Dr. Stephen W. Taylor

Genealogist & Researcher
from England




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Dr. S. W. Taylor, Genealogist & Researcher


John D. Strattan of Kentucky, comissioned Dr. Stephen W. Taylor, Genealogist Researcher from England in year 2000.

A 7-page report from July 10th, 2000, by Dr. Taylor, wrote:

"Dear Mr. Strattan, Thank you for your letter, dated 23rd May 2000, and for your cheque(money check). By the very nature of my recent discovery, I feel it necessary to describe the search that led to the enclosed results hence the unusually long explanation that follows here."

"You are going to be amazed, perhaps stunned, by this report! Although I do need to conduct further searches on these lines of enquiry to confirm all facts beyond doubt, the evidence gathered last week athte Leicestershire Record Office indicates that your ancestors formerly went under the name of Webster: of this I am 98%+ certain. It was for this reason that "Mark Strattan" was not found in the parish register of Market Harborough."

"Initially, searches were conducted in the parishes around Market Harborough for the name Strattan (etc.) without success. The register for Market Harborough was also re-checked without success but I did check to see if any "Mark" was baptized there in 1690-91: I found "Mark son of Richard Webster" but that was just 'interesting' and no evidence to make any sort of genealogical link."

"I then turned my attentions to the parish catalogue for Market Harborough in search of any other suitable material. The catalogue contained, among other documents, lists of settlement and apprenticeship papers. The latter list included several entires for various Stratton/Strettons [1724-1725]. Although much later than the relevant period, I decided to check them, being the only evidence for your name in the parish."

"How fortunate that my aggressive searching led me to this as the name recorded on every indenture was the same: not Stratton/Stretton as listed but "Stretton (or Stratton) alias Webster". So, an alias was in use: could this be relevant? My mind..."

(page 2)

"... I decided to re-search the Market Harborough register for a wider period. The name Mark was not common in the late 1680s-1690s but the name Emanuel was even less so, so if an entry for Emanuel Webster could be found this would add considerable weight to my theory. I found an entry on the microfiche, part obscured by a 'blob', which looked like a name ending 'nuel', and requested to see the original register which was granted. To my great delight the entry read "Manuel son of Richard Webster". I was becoming increasingly convinced that this was your ancestral family."

"Further searching led me to find more Websters but in 1698 a son of Richard "Streten" was baptized and later entires recorded "Stretton". This Richard Stretton was a tailor - another factor linking him to your ancestral line. I was not able to complete the necessary searches on that occasion (in fact, I ended up having to run part of the way to catch the last train!) but I am confident that the ancestral line has been identified."

"The family bible indicated that Mark was born in Market Harborough c. 1690. He and his brother Manuel emigrated to America c. 1702. Manuel and Mark Webster also had brothers Daniel and David Webster and John, Anne and Elizabeth Streton followed (all names given to Mark Stratton's American family). Please note, in the early years, Emanuel Stratton is referred to as Manuel and it does now appear that this was his registered name. Also, Manuel was the older of the two brothers by several months."

"The burial of Richard Stretton, tailor, was found at Market Harborough in 1708 and an Anne Stretton married one John Writht there in 1709 (she may have been Richard's widow). If my discoveries are correct, Richard had at least fifteen children. Unfortunately, the mother's name is not given in the baptism register at that time and it is possible that Richard was married more than once to produce so many children. Further searches in the Market Harborough register and elsewhere may produce relevant data to confirm this beyound doubt."

"The use of an alias is not very a common feature in English naming patterns but it is not extremely rar and I have other instances of it in current files at this present time. The circumstantial evidence is substantial to link your emigrant Strattan brothers to these Websters and I hope I have explained the scenario sufficiently to convince you of the accuracy of my discovery."

"Why the alias was adopted may be even more difficult to determine. Clearly, a further search is necessary to gather all data relating to the Webster and Stratton names in the Market Harborough register. Manuel and Mark left England after the name Stratton appears to ahve been adopted by their father. Perhaps they left England in search of better prospects. Perhaps they were encouraged by the Quakers in Market Harborough to emigrate. Perhaps they did not get on well with their father (perhaps a reason why none of their children were named Richard)."

"Now, this evidence poses the same question raised before: where does the evidence for these brothers being the sons of William Stratton of Stratford upon Avon..."

(page 3)

"... Warwickshire come from? It would appear to be totally spurious and I am convinced that it is just that - false! What is more, it has led to a considerable waste of time and funds. As you will recall, I was never convinced by the claim and that is why I asked you to pursue the authors."

"I am delighted with the current success and consider it a genealogical triumph! For the moment, I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future and await your comments on my report with great interest."

"Once the research is completed on this current phase, I would be interested in writing this up for publication: would you be willing for this to be done?"

Yours sincerely,
(Dr.) S. W. Taylor B.A.; Ph.D.

(page 4:)

"I have divided this report into two parts as the nature of the search changed following the discovery of the alias so that searches were made for Strattan and Webster in Part II."


The searches in this first section were for the name Strattan(Stratton, etc.) only.

Parish Registers:

East and West (Church) Langton, Leicestershire (searched Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1687-1697):
Baptisms: Nil; Marriages: Nil; Burials: Nil.

Market Harborough, Leicestershire (searched Burials 1660-1690): Burials: Nil.

Stonton Wyville, Leicestershire (searched Baptisms 1689-1697): Baptisms: Nil.

Theddington, Leicestershire: "Fiche totally illegible"

Thorpe Langton, Leicestershire (searched Baptisms 1684-1695):
Baptisms: "The early pages appear to be confused with some dates of births given without dates of baptisms and often not in chronological order. Nil."

(page 5)

Bishop's Transcrips (?)

Foxton, Leicestershire (searched Baptisms 1690-95/6): Baptisms: Nil.

Gumley, Leicestershire (searched Baptisms 1685-87, 1690, 92-94, 1697): Baptisms: Nil.

Lubenham, Leicestershire (searched Baptisms 1680-89, 1691-94, 1699-1700): Baptisms: Nil.



Parish Records:

Market Harborough, Leicestershire:
"Searched the parish catalogue for any suitable overseers' papers or reference to the name Strattan."

DE 1587/164/1-7: 1702-1755
"Common_____ between the overseers of Market Harborough and overseers..."

(page 6)

"Overseers' Certificate book including lists of Removal Orders and Settlement Examinations 1702-1737: Nil."

Apprenticeship Indenturers:

"Pauper children could be apprenticed by "the parish" [by the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor] to masters of any given trade. The following were found listed [1704 Webster; 1724-1725 Stratton/Stretton] and the original indenturers were read."

34D56/II/88/35: 1st January 1703/4:
"Nathaniell Webster of Market Harborrow to William Goodyear of Great Bowdon, Leics., miller for 5 years"

34D56/II/88/47: 1st May 1725:
"John Stretton alias Webster a poor child of the parish to Joseph Tilly of Lubram, Leics., wors__ed & linen weaver, till 21 yrs"

34D56/II/88/48: 17th February 1724/5:
"Richard Stratton alias Webster with his own consent a poor child to Thomas Smith of Loughborough, Leics., upholster till 24 yrs in consideration of 40s"

"As /48 but includes the mark X of Richard Stratton alias Webster"

34D56/II/88/50: 3rd December 1724:
"Sam'll Stretton alias Webster a poor child to _____ Glover of Bonden(Bowden) Magna, Leics., till 21 yrs (later Thomas Glover, miller). [On reverse] Memd the within named Samuel Stretton alias Webster is 15 yrs of age."

34D56/II/38/51: 29th September 1724:
"Nathaniell Stretton alias Webster a poor child put to Thomas Smith of Loughborough, feather dresser, till 23 yrs"

"As /50 but Thomas Glover of Bowden Magna, Leics, [on reverse] Samuell Stretton alias Webster is 15 yrs of age"

(page 7)


Market Harborough, Leicestershire (searched Baptisms 1682-1709 Webster & Strattan(Stratton, etc), Marriages glanced at 1708-1709 for any female Stretton/Webster, Burials glanced through for Richard Stretton/Webster)

"Please note: this search was conducted at the end of a very long day and further time is needed to extract additional data from this register. Several dates will be double-checked on my next visit. Copies of the relevant entires will also be obtained."


francis daughter of Nathaniell Webster bapt May 3 1682
Katherine daughter of Richard Webster bapt Nov 16 1682
Nathaniell son of Nathaniell Webster bapt Dec 8 1683
Frances daughter of Richard Webster bap Jan 29 1683/4
Manuell son of Rich Webster bapt May 15 1689
Mark son of Rich Webster was bapt Feb 27 1690/1

Marriages: Mar: John Wright & Anne Stretton, Aug 2 1709

Burial: Richard Stretton Tail'r, Dec 19, 1708