Family History

One may therefore assume with a high degree of certainty that this family is indeed the family of Josiah and Martha. One argument against such an explanation could be the relative ages of the parents – Josiah would have been about 42 and Martha 36 years old respectively when their first child was born. Although this may seem relatively old to start a family, from detailed analyses of the parish records from the early 18th century it is evident that many parents were relatively old at the time of the birth of their first child. It is also worth noting that I have not been able to confirm the birth dates of either Josiah of Dunham or his wife Martha, as there are no records available at that time for Bowdon Parish and if they were not born in that parish then there is very little chance of tracking their births. It may be that the assumed ages of Josiah and Martha are inaccurate. In the early 1670’s England was recovering from the turmoil of the Civil War and the restoration of Charles II to the throne and record keeping was somewhat erratic. I have searched the Bowdon parish records back to 1600 and can find no trace of any Phethean names before 1713.

It is possible to depict the family of Josiah of Dunham and Martha as in Figure 5 below:

Figure 5: The family of Josiah and Martha Phethean of Dunham

If we accept the evidence depicted in Figure 5 as being plausible, an immediate link can be seen amongst the three surviving children Joseph, Martha and Josiah and the similarly named brothers/sister depicted in Figure 4, namely Joseph of Dunham, Martha Dunstar (née Phethean) and Josiah of Enville. This arrangement gives more or less conclusive proof of a family link between Josiah of Dunham and the families depicted in Figure 4. If we combine the data in Figures 4 and 5 we can show the following family group in Figure 6 below:

Figure 6: The family of Josiah and Martha Phethean of Dunham (final version)

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