Inside East Dereham Church at last!

Day four of our Norfolk Family History trip was supposed to be all about the Musketts, touring round villages such as Carleton Rode, Tasburgh and Newton Flotman.  After the East Dereham church disappointment the previous day, my husband very generously said that we could start the day by going there first – if they were open.

I phoned the parish office – yes, the church would be open until 12 noon. (Perhaps at some point I will contact them again to suggest a little publicity might be in order).

And so we returned to East Dereham and – the church was open!!

East Dereham
Tudor ceiling East Dereham Church

What joy!  It’s a beautiful church, with some amazing tudor ceilings and the memorial to William Cowper, so maybe that’s why it’s all kept shut up.

We headed to the Lady Chapel, and there we found more George memorials.  I can’t quite believe that they’re ‘mine’ as these were obviously well-to-do folk, but I’m working on the connection.  Astey George was buried here in 1723, along with his wife Elizabeth and four of his sons (he had two attempts at a son called Astey, but both died young).  There’s also an Elizabeth George from Colney buried 1732 (I really don’t know who she is) and an Ann George from Carlton, buried 1737.  This latter individual is interesting as I have already transcribed her will, and I think I need to return to it and work out the relationships as she seems to be connected with Astey in some way.

Asty George
Memorial for Asty George Lady Chapel

At long last I had stood in the church where so many of my ancestors were baptised, married, no doubt attended Sunday worship and were buried.  It was very special.

East Dereham
Font in East Dereham Church
Cowper. East Dereham
Cowper window, East Dereham Church













And so we then headed south to Muskett territory and a very interesting and useful day photographing more churches and gravestones and making discoveries.  But that’s for another post!


7 thoughts on “Inside East Dereham Church at last!

  1. I am interested in Mary Rash – I am researching the Rash family and so far can not place her. Do you have any birth date or how old she was at her death? I have been through all the St Nicholas memorials and there are quite a few for the Georges but not one for Mary which seems strange. I would like to place her in a family.
    With regards to ‘Mrs’ I found the following – in the middle of the eighteenth century, ‘Mrs’ did not describe a married woman: it described a woman who governed subjects (i.e., employees or servants or apprentices) or a woman who was skilled or who taught. It described a social, rather than a marital status – when it wasn’t being used metaphorically.

    Look forward to hearing from you.


    1. Thank you for being in touch, Ray, and particularly for the extra information about the ‘Mrs’ title. That’s helpful.
      Regarding Mary Rash, I’ve just had a look at NORS (online parish records available through Norfolk Family History Society) and there is a burial record for her 30 Jun 1741 at East Dereham “wife of Mr Thomas”. On Ancestry I found a marriage for Mary and Thomas George on 5 Feb 1732 at East Dereham and the Millenium File suggests a possible baptism of 22 May 1706 to parents John and Mary Rash (though the death date attached to that record doesn’t match the one on NORS). I’m not too sure what the original source is for the Millenium File. If I can track down anything else I’ll let you know. Are you a member of NFHS?


      1. Sorry – I’m misleading you with that burial entry – I should have been searching for Mary George. I think her burial is 14 July 1767 at East Dereham.


      2. Dear Marian – thank you for your reply – yes I have May George’s death, sadly there is no age and no memorial in the church which normally includes dates. I am a member of NFHS and until a year ago MNFHS who have carried out a lot of very good transcriptions of memorials in Norfolk churches. However there is no memorial of Mary George only a brief death entry.
        I have taken all the records of the Rash’s and have put them into what I believe to be family profiles. Also their connection to Quebec Hall in Dereham which started this project.
        In a few days once I have finished I will put them on my website, which once live may bring in some more information.
        I am interested in the record of a Mary Rash in 1706 to John and Mary his wife as I have not found this.
        Regards Ray


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