Who was Martha VOSS (b) buried in Winterborne Came, Dorset 8th March 1784?

There is widespread  recording in genealogical records that the above Martha VOSS (b) was the wife of Robert LUCAS (a).  These research records probably all have their origin in the same source – the Family Chronicle of George du Toit Voss, who did extensive research into the Vosses of Dorset but who died in 1980.

Various researchers have been puzzled as to why Martha was buried under her maiden name if she had married Robert Lucas.

Alison Smith has just emailed me:

I think Uncle George slipped up with Martha's date of death.  There is a burial record for a Martha Voss 1784 in Winterborne Came, but as Martha (b) married Robert Lucas in 1761, I would think that her name would be Martha Lucas thereafter.
I found Martha (b)'s burial record dated 9 June 1774 in Owermoigne.  It would appear that after Martha's death, Robert married Mary Seaward (bap. 29 Feb 1739 in Osmington), daughter of Roger and Elizabeth Seaward, on 7 July 1775 in Osmington and Elizabeth Lucas (a) is therefor the issue of this marriage and not of Robert and Martha's marriage.

I am minded to accept this finding.  I note that it has widespread implications for many researchers of the VOSS and LUCAS families.  But it raises the question “Who was the Martha VOSS buried at Winterborne Came on 8th March 1784?”

I have the following records for Martha Vosses in the area:

  • Martha VOSS (a), baptised Broadmayne 10th August 1782: no other information and no death located
  • Martha VOSS (b), as discussed
  • Martha VOSS (c), baptised 22nd April 1761 in Winterborne Came & buried there on 3rd  of May 1761
  • Martha VOSS (d), baptised 15th April 1722 in Fordington and buried there 21st May 1724
  • Martha Rose VOSS, baptised 9th August 1812 in Stinsford, Dorset.  Daughter of William VOSS & Christain BARNES, who mainly lived in Stinsford. [Ignore the suffix (d) in my record – an error.]
Martha VOSS (a) & Martha Rose VOSS were of later date and therefore cannot be Martha VOSS (b).  Their naming could be in memory of the earlier Martha VOSSes.
The pairing of baptism and burial for Martha VOSS (c) is solid: the register entries are cryptic but consecutive and read:
22nd April 1761 Martha V bap
3rd May 1761 as above bur
So the resolution of this tangle might be that the Martha VOSS buried in Winterborne Came on 8th March 1784 was Martha VOSS (a), baptised in Broadmayne 10th August 1782.  Martha’s father was borne in West Knighton and buried in Broadmayne in 1830, where they were presumably living in 1782.  So why would the two year old Martha be buried at Winterborne Came?  These places are close and the Voss residents related.  Martha’s paternal grandfather George VOSS (j) died in Winterborne Came on 23rd April 1786. Perhaps the family had moved there for a while to be with the old man?
I do not have a record of the actual burial record or any monumental inscription for the Martha buried 8th March 1784.  If she was Martha VOSS (a) and aged less than two years, there might well be a record of her parentage in one of these.  Does anyone have anything on this?
Any help with confirming these allocations would be much appreciated, especially as several researchers are going to need to correct their records and web sites.  It would be wise to gain a consensus over this before we all amend our records.

10 thoughts on “Who was Martha VOSS (b) buried in Winterborne Came, Dorset 8th March 1784?

  1. I have the hand-written 8 March 1784 entry for the burial of Martha Voss in Winterborne Came, but that gives no age or names of parents.

    I am relying solely on circumstantial evidence which points to this Martha as being Martha Voss(a), daughter of George Voss(a) and Elizabeth Kextone/Hextone/Hexone.

    As Tony correctly mentions, Martha(a)’s paternal grandparents, George Voss(j) and Margaret Buckler were living in Winterborne Came at the time. She may have been visiting them, or being taken care of by them as her mother must have been pregnant with Mary at the time.

  2. I agree, and having found the Burial & Marriage at OWEMOIGNE and OSMINGTON on Ancestry with the new Dorset Parish Records had started my tree amendments.

    My LUCAS line I believe is now tidied up, but if anyone spots discrepancies, please let me know.

    Happy Hunting


  3. Alison… Are you sure about Mary Seaward (bap. 29 Feb 1739 in Osmington)? Reunion questions it because it does not believe 1739 was a leap year. Or am I missing some calendar adjustment? Tony

  4. Hi Tony,

    I have been very interested in the LUCAS family for a while now as you know and always thought there was something strange about Martha VOSS being buried at Winterbourne Came under her maiden name and a differen’t parish to her husband.

    Now we have solved the problem with Martha there were a lot more things that didn’t seem to add up to me and over the last couple of days I think I may have found the answers, I would be very grateful for your comments. I will try and write this as brief as possible explaining the best I can. It’s all very complicated but here we go!!!!!!!

    Were there two Robert LUCAS’S?

    I emailed you a couple of days ago to say I didn’t feel that Thomas and Mary LUCCAS of Coombe Keynes were the parents of our Robert LUCAS who married Martha VOSS due to several reasons
    (a) if he was born in Sept 1738 and died in the January of 1815 he would have died at the age of 76 not 77.
    (b) I found a marriage record between an Elizabeth TRENT of Winfrith and a Robert LUCCAS of Coombe Keynes who married at Winfrith on 30th September 1764.
    I searched the parish records for Coombe Keynes and found there was a Robert LUCCAS born 1738 which would tie up with the above Robert. This now meant that Robert LUCCAS who married Elizabeth TRENT was most likely to be the son of Thomas and Mary LUCCAS of Coombe Keynes and not our Robert LUCAS who married Martha VOSS.
    (c) After marrying at Winfrith Newburgh they lived in Coombe Keynes where they had a son Robert LUCKAS born 8th Sept 1765 baptised Wool.
    (d) Then in 1765 Burial records show a Betty wife of Robert LUCKAS buried 14th Dec.
    (e) It then becomes more complicated as the baptism records show there was a daughter Betty of Betty and Robert LUCKAS born 23rd August 1767 at Coombe Keynes. I couldn’t then see how there could be Betty daughter of Robert and Betty if Robert’s wife Elizabeth (Betty) had died in 1765!
    (f) I then found on Ancestry a marriage between a Robert LOCKAS of Comb Kaines and an Elizabeth GRIFFIN of Winfrith on 7th October 1766 at Winfrith. This could now mean Robert had married for a second time to another woman with the same christian name as his first wife Elizabeth!
    (g) This now meant Betty who was born in 1767 at Coombe Keynes was the daughter of Robert and his second wife Elizabeth GRIFFIN.
    (h) I then found a burial record for an Elizabeth LUCCAS daughter of Robert and Elizabeth LUCCAS at Steeple in 1789. It could be that as there was no burial records for Elizabeth or Robert LUCAS back at Coombe Keynes this could be them.
    (i) I then searched the Burial records for Steeple and found an Elizabeth LUCCAS buried in 1801 which was likely to be Roberts wife.
    (j) I’ve also found the baptism records for Robert and Elizabeth GRIFFEN’S other children who are: Mary born 5th March 1769, Hannah 20th May 1770, Sarah 21st July 1771, Martha 24th April 1774 and John 14th July 1776 all bapt at Steeple.
    (k) Last but not least I needed to find the answer to my Question had there been two Robert LUCAS’S? I believe I now have the answer. Burial records at Steeple show a Robert LUCCAS buried 1818 at the age of 80, he would have been born in 1738 within several months of our Robert LUCAS who was buried at Osmington in 1816 at the age of 77

    Alison and Jim have asked if this is the case who are the parents of our Robert?
    I believe I may have some details but would like to verify it first.

    Best wishes – Carol

    1. Carol… I have finally got around to studying your comments with your theory that there were two Robert LUCAS borne around 1738. Your research around Coombe Keynes looks very solid, and I agree that the Robert LUCAS who married Martha VOSS was not the Robert LUCAS/LUCCAS who married Elizabeth TRENT and then Elizabeth GRIFFIN.

      There remains the question ‘Who was the Robert LUCAS who married Martha VOSS?’ You end your comment saying you have something on that. Can you enlighten us please? Thanks, Tony

  5. Hi Jim,

    Back in March I left a message giving my views that there had been two Robert LUCAS’S born in Dorset in 1738 and that Robert who married Martha VOSS was not the son of Thomas baptised in Coombe Keynes.
    You replied to say that there was only one Robert LUCAS baptised 1738 in Dorset.

    I can in fact see where the error lies and thought I’d point it out.
    1) Ancestry England and Wales marriages 1538 – 1940 show Robert LOCKINS married Elizabeth TRENT 15/10/1764.
    2) The name LOCKINS is not listed as a surname.
    3) If you view the copy of the original marriage record (Ancestry Dorset, England, Baptism, marriages and burials 1538 ) the record states ‘ Robert LUCAS and Elizabeth TRENT were published 1764. The said Robert LUCKAS of comb Kaines (who I feel is the son of Thomas from Coomb Keynes born 1738) and Elizabeth TRENT of Winfrith. The parish record is then signed by Elizabeth TRENT and Robert LUCKAS, but the letter U has been mistaken for an O and then the surname has been documented as LOCKINS. Close inspection of the document clearly shows the first entry as Robert LUCAS then underneath is given as Robert LOCKINS. Finally Robert himself has signed ‘LUCKAS’
    If you are unable to find this information I would be happy to forward a copy of the document to you

  6. Hi All,

    I’m looking for Christian Luckas – she married John Trowbridge in Sixpenny Handley on 22 February 1821 (Witnesses: Martha Dibben, Thomas Luckas; Rector: Phil Rideout of Farnham)

    That’s all I have! I don’t know what, if any, relation Thomas Luckas is to Christian.

    She died sometime in the 1830’s after her third (or fourth) child. John Trowbridge married again (and then again later still).

    Two dates of 1800 for birth and 1830 for death appear on FamilySearch’s new “Tree” feature, but they are not backed up with any evidence.

    I wonder if anyone has come across Christian, her siblings, or her parents in their genealogical travels?


      1. Hi Tony,

        I’m sorry for a late reply regarding any info on Robert Lucas. I was hoping to get to the records office to confirm whether or not my thoughts on Robert were correct, but have had to put my F History on hold due to other commitments, so I will only be able to tell you briefly my assumption.
        Basically the marriage records for Owermoigne show Katherine Lucas who married 1763 to John Croad. John is registered in the burial records in 1816 at the age of 79.
        I feel due to the fact Katherine was likely to be of similar age to John she could possibly have been Roberts sister.
        I have also found a Roger Lucas of Watercombe buried at Owermoigne in 1779 on Ancestry who was possibly another sibling or the father of Robert and Katherine.
        Watercombe is split into four parishes, West Knighton, Owermoigne, Warmwell and Broadmayne.
        I have checked the parish records and found that West Knighton (only 2 miles from Winterbourne came) have a lot of gaps from 1728 – 1756.
        Robert was born abt 1738 if Katherine was his sister and around the same age as John Croad she would have been born within a couple of years or so of Robert. Also if Roger had been the father and not another sibling the marriage would more than likely to have been registered in the gap.
        Parish records have been transcribed on line and are advised to take the transcript as a guide only, as the returns are from odd scraps of parchment and very difficult to read,in some places almost illegible.
        Like Robert I can find no records for Katherine or Rogers baptisms on Ancestry.
        I hope to get to the records office within the next couple of months to confirm my assumption and as soon as I do will let you know the outcome.

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