The Tradition of Naming the First-Born son William

Henry’s son William (b.1705, Barnburgh) started a tradition of naming the first-born son William. There are living residents of Barnburgh, who knew the Stables families, and who first told us about this tradition. They repute that it stretches back for eight generations. Based on the research I have done, eight generations from Henry’s son onwards would be exactly right, although I have only managed to trace the oldest four generations so far. It also doesn’t always appear to be the first-born son that is named William in all cases.

Only one Stables family now remains in Barnburgh (not a William) but maybe the tradition is still being continued in another town.

Goldthorpe Colliery Day Book of 1761

There is a reference to a William Stables purchasing coal, in the day book of Goldthorpe Colliery for the period 1761 to 1766. This would be either William (b.1705, Sprotbrough) or his son William (b.1739, Barnburgh).

This book is in the private possession of J. Stanley Large and referred to in his book, A History of Barnburgh.

Barnburgh Inhabitants of 1839 - Parish Awards

This is a transcription from a hand-written notebook entitled Barnburgh Inhabitants of 1839 – Parish Awards which was shown to us by Neil Semley of Harlington.

Stables widow Barnburgh P.A.

          ? Sarah £1 (10d) 0-0-?

Stables John      47     H.G.

          Yeoman     P.A.   69.8.2 (2.1.10)

Stables Joseph    15s.0d (1½d)

Stables Geo         £1 (10d)

Stables William jnr    104   H.Orchard etc.

          77.16.9 (£3.4.10)

Stables Joshua  15s.0d (1½d)

Stables William snr   334   C.G.yard

          (1761-66 day book    6.12.8 (5s.6d))

Stables John jnr                   342   C.H.

Stables Isaac               353   garden      7s.6d (3½d)

                          almshouse 1850

Unfortunately, there is no key to this notebook, so no-one knows for certain what the amounts quoted are. It may record the amounts of the tithes[1] paid by each person in Barnburgh to the Church in 1839 and the figures in brackets may show the amount of the tithe paid in an earlier (unknown) year. Alternatively, it may indicate the amount of money paid to purchase common lands under the Inclosure Act.

The initials appear to mean the following: H=Homestead, P.A.=Parish Award, G=Garden, C=Cottage. The numbers that follow some of the names appear to be Plot Numbers that tie up with those plots quoted in the Barnburgh Tithe Awards for 1839 (see later section). The figures such as 69.8.2 (2.1.10) appear to be the amount of land occupied (in acres, rods and perches) followed by the amount of the tithe (in brackets).

I know from the book, A History of Barnburgh[2], that allotments of common land were made to John Stables, Yeoman of Barnburgh and that Sarah Stables, a widow, who had encroached on Common Land during the last 20 years, had been sold her plot back under the Inclosure Act. This notebook may have some relation to this.

The annotation against Isaac appears to indicate that he was living in one of the village’s alms houses in 1850. The almshouses were owned by the Church and used to house the poor.

So that you can find them on the family tree, the Stableses mentioned in Barnburgh Inhabitants of 1839 – Parish Awards and in the following section on Tithe Awards are as follows:


[1] A tithe was a levy on income that was paid to the church and was traditionally 10% of earnings.

[2] A History of Barnburgh by J. Stanley Large. Private Publication, now out of print.


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