This following post is in relation to the Janes Family, and their Essex strays that appear in the county records during the 1600’s and the first few years of the 1700’s
I’ve been re-working the early years of my Janes Family history for the last week or so, using both primary sources and DNA to help with research. I know a lot about this Essex branch and most families living in the county of Essex today that carry the surname Janes can trace their origins back to just one man.
Simon Janes (1698 – 1780) of Broomfield, Essex
There isn’t that many Essex Strays for this family in the 1600’s, and at first sight they look very randomly placed as though they don’t seem to belong anywhere.
So I began by reading through the last will and testament of William Janes, Sadler of Chelmsford who died in 1705.
William Janes was married to a woman by the name of Mary, the couple however had no children and any property he had or money to give, was shared amongst siblings and friends and one nephew.
Sadly he doesn’t record the names of any of his siblings, but he does tell us how many he had. He had three brothers and three sisters, and he goes on to name one nephew and two brother-in-laws. The document is also witnessed by a James Crush. The surname Crush, would prove to be an important surname.
William Janes also left one other collection of documents, these are family deeds relating to areas of land or property he owned.
Deeds of manor of Nidles and Chishall Hall and 2 farms in Great Chishall, Fishers Farm 40 acres in Broomfield (field-names), and 2 messuages in Chelmsford market-place in occupation of Lionel Sheldon, grocer, and William Janes, saddler; manor and advowson of Wydiall and land in Anstey, Barkway, Buckland, Buntingford, Great Hormead and Layson county Hertfrodshire; messuages in Fetter Lane and Dean Street in St. Bride, Fleet Street, London.
The surname Sheldon (as seen above), appears in America as in-laws to the American Janes family, and there maybe a family connection. The parish of Broomfield is important as Simon Janes resided in Broomfield and may even have inherited the 40 acres mentioned. Fleet Street is also important, as an Essex Janes family Stray is recorded as residing here and marrying within the parish.
Now to move onto the main Essex Strays, these strays, I believe are the siblings of William Janes, these baptisms are all missing from the records as Chelmsford Cathedral is missing 11 – 12 years of records (1638 – 1649).
These following strays are sourced from parish records, using original records, the IGI, ancestry, find my past, Essex Seax and free reg. Hopefully that helped to find most of them.
(i) James Janes and Susannah Crush, – marriage – 5th June 1637 in Margaretting, Essex. (this marriage is important as it ties together the surnames of Janes and Crush, the surname is mentioned in the last will and testament of William Janes ‘James Crush – Witness’. I would guess James is either a cousin or uncle which would make William a son of James and Susannah.
The name James is also important, as Simon used this as a middle name for his son Jonathan James Janes.
(ii) John Janes of Hadleigh, he married three times between 1690 – 1699, he was a farmer and a burial record exists for him in 1735 in Great Leigh’s, Essex. This parish is only a couple of miles from Broomfield, Essex and Great Leighs is connected to his kinsman. John Janes had no heirs.
(iii) Robert Janes ‘alias Hopkins’, of Romford, Essex married Letticia Williams in Waltham Abbey and had two children, Mary and John.
(iv) Susanna Janes, is an Essex stray living in Fleet Street, St Brides, London she married their in 1654 to a Thomas Bestwicke.(Fleet street is recorded in family deeds).
(v) Jane Janes died in Chelmsford in 1727 and she was married to Thomas Joscelin (referred to as brother-in-law in the 1705 Will)
(vi) Rebekah Janes was married to William Garrett of Boreham, Chelmsford and had two children (William Garrett the youngest son is mentioned in the 1705 Will as a nephew).
(vii) William Janes, Sadler of Chelmsford (as mentioned above).
Those strays pretty much give me the names of six out of the seven children of James and Susannah Janes (there may be discrepancies off cause, which hopefully will correct itself in time).
I would guess though, that the seventh child may even have been named a James Janes, named after his father, if this is correct it’s also possible that my ancestor Simon Janes resided with him as both a boy and young adult. It would again (as referred above) explain the use of ‘James’, in my own family branch.
I don’t believe that Simon is a descendant of any of these strays, as I can’t find any evidence to support that, Only Robert Janes had any heirs that would have carried the surname Janes, this son, doesn’t seem to appear as having any children. Which means this branch actually died out. The name was carried forward by my ancestor Simon Janes, who arrived in England from America shortly after 1704.
This new information and family branch (James Janes, father to the above mentioned) would also tie him in as a second son of Abel Janes (1585 – 1650), who was born in Chelmsford. My family share DNA with Abel and we also share DNA with his American descendants.
My Janes family quest continues…