Tag Archives: Latham

52 Ancestors #2 William Dungan

I was up in London last Wednesday and when I returned home I saw on Ancestry that one of their new records was “England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858” . I knew from reading other people’s research that at least one ancestor had left a will in the 17th Century and was pleased to find it and see a scan of the will – even though I can’t really read the details it was nice to be able to pick out some of the names and match these to transcriptions I’d seen of the will.

Putting in other ancestor’s names from this time period (I’ll admit that when new sources appear sometimes I’ll just throw some names at it speculatively) I found a few more including today’s subject.

I have known very little about my 10th Great Grandfather William Dungan although there is a lot more information about his wife Frances Latham as she went on to be known as “The Mother of Governors”. He was a perfumer and was from the London parish St Martins in the Field. He was married to Frances Latham and had four children who emigrated with her and her second husband to New England. He died about September 1636. That’s about all I knew about him. With the will it’s still pretty much all I know for sure about him but it’s fascinating to see a document that he had such a close connection to. Searching online it seems that there is speculation about his background with some older theories being disproved so I’ll stick with my one concrete piece of evidence for now. I don’t even know if a perfumer was a maker or seller of perfume.

For years, whenever I’ve passed through Trafalgar Square I’ve looked at St Martins in the Fields and every time I wonder a bit about him. The church isn’t the same one he would have attended as it was rebuilt in 1726 and looking through the crypt (thich is now a cafe and gallery) the oldest stones and monuments I can see date from around this time. It’s well worth a visit if you’re going through London though and they often have concerts or exhibitions there as well as doing a lot of work with the homeless.

For those wondering where the pigeons are in the shots of Trafalgar Square they’ve disappeared in the last decade or so with banning the sale of bird food and then banning the feeding of the pigeons at all as well as the use of birds of prey.

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