Sunday, January 20, 2019

{genealogy} Foote ancestry part 5 - Robert Foote

Robert Foote

Heather’s 11th great grandfather

When Robert Foote was born in 1553 in England, his father, John, was 30 and his mother, Helen, was 33. He married Joan Brook on June 18, 1576, in St. Leonard’s Church, Eastcheap, London, England. They had 9 children during their marriage (some genealogies mistakenly omit youngest son Francis). The 9 children included my ancestor, Nathaniel Foote Sr. Robert died in February 1608 in Shalford, Essex, England, at the age of 55. Joan Brook was baptized 11 May 1555 in St. Leonard’s of Eastcheap, London.  She died 10 Oct 1634.

Their burial location is unmarked. The original St. Leonard’s Church in Eastcheap was burned in a fire in 1666 and was not rebuilt. Another St. Leonard’s Church exists in nearby Shoreditch, London, and is often confused with the Eastcheap St. Leanord’s. Even so, that location was heavily damaged in WWII and no gravestones remain.

At one time some genealogies suggested that Robert’s father was also named Robert, and that his mother’s name was unknown. The American Genealogist by NEHGS published 2 deep-dive analyses on this family in 1977 and 1978. One needs to read both analyses together, but ultimately it seems proven that the person originally believed to be the elder Robert, actually does not exist. This Robert’s father is John Foote who married Helen Warren. Some records associated with John were confusing enough that early genealogists attributed his records to someone they thought was named Robert. Thus, the elder “Robert”, and the John who married Helen Warren, are actually the same person.

Robert’s father died when Robert was 5 years old. His mother Helen then re-married to John Hall, trumpeter. 

Here is Robert and Joan’s marriage record:

Robert had a brother named John Jr. who was a wealthy grocer (grosser) in London. Robert’s will indicates that he was by no means poor, but was not as wealthy as his brother. Robert was a yeoman, which meant “freeholder”, just under the rank of “gentleman”, and meant that one owned a small estate of land. Robert owned property in Shalford and in Royston, and had the occupation of fishmonger. We learn his occupation from the will of his father-in-law.

Here is text from his will:
Robert Foote of Shalford, Essex, yeoman, 27 January 1608, proved 15 Feb 1608.

To the poor in the parish twenty shillings. to the poor in Wethersfield 20s. To my well beloved wife Joan, during her natural life, all such yearly rent as to me is reserved out of my lease of certain tenements which I hold for divers years

yet enduring by the grant of Sir Robert Chester knight and lying and being in the town of Royston, the yearly rent whereof to me reserved is at this present eight pounds. I give her also one annuity of four pounds to be paid during her natural life by my son Robert.

To my son James 5oF.
To son Daniel 40L at four and twenty.
The same each to sons, Nathaniel, Francis, and Josua at like ages .
To daughter Elizabeth Foote 40L at day of marriage or at age of thirty.
To son Joseph my lease and term of years in a certain hopground called Plomley w hich I hold by lease from Mr. Josyas Clarke and his wife.

Other gifts to him. Certain household stuff to wife.

Elizabeth Ormes my maid servant.
To --Tibbet, wi fe of William Tibbett, 5s in recompence of her pains she hath taken with me.

To Mr. Richard Rogers preacher of God his word 20s.

The wife of George Elsing. Thomas Cott.

To my son Robert my free tenement or mansion house wherein I now inhabit, with the land and the stock of hop poles upon the hop ground, he to pay the legacies & c.

The residue of my goods &c. to all my children.

If it happen my daughter Mary Heewes to be departed then her part to be paid to her children.

For the execution of this will I do ordain, nominate and appoint my well beloved son Robert Foote to be my sole executor and I do desire my well beloved brother John Foote of London grocer and my son in law John Hewe s of Royston to be supervisors and assistants to my executors. Dorset, 21

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