Ivan Hurst's exploration of Genealogy


Christopher Biddlecomb of Ringwood

Christopher Biddlecomb of Ringwood

Born about 1600 and died about 1649.

The starting place for this article is his Last Will and Testament.


Will of Christopher Biddlecomb of Ringwood


My initial transcription of the above will.

In the name of God Amen:
This fifteenth day of July in the year of our Lord xxxx thousand six hundred xxxxx and seve xxx I Christopher Biddlecomb of Lightowns in the parish of Ringwood in the xxxxx of South a yeoman being sick in body, but of good and perfect memory thanks be given fox xxx xxx xx make and xxxx this my last will and testament as followeth. First Commit my Soul into the hand of Allmighty god, and my body to be buried in the parish Church of Ringwood.
As a gift to the poor people of Ringwood xxxx shillings.
As a gift to my Son John Biddlecomb xxx xxx lawful money of England, xxx.
A gift to my xxx Son John Biddlecomb sixteen pounds xxx xxx John Biddlecombe hath xxxx xxx.
Xxxx xx gift to my Grand children Elinor ?artor xxx Dantor xxx and Margartt Dantor and Richard Dantor and to xxxx and xxxx of them five pounds lawfull money of England. Amen
I give to my xxxx Choina Biddlecombe five pounds of lawfull money of England.
A gift to my xxxxchildren Richard Biddlecomb and Elizabeth Biddlecomb and to xxx either of them five pounds lawfull money of England
A gift to my Daughter Margarett Rook twenty shillings lawfull money of England.
All the xxx of my goods and chattels moveable and nonmoveable my debts and xxx paid.
A gift and bequeath unto Richard Biddlecomb my Son xxx
I do make and ordaine my full and xxxx Executor in and by this my last will and testament
I witness whose of I have xxx set my hands and xxx and xxxx xxx my last will and testament the day and xxx above written in the xxx of Christopher Biddlecome his sign
From his sign
Nicholas Bounds


Probate Date 26 May 1649


From the above it appears that Christopher Biddlecomb made provision for the following family, in addition to the poor people of Ringwood.

a son John Biddlecomb

a son Richard Biddlecomb

a daughter Margarett Rook nee Biddlecomb

Possibly his wife Choina Biddlecomb

Grand children Elinor ?artor xxx Dantor xxx and Margartt Dantor and Richard Dantor 

and  xxxxchildren Richard Biddlecomb and Elizabeth Biddlecomb


The address I have given in the transcription is Lightowns, however, checking back to the script and looking at an old Ordnance survey Map held at the National Library of Scotland, that should probably be Hightowns.


Hightown Ringwood OS 1 inch

The map above is titled Ringwood (Outline), Sheet 314, Revised: 1894, Published: 1895 and is part of the 1 inch series. A location map before diving into the 25 inch to the mile maps below.

The map below is titled, Hampshire and Isle of Wight LXX.12, Revised: 1895, Published: 1897 I have added a maker for the location of Hightown Farm which may have been Christopher's residence, over 200 years before the map was drawn. It is possible that the farm gave its name to the area surrounding it.

Hightown Farm Ringwood

A closer look.

Hightown Hampshire 

Going back in time to early detailed maps of Hampshire, in several plates, there are Taylor's 1759 and Milne's 1791 Maps. I did look at earlier maps, more contemporary to Christopher Biddlecomb, but they were only detailed enough to locate Ringwood, not the nearby Hightown.


Hightown Hampshire Taylor 1759

Taylor's 1759 map above has Hightown immediately to the right of Ringwood. There are a few of the larger properties indicated on the map.


Hightown Hampshire Milne 1791

 The Milne's 1791 Map also has Hightown shown, circled in blue. In some instances the major landowners of an area are also indicated on the map. However, Christopher Biddlecomb was a yeoman not an Esquire, so he, nor his descendants are included with this honour.


Hightown Hampshire OS First Series

OS First Series, 1810-1855, the railways have arrived. A section highlighted in brown. Hightown or High Town as it is shown, circled in light blue. A turnpike gate circled in yellow, and just because it is my surname, Hurst Farm circled in green. Hightown is evidently expanding, as were almost all other conurbations in the country, as the population grew, and people moved to towns. Away from an agricultural based economy towards an industrial one.

Hightown Hampshire Greenwood 1826

Greenwood's 1826 Map is the last of the Old Maps of the location. Not able to pinpoint Christopher Biddlecomb's actual dwelling place, but a closer idea of how the area around Ringwood, and in particular, Hightown has developed over time.


Next action is to put the families names into my Ancestry Tree to see if there are any correlations.

Some Ancestry Trees have Christopher Biddlecomb with his wife Cisley and son John.

Some give the place of birth of John as being Downton in Wiltshire, which could be another Biddlecomb family. There is a Downton between Christchurch and Milford, towards the South coast of Hampshire, south of the New Forest. However, the Downton in Wiltshire, albeit not far from the Hampshire boarder, is near Whiteparish. Downton is mentioned in one of the Turnpike articles on this site.










Flag Counter






John Watts


John Watts

Who was John Watts and who were his family?

There are various John Watts in the Hampshire area born in the second half of the 1700s and the first half of 1800s.

This is an attempt to sort out the various families associated with John Watts so as to establish the father and grandfather of Louisa Watts.

John Watts (B)


John Watts (continued)

Who was John Watts and who were his family?

There are various John Watts in the Hampshire area born in the second half of the 1700s and the first half of 1800s.

This is an attempt to sort out the various families associated with John Watts so as to establish the father and grandfather of Louisa Watts.

Percy James Ricketts 1925

Percy James Ricketts


Percy James Ricketts

BIRTH 19 MAY 1904 • Sholing, Southampton, Hampshire, England

DEATH JUNE 1978 • Southampton, Hampshire, England

Percy James Ricketts 1925 Colorized Enhanced retouched 

The header photo is an extract from the Let and Percy's group wedding photo, which given that it was 1925, was in Black and White. The above photo is the header photo which has been colourised and enhanced in MyHeritage Family Tree website, and then retouched.

Percy was not directly related but became part of the family when he married my great-aunt Letitia Annie Collins.




The parents of Percy James Ricketts were James Alfred John Ricketts and Sarah Annie Ricketts nee Doling.

James Alfred John Ricketts

BIRTH OCTOBER 1875 • St Mary's, Southampton, Hampshire, England

DEATH 8 FEB 1947 • Southampton, Hampshire, England


Sarah Annie Doling

BIRTH 6 JAN 1878 • Sholing, Southampton, Hampshire, England

DEATH SEP 1970 • Winchester, Hampshire, England









Aunty Let and Percy's wedding photo. Taken in a studio, in 1925, probably Bridge Studio 6 Bridge Road, Woolston Southampton. Who are all these people from the past, nearly 100 years ago.

Auntie Let and Uncle Percys wedding 80

 The photo has been circulated among the family and so far we collectively think we have identified the following names using the key on the copy of the photo below.

Auntie Let and Uncle Percys wedding 80% -  numbered for keyAuntie Let and Uncle Percy's wedding - numbered for key - L-R back row blue, 1-9; seated, red, (numbers towards top of page), 10 - 14; at the front, yellow, 15-16.




Thanks to the input from Jean and Shann the 'who' has been answered, by and large.

Standing L-R
1 baby Ronald Jerram (B:13 Jan 1925, age <1)
2 Annie May Jerram, the baby's mother, groom's sister (age 26)
3 Groom's father James Ricketts (age 50) 
4 Bert Pomeroy
5 Groom, Percy James Ricketts
6 Edward Ricketts, best man, groom's brother
7 unknown
8 Bride's father Edward Nash Collins
9 Kate Pomeroy nee Collins


Sitting L-R
10 Grooms mother Annie Ricketts
11 Bridesmaid Emily Jane Ricketts
12 Bride Letitia Annie Collins (Auntie Let)
13 Bridesmaid Elsie Marion Collins bride's sister
14 Brides mother Alice Florence Collins nee Furzey

Children front;

15 Walter James Jerram groom's nephew (B:6 Jun 1921, age about 4)
16 Joan ?bride's niece no idea of surname
I have made an assumption that Joan, the bride's niece is Joan Augusta Tyler.

However, before I move on I feel the need to do a sense check on the ages of the suspects. See if something stands out as strange. Approximate ages added in brackets.







Census 1911 James A J Ricketts


 1939 Register James A J Ricketts

 At last, written confirmation of the Ricketts at 214 Middle Road, in the form of the entry in the 1939 Register, compiled in preparation for WWII. Only James A J and Sarah A in this entry.

Probate 1947 James Alfred John Ricketts

The probate record for Percy's father James Alfred John Ricketts has his address as 214 Middle Road Sholing Southampton. His widow is recorded as Sarah Annie Ricketts.

Probate 1958 Emily Jane Ricketts





Places of Interest










Something About the Family Name 



Some statistics about the name Collins

Source; Ancestry

These are just screenshots, follow the Ancestry link to see the interactive versions, together with some additional information.


Ancestry Collins Name Meaning and count


Ancestry Collins UK distribution


Ancestry Collins England occupations


Ancestry Collins USA lifespan





Richard Broomfield


Richard Broomfield

Started 13 Nov 2022 - 

The first task is to establish the number of Richard Broomfield's there are in the county of Hampshire, to help delineate between the records of one Richard Broomfield and another. Normally I would us my set of CDs from the Hampshire Genealogical Society. Transcriptions of Baptism, Marriage, and Death indexes.

Those records are now available on FindMyPast. So, online instead of by CD. However, I still keep my subscription going with HGS, and even do some transcribing for them.

I searched for Richard Broomfield records in Hampshire. Setting the approximate year of birth to 1770 reduced the list to 28.

Then I need somewhere to put all the information I find, so I start a One Name Study in respect of the surname Broomfield in the TNG database.

Normally, a person is added to the database, and then a family is created. Records are added to the person. However, in this instance, it is a case of adding a person for each instance of record, until there is sufficient evidence that it is the same person. Then those same people on the database are merged

For instance, there are two marriages recorded for a Richard Broomfield of Lyndhurst. One on 25 December 1820 to Sarah Ochelford and another to Mary Collins on 16 April 1831. The record has a note that Mary has been previously married but does not recall a name. There is sufficient time between the two marriages that it is the potentially the same Richard Broomfield in each, but nothing to confirm this. Hence a new record for each person as if separate, until proven otherwise.

I should point out at this stage that I do not know where this article is going. It may be the ramblings of a mad, eccentric, old man. Or it may come to a logical conclusion. It is written as the research progresses not as a report of the findings. This will therefore not be to everyone's taste.

Yvonne Letitia Ricketts, Jean A Ricketts, Patricia Ricketts

Another Three Sisters


Another Three Sisters, Ricketts

All 1st cousin 1x removed, and all met in person. Jean was the last survivor, until very recently when she also sadly passed.

From the header photo, three girls happy together.

Yvonne Letitia Ricketts

BIRTH MARCH 1927 • Southampton, Hampshire, England

DEATH 30 JAN 2013 • Southampton, Hampshire, England


Jean A Ricketts

BIRTH 12 DECEMBER 1928 • Southampton, Hampshire, England

DEATH 1 MARCH 2022 • Southampton, Hampshire, England



Patricia Ricketts

BIRTH 26 SEPTEMBER 1932 • Southampton, Hampshire, England

DEATH 12 JULY 2019 • Southampton, Hampshire, England


Yvonne Letitia Ricketts, Jean A Ricketts, Patricia Ricketts

Well perhaps it should be four sisters, as some researchers on Ancestry have found a information about a;

Betty Ricketts

BIRTH JUN 1931 • Southampton, Hampshire

DEATH MARCH 1932 • Southampton, Hampshire, England

According to the two records found, she unfortunately did not survive to her first birthday. Both records are registers so it should be interpreted as registered, born Quarter 2, Arp-May-Jun, 1931 and died Quarter 1, Jan-Feb-Mar, 1932. Both records are for Betty Ricketts, of Southampton, not Elizabeth.

Not surprisingly, I never knew anything about Betty, never heard mention of her. I have not seen a long birth certificate to be able to categorically confirm that Betty was part of the family, and as the impetus for writing this article was, in part, the studio photo of the three sisters together, I will not mention Betty further, which, for the avoidance of doubt, is not denying her existence as part of the family

List of Articles