Is there a Parnham out there?

The Cranmer Local History society were kindly donated some local family history documents pertaining to the Parnham family of Aslockton, Whatton and beyond. What an interesting read these documents proved to be, although trying to connect the family trees did result in some head scatching! Going back to William Parnham born about 1700 marrying Mary Upton at Whatton on the 16th April 1723, the two sons William and Thomas started a family tree initially in Whatton and Aslockton that can now be traced as far afield as Australia.

One of the documents was about John Thomas Parnham a professional cricketer playing for Leicestershire County– born on 21/1/1856 in Muston, his grandparents were Joseph and Sarah Parnham from Thoroton. To quote from an extract from 100 Greats Leicestershire County Cricket Club, “ John Thomas Parnham was a slow to medium pace spin bowler, who could be lethal on a wicket that suited him“. At the same time a distant relative Charles Parnham (they shared the same G,G Grandfather) born in Aslockton in 1843, was bowling for Whatton Cricket Club and on several occasions was selected to play for the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club . Obviously something in the genes!!

A rather different point of interest surfaced from another document titled “The Search For the Heirs of James Urban Rogers“, included in this file is a newspaper cutting with the headline “Hunt For Dead Man’s Relatives baffles Lawyers £30,000 seeks owner“. James died intestate leaving no wife, siblings or descendants thereof and no parents surviving. The relatives of his father’s side were known but his mother’s side was proving to be a problem. Married in 1872 in Nottingham, James’s mother Annie Parnham recorded William as her father so solicitors from Nottingham starting in 1956 searching graveyards and parish registers in the Vale of Belvoir in an effort to trace the mother’s family. In a letter dated December 1957 the solicitors state “Not withstanding the statement in the Marriage Certificate that her father was named William, evidence has been submitted in support of a contention that this was an error, and that he was in fact Thomas Parnham, of Aslockton“. I wonder what happened? The wonders of modern life meant I could go on Ancestry and find the said named Ann, daughter of Thomas Parnham from Aslockton marrying a Joseph Calcraft from Muston in 1877!! So was there another Thomas Parnham from Aslockton with a daughter called Ann, or did the solicitors get it wrong??? We will never know!!

This article is not a reminder to make a will but to try and trace any of the Parnham family who would be interested in the documents we have!!

Contact can be made via the website.

Kath Auckland – 2021