Wednesday 11 July 2018

(14) Wilfred Dykes (1674 - 1743)

Possibly the most important person in my family tree is Wilfred Dykes (1674-1743) as he is the direct link between my branch of the family and the main branch of the Dykes family that goes back to 1270.

Wilfred was not the heir, that was his older brother Frescheville.  Not being the heir almost certainly caused Wilfred problems financially later-on in life.

At the time of his birth, Wilfred had 2 (possibly 3) older brothers:
Thomas (b.1662 d.1674 aged 14yrs); 
Leonard (b.1664 d.1679 aged 15yrs); and 
Fretcheville (b.1666-1749).  
He also had 2 older sisters: 
Barbara (b.1660) and Joyce (b.1672) with a 3rd sister, Grace born when Wilfred was 3yo in 1677.  

Above is a screenshot taken from the "Pedigrees recorded at the Herald's Visitations of the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland" in 1666; page 41.

As you can see the oldest boy Thomas died in 1674 - the year of Wilfred's birth - aged just 14yo.  Further tragedy hit the family 5 years later when the 2nd-oldest boy Leonard died in 1679 aged just 15yo.  I expect at the time, a great deal of emphasis was therefore placed in the 3rd-eldest boy Fretcheville who was only 13yo on the death of Leonard. This could have left Wilfred a bit ignored.

I think that is why (after he moved to live in Hexham) he married the Clergyman's daughter Catherine Allgood in 1697 (when he was 23yo) he took his bride to live in the village of Seaton a few miles outside Workington but, more importantly, the village of Seaton was on the estate of his aunt Joyce (his father's sister) who had married into the Curwen family and they lived at nearby Camerton Hall.  Wilfred had trained as an "Excise Officer" but it was likely that he was not in a position financially to provide a suitable home for his new wife, who came from the prestigious Allgood family of Northumberland. 

Wilfred and Catherine had a lot of children - possibly 8 in all - between 1697 - 1721.

Catherine Allgood is a bit of a mystery, mainly because (at the time) the birth-dates of women were not recorded or thought important.  Catherine had a sister called Frances, and it may be that her and her sister were twins, as her mother Anne Downes had no more children and her father - the Reverend Major Allgood - remarried in 1679.  As such, I think Catherine was born about 1677-78, and that would make her about 43yo when she gave birth to her youngest child - and my ancestor - Major Dykes in 1721.  

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