This web site is the result of some 15 years of research. It is a work in progress so the web site will need to be continually updated.

During this time I have been assisted by many people who were willing to pass on the information they had and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank them.

I would love to hear from anyone who has similar surname interests even if it is to let me know of errors. In the meantime I hope you enjoy the web site and that it helps to break down some of those brick walls, mine included.


Ashton Keynes

Ashton Keynes is where my maternal grandmother, Louisa May Telling was born on the 28 May 1901. Granny came and lived with us in 1965 when I was a teenager. She was the only grandparent that I had the chance to get to know. After school I'd spend many hours listen to her tell me about her childhood and her time in Rendcombe, Gloucestershire where she lived after she married my grandfather, Arthur Williams.

In May 2007 I finally managed a trip back to England. This was the first time I had been back to England since I migrated to Australia in 1956 with mum and dad. I spent just over a week in Ashton Keynes and had the chance to meet up with cousins who I had been corresponding with for many years. It was very obvious that the village had changed from my grandmother's day. Lots of new houses and new families in the area.

Since I set up this web site back in March 2007 the oddest thing has been happening. Over half of the queries coming from seeing my web site have been for the TELLING family of Ashton Keynes. As a result the main focus of my research over the last year has been trying to sort out the various members and who they are related to.

Having said that I would like to acknowledge the work done by a couple of people that have certainly got me started. Firstly Martin Carter who can really only be decribed as the village historian. He gave me the first lot of information on the TELLING family of Ashton Keynes outside of my own confirmed ancestors(even now I still have not been able to link my ancestors into his family tree). Without it I wouldn't have known where to start. He also has albums of photographs of village families, places and activities dating from the 1880's. I spent many happy hours pouring over those photos when I visited. The other person is Les Haigh. Back in 1977 a Dr Barbara Carter from Nimrod Research had transcribed the Ashton Keynes Parish Registers (she also did all the other parishes of Wiltshire). Les visited the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office and transcribed all the TELLING/TELLEN/TELLIN entries. A rather long and laborious task. I have ordered copies of the Parish Registers but these days the copies are very hard if not impossible to read. Some pages have faded so badly that they only have lots of dots over the page. Others have the writing so crammed together, the parish clerk/minister must have been trying to save on paper, that it is impossible to read. So these transcripts have been a godsend. I know that researchers should go back to the original source documents to verify information but in the case of Ashton Keynes, these transcripts are the best we have and I am extremly gratefull for the work of both Dr Carter and Les Haigh. I have since purchased from Nimrod Research the CD with the full transcript done by Dr Carter of the Parishs of Ashton Keynes and The Leigh.

Over the last few months a group of TELLING researchers have been regularly emailing each other with information and help. So if you would like to join our merry group just email me.

Our TELLING ancestors haven't all been boring. We have come across a couple of villans and there could be more. A Robert TELLING/TILLING was hung at Tyburn in 1760 for robbery. Apparently he was trying to impress a girl with the impression that he had more money than he actually did. Another character, we believe he was Les Haigh's ancestor, was in gaol in Gloucester for 6 months in 1832 for stealing 4 ducks.

My specific project over the last couple of months has been in connection with Wills for people with the surname TELLING and coming from Ashton Keynes. I have copies of 14 wills altogether but unfortunately most of the pages they came on are too large for me to scan into the computer. So I have been slowly transcribing them and at the same time sorting out the various family members mentioned as beneficiaries. Some wills have been very detailed as to names and relationships of beneficiaries to the deceased. Others were less helpfull - "all my grandchildren"!!!!!! With one specific TELLING family I have the wills for 5 generations. One of our little band of researchers, who has only just joined us, is lucky enough to be a descendant of this family.

This is a list of the wills I have:

Anthony Telling, Mason 1732/33 Probate 1733
Anthony Telling, Baker 1750 Probate 1763
Jane Telling, Spinster 1765 Probate 1766
William Telling, Maltster 1768 Probate 1769
Rachel Telling, wife of Edward Telling,br 1774 Probate 1775
Harry Telling, Mason 1778 Probate unknown
Edward Telling, Currier 1779 probate 1781
John Telling (als Tombs), Maltster 1780 Probate 1780
John Telling, Baker 1818 Probate 1822
Thomas Telling, Mason 1827 Probate 1831
John Telling, Mason 1857 Probate 1865
Thomas Telling, Stone Mason 1863 Probate 1866
John Telling, Mason 1879 Probate 1879
William Tellling, Mason 1917 Probate 1917

If there is anything that you would like further information on please email me. I'd love to hear from you even if you have only just started your research into your TELLING family from Ashton Keynes.