View Full Version : Record Office: Berkshire (Sonning parish records)

07-03-13, 12:45
Could somebody check out the Sonning parish records for one or more baptisms:

1) Charlotte and/or Sarai PITHER (I believe they are twins)
Born in Sonning 1819/1820 (could be 1821 - these are from census info and I don't have better dates)
Mother thought to be Eleanor PITHER, no indication as to father.

2) Thomas MILLARD
Born in Sonning 1816/17
Father thought to be also Thomas Millard, mother Elizabeth. [this is from census in 1841 and they could be grandparents]

I believe these records are in the Berkshire records office, and they don't unfortunately appear to be online. Also this parish apparently was half in Oxfordshire and all the references I have seem to be to Sonning, Oxfordshire. I assume these are not somehow split??

Any help would be gratefully received.



These two are curious as they both married the same man (Thomas Cordrey), although at different times. Most of their life they seem to have lived at Shiplake up the road, but all the relevant birth references are to Sonning.

CHARLOTTE PITHER married THOMAS CORDREY (AKA Cordery) 25 Jun 1843 in Reading. No details of her father are apparently given (I picked up the reference on findmypast and only have a transcript). Witnesses were Sarai Pither and Thomas Millard.

Chalotte died in Q1 1858, probably at Shiplake.

SARAI PITHER married THOMAS MILLARD in 1844 Q2 at Windsor (I don't have the certificate for this, just the FreeBMD index). Sarai and Thomas lived (at least mostly) at Goring Heath.

Thomas must have died between 1851 and 1858. There is a Thomas Millard dying at Bradfield in Berkshire (a little to the SW of the area we are talking about) in 1857. That might be him - not sure.

Following the death of Thomas Millard and Charlotte, THOMAS CORDREY and SARAI MILLARD married on 18 Jul 1858 in Newington St Mary, Southwalk (now we'd call this area Elephant). [I don't know why they were there exactly but there is some family link to the area as some of their respectively children had come from there - as if every now and then they try and move there.] Sarai gives here father as Edward Beard, a blacksmith. I don't think that is true as such, I think he is a stepfather.

I assume their mother is ELEANOR PITHER nee Shails. There is a marriage 14 Oct 1837 between EDWARD BEARD and ELEANOR PITHER again Reading. Here Edward is given as a farmer, but currently assuming is the same Edward as the dates stack up. Eleanor's father is given as Henry Shails, a tailor.

There is a family at Shiplake in 1841 census. [I can't quite make out the address but could be Shiplake Cross]. Facmily is Edward BEARD (a smith) with Eleanor, Charlotte and Sarah. I suspect that is Charlotte and Sarai - there is at least one other example of Sarai being rendered as Sarah.

There are several Edward Beards around the other, but in later censuses there is one who marries a Mary (or was it Maria) and is a pig/cattle dealer. I suspect it is the same guy changing jobs - since the two profiles fit together - but I'm not interested so much in Edward, so am happy to leave that for the moment:-)

Dubonnet lady
07-03-13, 21:19
Hi John

I live very near Sonning. Sonning bridge was the dividing line at the date you're talking of between Berkshire and Oxfordshire, but it is all in Berkshire now.

There is only one Church in Sonning village - St. Andrews, so I'd guess your records relate to that as it's been there for centuries! See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonning - you'll also see in addition to your ancestors there were some notable names :D St. Andrews is on the south side of the Bridge (just!) so would have been in Berkshire - almost next door to The Bull Inn, also there for centuries. There are still two farms on the (northern) edges of the village at Eye - one just over the bridge and one further on... and many more further on, but there would probably have been more all around the village centre in the early 19th C.

Because Sonning was quite a prestigious ecclestical place - this site might help http://www.berksfhs.org.uk/cms/ and this: http://www.berksfhs.org.uk/genuki/BRK/Sonning/

Berkshire Records Office is the other side of Reading and I am not likely to go across there for a week or more.

Shiplake would be a fair walk from Sonning - although there is a riverside walk there. But Bradfield is some 12 miles away, so whoever would have needed a horse/cart! https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Parish+records+sonning+on+thames+churches&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF-8&ei=1_04UcrFA8GWPaKRgeAL&ved=0CAsQ_AUoAg - not far from Bucklebury where Kate Middleton lived :) The route shown would have been the same then.

Have you tried here: http://www.parishregister.co.uk/onlinesub.php - see my PM.