The Butcher Family of Merriott and the Rodbards 

The surname of BUTCHER was not among the 23 most common surnames in Merriott during the censuses of the 19th century.  Nevertheless there has been mention of the family name continuously since 1726 in the Merriott records, up until at least 1951 which is the limits of the records I have looked at.
The earliest  Butcher record in Merriott was the marriage of Joseph & Joan Butcher:

Parents Baptisms of Children Baptisms of Children
11 May 1725 Joseph Butcher, sojourner in Merriott
m Joan Wills, Merriott
2 July 1726 Joseph
12 April 1730 Marg
16 February 1731 William
26 February 1733 John
8 April 1736 Joseph
16 December 1739 Thomas
2 March 1742 Joan
6 August 1744 Joseph Butcher
m Joan Mitchell
No children baptised
John & Jane Butcher  5 March 1754 Ann
20 August 1764 Joseph Butcher m Ursula Gange  3 February 1765 William
28 March 1766 Mary
25 Feb 1770 Joan (buried 12 Oct 1772)
5 October 1772 Ursula (buried 6 Oct 1772)


16 February 1735 Joseph Butcher
12 May 1765 Joseph Butcher
22 October 1731 Mary Butcher
2 May 1742 Joan Butcher
31 August 1767 Joan Butcher
6 October 1772 Ursula Butcher Wife of Jos 

The Butchers and the Rodbards

From 1769 several children were born to Joan Butcher, possibly the Joan Butcher baptised 1742. 

Baptism 30 January 1769 Mary, BB (base born)
Burial 19 February 1769 Mary Butcher
Baptism 22 February 1771 John, BB
Baptism 21 April 1773 Mary, BB
Baptism 1 March 1775 William, BB
Baptism 16 December 1778 Charlotte, BC (base child)

According to the Victoria County History of Somerset, Volume IV, one Henry Rodbard left four illegitimate children, the eldest, John Butcher, assuming the name of Rodbard.  This John Butcher is thought to be the son of Joan Butcher, as above.  Henry Rodbard was the son of John Rodbard, who left the Manor of Merriott to Henry.    Henry died in 1792. John Butcher, now Rodbard, married a bigamist and his children by her did not inherit.   The manor passed to John’s brother William Butcher (later Rodbard – who died 1843) of West Coker.  After William’s death the manor was held jointly by his sister Mary, widow of Silvester Prior Bean (died 1797) and his niece Charlotte, wife of Edward Whitley.   On Mary Bean’s
death in 1849 her share descended in turn to her son Reginald Henry Bean (later Rodbard) and grandson John Rodbard Rodbard.  Eventually the entire lordship and half of the lands was received by H. E. Whitley, son of the Revd. H. C. Whitley, who was brother to the Edward Whitley mentioned above.

Deeds of properties owned by Rodbards and also some Wills are available for viewing at the Somerset Record Office, Accession number C/606.  The Rodbards also appear in the 1873 Returns of Owners of Land of more than one acre:
RODBEID, Mrs Emma of Merriott; over 166 acres with a gross estimated rental of over 378 pounds;
RODBARD, Edward of Merriott; over 51 acres with a gross estimated rental of over 153 pounds; and
RODBARD, J & E of Merriott; over 82 acres with a gross estimated rental of over 314 pounds.

See also:  Earliest History – Lords of the Manor

[The Rodbards previously appeared in the Merriott Parish Registers:

Marriage 31 March 1696 Thomas Rodbard m Hannah Phelps
Baptism 26 December 1699 Anne (twin) of John & Edith Rodbard
Baptism 26 December 1699 Mary (twin) of John & Edith Rodbard
Baptism 8 July 1726 Henry, son of  John & Madam Mary Rodbard
Baptism 18 October 1731 William, son of John & Mary Rodbard
Baptism 27 September 1727 Mary, dau of  John & Mary Rodbard
Burial 14 January 1733 Mary Rodbard
Burial 1 November 1745 Mary Rodbard
Burial 6 April 1744 Jno Rodbard, Esq]

In the Merriott Parish Register, 1795, the following has been written by the vicar:

“NB  In October 1795 Mr John Rodbard had a child that died at Weymouth and was brought to Merriott for the purpose of internment – and without my permission or even being asked whether it might be buried in what was called Mr Rodbard’s vault, it was broke open and I was ordered to attend the funeral – which I absolutely denied doing and declined it should not be buried in the Church at all – the consequence was, that every means were resorted to to bring me to account for any non compliance with their wishes, but no faculty or prescription being found in their possession or at Wells to establish their assumed rights, the child was buried at Stoke under Ham.  I demanded a fee of Five Guineas which was refused – but be it remembered  a Bank Note of Twenty Pounds value was given me for burying another child of Mr Rodbury in the year 1801 which I returned him and he gratefully acknowledged the favour.”

Appearances of the Rodbards in the Censuses:

1861 52 56 Higher St Rodbard Edward Head M 55 M Land Owner Som, Merriott
Rodbard Charlotte Wife M 55 F Land Owner’s wife Som, Bristol
Rodbard Edward William Son U 30 M Gentleman Som, Merriott
Cundham? Louisa Servant U 29 F Som, East Coker
Raison Mary Ann Servant U 15 F Som, West Coker
1871 15 101 Higher St Rodbard Edward Head W 70 M Landowner Som, Merriott
Rodbard Edward William Son U 40 M No occupation Som, Merriott
Porter Betsy Serv W 67 F Domestic Servant Dorset, Burstock

The Butchers and the Osbornes


29 October 1776 Joseph Butcher of Chard m Charity Osband (Osborne)


Joseph & Charity Butcher 15 January 1777 Thomas
9 July 1778 Joan
21 February 1780 Joseph
26 September 1781 John  (no burial found)
2 July 1782 John (buried 2 July 1782)

BUTCHERs in 19th Century Merriott

Most of the BUTCHERs of 19th century Merriott descend from the Joseph Butcher/Charity Osborne family. The 19th century censuses show most of the Butchers as Agricultural Labourers and Factory Hands, as were most of the Merriott population. 


14 October 1806 John Butcher m Hannah Hooper
7 December 1812 Joan Butcher m John Eames


John (a Labourer/Gardener) & Hannah (nee
30 May 1808 Joseph
7 February
1819 Martha
7 February
1819 John
7 February
1819 Mary
25 December 1831 Mary
Joseph (a Weaver/Labourer) & Elizabeth
24 August 1834 Martha
Thomas (a Labourer) & Mary (nee Sweet)
29 June 1834 Ann
13 December 1835 John   
2 July 1837 George
24 February 1839 Charles
Mary (a Single Woman/Glove Sewer) BUTCHER 25 February 1855 Eloise, BB 12 January 1859 Adam
John (a Labourer) & Louisa (nee England)
18 September 1858 Thomas  
11 November 
1860 Mary Ann 
13 July
1862 Hannah
10 April 1864 Joseph
14 April
1867 Eliza
13 November
1870 John
8 August 1875 Henry
Ann  (a Single Woman) BUTCHER 12 August 1860 Emmanuel Pike Butcher

BURIALS 1801 – 1900

26 April 1860 Adam Butcher 1 yr
9 September 1899 Arthur Henry Butcher 2 mo
16 May 1839 Charles Butcher 3 mo
24 February 1849 John Butcher 66
7 February 1876 Joseph Butcher 11
10 March 1888 Samuel Butcher 7 w
17 May 1810 Thomas Butcher
2 April 1839 Thomas Butcher 28
31 August 1894 Thomas Butcher 35
2 May 1895 Thomas Edward Butcher 11 mo

3 September 1825 Charity Butcher 61
27 April 1868 Eliza Butcher 1
9 November 1828 Elizabeth Butcher 2 w
10 October 1830 Elizabeth Butcher 11 w
18 July 1846 Elizabeth Butcher 72
8 March 1879 Ellen Butcher 7 mo
1 May 1847 Hannah Butcher 70
25 March 1812 Joan Butcher
19 January 1861 Margaret Butcher 71
21 January 1820 Mary Butcher 1
20 December 1879 Mary Butcher 84
17 February 1883 Mary Ann Butcher 22

CENSUSES (excluding 1881)

1841 12 Lower St Butcher John 55 M Ag. Lab Y
Butcher Hannah 55 F Y
Butcher Mary 11 F Y
1841 13 Bottom of Sherrimore Hill Lawrence James 75 M Ag. Lab Y
Lawrence Sarah 75 F N
Trask Ruben 35 M Shoemaker Y
Trask Ann 35 F Y
Trask Sampson 10 M Y
Trask Mary 5 F Y
Trask George 3 M Y
Trask Francis 1 M Y
Butcher Elizabeth 64 F Ind Y
1841 22/23 Boozer Butcher Mary 40 F Labourer Y
Trask James 20 M Labourer Y
Trask Hannah 16 F Factory Y
Butcher Ann 7 F Y
Butcher John 5 M Y
Butcher George 4 M Y
1851 334 045 Town’s End Butcher Mary Head W 53 F Ag. Lab Som, Merriott
Butcher John Son U 14 M Ag. Lab Som, Merriott
Butcher George Son U 12 M Shoemaker Som, Merriott
1851 352 043 Broadway Sweet Hannah Head W 43 F Works in the fields Som, Merriott
Sweet Mary Ann Dau U 24 F Works in the factory Som, Merriott
Sweet George Son U 22 M Labour Som, Merriott
Sweet Samuel Son U 6 w M Som, Merriott
Butcher Mary Lodger U 21 F Glover Som, Merriott
Sweet ?? Son U 4 M Som, Merriott
1861 53 067 High St Butcher John Head M 22 M Laborer Som, Merriott
Butcher Louisa Wife M 24 F Som, Merriott
Butcher Thomas Son U 2 M Som, Merriott
Butcher Mary Ann Dau U 5m F Som, Merriott
1861 54 074 High St Butcher Mary Head W 60 F Laborer Som, Merriott
Butcher Ann Dau U 27 F Glover Som, Merriott
Butcher Emanuel Pike Grandson U 10m M Som, Merriott
Sweet Charles Lodger U 22 M Ag. Lab Som, Merriott
1871 13 83 Boozer Butcher Mary Head W 76 F Ag. Lab Som, Merriott
Butcher Ann Dau U 34 F Glover Som, Merriott
Butcher Emmanuel Grandson U 10 M Scholar Som, Merriott
1871 14 90 Boozer Butcher John Head M 37 M Carter Som, Merriott
Butcher Louisa Wife M 36 F Som, Merriott
Butcher Thomas Son U 12 M Ag. Lab Som, Merriott
Butcher Maryann Dau U 10 F Scholar Som, Merriott
Butcher Hannah Dau U 8 F Scholar Som, Merriott
Butcher Joseph Son U 6 M Scholar Som, Merriott
Butcher John Son U 6m M Som, Merriott
1871 37 187 Hinton St George Butcher Mary Head U 40 F Glover Som, Merriott
Butcher Joseph Son U 8 M Som, Merriott
Butcher Eliza Dau U 6 F Som, Merriott
Butcher John Son U 1 M Som, Merriott
1871 71 118 Broadway Parker Roger, Jnr Head M 38 M Market Gardener Som, Merriott
Parker Louisa Wife M 33 F Som, Merriott
Parker Mary Susan Dau U 12 F Scholar Som, Merriott
Parker Henry William Son U 10 M Scholar Som, Merriott
Parker Jane Dau U 7 F Scholar Som, Merriott
Parker Sarah Dau U 5 F Scholar Som, Merriott
Parker Rose Dau U 3 F Scholar Som, Merriott
Parker Richard Son U 2 M Som, Merriott
Butcher Elsy Servt U 15 F Domestic Servant Som, Merriott
1891 21 152 136 Higher St Butcher Thomas Head M 33 G. Nurseryman Merriott
Butcher Hannah Wife M 30  Merriott
Butcher Ellen Dau 3 Merriott
Butcher Henry Son 7 mo Merriott
1891 22 152 143 Higher St Butcher John Head M 50 General Labourer Merriott
Butcher Louisa Wife M 55 Merriott
Butcher Hannah Dau S 30 Factory Labourer  Merriott
Butcher John Son 20 Agricultural Labourer  Merriott
Butcher Henry Son S 16 General Labourer  Merriott
1891 28 155 179 Church St Butchers Elsie Head S 36 Living on own means Merriott Butchers Mary Dau 11 Crewkerne, Somerset
Butchers Henry Son 8 Merriott
1901 4 56 25 Beadon Lane Butcher Rose Wife M 30 Merriott
Butcher Edward Joseph Son 9 Merriott
Butcher Lily Mary Dau 9 Merriott
Butcher Henry William Son 2 Merriott
Butcher Ellen Victoria Dau 10 m Merriott
Wills Ann Aunt S 70 Merriott
1901 10 59 82 Sandy Hole Butcher Elsie Head S 44 Independent Merriott Butcher Mary Parker Dau S 21 Dressmaker Own account At home Crewkerne
1901 13 61 98 Church Street Butcher James Head M 26 Sail Cloth Canvas Weaver  Merriott
Butcher Bessie Wife M 27 Merriott
Butcher Thomas Henry Son 6 Merriott
Butcher Edward James Son 4 Merriott
Butcher Walter Son 2 Merriott
1901 39 74 276 Townsend Butcher John Head M 30 Labourer in Nursery Merriott
Butcher Florence Wife M 25 Shirt Maker  At home Crewkerne
Butcher Thomas George Son 6m Merriott
1901 40 74 280 Townsend Pattemore Matthew Head M 66 Nursery Labourer  Merriott
Pattemore Ellen Wife M 65 Merriott
Pattemore Matthew Henry Son S 22 Canvas Sail Cloth Weaver
Butcher Hannah Dau W 39 Linen Flax Spinner Merriott
Butcher Nellie Granddau 12 Merriott
Butcher Charles Henry Grandson 10 Merriott
1901 42 75 301 Boozer Pitt Butcher John Snr Head M 64 General Labourer  Merriott
Butcher Louisa Wife M 64 Merriott
Butcher Hannah Dau S 37 Canvas Yarn
Spooler  Merriott
1901 44 76 311 Shiremoor Hill Butcher Henry Head M 24 Nursery Labourer Merriott
Butcher Sarah Ann Wife M 25 Shirt Maker Merriott
Butcher Francis John Son 3 Merriott
Butcher Henry George Son 5m Merriott

BUTCHERs in Merriott in the 20th Century

The surname BUTCHER was still in evidence in the Parish Records of the early 20th Century.

For more information, please contact:  sue@merriottfamiliesgenealogy.net

1911 Census

No of RoomsAbodePersons
285KnappRAINDLE Reuben Head 43 M Farm Labourer born Merriott
RAINDLE Annie Wife 42 Married 17 years 1 child born alive 1 still living; born Merriott
RAINDLE May Dau 16 S born Merriott
BUTCHER Henry Nephew 20 S Assistant Grocers Shop born Merriott
BUTCHER Nellie Niece 22 S Domestic Servant born Merriott
RAINDLE Louisa Sister 44 S Servant born Merriott
ROBINSON Emma Visitor Married 4 years born Merriott
RAINDLE Susan Mother 82 W born Merriott
1304Shiremoor HillBUTCHER Henry Head 34 M Carter for Hay and Corn Merchant, Worker born Merriott
BUTCHER Sarah Ann Wife 35 Married 13 years 5 children born alive 4 still living, born Merriott
BUTCHER Francis John Son 13 Worker for Poulterer, born Merriott
BUTCHER Henry George Son 10 born Merriott
BUTCHER Albert Edward Son 7 born Merriott
BUTCHER Hilda May Dau 10m born Merriott
1512Higher StreetBUTCHER John Head 40 M Carter for Royal Nurseries Worker born Merriott
BUTCHER Florence Wife 35 Married 14 years 5 children born alive 5 still living; born Merriott
BUTCHER Alice Dau 9 born Merriott
BUTCHER Thomas Son 10 born Merriott
BUTCHER Ellen Dau 7 born Merriott
BUTCHER Florence Dau 5 born Merriott
BUTCHER Ivey Dau 3 born Merriott
1832Boozer PitBUTCHER John Head 75 M Farm Labourer Worker born Merriott
BUTCHER Louisa Wife 75 Married 52 years 9 children born alive 2 still living; born Merriott
2633Beadon LaneBUTCHER Joseph Head 49 M Labourer Farm Worker born Merriott
BUTCHER Rose Wife 39 Married 20 years 7 children born alive 6 still living; born Merriott
BUTCHER Lily Dau 19 S Mind Drawings in Sailcloth Factory Worker born Merriott
BUTCHER Harry Son 12 School born Merriott
BUTCHER Victoria Dau 10 School born Merriott
BUTCHER Benjamin Son 7 School born Merriott
BUTCHER Elsie Dau 1 born Merriott
2714BroadwayBUTCHER SWEET John Head 40 M Labourer Farm Worker born Merriott
BUTCHER SWEET Eliza Wife 34 Married 14 years 7 children born alive 7 still living; born South Brewham SOM
BUTCHER SWEET Reginald Son 13 Errand Boy Sail Cloth Works Worker born Merriott
BUTCHER SWEET Harold Edward Son 12 School born Merriott
BUTCHER SWEET Linda Dau 9 School born Merriott
BUTCHER SWEET Beatrice Dau 9 School born Merriott
BUTCHER SWEET Albert Son 6 School born Merriott
BUTCHER SWEET Violet Dau 4 School born Merriott
BUTCHER SWEET Ivy Dau 2 born Merriott


Joseph BUTCHER, son of Mary BUTCHER, was born about 1863 in Merriott.  Rose OSBORNE was born in 1872, the daughter of the widow Ellen OSBORNE (nee WILLS).   A marriage date has not yet been found for the couple, who lived in Merriott and worked as Market Gardeners.  The couple had six children.   Joseph died in 1940 aged 77 years, and Rose in 1946 aged 74 years.  [Photo showing Joseph & Rose BUTCHER standing outside their house in Broadway, Merriott, courtesy of Robin Taylor]

This is a photo of Joseph BUTCHER and his daughter Lilian Mary (born about 1892), working in a Merriott Market Garden (location unknown- perhaps on the Hinton Road?).  [Photo courtesy of Robin Taylor].