My Easy family of Cambridgeshire

 

Foreward and apology

My research into the Easy family started in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. It was the era of letter-writing (you know, that paper based technology before email and social media). I cannot remember exactly who or how, but I asked someone in England whether they could get me a list of the addresses of all Easys in Cambridgeshire. They did and mailed it to me. I then did a mass mail out of a photocopied letter explaining who my grandmother was and why I knew no relatives. I got two useful responses. They were family trees by two different independent genealogists, Eric Smith and Graham Easy. In making contact with each of them they generously shared their knowledge with me, making this document possible.

For a long time I wandered libraries looking in books and taking notes on my notepad (again, a paper-based technology and not the things they call notepads today). Luckily I was working at a University at the beginning of the 1990s and I discovered the internet. It was text-based in those days. No fancy browser thingies. So I started interacting with other genealogists through that.

Then came browsers and I was in heaven. In 1996 I got a free web site through something called Geocities and wrote the piece on the Easy family that sat here for 21 years. Geocities were bought out by Yahoo, so I paid to keep my site. Yahoo then split off a part of itself for small business, so that is who I pay now.

In January 2017 I changed this page to add this foreword. People were reading it and noticing discrepancies. Yep, stuff I had already discovered and had never changed due to nostalgia for this 20 year old piece of research. The information that I have now is far, far richer and more comprehensive. Instead of “correcting” my old research here I would prefer it if you would look me up on ancestry.com (I’m glong31) and I will happily give you access to my current research (even a free Ancestry.com account should let me make you a tree guest and see my research – I hope). We can then discuss things over current data. I apologise for any confusion this old article of mine may have caused to any readers. NOTE: I don’t want to remove it because it actually has led relatives to find me.

So below is my old piece of research. It has issues, but it should give you an idea of my particular branch of the Easy family

Easy family

NOTE: Lines of asterisks are used to delineate the various generations as in this family with often identical names they can become quite confusing.

The origins of the Easy surname have not really been established. A Hugh de Essi appears connected with the barony of Eassie in Angus, Scotland, before 1200, an Adam Easy appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset in 1327, and a John de Esey appears in the Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1395.

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The first definite ancestor of my Easy line was a tailor named William Easie (born c.1591) who married a lass named Susan in Long Stanton, All Saints, Cambridgeshire on 30 May 1617. Their children were William (1617), Mary (1620), Richard (1624) and John (1627), all born in Long Stanton.

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The youngest son, John Easey, is first mentioned as an adult when his eldest son John was christened in Long Stanton on 25 September 1661. Three other children followed, namely Sarah (1669), Simeon (1672), and Richard (1674). His wife is simply given as Sarah. John was buried 12 November 1683 in Long Stanton, his wife surviving him to 6 Feb 1696.

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John’s eldest son, John Heasy, married a lass named Anne and produced a family consisting of Mary, Ann, John (Chr. 1 Jan 1695), Ellen, Richard, Sarah and Simeon. John’s death is not recorded, but we know that his wife Anne was buried on 23 June 1731.

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The third child of John and Anne, John Easy, married Mary Pathey on 19 July 1724 in Long Stanton, All Saints, Cambridgeshire. Four years later the couple produced another John Easy (Chr. 18 August 1728). He died a young 44 years of age and was buried on 18 September 1739, a scarce 15 years after his marriage and while his eldest son was merely 11 years of age. His occupation was recorded as labourer.

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Young John married Elizabeth Haddow in 1754 at age 26. Their offspring included Simeon Easy “of Sutton”, born around 1764.

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Simeon married Mary Payton on 15 February 1790 in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire. In about 1801 the couple produced another Simeon while living at Hill Row in Cambridge.

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Young Simeon became a butcher and then married Elizabeth Martin (born 1802 in Soham, Cambridgeshire) on 3 March 1822, the almost immediate result being a new baby Simeon who was born in the same year. The next child of whom we know was William Easy, born June 1839 in Chesterton, Cambridgeshire. At the time of the 1881 census Simeon had retired from butchery and was living in Bull Lane, Milton. He died in December 1883, aged 82.

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Simeon and Elizabeth’s eldest son Simeon did not follow in his father’s occupational footsteps. Instead he became became a railway fitter’s assistant. He married a lass with the same fist name as his mother, Elizabeth, and produced children Simeon Martin Easy (1848), Harry Martin Easy (1850), William Martin Easy (1852) and Laura Easy (1867).

Meanwhile Simeon’s younger brother William (the one born in June 1839), married Sarah Ann Coulson (born 1844 in Milton) in June 1860 in Chesterton. The offspring of this union were Elizabeth Coulson Easy (1860), Lizzie Easy (1865), Matilda Easy (1870), William Easy (1872), David Henry Easy (1874), Simeon Easy (1876), Naomi Easy (1879), and Florence Lilian Easy (1881). William died in December 1918 in Chesterton aged 85 years, his wife Sarah Ann having died earlier in March 1883.

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Of William’s offspring the following is known:

Elizabeth Coulson Easy – died September 1861, age 1 year.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Easy – nothing is known beyond the 1881 census.

Matilda Easy – married Arthur Townsend, 25 July 1890, St George, Hanover Square, London and mothered Horace William Townsend (born 2 January 1893).

William Henry (Harry) Easy – married Nell Hall (1893, Chesterton) and fathered Lillian Easy, Ruth Ellen Easy, Mildred Easy (my grandmother), May Easy, Harold Easy, David Easy, George Easy, and Cornelius Easy (Great Uncle Corny). His occupation was farmer. My father has told me that William (my father’s grandfather) was a bit of a lady’s man and was infamous for impregnating the daughters of employees. Another family legend concerns the day a bull gored William while he was alone in one of the paddocks. Apparently my grandmother, Mildred, who was then married, woke up early the same morning with a foreboding feeling and sent a telegraph to the farm to enquire about the health of her father. Needless to the say the telegraph set the farm hands to searching for William (simply to be able to give it to him) and he was found badly wounded and rushed off to a doctor. Needless to say he lived and a family story was born.

David Harry Easy – married Bertha Howard and fathered Eric Maxwell Easy, William J Easy and Leonard Albert Easy. A farmer in Landbeach, Cambridgeshire and of Rectory farm, Milton, he passed away 23 June 1950.

Simeon Easy – married Elizabeth ?, farmed Benet Farm, Milton, and died 21 July 1958.

Florence Lilian Easy – married 1909 in Chesterton.

Naomi Easy – nothing is known beyond the 1881 census.

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Mildred Rachel Easy (my paternal grandmother), born in 1903 in Chesterton, daughter of William Henry Easy, married Vernon Worrell Long and had three sons – Brian, Bruce and David. David is my father.

 

19 Comments


  1. Graham, Are you connected to the Stevens family of Bottisham, please? [Possibly Robert Stevens & Miriam (nee Green).] Bit of a long shot. Thanks.

    Reply

    1. Hi Rex,

      Not that I know of, though if there is an Easy in your line then I would not be surprised if there is a link. The Easys are a massive tree.

      If you give me some Easy names and dates I can do a bit of research :)

      Greg

      Reply

  2. Hello Greg, My great-great grandfather was George Easy (probably born around 1840) though I don’t have details of his wife. One of their children was my great grandmother Sophia Easy (1863-1948) She was born in Chesterton and married Charles Rayment on 16th December 1885, spending the first years of married life raising six children at Madingley before moving to north London where she died aged 85. (My father told me that Sophia held me in her arms as a young baby.) Sophia and her family settled in Finchley, north London where the third daughter, Winifred Mary Rayment (1891-1966) married Harold Alec Tew (1889-1961) in 1914. Their first son was Alec Raymond Tew (1916-1998) who married Joan Eileen Elcome (1916-1976). I was their first child, Christopher Raymond Tew (1946-). I would be very interested to know if George Easy and Sophia Easy are related to your branch of the Easy family. If so I can link you to ten generations of the Rayment family in Cambridgeshire and their descendants in my family. Very best wishes, I look forward to hearing from you.

    Reply

    1. Hi I noticed there is no mention of my great grandmother Sarah Easy born 1861 to William and Sarah Ann Coulson she married a Robert Dorling first living in West Ham then Romford I know she is part of this family as my mum remembers going to Milton and meeting William and Simeon

      Reply

      1. Hi Hazel. The problem with this page on the Easy’s is that I wrote it in 1996 and have basically copied and pasted it from website to website ever since (with good intentions of updating it that never seem to happen). Meanwhile on Ancestry.com I do indeed have Sarah (1861 – 1927). I really need to sit down and update… one of these days :)

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      2. Hi Hazel, I have checked the 1861 census and I think you are correct about the omission of your G Gmother Sarah Easy. In the 1871 census William and Sarah Ann Easy were living at Butt Lane, Milton with their four daughters Sarah born 1862, Elizabeth born 1866, Julia born 1869 and Matilda born 1871.

        Reply

    2. Chris, I feel that you must be related but I am unable to find supporting evidence. I will keep looking

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      1. Hi Greg, I would be interested to hear if you do find supporting evidence. The furthest I can go back is to my GGGG Gfather, Edmund Easy (1761-after 1841), who married Ruth Smith at Hauxton in 1790 and married Elizabeth Beard at Hauxton in 1795. In 1841 he was living at Hauxton with his son John Easy (born 1811) and grandson George Easy (born 1839).

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        1. It’s strange how Edmund just appears. I’ve looked at Ancestry.com and suddenly he is just there. I reckon that he is part of the giant Easy family that swamps that area. Just wished I knew how he fitted in. Here’s a question: do any Simeons turn up in your branch. From 1672 almost every branch of my Easy tree has a Simeon. So if you have no Simeons then you may be from a pre-1672 branch.

          Reply

          1. Greg and Chris, I think that you are 5th cousins.


  3. Hi Hazel, According to the 1861 census your GG grandparents, William and Sarah Ann Easy, were living at Bath Lane, Milton, north east of Cambridge awaiting the arrival of your G Gmother. At the same time my GG grandparents, George and Emma Easy, were living south of Cambridge in a cottage on London Road, Little Shelford. George and William may well be cousins or second cousins but I have yet to find any evidence for this.

    Reply

  4. Thank you, Rex. I would be very interested to know the identity of the common ancestors of Greg and myself.

    Reply

    1. Hi Chris,

      First of all I should apologise for ‘chipping in’ to your conversation but I hoped what I had would help a little. What I have is essentially a combination of what you and Greg have recorded which I have attempted to corroborate through online free census details on Familysearch and also a couple of names gleaned from FreeBMD. I believe that your common ancestors were Simeon Easy (born c1764) and Mary Payton (or Peyton) who had [at least] 8 children 2 of whom were William Easy (born c1790 – the same year his parents married) and Simeon (born c1801). William married Sarah and one of their children was George (b c1840) & Simeon married Elizabeth Martin and one of their children was William (born 1838). George married Emma Skinner and one of their children was Sophia Easy (born 1863) & William married Sarah Ann Coulson and one of their children was William Henry [Harry] Easy (born 1873). Sophia married Charles Rayment and one of their children was Winifred Mary Rayment (born 1891) & William Henry {Harry] married Ellen [Nell] Hall and one of their children was Mildred E Easy (born 1903). Winifred Mary Rayment married Harold Eric Tew and one of their children was Alec Raymond Tew (born 1916)& Mildred E Easy married Vernon William Long and one of their children was David Long (born 1933). Alec Raymond Tew married Joan Eileen Elcome and you were one of their children (born 1946) & David Long married [I think] Patricia Males and one of their children was Greg (born 1964). If all of this is correct this would make you 5th cousins. I should add that where I’ve said “one of their children was” it may have been that the couple concerned only had just one! Finally, you mentioned having details about the Rayment family and I wondered if they may have originated/lived in Bottisham/Lode please? Thanks.

      Reply

  5. Just spotted a couple of names above on Greg’s line that should be corrected to accord with what he has recorded. Mildred Easy’s (born 1903) middle name should be Rachel and the middle name of the man she married – Vernon Long (born 1898) – should be Worrell. Apologies.

    Reply

    1. Yep. I guess that now people are reading this I had better get it inline with everything I have on Ancestry.com:) As I said earlier, it’s something I wrote in 1996. Thanks :)

      Reply

      1. PS: look for me on Ancestry.com if you have it. I am glong31

        Reply

  6. I have now written a foreword and apology to the story explaining everything

    Reply

  7. Greg – “update” possibly but surely never an apology! What you did back then was invaluable and still is. Through your hard work and research other people have become interested and involved who otherwise wouldn’t have even guessed that they were ‘connected’. We are so much luckier now to be able to access information (often freely) online from the comfort of our homes rather than having to sit for in unheated churches in bleak snowy fens (which I’m sure many of us had to around 40 years ago!). Be proud of what you’ve done and “stay strong”.

    Reply

  8. How great that you could do this no matter how long it took. What significance was this process to you?

    Reply

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