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Restalls of Bisley: Charting the Restall Family History

Search for the Family Bible
Notes by Walter Stanley Restall

In our unsuccessful search for the Family Bible left by George Matthias Restall to his daughter Mary Ann Minchin Restall (m James Frank Jones, schoolmaster) Daphne Bantoft in 1999 obtained the following extracts and photographs from the family album owned by Dr C. C. Houghton. Mary Ann Minchin Restall was Dr Houghton’s grandmother. (See ‘Wills’ section in the full document, ‘The Restalls of Bisley’ for Beatrice Eleanor Houghton's will).

Daphne Bantoft with Dr C C Houghton

Above: Daphne Bantoft with Dr C. C. Houghton - his grandmother was Mary Anne Minchin Restall daughter of George Matthias Restall. Photograph taken on 14 October 1999 In the garden at Batteridge House, Broadway, Worcs by Jim Bantoft.

Dated 25 April 1900
From Stratton House, Stamford Road, Handsworth, Birmingham

RASTEL, RESTEL, RASTALL or RESTALL

Held land at Little Bromich within 1315 -1330. Are witnesses to deeds there in 1350-1450. In survey of Birmingham 1553 as tenants. Thomas Restall the 1st President of the 1st English Factory. Surat, India 1615-1625 - the forerunner therefore of East India Co. Rastels migrated from Birmingham 1553 to Droitwich, WORCS.

Letter written by Walter Stanley Restall to his niece Florence Anne Burns (nee Jones). Florence was a granddaughter of George Matthias Restall

13th June 1914
32 Somerset Road, Handsworth, Birmingham

My dear Florence

I duly received your letter of the 2nd instant and have looked up some of my old papers, so as togive you any information that I may be able to give you.

Wm. Benson, the late Archbishop, was only a connexion and that distant. Your great grandfather Thomas Restall’s brother Frederick Restall married a Sophia Bill, and Mrs Bill’s mother was I understand, but as to this I am not certain, - a - Baker and Mr Brown married I have been told Baker [?] daughter of Sir Thomas Baker, Manchester a - Bill or a Baker sister. This would make him a Distant Connexion, by marriage only, so as under:

1829 age 86
? 1864
Thomas –                                          Frederick x Sophia Bill
born August 1806                            (died circa 1904)
d May 27th 1875
G M Restall
b July 5 1830 d Mar 16th 1907

Mary Ann Minchin Restall x James Frank Jones
DTR Florence x James A Burns

When I was in rather bad health a few years ago I occupied my time by copying out at Bisley, Glos, the whole of the Baptismal entries from 1547-1807 up to Thomas Restall’s birth and then copied the whole out in 10 volumes of about 70 pages each, so as to try to make out the family. I also extracted all the marriage entries from 1540, and deaths from 1540. I also went to London, Gloucester, Worcester and Lichfield Probate Courts and copied out all the wills of the family and looked up heaven only knows how many State papers, Pipe Rolls, Records of Subsidy Rolls, etc. The name is derived from the Place name of RESTELL and is mentioned in Kemble’s Saxon Codex Vol 3, page 327 in a Charter of a grant or gift to St Fudesardes Foundation at Oxford of certain lands and communes. Anno Dominiche Meamationibus Millenimo Quarto Andents Secunda . . . . then follows the Doomidane of the land in Anglo Saxon ‘Into Dencaire Fio de Aire? Into the Ockmere Fio Restall into broke . . . . The second Induction Year was the 2nd of the Disnysion Calendar ((of 15 yrs complete the cycle of years) There is a note in the Glossary of Kemble’s Charters that RESTELL is now to be spelt RESTALL and it is somewhat curious to notice that all the Bisley people pronounce the word RESTELL (intentionally, or almost intentionally). My name Walter Restall is on a deed as a mixture of some Gloucester conveyance of the year 1240 circa.

Your aunt and I hope that you will have a very good holiday and will return home benefited by the change. I’m afraid Scotland is a distant place for a journey. I don’t seem to want to take a holiday.

With our united love to you and James and kisses to Margaret.’

Margaret was the daughter of Florence and James Burns and went to live in South Africa where she married into the DICEY family - fruit growers. Margaret’s daughter Corinne lives in South Africa and Dr C C Houghton still keeps contact with her family. Their other daughter, Beatrice Eleanor m Dr William Cuthbert Houghton (born 1880 died 1964) and they had four sons: Colin Cuthbert b 1911 (became a doctor), Arnold Cecil, OBE b1913, John Cuthbert b ? (canon at Ripon cathedral) and Cuthbert Roy, OBE b 1916 GRO hold three letters from Walter Stanley Restall to William James Clay. Vicar of Bisley 1903 – 1935., on the subject of his research into the early vicars of Bisley. At the time of the first and second letters dated 31 December 1908 and 6 January 1909, WSR was living at Lucerne, Foley Terrace, Great Malvern with his wife” who has been in ill-health” but had returned home, Keynsham, Highbridge Road, Wylde Green, by the time of the last letter dated 15 January 1909. In his letter of 31 December 1908 WSR wrote “ I had hoped to come down to Bisley this past Summer to continue copying so as to conclude the Baptisms up to 1800 (done to the year 1701) but my father’s death has entailed on me such a great amount of legal work that I have not had a moment’s time at my disposal”. Ref P47/MI24/4.

Daphne Bantoft December 2005

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