Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Uphams of Bicton

In search of the past:  Pictured  are George Martin and his wife Agnes in Fairlynch Museum's Local History Room

“Who do you think you are?” is a question that’s increasingly nagging many people curious to know about their ancestors.

The answer could well be hiding in museum archives, but a certain amount of skill and experience is usually needed to navigate one’s way through family trees with all those spelling variations and occasional errors.

Since  April 2007, when the 12th archive Service Point in Devon opened at Fairlynch the Museum has held microfiche copies of original parish registers and tithe maps and apportionments for Budleigh and the surrounding area.

Visitors from abroad often enquire at Fairlynch about their Budleigh ancestry. On 19 September, American George Martin, from Chicago, made a special journey to the Museum in search of information about his English family origins.

George’s ancestor John Upham was one of a group of about 15 members of the same family from Bicton, a few miles from Budleigh Salterton,  who sailed to New England in 1635.  For many years he was thought to have been a Somerset man, but has now been identified as having been born in Bicton around 1597.


            John Upham  was one of the founders of the town of Malden, MA, settled by Puritans in 1640 and is recognised as the progenitor of all the Uphams on the other side of the Atlantic. He died aged 84 in 1681. His grave, shown above, is still visible at the Old Burial Ground in Malden.

Image credit: Susan Brown



1 comment:

  1. Hi Michael. Having trouble posting...sorry for delay. My dad's name is Royston Harry Williams. Thanks for any help you can give. Beverley, Paphos, Cyprus