Surname Saturday

Surname Saturday – Fossey

The first person in my tree with this surname is Elizabeth Fossey.

My line is:

 1 Lois Whimpey

2 Ivon Walter Whimpey (1923-2009)
3 Edith Jean Marr (1922-1990)

6 Wilfred Palmer Marr (1892-1955)
7 Edith Meriden Docwra (1904-1948)

14 Harry Docwra (1866-1934)
15 Emily Alice Oliver (1877-1925)

28 Alfred Docwra (1824-1903)
29 Mary Scott (1830-1885)

56 Tempest Sell (1787-1861)
57 Jane Docwra (1800-1840)

112 Simeon Sell (1753-1823)
113 Edith Leete (1765-1798)

226 Simeon Leete (1740-1807)
227 Elizabeth Fossey (1746-1816)

Elizabeth was born about 1746.   She married Simeon Leete on 15 November 1763 at Wallington, Hertfordshire, England.

Simeon and Elizabeth had 12 children:

  • Edith 1765-1798 married Simeon Sell
  • Simeon 1766-1823 married Elizabeth Sell
  • Thomas 1768-1802 married Ann Cole
  • Mary 1770-1770
  • Mary 1772-1832 married Herbert John Williams
  • William 1774-1833 married Jane Why
  • John 1775-1775
  • Jackey 1776-1833 married Keziah Carrington
  • Elizabeth 1778-1778
  • Elizabeth 1779-? married Edward Fossey
  • Ann 1781-?
  • Sarah 1788-1807

Elizabeth died in 1816, and was buried 18 March 1816 at Guilden Morden.  The burial entry shows she was 70 years old, and “of Graveley, Hertfordshire”.

Since I only had an approximate year of birth for Elizabeth, I went looking online to try and find a baptism record for her.  Although I wasn’t able to find a baptism for Elizabeth, I did find a baptism of Edward Fossey, christnened 15 April 1771 at Wallington.  His parents were Edward Fossey and Martha.  The marriage entry for Elizabeth Leete and Edward Fossey (they married 22 January 1798 at Guilden Morden), showed that Edward was from Wallington, so the baptism in 1771 seemed to be for this Edward.

Was there a connection between the Edward Fossey who married Elizabeth Leete, and Elizabeth’s mother Elizabeth Fossey?   I decided to do a google search for “the Fossey family of Wallington”.  I found a mention of the family in the book “The Family of Leete”.  This book stated that Elizabeth Fossey, the wife of Simeon Leete, was the daughter of Thomas Fossey of Bygrave and Wallington.   I then decided to see if Thomas Fossey’s will was available in the PCC Wills on the UK National Archives website.   There was a will of a Thomas Fossey, gentleman of Wallington, Hertfordshire dated 5 February 1768. After obtaining this will, I searched the will to see if there was any mention of the surname Leete.  I found the mention of “granddaughter Edith Leete”.  Also mentioned in the will are wife Edith Fossey, sons Edward, Thomas, Daniel, Joseph and Isaac Fossey, and grandson Simeon Leete.

It would appear that Elizabeth Leete and Edward Fossey were cousins, and that they were both grandchildren of Thomas Fossey of Wallington.  More research is needed to confirm this.

At this stage, I still haven’t been able to find baptism entries for Thomas Fossey’s children, except son Isaac, who was christened 27 October 1751 at Wallington. In “The Family of Leete”, Thomas Fossey was listed as being of Bygrave as well as Wallington.  The Hertfordshire County Council has produced a list of the Parish registers they hold at  This is the entry for Bygrave


Bygrave DP/27 1802 – 1980 1765 – 1964 1805 – 1980 1615 – 1869 [earlier registers destroyed by fire]

This would explain why I haven’t been able to find baptism records for the family, or a marriage for Thomas and Edith.  It would appear that the only records prior to 1765 to have survived for Bygrave are the Bishops Transcripts. This also means that at this stage I have not been able to trace the family back further than Thomas.