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England FAQ
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Created By:Ellie Spinney

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User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 8/9/2010
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Created By:Craig

This is awfully esoteric but it is an issue I'm currently struggling with.

The issue is inheritance of land in the 16th century.  I've seen notes suggesting that some English manors required land to go intact to the eldest son.   But I also have examples in my family where that clearly didn't happen (in my case, in Somerset).   Was this practice regional (e.g. what was done in Sussex was different from Somerset) or by manor?

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Created By:Dale H. Cook

> Was this practice regional ... or by manor?



It was likely because the land was entailed. Not all estates were entailed - those that were likely were granted to the original owner in a deed with wording similar to "to nnnn and the heirs of his body."

Dale H. Cook, Member, NEHGS and MA Society of Mayflower Descendants;
Plymouth Co. MA Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project
Administrator of

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Created By:Elizabeth

Like your other question,this refers to the 16th C: when a name is shown as "John Smith als Dier" or "Barker als Chapman," what does that mean? Is it a family that has daughtered out? Is it a name change due to an inheritance? Or something else entirely?

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Created By:Carolyn Leonard 1

My English BRANCH/BRAUNCHE ancestors moved from Abington, now in County Oxfordshire to County Kent to County Suffolk. I want to find out more.


John Branch/Braunche, believed son of Sir John Braunche and wife Ellen Hayden, Sir John believed the son of Richard Branch/Braunche (1503-1544) and Elizabeth Beauforest.

John Branch born ca 1545 at Abindon-on-Thames (the family home)

probably lived as a youth at Headcorn Mortimer in County Kent and later in High Holden,

John Branche died 1608 in Beccles, County Suffolk, Brittain.(from

There is a  John Branche baptised at St. Helen’s Church, Abingdon, on 3 Nov 1578, could this be him - if so he would have been 33 years old by then.

His son Simon/Symon Branch born 1560 near Headcorn

married 1585 Rolvendon (Kent)

died 1614 Tenterden (Kent) I have his will. 

 (Archdeaconry of Canterbury, Vol 57 fo277.) (pub in NEHGS 1911 Vol 65 pg 286)

Title: English Origins of New England Families, Vol. I

Chapter: French, Hinckley, and Paine, Page: 129

I have Symon's info from the Parish Register of Rolvenden but need to prove he is the son of John.

How would I find out more about John Branch - like marriage date and name of wife?

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