Surname Saturday: Cottam, Bagot, Mashiter

For the last few weeks I’ve been concentrating my genealogy research on my Cottam, Bagot, Mashiter and related surnames in and around Lancaster in Lancashire, so I thought I would mention them today for Surname Saturday.

My great great grandfather John Bagot Cottam married Adelaide Herbert in Manchester in 1858, and in 1863 they emigrated to Durban with their three daughters, Maggie, Ada and Jessie. In Durban they had another five children.

John Bagot Cottam was the son of Richard Cottam and Margaret Bagot, who came from around Lancaster, in the north of Lancashire. I’ve been going through the microfilms of parish registers to try to find their origins, together with the registers that have been transcribed by the Lancashire Online Parish Clerks.

I note each instance of records of the surnames of interest in a database, whether known to be related or not, and then try to connect them into families with the help of census records. FreeCEN has relatively complete records for the 1861 census, and FamilySearch has for the 1881 census. This also helps to get the names into families, which I keep in a lineage-linked database in the Personal Ancestral File (PAF) program, which is free. I have a separate database for Lancashire research, and throw everything in, whether the people are related or not. When I think there is enough evidence of a confirmed relationship, then I transfer them to my main database in Legacy.

The Cottam surname goes back to the mid-18th century in Heaton-with-Oxcliffe, just west of Lancaster, but before that they seem to have come from somewhere else. The Mashiter surname goes back a bit further. Heaton-with-Oxcliffe was in the parish of Overton, but Lancaster was almost as close as Overton, so some members of the families were baptised, married or buried there. Using Lancaster as the centre, I am working outwards and checking other parishes to see if I can find where the Cottams came from.

Here are some of the other surnames in the area that members of my families have married into:

Lord, Barnet, Parker, Atkinson, Richards, Monks.

Variant spellings include Cotham, Cottom, Bagott, Baggot, Baggott and Masheter.

Some of the related places mentioned in the register and census entries are Poulton-le-Sands and Bare (now Morecambe), Heysham, Sunderland, Scotforth, Ellel, and Skerton.

Research at the LDS Family History Centre

Val is on leave and last Friday we went to Johannesburg and did some research in the LDS Family History Centre in Parktown.  One of the things I always enjoy when going to the LDS Family Centre is the walk through the garden between the car park and the reading room. It is a pleasant place with ponds and lots of shady trees, and is especially enjoyable on hot summer days.

Garden at the LDS Family History Centre

Val was checking Methodist records from the Cape Colony, looking for the Stewardson and Morris families of Damaraland (now part of Namibia), who were said to have had Cape connections, and to have been Methodist missionaries.

I (Steve) was looking at microfilms of the parish registers of Lancaster, Lancashire, England, where the Cottam and Bagot families came from. I managed to find a fair number of entries relating to the siblings of my great-great-great grandmother, Maragaret Bagot, who married Richard Cottam in Lancaster in 1835, and I’ve been reconstructing the families from the parish records.

We also met Gwyneth Thomas there, who is indirectly linked to the Stewardson family through the Gunning family of Walvis Bay — John William Gunning married Charlotte Caroline Stewardson (sister of Val’s great great grandmother Kate Stewardson who married Fred Green) exactly 135 years ago today — they were married at Omaruru on 13 April 1875. Gwyneth Thomas is descended from John William Gunning’s younger sister Sarah Petronella Gunning (1845-1930) who married Thomas William Thomas in Cape Town.

We’ve been trying to exchange GEDCOM files with Gwyneth, but though hers reached us OK, ours seems to get mangled in the transmission, and ends up unreadable.

Bagots of Lancaster

The past few weeks have been pretty busy with other things, and so not much time for family history. Our son Simon got a new job in Johannesburg, doing computer animation, which is what he’s really been wanting to do for a long time, and until he found a place to stay there at the beginning of the week we had to take him there and bring him home again, and in between I managed to get in some research time in various archives and libraries.

I was looking through a microfilm of the parish registers of St John’s, Lancaster, looking for Cottam, Bagot and Mashiter and related families, and found a number of Bagot entries, and then began sorting them into families, and found that several of them are linked to ours.

So we have John Bagot who married Dorothy Mashiter in Lancaster in 1798, and so far we’ve found six children for them: Nancy, William, Sarah, John, Margaret and Robert. John Bagot the elder was apparently a publican. Margaret married Richard Cottam and was my great great great grandmother.

The surname was spelt in various ways in the records, Bagot or Bagott mostly, though in the end most of them seemed to settle for Bagot.

We’ve managed to find children for William, John and Margaret.

William Bagot married Ann Wooliscroft, who was originally from Derbyshire, in 1823, and we’ve found six childfren for them, though there may have been more. We’ve found marriages and children for two of their boys, Henry and John Thomas. Two of the three girls appear not to have married.

John Bagot, son of John Bagot and Margaret Mashiter, was a watchmaker, and he married Isabella of Oxcliffe (where the Cottams seem to have come from). I’ve discovered four of their children, though there’s a bit of confusion about which of the grandchildre4n belongs to which.

And then there is the mysterious Mary Cottam Bagot, born in Lancaster in 1838, who was staying as a visitor with a Cottam family at Scotforth in the 1851 census. She seems to suggest that there were more links between the Bagot and the Cottam families than Margaret who married Richard, but until I can find her parents it’s hard to say what it was. Perhaps I’ll have to save up to buy her birth certificate!

Lancaster families

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours in the LDS family history library in Parktown, Johannesburg, looking at bishops transcripts of parish records from Lanacaster, Lancashire, England.The families i was looking for were Cottam, Bagot (or Bagott) and Mashiter.

Some of the pages were damaged, so I wasn’t able to read the full record, and none of the people I found in the records appeared to be related — yet. But in some ways the Bishops Transcripts were more useful than the original registers, as they showed separately the baptisms, marriages and burials that took place in  the different chapelries in the parish.

The main family I’m looking for is:

Family Group Report
For: Richard Cottam  (ID=  225)
Date Prepared: 19 Sep 2008

NAME: COTTAM, Richard, Born ??? 1812 in Heaton with Oxcliffe, Died ???

MARRIED, to BAGOT, Margaret, Born 22 Jan 1811 in Lancaster, LAN, ENG,
Died ???; FATHER: BAGOT, John; MOTHER: MASHITER, Dorothy

CHILDREN:
1. M  COTTAM, John Bagot, born 30 Jul 1836 in Manchester, died
3 Jun 1911 in Durban; Married 8 Jul 1858 to HERBERT,
Adelaide; 8 children
2. F  COTTAM, Mary, born Oct 1838 in Manchester, died ???;
Married 27 Jan 1859 to WORRALL, John Stringer; 6 children
3. F  COTTAM, Betsey Jane, born May 1839 in Manchester, died
???; Married 15 Jun 1863 to BENNETT, Stanley Cracroft; 1
child
4. M  COTTAM, James, born Jul 1841 in Manchester, died ???
5. M  COTTAM, William Henry, born 15 Jun 1843 in Manchester,
England, died 15 May 1914 in Natal; Married ??? 1878 to
JACKSON, Harriet Mary; 1 child
6. F  COTTAM, Lucy, born Oct 1845 in Manchester, died ???;
Married May 1874 to TRAVERSE, Thomas; 1 child
7. F  COTTAM, Sarah Ellen, born ??? 1850? in Manchester, died
???
=====================================
Residence Information
From ??? 1843 Until ??? 1858
Address: 6 London Road, Manchester, Lancs, England UK
=====================================
Occupation Information
Worked as Ironmonger from ??? 1843 until ??? 1858
=====================================

I’m especially interested in finding Richard Cottam’s parents, as that might link him to a lot of other Cottams that lived in the area.

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