Tenbald Suxpitch Stogdon

No, I didn’t make this name up… Quite frankly I don’t think I could if I tried!

Tenbald (b.1858) is one of those curious instances of being the only sibling with an unusual name. I’ve found that normally if parents have named one child something more imaginative, there are at least one or two other similar names, quite often along the same lines, such as all named after flowers, or all Puritan names, like Chastity, Faithful, Noble etc. His siblings, however, were two girls named Jane and Frances. Suxpitch is easier to explain – His father was Thomas Robert Suxpitch Stogdon, Thomas’s mother was Margery Suxpitch.

So I tried to find a precedence for Tenbald’s name – Yet there were no Tenbalds anywhere, surnames or otherwise, in the family. Infact, Tenbald seems to bear the remarkable quality of being, to this day, an entirely unique name. Which means even if didn’t make it up – it seems someone did! I don’t know why this surprises me so much, because I suppose all names had to be made up from somewhere, it just seems a bit late in the day to be doing so, and unfortunately Tenbald doesn’t seem to have caught on. Maybe I’ll add it to my list of future sprogs names and try to revive it…


the Stogdon’s were farmers. They owned a large farm which they sold in 1801, but they continued to own, and rent, farmland in Woodbury, Devon. In fact the patch they owned and farmed according to the 1839 Tithe maps is, thankfully in my opinion, still farmland – http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=woodbury,+devon&hl=en&ll=50.680848,-3.409452&spn=0.007125,0.021136&hnear=Woodbury,+Devon,+United+Kingdom&gl=uk&t=w&z=16

Tenbald however moves a few miles away to Burlescombe, Somerset. I’ve tried in vain to fin him in the 1881 census (probably something to do with him being transcribed as Tenball, Teubald and Tinbalt Z, among other things!), so I’m unsure as to when exactly the move happened, but the farm he moved to is now a dairy farm, so perhaps it was then, too.

Either way, some time between 1895 and 1901 he gets himself a Housekeeper, Lucy Taverner. She is from a little village near Woodbury, so she probably heard about the job through word of mouth… Perhaps she took it because she’d always had a soft spot for him, because in 1902, Miss Lucy Taverner, almost 20 years Tenbald’s junior, becomes Mrs Lucy Stogdon! In such situations (at least in my family tree) a very short pregnancy of 4 to 6 months inevitably follows… but in this case there’s a very respectable year between the marriage and first birth of baby Sophia Margery being registered. 🙂

They had another 6 children over the next 9 years, Irene May, Winifred Maud, and Gladys Suxpitch, Stanley S(uxpitch?), Audrey M, and Gwendoline H, at a rate of nearly one child a year at one point – poor Lucy! Let’s hope it was a mutual attraction that led to so many children in such quick succession.. 😀

Something of note is that on the 1911 census, Tenbald’s Occupation is listed (in the transcribed version, I have not seen the original) as ‘Assistant Overseer of the Poor’. Now, Overseer’s of the Poor were largely done away with in favour of Boards of Guardians in 1834, and yet here we have Tenbald, an assistant overseer, implying there was more than one! Perhaps this is explained by him being one of the board, and a possible landowner in the (reasonably unpopulated) area, but it’s still quite unusual to see that, and I wonder if he was still farming at the same time. Something else I noticed is that in the 1911 census Lucy is made 5 years older, and Tenbald a year or teo younger – perhaps to avoid comment on the age difference, although it’s not the largest I’ve seen, added with the fact that she had once been in his employ perhaps they just thought it’d make their lives easier if they fibbed.

Tenbald sadly died in 1934 (Lucy outlives him by 20 years), at a reasonably good age of 76, and I was pleasantly surprised to see he had a viewable Will. It seems it was something the whole family did, his 3 maiden/spinster aunts all had Wills, leaving their money to the next maiden aunt to die, as if they knew which order they would die in despite being very close in age, which was slightly strange! Only one of his aunts and one sister married, they were left out of the wills, and Tenbald’s sister left her money to two spinster friends. I think it’s rather sweet that they’re obviously looking after each other, as I suppose until very recently (in the scheme of things) it was difficult for women from families who were not very wealthy to accumulate much of their own wealth without marrying into or inheriting it.

I would like to add here that all of Tenbald’s children got married – however when he dies, in september 1934, 3 daughters and one son are unmarried, yet only his wife and daughter Winifred are mentioned in the Will, perhaps Winifred was the only daughter at home, but of course I can only speculate now as we’re almost mid way into the 1900’s. They were left £4178 – around £230,000 in today’s money – not too shabby at all, especially after bringing up 7 children, 6 of them girls (just ask my Dad, 3 girls is more than enough to empty your wallet).

Obviously he worked hard, saved and provided for his family. It’s only a shame he didn’t name his son Tenbald to create a tradition!



10 thoughts on “Tenbald Suxpitch Stogdon

  1. I have a Suxspeach connection. As you can imagine, the name Suxspeach is open to many wonderful variations, one of them being Suxpitch. I am up to about 20 variants so far. John Suxspeach was an 18th schoolmaster in Ratclif, Stepney, in London. He had a school for young gentlemen in School House Lane. He invented one of the first recognisable slide rules which he called The Catholic Organon – catholic as in all encompassing, organon as in instrument. The complex and fascinating book of instructions, published in 1753 is still available on Amazon today and actually makes fascinating reading! John was a Quaker and my 6x G.Grandfather. Some researchers suggest the name Suxspitch is found in Devon in 16th century and was connected to the spice trade. Great website!

    1. Hello – it’s great to hear from someone who has a connection 🙂 I haven’t been on here for a while but I have so many more names to research, and I hoped that descendants of these people may come across the site, so it’s interesting to hear other facts about the name and it’s variants too 🙂 and I imagine there are many MANY variants..! Good luck with your research, I’ve found some old science papers from one ancestor that I would never have dreamed of reading, except that when you have an ancestral connection they suddenly become fascinating, hehe.

  2. Hi, I’m also descended from Margery Suxpitch! I’ve been doing loads of research (that’s how I came across this article) on all the different spellings. I have found the parish records and there is a Tuball/ Tubal Suxpitch in 1544 so that is kind of close. I also have a poem written by John Blackmore who states that Walter Raleigh was a descendant too. Makes sense as he was born at the Suxpitch farm at Hayes Barton. We also inspired a fairy story sent to Dr Wilhelm Grimm (of Grimm’s fairy tales for his consideration as he was researching the fairy legends of The British isles. I would love if you could send me your research too and anyone else who has any info. There are more; anyone interested please contact me at ancientdaze@mail.com Here is the link to the parish records from 1565- 1812
    https://archive.org/stream/registersofclyst25clys/registersofclyst25clys_djvu.txt. I am currently at 1640 but have lots if stuff on ancestry! I would love to see anyone’s research, thanks for the article! Distant cuz! 🙂

  3. Hi, I’m helping a friend with her Stogdons from Devon. I ran across Tenbald on Ancestry.com in this database:
    England, United Grand Lodge of England Freemason Membership Registers, 1751-1921
    He was initiated 16 May 1889 and was living in Georgetown, Demerara, which is in Guyana.

    1. Thank you for this, new records are always appearing as time goes on, I know my own family tree is currently being transformed with all the new information available. 🙂

  4. Hello
    Tenbald Suxpitch Stogdon was my grandfather, who died (1934) before I was born, in 1942. Tenbald spent part of his life as a sugar plantation manager in Demerara, and returned with a pet monkey – my mother used to talk about the havoc caused when the monkey climbed up the curtains and they all fell down! Tenbald became the Conservative party agent for Uffculme, near Burlescombe, East Devon. He lived at Higher Elms, The Lamb, Burlescombe – The Lamb being the name of the nearby public house on the A38 trunk road. I used to visit the house with my parents to see my grandmother, Lucy Stogdon, and I remember her funeral and burial at Burlescombe church. My mother was Irene May Stevens nee Stogdon. She married a farmer, Richard Cecil Stevens, my father, and we lived in the Taunton/Wellington area of Somerset.

    Tenbald was an ace shot, and I have two large silver cups he won, both with Ostrich eggs in them. I inherited them from my Aunt Winifred. I have often wondered about the unusual names of my grandfather. My Uncle Stanley Stoghon had a son who was the only remaining member of this branch of the Stogdon family to carry on the Stogdon surname.

    I hope this is of interest.
    Michael Stevens, Surrey 8 February 2016

  5. I promised a friend I would look up his great uncle, Stuart, who died in WW1. My friend mentioned that Stuart was illegitimate, his mother having been made pregnant by the dastardly son of her employer. Stuart was born in April 1898. A few checks on Ancestry and we have our feckless father, one Tenbald Suxpitch Stogdon. That is, if the story is indeed true for the poor girl may have lied about the father of her child or perhaps she had no idea who the bloody man was?
    She married well, had several more progeny and lived until 1968 – a lot longer than Tenbald it seems. Stuart, sadly, committed suicide in WW1.

  6. Sally and Michael – I’m so sorry for my tardiness in replying. Thank you both so much for sharing your respective stories with me, perhaps one day you might fancy doing DNA tests to see if Tenbald was indeed Stuart’s father!
    Sally – sometimes people named on birth certificates and bastardy bonds were not the father, but a sympathetic person willing to fund the child’s upbringing, so this may also be an option, although not having seen the documents you found I’m not sure if that would fit in this case. 🙂
    Michael – it’s amazing how much more life your story has breathed in to Tenbald’s story – for example records available to me when I wrote this post did not even hint at time spent abroad!
    With your permission I’ll include it within the main body of the post at some point.
    Thank you again, Jenny 🙂

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