corporation of Bristol and William SNARY and relates to property near Kings Marsh without Lawfords Gate.  It is dated 26 June 1699. (Ref 755/2 Ancient Lease).  In addition to naming all the individuals named in the purchase, the lease recited the former ownership of the land - which explains Dorothy's connections to the ELLIOTTs and the LORDs.


Bristol Burgess records also confirm that William SNARY who married Dorothy LORD in 1694 was the son of another William SNARY, Merchant of Cork and Mary THURSTON who married on 12 Feb 1666 by Licence. However, it is puzzling that although I have located marriages of further SNARYs who are almost certainly daughters of William and Mary, I have found no christening records for any of them, but marriage licences provide the extra occupation details shown below -


On 14 Oct 1690 a Katherine SNARY married Robert KNOWLES at Bristol Cathedral (groom a sailor)

On 30 Dec 1690 an Elizabeth SNARY married John EARLE at Bristol Cathedral (groom a merchant)

On 6 jun 1693 a Sarah SNARY married William SANDFORD at St Nicholas (groom a shipwright)

On 8 Aug 1697 a Rachel SNARY married John HENTON at St Philip & Jacob


From the Bristol Apprenticeship Books 1532-1724 (available to purchase as CD or download) from the Bristol and Avon FHS, it is apparent that the THURSTON family were major manufacturers of soap in this period of Bristol history - though Michael SNARY, son of William and Dorothy, was the only SNARY to appear in this period.

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... and some even earlier generations of SNARYs:

Michael SNARY and Hester SERGEANT - my 5x gt grandparents

Michael Snary was christened at St Philip & Jacob on 1st September 1725; in common with all entries at this period, only his father Joseph Snary is named.  Michael appears in the Bristol Poll Books as a butcher in the parish of St James in 1774, and the same source shows he also held land in Thornbury in 1776 (though he resided in St Philip & Jacob).


Michael married Hester Sergeant at St Philip & Jacob on 3rd October 1748, after Banns. Both were 'of this parish'. I have located christenings of seven children of this couple.  However, following the christening of their last child in 1765, the St P&J register includes an entry on 6 May 1768 for 'Hester SNEARY' and a stillborn child. A note suggests she may have been buried in the tomb of a Mr Simmons (I have not found a connection to him to date).


Michael married Alice Whitaker at St James Bristol on 27 April 1769 - I have only located records of one child born to this couple: George SNARY was christened on 24 April 1774 (no further records located for George).  I have not found any record for Alice's birth, so she may have been a widow.  Michael Snary was buried on 5th July 1784 at St P&J aged 59 years with the cause of death recorded as 'dropsy'.  The only burial I have located for an Alice SNARY took place on 21 march 1803 at Bristol St James, but unfortunately, no age at death was recorded.


Children of Michael and Hester:


Susannah - chr 4 sep 1749 at St P&J Bristol. Susannah died in 1768


Anne - chr 13 dec 1752 at St P&J.  Anne may have married Anthony Mills in 1771.


Sarah - chr 23 sep 1754 at St P&J (dau of Michael of St Philips Plain). Sarah died in 1779


Isaac - chr 18 oct 1757 at St P&J (of 'Plain'). Isaac died in 1766


Hester - chr 18 apr 1759 at St P&J (on the Plain). Hester died the same year


John - chr 15 feb 1761 at St P&J (his mother gave thanks for his birth a week earlier). John married Elizabeth about 1782 and headed up the other main branch of SNARYS.  He died in 1815.

Joseph - chr 30 apr 1765 at St P&J - see previous generation



Child of Michael and Alice:


George - chr 24 apr 1774 at Bristol St James - not located in any other records.



Sadly, apart from his entry in the 1774 Poll Book as a Butcher of St James Bristol, the 1776 Poll Book which says he held land in Thornbury (but lived in St P&J), and the baptism entries for some of his children which show that he lived on St Philips Plain, I have found no other records to tell us more about Michael SNARY

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