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Cherrett and Gerrard in Dorset

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Contents

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Introduction

This page is devoted to the CHERRETT/GERRARD ancestors of my mother - the origins of the name, who they were and where and when they lived.

The genealogical data in these pages is accurate to the best of my current (at the time of writing) knowledge. This means it is of very variable reliability, since sources at one extreme are 100% certain (e.g. I know who I married, where and when, and the identity of my parents) to the mere rumour level, such as LDS data extracted from the IGI and Ancestral File, and reminiscences of elderly relatives, some now deceased. Anyone wishing to make any use whatever of this information is therefore strongly advised to contact me for source details.

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Origins of the name

The surname CHERRETT is apparently (as explained, for example by Hanks & Hodges A Dictionary of Surnames) a variant of CHEESEMAN, an occupational name for a maker or seller of cheese (presumably by way of the variant Cheesewright).

However, Adrian Cherrett in an email advises me: "I have always been told that Cherrett comes from 'cheeswright' but that in itself it is not connected to the manufacture of cheese.

"It is in fact a stone mason, specifically carving the 'cheese stones' that sit upon the little stone pyramids. These in turn are the foundations to grain houses, to raise them off damp ground and to deter vermin from climbing them."

The same book mentioned defines the name WRIGHT as a "common occupational name for a maker of machinery or objects", which would seem to support Adrian's point.

The surname GERRARD is derived from two similar (and related) personal names, both of Germanic origin but introduced to Britain by the Normans. These are:

Variants of the name

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Sarah CHERRETT

My maternal grandmother's paternal grandmother was Sarah Cherrett, who was born about 1821 in Tarrant Crawford, Dorset, according to the 1851 and 1861 census records. This ties in with the record of her baptism at Tarrant Crawford Parish Church on 15th April 1821.

The 1851 census shows her living in Tarrant Crawford with her widowed mother, an older sister and three children, all grandchildren of Sarah's mother (an eight-year old boy and two five-year old girls). Sarah is described as "Employed on farm labour". All this family except Sarah are still shown together in the 1861 census. The parish register baptisms show they were the illegitimate children of Sarah's sister Hannah.

On 20th August 1854 Sarah married Frederick ADAMS in Tarrant Crawford Parish Church. Both parties signed with a cross. Sarah was described as a spinster, her age was given as "full", meaning over 21, as was the groom's, although the following census shows she was about 13 years older than him. Her "Rank or profession" was left blank, while he and both their fathers were said to be labourers.

The 1861 census shows the couple living next door to Sarah's mother at "Tarrant Abbey, Tarrant Crawford" with their two children Jane, 6, and John, 4, both "scholars". It reveals that Frederick (here named Fred) was born in "Winterbourne Zelstone".

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John CHERRETT/GERRARD

Sarah's father was John CHERRETT or GERRARD, an agricultural labourer. He was baptised in Milton Abbas (his mother's home parish) on 25th November 1791. On 11th October 1813 he married Ann LACY at Tarrant Crawford.

The couple had five children baptised at Tarrant Crawford:
Isaac on 18th October 1818;
Sarah on 15th April 1821;
Mary on 2nd March 1823;
Charles on 4th September 1825 (his burial is recorded on 26th October 1827);
Charles Henry on 21st July 1832.

Ann's burial is recorded in the register on 3rd March 1868, at age 79.

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Isaac CHERRETT/GERRARD

John's parents were Isaac CHERRETT or GERRARD and Margaret (née LILLLINGTON), who married at Hilton on 30th December 1790. Isaac was baptised in Hilton on 21st April 1765, but, according to a settlement examination in 1791, was born in Wareham 14 weeks before his parents moved to Hilton. They had five children so far as I know. John was the first, baptised in his mother's home parish, followed by Mary, baptised 23rd December 1793 and Isaac, baptised on 16th July 1797, both in Hilton. Mariah was baptised and buried in 1807 in Tarrant Crawford and Elizabeth was baptised there on 14th February 1810 and buried there on 29th November 1813.

Isaac had a number of employments in various Dorset places in his younger days, as well as "two summers and one winter" serving on a ship trading between Poole and Newfoundland, under a Captain Street.

Following Margaret's death (she was buried at Tarrant Crawford on 6th August 1813 aged 45) Isaac married Ann GOVER at Tarrant Crawford on 23rd April 1816. He was buried at Tarrant Crawford on 24th June 1836.

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Robert CHERRETT/GERRARD

Isaac was the son of Robert CHERRETT or GERRARD (a bricklayer) and Mary A'COURT. They married Lady St. Mary church, Wareham, on 16th November 1762. They had three children that I know of, Mary (baptised at Wareham Lady St. Mary on 14th August 1763), Isaac, and Sarah (baptised at Hilton on 29th October 1786 at age 16.

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Acknowledgement

My thanks to Simon Sheppard, another descendant of Isaac Cherrett/Gerrard, who provided me with most of the earlier information about this family.

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