William Orcutt born William Horkott 1637 Over Whitacre, Warwickshire

   A lot has been written.  Skilled, capable, and learned historians and genealogist have long been stumped.  WHO WAS WILLIAM ORCUTT? What were his true origins?  Theories and fabricated “legends” have not served to facilitate  finding out, but indeed became impediments.  In spite of those things often getting in the way, and the ever onward passage of time, (some 40 years in my case),  this time perseverance paid off.

   At lot is a stake for the Orcutt and Edson family history, as we, along with the Bickleys, share a history that is so intertwined that there is no extricating one from the other. Anything that pertains, or proves, anything about the Orcutts applies as well to the Edsons and Bickleys.   Susannah Bickley Edson’s mother was an Horkott, a variant spelling of Harcourt, (to us Orcutt), as well as her sister Margrett’s children, including our William Orcutt, who was Susannah’s nephew. Many of us Orcutts have suspected this as having been the true nature of  William and Susannah’s  relationship for many years now.  It  was a logical conclusion.

   Our previous, (about 20 year) supposition was that our William was probably the son of a man named William Awcotte (another variant spelling of Harcourt) and his wife Margrett,  who for good and logical purposes at that time seemed the most likely candidates.  They have now proven out not to have been our William’s parents, but, in trying to ascertain if they were his parents, we learned for a certainty who William’s parents actually were.

   When stumped, or having ran out of leads to pursue, my credo long ago became, go back to the last thing you know for certain.  That is where you always start, and regarding our William that is the Bickleys of Kingsbury, and Over Whitacre, Warwickshire.

   The Kingsbury record has pages that appear to be blank, torn, or  illegible, especially in the front portion of the book.  These pages previously had been written on, but it appears that the paper sizing has flaked, or been washed off.  Many pages of the register which appear to be badly torn pages are not torn at all, but the starched, or gelatin sizing that kept the ink from bleeding through to the reverse side of the paper appears to be what is missing on the right side of the pages. The ink was on the surface of the paper, but did not, intentionally due to the sizing, absorb into the paper. The “blank” pages contain all the information (and it’s a lot), that was ever written on them.  It’s just much  harder, and very time consuming to read and record.

  Within this  particular record we learn that John Horkott and Margrett Bickley, in spite of having had 18 children, were not formally married. In England consanguineous marriage of two persons thought to have been too closely related by blood was prohibited. Many persons at that time were forced to have clandestine marriages, those NOT being sanctioned by the church and government, and often children born of such marriages were commonly recorded as illegitimate, or bastards.

   We don’t know if there was a secret/clandestine marriage ceremony in John and Margrett’s case, but  we do know  two persons having had 18 children together and having lived throughout their lives together, were,  in spite of what any church,  or government says,  as “married” as you can possibly be. Whatever the circumstances, there is of course nothing to be ashamed of for our family, and during the same period, and throughout England’s history, it literally happened all the time.

   From this record we also learn baptism and burial dates for their  18 children, half of whom died in their infancy.  John and Margrett’s burial dates are recorded, as well as the names of both parents of Margrett Bickley, Anthony and Katherene (Horkott) Bickley of Over Whitacre.    Anthony and Katherene Horkott Bickley had another daughter beside Margrett, Susannah Bickley, and her baptism is also recorded in the Kingsbury register, as well as the Anthony Bickley Family Record by Bartholomew Bosworth,  thus she was,  without any trace of doubt, the aunt of William Horkott/Orcutt.

From the Family Record of John Horkott and Margrett Bickley of Over Whitacre ;

“Bapt William Horkott ye Son of John Horkott & Margrett Bickley   Bastardly Begotten  May 15 1637 Married Mary Lane December 25 1663  Hingham Massachusetts Bay Colony America  British Colony.”

  I have checked this record several times in regard to the date of the marriage of William Orcutt and Mary Lane as it is recorded and December 25, 1663 is what is written here. It has long been believed that the marriage occurred in the following January.  A closer look at the  record of the marriage date is warranted.

   This record was made by Bartholomew Bosworth of Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, a cousin of both the Horkotts and Bickleys.   Another Horkott relation, Samuel Brooks, recorded additional Family Records. Both men’s  detailed genealogy records date back to the late 1300’s for the Horkotts and are very neat, and concise.  It is apparent from this and other entries that they had maintained contact with Horkott and Bickley family members that emigrated to America for many years there-after.  It is of a certainty that Bartholomew Bosworth knew William Horkott/Orcutt before he left for America, as they were close in age, related, and from the same small parish.

   There is a notation about William baptized 15 May 1637, under the record of his baptism, “He set off 1658 to go Over to Massachusetts Bay Colony America British Colony…  He sent for his brother Thomas 1665…   He sent for his brother Andrew 1669…   He sent for his brother Frances 1671.

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Family Record Of John Horkott and Margrett Bickley

 JOHN HORKOTT was born Bef. Feb 28, 1609  in Warwickshire, England, and died Abt. Oct 1681 in Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.  MARGRETT BICKLEY, daughter of ANTHONY BICKLEY and KATHRENE HORKOTT was born Bef. 23 Nov 1617 in Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England, and died Abt. Feb 5 1683/4 in Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

Children of JOHN HORKOTT and MARGRETT BICKLEY are:
i. ANTHONY HORKOTT, b. Bef. 19 Apr 1634, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. Abt. 23 Apr 1634, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

ii. KATHRENE HORKOTT, b. Bef. 07 Jul 1635, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; m. JOHN MARSTON, 09 Oct 1658, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; b. 08 Oct 1632, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

iii. JOHN HORKOTT, b. Bef. 15 Jul 1636, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; m. SICELY BICKLEY, 05 May 1656, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

iv. WILLIAM HORKOTT/ORCUTT, b. Bef. 15 May 1637, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. 1693, Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts; m. MARY LANE, 25 December, 1663  Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

v. MARGARET HORKOTT, b. Bef. 22 Mar 1639/40, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. Abt. 23 Jan 1639/40, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

vi. SUSANNAH HORKOTT, b. Bef. 23 Aug 1644, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; m. RICHARD BAYLEY, 18 Jul 1662, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; b. Bef. 27 Mar 1635, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. Abt. 23 Oct 1683, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

vii. ANTHONY HORKOTT, b. Bef. 15 May 1646, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. Abt. 26 May 1646, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

viii. THOMAS HORKOTT, b. Bef. 05 Jan 1647/48, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; m. MARY BICKNELL, 08 May 1674, Weymouth, Massachusetts.

ix. JOSEPH HORKOTT, b. Bef. 30 Mar 1649, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. Abt. 13 Apr 1649, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

x. ANDREW HORKOTT, b. Bef. 04 May 1650, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; m. SARAH THOMPSON, 03 Apr 1675, Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

xi. FRANCES HORKOTT, b. Bef. 07 May 1652, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England

xii. MICHAEL HORKOTT, b. Bef. 15 Sep 1656, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. Abt. 30 Sep 1656, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

xiii. RICHARD HORKOTT, b. Bef. 15 Apr 1657, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; m. JOYCE BICKLEY, 18 Nov 1682, Mancetter, Warwickshire, England; b. 08 Jul 1659, Mancetter, Warwickshire, England.

xiv. EDWARD HORKOTT, b. Bef. 24 Mar 1657/58, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. Abt. 10 Jun 1658, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

xv. JOHANNA HORKOTT, b. Bef. 13 Apr 1659, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; m. ROGER ALLCOTT, 08 May 1678, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England; b. Bef. 06 Sep 1655, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England.

xvi. ANTHONY HORKOTT, b. Bef. 15 Sep 1660, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. Abt. 25 Sep 1660, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

xvii. MARGERY HORKOTT, b. Bef. 15 May 1661, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. Abt. 27 May 1661, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

xviii. NICHOLAS HORKOTT, b. Bef. 12 Apr 1662, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England; d. Abt. 30 Apr 1662, Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England.

    I was able to locate in the Over Whitacre Parish register a record of William’s baptism, as well as several other of his siblings.  William’s cousin, Susannah Edson, daughter of Samuel and Susannah Bickley Edson,  baptism is also recorded,  February 25, 1638/9, and the fact that family left for Massachusetts Bay on the same day Samuel and Susannah Bickley married at Sutton Coldfield, March 1, 1638/9.

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Parish Register  page Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England   Nov., 2018  Joel Thomas Orcutt

  William, along with his brothers, Thomas Horkott, who he sent for in 1665, Andrew Horkott in 1669, and Frances Horkott in 1671, as well as their uncle Samuel Edson, (husband of Susannah Bickley Edson), are recorded in the Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England Parish register stating the exact days they left that place to go to Massachusetts Bay Colony.

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Dates they left to go  to America from Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England   Samuel Edson, William Horkott (ORCUTT), brothers Thomas Horkott, Andrew Horkott, Frances Horkott          Over Whitacre, Warwickshire Parish Register

  There is yet another record of William’s passage to America, found on the last page of the Kingsbury (old) Parish register, “Here ye Names of Those Who Went To America”. thus William’s emigration to America in 1658 is recorded in 3 places, by  two different persons,  Samuell Brookes  the Over Whitaker record ,  and Bartholomew Bosworth  the Kingsbury record(s).

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William Orcutt “To Massachusetts Bay Colony” 1658      Kingsbury, Warwickshire Parish Register