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NewsLetter - Volume 5 - Number 11 (5x11), August 2009


Our thanks to those who responded to our call for newsletters material, if your item is not in this issue it will appear as and when appropriate or when it will fit in. Please do not let this put you off sending more, as supplies soon dry up.

Afraid we have not found time to get much further with transcribing the handwritten article on Somerset Duckett's that Brian Wright's Canadian uncle sent him sixty years ago. We did send Brian's and Rob Hall's Shropshire Duckett interests to Bill Duckett our expert for that county, but have not heard anything back yet.

Thinking of Canada, Rita and I hope to be visiting some of the ports along it's and America's east coast on a cruise later this year. Don't know if time will allow visiting as they are only one day visits, or if any of you that side of the pond live near the east coast.

On the next page is one of the last articles we got from Matthew Duckett, which he sent for our comments before publishing. We only found one correction, in the acknowledgements he attributes the finding of the Wills to the late Eric Banwell. These Wills were discovered in Wells Cathedral during research into the Lord Kendal title for Allan Duckett, who supplied our copies and we did the same to Eric. The Wills should have gone to the Exeter archives in the 1930's, where they would have been lost in a 1942 air-raid.

Unfortunately Matthew died while waiting confirmation of our information, so the article never got published in his life time. This makes us feel a bit guilty and rather sad, as he had put a lot of work into producing this history of the Somerset Duckett's. We intend to approach west country family history societies to try and get it in their journals, as it does connect to other west country families. RSD


The Somerset Duckett's can be divided into three groups.

The Crosscombe Duckett's are first seen in the mid eighteenth century with one Edward Duckett. They continue into the mid nineteenth century and are last seen in the mid century censuses for Wells and Shepton Mallet. They have not been connected to the Wedmore families.

The other two family groups are centred on Wedmore. The first is descended from William Duckett, who died in 1747, and his second wife Mary Bussell 1713-1802. They had two sons Joseph 1734-1822 and George 1738-1825 both left large families that are still represented today.

The second Wedmore family is considered here and the other two groups at a later date. The former are descended from John Duckett of Cluer 1736-1802 and Mary Millard 1744-1810. They had three sons John of Crickham 1763-1843, Edward of Heath House 1764-1825 and Michael 1785- aft 1809. The first two are still represented in the Wedmore area and elsewhere. Michael is last known as a witness at the marriage of his sister Hannah to John Coombs on 20 MAR 1809 at Temple Church, Bristol. It is not known if he had family of his own. The ancestry of this family group can be traced back to John Duckett who died in 1622 and to an earlier generation. This John was called John of "Glastonbury" by the author T. E. Duckett in his book of 1960 but this designation should now be considered as incorrect. His burial record designates him as John of Cocklake.

In tracing the family tree below one assumption has been made. That is, that John of Stoughton 1642-1695 and John 1667-1708 are father and son. The justification is in the Wedmore parish records. At his burial the former is referred to as "sen" or senior, the latter is referred to as "juvanis" or junior. Although John junior does not appear on the direct line below and his mother was a first wife, Ann Martine**; without this important assumption several other scenarios are possible.

This family tree is essentially the same as that produced by Bertram Duckett Headland in the late 1960s, at least for the generations between John of Cocklake and John of Cluer. T. E. Duckett, in an unpublished paper makes the link to John of Cocklake via his third son Michael* and Michael's youngest son John; rather than John's eldest son Edward, the assumption above negates this possibility. Further John born in July 1654, was the son of Elizabeth, Michael's second wife, not Sarah née Lambert who died in 1648. Elizabeth herself died in February 1654, four months after her son's birth, casting doubt on John's survival. Note that the Julian calendar starts and ends in March.

There are a number of lateral branches to this tree which are not included below. None of these seem to involve more than two generations and there is an implicit assumption that none gave rise to families elsewhere. Michael* 1610-1660 is an exception and will be considered at another time.

John of Cocklake is linked to "his father Thomas" by their respective wills.

The names of brothers John and Francis would appear to link the two families together comfortably but the implication is that John of "Glastonbury" /Cocklake in fact came from Cheddar. This breaks the link, suggested by T. E. Duckett, between the Wedmore Ducketts and the main family which was traced back to the Norman Conquest.

The will of John Holbrook of Sutton Weekes (Wick) in the parish of Chew Magna, Somerset, was dated 3rd September 1568. He left three wether lambs to his brother in law Thomas Duckett. One of his three sons was named Thomas. Thus Isabell Holbrook would appear to be the earliest known wife of a Somerset Duckett.


Cluer is now Clewer.

All known children on the direct line are shown, as are other marriages. Children of other marriages and grand children outside the line are not shown. All dates refer to Wedmore records unless shown otherwise.

Elizabeth Duckett*** who died in 1686 may be a wife of John Duckett 1667-1708 and not the third wife of John his father.

The marriages of daughters are not shown but the shown dates of death do not imply they were not married.


The late Eric Banwell for finding the Duckett wills (see our notes at the beginning RSD) and realising the weakness in T. E. Duckett's theory.

Jean Debney for transcribing the wills.

Lyn Nunn for finding the transcript of John Holbrook's will.

Unpublished material by the late T. E. Duckett and the late Bertram Duckett Headland has assisted in preparing this family tree.

Ron at The Duckett One-Name Study, for copies of documents.

Matthew Duckett.



Matthew produced this tree to go with his research, but was having problems condensing it to fit a paper size.
We have extracted this copy and made it a graphic, in the hope of completing his research. RSD.


Supplied by Roy L. Goodlaxson Altoona, Iowa USA

BOOK D: Page 251

Last Will and Testament of Mrs. Mary A. Duckett

Know all men by these presents, that I, Mary A. Duckett of the County of Buncombe and State of North Carolina do hereby make and publish this my last Will and Testament ... appoint my personal friend, D. J. McClelland of Eunna (?) P.O., North Carolina ... to my son, Harly B. Duckett ... among my children as follows:

Thomas F. Duckett, Noah Duckett (My great grandfather, living N of Sharpsburg, Iowa, Taylor County. Father of Susan (Duckett), husband Elroy Goodlaxson, Susan D., mother of my dad Leland E Goodlaxson. I am Roy L. Goodlaxson), William C. Duckett, Charles M. Duckett, Robert Ed. Duckett, Margaret E. Vaughn, Harriet E. Bailey, Rachel L. Smith, Jesse A. Duckett, Deceased

In witness whereof, I have to this my last will and testament subscribed my name and set my seal this the twenty-third day of September in the year of Our Lord, 1889. Signed: Mary A. Duckett Witnessed by : Duff Merrick and Charles A. Moore.

Severally sworn and subscribed before me this 25th day of February 1899. Marcus Erwin, CSC. Buncombe Co.

Note: My father Leland Ener Goodlaxson back in the 1960s was in contact with a man in England working on the Duckett family tree. So you may have some info on our branch of the family in Southwest Iowa, USA. Towns to look at in Southwest Iowa are: Bedford (county seat), Sharpsburg, Lenox (in Taylor County) and Creston, Iowa (county seat of Union County). The county seat is where the court house is and where the records are kept for that county.

The original home farm for the Noah Duckett family was North of Sharpsburg about 6 miles.

More info I found on Google about a great uncle of mine. A brother of my grandmother, Susan (Duckett) Goodlaxson will follow.


Christine Neal supplied this photograph

from her Duckett Family History

Reuben Duckett born June 1887, Keighley
Son of James DUCKETT and Etto Linda Sophia nee WHEATER

Married Dec 1910 Edith BARKER
Daughter of James BARKER and Sarah Elizabeth nee ROWE


Robyn Higham

Approximately 150 Ducat family members, who travelled from many states throughout Australia, met for a Reunion at Tweed Heads over the June long weekend last year. They are descendants of William & Mary (née Gray) Ducat and their children John, William Gray, Agnes and James Stuart, who emigated from Forfar, Scotland to the North Coast of NSW in 1840.

The weekend was a great success starting with a Dinner on Saturday night and followed by a gathering on Sunday where family memorabilia was displayed, stories shared and new friendships formed. A morning tea was held in Ducat Park on Monday morning before everyone headed back home. The Park was named in memory of brothers Claude and Irvine Ducat who owned the land before it was sold in the mid 1900's.

William Ducat was a farmer at Forfar and the family continued farming on their arrival in New South Wales, originally at Kempsey, on the Macleay River. In 1900 a branch of the family moved north to the richer soils of the Tweed River Valley. Part of the original family farm in the Tweed Valley is still operating today by a great-great-grand daughter of William Ducat, Jan Fletcher, who breeds Hereford cattle.


Margaret Thurston Manchester. I was just looking at the site and noticed that there are two researchers interested in Ducketts' in the Manchester area, namely Bob Lightburn and Julie Whitehead, would there be any chance of putting me in contact with them or forwarding my email address to them to contact me, ? either way will be fine. I have recently started going down the later Duckett line on descendants, 3rd and 4th cousins etc and wondered if either of these people were on my line.

We do not appear to have an up to-date address for either, so if they are reading this please contact us. RSD.

Richard Scott Yorkshire. Your Research News, as usual, contains lots of interesting information but its not often I feel I can help with a comment. However, Elizabeth Duckett Goodman Boswell's query about the missing middle name of her Uncle Elliott caught my eye.

It will be perfectly normal that when a child's birth is registered just two names are given. If Elizabeth or her cousin wants to check on all a person's names she should also refer to the christening/baptism. It is quite likely an extra name (or two or more) could be added at this time. I guess this is when Jacob was added to Uncle Elliott's name. Another alternative is that a name could be added at confirmation. My mother did this, changing her name from simply Mary to Mary Anne (much to the annoyance of her mother!).

Christine Neal Yorkshire. From the Advertiser Adelaide, Friday 17 April 1903, A TREASURY WINDFALL Probate duty amounting to £21,328 was paid to-day on the estate of the late Edward Duckett, hardware merchant, of Melbourne The estate was valued for probate purposes at £213,281.

To-days Melbourne Duckett's will know all about this. RSD

Lyn Nunn Brisbane Australia. This appeared in the online database for Californian newspapers. Harry was apparently a dentist in Sacramento as there is another article about the death of one of his patients. He and his wife appear a few times in the database.

The San Francisco Call, date: August 5, 1909. Harry L. Duckett was granted a divorce from Ethel D. Duckett Judge Conley yesterday. The defendant deserted her husband and her 4 year old daughter, Lucy, in Sydney, Australia, last year.

Roy Batham Western Australia. My wife Barbara née Wiseman is the Long Preston Yorkshire Duckett descendant. She has 3 connections, two different lines from John 1603-1657 and another from Richard 1605-1656.

1) From John to Agnes b.1740 who married Joseph Taylor in 1761.
2) From John to Isabel b. 1822 who married Thomas Townson Bullock in 1854. Isabel was a 2nd wife, so a sort of step grandmother.
3) From Richard to Rebecca b. 1706 married Stephen Robinson 1730.

All combine at Jane Myers, Barbara's mother. I am interested in the connection to Wigglesworth Hall.

Christine Neal Yorkshire. From the Preston Guardian, Saturday May 8,1852. Wilful Damage - On Thursday night last, some malicious person cut in three pieces one of the guide ropes attached to the hoist used by MR. DUCKETT, sculptor, to raise the PEEL statue to its destination. The object of so wicked an act is accountable. We regret the depredator has not been discovered.

The sculptor was one of the late Bill Duckett's from Royston, ancestors. RSD

Jackie McDonald. I found your email address on a DNA Family Tree web site. Was wondering if your last name was related to Dukart. My family name is Dukart, although I once saw a family photograph that was signed "Dukat" and I thought it was a misspelling. I am having my MT-DNA tested, to find any links.

Adam Stewart, Australia. I am researching my family Ducketts in Kerry, Ireland. My line begins with Thomas Duckett who married Mary Mayberry in 1773. Family tradition has it that they left Kerry for Tipperary and produced an eminent family of lawyers in Clonmel. Clues to their ancestry come from their middle names.

Thomas Duckett and Mary Mayberry had :
(1) William Duckett who married Ann Morton;
(2) Richard Mayberry Duckett who married Rebecca White and had Thomas Duckett, Augustus Mayberry Duckett, and John Taylor Duckett as well as nine other children.
(3) Mary-Ann Duckett (my ancestor) who married Lieut Richard Harris and had Thomas, Richard, William, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Augustus, Anthony, Phyllis and Bastable.
(4) Thomas Duckett who married Charlotte Cornwall and had three daughters.
(5) John Duckett.
(6) Samuel Duckett.
(7) Elizabeth "Bess" Duckett who married William Aldwell on 8 July 1815; and finally
(8) Phyllis Duckett who married Dr Richard Burgess

The ancestral names of interest which spring to mind are: Mayberry / Maybury, Bastable, Taylor. Very important point here: I read in your 2008 newsletter about an Isabella Duckett, daughter of Thomas Duckett and Mary Mayberry who married George Maybury in 1804. I do not have this "Isabella" in my tree, only the "Bess" described above who married another gentleman. I wonder if it was the same woman, and whether she married twice?

Now concerning Thomas and Mary's own ancestry: I have reason to believe that Thomas Duckett was son of William Duckett who married Mary Taylor and had (other than Thomas jnr) Isabella Duckett who married Basil Aldwell; Mary Duckett who married John Aldwell; and Catherine Duckett who married Mr Lane. Mary Mayberry I believe was the daughter of Augustus Mayberry and possibly also a great-granddaughter of Richard Maybury who married Petra Duckett (the daughter of Samuel Duckett and Margaret Palmer as listed in your 2008 newsletter). I believe that Samuel Duckett was the son of William Duckett who married Mary Aldwell. There is evidence that Mary Mayberry's ancestors may have been Bastable family as well.

There are records in Kenmare, Kerry of the Duckett family operating a salmon fishery from about 1711 to late 1700s. The line begins with William Duckett senior then William Duckett jnr then sons Abraham and Samuel and finally William Duckett (Samuel's son). This last William Duckett I believe may have married Arabella Giles.

There is also evidence that the first Duckett in Kerry was William Duckett " who purchased an estate in County Kerry" (Sir William de Betham) - who was the first son of James Duckett and Mary Saunders/Sanders of Grayrigg, Westmoreland. Mary Sanders/Saunders was the second of three wives of James Duckett of Grayrigg. By James' third wife Elizabeth Walker is descended Thomas Duckett who later settled the other major branch of Irish Ducketts (by his wife Judith Poer).

I am unclear as to the following: the parentage of William Duckett (who married Mary Taylor) and how he relates to William Duckett who first settled in Kerry. I am also unclear as to the parentage of Augustus Mayberry and his precise relationship to Richard Mayberry who married Petra Duckett. I hope this helps your readers, and that someone will be able to help with my questions.

Jeremy Fairbridge Canada. Supplied an answer to one of the late Keith Ducat questions: "A quote from the history of the Fairbridge family, published in the S.A. Genealogical Society newsletter. It gives a list of family names including Kingsley Fairbridge who started the Outwood Bound Schools. Another was Gwenyth Ducket Fairbridge, anyone know the Ducket connection here?"

Gwenyth was my mother. She died yesterday (3 JUL 2009) in Durban, South Africa.

My uncle, Rex (Reginald) Ducket Harris, brother of my late mother, lives in Adelaide, Australia and has written a Harris family history, including its connection to the Duckets ...

Fenton of Cork married Mary Wrixon c. 1840. They had 2 daughters, Mary and Catherine.

Mary Fenton married Dr. Richard Harris c. 1770 and they had 10 children, among them Richard, born c.1773. Richard Harris married Mary Ann Duckett c.1800 (Rex says they eloped), daughter of Thomas Duckett and Mary Mayberry who were married 20 NOV 1773 at Constitution Hill, the Duckett Home. Mary Ann Duckett was born 28 MAR 1775 and died 10 JUN 1852. It was with this marriage that Duckett came to be an appendage to the Harris name.

Richard and Mary Ann had nine children including William, born 27 MAY 1802. He migrated to the Cape Colony and married Anna Margaret de Villiers, daughter of Isaac and Rachel de Villiers of Paarl, Cape. William accompanied his elder brother, Thomas, to the Cape. Siblings Mary Ann, Anthony and Elijah (Elizabeth) also migrated to South Africa.

Isaac Harris was born to William and Anna in 1839 and died 3 FEB 1903. He married Susan Thompson 21 OCT 1879. They had 10 children. The eldest son, William, b. 15 APR 1882, died 16 JUL 1939, married Lilian Claire Chandler, born 12 NOV 1884, died 19 JUN 1970. They had nine children: Olive Duckett Harris, Phyllis Duckett Harris, Ashley Duckett Harris, Gwenyth Duckett Harris, Sylvia Duckett Harris, Stuart Duckett Harris, Barbara Duckett Harris, Reginald (Rex) Duckett Harris and Derek Duckett Harris. Olive married Thomas Montgomery. Phyllis married Alick Durham. Ashley married Marjorie Cockerel. Gwenyth married John Fairbridge. Sylvia married James Anderson. Stuart married Rhoda Quin. Barbara married Guil Steytler. Reginald (Rex) married Rita Marsh. Derek married Mary Harrison. Sylvia, Stuart, Barbara and Rex are still alive and living in Australia. Children of the Duckett Harrises live in Zimbabwe, South Africa, England, Canada and Australia.