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Notes, Information, Stories and Anecdotes about the families included in this website, plus help required with reseaching.

I have not yet established whether my Gilchrist's originated from Scotland or Ireland. My furthest confirmed link is to a family of Gilchrist in Derbyshire thought to have settled there after the Jacobite retreat in 1745.
They were weavers (weaving stockings in attic rooms).

See further down for Gilchrist name origin

The Drescher name is German and Brian is currently trying to establish when the family emigated to England..........any information or help would be gratefully accepted

Tom Rumsey is the known father of Joyce Gilchrist.

Apparently an agreement was formed between Tom and Joyce's Grandparents that he could have contact with her (visit) until she was 16 years old unless she discovered what his relationship was to her then his contact would have to stop.

Joyce discovered his relationship before her 16th birthday and his visits stopped.

It is not known why there was this agreement or whether Tom's family knew of Joyce's existence. All that is known was that Tom kept up his visits.

Unfortunately we have come to a problem of finding the whereabouts of William Dewson of South Creake, Norfolk, England, who was convicted of theft in 1818 at Norfolk assizes and sentenced to 7 years transportation.

Below is a transcript from Brian Drescher's PRO visit (April 2001).

Some of the words were difficult to read and some may have been mis-read:

"Norfolk - Thetford on Saturday 14th day of March the 58th? year before the same Justices. Convicted to be transported for 7 years. Wm. Dewson. Lab. 11 October last at South Creake steal 1 hempen sack and 2 of 9 bushels of wheat £3.10. Goods of Tho. Shackcloth and 1 sack of 2 of John Oliver and Theophilius Joy and 2 sacks 4/- 6 bushels of wheat £3 of Tho. Seppings Goods of Tho. Shackcloth.

[Grand Jury included Honourable Geo. Walpole - a famous Norfolk family]."

What we are trying to find is the transportation records for William, where was he transported to? Did he die before he got to his destination or whilst he was waiting to be transported?

His wife, Frances, was shown as widow on her next sons baptism after this trial. Was she a widow? or was it just the shame of having her husband transported that made her declare herself as a widow?

Joel Cut(s)forth (c1799) and his wife Betty(nee Johnson) m1822 had 10 children of which 3 where triplets c 23 Oct 1836 and called Faith, Hope and Charity.

Unfortunately they were not to survive. Hope was buried 1 Dec 1836, Faith buried 4 Dec 1836 and Charity buried 14 Nov 1846.

All are buried at St Andrew's Church, Kirk Ella, East Yorkshire, England

Donald G. Birkbeck attended Hymer's College, Hull and later University.

He served in the army in WWII. Became a Senior Civil Servant in the Ministry of Defence but had to retire prematurely with Multiple Sclerosis from which he later died

A Summary of a version of the Founding of the Gilchrist Surname by the kind permission of
JR Gilchrist

J. Robert Gilchrist Current Edition, February 23, 2001

In the latter part of the Fourth Century, Ninian, an inspired young Scottish cleric addressed himself to the fact that the state of Christianity amongst the Celts was in a deplorable condition.

He was well-born (circa 350 A.D.) and well educated, both his parents were Christians and his father was a king, a term used loosely to describe the leader of a clan or sect, in Galloway on the Irish Sea. Christianity, still in its infancy amongst the various Celtic tribes, was being pulled and pushed by the very strong influences of the earlier, well entrenched, cultural mores such as Druidism, tribalism and even paganistic echoes of the recent past.

Instead of coalescing at it should be, Christianity was fragmenting. Information came to Ninian through the Roman occupiers of his section of Scotland that in Rome, a new and strong approach to the practice of Christianity was in the process of forming and, although the process was still malleable, it was taking good directions and enthusiasm amongst Roman Christians was high. He decided to take advantage of his familyís position of rank and fortune and travel to Rome.

While in Rome he made the acquaintance of Martin of Tours and came under his tutelage. Martinís enthusiasm worked its way into Ninian and he accepted many of the concepts that Martin was pursuing. One of the most interesting was a concept from the Middle East, probably originated by a sect of Jews, who formed a group of self-sufficient religious enthusiasts into a community for the purpose of preserving, recording and teaching the Holy Scriptures and living a holy life. Martin felt that this approach would work well for Christians as well. Ninian was convinced.

On his return to Scotland (circa 385 A.D.), Ninian gathered as many willing Christians around him as he could and, with his familyís help and on family property in Withorn on the Irish Sea, embarked upon the construction of a monastery. The project, called Candida Casa, followed according to Martin of Tourís leanings, tempered by Ninianís own feelings. Word of the project spread and interest in it built throughout the area. When the project was ready for teaching to begin, Ninian let it be known that anyone who was interested in learning more about Christianity, particularly about Roman Christianity, was welcome to come to Candida Casa. The call went to the Celts in Scotland, Ireland, Britain, Wales, the Isle of Man and along the north and west coast of France, anywhere there were Christians wanting to participate. The call went to the Christian Norsemen in the area as well.

The response was uneven at first but gradually built to a steady flow. Itís difficult to ascertain what the curriculum was or how lengthy the course of study but, judging from Ninianís experience, zeal and obvious perspicacity, it must have been well-structured and interesting enough to draw the numbers that it did. What is of particular interest, though, is the fact that when a participant completed the course of study at Casa Candida, he was awarded an honorific, that of Giolla (or Gilla) Criosd, Servant of Christ. It is interesting, too, that the original title was written in Irish. Many of the bearers of this distinctive appellation returned to their native lands to spread the word of the new Christianity. It is entirely possible that the concept of Christian monasticism, engendered by a Jewish community, was further developed and fostered at Candida Casa. The origin of the name Candida Casa as well as the date of its rededication as the Monastery of St. Martin remain to be discovered. In the ensuing years, Martin of Tours became a saint, Ninian became a saint and we, accordingly, became Gilchrists.

If you have any comments on this text please email Bob on

There is a different and also a more in depth version of the founding of the Gilchrist surname which can be found on Steve Gilchrist's web site, please take time to visit and leave Steve your comments


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