Family connections bring special visitors to Colyton

The Colyton Chamber of Feoffees was joined by two special guests at their annual banquet on Friday evening.

Sisters Paula Futrell and Beth Uiterwyk were visiting the town from Rochester, New York and Hampton, Virginia in the USA after discovering they were direct descendants of one of Colyton’s original Feoffees, John Clarke.

Beth has been tracing her family’s genealogy for 35 years, first starting in America and then finding family in England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and Poland. She joined the London Genealogy Society 15 years ago, which led her to find further records, including those of John Clarke and his second wife, Agnes Macye, who were married on June 29th 1544 at St Andrew’s Church in Colyton.

The sisters previously visited Colyton with their mother in 2001, during a tour of parishes in England where they had found family connections. However, at the time, they had not known Mr Clarke’s connections with the Feoffees. They had wondered why his death records had been so extensive compared to others they had found, later realising this was because he was such a notable figure in the town.

Paula and Beth returned for a two-day trip last week and were among the guests of honour at the Feoffees’ banquet at the town hall. They also enjoyed a guided history tour around the town, including Colyton Parish History Society’s new heritage centre at the Merchant’s House in Market Place.

The Centre will be officially opened on Thursday, April 3rd at 11am.

Article from Pulman’s ‘View from Colyton’ , Tuesday, February 11th 2014