Capon

Martha Nunn Capon – Haploid Group V

Martha Nunn Capon (cir. 1761-1843)

Martha Nunn Capon (cir. 1761-1843)

Well, still looking for the “Pitt connection” mentioned in the last post, but it does seem highly likely that the previously unnamed sitter for this old silhouette was indeed Martha Nunn Capon, my 4th great grandmother and Mary Capon Wills’ mother. I’m pleased because this is the farthest I’ve managed to get back on my maternal line, and this discovery coincides with another one: that genetically, my maternal line is haploid group ‘V’, a subgroup of ‘R0‘. Coincidentally, Benjamin Franklin and Bono are also “Vs”.

According to information provided by http://www.23andme.com, the company through which I had my DNA test, this group “originated in Iberia during the Ice Age. After a last burst of cold conditions roughly 12,000 years ago, migrations carried the haplogroup northward along the Atlantic coast and through central Europe to Scandinavia. Today it is found in a wide variety of populations from the Basques of Spain to the Saami of Finland”.

While I’d always known of my predominantly English, Irish, Dutch, and to a lesser extent German and French ancestry, I could never have imagined that I could have ancestry from Spain or be genetically linked to the Saami.

Haplogroup V - 23andme.com

Haplogroup V – 23andme.com

The amount of information you receive from 23andme on your ancestry is actually quite overwhelming, especially when it comes to deciphering the “lingo” and digesting the list of those genetically related to you. However, none of the 750+ people listed are closer than 3rd-6th cousins. I’m hesitant to start sharing information with people until I have a full grasp of what I am sharing. Hopefully, some day, some closer connections will present themselves. And, by then, I hope I will understand all this a bit better!

I might add that the health information–both the positive and the negative–is also definitely worth having. Definitely take advantage of the $99 offer if you are even mildly interested. You really do find out an extraordinary amount of information. You may even have, as I did, some “a-ha” moments. While reading through some of my genetic traits, I could not help but react with a few “a-ha”s like having a high tolerance of caffeine.

Apparently the V group is relatively rare, found in just about 4% of Europeans, with the biggest concentration in Scandinavia with the Saami (59%).

Mari El Republic in Russia

Mari El Republic in Russia

One other thing that kind of blows my mind as someone who spent a lot of time studying, working, and living in Russia: about 10% of the Mari people of the Volga-Ural region are group V. I actually almost ended up in the vicinity of the Mari who are to the north of the city of Kazan. In the early 1990s, when buying a train ticket to visit friends in Ryazan (3 hours to the southeast of Moscow), the ticket seller thought I said “Kazan” (some 11 hrs to the east). I did not scrutinize my ticket until just before I was leaving. Nor did I scrutinize the price since back then travel was extremely inexpensive by world standards; thankfully I realized the mistake before I boarded the train—an 11 hour train ride would have been quite a rude awakening to say the least.  Now, 20+ years later, I’d actually quite like to go east to visit the home of the Mari. It’s a funny old world, isn’t it?

Categories: Capon, DNA, Franklin, Benjamin, Sargent, Wills | Leave a comment

George Wills’ wife’s family: The Capons of Newport Pagnell?

 Is this Martha Nunn Capon?

Is this Martha Nunn Capon?

Wills Family Tree

Wills Family Tree

Ages ago, I posted numerous entries on the George Wills family of Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, England. (You can find them easily by clicking on the ‘Wills’ category under ‘Surnames’ in the column on the left of the page.)

2/15/1926 Obituary for Elizabeth Sargent Trewin

2/15/1926 Obituary for Elizabeth Sargent Trewin

As I’d mentioned previously, my mother had a silhouette passed down to her of a woman who was presumably Mary Capon’s mother. Mary Capon was married to George Wills, one of my 3rd great grandfathers. Information passed down to my mother indicated that Mary Capon’s mother was named Mary Pitt and that she (the mother) was a cousin of William Pitt. That’s the extent of the information we’ve had on the Capons. I’ve never found evidence of the Pitt connection, which was mentioned in my great grandmother’s obituary notice. Anyone reading this who knows of a Pitt link, please leave a comment!

Newport Pagnell proximity to Stony Stratford

Newport Pagnell proximity to Stony Stratford

Meanwhile, (using the Family Search website) I came upon a Capon family who lived in Newport Pagnell, a village that is just a stone’s throw from Stony Stratford: the father William Capon married the mother Martha Nunn on 13 July 1779 in Newport Pagnell. The couple had eight children that I know of. Two of them died as infants. There was a daughter named Mary whose date of birth (1789) could easily qualify her to have been George Will’s wife (George was born in 1793). Unfortunately, we’ve never had OUR Mary Capon’s DOB; if we did and the two DOBs matched, I’d have my answer.

I found wills on file with the National Archives for both William Capon and Martha Nunn. He died in spring 1801 and she survived until December 1843. I’ll provide transcriptions of the wills in an upcoming post. Sadly, they don’t help identify any relationship with the Wills family. However OUR Mary Capon Wills died in 1839, so the lack of a mention would be logical.

1-William Capon d. Bef 4 May 1801
+Martha Nunn b. 1761, d. Dec 1843, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England,
bur. 6 Dec 1843, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England

|–2-Mary Capon b. 8 Jun 1780, c. 6 Jul 1780, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire,
| England, d. 18 Feb 1781
|–2-William Capon b. 14 Jul 1781, c. 10 Aug 1781, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England
|–2-Martha Capon b. 2 Oct 1783, c. 28 Oct 1783, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England
|–2-Mary Capon b. 7 Mar 1789, c. 4 Apr 1789, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England

|–2-Rebecca Catherine Capon b. 25 Nov 1786, c. 1 Jan 1787, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England
|–2-Joseph Capon b. 16 Sep 1791, c. 6 Oct 1791, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England, d. 12 Feb 1792
|–2-Ann Capon b. 4 Jun 1795, c. 26 Jun 1795, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire,
| England
|–2-Joseph Capon b. 26 Jan 1793, c. 22 Feb 1793, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England

So is there a connection or isn’t there? At least one of George Wills and Mary Capon Wills’ children were born in Newport Pagnell (Phoebe, b. 1818). The names of George and Mary’s children include both a William (1st born son) and a Martha (4th daughter). Was this in honor of William and Martha Capon? Anyway, it’s all very curious! If anyone out there has any clues, please get in touch!

From A Dictionary of English Surnames by P.H. Reaney, Oxford University Press, 1997: Capon, Cappon: Simon Capun 1227 FFC; Thomas Capoun 1382 LLB H. OE capun ‘a castrated cock’, metonymic for a seller of capons.

Categories: Capon, England, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, Wills | Leave a comment

George Wills (b. 1793): Last Will and Testament

Image from private family archives. George Wills original portrait was inherited by his daughter Martha according to the will

Image from private family archives. George Wills original portrait was inherited by his daughter Martha according to the will

Thanks to Tim Laker, a George Wills descendant, for discovering George’s Last Will and Testament on file at the UK National Archives. It dates back to July 1857 and was proved in London on November 14, 1857. Among other things, this document reveals what happened to George’s business when he passed away. My past posts on the matter had been inconclusive, but here we find out for certain that George did indeed split his business between his son Jabez and his son-in-law William Slaymaker. (William Slaymaker was married to George’s daughter Mary. William and Mary Slaymaker changed their surname to Sargent before immigrating to the US in 1870.)

Son-in-law William Slaymaker inherited George Wills' business in Northampton

Son-in-law William Slaymaker inherited George Wills’ business in Northampton

Jabez inherited George’s business in Wolverton, while William inherited George’s business in Northampton. The will is very difficult to read, but here is what I have gleaned so far. Dots indicate text I was unable to decipher and in many cases I have made a “best guess”:

This the Last Will and Testament of one George Wills of Northampton in the County of Northampton Mason made this second day of July in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty seven in the following … viz … I will that all my just debts be payed and my burial expenses be paid … I give and … to my son Jabez Wills my house and premises at Wolverton in the County of Buckingham. I give and bequeath my business at Northampton house yard and premises to to my son-in-law William Slaymaker. I give and bequeath to my daughter Mrs. Phoebe Simpson of Roade in the said County one Cottage. I give and it bequeath to my Daughter Martha Capon Gasgoine [spelling?] of …. in the County of Warwick one Cottage, also I give and bequeath her my portrait (viz/ the said Martha Capon Gasgoine [spelling?]). I give and bequeath to my late Daughter Ann ??’s [Spelling of married name hard to decipher; I’d always thought it was “Grear,” but this looks different] four children one Cottage. I give and bequeath to my Granddaughter Zillah Simpson one Cottage. The Cottages are situated in what is … St. Siz [?] Street Northampton. I will that the whole of my … debts and …. be sold and the money be applied for payments of my … at my … I will that the Bibel presented to me by the ……….. of Ashton in the said County be given to William Slaymaker. Lastly I make and constitute and appoint my …. Mr. George Wills of Broad Lane Northampton Builder and my daughter Phoebe Simpson of Roade in the County as … my Executor and Executrix of this my last Will and Testament and I hereby empower them to collect all monies due to me in … bills or otherwise at my … and to retain and pay themselves all that is due to them and all expenses related to their said Trust in which hereof I have hereunto set my hand this day and year first as above written ——–GEORGE WILLS —-Signed sealed published and delivered by the herewith Testator as and for this his Will and Testament in the presents of us who at his request and in his presents and in the presents of oath and oath other have have subscribed our names as witnesses hereto————Witness Samuel Pasenall —— John Parbery

PROVED at London 14th Nov. 1857 before the Judge by the Oath of George Wills and Phoebe (in the appointment written Phoeby Simpson, Widow, the Daughter, the Executors to whom …. was granted to having been first sworn by common duty to administer

Phoebe Wills Simpson, co-executor of George's will

Phoebe Wills Simpson, co-executor of George’s will

Zillah Simpson (1843 - 1920), George Wills' granddaughter

Zillah Simpson (1843 – 1920), George Wills’ granddaughter


Yew Tree Cottage, Roade, Northamptonshire--home of Zillah Simpson circa 1910; presumably inherited from her mother Phoebe, who presumably inherited it from her father George Wills

Yew Tree Cottage, Roade, Northamptonshire–home of Zillah Simpson circa 1910; presumably inherited from her mother Phoebe, who presumably inherited it from her father George Wills

The will leaves me with some questions and general thoughts:

  • I’d always had George’s year of death listed as 1856, but obviously it was 1857.
  • My date of death of daughter Ann Gadsden Wills Grear [last name correct?] must also be wrong (d. 1 Nov 1858); she obviously predeceased her father George.
  • Daughter Martha Capon inherited George’s portrait. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a photo of the full-color original? Of course, it’s fantastic to at least have the version in tones of gray; I don’t have any information on Martha’s descendants, and perhaps one of them still has this portrait. Maybe they will find us through this blog someday.
  • William Slaymaker is mentioned as inheriting a Bible. I have no idea what happened to that Bible. If it was taken to America when the family relocated, it must have ended up with someone other than daughter Elizabeth, my great grandmother; we’ve never seen it or heard of it prior to this.
  • Lastly and most interestingly, who is this George Wills the executor? I can’t make out the word before his name. George had a son on 10 Mar 1827 who was named George Sampson Wills. Our records always showed that this son died the following year, but perhaps not. Any thoughts on whether this was indeed George’s son, George?

I’ll close for now, but please feel free to share your ideas and knowledge on any of the above! Many heads are definitely better than one!

Categories: Capon, England, Gadsden, Gasgoine, Last Wills and Testaments, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Roade, Northants, Sargent, Simpson, Slaymaker, Wills, Wolverton, Buckinghamshire | Leave a comment

George Wills Family Tree

If you check the S-Z tab above you will come across the extent of the information I have currently about the George Wills family tree. Most of these dates and details came down from a handwritten tree that had been created by my grandmother. I am posting it here. It includes George’s parents and siblings. Of George’s and and his wife Mary Capon’s children, the document records marriages and children of Phoebe and Mary.  I know GSV Wills is a son of Jabez Wills from previous research, however it is unclear whether daughters Martha or Ann had children. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has information on them.

Wills Family Tree

Categories: Blisworth, Northamptonshire, Capon, England, Roade, Northants, Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, Wills | 2 Comments

Wills Family: Some Significant Dates

I am posting a sheet of paper, probably dating from the 1830s, on which someone, most likely George Wills himself, recorded the birth and death dates of various family members. The list begins with George’s marriage to Mary Capon on 14 April 1812 and ends with her death on 9 August 1839. Four of their nine children passed away between 1916 and 1935. When Mary died, George (age 47) was left a widower with five children of varying ages: Ann (age 24), Phoebe (age 21), Jabez (age 17), Martha (age 14), and Mary (age 10). Mary is the individual from whom my family line descends.

A record of significant dates for members of the George Wills family

Categories: Blisworth, Northamptonshire, Capon, England, Wills | Leave a comment

Mary Pitt Capon

Further to my recent post on George Wills (b. 2/22/1793), I am posting this silhouette of his wife Mary Capon’s mother whose name was Mary Capon (née Pitt). The latter was purported to have been a cousin of William Pitt, prime minister of England from 1783-1801.

Mary Pitt Capon

Mary Pitt Capon

Categories: Blisworth, Northamptonshire, Capon, Pitt, Pime Minister William, Wills | Leave a comment

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