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GROOCOCK ancestry in Leicester
The history of Groocock genealogy and family history is firmly embedded in the town of Leicester. This page reports on Groococks there at the time of the early parish records and then again at around the 1800s. Finally Neil's own Groocock ancestors are individually documented, from Thomas, through James to Mary Ann and beyond.
I understand from Norman Groocock that are now four volumes of Groocock family History published by Lulu and available direct from its website:
Volume 1 is the latest edition of Allan Grocott's A History of the Grocott Family. This updates the family history as Groococks in the UK and the subsequent descendants in Australia as Grococks and Grocotts. 490 pages.
Volume 2 is the Groocock Family Tree. This contains all the available datasheets. 437 pages.
Volume 3 is The Grocott Family Tree in Australia This contains the datasheets for the Australian branch of the family. 254 pages.
Volume 4 (the monster) is the Grewcock Family Trees. This contains some notes about this branch of the family and shows where they connect to the Groococks. It also contains the Grewcock datasheets for the two families we know to exist. Over 600 pages.
Another volume - the Grococks of Saltby and Sproxton - is in planning and may by now be ready. will not be ready until the middle of next year.
For further volumes and full details, see https://groocockhistory.wordpress.com
There were Groococks in Leicester from the times of the early parish records. An IGI search on common given names, such as William, John, Thomas, Charles, James, Ann and Mary Groocock, gives returns only for Leicester – nowhere else in England or elsewhere.
The earliest I have found so far is for John Groocock: a birth in 1432 in the parish of St Martin's, Leicester. This John, or another of the same name, married in the same parish in 1457.
Just a few years later, other parts of Leicester appear as Groocock residences. For example the birth of William Groocock was recorded about 1460 'of Thorpe Langton, Leicester'.
Over the next few years, the Groococks spread around Leicester, but not, apparently away from it. Another William Groocock, for example, was born about 1492 in Carleton, Leicester, and in about 1500 the birth/christening of a John Groocock was recorded in East Langton, Leicester.
Neil's earliest confirmed Groocock ancestor is Thomas Groocock of Leicester. Assuming that he was married at the age of about 25, he would have been born about 1775. An IGI search on the birth/christening of Thomas Groocock between 1770 and 1780 gives eleven returns: nine from Leicester, one from Stafford and one from Shropshire. Since there is no way of distinguishing them, it is impossible to tie down or trace back ‘our’ Thomas any further. Working back from more recent confirmed ancestors, we can be certain, though, that he married an Ann.
Norman Groocock who is researching a new edition of a book on the Groococks, has generously supplied additional information. Ann's surname was Gilbert; she was born about 1772 and died about 1837. Ann and Thomas's marriage took place on 18 October 1798 at Leicester, St Martin. Thomas, a labourer, died in 1831 and was buried on 27 July 1831 at St Nicholas, Leicester.
It is not possible to be confident about the number of children that Thomas and Anne had because the popular given names were so common. Some children probably died and their names were given to siblings; others could be the offspring of different parents with identical given names.
Our line comes from Thomas’s confirmed son, James – see below.
A search in the IGI yields the following Groocock baptisms for parents Thomas Groocock and wife, Ann(e) around 1800. (Beyond the scope of this work are the significant numbers of baptisms for Groocock children of Leicester parents with different given names. There are also surname variants such as Grewcock.)
Clearly there were at least three different Thomas and Ann(e) Groocock families in Leicester at the time. Our line can be identified only through the fortuitous addition of the parish of birth of 'our' James in the 1861 census.
Christenings at Claybrook, Leicester:
|Thomas||30/6/1793 died 12/12/1793|
|Henry Decimus||9/12/1809 mother stated as Anne Blockley|
Christenings at Husbands Bosworth, Leicester, mother probably born Ann Jackson, who married Thomas Groocock on 23 June 1799 at Husbands Bosworth, Leicester. The following dates are for birth:
Christenings at St. Margaret's then St. Nicholas, Leicester. Dates are for birth
|William||7/12/1799 died 18/4/1800 St. Margaret's|
|Thomas||5/1/1801 died 2/12/1801||"|
|Edward||16/9/1805 died 2/12/1807 St. Nicholass|
|* James *||20/6/1808||" our James|
George Marvill was born in 1764 at Leicester. He married Elizabeth Reynolds on 24 October 1791 at Tamworth, Stafford. She was born in Litchfield, Staffordshire. George, as documented in the couple's 1851 census entry. Then they were at Shakespeares Court, St Marys Leicester. He was the head of the family of just two, he age 86, a pauper, born Leicester; she age 80, also a pauper.
As their daughter Jane, who married into the Groocock family was born when Elizabeth was 40, there were almost certainly earlier children. I haven't attempted to research them, though.
Elizabeth died age 87 and was buried in Welford Road Cemetery, Leicester in Nov 1856. George died in 1857 age 93 and was buried in the same cemetery in Aug 1857.
'Our' James Groocock was born on 20 June 1808 and baptised on 2 July 1808 at St Nicholas, Leicester. The IGI shows that he married Jane Marvill, daughter of George Marvill and Elizabeth on 21 Mar 1830 at Saint Mary, Leicester. For their genealogy, see the insert on the right.
Jane's marriage certificate plus census records show that James spent most of his working life as a porter. They had a number of children, including:
- Mary Ann Groocock (our line – see below), baptised 1831
- Thomas Groocock, baptised 1834
- Charles Marvell Groocock, baptised 1836. He married Mary Betts in 1842 in Leicester and had at least three children: Florence Groocock, born 30 October 1864 in Leicester, died 30 October 1944 in Lasan, California; Edith Groocock, born 1863 in Leicester; and Charles James Groocock (born 13 July 1869 at Bethnal Green. The following information about him is thanks to his descendant Jean Craig: Charles James married Emily Maria Goldsmith in Ramsgate on 8 June 1890, and the couple had three children: Ivy Gertrude (1892 - 1969); Walter Henry (born 1895); and Emily Lilian (born 1899). Charles James was listed in the Register of the Freemen of Leicester 1836-1930 p 348 (Register of the Freemen of Leicester 1770 - 1930 - Hartopp). (Norman Groocock has since added that most of the male Groocock members of this line are Hereditary Freemen of Leicester). Charles died on 12 May 1940.
- Samuel Groocock, born 1840 in Leicester. He married Elizabeth Morris and had the following known children, all born in Leicester: Elizabeth born 1868, Louisa born 1870, Samuel born 1873, Isabella born 1876, Walter born 1878 and Arthur born 1880.
The 1861 census showed the family at 21 Chatham Street: James age 52, an iron foundry porter, born parish of St Nicholas, Leicester, with wife, Jane, 52; an unmarried son, Charles M, 24 shoemaker, born St Mary's Leicester; an unmarried son, Samuel, 21 shoemaker, born St Mary's Leicester; and granddaughter, Lucy Jane Eyles, 6, scholar, born Rugby.
At the time of the 1871 census James and Jane were at Lutterworth Road, Leicester. No-one else was with them. Probably the rest of the family had been moved elsewhere as James was nearing death. I have yet to look for where they were.
James died in 1872 a couple of months before his 64th birthday. He was buried in April 1872 at Welford Road Cemetery, Leicester.
Jane survived James by more than 20 years. The 1881 census showed her living as a widow with the family of her son Thomas at 91 Twycross St, Leicester, but by 1891 she was an inmate in the Leicester Workhouse. She died in 1895, presumably still in the workhouse, although this is not yet confirmed. Was it infirmity that forced her out of her son’s home into the dreaded place? It is something we would like to know.
Mary Ann Groocock was born in Leicester and was baptized on 11 Sep 1831 at St Mary De Castro, Leicester. On 14 Aug 1853 she married William Eyles, son of another William Eyles and Frances Cosby, at St Margaret, Leicester.
The couple then moved away from Leicester to London. Details of the family are listed on the page of William Eyles.
Mary Ann died after 1901.
With Mary Ann Groocock, Neil’s ancestry leaves the Groocock line.
Our interest in the Groococks remains and we very much hope that there are descendants somewhere who may have some photographs that they be prepared to share with us. See the contact information.