Did Grace Cliburn, born in 1586/7 in Cliburn parish, Westmorlandshire (now Cumbria), England, marry John Edmundson of Little Musgrave, Westmorlandshire?I believe they were the parents of an early Quaker missionary named William Edmundson.
William Edmundson was born in October 1627 in/near Little Musgrave, in Westmorlandshire (now Cumbria), England. He was baptized on October 24, 1627 at St. Andrew's church, in the parish of Crosby Garrett, close to Little Musgrave. As an adult, William became a Quaker and, later in life, wrote a diary recounting many of his missionary trips. He stated that his parents were John and Grace Edmundson and that he was the sixth of six children.
At www.rootsweb.com, there are 43 family trees posted that include this family. Of these, two trees only list William's mother as Grace, with no surname. Another fourteen list William's mother as Grace Ashton. Twenty-five trees list her as Grace Cliburn (spelled variously as Cliborn, Cleborne, Clebourne) and three trees straddle the fence and list her as Grace Cliburn Ashton or Grace "Cliborn Clebourne or Ashton".
Of the trees that list Grace as an Ashton, not one includes the names/identities of her parents or even any siblings. I believe they have all used information submitted to the Latter Day Saints database and included in the Pedigree Resource File, but without citation of any historical source. I have searched for a Grace Ashton born in the area of Westmorlandshire from about 1580 to 1600 and have found NOTHING. Has anyone else found any relevant information?
Of the trees that list Grace as a Cliburn, several mistakenly identify her parents as Thomas Cliburn and his wife, Frances Lowther. These trees list Grace's birth as 1586 and Frances's birth as 1578. Of course Frances could not have been a mother at age 8, and a further check shows that Thomas Cliburn and Frances Lowther did not marry until 1594. They did indeed have a daughter named Grace, who was baptized in Lowther parish on February 6, 1597/98. Researchers indicate, however, that the Grace Cliburn born in 1597/98 married a James Leslie, not a John Edmundson.
Some trees list Grace as the daughter of Edward Cliburn, and cite a baptismal record from the parish of Cliburn for January 15, 1586. A check of the Cliburn parish records shows that an Edward Cliburn was the father of several children, including Jane (1582), Eleanor (1584), Grace (1586), Thomas (1588), and William (1595). I believe it is reasonable to infer that there was only the one man, Edward Cliburn, who was father of all of the above. Furthermore, for the baptisms of both Thomas (1588) and William (1595), the mother was listed as Margaret.
Grace was recorded as baptized on January 15, 1586 under the calendar system then in effect (when the "New Year" began in March). In modern times (with the "New Year" beginning in January), we translate this as January 15, 1587.
Because there were only 18 months between Grace in January 1587 and Thomas, in July 1588, I believe they had the same mother. That is, I don't believe there was sufficient time for Grace's mother to have died, Edward to have remarried (to Margaret), and to have conceived Thomas. Therefore, I believe there is adequate circumstantial evidence that Grace's mother was Margaret (maiden name unknown).
There is also a record of a John Cliburn who had a son Edward baptized in Cliburn parish on March 3, 1620. I have estimated that this John would have fathered children when he was between the ages of 20 and 50, and so I estimate his birth at 1570 to 1600. Based on his naming a son Edward, I believe this John could have been another child of Edward and Margaret (MNU) Cliburn, and so I would estimate his birth more narrowly as 1590 to 1600. I believe this Edward Cliburn, born in 1620, moved from Cliburn parish into the area of Little Musgrave, and married an Alice Jackson (born either 1616 in Warcop parish or in 1617 in Brough under Stainmore parish, both adjacent to Little Musgrave). Their son, James Cliburn, in turn fathered a John Cliburn, born/baptized in March 1678 in Great Musgrave parish (adjacent to Little Musgrave). James appears on a Hearth Tax list for Great Musgrave in 1674. Why is this relevant?
In his diary, William Edmundson noted that his mother died when he was about age 4 and his father when he was about age 8 (so circa 1631 and 1635). In his diary, William wrote that he and his siblings, "were left to the Care of my Uncle, my Mother's Brother, who used us hardly; and my Brothers and Sisters left him, but I staid with him several Years, being young. My eldest Brother, who was Heir to the Estate my Father left, when he came to the Age of 21 years, with my eldest Sister's Husband, went to Law with my Uncle about our Portions, and other Injuries and Wrongs: And they spent much Money."
William's oldest brother was Thomas Edmundson, born ca. 1620, and so of legal age (of 21) ca. 1641. The litigation would likely have been in Westmorlandshire. I believe the uncle referred to was likely John Cliburn, born ca. 1590-1600, mentioned above. Has anyone located any records from a court, or records of litigation between the Edmundsons and this uncle on their mother's side? Such a record would confirm the surname of Grace.
If anyone has any evidence relevant to the surname of Grace, or any information about the Grace Cliburn born in 1586/7, please share by posting here, or contact me directly at [email protected]