The Somerset Lloyds

From Somerset to South Australia

Why is there a link to this Lloyd page from Clare Regional History Group? The answer is simple.

The Group was wonderfully helpful in setting the Lloyd family history search on the rails, by providing a whole set of references to the presence of the Lloyd families in the neighbourhood of Clare in South Australia.

Not only had Lloyd Great Grandparents and Verran 2xGreat Grandparents been in residence in Armagh just to the west of Clare, but there was a related Lloyd family with descendants at Spring Farm to the east of Clare. One Lloyd family is still there in the vigneron business and we were put in contact by the CRHG. That led to a booklet (1) compiled by one of their antecedents about Somerset. The result was also that a CRHG committee membership developed. From here, the Lloyd story follows; and some other Symonds connections too.

(1) James and Jane Martin and Descendants 1847-1987, compiled by Violet Thring, Cockaleechie; printed by Graham Thring, Glencoe S.A.

Visits to Somerset

On my Home Page, there is a reference to a Somerset man making zoyder. Although the little booklet firmly pointed to the Somerset County as the place from which the Spring Farm Lloyds emigrated, no relationship was known among the descendants of the Armagh Lloyds. Neverthless, all remembered a Somerset connection through the old song, When I coom oop from Zoomerzet, where the zoyder apples grow ..., particularly through their Grandmother Mary White nee Lloyd. Certainly I did as she sang it to me as a child! A search through marriage and baptismal records in Somerset was certainly now a worthwhile starting point.

There were two opportunities to make a visit to Somerset since that discovery of the booklet in Clare (1989 and 1992). It is now possible to put together all the material found, in a historical sequence, and to say thank you to the Somerset Record Office staff and some of the people living in Muchelney, Curry Rivel and Kingston St Mary for their help and co-operation. The connection between the two Lloyd families at Clare in South Australia was found and how they arrived there. Their ancestral links back to Somerset appeared clearly together with what these people did, particularly in and around the Parish of Muchelney. Where they came from before settling in Muchelney is still a mystery but time will tell after more hunting no doubt.

Tracking the Lloyd Generations

It was appropriate that accommodation was found at Wellsprings House on the Kingston Road, a mile or so out of Taunton on the way to Kingston St Mary and Broomfield villages which figured in the Martin booklet. It was a a 17th century thatched farmhouse, beamed and flagstoned, with an inglenook fireplace. The bedroom upstairs was well-appointed and comfortable though it brought back memories of a 16th century cottage in Blewbury (Berkshire) which we had rented back in 1957. The floors creaked and were not exactly horizontal in all places - some of the beams in the ceilings and doorways were sufficiently low that it was vital to mind your head, especially up the stairwells. One doorway in Blewbury at 4'6" was frequently a skull-creaser!

Investigation of the Kingston St Mary and Broomfield villages on a beautiful Indian Summer Sunday was a scenic pleasure, with their thatched cottages and their 16th century Churches with golden stonework. At Broomfield, there were many surprises inside the church. An octagonal carved stone font dates back to the 15th Century and has its unusual place in a break in the seating between beautifully carved panels. The finely carved benches represent one of the richest and most complete series of ends and seats in the country, having remained almost unaltered since they were made and carved. A bench-end in the nave has an inscription by the man who carved them in the 16th century - Simon Warman, whose work appears in other churches too; at Kingston (1522) and Crowcombe (1534). At Trull, it is carved 'Simon Warman maker of thys worke 1560'.

Broomfield Parish Church, its octagonal font and the fine bench-end carving created by Simon Warman in the mid 16th Century.

For all the beauty of the fabric of these churches, no evidence of the presence of families such as Lloyd and Martin. While it was certain that the Martin family must have been in this Parish and nearby, the stones did not speak. The Vicar at Kingston St Mary indicated that all the early church records were lodged in the Somerset Record Office but he was able to give some wise guidance on where to search when I did get there. So an early Monday visit became essential. Nevertheless, the day was a fine introduction to Somerset, its countryside and its kindly people. It was easy to understand how it was that the Lloyds took an interest in the South Australian countryside around Clare. They would be reminded of the Quantock Hills even though the trees were not oak, ash and yew.

Just as the day reached an end once more at Wellsprings House, there must be a pause in the story which is still under construction but we will resume again in the next page appropriately At the Somerset Record Office.

In view of the wonderful assistance which the Somerset Record office gave me, you should visit the Somerset Council Pages and those of the Archives and Records Service while you are browsing.

The Lloyd file is under construction by John L. Symonds as at 23 June 1996.

It was created with the Hot Dog Pro Web Page Editor.