Origins of the Man Family

At this time two MAN families are known which have as their common ancestor one John Man, born in Hurst, Berkshire, England, in 1718.  His parents were John (the Elder) and Ann Man. For over one hundred years genealogists and family researchers have not been able to trace the MAN family back farther than the family in Hurst, but earlier generations have now been uncovered based on work done by Ed Man (USA) that has taken us back to the latter part of the 16th century. Not only have John Man the Elder’s origins been found, but three additional generations have been added: John’s parents (Henry Man and Frances Moody – Man Generation 4), Henry’s parents (George Man and Jane Sanders – Man Generation 3) and George’s parents (Jonas Man and Elizabeth Costerd – Generation 2).

As previously known, and confirmed by parish records, John Man the Elder and his wife Ann raised a family in Hurst, Berkshire. The first child to be born at Hurst in 1716 was a daughter Ann, who died within a week; the second child was a son, John; then a daughter, another Ann; then sons Thomas and Henry; and, lastly, a daughter Frances. Son John is our direct ancestor and, though all his siblings were alive at the time that their father’s will was proved in 1750, no marriages or burials for them have yet been found.

Since no marriage record for the parents John and Ann can be found in Hurst it suggests that John and Ann moved to Hurst after their marriage.  Thus the first step was to try to find a marriage for a John Man to an Ann. The only one within an appropriate time frame was found on a film of indexed transcripts of Berkshire marriages. It was for a John Man to an Ann Tyle at Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, on 14 December 1712 (FHL Film # 1278622 – microfilm of original records, compiled by J. W. Brooks, at Maidenhead, Berkshire).

On finding the record for this marriage on a film of Bishops’ Transcripts for Great Marlow (FHL Film # 1999444), a baptismal record was also found for an Ann Man, daughter of John & Ann, on 17 May 1713. This didn’t bode well for this to be the John and Ann Man who were the parents of the Ann born in Hurst in 1716. However, it was then found that the Ann baptized at Great Marlow was buried five days later; there are no other Man records after this date at Great Marlow.

Therefore, it is reasoned that this John (and Ann) Man from Great Marlow was the John Man who acquired property in Hurst in 1715 and raised a family there. The times are right and, when the first Ann born in Hurst also dies within a week, it is obvious that the parents wanted a daughter named Ann since the next daughter born (their third daughter) is also named Ann (a common practice in those days).

Returning to John and his origins, Steve Man and Ed (on Ed’s first visit to England) found at the Berkshire Record Office an indexed transcript of a family named Man in Wargrave, Berkshire, with a son named John born in 1685. The parents were a Henry and Frances Man and we believe this to be John the Elder who married Ann Tyle.

The children of Henry and Frances Man (all born at Wargrave) were named Elizabeth, John, Henry, George, William, Jonas, Margery, Frances, Thomas, and Eleanor. (John and Ann of Hurst used the underlined names for their children.)

Besides this being the only baptism of a John Man to be found in Berkshire or Buckinghamshire in the right time frame, other things seem to suggest that this is our John the Elder – the most important clue being that his mother’s name was Frances.

This ties in with the rationale, first expressed by Col. Hubert Man in the early part of the 20th century and concurred in by the present-day researchers, that based on a codicil of the will of John Man of Hurst, John’s mother’s name was Frances.  This codicil specified that his daughter Frances should get the furnishings of her grandmother as bequeathed by the grandmother. Since there was an older daughter Ann, the only thing that made sense was that the grandmother’s name was Frances.

One problem with this assumption, however, was that Henry and Frances had a daughter named Frances (born in 1697), so why didn’t she get her mother’s dowry, as opposed to John’s daughter Frances, who was the granddaughter? A burial record was found at Wargrave for a Frances Man in 1710, but it could be for the mother (wife of Henry) or the daughter.  It is probably that of the daughter of Henry Man and not his wife because no record for Henry’s burial has been found in Wargrave and so it is reasoned that the parents moved to another parish after their daughter Frances died. This would explain why Frances, the mother, would bequeath her furnishings to her granddaughter Frances.

Then, as noted, all of John and Ann’s children’s names appear in the family of Henry and Frances Man.

The marriage record for Henry Man to a Frances Moody was also found at Wargrave in 1682, but no record could be found for Henry’s baptism in Wargrave or any other nearby parish in Berkshire, though Frances’s baptismal record has been found at Hurley (adjacent to Wargrave). So John’s father Henry appears to have married and raised a family in Wargrave, but was not born nor died there.

Among Henry and Frances’s children there is a ‘Jonas’. At first it was thought that this might be a misspelling for ‘John’, but records of a Jonas Man marrying twice and having seven children have been found among Wargrave parish records.

Then Angela Hillier (a researcher from High Wycombe, Bucks, working for Ed Man), in searching for a Henry Man (born circa 1655) in one of the parishes in the vicinity of Wargrave, found at the Buckinghamshire Record Office on an indexed transcript of the surname Man at Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, a Henry born in 1660 to a George and Jane Man. The transcript also showed that Henry had siblings named Elizabeth, Jonas, and Jane, and that George was born in 1630 to Jonas and Elizabeth Man.

Mrs. Hillier noted that ‘Jonas’ was an unusual given name for that time and suggested that the Henry born in Hambleden was the Henry marrying in Wargrave since he had a son named Jonas, but had no way to confirm that.

George Man, his wife Jane, and youngest daughter Jane all died within 2 months of each other in 1664. George being 34 at the time of his death probably precludes any will having been prepared and Mrs. Hillier was not able to find one. It is not known who raised the two young children left by the sudden death of the parents – Elizabeth, age 9, and Henry, age 4 – but it would not be hard to picture them ending up in Wargrave, which is just across the River Thames from Hambleden.

When studying the given names of Henry and Frances’s children, it was noted that they all have names that are in either Henry’s or Frances’s parents’ families. Perhaps the most striking thing is in the names of their twins, Jonas and William. Jonas has the same name as his father’s paternal grandfather and William has the same name as his mother’s paternal grandfather. Perhaps the twins were just fortuitously named Jonas and William, but this seems highly unlikely and leads us to the conclusion that the Man families in Hambleden are the ancestors of our Henry and John Man.

So at this point we can begin the Man family with Jonas Man, who comprises the earliest Generation C. Generation B is of the children of Jonas Man and Elizabeth Costerd, married in 1625, and Generation A is of the children of George Man and Jane Sanders, married in 1654.  All these events took place at Hambleden.  Then Generation One is of the children of Henry Man and Frances Moody, married in 1682.  These events took place at Wargrave, Berkshire.

Lately, Ed has discovered what he believes to be the baptismal record for Jonas Man. It was on 9 June 1596 at Hambleden. It didn’t show up on the transcript that Ed’s researcher Angela Hillier looked at and it was hard to read even when he was looking at the film of the parish register. Luckily the film Ed reviewed showed both the parish register and a transcript made by the Rev. Scawen Kenrick, rector of Hambleden from 1723 to his death in 1753.  By being able to review the transcript first, Ed found it easier to interpret the writing in the parish register. The transcript shows the record as being for a Jonas May. Since it was the only baptismal record found for a Jonas in that time frame, Ed consulted with David Watts of the Buckinghamshire Record Office, who supplied Ed with examples of handwriting, 1550 -1650. They were from an extraordinary compilation by a W. S. Buck and published for the Society of Genealogists. In it Ed found that what looks like a “y” may really be an “n” which is what Ed was counting on to prove the relationship.

All references to film numbers as the source of data refers to the films of the Family History Library (FHL) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. These films are available on loan from the Library through Family History Centers throughout the world and all the data here can be verified by this means.

Leave a Reply