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The ELVER Connection

The Elver - Jenkins Family Tree, with connection to the Newman family

The connection between the ELVER family and the NEWMAN family was made when William(1) NEWMAN married Elizabeth ELVER.

Through much research and some deduction I have found that one of my 7 times great-grandfathers was almost certainly NICHOLAS ELVER. He lived in the village of Castle Combe, Wiltshire where he was the innkeeper of an inn called "The George". The initials and date N E 1672 are still carved into the stone work of the building although it is now a private house, not an inn. He married a lady called Elizabeth and he was buried in Castle Combe (in woollen) 27 December 1693. In 1667 & 1678 Legislation had been passed requiring that all bodies should be wrapped in a woollen shroud for burial and an affidavit made to say that this had been done otherwise a fine was payable. The purpose of this law was to help the wool trade. The act was gradually ignored and in 1814 was repealed. Elizabeth, his wife, was buried in Castle Combe on 21st October 1701, also in woollen.

The George Inn, the property of Nicholas Elver   &   The initials of Nicholas Elver above the door.

From the index of the parish registers which were produced by the Wiltshire Family History Society, we find that Nicholas and Elizabeth had six children (Niclas (sic) bapt, 25.7.1659, William bapt. 1.1.1661/2, Jeine bapt. 24.1.1665, Mary bapt. 28.12.1666, Idee [on the copy of the registers - called the Bishops' Transcripts - and sent to the bishop the name was given as Edith] bapt. 15.8.1668) and a son, THOMAS ELVER, bapt. 28.08.1675 who also became the innkeeper of The George. He married a lady called Ann. Thomas was buried in Castle Combe (also in woollen) on 25 September 1707.

Thomas and Ann had two children ELIZABETH ELVER, baptised 15 August 1695 and NICHOLAS ELVER, baptised 21 September 1698. The 18 month old Nicholas was buried in Castle Combe on 5th March 1700 and "The George" was inherited by his sister Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Elver was married first to Nicholas Brockenbrow. (In the Wiltshire marriage index, 1700-1739 there is this information:- Nicholas Brockenbrow Gent of Grittleton Wilts m Elizabeth ELVER age 20 of Castle Combe Wilts. On August 28 1714 at Castle Combe. Witness John Forman, (Publican from Devizes.) Elizabeth and Nicholas had three children, all baptised in Castle Combe -
1. Anne, baptised on 30th June 1715 (born 27th June) buried 7th December 1715;
2. Elver, baptised 12th September 1716, buried 20th November 1749
3. Nicholas, baptised 2nd August 1718 and buried 18th August 1718.
Elizabeth's husband, Nicholas died and was buried on 22nd March 1717/8. It would seem to have been a short and sad marriage (4 years) with the deaths of two babies and her husband. Her son, Elver Brockenbrow died in 1749 at the age of 33.

I can find no will for Nicholas Brockenbrow but there is an inventory of his possessions, as follows:- (spelling as written)

Item £      s.    d.
His wearing apparell 06    00   00
At Grittleton one bed & bedstead and furniture ???
belonging in the best chamber
07   00   00
A chest of drawers, a parcel of chairs and looking glass
and looking glass a pair andirons &
other things personal belongings.
03   00   00

In the old chamber a parcel of linning (linen)
a Box and silver tumbler three silver spoons one silver ???
a silver watch and snuff box and other things.
08   16   00

In the kitchen 10 pewter dishes a dozen of puewter
plates a tankard a spice morter one ??? & a ??? and other things
01   06   00

The inventory goes on to list the goods necessary to his trade as a brewer and maltster such as barrels, malt, block wood, acres of wheat and barley and also animals and other crops etc., all of which seem to be worth much more than his personal belongings. The whole of his goods added up to £271.6s.8d which today would be many thousands of pounds. So Elizabeth was left very well provided for.

I assume that ELIZABETH BROCKENBROW, née ELVER married WILLIAM NEWMAN, my 5 times great-grandfather, sometime about 1720 although I have so far been unable to find a record of that marriage. One of the pieces of evidence that I have for this marriage is some signatures of Elizabeth's that I have. One on the inventory of Nicholas Brockenbrow's goods as Elizabeth Brockenbrow and two others as Elizabeth Newman on two wills. They would seem to have been written by the same person. Also on one of the wills she signed is also the signature (or sign) of her mother, Ann Elver. Later there is her own will and although she has shortened her forename to Eliza and it shows signs of age, it still seems the same person's writing. Another piece of evidence is the fact that the name of Elver was given to her grandson.

Elizabeth and William Newman had four children; John baptised April 1721 (he died in 1728), Elizabeth baptised 1 April 1723, Anne baptised 12 July 1724 and William (my 4 times great-grandfather) baptised 20 April 1740.

The name Elver was carried on in the Newman family for three more generations as a forename. My 3 times great-grandfather was Elver Newman, and he named one of his daughters Ann Elver Newman (presumably named after her Grandmother) and a son Elver Doleman Newman so it makes me wonder if the Elver name as a surname died out in this family with the death of Elizabeth's brother, Nicholas. I also found the record of an earlier NICHOLAS ELVER who was buried at Castle Combe on 19th March 1677 but I don't know for certain whether or not he was the father of the Nicholas who was buried in 1693 although one would certainly surmise that he was.

1. The baptism and burial information comes from the Castle Combe parish records and the Index of baptisms and burials produced by the Wiltshire Family History Society. There are various records about Elizabeth Newman - her will and some documents she signed.
2. I have in my possession the record of an earlier NICOLAS ELVIR (sic), innholder of Castle Combe who married Anna Newman of Corsham on the 12 November 1607. I assume this is the same family with an earlier connection with a Newman family.
3. I also have a copy of the will of Rebecca Brockenbrow (mother of Nicholas Brockenbrow) who, amongst other legacies, leaves to "Elver Brockenbrow, my grandson; the son of Nicholas Brockenbrow and Elizabeth, his wife the sum of four pounds of good and lawful money to be paid to him when he arrives at age of twenty one years"

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