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Turvey. The missing link ?

Well I must say that I had pretty much given up on being able to find even a grain of truth in Grandma's story of the wayward Higgins, then an odd unexpected possibility popped up. I was going through the Census returns for Turvey house, Abbey & Picts Hill to see I any of their household staff, may have been linked to the Pursers and what did I find ?

Back in the mid 19th Century there was quite a long period when Turvey House was empty as the then very old incumbent preferred to live in the village, or perhaps the house was in poor repair. Whatever the reason, from the late 1840's until after the 1861 census there was no family living there. In the 1861 census the house is marked as uninhabited, in 1851 there is a coachman, his wife & child living there. His entry for occupation says " Coachman in charge of the House". His wife is recorded as being the cook, presumably a decent cook was worth hanging on to even if you are not currently living in your country mansion. These two were assisted by Sarah Wall who was housemaid and presumably helped to keep the place clean.

The Coachman was John Bamford and his wife Catherine, now as it happens there is a link between the Bamfords and the Pursers Bingo, at last Paydirt ! The exact nature of the link I have not finished working out, however a brief outline:---

In the 1841 census there are four households containing Bamfords, Turvey is not a big place and Bamford is not a common surname in that area, so there is a very good chance that these four households are related one way or another. One James Bamford married Maria Purser daughter of Charles Purser & Mary Risley. I am in the process of working out the exact relationships between the Bamfords.

So nothing exciting like the squires daughter eloping with the groom, but a connection between the horsey side of the Higgins' household, and the Purser family. Tenuous it certainly is, but there nonetheless.

More in hope that expectation I have contacted Mr & Mrs Hanbury, the current owners of Turvey House (descended from the original Higgins family ). to see if by any chance there may be any surviving records of the household staff at Turvey House, and if so to beg a peek at them. This is a very long shot but if you don't ask ...................

So watch this space on this one, there could be more to find.

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