Stevie and I started to research our family history a few years ago, we had done nothing much before this and we were both amazed at what we turned up.

We had moved down to Devon, from Surrey where I had grown up, and where we both met and lived for the first part of our married life, only to find that all the "Barbers" in my tree originaly came from the Ilminster area which is only 30 minutes away

Tatworth - Chard Parish

Apart from looking at records in county archives, we spent many a day walking round graveyards looking for names. One day we decided to have a look at gravestones in the Chard area and just before Chard we came to a village called Tatworth. I saw a church "St John the Evangelist" and suggested we stop, but Stevie wasn't that keen. At the last minute I signalled and turned off the main road into the church car park. There, Stevie found the gravestone of my Great Great Grandparents "George and (Anne nee Broughton) Barber. It was a truly amazing find. (below left)

Left: the grave stone of George and Anne Barber
Right: The gravestone of Anne's brother Benjamin Broughton
and his 2 wifes Elizabeth Forsey & Susanna Trenchard


George was born in Ilminster on the 3rd February 1790 and died on 2nd March 1875 in Tatworth. Anne was born in 1800 at Chardstock (near Tatworth) , and died 9th February 1875. So George outlived Anne by about three weeks.
In Tatworth graveyard we also found Benjamin Broughton and his two wives, (above right photo) so we believe George and Anne moved back to Tatworth from Ilminster to be with her siblings.

Benjamin Broughton lived in Forton at Blacklands Mill House along with 12 acres of land, (mostly water)

The Old Meeting House

Between the years 1700 and 1900 their were many "Barbers" living in the Ilminster area, today you will find very few in the phone book. We did find one "Barber" just outside Ilminster, and a few in the Chard area. Many of the "Barbers" who lived in Ilminster in the 1700/1800's would meet at "The Old Meeting House" where they held prayers but had no license to marry. The "Old Meeting House" was built and used by the "Non-conformist Presbytarians". Today the building is many things. There is a Cafe upstairs at the back serving nice foods, a shop on the ground floor selling prints and paintings and much more.

North Street, Ilminster cir 1904

The building on the left (above)  was called "LONDON HOUSE", and the shop beneath was "BARBER SADDLER Co". The building today (2016) is Lloyds TSB, and has had a face lift of some kind as the name "LONDON HOUSE" has been removed. The round plaque "below" which looks fairly old, is on the wall above the main bank entrance today.

There is a striking resemblance to the horse in the old wall plaque, and the horse in the modern Lloyds TSB sign. The only difference to me, is the strap for want of a better word, around the horses middle. I have not seen another like it anywhere. It is my belief that it was put there when the shop was "BARBER SADDLER Co" and possibly lloyds TSB have used the horse design on their modern signs you see today.

The present LloydsTSB Sign with the horse looking very much like the horse
above it, wouldn't you say


Broughton Family

My GG Grandmother Anne Barber ne Broughton was born in Chardstock which is only a few miles from Tatworth where she is buried. I have found records of two brothers also born in Chardstock , James Broughton and Benjamin Broughton but their parants names are proving to be a brick wall.

1861 Census.

James Broughton and daughter Eliza Broughton and a granddaughter Maria b.1850 (aged 10) were living with George and Ann Barber at Frith Green, Tatworth (could be Frith Green House) Occupation of James was Boffin finisher in Lace Factory.

Benjamin Broughton died 1870 aged 77 yrs. Elizabeth Broughton died
1874 aged 68 yrs

There was only one Broughton Family living in Chardstock cir 1800 and none of them are buried in Chardstock that we could find. Anne's father is possibly called John.