Wedding of Let and Percy


Wedding of parents,

Peggy and Norman


A Tome inside Bath Abbey


Merchant Navy War Memorial


Golden Hinde, London


Olympic Torch carrier running through Sutton 2012


Temple Bar Memorial


HRH Queen Elizabeth II in Epsom


Railway Permanent Way (Track) workers

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Golden Anniversary

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The Tilley family migration


The Tilley's of the New Forest

Lets start our story with John Tilley born in the 1600's in the New Forest.

This is the earliest Tilley I have found in this branch of my Family Tree.

From here we can explore how his descendants have moved from a small village in Hampshire, England, around the world.

Article restructured in Feb 2022 to aid readability. Part of this was done with articles within articles.

Click to see a heat map of the Sopley One Place Study, which was commenced to aid this story, and resolve some of the Tilley's mysteries.

One Place Study of Sopley Heat Map of the World Feb 2022

Zooming in to the hottest part of the heat map, Great Britian.

One Place Study of Sopley Heat Map of Great Britain Feb 2022

Click to see the latest version of this heat map of the Sopley One Place Study, how it has progressed from February 2022 when the above screenshots were taken.


Pick a centaury and read about the Tilley's and the history around them. When there are tabs, it works as all the way to the bottom, including additional tabs, before going right to the next tab. Down, then across. 

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Brief History of Hampshire

During the period of Anglo-Saxon settlement, modern Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were occupied by Jutish tribes – a people separate initially from the Saxons and Angles. Jutes founded kingdoms known as Wihtwara (Wight), Meonwara (Meon Valley) and Ytene (in an area similar to the later site of the New Forest). According to St Bede, however, the Jutes were conquered by the surrounding Saxon kingdoms during the 7th Century. Hamtunscīr (after Hamtun, the original name of Southampton) was one of the first Saxon shires to be recorded, in 755.

For two centuries Hampshire represented the western frontier of Saxon England, as the Britons fought off advances into Dorset and Somerset. After the Saxons advanced west Hampshire became the centre of the Kingdom of Wessex, and many Saxon kings are buried at Winchester. A statue in Winchester celebrates the powerful King Alfred, who stabilised the region in the 9th century.

After the Norman Conquest the county was favoured by Norman kings who established the New Forest as a hunting forest. The county was recorded in the Domesday Book divided into 44 hundreds. These later consolidated to 37. These were Alton, Andover, Barmanstip, Barton Stacy, Basingstoke, Bedbridge, Bondsborough, Bosmere, Buddlesgate, Christchurch, Chutely, Crondall, East Meon, Evinger, Fawley, Finchdean, Fordingbridge, Hambledon, Heling, Holdsett, King's Somborne, Kingsclear, Mansbridge, Meanstoke, Micheldever, New Forest, Odiham, Overton, Pastrow, Portsdown, Ringwood, Shelbourn, Sutton, Thorngate, Titchfield, Waltham and Wherwell. Sopley was in the Christchurch Hundred from this 1832 Boundary Map. Another useful Boundary Map updated up to 11/12/1899 is found here, zoom in to find Christchurch, and then Sopley.

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The 17th Century

John Tilley


John Tilley, born 1665 died 1727, of the New Forest

Ten generations ago, John Tilley was born in or nearby the small hamlet of Sopley, Hampshire, England, and the year was 1665.

He was my 8th Great-Grandfather.

He may be the start of the story, but not of the migration as he was born and died in the same small hamlet of Sopley.

Ancestry Synopsis

When John Tilley was born in 1665 in Sopley, Hampshire, his father, Mr. Tilley, was 30. He married Martha Spearen on 9 October 1683 in his hometown. They had three children during their marriage. He died in 1727 in Sopley, Hampshire, at the age of 62, and was buried there.

Mr Tilley referred to is just a placeholder father at the moment with just a guess at his age

John Tilley who sailed on the Mayflower

For the avoidance of doubt, his was not the John Tilley who was baptised on 19 December 1571 at Henlow, Bedfordshire, England, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Tilley. Who latter married Joan Rogers nee Hurst, on 20 September 1596 at Henlow, Bedfordshire, England, the Daughter of William and Rose Hurst and Widow of Thomas Rogers. This John Tilley sailed on the Mayflower and died sometime during the first winter at Plymouth, likely between January and March 1621. Nor was it any of his offspring.

Tilley was a relatively common name with a wide dispersion across England as shown on this Ancestry page.




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George Tilley

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The 18th Century

Poll book and Electoral Registers 1734


Electoral roll Hampshire 1734 FP 2In Ancestry there is a Poll book and Electoral Registers 1734. Possibly created for the 1734 British General Election. Note that it was the parliament of Great Britain. The union with Ireland in 1800 led to the creation of the United Kingdom. The is a considerable difference between who can vote now and who could vote then, and not just by gender. The National Archives has an interesting article. Until 1832, most voters were freeholders and others who could meet property requirements for the franchise, and poll books list only those who actually cast a vote.

An extract below as who could vote, and therefore be included on the Electoral Register.

Before 1832 the basic qualification for the vote in county elections was ownership of freehold land worth 40 shillings (£2) a year by men aged 21 and over. Until 1774 the man had to reside in the county in which he voted; no woman was eligible. Forty shillings had been fixed by an Act of 1429 to cut out "a great, outrageous, and excessive number of people, of which the most part was people of small substance and no value ... [who] pretended a voice equivalent to ... the most worthy knights and esquires ... whereby manslaughter, riots, batteries and divisions among the gentlemen and other people of the counties shall very likely rise and be". It was said that an income of. forty shillings a year made a man independent, being sufficient to furnish him with all the necessaries of life. By 1832 forty shillings would just about support a labouring man for a month, but the number of people who had such an estate in England and Wales was then only about 247,000. From 1763 the holders of annuities or rent charges on freehold land were also entitled to vote. In 1832 the right to vote in county elections was extended to include some 123,000 copyholders and leaseholders for periods of years on property worth £10 a year (reduced to £5 a year in 1867). The franchise was further extended in 1867 to tenants at will paying a rent of £50 a year.

The value in 2017 of £2 a year can be calculated in many different ways as shown here, with results ranging from £1,303 to £741,000.

It is the New Forest Division of the Poll Book that is of particular interest to us. The candidates are P C S L, Lord Harry Pawlett, Anthony Chute Esq. Sir Simeon Stewart, Edward Lisle Esq.  The voters of Sopley can be seen on these two pages. Twenty eight people in total with six of that number being Elliot. By the 1790 General Election, the Poll Book only contained eight people with a freehold in Sopley, who voted. Is it a case of the population becoming less wealthy or less inclined to vote? I will check who lived in the big houses in the village, and how they voted.


As an aside, the total votes cast for the New Forest Division were, P. 309, C. 303, S. 404, L. 454, Total 1,470, with the winer for the Division taking 31% of the vote. The overall winners elected to parliament of Great Britain for the County of Southampton were:

  1. Harry Powlett, 4th Duke of Bolton PC (24 July 1691 – 9 October 1759), known until 1754 as Lord Harry Powlett, was a British nobleman and Whig politician. He sat in the House of Commons from 1715 to 1754, when he took his seat in the House of Lords.
  2. Edward Lisle Esq

In amongst all the names was a Thomas Durndell . on page 94, where he both had his freehold and lived in Christ-Church. He voted for S and L. However, just having a similar name in approximately the right part of the country does not confirm this person as a relative. It does however, make them a person of interest. Someone worth looking into further.

Frequently it is random wandering around a subject which leads to little gems.  The investigation around the One Place Study of Sopley may provide both probable and improbable names. Both are as important. Sopley is an ancient settlement with associations to aristocracy and royalty. Sopley is part of the 'Hundred of Christchurch', which in turn is part of the 'The honour of Christchurch'. The 1st feudal baron of Plympton in Devon, Richard de Redvers, after acting as one of the principal supporters of Henry I in his struggle against his brother Robert Curthose for control of the English throne, was rewarded with estates that made him one of the richest magnates in the country. After the grants from the king, Richard's Devon estates probably consisted of around 180 Domesday manors, including Tiverton and Honiton, as well as the boroughs of Exeter and Plympton. He held the honour of Christchurch which consisted of many widely scattered manors in several counties. He held virtually all of the Isle of Wight (the exceptions being two manors held by the bishop of Winchester), and the island remained in his family until King Edward I bought it from a dying Isabella de Fortibus in 1293. His son became the 1st Earl of Devon. Just because the Earl of Devon held Sopley in his collection of lands does not mean that he ever livid  there or even visited. It is though Plympton, Exeter, and Carisbrook Castle are more likely residences. It is fascinating to learn something of the lives of people in such a distant time.

Jump forward 5 or so generations, and a local of the area, Thomas Fripp meets Sarah Tilley, and they marry on 2 October 1834 when he was 23 years old. Within the 1851 Census, 17 years after their marriage, he is recorded working as a Bailiff - 100 acres employing 5 Labourers and 3 Boys. They had had 4 sons and one daughter together.  They also had two servants.
Possibly working at Ossemsley Manor House. Ossemsley is near both Milton and Sopley. An Ordnance Survey map of the period shows the location of Ossemsley Manor House and the nearby Hinton Park, in Hinton Admiral.


Newspaper Article from the British Library

The article is OCR but needs lots of corrections, which I am working through.

Hampshire Chronicle - Monday 11 October 1790


A LIST of the CERTIFICATES,issued in the County aforesaid, with respect to the said DUTY, between the 1st of July and the 1st of September, both Days inclusive, pursuant to Act of Parliament
DUTY at Ten Shillings and Sixpence each.
Gamekeepers. ¦ By whom deputed. ¦ Manors

FIFIELD, John, jun. ¦ John Fifield, Gent. ¦ ( Standbridge, a. Standbridge Erles, and two undivided third parts of the Manor of Roke )

The same [Guy, Thomas] ¦ E. B. Batson, Esq. ¦ Avon-Tyrell


Burton, W. Shepherd ¦ L. T. Holmes, Esq. ¦ Offumfley alias Ofmondfleafe (Ossumsley) {is this the same place as Ossemsley}

Goldwyer, George ¦ George Iveson Tapps, Esq. ¦ Hinton Admiral

Willis, James, Clark ¦ John Compton, Esq. ¦ Sopley

 Quite inconclusive looking at the 1790 Game Duty Certificates.


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The 19th Century


Tithe Maps of Hampshire


Tithe Maps of Hampshire

On to the Tithe Maps for Hampshire. Search for Fripp initially and we find a John Fripp as Landowner and Occupier {Link to TheGenealogist search result, then £} in the Parish of Old and New Milton, near Walkford Brook, including farm land in Walkford Common. The date of the record is 28th August 1841.

A possible match for the location of his farmhouse is shown in the Google Map below. It has not been geolocated using layering on to Google Earth as I have done elsewhere.

If this is the right place it is a mere eight fields or 1.3 miles, as the crow flies, away from Ossemsley Manor House

 The search also pulled up a James Fripp {Link to The Genealogist search result, then £} who lived near Lea Green, between Downton and Everton, just off Christchurch Road, in the Parish of Hordle. The property was owned by Elizabeth Fluder according to the transcript. Again, and approximate location of his farm, below.

 However, the most significant result of that search was finding Thomas Fripp {Link to TheGenealogist search result, then £} who occupied Tiled House, and some surrounding fields, all owned by Colonel Roberts, on the Ossemsley Manor House estate.

George Broomfield and Isaac Hurst {Link to The Genealogist search result, then £} were also occupiers of Colonel Roberts land. The latter at North Ossemsley Farm.


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The 20th Century

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