Monday, July 25, 2011

Thomas Nye

The sixth child of Thomas Nye and Ann Walker was Thomas, born about 1787, but searches have not turned up a christening date for him in or around Leigh. It's possible that he was never christened.

In 1806 Thomas was in Sompting, Sussex where he married Sarah Bashford on May 13. Sarah had been born and christened at Sompting. Nothing is known about why Thomas had travelled to Sompting but there were other Nye families living there. No relationship with the Sompting Nye's has been found to date. Did he have an argument with his father or one or more of his brothers? Was he looking for work? We don't have answers to those questions.

Thomas and Sarah's first three children were born in Sompting:

  • Anne Nye was born and died in 1807
  • Sarah Nye was born in 1808 
  • James Nye was born in 1809. 
When the family left Sompting, James stayed behind and married and raised a family between Sompting and Steyning, Sussex.


  • The next child, George, was born in Southwick, Sussex and was christened 30 June 1811.

This possibly indicates that the family may have been on their way back to Hadlow and stayed long enough in Southwick for Sarah to give birth and recover enough to travel. At any rate George was christened in Southwick.

Because of the timing we believe that when John Nye became a farm bailiff he needed his younger brother Thomas to come home and help him run Winchester farm.

For whatever reason Thomas and Sarah moved their family and the next five children were born in Hadlow:

  • Caroline Nye born 1818
  • Thomas Nye born 1821
  • John Nye born 1823
  • Josiah Nye born 1826 
  • and Jane Nye born 1829

The 1841 census shows that Thomas, Sarah and Jane lived on Higham Lane (click for photo) next door to John and Ann Randall Nye and their daughters. Thomas was listed as being in animal husbandry so he must have been in charge of raising and breeding the livestock. The census also indicates that he had been born in Kent. So this is proof that the two brothers lived side by side in the Hadlow home that Michael Bouy and Janice Nye Lutz visited in 2010. Son Josiah was living with and working for another family also on Higham Lane.

Sarah died in 1842. In 1851 Thomas, a widower, was living with his son George and family at Hadlow Stair. The census taker wrote that Thomas had been born in Enfield, Sussex. Didn't George know where his father had been born? No Enfield has been found in Sussex and it doesn't make sense for him to have been born so far from Leigh. Another question arises here, why didn't Thomas stay at the Higham Lane home until his brother died?

Hadlow Stair is a wooded area not far from Higham Lane and Old Hadlow Stair Road leads directly to Higham Lane.

Thomas died at Hadlow in 1855, leaving behind a lot of unanswered questions.

1 comment:

  1. I've noticed some of the census takers don't hear too well since I have relatives recorded with different names at different times. For instance, one name was Una, which was recorded Ona on one census, Unus on another, and Ruth on another. I know some of that depended on who gave the information, but some seems like the census takers heard it wrong. In your case, mysteries develop and it is intriguing enough to want to speculate. Now you can see how people can come up with some good fiction based on sketchy information. Why not write a book and fill in the blanks? Ha, ha.

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