Stoke is a family based village. A century ago this would have been true of every village in England, but some children attending the local primary school can still trace their ancestors in the village through hundreds of years. Even relative newcomers have attracted other members of their families to the village, resulting in children having two sets of grandparents living nearby.
The tithe records, census returns and electors' lists supply us with a range of family names, with some of the oldest still surviving in the village today. Where the names have died out, this can be because any male offspring left the village, with the females marrying locally, so continuing family lineage. One of the oldest names, Hembrow has had many versions over the years, including Himbury, Hemberow, Hemberry, Hemborough, Hemborow and Hembrowe.
The Funeral of Joseph Patten, the First of Six Generations in Stoke
We are lucky in Stoke that four of our residents have recorded their memories in print:
'Winter Harvest'; Eric Hembrow, 1990
'The Baptist Church', Stoke St Gregory; Ronald Gadsby, 1993
'No Time to Spare - The Story of a West Country Farmer's Wife'; Marjorie Pearce, 1998
'Reflections'; Ronald E Woodland, 2000
There are also various recordings of local individuals available at the local Heritage Centre. Part of an interview with Emrhys Coate be heard HERE
The graveyards at the church and the chapel offer scope for more work to be done on Stoke families, but the main hope is that more people will search through their own family records and bring forward any information.
Many of our Gravestones give the Address of the Deceased