tracing my family history on the principle 'From the Known to
the Unknown' and having examined original baptism, marriage
and burial registers of Stretham, Chatteris and Sutton in Cambridgeshire,
I make the following notes.
several generations I have gone back to a 'Thomas Custance'
who married in Stretham June 9th 1609 to a Francis Francis.
This would indicate a birth of appx 1585-1590.
has been accepted by other Custance's researching the family
name that Thomas was the younger son of Edmund and Cicely Palmer
who married in Barningham Norwood in Norfolk on the 23rd April
1570. The parish records there give only two children of Edmund
& Cicely, Katherine, baptised on Nov 1st 1571 and Robert,
baptised Aug 20th 1573. The Custance family in Norfolk is well
documented in this area.
further records or references have been found for Edmund &
Cicely, or to a Thomas in this period.
in Cambridgeshire a Robert was married in Stretham to Mary Moggs
on Dec 20th 1604, and a Katherine married a Thomas Salter on
Jan 22nd 1614, also in Stretham.
it is probable that Katherine, Robert & Thomas are siblings
it would appear that if they were born in Norfolk, Katherine
would have been 42, Robert 31 and Thomas about 34. Their ages
for marriage are unrealistic for that period.
is only the Christian names of these three persons, which could
possibly make a connection from Norfolk to Cambridgeshire, but
it is much more likely that they were the named children of
Roger & Agnes Custance of Chatteris.
are known to have lived in the Fens area as far back as a John
Custance of Ely St Mary, his will of 1508, Roger of Chatteris
will of 1591, Agnes, of Chatteris, widow,of 1592, Robert of
Sutton, will of 1581 and his son Robert's will of 1589 and many
others, including Thomas's own will of 1631.
are 37 Custance wills in Chatteris, Stretham and Sutton alone
dated 1569-1851, and I am at this moment engaged in the transcribing
of all these wills. [see list of wills]. What has emerged is
that the presumed father
of William Custance of Somersham, Thomas Custance, who died
in 1707 had no sons, only daughters !! More research is needed
to find the baptism/parents of this William. So the family records
now stop at the estimated birth of William in 1690/5.
William, son of the Thomas Custance above was baptised in Chatteris
25th December 1698 and buried 16th August 1699, and a William
son of Thomas & Hannah Custance was baptised in Sutton January
12th 1704, but would be too young as Williams first child,
Frances, was baptised January 25th 1715 in Sutton.]
was common for a marriage to take place in the brides own parish
in those days, as it is to-day, and as only half of the Cambridgeshire
parish records have been transcribed and published it is hoped
that further information will become available.
Records transcription for the Cambridgeshire Family History
Society is an ongoing activity on a voluntary basis, in which
Custance. August 2000 [Review 17]
name probably CUSANCIA. The name was introduced into England
in 1290 by a family of lawers and ecclesiastics from Burgandy
who subsequently held various positions in court circles, in
particular a William de Cusancia. He was given the Prebend and
instituted Rector of Northrepps in 1315 and held the post till
June 1323 when succeeded by his brother Peter de Cusancia, who
was also given the Prebend of Northrepps. Another brother, James,
was Prior of Thetford, Norfolk from June 1337 till his last
mention in February 1356.
September 11th 1320 William, who was also the Kings Clerk, was
appointed buyer for the Great Wardrobe to King Edward 11. Other
appointments were as Treasurer to the Exchequer to Edward 111.
In this position he is also referenced as William Custance.*
was deceased by 7th May 1360.
Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances is another contender for the origin
of Custance. He, with his Army, landed on the Essex
coast in 1066 and met up with Duke William at Berkhampstead
Castle and then proceeded to Westminster where William was crowned
King. Geoffrey was later chief arbitrator in compiling the Doomsday
Book. His career spanned 1049 to 1093. However, his family name
was de Mowbray.
Walter of Coutances and Lincoln in 1191 is also
a contender, but his family name is not known to me, another
possibility is a William de Costenciis referred to in 1150.
list of Huntingdon names in 1327, records ~ Willº
Custance, listed as a taxpayer under Twentieth of 1, Edward
111, [P.R.O. E179, 122/4] Offord Cluni.
is probably the same William as above mentioned]