People: The Southgate Family

Updated on 23 July, 2012

sir ralph shelton brass

This section of the website is dedicated to the people - from the far-distant past to the 19th century - who began or ended their lives in Great or Little Snoring.

On this page I've tried to give a summary of my own family, the Southgates.

Southgate Dynasty of Great Snoring, Norfolk

Early Origins

All the Snoring Southgates can be traced to the marriage of Robert Southgate and Susanna Frary who feature in the parish records of Great Snoring as having had eight children from whom all the Snoring Southgates are descended.

Rather annoyingly, neither Robert nor Susannah's parentage can be found. There are some tantalising hints in the Records of the small village of Houghton-in-the-Hole where the couple married. At that time they were both "of this parish".

Their marriage in 1779 was recorded in the Parish Register of Houghton in the Hole, a village that lies very close to Gt. Snoring. They were listed there as Robert Sugger and Susannah Treary, a transcription error. No Southgates are recorded in Great Snoring before Robert and Susannah arrived there. Their name may have been written SUGGET or SUGGAT (or variations as the early baptisms were in that name.)

quotesAt one time there were so many Southgate men and families in Great Snoring that they were given nicknames to distinguish one from another. See below.

ROBERT SOUTHGATE was born about 1753, which we only know from his burial. He died on 30 Apr 1820 in Gt. Snoring. He married SUSANNA FRARY on 02 Nov 1779 in Houghton St Giles (the modern-day name of Houghton-in-the-Hole.) Susannah Frary was born around 1757. She died on 08 Sep 1828 in Great Snoring, and is buried there.

Robert Southgate and Susanna Frary had children baptised in Great Snoring. We do not know what brought them there, but they seem to have settled there and created a dynasty of Southgates that eventually spread round the world. Since Robert was a tenant farmer with extensive lands that he willed to his children, it could be assumed that he began life as an agricultural worker and was drawn to Great Snoring by the prospect of land. (In any case, Houghton in the Hole is only a stone's throw from Gt Snoring.)

Susannah's origins are also in doubt although the Frary families seem to come from Walsingham. There were other Frary families living in Gt Snoring, and it remains to be seen if there was any family relationship between them. (Quite possibly so, since they turn up as witnesses to one another's weddings.)

The Last Will & Testament 23rd Oct 1818

Robert Southgate's will unfortunately does not mention his parents or place of birth. It does however tell us that Robert was a Farmer. He asks his heirs to "farm and carry on my farms at Great Snoring which I hold as tenant of Sir Charles Chad and John Dugmore Esquire..." "For which purpose" he goes on "I bequeath to my family all my farming stock, crofts, implements and husbandry goods."

John, Robert, Charles and Eliza, his children, were to have £150 divided between them. But the rest of the Estate (after his wife was provided for) would go to his sons William and Sampson whom he also appointed as Executors of his will. He seems to have favoured them because they would carry on the farming business. We'll see below what became of each of the children.

Robert & Susannah's Children

  • JOHN was baptised on 13 Oct 1782, the first children we know about, although possibly there was another child born after their wedding in 1779 as this seems rather a long time to wait for the firstborn.
  • ROBERT died as a child. He was born and baptised the same day, 05 Feb 1784 suggesting there was some fear about his health. He must have died before 1789. We can only surmise this because another Robert was baptised in 1789.
  • ELIZABETH was baptised on 26 Aug 1786.  
  • ROBERT (2) was baptised in 1789.
  • CHARLES was baptised on 02 Aug 1789
  • WILLIAM. This baby unfortunately also died. The Parish Register records: " William son of Robert Southgate and his wife Susannah Frary, Spinster, was born June 9th 1791, baptized privately June 12th and Rec'd in the church June 23 1791. He died on 18 May 1793. "Received into Church" means the public christening, as opposed to the private baptism.
  • WILLIAM (2) was born on 12 Sep 1793 and baptised four days later on 16 Sep 1793. This William was to survive but his twin, Margaret, did not.
  • MARGARET was also born on 12 Sep 1793 but died the next month, 08 Oct 1793
  • SAMPSON was born 12 Aug 1796 and baptised 15 Aug 1796.

What became of the children?

John had a brief marriage in 1803 to Phoebe LACK. This was a double wedding in Walsingham with his sister Elizabeth who married Phoebe's brother Thomas Lack on the same day.

Elizabeth's marriage to Thomas prospered and they had eleven children. However, John's marriage to Phoebe was cut short by her death two months after the wedding, in 19 Dec 1803. Additionally, Phoebe had had a child before the wedding, John Lack Southgate - we might assume John married Phoebe to "make a good woman of her" because of the child, but perhaps the birth brought about her death as well as the baby, who died in 1804 at the age of exactly one.

John then married again, this time to Maria LEEDER of Barney. They had six children. John's profession is unsure but he was probably a farmer like his father, because his son William Leeder Southgate became a farmer.

(This William and his wife Susannah HARRISON appear in the 1841 census living on Thursford Road with three of their children. His profession is given as "dealer". But they appear again in the 1851 census at the same address and William is now described as a "farmer". By the 1861 census William has a new wife, Sarah, and in the 1871 census Wm is living alone with his son Sackville.)

Although the occupation "dealer" can mean a tradesman, shopkeeper or merchant, in this case it may mean a "horse dealer" as the Harrison family were involved in the horse trade and their children went on to become horse traders.

Elizabeth's marriage to Thomas LACK produced many children as we saw above. His occupation is "Mason" when his son Thomas was born in 1817 and his son was a "Bricklayer" in the 1851 census. However, his children also ran the local pub, the Unicorn in Great Snoring. Thomas Lack (Junior) is said to be aged 32 in 1851 and kept the pub from 1845 - 1861 and Eliza Lack (his wife presumably, aged 41) kept the Unicorn from 1865. Thereafter, their son or brother Robert Lack was Innkeeper 1869 - 1875. 

All of this I feel meant that Elizabeth lost favour with her father as far as the will and the inheritance was concerned.

Robert who started out as a wheelwright, married Elizabeth KING of Gt Ryburgh. They had at least 12 children, many of whom died in infancy. They lived in Ryburgh. The KING connection is intriguing since there is an earlier marriage for a Susannah Freary (Frary) to Thomas KING of Little Snoring. No baptisms or burials appear for this couple thereafter. Can we assume that Susannah married Robert Southgate after this? If so, she is definitely from Walsingham.

Gt Snoring Old Millhouse

Gt Snoring Old Millhouse of the Southgate Family

Charles (my branch of the family) became a Miller. This is mostly because he married into the KERRISON family - he married Anna the daughter of Adam Kerrison, who left the Great Snoring mill to her in his will. Charles however was listed as a farmer in the 1851 census with 80 Acres and three Labourers.

Nonetheless, Charles and Anne ran the mill until around 1846. Anne Kerrison died in 1873 and the mill was put up for sale at auction in the Crown Inn, Fakenham, to help with debt repayments. It then came into the hands of relatives as seen on the mills page.

William (one of the two sons favoured in Robert's will) was a Farmer, which perhaps is accounted for in the inheritance from his father. He married Susannah CHATTEN in 1813 and they had nine children but Susannah died in 1837. William married again to Celia DYE, having another four children. The surviving three however all moved away from Norfolk, leaving the Chatten sons to carry the family name in Great Snoring.

  • Their daughter Phoebe married Thomas TADMAN JNR at St Mary, Lambeth, Middlesex. The Tadman family have a story of their own told on the page linked above.

Sampson, the youngest son was also a successful Farmer with 40 Acres and 2 Labourers in 1851. He married Esther Louisa HOWELL in 1826 in Gt Walsingham. They had thirteen children and finished their days in Wells-next-Sea.

All these branches of the Southgates spread themselves around the country and overseas and to tell of all their marriages and connections would take a book. I have my family tree on and on other pages so all this can be seen elsewhere.

Here I will concentrate on only one or two connections that interlace with others within the website. I continue therefore with the branch of the Southgate tree that concerns Charles Southgate and Anna Kerrison

Charles Southgate and Anna Kerrison's children

  • CHARLES KERRISON (1821-1897) married Mary Anna WARD of East Dereham, Norfolk. He ran the mill, like his father.
  • MARY ANNA (1822-1872) married CLEMENT DOCKING who was also a Miller, and the mill passed down the Docking family line thereafter.
  • WILLIAM (1825-872) married MATILDA TUCK daughter of John TUCK and Pheobe TUDDENHAM. I will speak about her shortly. The intermarriages of the Tucks with the Southgates is a tangled story!
  • FREDERICK (1828-1905) married CAROLINE LOWN, daughter of William Lown and Martha Scottow.
  • CATHERINE JANE (1830-1901) married HENRY HALL, son of James Hall and Hannah Matthews. The HALL connection is covered elsewhere.
  • HANNAH ELIZA (1832-1871) married JOHN TUDDENHAM in Little Snoring, Norfolk, son of John Tuddenham and Sarah Ann Palmer. (That is, John Tuddenham the Uncle of Matilda Tuck above.)
  • SUSANNA (born 1834)

Odd Family Links

Above mentioned is the TUCK connection to the Southgates. (The Tuddenhams and Tucks were located in Little Snoring at this time.) William Southgate [son of Charles] married Matilda Tuck and his nephew William by his brother Charles Kerrison Southgate married her sister Sarah Ann Tuck.

This isn't the only curious family crossover. That same Matilda Tuck secondly married her UNCLE Edward Barrett Adams, because his first marriage was to Matilda's Aunt, Matilda Tuddenham. (This is because their mother was Phoebe Tuddenham)

red fwdPhoebe Tuck (nee Tuddenham). Her story is an interesting one as she (or her first husband John Tuck, a horse trainer) were something akin to village 'healers' and I possess their notebooks of remedies for animals and people that were in some cases deadly! And in other cases they were downright superstitious. I have put the scanned books on this website and plan to do a transcript of them. Further details to be found on the Tuddenham and Tuck pages.

  • Folk Medicine of Phoebe Tuck Book One (1867)
  • Folk Medicine of Phoebe Tuck Book Two (1879)

Nicknames for the Southgates

As I said earlier, the Southgates living in Great Snoring were given secret nicknames by the villagers to distinguish one from another.

George Southgate's House

Where George & Alice Lived in The Street

George Herbert Southgate and his wife Alice lived in The Street in the former chapel and schoolhouse, which has a little walled front porch. Here George would sit in his armchair on a sunny day, a short portly man with his cap pushed back from his forehead.

He earned the nickname "Brahma" first given to him by Walter Southgate (grandson of Sampson). Walter exclaimed one day to George, "George, you are a lazy so and so; you don't work as hard as my Brahma hen!"

Another nickname has no known origin, but it was given to another George Herbert Southgate, son of Frederick & Caroline. It was "Little Eye". Whether this was an observation on his appearance we might never know.

The nickname (never spoken to his face) of my grandfather William Southgate was "Carlo". This is because he used to play the bugle - my family were all "musical" - and one of his favourite tunes was "The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo". The family tree of these is seen below.

Southgates of Gt Snoring

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Find your ancestors in Norfolk Parish Registers and Records for Norfolk Ancestors and Genealogy for Norfolk The Family Trees of Norfolk Church Records of Gt & Lt Snoring Norfolk Great Snoring Memorial Inscriptions


The Snoring Villages: a website for those researching their family trees, and for anybody curious about the history and whereabouts of these two small villages in Norfolk, UK.

Contact The Snorings

I no longer live in Norfolk. I cannot visit graves, make local enquiries or provide contacts for you. Please be aware that I have no information other than that on this website..

Address: Derbyshire, England
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E-mail: tricia (at)