Thomas Childe was born about 1549 in Fenstanton, Huntingdon, England as the third son of the Rev Richard Childe, Clerk of Fenstanton, and his wife Margaret Myll. The older two sons of Rev. Richard Childe, namely Richard and William both left Fenstanton leaving the inheritance of Fenstanton property to Thomas Childe the third son.
Thomas was a boy of ten years of age when his father died probably of the plague which hit England hard in 1559.
Thomas was raised by his mother Margaret Myll Childe as a teenager. He helped run the property raising crops to provide for the family. The Childe property bordered the Fenstanton Church as described in the Rentals of Fenstanton of John Childe’s property. John was the younger brother of Thomas Childe.
As Thomas began to court the ladies he went to the neighbouring city of St. Ives in Huntingdon. There he met the daughter of Richard Adame named Johanna or Joan. The couple fell in love and were married in the St. Ives Parish Church on 27 November 1571. The couple went back to Fenstanton where they made their home. While dating Joan Adams in St. Ives Thomas learned of ancient Child who inhabited Huntingdon. His name was Wolfstan Child, Lord of Yaxley who with his brother Ӕfric held about fifty homes between them. This was during King Edgars reign about 1100 A.D.
Thomas and Joan named their first born son after the legendary Wolfstan Child in 1572. In the records we find several variants of the spelling of Wolston Child, Wolfstain, Wulstan, Wolstone, Wulstain and the most common spelling Wolstan. Hereafter I shall refer to him as Wolstan Child born abt 1572 in Fenstanton, Huntingdon, unless quoting directly, then the spelling in that quote will be used.
A second son Thomas Jr. born about 1574 in Fenstanton md Amye Smith about 1599 and Thomas Jr left a will in Aug of 1619 and Amye in 1623.
The third child born was Elizabeth in 1576 in Fenstanton and it is not known who she married or when she died.
The third son was James Childe born about 1577 in Fenstanton and may have died young.
The fourth son Richard Childe was born about 1579 in Fenstanton and may have died young.
The fifth son was named Benjamin Childe about 1581 and he died young.
The sixth son John was born about 1583 in Fenstanton and died young.
The seventh son Francis Childe was born about 1585 and moved to St. Ives Parish and there had a daughter and either died early in the plague of 1608-9 or moved to Leicester and left a will there.
Thomas Childe is listed in the will of Richard Childe, Clerk of Fenstanton, Huntingdon written 2 1 Nov 1557 and probated 19 Jan 1558/9.
This will is located in the Archdeaconry Court of Huntingdon #380/1. On page 301 Thomas is listed as follows:
Item I will Thomas, Richard, and Robert shall have right of the what they run to the said plow and xls in money and money
According to the marriage dates and Visitations the heir of Richard Childe was the eldest son Richard Childe.
The second son was William Childe who moved to Buckworth, Huntingdon and there left a will on 7 May 1587.
Joane was a daughter mentioned in the will before Thomas and I therefore listed Thomas Child as the fourth child with Audrey Childe as the fifth child and John and Robert Childe as sixth and seventh respectively.
John was married on 1574 and Robert 1576 which places them as younger brothers compared to the 27 Nov 1571 marriage date of Thomas Childe.
John Childe left a will probated 27 Mar 1610 #75, Fenstanton as did his second wife Margaret Childe on 8 Dec 1610 #102
Richard the. eldest brother became a minister like his father and ended up Vicar of St. Katherin in the Tower where the Royalty and rich attended church in London. Richard left a P.C.C. will in London for his heir Richard Child.
The occupation of Thomas Childe Sr. is not mentioned in the manorial court records. It is evident from the manorial court records that he own some land, had some cattle and used the manorial common fields to stock some of his cattle and overstocked the common fields with one heifer for two years in a row. For overstocking the common fields Thomas Childe Sr. was taken to Manorial Court in 1614, and 1615.
The family attended church at the Fenstanton Parish Church where his father was the rector. The Fenstanton Parish Church is a beautiful stone building with a huge tower on the East end of the building. The building faces the East and has a beautiful chapel on the West end. The cemetery is located to the North of the chapel and has a brick wall surrounding it about 6 foot high. The building appears to have been built in three eras of time with the centre section first, now covered with a tile roof. The new chapel attaches to the west end and has a roof matching the beautiful stone. The tower is on the east end and is large enough for a bell to call everyone to Church.
According to the manorial court rolls listing John Childe’s property, the Childe property was near to the Church. How much property Thomas Childe had is not known but from the manorial court rolls Thomas Childe Sr. and Thomas Childe Jr. probably lived together or near to each other.
Thomas Childe Sr. is found in the Manor Court Roll of Fenstanton-Cum-Hilton 14-15 Apr 1606 as an Essoin which is excused from court.
In October 1-2 1610 Thomas Childe is one of the jurors of the manorial court.
In October 7 1614 Thomas Childe was fined 5s for overstocking the common fields with one heifer.
On 5 Apr 1616 one of the Essoins include Thomas Childe for the court.
On 24 Sep 1616 one of the Jurors included Thomas Childe.
On 24 Apr 1615 Thomas Childe senior is fined 5s for overstocking the fields common with one heifer.
In the Manor of Fenstanton-cum-Hilton Rentals of 1616 and 1618 is found Thomas Childe junior paying xxd
In the 1619 Manorial Court Roll of Huntingdon is found Thomas Childe ‘junior’ lying on deaths bed giving to Amye his wife and Edward his son his home and land and asking that son Edward be admitted as his heir.
Thomas Childe Sr. received the Worcester Childe longevity genes as he outlived all his children. Thomas Childe Sr. was buried in Fenstanton on 7 June 1626. Thomas would have been 77 years of age when he died.
It is not known what happened to all the children of Thomas Childe Jr, namely Edward, John, Thomas, Christopher and Elizabeth Childe as listed in the wills of Thomas and Amye of 1619 and 1623 respectively, Archdeaconry Court of Huntingdon.
Thomas Childe Sr. did not leave a will as did some of his children like Thomas Childe Jr. His grandson was already named heir and in the Manorial Court for Fenstanton in September of 1619. Edward Childe thereafter sat on the court as required for the family.
From the wills of Huntingdon it appears that most the family of Childe left Huntingdon for other areas in England.
From the research notes of Dr. Paul L. Child, DDS, F AGD Kt. HCJ