Southwell is a locational surname of Olde English and Anglo-Saxon pre 9th century origins. It derives from former residence at the town of Southwell in Nottinghamshire, or possibly from a place or places called originally ‘sud waella’, translating as the spring to the south.
More interesting it’s the surname of my Husband maternal Great-Grandmother, Edith Ellen Southwell and the surname of my paternal 5th Great Grandmother Catherine.
Catherine’s Father Joseph Southwell, was the bother to my Husbands 6th Great-Grandfather John Southwell, which means, we share the same 7th Great Grandparents.
Freaky right ?
We connect a good few times on our trees, on many different branches, which is to be expected from small farming hamlets/communities back in the 1700s.
I’m afraid to say though, that this weeks ancestor Catherine Southwell, lived before census records and birth, marriage and death indexes, so once again I have very limited information and there is always that huge risk of making mistakes, due to the very limited information in parish records and families all using the same first names.
There is no way of telling, where exactly they lived in the hamlets and villages or even the occupations they undertook and unless you know your History inside and out, you won’t be able to fully comprehend how life really was for them.
I’m the first to admit, I know very little about history and historical events. It’s not through lack of trying to learn, I just can’t absorb the information, my brain doesn’t work that way, much to my disgust. It’s funny though that I can remember names of most of my direct ancestors. Maybe it’s because it’s personal to me, as I’m the same with childhood memories. I remember the most bizarre random happenings in my life, but facts, figures or instructions just don’t stick, which is very frustrating as I love learning especially about history.
Anyway I’ll stop rambling and tell you all the information I know about my 5th Great-Grandmother Catherine.
Catherine Southwell was born about 1749, at East Tytherley, Hampshire, England, to Joseph Southwell and Mary Southwell Nee Strong.
She was their 3rd child and joined a Brother called Solomon Southwell and a Sister called Ann Southwell.
Catherine was Christened at St. Peter’s, East Tytherley, Hampshire, England, on December 7th 1749.
Catherine’s parents Joseph and Mary Southwell, went on to have lots more children,
Joseph, born about 1752, christened February 5, 1752.
Richard, born about 1754, christened June 5, 1754.
William, born about 1756, christened September 15, 1756.
John, born about 1759, christened February 8, 1759.
Elizabeth born about 1761, christened February 13, 1761.
Mary, born about 1763, christened May 23, 1763.
Christian, born about 1766, christened November 18, 1766.
Jonathan, born about 1770, christened February 28, 1770.
They were all christened at, St. John’s, Lockerley, Hampshire, England.
The next documentation I have for Catherine is a marriage.
Catherine married Jonathan Mason, son of Francis Mason, in the year, 1769.
Once again parish records make it near on impossible to pin point the date and place of their marriage.
You see there are two possibilities.
One is for a Catherine Southwell and Jonathan Mason who wed at St. John’s, Lockerley on the, 22nd May 1769.
As you can see, this Catherine is spelt with a K and the spelling for Southwell is spelt Sutherell. Is that just a spelling error in transition? Your guess is as good as mine.
The other is for a Catherine Southwell, to Jonathan Mason, on the 30th April 1769, at St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England.
My gut tells me that the Mottisfont marriage is more than likely to be correct, considering all the further records I have for them.
Of course I can not confirm this to be 100% true but a very strong gut feeling is ruling my head.
You can decide for yourself, but until proven otherwise I think I’m going with, that they were married on the 30th April 1769, at St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England.
Catherine gave birth to her first child in 1770. A Daughter whom they name, Mary Mason.
Mary was christened on the, 20th September 1770, at St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England.
My 4th Great-Grandmother was born about 1771/1772, to Catherine/Katherine and Jonathan Mason.
They named her Catherine Kitty Mason and she was christened at St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England, on the 5th January 1772.
Catherine and Jonathan had their third Daughter, Elizabeth Mason about 1774. The 1851 census shows her birth location as Mottisfont. She was christened at, St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England, on the 13th August 1774.
Catherine gave birth to her 4th Child, a Daughter, whom they named Ann Mason.
Ann was born about 1776 and was christened at St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England, on the 28th February 1776.
Catherine then gave birth to their first Son, about 1777. They named him Jonathan Mason.
Jonathan was christened at, St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England, on the 22nd June 1777.
Catherine’s child bearing days, were far from over and she gave birth to their 5th Daughter in 1779.
They named her Dinah Mason.
Dinah was christened at, St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England, on the 7th March 1779.
Catherine gave birth to their 6th Daughter, Phoebe Mason, about 1780.
Phoebe was christened at, St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England, on the 6th August 1780.
Catherine’s Father Joseph Southwell, passed away in 1784. He was buried at St. John’s, Lockerley, Hampshire, England, on the 9th March 1784.
Later that year, Catherine gave birth to another baby girl.
Catherine and Jonathan, named her, Charlotte Mason.
She was born about 1784 and christened at St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England, on the 24th October 1784.
I am sure this would have been a bitter-sweet time, the excitement of a new baby, and the sadness that her Father wouldn’t ever meet her Daughter. I know this feel too well.
You can tell the television hadn’t been invented, as Catherine gave birth to their 9th child, a Daughter, whom they named Sophia Mason.
Sophia was born about 1787 and Christened at St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England, on June 11, 1789.
After many years of birthing, 8 Daughters and only one Son, Catherine finally gave birth to a second Son, who they named Moses Mason.
Moses was born about 1789
The 1851 census gives his birth location as Mottisfont, Hampshire, England and birth year as 1790.
Moses, was christened at, St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England, on June 28, 1789.
Nearly ten years later in July 1794, Catherine’s life journey came to an end when she passed away.
Catherine Mason, Nee Southwell, was laid to rest at, St. Andrew’s, Mottisfont, Hampshire, England, on August 1st, 1794.
I wish I could give you more of an insight into her life, unfortunately it is just not possible at this moment, which is such a shame because I really don’t want her to be just a name on our family tree, no one deserves that, especially as living in the 1700’s, life would have been really brutal. She would have worked extremely hard looking after all her children, keeping a home clean, preparing and preserving food, as well as growing her own fruit and vegetables, a skill that is slowly dying out.
I wonder if they kept their own livestock and if she would have helped kill and prepare them ready to smoke.
I’m sure she would have had to pickle her own fruit and vegetables and definitely would have knitted blankets and clothes to keep her family warm.
I’m proud that she managed to survive a harsh country life while constantly pregnant.
I’m sure she was pretty weary at the time of her death.
May she rest in peace now, reunited with her loved ones.
Catherine Mason Nee Southwell.
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