I am drawing up a time line of the Horsley/Nailsworth HESKINS individals. Marriages can be identified from parish records but births/baptisms and burials pre-1837 can only be ascertained from the records of Shortwood Baptist Church, Dr Williams' records and records of the Overseers of the Poor,wills and marriage licemnces. Further information can be gleaned from Land Tax records, the Horsley 1811-1815 list of householders, apprenticeship record, letters and other documents.
The first person to be mentioned in connection with Horsley is Francis HESKINS. He is said to be an apprentice broad weaver in 1715. No Francis HESKINS is born in Nympsfield, the place where he had apparently been living before working in Horsley. The only Francis living at that time was the son of Thomas and Sarah HESKINS [nee TIDCOMBE] of St Martins in the Fields, Westminster.
Thomas HESKINS' grandfather, John, was a native of Wotton-under-Edge and his father, Samuel, rector of Cholderton, a parish in eastern Wiltshire. There were few prospects for Samuel's sons in the locality. His son, Francis,became an iron monger in London but died at an early age. Jonathan became an excise man in Cumbria and Thomas a cloth merchant in Westminster.
The father of Thomas' wife, Sarah TIDCOMBE, was Francis TIDCOMBE. So the name Francis has a resonance with this family and does not appear elsewhere in other HESKINS families. Circumstantial evidence - but not without foundation inother family groups. The name Gabriel HESKINS occurred in Wotton-under-Edge and later in Stroud and Cumbria, also suggesting family links.
[To be continued]