My Bartlett ancestry from Thomas Bartlett, born about 1611

Descendancy chart from Thomas Bartlett, born c1611

My confirmed Bartlett ancestry goes back to a Thomas Bartlett who must have been born about 1611. My own research took the line back to John Bartlett (1735 - 1798) and I am grateful to David Ryder and Michael Stead for the earlier additions. The page on the Descendants of Thomas Bartlett (c1611 - ?) gives more information.

This page takes up the story with John Bartlett (1735-1798). The baptismal records of John and Mary's children show him as a labourer. Probably he worked on the land.

John did not appear in any censuses because he died before 1841. Mary, showed up in the 1841 and 1851 censuses. In 1841 she was living with her son George and his family in Kinson. By 1851, at 85, she was a widow, a pauper, birthplace unknown, in the house of her son Henry 44 and his wife Harriet, son James and daughter Lavinia.

John and Mary had the following children, all baptised at Kinson:

Other Bartlett baptisms are in the Kinson records for around the same period - although not obviously there before then. It is very likely that the babies' parents were brothers or cousins of John. The couples included:

Burials included: John Bartlett 6 Nov 1798; Susanna Bartlett 3 October 1805; Mary Ann Bartlett 16 Oct 1808 among others not noted.

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Charles Bartlett (1810 - 1897)

Charles Bartlett, baptised at Kinson on 15 April 1810, was the youngest child of his parents John and Mary. He must have been a colourful figure. According to information that has come down in the family, he was not only a smuggler in Christchurch Bay, he was also a bigamist. Apparently neither wife would prosecute because of the scandal. The former contention about smuggling seems likely, although not proven; and there are various clues that there also might be some truth in the bigamy story.

On 20 February 1832 at the age of 21, Charles married Martha Coward at Christchurch, Hampshire. That is according to the IGI and there is no reason to doubt it. Censuses show that Martha was the mother of Charles's first cache of children and that she was born in Christchurch. Yet, Michael Stead's research, which examined the local registers indicates that a Charles Bartlett married Martha Vincent, daughter of John Vincent and Martha Oxford in about 1831. The 'about' date indicates that this was surmised from other evidence. Nevertheless, it could play a part in the bigamy story - or of course there may have been two Charles Bartletts marrying different Marthas at about the same time.

Martha and Charles went on to have the following children, all baptised at West Parley, although censuses document most of them as being born in Kinson:

  • Henrietta Bartlett was baptized on 11 Jul 1858 at Hampreston, Dorset. She appeared in the household of Charles Bartlett in the 1861 census at West Howe, Canford, Dorset.

  • Emma Bartlett was baptized on 15 Apr 1860 at Great Canford, Dorset.

  • Martha Bartlett was baptized on 4 Jun 1863 at Great Canford, Dorset.

  • Charles Bartlett was born in 1859 at Hampreston

  • Tom Bartlett was born in 1861 at Kinson

The 1861 census gives further food for thought on bigamy story:

It shows Charles as a widower living with various members of his family, including George who was by then married. So the most obvious death for Martha from freeBMD seemed to be 1857, Poole, 5a 213, first quarter. I bought the certificate, but it was the wrong Martha Bartlett, a widow of Eli Bartlett, labourer of Hampreston. So there is no obvious death for Martha before Charles was professed a widower.

Charles' daughter Mary was born 9 years after his and Martha's last child Henry. This is quite a gap, although not an impossible one. The IGI shows no Mary baptised to Charles and Martha, although this too means little because many of the baptisms for Parley and Kinson are not in the IGI. However the IGI does show a Mary Bartlett of the right age baptised to a Charles and Jane on 17 April 1853 at Winterborne Abbas, Dorset. There was a Q3 Wimborne 5a 157 birth record for a Mary Bartlett in 1853; again I bought the certificate; but it showed parents John Bartlett and Elizabeth and so shed no light on the bigamy story.

Something else that could have a bearing on the bigamy story comes from Charles second marriage. As a widower he married Harriet Udell, a widow, on 3 October 1864, and the marriage certificate is surprisingly sparse on genealogical detail. It is the only one I have ever seen that does not give the name of the father of the bridegroom, who was merely documented as 'deceased'. So Charles may have been trying to head off questions.

The 1871 census lists Charles and his second wife Harriet at Howe Cottage, Kinson, where he was a labourer. The 1881 census gives identical information with simply the address of Kinson. By 1891, though, Charles was a widower living in an Alms House in Kinson. He died there on 31 Aug 1897. His death certificate confirmed that he was a labourer (retired); the cause of his death was gout; and the informant was his son William Bartlett, in attendance, of Wallis Down, Kinson. Was the gout due to the illicit drinking from his smuggling days, one wonders? And will the bigamy story ever be confirmed or refuted?

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John Bartlett (1838 - 1929)

It took a long time to find a birth record of my great grandfather, Charles and Martha's son John, even though he was born after central registration. There seemed to be nothing in the original books at the Family Records Centre, nothing in freeBMD and nothing in the IGI. The problem was due to my using the 1881 census as the starting point, as it gave John's birthplace as Purley in Hampshire, a misprint for Parley which is now in Dorset.  Fortunately the original West Parley parish records at the Dorset Record Office came up with the goods. John was born on 13 Jan 1840 at West Parley, and he was baptised to Charles and Martha on 25 March 1940 at West Parley. This is in agreement with census records and his marriage records, which give a birth date of between 30 Mar 1839 and 31 Mar 1840.

The Zinzan family of Tottenham and Toronto

Mary Ann Bartlett, daughter of John Bartlett and Louisa Urry, was born on 25 Jul 1860 at 2 Providence Path, Portsea, Hampshire. She was always known as Polly. She married a widower James Zinzan (son of George William Zinzan and Maria Alice Branch Jarvis) in 1879. She may have been called Polly to avoid confusion among the family of James' first wife, also a Mary Ann Zinzan (born Mary Ann Shean).

Polly and James had various addresses: 25 Nursery Street, Tottenham (1881), 17 Canon Road, Hornsey (1891) and 41 Lawrence Road, Fore Street, Edmonton (1901) when Polly was a "tea grocer". The couple had the following children:

  • Thomas Zinzan born 1880

  • James Zinzan, born 1880

  • Louisa Zinzan, born 1881, known as Lamas

  • Rose Alice Zinzan

  • Henry Zinzan, born 1888

  • William John Zinzan, born 1895

  • Florrie Zinzan, born 1897

  • Lily Zinzan, born 1900

Polly and James, along with sons James and William and daughters, Florrie and Lily, emigrated to Toronto, Canada in the early 1900s, for which information I am grateful to Gloria Hart, a descendant of William. She reports that Polly and James lived in Main Street, next door to William. During World War II, William changed their Zinzan surname to Polly's maiden name of Bartlett, apparently because Zinzan sounded too German, and, as contractors in Toronto, they were worried about scaring away business. There do not seem to be any photos of John Bartlett in the Canadian family. Do any of Polly and James' other descendants have one?

From the passenger lists: ZINZAN James 49; Mary A 46; Henry 19; William 12; John age 11 and Lely age 7 left Liverpool for Quebec in 1907. Edith 9; Florence 10; George 7 and Rose 4 followed from Liverpool in 1912. William T 18 followed from London in 1913. James and Henry were both listed as plumbers.

At the age of 20, John married his first wife, Louisa Urry on 17 Mar 1860 at Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire. At that time he was a dockyard labourer, living at Duke Street.

In 1864 Louisa died, having given him one daughter, Mary Ann Bartlett, who was known as Polly.

The next record for John comes on 8 Dec 1879 when he married the widow Maria Ewens at St Barnabas, Islington. (Her page lists their children.) Their address was 82 Queensland Road. Polly's husband, James Zinzan, was a witness. John's new marriage gave him the financial responsibility of Maria's children, plus new ones of his own, one of whom was my grandmother, Florence Maria Bartlett who was to marry into the Cole Pottery family. John's family appeared in the 1881 census at 5 Laurel Terrace, Tottenham, and in the 1891 census at 4 William Street, Tottenham. More on this, John's second family, is on Maria's page.

John remained a labourer all his life. At the time of the 1901 census, this was described as a 'navvy'. With no professional skills and with the increasing infirmity of age, money became very scarce and by the latter part of his life, he and Maria were extremely poor. He would sit gazing over the fields waiting for the next post to bring a letter from his and Maria's firstborn, Arthur. That letter never came.

John died on 10 May 1929 and was buried at Tottenham Cemetery, private grave 1810a. His age was given as 89.

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Bartlett Photographs

Although no photos of John Bartlett or his ancestors seem to exist, the photo of his granddaughter via his daughter Polly is significant. The photo shows her, on the right, beside John's daughter, my grandmother, via John's second wife. To me, there is something similar about the eyes and other features and. These characteristics clearly must come down through John.

Left: John Bartlett's daughter, Florence Maria Bartlett; right his granddaughter, via his daughter Mary Anne (Polly) is on the right.

John Bartlett's daughter, Florence Maria Bartlett, is on the left and his granddaughter, via his daughter Mary Anne (Polly) is on the right.

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