Mussetts in and from Bures St Mary 1: Henry and Margaret

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The earliest record of a Mussett in Suffolk is – at the moment – the baptism of Henry, son of Henry and Margaret Mussett, in Bures St Mary on 30 Oct 1670. He was the first of nine children baptised there, four sons and five daughters:

  • Henry, baptised 30 Oct 1670
  • Elizabeth, baptised 9 Mar 1671/2
  • Mary, baptised 20 Apr 1674
  • Margaret, baptised 13 Aug 1675
  • Thamar, baptised 22 Apr 1678
  • Katherine, baptised 13 Oct 1680
  • John, baptised 30 Dec 1682
  • Thomas, baptised 20 Mar 1686/7
  • Robert, baptised 20 Sep 1689

Elizabeth died in 1691. Margaret, Henry’s wife, died in 1700, the same year as their daughter of the same name. Henry died in 1710, and all four were buried in Bures. I haven’t yet found Henry and Margaret’s marriage.

Thamar Mussett, who fortunately had an unusual name, married Edward Symonds in Stoke-by-Nayland on 4 March 1700/1. Interestingly, the register says that they were both of Nayland, but then the parish is right next door to Bures St Mary, so Thamar hadn’t moved too far from home. She died in 1704 and was buried in Nayland.

On 22 April 1712, Susanna daughter of Thomas Mussett, deceased, was baptised in Bures St Mary. It seems likely that she is a granddaughter of Henry and Margaret, daughter of their son Thomas who was baptised in Bures St Mary on 20 March 1686/7. I can’t find a marriage for him yet, and he’s not buried anywhere in Suffolk (at least, where a register has survived for that period). However, there’s a burial in Aldham on 27 Nov 1710 for a Thomas Mussett – this could be him. If he’d died before Susanna’s birth, and in the upheaval caused by her father’s death wasn’t baptised straight away, this would make sense.

Robert appears to have married a woman called Dorcas. Their daughter, also called Dorcas, was baptised in Bures St Mary on 6 Jan 1712/3. There’s a marriage in Wethersfield, Essex (about 16 miles east of Bures St Mary) between a Robert Mussel and a Dorcas Beal on 4 March 1711/12. This could be their marriage, as it comes just under a year before Dorcas jnr’s baptism, and Dorcas is an unusual name. Although, given that the groom’s surname is Mussel, rather than Musset, there is a question mark over it (that said, I have seen this mistake made with “Mussett” before, in the register of settlements in the Wivenhoe poor law records). It seems that they then moved to London, settling in Whitechapel, where Robert worked as a bricklayer.

Mary, Katherine, and John are currently mysteries. Although I do wonder if John had moved to Aldham with Thomas – more on that theory another time.

Henry, the eldest of Henry and Margaret’s children, seems to have stayed in Bures, where he married twice and had twelve children. And here’s his story.