People: The Tuck Family

Updated on 23 July, 2012


This page is an attempt to record a few interesting snippets about the large TUCK family of Norfolk, specifically Little Snoring.

It is complicated by the fact that the closest ancestor of mine to the Tucks disappeared off the tree, but his legacy lives on.

Rogues & Gentlemen, and Community Service

Wigmaker's ShopThe first Little Snoring Tuck ancestor that we know something about is Thomas, a wig and peruke-maker/barber whose will dated 1762 tells us that he was severely upset by his eldest son's behaviour.

Thomas, his eldest son - who might even have been the son of a previous wife by hints given in the will - has been frivolous, wasteful and self-indulgent and was left only five shillings.

red quote marks This is the last Will and Testament of me Thomas Tuck the elder of Little Snoring in the county of Norfolk, barber and peruque maker, made this twenty-seventh day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty two.

Imprimus being desirous to dispose of what Real and Personal Estate I am possessed of for the benefit of my family whilst I have strength and capacity so to do, I do will and devise the same as follows. That is to say I give and devise unto my beloved wife Anne and her heirs for ever all and every my messuages, lands, tenements, hereditaments and premises whatsoever with their appurtenances situate, lying and being in Little Snoring aforesaid that she either by the yearly profits arising therefrom or by the sale of the same premises maintain, educate and bring up all such children as are the issue of me by her the said Anne.

Item: whereas my eldest son Thomas Tuck, now a soldier have behaved himself in a very undutiful manner to me by wasting such goods or money as I have from time to time intrusted him with and have by his other violent extravagances  contributed towards the diminishing of my circumstances and impoverishing of my family, I  therefore in consideration thereof do hereby give and bequeath unto my said son Thomas the sum of five shillings, to be paid to him within twelve months next after my decease at my now dwelling house in Little Snoring aforesaid by my Executrix hereafter named, which said legacy or sum of five shillings is in full satisfaction and lieu of all claim and demand which he my son Thomas shall or may have or claim to have of into or out of any part of my real or personal Estate which I shall be seized  or possessed of at the time of my decease.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved Ann all and every my goods, chattles, cattle and other my personal estate of whatsoever kind and nature, the same may consist of for the payment of my debts justly due at the time of my decease, my funeral expences and the charges attending the probate of this my last Will and Testament.

Item: I do hereby nominate and appoint my said wife Ann sole Executrix of this my  last Will and Testament hereby revoking  all former wills by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament contained in two sheets of paper to each sheet thereof set my hand and seal the day and year first above written. Thomas Tuck

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said testator as and for his last Will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and also of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses to the same. The marks of John Amyas, Robert England, Sherwood Bainbrig.

Ann Tuck the Executrix within was sworn faithfully to administer, before me Samuel Hemington (surr).
Examined by us John Tubby and Samuel Cole (Jun) 2nd June, 1762.

His "beloved wife Anne" appears to have remarried after her husband Thomas died in 1762, to Thomas WELLS in 1770 although they had no further children as Ann was aged 53 by then. She lost this second husband and herself died a widow at the age of 83 in 1800.

Thomas Junior waited until after his father's death to marry Elizabeth Barnes. We can only assume his father disapproved.

Thomas and Elizabeth had already had a baby by that time (which died shortly afterwards) and a couple of months before her father-in-law died she gave birth to a second child called Ann, in March 1762. Whether or not this further disgrace led to the demise of Thomas Senior we can only guess!!

Nonetheless Thomas Junior married Elizabeth that November.

The Tuck Ancestors

The second surviving son of Thomas Senior and Ann was William, born 1744. Their son, also called William, married Mary Sheringham and in June 1807 had JOHN TUCK, who figures in the rest of this story.

This John Tuck was either an unlucky man or a rogue.

At the age of 22 he married Phoebe Tuddenham and the witnesses to the marriage were Robert Nobbs and Mary Ann Tuddenham, Phoebe's sister. (The Tuddenham family is explored on their own page). She was just 17 at the time. Their marriage was in August 1829; nonetheless, their first daughter Matilda had been born (as her notebook records) June 20th that same year, at half past six at night.

  • MATILDA went on to marry William SOUTHGATE the Miller & Grocer of Great Snoring, and she staked her claim to the mill in a number of ways. After the death of William Southgate, she remarried to her Uncle, Edward Barrett ADAMS, a Grocer and they ran the shop in Great Snoring together. Matilda's firstborn, William Edward Southgate, married three times and ended his days in Canada.

Between the years of their marriage until 1841, John and Phoebe Tuck produced five more babies, one of which died as a child. However, by then things had taken a downward turn.


In the 1841 Census, John and Phoebe are no longer living together, although they are both located in Little Snoring. While Phoebe is with three young children and another on the way. Her father-in-law William Tuck aged 60 is living in the house, but, John Tuck is living in the Public House. He is by trade a horse trainer.

Unfortunately, in the previous year he was an "Insolvent debtor" and it seems he spent time in prison, according to the record below, which reads "John Tuck, late of Little Snoring, Norfolk, Groom and Farrier - in Norwich Castle".

John Tuck in Debt

Ten years later, in the 1851 census, John is living in the Swan Inn in South Creake. (He's still there in 1861 at the age of 50. Perhaps he's fond of a pint.)

At the same time, Phoebe has a "lodger", Luke Skippon from Sculthorpe. Mysteriously she now has even more children, and the baby born in June 1841 may not to have been John's, since he was in prison at least up to March 1940 and probably not a welcome visitor in the house thereafter.

However, although that is not certain, what happens next is. The "lodger" Luke Skippon becomes the head of the household, eventually marrying Phoebe when John Tuck dies in 1870. They had several more children (which Phoebe baptised as Tucks but did not list the father's name as such.)

One of them was Joseph, who became a horse trainer like his father. A Newspaper report tells of his exploit:

East Suffolk Gazette And Beccles And Bungay Weekly News 16 February 1869 Page 6

HOLKHAM Sporting Affair.---A match, which has excited considerable interest in the neighbourhood, came off here on the afternoon of Wednesday last, between Joseph TUCK, the well-known pedestrian of Little Snoring, and a fast trotting pony of Mr J. CODMAN's of Little Walsingham. The match was for 30 Pounds, the pony to trot 500 yards against TUCK's running, both to start at scratch. The road was thickly lined throughout the course with spectators, who flocked from all parts,and the betting was spirited, the pony being the favourite, as much as two to one being laid on the quadruped versus the biped. TUCK had the lead throughout, and beat the pony by two-and-a-half yards. Time one minute six seconds.

The SKIPPON family was a distinguished one, as you can see from online sources.  Luke Skippon was a family name, which came through marriage to the Constable line, first given by Thomas Skippon to one of his boisterous sons around 1520.

exclamation markI should perhaps state my personal interest in this family, as Phoebe Tuck is my great-great grandmother!

Phoebe's daughter my Great Grandmother Sarah Ann Tuck (Luke Skippon actually being her father however) was born (as written in her mother's notebook) on "August 23rd 1844 at half past nine at night."

spotSEE: Unusual and striking Post-Mortem Photograph and other photos of Phoebe and Sarah Ann.

In 1865 Sarah Ann Tuck (Skippon) married my Great Grandfather William Southgate of Great Snoring, thus being the second of this Tuck family to do so! As seen above, Matilda Tuck (Sarah's elder sister) had married a William Southgate; however Sarah Ann's husband was the next generation to this, as she married the SON of Charles Kerrison Southgate the Miller (of whom we heard on the Southgate page and the mills page.)

The sisters thus became related twice, once as sisters and a second time as Aunt and Neice!

Charles Southgate + Anna Kerrison ==> son, William Southgate 1825
m. Matilda Tuck
    ==> son, Charles Kerrison Southgate 1821
m. Mary Anna Ward
==> William Southgate 1843
m. Sarah Ann Tuck

William and Sarah Ann

William Southgate and Sarah Ann Tuck's story is also rather interesting, as they found it necessary to leave Great Snoring to seek work in the North. Their first two children died in the year of their birth. After this tragic beginning, they then faced a relocation to Rotherham, where doubtless William worked in the Iron Foundry.

Polly & George SouthgateThey had the misfortune to be living right next to the Ironworks, at Hollybush Mount, Rawmarsh, Parkgate. My beloved Great Aunt Polly (Mary Ann Southgate) was born there in 1875. Living with them is "wife's sister" Mary Ann Tuck.

Polly is seen here with her brother George during the first world war.

The next child, William my Grandfather, was born in Sandiacre, Derbyshire (oddly enough, nor far from where I now live!) where in those days they was also an Iron works.

Their only other child, George, was born in 1879 but back in Little Snoring because his father William had died. We assume he had died since there is no record of him thereafter, but no burial record can be found, there is no grave in Little or Great Snoring, and the only record of a likely death is in London so perhaps they travelled there after a stay in Derbyshire.

Polly the Nurse

POLLY (baptised Mary Ann, see above) never married, but she did have one son called Elvin when she was 17. He was brought up by her mother in Little Snoring. Polly became a nurse/midwife and was by all accounts a popular and well-liked one, judging by the testimonials of local people whom she had attended.

You can view her account book and book of testimonials, which give names and addresses of many people local to Great and Little Snoring and surrounding villages. I have found the birth of my own mother in there! You never know, you might find your relative's birth recorded here. (There is a separate page listing all the names of patients and those who gave testimonials HERE.)

  • Polly's Account book showing her nursing record of many local mothers and children
  • Polly book of Testimonials with many local names and addresses

red fwdPhoebe Tuck (nee Tuddenham). She and her first husband John Tuck, a horse trainer kept notbooks of folk remedies and this was continued by their children (probably Sarah Ann). These remedies for animals and people were strange and in some cases deadly! 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's daughter, Sarah Ann Tuck Book Two (1879)

Image Gallery

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
Telephone: Unavailable
E-mail: tricia (at)