Gillingham, Dorset

Gillingham, Dorset

Gillingham, Dorset

Gillingham

Gillingham Location

Gillingham is the northernmost town in Dorset county, in Southwestern England, located approximately 110 miles west of London.  According to records, the area in the town’s vicinity was originally inhabited by Celts and later settled by Romans.  Gillingham was first settled by Saxons, and the name was used in the Saxon town charter in the 10th century.  There are also references to the town in the latter Middle Ages as a site of a large battle with Vikings (the Danes) and during the Black Plague, when nearly half the town died from the disease.  According to some sources I’ve seen, the meadows now filled with sheep just outside Gillingham “contain the remaining banks of King’s Court Palace where King John hunted deer and boar between 1205 and 1214.”

St. Mary the Virgin Church

St. Mary the Virgin Church

The history of my branch of the Greene family begins in Gillingham after Robert Greene “the gentlemen,” my 16th maternal great grandfather purchased an estate just outside the town in the late 15th century.  The estate was known as Bowridge Hill, and after Robert three succeeding generations of Greenes of my line were born and raised there.  Robert’s great-grandson John “the Surgeon” was the last of my line born at Bowridge Hill, and he subsequently became the first Greene to settle in “the New World.”

Bowridge Hill

Bowridge Hill

The town still has a few buildings which date from the 15th-16th centuries, including parts of the St. Mary the Virgin Church, where the gravestones of many Greenes remain.  The town bridge (photo below) was sketched by John Constable, and his painting of the bridge is now in the Tate Gallery.  Today Bowridge Hill is largely unoccupied but still offers beautiful green landscape views.

Old Bridge at Gillingham

Old Bridge at Gillingham

18 responses to “Gillingham, Dorset

  1. Pingback: July 2014 Update – Greene Family Page | The Greene & The Miranda Families

  2. Pingback: Latest Update – Gillingham Page | The Greene & The Miranda Families

  3. Darci

    John Greene is my 10th great grandpa.

    Like

  4. John Green was my 10th Grandfather as well. My maiden name is Greer, which my great-grandfather changed from Green. My Green line was last in Tennessee.

    Like

  5. Jim Allen

    I win; John’s my ninth! My father waited till his 40’s to have me. Lol
    Thank you so much for taking the time to put some of this information together. I just started tracing my family; and it’s very nice to have so much ground work already accomplished.

    Like

    • Kathy Greene

      Yes, Bowridge Hall became the home of one of the branches. It is no longer standing, and there is empty land where it used to be. The Greenes owned many manor houses (including the original Boughton House, a former nunnery, which no longer stands. The current Boughton House, while owned by distant relatives, is not the same home. Their main house was Drayton House (Northamptonshire) which went back and forth between the Greenes and their close relatives, the DeVeres. Simon Devere got charge of the place from a Henry de Greene and (no one knows the reason) changed his name from DeVere to Drayton and named the house Drayton House. Architectural Digest has visited it twice and declared it “the ugliest crenelated manor house in all of England” It really is ugly. It went back and forth between the Greenes and the Deveres (both families were from Normandy and related to William. The Greene name was de Greene de Boketon (of the park of the deer enclosure) because they owned a huge amount of land where aristocrats hunted. They descend from the Merovingian, Charlemagne, Carolingian, Valois, deMedici, lines in France and the Plantagenet, Stewart,Bruce, and many other lines in England. My line left in the 1730s – many younger sons took off for the ‘new world’, but there were still Greenes there and suspect that your family and they are related. -Kathy

      Like

  6. Amanda Churchill

    Hi, my Green family lived in Bowridge Hill per the 1840,1850,1860 and 1870 census’. I have only been able to go as far back as Ezekiel Green who was born and married in Penselwood, Somerset (5 miles away) his son Daniel is my direct line. He was born in Penselwood in 1790, but lived and raised his family in Gillingham, Dorset. My gggrandfather James was born in 1823 in Gillingham, he left for London and then emigrated to Sydney, Australia. I’m not sure if my Green family is part of yours, but the fact they lived in the same little place is quite interesting. One interesting side note however is Daniel and James changed their names to Churchill in the 1850’s, although a couple of Daniel’s children keep the Green name. (This is now our family dilemma. To find out why the name was changed.) Thanks Amanda Churchill, Sydney, Australia

    Like

  7. Kelly Greene

    John is to my Ninth Great Grand Father. Love our History!!!

    Like

  8. Sheryl Trimble

    John Green was my 9th GGfather connected through my m.grandmother. She was born in Uvalda, Ga and moved to Tampa, Fl. Names of the connection from my grandmother… Todd – Gray – Hall – Issach Hall, Sr 1690 married Judith H. Green

    Like

  9. Anna Hoerschgen

    John Greene is also my 9th Great Grandfather! I am related on my maternal side of family. Hello, Cousins! I’m at Hoerschgen Family Tree on Ancestry.

    Like

  10. Sandra Relf

    Hi there. I am descended from Anne de Greene’s line who was one of John’s sisters. She married a John Peche eventually leading across the centuries to me! It’s wonderful to find such prominent ancestors in the family tree – this makes it so much easier to follow as they are mentioned just about everywhere.

    Like

  11. Claudia A. del Valle

    Hello! Geni.com says: John “the Surgeon” Greene is your 8th great grandfather, You
    → Mario Antonio del Valle your father → Maria Antonia Arnold his mother → Carlos Magno Arnold
    her father → (José) Prudencio Brown Arnold his father → George Brown Arnold his father → Gideon Arnold his father → Susannah Arnold his mother → Capt. Benjamin Greene her father → Thomas Greene of Stone Castle his father → John “the Surgeon” Greene his father. The Greenes, Arnolds and Browns or Brownes lived in RI (Pawtuxet, Cranston, Warwick), and George Brown Arnold (b 1777) came to Buenos Aires, Argentina where he settled, and created our line, among others. I live in Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires. All the best!

    Like

  12. Elizabeth Hess

    I’m also descended from John – 8th great grandfather (must be older than all of you!). Has anyone visited Gillingham? or Boughton/Boketon where the first de Greene de Boketons heaved up after the Conquest?

    Like

  13. Dawn Turner Amadio

    Hello cousins. John is also my 9th Great Grandfather.

    Like

  14. Kathy Greene

    Two John Greenes left Gillingham in the early 1630s and came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They were second cousins. Another relative was “removed” from that colony for “ogeling women at Sunday service”. Surgeon John Greene settled in Warwick, Rhode Island and the other John Greene settled in Newport , Quidnessett and Green End and worked with Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson. He is my 8 greats grandfather and his eldest Son, Henry (with whom he had a falling out) moved to the New Jersey shore later that century. These Greenes go back to the Greenes of Drayton House and their bloodlines are mixed with most of the French, English and Scottish aristocrats/royalty. Many “younger sons” who would not inherit came over in the 17th century to start lives here. My genealogist mother has died, but I will be putting her extensive work online at some point . Kathy Greene

    Like

Leave a Reply to Linda Carol Greer Devine Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s