Church & Social


You’ll find most of the old Pursey clan in the parish records of the established Church of England – well those born in England, anyway. But a few Purseys were non-conformist. Here are some:

Somerset Joseph Pursey b abt 1815, son of James & Joanna Durston (Shapwick) had all his children baptised at Walcot Methodist Chapel, Bath Theodore Pursey/Percy d 1926, son of Francis Frampton Pursey and Ann Gallop (Walton). His obit notes he “was a staunch member of the Methodist Church, and was buried in the Methodist portion of the Coraki cemetery”.

In February 1823, this notice appeared in the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine: Lately, at Tawnton, Mrs. Elizabeth Pursey, aged seventy-five. “She was long a consistent professor of religion; was greatly supported in her affliction; and died happy in the Lord. — E. M.” In 1828, Elizabeth Pursey (either the daughter of John Pursey and Hannah Edmonds or of their son Samuel and Rachel Mall) was a member of the Mary Street Meeting House in Taunton.

Devon There were a flurry of baptisms at Prescott Baptist chapel near Culmstock in the early decades of the 1800s. Children of James and Jane (Canniford), and James (different one) and Patience Searle.

London In November 2001, Gillian Frencer posted this message on In May 1829, Elizabeth and John Pursey of 33 Castle Street West, Westminster, London, joined the Congregationalist Church in Faubert Place, Regent St. known as Craven Chapel Independant. Elizabeth Pursey later married my 3x Great Grandfather Thomas Arthur (whom she met at Craven Chapel, he joined in January of the same year) and my Great-Great Grandfather William was born in Marylebone in approximately 1835. Can anyone tell me where Elizabeth and John came from, or anything about them? If you do, please get in touch!

She adds: Further research reveals that Elizabeth (c. 1809) and John (c.1812) Pursey were children of Benjamin & Sarah Pursey, living in Marylebone Middlesex at turn of 19th Century. Other children are Charlotte (c. 1800), Benjamin (c. 1802) and Catharine (c. 1812).

Buckinghamshire Thomas (& Mary Ripley) Several of their children’s records appear in Dr William’s Library, London. (Dr Williams’s Library is the pre-eminent research library of English Protestant nonconformity.) Their daughter Ann married Thomas South in Amersham’s Lower Baptist Chapel in 1858.

And who is this in Hampshire?

A minute in the County Record Office at Winchester made during the Monthly Meeting held at Romsey and dated 11th of the 10th month 1677 says: “A testimony should be given forth publicly against the loudness and incivility of Frederick Pursey (?) of Newport, Isle of Wight.” (The Religious Society of Friends The First 350 Years in Newport and the Isle of Wight – A History of Local Quakerism from 1657 by Patrick A. Nott)


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