Friday, 10 July 2009

The pedigree of the family of Curlinge, Curlying or Curling, of Chilton in the parish of St Laurence, in the county of Kent.

One of the local history books that I publish is The History and Antiquities of the Church and Parish of St Laurence Thanet in the County of Kent.

Click here for sample pages from the book.

Click on the image to enlarge it the pedigree of the family of Curlinge, Curlying or Curling, of Chilton in the parish of St Laurence, in the county of Kent from this book.

This book has an index of people named in it so it can be a useful tool for those researching their family history.

Click here to view the list of names.

One thing this leads to is questions from people who are trying to track down information about their ancestors that once lived in this area, often I find I can’t answer them so I have posted some of them here in the hope that others may.

Below today’s question.

“Dear Michael

I don’t suppose you’d have a book which would tell me anything about a school run by a Rev G Abbot in Ramsgate in 1819? I have a copy of a letter dated September 4th 1819, written by my 4x great grandmother Catherine Curling to her grandson Thomas Curling and addressed to

Master Curling

The Rev G Abbot’s



As you see my answer below may have had something useful in it though not exactly what was asked for.

Good news and bad no mention of a school run by school run by a Rev G Abbot in the only book I know of that covers the Ramsgate schools during that period. Information is sketchy and mostly drawn from old averts and maps.

However Richarson’s Fragments of History of Ramsgate 1885 does mention several Curlings mentions as sea captains that went to sea from Ramsgate between 1750 and 1754 William Curling of North End Thomas Curling of North End and William Curling of East End.

We have in stock a cheap reprint of this at £6.99 + p&p or a first edition at £120 + p &p.

There may be some mention of Curlings in Mockett’s Journal links to the whole thing published online here

I will make your enquiry the subject of a post on my blog as a lot of people interested in Ramsgate History read it and someone may come up with further information.


  1. Hi Mike - thanks for directing me to this blog page. In case anyone's wondering, the query above is from me, LucyAnn. I have amassed a huge quantity of primary source information about my Curling antecedents and am planning to write it all up in a book. However, the urge to find more pieces of the jigsaw is irresistible! My major source is a body of 70+ letters held in the Napier papers of the British Library, written by my great great grandfather Edward Curling (second eldest in his family) and 3 of his brothers, Charles, John and Arthur, to Sir Charles James Napier (he who was later dubbed Conqueror of Scinde).
    The latter married, at the age of 44 a great aunt of the brothers, the widow Elizabeth Kelly nee Oakley (considerably older than him, 59 on their marriage)and this link effectively made them 'family' for Sir Charles. He took a close fatherly interest in them for the rest of his life, long after Elizabeth had died.
    For a long time I couldn't work out why he was so good to them, but recently I've been sent transcriptions of 3 letters, mentioned in my query above, written by two other members of the family: Edward's eldest brother Thomas Curling writing at the age of 14, to his grandmother Catherine (nee Oakley) Curling and two letters from her to him. In one of her letters she is staying with her sister Elizabeth and it is obvious that the whole extended family is very close. From reading Sir Charles's correspondence I know that he loved Elizabeth very much. This I think is the reason for his dedication to the Curlings, although he also found jobs for Edward, John, Charles and Arthur and they all did their utmost to deserve his care. Edward, at the age of 21 became Director of the Maltese Colony in Cephalonia under Sir Charles and later Land Agent first to Sir Henry Bunbury in Mildenhall in Suffolk and then to the Earl of Devon's Irish estate in Co. Limerick. John and Charles were soldiers and worked with Sir Charles in Hyderabad. Arthur became very ill when he tried to join them in the same line, and it became obvious that he couldn't tolerate the heat, so Sir Charles put in a good word in the right place and Arthur joined the Royal Irish Constabulary and ultimately became a sub-inspector of police in Fermoy, Co. Cork.
    I am particularly interested in finding out about Mr G Abbot's educational establishment in Ramsgate at which Thomas and Edward boarded, because the high level of literacy of the Curling boys surprised me, although maybe I shouldn't have been surprised. Their father Thomas Oakley Curling [TOC]and his father before him farmed Shuart farm in St Nicholas-at-Wade for many years. Then in the post-Napoleonic War agricultural depression TOC fell on hard times and decided to take his family to become settlers in Van Diemen's Land. They arrived in Hobart on 30th December 1822, TOC, his wife Jane and 8 of their 9 children. Thomas, the eldest chose to stay in England. There is a long letter in the Liverpool papers in the British Library from TOC written a year after their arrival in VDL, saying how wonderful it is and hoping they will soon have their grant of land formalised.

    I have also found significant material about Edward's remaining brother, Robert, who was first an apprentice on East India Company ships, rising to captain first convict ships and then P & O ships. That's the six brothers. Then there were two sisters, Jane and Catherine, who are named in Sir Charles's will as minor beneficiaries along with Edward. I know that Jane married and that Catherine remained a spinster, living with her sister for some time.
    If anyone reading this recognises family links I would be very pleased to hear from you and share information. Mike if you think this is too long a post feel free to bin it!

    1. sorry, could you tell me who was Henry Curling, who in 1862 signed an indenture with Thomas Whilehead an Evan Hughes of Ramsgate as one part and with Stephen Cook of Stourmouth in the other part? I have that indenture but I can´t understand it...Thank you

    2. Hello Anonymous of July 11th 2009,
      Just to say that I have been often to the Sir Charles Napier pub on the Bledlow Ridge nr. Chinnor in the lovely Chiltern Hill many times. My English ancestor was also a merchant marine with the EIC and settled in Ceylon.I find your info. very interesting indeed , my hubby's ancestor and my children's being a Curling off the Hunter Tree of John Hunter the Lord Mayor.!!

    3. Hello Anonymous of July 11th 2009,
      Just to say that I have been often to the Sir Charles Napier pub on the Bledlow Ridge nr. Chinnor in the lovely Chiltern Hill many times. My English ancestor was also a merchant marine with the EIC and settled in Ceylon.I find your info. very interesting indeed , my hubby's ancestor and my children's being a Curling off the Hunter Tree of John Hunter the Lord Mayor.!!

  2. LucyAnn this is exactly the sort of thing that interests other people tracking down their family history and anything to do with Kent history is fine by me here. If you want to put up much more information you can always send it to me and I will put it up on conventional web pages and put a link to it as I did with Mockett’s Journal.

  3. Thanks Mike. Just realised I forgot to mention Edward's brother Henry about whom I know very little other than that he was a soldier and died shortly after he married, in India, at the age of 35. Henry actually took me on a couple of very interesting wild goose chases as two separate Henry Curlings are in print: (1) The Recollections of Rifleman Harris : as told to Henry Curling ; edited and introduced by Christopher Hibbert. This Henry Curling wrote down Benjamin Harris's recollections because Harris was illiterate. In googling this title for accuracy, I've just realised that the character in the TV series Sharpe is based on Benjamin Harris! (2) The second book is called The Curling Letters of the Zulu War, edited by Adrian Greaves and Brian Best. These were letters written by a later Henry Curling to his mother between 1869 and 1880, mostly written during 1878-9. This Henry Curling was "the only survivor of his troop following the battle of Isandlwana" which took place on22/1/1879.
    In relation to (1) there is a brief letter dated 1st July 1848, from H Curling 2n. 2p. 52nd foot to Sir Charles Napier in the British Library which says
    "Allow me the pleasure of presenting you with the accompanying volume reciting the recollections of a Rifleman.
    I could wish Sir that the book were more worthy of your acceptance, but as it gives me an opportunity of expressing the high admiration I (in common with the whole world) feel for one so renowned I have resolved to send it to you."
    I haven't as yet been able to identify the twigs either of these Henrys sit on in the Curling family tree! All I know is that neither of them can be 'our' Henry.


    1. Thanks very much Anonymous July12. 2009 for all your very fascinating information re: Sir Charles Napier after whom I'm sure the Chiltern's Pub I have mentioned is named after and the Curlings ( a fairly unusual surname thankfully)as I have only this evening found the Curling Tree while trying to locate the Hunter Tree again. It being that of my husband's grandmother , Jane Hunter. My husband and I have seen the film , Rorke's Drift more than once and if I'm not mistaken 'Sharpe' gave a v.good performance indeed. I shall show him your information tomorrow. Incidentally the Dunn connected to that side of the Tree was a very interesting character too. We are so very grateful to folks such as you. Merci Beaucoup. AW

  4. hello, I live in Sain and I have bought an old indenture signed between Stephen Cook from Stourmouth (Kent) and Thomas Whilehead Henry Curling and Evan Hughes from Ramsgate. Have you know any of them? Thank you very much

  5. It should be taken in to consideration that cotton made several mistakes during his research on the curling family for instance he states that jonh and mercys son thomas died with out marriage or issue. wrong he married mary bax and had children one was baptised in apr 1741 shortly after his death presumably at sea as no burial has been found to date the sons baptism says '1741 Apr 7 Thomas S of Thomas & Mary CURLING father lately deceased' (the thomas who died in jun 1471 was the son of thomas and elizabeth) so he got that wrong see clive boyce blog on the family

  6. Hi, my name is Mary, and my great great grandmother is a Jane Curling from Thanet. I was born in Jamaica, but I have lived in Canada since I was 19 years old.

    My father was Ernest Hamilton Dicker. He was born in Canada by British parents who took him to live in England as a child and that is where he grew up.

    My father Ernest's mother was Helen Hunter Dunn and her father and mother were 1st cousins Alice Hunter and the Rt. Revd. Andrew Hunter Dunn (Archbishop of Quebec). Andrew's mother was Mary Anne Hunter, and Alice's father was William Hunter. Both William and Mary Anne were children of the Lord Mayor of London Hon. William Hunter 1851-1852.

    William Hunter (son of Lord Mayor) was married to a Jane Curling of Thanet (according to my family tree that was passed down) and they were the parents of Alice (married to Andrew). so Jane curling would be my 2 times great grandmother.

    I do not know who Jane's parents are. I got her date of birth from as 1810 at Thanet, Kent, England. Baptism: 21 Apr 1811 Age: 1, St Paul, Deptford, Kent, England. Death: Jan 1897 Age: 87, Camberwell, London, United Kingdom. Age: 87. This is all I have on her. Does anybody out there know any history on my great grandmother's family?

    Thank you.


    1. Hello Mary,
      Your letter was very interesting indeed because my hubby Peter William's,maternal, grandma ,was Janie Hunter, sister of Edward Hunter owner of Sun , Printing & Sun engraving, printers of Vogue mag..etc.Uncle Ted as he was known to us all, lived in Upper Phillimore Gdns. in Kensington nr. Peter's parents flat. . One of his daughter's(Lisba) ,married Prince Chula Chakrabongse of Thailand (Wikipedia)and the others were: Mrs Pierre Turquet , Janie Hunter Bright and Mrs Petrovitch . I think their only son also died.,.While trying to Google the Hunter Dunn Tree following a hunch having read John Betjeman's poem about Miss Joan Hunter Dunn! which I had for years thought of the if possibility that he may have used a REAL person's name as I was given a brief' Tree' of the Lord Mayor ,William Hunter, Peter's and my children's ancestor showing the descent to the Curling's and Hunter Dunns!! I was thrilled and surprised to find my 'hunch' was correct last year having long been a fan of Sir John too. Incidentally, he lived near Wantage, (once in Berks) where Peter's sis was a boarder at St Mary's Convent when Sir John was invited to read his poetry.. We live not far from Caversham, Berks, where Joan of the poem once lived too. Peter was very fond of his grandma ,Janie Soames nee Hunter and I have photos of her and her daughters but not of her only son who was called 'Hunter' which is a great shame because the only one ,a miniature paintingnwas robbed from my sis in law's flat in London and she had no copy. Not wanting to be impolite ,I never asked to look at it closely but my daughter's did as children and told me he was a lovely blue eyed and very blonde little boy. He died of septicaemia following a split appendix aged about abt. 13? Have to check with my tree which I have momentarily mislaid. So it was yet another wonderful surprise to see this site which I will have to note carefully as I have no photocopier at the moment. From memory , I noticed 2 Hunter Dunn priests and the 1st cousin marriage. Seems to be common in both my family and Peter's too as my mother never had to change her surname,as her Pa and my father's were brothers. Peter's were thru his maternal Grandpa Chas. Soames, a solicitor and hubby of Janie Hunter ,his paternal Grandma being Agnes Wyatt Williams nee Soames,.the sister of Charles.!! Therefore, the Hunter Tree is very fascinating as I have also noted that the Governor of NSW was a sea Capt. called John Hunter born in Leith with a brother called William? and 2 others, one a famous physician after whom the Hunterian Museum is named.I think the Lord Mayor was quite nice looking and was given a photo of the portrait which once hung at the Guildhall but was at the Upholders Guild at the time.My sis in law saw the real one in the Guildhall where I had incidentally been to in search the Huguenot registers.I was thrilled to see yet another twig of this fascinating tree thanks to the wonder of the Internet especially in our senior years when medical ailments do not allow for travel!!not forgetting the use of 2 surnames which has been very useful THREE times proving All my 'hunches' which even my hubby and his insisted were NOT surnames as his Wyatt William family were correct.!Pity they were not used always as Williams is a particularly common surname which I ever thought I'd find,his Pa's papers he wanted me to have having been LOST at his solicitor's firm after his death.

  7. I have been researching William Graham Curling who was born 1879 at Ramsgate (he appears on the above family tree). My interest relates to his service in the RFA. I am certain that my grand-father was his batman for a major part of the Great War.
    I would be interested in any war time photographs or other information about him particularly the period of Jan 1914 to his retirement from the army in 1919.
    Andrew Palmer


Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.