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Upottery Places


My 4xgreat grandparents, Jacob Parkhouse and Betty Clapp, married 2 March 1772, in Upottery parish church. Jacob lived to the great age of 90 and appears to have spent his whole life in Upottery where he was a mason. He was born in about 1749, although a little doubt exists about exactly where, since no baptism entry using the name Jacob can be found. It may be that he was baptised as John, since such an entry does exist.

His wife, Betty, died early at the age of 41, in 1790, after producing 8 children, including my 3xgreat grandfather, James. Jacob appears to have subsequently lived with Betty's sister, Sarah Clapp, "without benefit of clergy", producing another 6 children+, all baptised in Upottery church under the surname Clapp. It is not until the youngest, married (in Churchstanton 1834) that the relationship is confirmed when he is referred to as "Samuel Clapp, otherwise Parkhouse". Additional proof appears in 1841 when the eldest child, Lydia Clapp, married at Luppitt, and Jacob Parkhouse is explicitly named as her father.


The main road in Upottery looking towards the church - click for larger image
The main street in Upottery, looking towards the church.

Cottage adjacent to Upottery churchyard - click for larger image

Cottage adjacent to Upottery churchyard

The memorial, Upottery, Devon - click for larger image

The centre of Upottery, with the church tower on the right.


Upottery Church - click for larger image

Upottery church

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On the question of the origins of Jacob, intriguingly, there is an earlier Parkhouse family link between Upottery, Devon, and Pitminster, Somerset: On 16 September 1701, Zacheus Parkhouse, married Mary Drake of Upottery in Pitminster parish church. Their first two children were born in Upottery, the remaining 9 or 10 (or more?) were born in Pitminster, 1706-ca 1720. Although the records do not provide sufficient support, I am inclined to believe that the early Pitminster, Somerset, Parkhouse's are indeed my ancestors.

If my tentative family tree is correct, then the earliest, named, Parkhouse ancestor could be the Ambrose Parkhouse who is referred to in the Pitminster parish register (ref. M2251/4 D/P/pit 2/1/1) thus: "Jone ye wife of Ambrose Parkhurst husbandman of the parish of Buckland St Mary was buried ye 8th day of December 1699".

An alternative could be the Richard Parkhouse named in Dwelly's Somerset Hearth Tax index: "Richard Parkhouse, Dudlestone, in Pitminster, 1671", or the Settlement Certificate dated 21 October 1698 "...for Richard Parkhouse to move from Pitminster to Trull":

"To the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the parish of Trull in the Countie of Somersett and to their Successors...
Whereas Richard Parkhouse of our parish of Pitminster in the Countie aforesaid Cooper for the better geting of A Livelyhood is now desirous to live and Cohabitt within your said parish of Trull And for his more quiett and peaceeable abode and Residence Amongst you hath Requested this our Certificate for his future discharge..."

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