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Early References to The Hart Family in Village Records.

1666 Hearth Tax Paul Hart 2 Hearths
1696 Robert Hart (1674-1703) marries Mary Harding (1668-1728 )
1700 Robert Hart for Mill House.
1705 Land Tax- George Hart for Mill House 6d
1708 George Hart of Iford, Clothier Freshford. & brother of Robert Hart of same (Methuen papers 2770) -House with workhouses at Iford.
1712 the occupiers of George Hart 1d.
1713 George Harts 4d. (Church Rates)
1715 Poor Rate George Hart 1d.
1733-4 Paul Hart Iford Shop keeper & Scribbler 1d
..............Paul Hart
, Shearman, by Church. 1d
1777 George Hart marries Mary Joyce (born 1750)
1783 land Tax Mr. Paul Hart 1-0-8
1806-1811 Land Tax Paul Hart 1-0-8

Hart Family Parish Records - Burials
Date
Person
Record
1725
Sarah Hart
Widow of William
1734
George Hart
1752
Jone Hart of Westwood
1753
Paul Hart
Small Pox.
1753
Millard Hart
Small pox
1759
James Hart
An infant
1763
Joanna Hart
An infant
1797
George Hart (1754)
Aged 42
1797
Elizabeth (1780)
Aged 17
1797
Ann Hart (1723)
Aged 74
1798
Paul hart (1759)
Aged 39
1799
Lidia Hart (1798)
Aged 1
1809
Paul hart (1727)
Aged 82

Hart Family Parish Records- Births
Date Child Parents
1754 George Hart Paul & Betty
1756 Mary Hart Paul & Betty
1758 Paul Hart Paul & Betty
1759 James Hart Paul & Betty
1760 William Hart Paul & Betty
1784 William Hart William & Betty
1785 John Joyce Hart George & Mary
1785 William William & Betty
1789 Sarah Paul & Sarah of Bradford
1789 George George & Mary
1806 Elizabeth Brannan Paul & Mary
1787 Sarah William & Betty
1792 Elizabeth William & Betty
1794 Mary William & Betty
1796 Paul William & Betty
1801 Jean William & Betty
1802 Ann William & Betty
1807 Giles William & Betty
1809 Catherine Richards Paul & Mary

Hart Family Parish Records- Marriages
Date Hart Family Other Family
1752 Paul Hart Betty Briscoe
1757 Mary Hart James Crab
1756 Sarah Hart of Westwood George Perry
1764 Sarah Hart John Earl
1765 Betty Hart Isaac Long
1769 Paul Hart Ann Tylee
1774 Susannah Hart William Crabb
1777 George Hart Mary Joyce
1782 Paul Hart (junior) Sarah Sumner
1782 William Hart Betty Smith
1788 Mary Hart Issac Batten
1796 Ann Hart Samuel Hancock

A document of 1667 mentions that
"Richard Hudd senior with the help of Paul Hart and William Allen digged and mede a well at the east end of his house at Park Corner. They have free acess to fetch water for their necessary use." This is probably what would be described as a spring, and might refer to the spring behind the present White Hart cottage at Park Corner (see photograph). This may be the building the New Zealand branch of Paul Hart`s family lived in?

A document of 1709 records the Harts living at Iford Mill
This Indenture Quadripartite made the seventh day of March in the year of our lord 1709 and in the eighth year of the reign of our sovereign Lady Anne by the grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland defender of the faith between George Hart of Iford in the Parish of Freshford in the County of Somerset , Clothier, Brother and heir of Robert Hart, late of Iford in the said County, Clothier, deceased of the first part, Harman King of Trowbridge in the county of Wilts. Gent, and Thomas Beach the younger of West Ashton on the said county of Wilts. Of the second part , Josiah Diston of London Esq., of the third part and William Diston of London , aforesaid , Factor, brother of the said Josiah Diston of the fourth part witnessed that for and in consideration of the sum 170 of good money to the said Harman King and the sum of 230 of like money to the said George Hart in hand before the sealing and delivery of those present well and truly paid by the said Josiah Diston the receipt and payment of which said several sums of money the said Harman King and George Hart do and each of them doth thereby acknowledge accordingly and thereof and of and from every part and parcel thereof do and either of them doth acquit release and discharge the said Josiah Diston his heirs , executors and administrators and every of them by the present and consideration also of the sum of 5 shillings of the money to the said Thomas Beach in hand before the sealing and delivery thereof paid by the said Josiah Diston the receipt whereof is thereby also acknowledge he the said George Hart and also the said Thomas Beach by and with the consent and of the said Harman King testified by the joining therein and signing and sealing thereof have and each of them hath granted released and confirmed and by those present do and each of them doth grant release and confirm unto the said Josiah Diston (in his actual possession of the Messuage ,Lands and Heridiaments therin after mentioned being by vertyue of aain and sale to him thereof made by the said George Hart and Thomas for one year by Indenture bearing the date the day next before the date of those present and executed before those present for the consideration of 5 shillings of good money and of the Statute for transferring of uses into possession ) and to his heirs and assigned .All That messuage or Tenement with the Workhouse, Outhouses, Orchard and Garden therein adjoining and belonging containing by estimation one acre be the same more or less with the rights members and appurtenances thereof situated lying and being in Iford in the Parish of Freshford in the said Counties of Somerset and Wiltshire or one of them late in the possession of the said Robert Hart deceased and now of the said George Hart and in which Paul Hart (father of the said Robert and George Hart) now hath or late had an estate for the remainder of a certain term of 99 years thereof granted determinable on the deaths of Lydia Hart, Hester Hart, and Susannah Hart (daughters of the said Paul Hart under the yearly rent of 2 shillings. And all those of meadow ground commonly called or known by the name of Friary Meade containing by estimation 23 1/2 acres be the same more or less lying and being in or near Iford aforesaid and in the parish of Charterhouse Hinton in the said County of Somerset late in the possession of the said Robert Hart deceased., his under tenants or assignees and now of Mary Hart, late wife of the said Robert Hart her tenant or tenants. And all those 2 acres of pasture, late coppice be the same more or less lying in and being parcell of the woods called Hinton Woods and adjoining East on the said Mead called Friary Mead and north upon a ground called the Crofts? And all and all manner of or happening out of for or in respect of the same or any part or parcel thereof and ill and all manner of houses , outhouses, edifices, buildings, woods, under woods and trees and the soil their of ways, paths, passages, royalties, fishings-, pasture and edifices, emoluments, advantages and appurtenances whatsoever to the said Merssuage or Tenement these and premises any or either of hem belonging or in any way appertaining tyths corn grain and hay and all other tithes of what nature kind or quality so ever arising growing
I the within named George Hart do acknowledge that I have the day of the date of the within written indenture had and received of the within named Josiah Diston the sum of 230 being in full consideration money o within mentioned to be paid to be by him paid unto me witnessess my hand
George Hart
in the presence of Paul Hart,Hector Cooper, Thomas Willett.
I the within named Harman King do acknowledge that I have the 13th June, 1704 the within written indenture had and received of the within named Josiah Diston the sum of 170 being in full consideration money o within mentioned to be paid to be by him paid unto me witnessess my hand
Harman King
in the presence of Paul Hart, Henry Walters, Hector Cooper, Henry Axford., Thomas Willett.

From the records of the Bradford on Avon Settlement Examinations
16 Feb. 1795. Sarah Francis, now in Bradford, before Thomas Bush and John Jones jun. 30 years old. Born in Freshford, Somt., where her father was legally settled. About five years ago she was married in Freshford church to Samuel Francis her present husband, by whom three children, Sarah four years, David two years and John five months. Samuel Francis her father-in-law was a legal parishioner of Hinton Charterhouse (Charter House Hinton), Somt. Her husband told her several times that he agreed to serve Mr George Hart, clothier, of Freshford for five years and received from him 1s. as earnest. What he was to receive per week for the first four years she cannot tell, but for the last year he received 6s. a week further. There was no indenture nor any writing whatever between her husband and George Hart, but he said that he served the five years with Hart for during that time he was not at liberty to serve any other person. About a week ago her husband enlisted into H.M.'s 28th regiment of foot which she believes is gone to Chatham, Kent. [mark]

Extract from item1742/ 6792, Methuen Papers, Bradford on Avon, 1714 & 1737
A particular of an Estate of Josiah Diston Esq. & Excempt from Tythes, 1/2 mile of Fishing, Dwelling House with facilities for drying & furnace, a beating room, a Scribbling Room, A Room for Trying Wool after Dying. The Reversion in the expected death of Mary Hart, aged 45 years, Hester Bullock aged 50 , Susannah Gibbs aged 35. Premises adjoin River.

Hart- Michael Brannan- Gentleman died 9/8/1878 Probate 27 August, 1878 Amount 35,940. Will dated 22/7/1875.Execurors: James Purvis Jameson, Henry Sawtell (Merchants) Ellen Hart- Widow Legatee-next of kin- wife Children: Michael, George, Agnes Ellen, Mary, Edith, Leonard Brannan, Amy Strangers in Hood: James Purvis Jameson, Henry Sawtell, Maud Hart Jameson

Jean M Thomson living in Auckland, New Zealand is the Great Grand-daughter of Michael Brannan Hart who was born at Freshford House in 1814. He emigrated to New Zealand on the first Four ships of the Canterbury Company in 1850. His father was Paul Hart who married Mary Brannon 28th October 1804.

At present we are stuck on finding Michael's grandparents so, any other infromation as to the links to the grandparents of Michael would be gratefully received. Michael Brannan Hart was an extremely colourful individual, worth a book in his own right. He was given 500 by the Temperance society to emigrate to NZ and lecture on the evils of drink in the colony. He used the money to build the White Hart Hotel (the first in Christchurch). He allegedly also fought the first duel in NZ and was the first mayor of the town also. His tombstone records that he died on August 9 1878 aged 64 years (!) at "Freshford House Ch Ch" (Ch Ch is the abbreviation for Christchurch) leaving his third wife a widow (Ellen Hart probably nee Gardner). His son George recounted that his father told him that he was brought up in Freshford house in England, but Jean's guess (she visited you) that he also lived at the White Hart may also have credibility since his father Paul clearly fell on hard times - being first described as Yeoman and later as Shearer. Although Michael arrived in NZ with very little when he died he bequeathed 35,940 to his wife and children and it seems unlikely to me that he earned this in NZ. My suspicion is that this was from a wealthy relative (his grandmother??). Michael's first wife was Mary Ann Swan (of the same family as 'Swan and Edgar' in London) and he had two children in England: George Robert (b. 1841)and Michael (b. 1844) who came with him to NZ. George married Jane Hunt and had Amy, George (o/wise Paul), May (jean's mother), Ada, Marion, Daisy, Ethel, Katie, Frank, Alice (my grandmother) and Neatie. I have been told that the son Michael had two daughters plus Leonard B. who himself had two sons - George and Robert (the former being killed in the second world war. But there is some confusion about Leonard B. which I will have to clear up since my mother thought that Leonard was another of Michael Brannan's sons ( probably by his second wife?)

abstract from Thomas Joyce`s Will 1817:
I give and bequeath to my sister Mary Hart an Annuity or yearly sum of thirty pounds for her life. To my brother Richard Joyce an Annuity or yearly sum of thirty pounds for his life, to my servant Thomas Warton otherwise Wiltshire if living in my service at the time of my death an annuity or yearly sum of five pounds for his life