Cook, Freeman, Greenland and Watts

Below are the results of a search for the ancestors of Andrew Cook. The data includes searches for surnames of Freeman, Greenland and Watts in the registers for Rode

Email from Andrew Cook to Peter Harris:

Hi Peter

Sorry i have not messaged you, i am looking into my Mother’s side of the family – below is a list of possible names and dates of the people who are said to be buried at Rode. These also lived in the village on the census records in Lower & Upper street. They were listed as tailors / grocers as a profession. I would be grateful for any information on anyone you think may fit as i’m drawing a blank.Or anyone with the same Surnames that might give me a head start.


Dear Andrew

There were 2 chapels in Rode – Baptist and Methodist. The Methodist is now a private residence but the Baptist Chapel is still used by a combined Methodist and Baptist congregation. This chapel is the one next to the post office and has graves all round it. There is no Baptist Chapel record of where William and Elizabeth Watts are buried but I have the following from a survey by the Som. and Dor. Family History Society in 2007:

North side of the Chapel

7). Small Headstone (very worn, first person is illegible). Elizabeth WATTS, died July ?.., aged 83 (year illegible, could be 1849, but very uncertain. However chapel register did not give her 1830-60. Perhaps the stone is earlier).

This gravestone was not in the record of my survey in 2008 because I was unable to read it. I suggest that the information is less reliable than the Chapel records, but it does give you an indication of where the grave is. I have plans of all the graveyards in Rode and would be happy to guide you round them if I am available when you visit.

I attach copies of all the documents (19-26) in Mick Davis’ research on 23 High Street referring to the Freemans. Doc 18 is the ownership of the property prior to the Freemans.

I also attach a family tree of the Howell family in Rode which I did while doing some research for Bob and Anne Adams into his mother Suzannah Cook nee Howell and Thomas Allwood Cook. I see from the tree that Suzannah’s grandmother was Jane Howell nee Freeman. Is it just a coincidence that your name is Cook and you are researching the name Freeman?

Regards, Peter

Specific Searches

William Greenland and Mary Greenland Born 1847, Died 1925

I cannot find any mention of them on: St. Lawrence baptism register, marriage register, burial register or graveyard register; Christchurch baptism register, marriage register, burial register or graveyard register; Baptist Chapel birth register, burial register or graveyard register….however a search using Family Search came up with

1901 Census


William Greenland/Head/Male/48/Buckland, Somersetshire

Mary Greenland/Wife/Female/53/Road, Somersetshire

Edward W Greenland/Son/Male/17/Standerwick, Somersetshire

Louise Greenland/Daughter/Female/13/Boreham, Wiltshire

Amy G Greenland/Daughter/Female/9/Hinton Charterhouse, Somersetshire

William Greenland/Nephew/Male/13/Bristol

So William was born in 1853 in Buckland Somerset and married Mary before 1883 and died after 1901. Looking at the birth places of Mary and the children, it would suggest they married in the vicinity of Frome.


Kelly’s Directories: 1866 Greenland Jonathan, dairy farmer

Morris’ Directories: 1872 Greenland Jonathan, dairy farmer, Road Common

Church Rates


1864/63/Greenland Jonathan/Walter Tucker’s house and land/Near the church

1867/62/Greenland Jonathan/House and land/Near church, &c

??/7/Greenland, William/House and land/Common

1870/7/Greenland, Jonathan/House and land/Common

These records indicate that in 1864, Jonathan was occupying what was known as Walter Tucker’s house and land near the church. In 1867, Jonathan is still occupying land near the church but a William Greenland is using land on the Common. By 1870 Jonathan is occupying land on Rode Common. From my knowledge of the area, I would say that it is unlikely that these are different descriptions of the same place, so I think Jonathan moved his cows from near the church to somewhere on the Common between 1867 and 1870.

Walter Tucker’s house and land

Walter Tucker was the grandson of James Tucker who, in 1841 lived in Church Row (near the Bell Inn).

1841 Census

Place/Names/Age/Trade/Born in County

Church Row/James Tucker/63/Farmer/ Y

Sarah/do/50/Y; Louisa Short/14/Fem Serv/N; Henry/do/10/Y

James had a brother Job who died in 1838. The 1839 tithe apportionment shows that Job TUCKER owned the following property:

1839 Tithe Apportionment

Owner/Occupier/Plot No./Name/Description

James Pike and Thomas Prosser/222/Garden

Jacob BlakeBourn/485/Common Allotment

Executors of the late Widow Tucker/359/Home Paddock

Job Tucker/360/House Garden and Shop

?/366/Nutts Paddock

?/488/Common Allotment

James Tucker/378/Garden late Toveys

It is quite likely that Walter Tucker inherited all or some of this property and he rented it out to Jonathan .

Location of these properties


222/Garden/North side of Rockabella Lane

359/Home Paddock/behind plot 360

360/House, Garden and Shop/On A361 between Bell Inn and old Fussell’s farm

366/Nutts Paddock/On A361 between old Fussell’s farm and Brook Cottage

378/Garden late Toveys/Opposite the Bell (now 4 Frome Rd.)

485/Common Allotment/West side of Monkley Lane

488/Common Allotment/West side of Monkley Lane

Unfortunately the plots on the Common – 485 and 488 – have a combined acreage of less than 3 acres and do not have a house on them (as indicated in the Church Rates), so, at best, they could only be a small part of Jonathan’s 20 acre Stern/Ham Farm.


Rode Common was open common land until 1792 and no one was allowed to build houses or put up fences. After its division and enclosure a few more houses were built, but even now they are few and far between.

Jonathan’s farm is recorded in the census for Rode, Somerset, not Rode Hill, Wiltshire, so one can safely presume it was on the Somerset side of the county border, which reduces the area by about 40%. Sometimes one can get a pointer to its location by looking at the houses recorded immediately before and after it in the census. In this case it is not much use because the previous entry was the Rectory on the Bradford Road at the top of Rode Hill and the following entry was Rode Common Farm.

There were houses on Monkley Lane and that is my best guess.

Another possibility may be Flexham Farm, built on the Somerset part of the Common after 1839, on the Bradford on Avon road

22 December 2023
Last Updated
23 March 2024