The Quaker Connection

It is not surprising that there is no record of Hannah’s burial in any parish register for this area since she would surely have been buried in a Quaker burial ground. Nor has Andrew’s burial been found in the registers of Wacton, where he was living at the time of his death, or in any neighbouring parish. It seems likely, therefore, that he was buried with his first wife Hannah. Andrew had married Elizabeth GREENGRASS, widow, in Topcroft in 1732, and she was buried in Hempnall the 10th of April 1748 as ‘Elizabeth Aldis of Wacton’. Similarly, Mary COCK, Andrew’s third wife, whom he married in Forncett St Peter the 8th of September 1748 as ‘Widow of Wacton’, also received an Anglican burial in Wacton on the 25th of August 1765. Both of these marriages and burials were in the established church. An interesting entry occurs in the Tharston register: “Danl. Aldis buried 1st May 1731”. Since there is no record of a Daniel ALDIS being born in Tharston, and the age at death of this Daniel is not recorded, would it be entirely fanciful to speculate that he was another son born to George ALDIS and Hester MASON during the missing period 1684-1689, and that his death prompted Andrew to name his last son, born around the same time, in memory of his deceased brother?

So who was Andrew ALDIS? I believe him to be the son of George ALDIS (1652-1734) and his wife Hester MASON during that register gap of 1684-1689. George and Hester had children between 1679 and 1696. Thomas, baptised and buried in 1679, was replaced, in 1690, by another Thomas who married Martha FLATTMAN in 1748. George, born in 1680, followed the first Thomas, and was in turn followed by Edward in 1683, this Edward being the father of Edward ALDIS who founded a school in Stratton St Mary. There is then a gap of some seven years before the arrival of the second Thomas in 1690 and the only daughter, Esther, in 1696. The assumption that Andrew was the son of George and Hester, born circa 1685 since he was reportedly aged 73 when he died in 1758, and that another son, Daniel, might have been born during the same period, cannot be proved, of course, since the documentary evidence does not exist. Other ALDIS/ALDOUS genealogists have accepted the supposition, however, at least as far as it concerns Andrew, as has a professional archivist I have consulted. So I rest my case, and there it must remain rested until an alternative and more convincing line of descent is proposed. The weight of circumstantial evidence linking Andrew with Daniel, and therefore with his siblings, is strong enough to resist serious doubt. The medical link from Hannah ELLINGTON, through Daniel, to several of his children, is too remarkable to be regarded as random. Testimonials to the doctoring skills of Daniel and his son George have survived since the 18th century when they were written, and can be found at the Norfolk Record Office under reference number DN/TES/14. Stephen Clark, Overseer at Tivetshall St Margaret, wrote in October 1777: “Dan’lAldis of Aslacton have for many Years attended our Parishand where he have performed many Extraordinary Cures to the great satisfaction of our Parish”. Similar tributes were paid in Dickleburgh, Gissing, Moulton, Hempnall and Aslacton. His son George was just as favourably regarded in Stowmarket according to a document signed by 15 of its residents: “he is a man who is allowed by Hundreds of People to have had the most Practice of any Person for a great number of Miles...and has Practised his Father’s Employment with great Satisfaction to his Patients...”. Another son of Daniel, Charles, was a surgeon of Barts& Guys, London, and introduced vaccination into Hertfordshire. His son, Charles James Berridge ALDIS MD, effected improvements in sanitation and was the author of a treatise ‘London Noise Disturbing Sleep’. And now it is time to take a closer look at some of the descendants of Daniel and Mary.