Notes by professional genealogist Robin Bush of Somerset UK

[re: Simon Hoyt(e)]

In the Stamford Town Records there is on file an interesting document relating to the distribution of Susanna Hoyt's estate. It is dated December 1, 1674, and signed by her several sons and sons-in-law as follows: Moses Hoyt, Joshua Hoyt, Samuel Hoyt, Benjamin Hoyt, Thomas Lyon, Samuel Finch, Samuel Firman. Witness Abram Finch and Jonas Seely.--from the Lyon Memorial, New York Families descended for the immigrant Thomas Lyon, of Rye, New York. Editor: Robert B. Miller of Detroit, MI and Assoc. Editor: A.B. Lyons, M.D. of Detroit, MI. Press of William Grahan Printing Co., 1907.

The Upwey (Upway) England parish registers survive only from 1654 and the Bishop's Transcripts for the parish only from 1731. It then occurred to me that the entries may have appeared in the Dorchester parish registers even though the family lived at Upway and, indeed, Simon Hoyt is stated to have been born or baptized at Dorchester (or Upway) son of John and Ruth, on 20 Jan. 1590. There is only one Dorchester parish (Holy Trinity) which has parish registers surviving from an early date, namely those for Hoyt Trinity in 1559.

There was not trace of the baptism of Simon Hoyt, his marriage, the baptisms of his children (1614-25) or the baptism of his supposed wife, Deborah Stowers (1593), at the dates stated. Of other Dorchester parishes, the registers of All Saints date only from 1653 and those of St. Peter's also from 1653 and none of the three parishes have any Bishop's Transcripts before 1730/1. I can think of no alternative other than that these are "fake" entries supplied by some individual in the past to satisfy wishful thinking among Hoyt descendants. I suppose that it is just possible that the events took place in a different parish and that whoever abstracted the details recorded the wrong place, but I doubt it. I am not familiar with he source credited for the entries in the sheet that you sent me, "The Journal of the Reverend Silas Constant" edited by Emily Warren Roebling (1903). It is also possible that the original source of the information could have been some contemporary record of these untraced Dorset entries which was kept by the Hoyt emigrants and carried by them across to New England. However, if this was so, it would surely have been published independently long ago. A further possibility might have been that an earlier register of Upwey was extant in the 19th century when Hoyt and Stowers entries were abstracted by or for American researchers. The Parliamentary return of parish registers, however, shows that the earliest surviving Upway register in 1831 was still that which commenced in 1654 (Abstract of the answers and Returns: Parish Register Abstract, 1831 (1833), p81). Therefore the only confirmed reference to any Simon Hoyt in England is to the man that I located in West Hatch and the baptisms of whose two sons correspond to those of the emigrant.

I discovered the marriage at Marshwood in Dorset on 4 Nov. 1617 of Simon Hoyt and Jane Stoodlie: a marriage which neatly fits with the baptism of Simon's first child at West Hatch on 29 Nov. 1618. Unfortunately the Marshwood parish registers survive only from 1614 (and Bishop's Transcripts only from 1731). Marshwood manor was owned by the Poulett family of Hinton St. George in Somerset, but he name Stoodley did not appear in a survey of the manor dated 1597 (SRO, DD/PT, S/1515, box 1) or in collections of 16th and 17th century Marshwood deeds and lease (DD/PT, box 32, bundle A: DD/SS bundles 32-33). Unlocated manorial records quoted in Somerset & Dorset Notes & Queries, vol. 10, pp. 242-4, stated that among the free tenants of Marshwood manor listed 1626-41 was John Stoodley, and that Walter Stoudleigh was a member of the homage jury for Whitchurch Hundred (the village of Whitchurch Canonicorum adjoins Marshwood) in November 1626. A search of the Marshwood parish registers (baptisms 1614-35) revealed no baptisms of any children of Simon and Joan Hoyt. There were, however, twelve baptisms in the name of Stoodley: suggesting that Marshwood was Joan Stoodley's home parish and that Simon Hoyt came from elsewhere to marry her and then left the parish after his marriage to have his family elsewhere.

All this fits and the entries at West Hatch although in itself it does not prove the link. I've located the Will of Thomas Hoyte the elder of Stoke-sub-Hamdon, husbandman, dated 27 June 1612, proved Ilchester 13 July 1612 (SRO, D/D/Ct, Hoyte). He left 4d to the relief of the "poore people" of Stoke, 4d to the repair of the parish church there, his "best tynninge platter" to Elizabeth Hoyte, daughter of his son Richard Hoyte, his "second best platter" to Mary Hoyte, another of Richard's daughters, his "third best platter" to John Hoyte, son of Richard, his "fourth bet platter" to Marye Norrys, daughter of Hugh Norrys, "my sonne in law", and his "best candlesticke" to John Hoyte, son of his son John Hoyte. He left the residue of his goods and chattels to his wife Agnes, sole executrix. Witnesses Joane Fawne the elder, Jone wife of Henry Baker, Mary wife of Richard Hoyte, William Chaffie, clerke, minister of Stoke. Valor [of his estate] total L5 14s 10d. It seems likely that the testator can be identified with Thomas the elder, son of Thomas Hoyte of Seavington St Mary (died c1576), whose son John was mentioned in his grandfather's will.