Tuesday 20 May 2014

Trobridge – Some names are more popular in certain families

Trobridge is one of those popular names in the Cornwood parish, Devon area. It is pretty much exclusive to the Horton family. The family itself had a large presence in Cornwood – 323 baptisms from 1744 to 1928. Plympton St. Mary parish, next door, also had a sizable population of Hortons – 71 baptisms between 1770 and 1927.

Between 1688 and 1861 there were 23 males with the first name of Trobridge or Trowbridge, along with one Strowbridge, baptized in the parishes I look after – Cornwood, Plympton St. Mary, Plympton St. Maurice and Harford. All but three of them were from the Horton family but each of those three had Horton as a second name. There were another seven children, including one female, with Trobridge as their second name. Of the total 30 children, 20 were baptized in Cornwood.  It is one of those names that appear to be unique to the Horton family. But how did it get to be associated with just the Hortons?

The earliest connection between the Horton and Trobridge names I have found is a marriage between Haly Horton and Mary Trobridge, in 1685, in Plympton St. Mary parish. They are also the first Horton family to appear in parish registers in the area, with two children baptized in Plympton St. Mary. Their son, of course, was named Trobridge.

Interestingly, Haly is also a name associated with the Horton family. In Cornwood and Plympton St. Mary, 15 boys were baptized Haly, all of them Hortons.
1685 July 27 – marriage entry for Haly Horton and Mary Trobridge; the first known record of the Horton family
(image courtesy of the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office)
1688 February 11 – baptism entry for Trobridge Horton, son of Haly and Mary Horton; the first known baptism of a Horton family child in Plympton St. Mary parish, going back to 1602, was Mary Horton, sister of Trobridge
(image courtesy of the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office)
I do not know where Mary Trobridge came from. There has only been one family in the Cornwood-Plympton St. Mary area with the surname of Trobridge and they did not appear until 1771. The Trobridge surname is not uncommon in Britain. FamilySearch lists hundreds of births and baptisms with that surname in many English counties. Only one named Mary, living in Devonshire and of the right age to have married Haly Horton in 1665, appears in the FamilySearch records – born in 1664 in Thorverton parish. Her father was Gilbert Trobridge but his forename does not appear at all in the Horton family baptisms so she is an unlikely candidate.

More information on the surname, Trobridge can be found at http://www.geni.com/surnames/trowbridge

Images reproduced here are used with the kind permission of the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office (PWDRO). Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He has published a number of articles about various aspects of genealogy and is a past Editor of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Wayne also provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated.