The Alabaster Society 

The Family History Society 
of the Alabaster Family 

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Picture by Rupert Fox from a design by Michael  Alabaster

The Branches of the Alabaster Family Tree 

Ray Williamson writes:
A lot of water has passed under the Bridge in Hadleigh since the family tree of the Alabasters was first put together. We now have a lot more information, and in due course all - or nearly all - of it will be uploaded to the website. With families of ten, twelve, or even more children being not uncommon, you can imagine that this is a large task, so please do not assume that these listings are complete. You will notice that everybody listed on these pages is dead. This is not because we have a prejudice against the living, but because of the Data Protection Act. Even though all the information is available to the public from official sources, the needs of mindless bureaucracy must, as always, take precedence! The requirements of Family History Societies were clearly not foremost in the draughtsmen`s minds when the Data Protection Act was put together, and there are many "grey areas" in it to exercise the minds of genealogists and writers, and fill the pockets of lawyers. You can peruse the Act here: make of it what you will!

Gedcom and GenoPro files
GenoPro Free program 

We now have, thanks to the sterling work of our tireless Hon. Sec., Laraine Hake, a family tree of Alabasters born between the 16th century and 1901 in two popular formats: the universal Gedcom, and the free GenoPro. You can download both from the menu above right.
To download the zip file, place your pointer on the link to the right, then right-click your mouse, and select either Save Link or Save Target As, depending on your browser.

Both types of file require a special genealogy program to read and/or edit it. For those purposes (and others) you can download the excellent (and free) GenoPro program from here or from the menu. It is suitable for all Windows systems from Windows 95 to Vista and beyond. However, with the GenoPro program you may find that the GenoPro file displays better than the Gedcom.

When the Gedcom file first opens, it will appear as a jumble of lines and figures. Click the "Magnifying-glass +" icon several times and it will expand into its full beauty. You can even edit it and include more of your own relatives.

If you cannot locate your relatives on the tree (even using GenoPro`s powerful search facility) please contact the Hon. Sec. who will be glad to help you.

Please be aware that, despite a very few shortcomings, this Family Tree is the result of many years of concentrated effort by Laraine Hake, to whom all Alabasters owe a great debt of gratitude, and will continue to do so for generations to come. Thank you, Laraine!


Notes

You cannot, of course, assume that every bit of information is complete or accurate!

Laraine Hake writes:
"For example, here you will find that William Alabaster and Martha Cockerell have two sons called William - one marrying Eleanor Scopes and the other marrying Ann Lucas. I think that these 'Williams' are the same person - (I have proof of the marriages but no actual proof that either of them was the son of William and Martha, although from the naming patterns of the offspring of William and Ann Lucas I think their connection is quite conclusive. It is the fact that William and Ann did NOT name a son William that leads me to conclusion he married and sired a son, William by Eleanor first....  we just need to find a death for Eleanor)!
"Anyway, you know how once something appears on the internet it is 'fact'.... and my previous conclusions on this are already all round the internet, and now I disagree with them.... so although they are separate on the tree, do bear in mind that the two 'Williams' are likely to be the same person!"

If you can help fill in any gaps or provide any other information, please do get in touch with our Hon. Sec., Laraine Hake.


 Descendants of Thomas Alabaster

A tabular version can be seen at the bottom of this page

....... 2 Thomas Alabaster 1522 - 1590/91 b: c1522
.......... +Christian Warren
.............. 3 John Alabaster 1560 - 1584 b: 1560
.................. +Mary Brond
....................... 4 Thomas Alabaster
........................... +Elizabeth Glanfield
............................... 5 John Alabaster 1624 - 1700 b: 1624
................................... +Elizabeth
....................................... 6 William Alabaster
........................................... +Ann Clarke 1657 - 1730 b: 1657
................................................ 7 William Alabaster b: 17/11/ 1689
.................................................... +Sarah Stuggell
......................................................... 8 William Alabaster1726 - 1768
............................................................ +Martha Cockerell
William of Woodford Branch.................... 9 William Alabaster b 3/4/1754
Branch I................................................... 9 John Alabaster b: 1762
..................................................................... +Ann Burrows
Branch II........................................... 8 Robert Alabaster 1732 - 1796
............................................................ +Ann Mison
Branch IIA............................................... 9 Robert Alabaster 1757-1821
....................................................................+Elizabeth Simpson.
Branch IIB .............................................. 9 William Alabaster 1761 1836
Branch IIC .............................................. 9 Charles Alabaster 1775 1820
..................................................................... +Mary Dearmer
...................................................7 Benjamin Alabaster 1696/97 - 1784
.................................................... +Susan Hewitt
Branch III ......................................... 8 John Alabaster1731 - 1799
............................................................ +Mary Querry
Branch IIIA ............................................. 9 John Alabaster 1763 - b: 1763
.....................................................................+Deborah Hines
Branch IIIB ............................................. 9 Joseph Alabaster 1771
.....................................................................+Ann Drew
....................................... 6 John Alabaster
........................................... +Mary - 1728
................................................ 7 Robert Alabaster 1682 -1729 b: 1682
.................................................... +Mary Stacy
Branch IV........................................... 8 John Alabaster 1723 - b: 1723
............................................................ +Mary Jessope
................................................................. 9 Robert Alabaster 1749 -1826
..................................................................... +Sarah Ward

 

 

 

 

 

You can click the links in blue, above, or in the navigation panel (right) to see the continuation of the branch family tree. For more information contact the Hon. Sec. Details on the Contact us page.

Over the years that we have been researching the Alabaster family it has become convenient to divide the family tree up into “branches”. These branches are by their very nature fairly arbitrary, but to show that there was some logic behind the classification I will attempt to explain their derivation.

On this page there is a simplified family tree showing the descent of the Alabaster family from Thomas Alabaster of Hadleigh for eight generations. It is “simplified” in that it shows only the offspring with direct descendants which form the branches as they have been allocated.

There is a memorial brass to Thomas Alabaster in Hadleigh Church. On this it states that he was buried in January 1591 (actually 1592 by present day reckoning, because then the year started on March 25th) aged about 70 years, having lived in Hadleigh for about 40 years. All living Alabasters appear to be descended from Thomas, so he is a convenient person to treat as the patriarch of the family for the present purpose.

Thomas’s grandson, Thomas, married Elizabeth Glanfield. They had ten children of whom two are of particular importance to us: John because without him we would not be here today, and his sister Jane who remained a spinster, lived to the ripe old age -- for those days -- of 72, and died in 1708. She left a detailed will giving us information about her nephews and nieces. She appears to have been the last Alabaster to have lived in Hadleigh paying rent on a house in George Street, Hadleigh, in the 1690s. She died in Stuston which is on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, possibly living close to her first cousin Benjamin Bryan, the son of Bridget, who was the sister of Jane’s father Thomas. Benjamin Bryan died in 1709 in Stuston and he also left a will which, conveniently for us, gave details of his Alabaster kin.

From these two wills it is clear that John had various children. John himself is referred to as "John Alabaster late of Ipswich deceased". References to his children include “William Alabaster of Claydon, County Suffolk and the children of John Alabaster of Saxmundham", implying that John had probably already died by 1708/9. At these two men, William Alabaster and John Alabaster, the branches are first split. William Alabaster married Ann Clark at Claydon in 1682. She came from a family that had been in Claydon for generations, which is probably the reason that William and Ann settled in Claydon where they raised a large family. Amongst their twelve or thirteen children were William, born 1689, and Benjamin, born 1697/8. William remained in the Claydon area. His grandsons represent the forefathers of Branch one, Branch two and probably William of Woodford Branch too.

John Alabaster left Suffolk and settled in Rayleigh, Essex, where he married Ann Burrows. Amongst their children was John Abel Alabaster who married Mary Stammers in 1828, and thus began the tradition of using Stammers as a forename which is still in practice today. This is the line which we call Branch I.

John’s brother William now appears to be the likely father of the William Alabaster who married Mary Plummer in St Pancras, London, in 1806. William gave the details his parish as Woodford Essex at the time of his marriage. As no trace of any Alabaster was ever found in Woodford at this time this William has long been labelled by me: William of Woodford. My apologies to this branch of the family who are probably rightly the senior branch.

Other grandsons of William include Robert, William, and Charles. They were amongst the nine or ten offspring of Robert and Ann Mison who had married in Hessett, Suffolk in 1754, although they raised their family in Bramford, another parish close to Ipswich. Ann Mison had a brother Chaloner Mison. She gave one of her own sons the name of Chaloner. He did not have any children himself, and died in Bramford in 1798 at the age of 32. His younger brother Charles continued the use of the name Chaloner, and this is another traditional name still in use today with one branch of the Alabasters.

Robert, William, and Charles each went to London and became involved in the straw hatting business. They each started in the Worship Street/Chapel Street area of Shoreditch. Robert’s family, Branch IIA, also went into the licensed trade in Shoreditch. Descendants of this line include the Alabaster & Wilson jewellers of Birmingham today. Others moved to Bethnal Green but continued the trade of hat/bonnet making until the end of the 19th century.

William’s family Branch IIB also continued with the hat trade and other fancy goods. They remained in Shoreditch for a while and also moved towards Bethnal Green.

Charles, branch IIC, the youngest son of Robert and Ann was living in Chapel Street, Shoreditch, with his wife Mary, nee Dearmer, when their children were baptised between 1804 and 1814. He appears to have done well in business and appears in a London Directory of 1817 as Charles Alabaster, Straw Hat Manufacturer, 60 Piccadilly. Charles died in 1820 at the early age of 45. His wife continued with the shop in Piccadilly until her death in 1838.

To return to the division of the Branches, Benjamin Alabaster, brother of William, married Susan Hewitt in 1731 at Akenham, Suffolk. This was his second marriage, there having been no surviving offspring from his first marriage. His son John also married twice, and had two sons John and Joseph by his second wife Mary Querry whom he married in Ipswich in 1760. John’s (Branch IIIA) second son, Roger, moved to the Romford area of Essex where he started an ironmongery. Many of Roger`s descendants still live in the Romford and Hornchurch area of Essex.

Joseph, Branch IIIB, moved to the East of London. His family became chair-makers and shoemakers in the Bethnal Green area.

Lastly is Branch IV and those descended from John and Mary. These Alabasters continued to live in Suffolk, including Saxmundham, Snape and Friston, and then Kessingland and Great Yarmouth. Their careers varied, some being pillars of society, such as church-wardens, and others being involved in occasional smuggling.

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Since the above article was first written in 1993, we have many new members of the Alabaster Society, amongst whose number include one who is descended from Roger Alabaster, younger brother of Thomas of Hadleigh, and another who is descended from Bryan Alabaster, a third son of John and Elizabeth, mentioned in the Will of Jane Alabaster in 1708 as another nephew.

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A lot more information has been gleaned since theparagraphs above were written. They do however, form the basis upon which we shall try and build up the various stories of our branches so keep coming back.

Ivor Smith has composed this tabular version of the main branch arrangement, which sets out the tree more clearly. Again, do not assume that this is cast in stone: the work goes on!

The Branches of the Alabaster Tree

Thomas Alabaster
c 1522 - 18 Jan 1591/2
m Christian Warren
John Alabaster
c 1560 - 21 Apr 1637
m 04 Aug 1584 Boxford, Suffolk
Mary Brond

Thomas Alabaster
m 19-6-1623 in Hadleigh
Elizabeth Glanfield

John Alabaster
c 1624 - Oct 1700
m. Elizabeth

 

William Alabaster
m 26-11-1682
Ann Clarke -
John Alabaster
m
Mary
 
                    
William Alabaster
c 17-11-1689 -
m 10-04-1721
Sarah Steggell

 

Benjamin Alabaster
6-1-1697 - 1784
m 31-3-1730
Susan Hewitt
Robert Alabaster
c1682 - 1729
m 1713
Mary Stacey
               
William Alabaster
c 1726 - 1768
m 07-02-1753
Martha Cockerell
Robert Alabaster
c 1732 - 1796
m 26-11-1754
Ann Mison
John Alabaster
c 1731 - 1799
m 11-11-1760
Mary Querry
John Alabaster
c1723 - 1763
m 1747
Mary Jessope
William of Woodford
Branch I
Branch IIA
Branch IIB
Branch IIC
Branch IIIA
Branch IIIB
Branch IV
William Alabaster
03 Apr 1754 -
John Alabaster
c 1762 - 1828
m 24 Mar 1792,
Rayleigh, Essex,
Ann Burrows
Robert Alabaster
Feb 1757- 1821
m 10 Jul 1781,
Bishopsgate London,
Elizabeth Simpson
William Alabaster
c1761 - 1836
 
Charles Alabaster
c1775 - 1820
m 06 Sep 1803
St Sepulchre`s London,
Mary Dearmer
John Alabaster
c1763 -
m 23 Sep 1785,
St Matthew`s Ipswich,
Deborah Hines
Joseph Alabaster c1771 -
m 17 Jul 1796,
St George in East,
Ann Drew
Robert Alabaster
c1749 - 22 Jan 1826
m 06 Aug 1776,
Kessingland Suffolk,
Sarah Ward
 

 

With thanks to Ivor Smith for this family tree.