Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

# 31--German Richards—Putting the Puzzle Pieces Togeather

                Lately I have been blogging about ancestors who lived within the last couple of hundred years or so and in the United States.  So I decided to go back as far as I can in my Richards line and pull some of my information together.  Since we are dealing with people who lived in the 1500’s, documentation is sparse.   To make matters more interesting, I found that Richards had other spellings such as Rychards and Richardes .  I have relied heavily on the Visitation of Hampshire, Burke’s General Armory, and The Diary of Sir John Oglander.  Putting together this part of my Richards tree is rather like putting together a jigsaw puzzle when you do not have the whole picture and when other people are doing the same puzzle, but making it look different from yours. 

In the 1500’s in Great Britain, the Richards’s families were living in Kent, Devon, Gloucester, Hampshire, Shropshire, and Wales.  My branch is believed to be descended from the Richards in Hampshire  (however, Burke’s says Kent).  The earliest ancestor I can identify is German (Germain, Germaine) Richards, born about 1510 and who was a retainer of the Earl of Lincoln.  At the end of his service, the Earl appointed him Vice Admiral of the Isle of Wight.  German  moved to the Isle and married Alice (Alyc) Rice, the window of Henry Squire.  They lived in a house next to the church in Brading and Germain Richards sold beer to the sailors in  a nearby  seaport. 

German became a wealthy and bought Yaverland, a large estate from Richard Conigsby.  Germain Richards and Alice Rice had 3 sons:  Edward, John, and Germain, and 4 daughters:  Maria, Barbara and two I still I trying to identify (I think one may be Ann and the other Joan, but I cannot find documentation.).  German died in 1567 and was buried on the north side of the church in Brading.

St. Marys Brading

German Richards ‘s will is on line at Ancestry. 
However, my mastery of old handwriting is less than good.  Fortunately, the  will has been abstracted as follows: 
5 August 1567
“1) To be buried on North side of Chancel of Brading church
2) To Alice my wife, the desmesnes (land)  of the Manor of Yaverland as well that is purchases as what I hold during her widowhood. (as widow of Henry Squire), with 500 weather sheep and 200 ewes, 17 kine and bull, 16 oxen and 2 carts to have utter (Mother) Rowborough to summer her young cattel and oxen.
3) To every one of my daughters, £60 over and above their grandfathers (Thomas Rice) his legacies.
4) To Richard and John my sons, 20 nobles
5) To my brother Morgan's wife, a ring
6) To my brother George shall have a lease made to him for 40 years for so much of the parsonage at Brading as he now occupieth, for my part paying the accustomed rent as he did before.
7) Edward my son, sole executrix.”
Wills are often a treasure trove of information and that is true in this case.  The will adds information as to his family members  that is not available from other sources:  two sons:  Richard and John; and two brothers:  Morgan and George.  So now there are other people for me to explore.

I have lots of questions to ask German, if only I could.  I would like to know who his parents were and where he was from.  What were his daughters names?  Also, what he did as a retainer for the Earl of Lincoln.  How much did he pay for Yaverland?  

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