Personal Pedigrees for Individual English Listings


Each of the individuals have been given a number, all of them beginning with the letter “E,” except the children of the emigrant Fortunatus Sydnor who have been denoted with an “A.” 


A direct paternal line for each listing has been shown in square brackets.  This should help the reader in moving between generations.


For ease of tracing, the direct line preceding Fortunatus Sydnor is denoted with a bullet, as "·".




A number of abbreviations have been used without the use of the period.  The point, or period, has been retained for those cases where the deleted letters occur at the end of the word, such as "ed." is the abbreviation for “editor.”  Where consistency might dictate an apostrophe for the missing letters in the middle of an abbreviated word, but where by modern quirk many have used a period at the end of that word, the eye-stopping character has been omitted. 




The beginning for the English year has been subject to several changes.  The changes were different from those in other countries.  The information here is true only for England and her possessions, such as the American colonies.


At some point in the sixth century of this common reckoning (sometimes known as Anno Domini), the custom was established that the new year started with The Feast of the Nativity, popularly known as Christmas, 25 December.  That practice for the start of new years continued for some centuries until 1066. 


In 1067, the fashion of beginning of the year changed, and the year contained the days from 1 January to 31 December. 


For 1155, the year was changed to begin with The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, known as Lady Day, on 25 March, and thereby the year ended the next 24 March.  Most authorities fail to discuss accounting for the extra three months between the end of 1154 and the start of 1155.  This method of measuring the period of a year was used for almost six hundred years in England. 


By 1582, the small error of counting 11 minutes and about 14 seconds too much time for every year accumulated to form an error of about 10 days.  Pope Gregory XIII proclaimed in a bull of 24 February 1582 that 4 October of that year would be followed by 15 October.  However, not all Christian nations followed his edict, particularly England where a new Christian church had been formed.


The English convention ended with two changes pursuant by a statute of George II.  First, there was a year of adjustment was defined from 25 March to 31 December 1751.  Thus, 1751 was a year that was short about three months.  Then the fresh year of 1752 ran from 1 January to 31 December; and likewise thereafter until the present.  Thus the calendar of seasons, and those events such as Easter which were tied to seasons, were returned to that pattern of the year 325 of this common era when the Christian church had fixed their critical festival of Easter with respect to the vernal equinox. 


The second part of the change was the need to omit eleven days in September 1752 to bring the Julian reckoning of England into accord with the Gregorian calendar used by the balance of the Christian world.  That alteration (where Wednesday, 2 September, was followed by Thursday, 14 September), as likely did all those theretofore, provoked a great deal of emotional comment.  Much of the discourse was lighthearted, as the wits of the day lamented that a portion of their life was missed by the king's decree.  Many on monthly wages wanted their full pay for that September.


To avoid the continuing creeping accumulation of an annual error, the calendar was to omit the added day of leap year in the centennials unless the date was an integer when divided by 400.


The change in the calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian provided the opportunity for confusion for the historian and genealogist for the period from 1153 until the year 1752 of this common era.  For example, the old style date given as 1 January 1750 would, by modern reckoning, become 1 January 1751.  Thus, there is the need for a convention.  Often, an author simply makes the correction to the new style.  Another convention, traditionally used when sources and references have data in the old style and used herein, has been to mark those dates which fall between 1 January and 24 March with both years, such as 1 January 1750/1.  This notation has been used to save the reader that uncertainty as to whether the correction had been made.




Genealogical research is of international interest, particularly for Sydnors whose links with England are direct.  Dates are rendered in the order of day, month, and year, a convention used in the genealogical records of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as well as being the fashion of the Sydnors' mother country England.  Although the dates shown herein may seem in unusual order, the English convention for rendering dates has been chosen to be the least confusing form.  For those who request some higher authority than reason, this choice of showing dates was cheered by the chair of the committee for the Manual of Style for the United States Printing Office. 


Estimated Dates


Some dates are known with certainty, and that presents no problem.  Other dates are not known with certainty, but there is reasonable accuracy.  These have been given with the qualfier "circa" preceding them, for example "circa 1402."


There are times when a date is really a guess.  For example, a date may be estimated based on postulations re likely lifespans and typical ages for marriage and majority.  Because these assumptions are based only on typical practices or statistics and may be cumulative, in those cases a question mark has been added to the modifier "circa" to indicate the further lack of precision, as for example "circa 1400?". .  That conjecture may be off substantially, but the practice of guessing has proved worthwhile in many instances when looking for connections and for substantiating information.  The reader should not forget that the guess may be wrong.


Surnames and First Names


For the sake of consistency and indexing, surnames have been standardized, using a best effort at modern spelling.  In some cases, original spellings are noted and enclosed in brackets, for example “Sydnor [Setenore].”  Most spellings of the names of persons have been kept unedited for quotations and in the wills.  The various spellings as found in the many documents pertaining to an individual have been collected within brackets at the listing for each person.


First names have been standardized in modern form.  Along with other alternate English spellings, some original Latin forms of first names have been shown as such in brackets. 


Place Names and County, Diocesan, and Parish Boundaries


For the sake of simplicity, place names have been standardized in modern forms.  In some cases where there might have been some uncertainty or some interest, original spellings have been shown in brackets. 


Most of the discussion about places and their relative locations, together with the events that occurred there, has been given under the Appendix Placenames.  This process was helpful in searches for information and in establishing relationships.


The boundaries of counties and dioceses of England have changed over the time covered by this family history.  For instance, Sussex has been divided into East and West; part of Suffolk, including the parishes of Fritton and Belton, is now in Norfolk; the county Middlesex has disappeared into London; many of the place names are no longer in use. 


Also, parishes and manors have come and gone.  For instance, the parish of Sydnor in Sussex has disappeared. 


Pertinent changes have been discussed at the listings in the chapter on Place Names.

Maternal Lines


A great effort has been made to determine the surnames and parentage of wives and mothers, particularly for the direct line of antecedents.  To the extent these have been found, maternal antecedents have been included under their own chapters for that surname.


Descents from Sydnor Daughters


The primary purpose of this pedigree has been to show the antecedents of Fortunatus Sydnor.  A second purpose has been to list every English person found with the surname Sydnor. 


To limit the scope of research, little effort has been given to find all the cousins who descended from the Sydnor daughters other than the first generation.  Some descents have been found in published pedigrees, and these references have been cited.


Generational Differentiations, such as Senior and Junior


The suffixes were rarely used in the records of yesteryear.  They have been added herein to aid differentiation.




These were very important to the people of the day.  The titles have been given as they were applied, whether they were deserved or not.  The appropriate designations are shown immediately after the name listing.  See the Glossary for their meanings.


Wills, Testaments and Other Major Documents


Major documents have been included in an appendix, including those for materal lines.  The intent in editing these documents has been to maintain the original charm and to enhance the readability and meaning.


Modern construction and spelling have been used except in the case of the names of persons.  Modern punctuation has been added.  Roman numbers have been changed to Arabic.  Footnotes were added for comment and clarity where deemed helpful.  Special terms and phrases have been have been marked with an asterisk to show that they are explained further in the Glossary.  In some cases, extracts have been used and were so noted.


Further information about wills and testaments and the sources of documents are given in the appendix, Glossary.


Footnotes and References


At first glance, the use of footnotes may appear extravagant. 


During the project, several decisions were made as to the organization of the work.  One decision was to use the body of the work for the facts.  This, it seemed, would let the reader see the facts separate from all the other information.  Definitions, relevant historical information to establish the context of information, most commentary and argument, and suggestions for further research were to be entrusted to the footnotes.


Each assumption, and the basis for each, has been given in an associated footnote.  The author has given thought to creating some order out of many random and irregular facts.  From time to time, there have been several ways to place data and to construct the various families.  As new data was found or old information reviewed in a different context, the original basis for assumptions often had fallen prey to a distant, overcrowded, or poor memory.  Besides, the bases for assumptions are best explained so the reader has a opportunity for dissent if so inclined. 


Another decision was to give the source for each fact in an associated footnote.  This rule grew out of necessity, as well as for other good reasons.  When this project began, footnotes were not used.  As conflicting data or copying errors were found and as data was applied to the wrong person, it was difficult to find the original references.  Complete references have been given in each case since a person or a piece of information often was moved or since new facts were inserted between data that had common sources.  An effort has been made to reconcile or explain all such problems, particularly where authorities were in disagreement. 


Most documents can be found in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., or at the Family History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah.  In some cases, the reference was found in the archives of the English counties or the Probate Records Office in London, England.


Some data was found without a reference, and these have been so noted.


The techniques of cataloging information and documents in England have changed over the years, but an effort has been made to be consistent.  In each case, whether the older or newer description has been used, offices holding the records should be able to provide those who request copies of the originals with the same.  In some cases, the catalog data remains a mystery to the author and to his expert correspondents in England.


The reader should have in hand the specific reference for each fact, the basis for each assumption, appropriate commentary and historical context, and an indication where questions remain open.  It is hoped that a reader will find it easy to amend and add to this work.  Besides, there may be the reader who is interested in searching further.


Definitions and the Glossary


Many words used in this work might be unknown to the modern reader, or they may have changed in meaning over history.  These have been denoted with an asterisk and are explained in the Glossary.  Some readers grew up in a time and place when some of these words were in common use; but the reader, however, should not assume that the meaning of words in common usage today held the same meaning then.