Surname Saturday: Aggar

When I started this blog, it was my intention to cover my lines and my wife's lines each about equally.  So, rather than strictly sticking to my lines for the next several Surname Saturday posts, I've decided to alternate between the two sets, but still follow each alphabetically.  That means that for this week's new Surname Saturday post, we'll take a look at a line that connects as far back as 11 generations ago.

The surname we're investigating today is Aggar.  Being such an old line, it's natural that I don't know very much about them yet.  In fact, I've only got one person with this surname so far, my wife's 11th-great grandmother, Lettese Aggar.

Lettese lived and died in England.  I don't know her birth date and location yet, but I know that she married Bennett Elliot on 30 October 1598 in Nazing, Essex.  Together, Bennett and Lettese had: Sarah Eliot (F; b. before 13 January 1599), Philip Eliot (M; b. before 25 April 1602), John Eliot (M; buried 18 February 1603), John Eliot (M; b. before 25 August 1604; d. 1690), Jacob Eliot (M; b. before 21 September 1606), Lydia Eliot (F; b. before 1 July 1610) and Francis Eliot (unknown; b. before 10 April 1615).  Since all of my references for the children's birth dates are "before XXX", my guess is that these were christening dates.  Lettese was buried in England on 16 March 1620, and her husband Bennett died just over a year later on 21 November 1621.  The four older children - Sarah, Philip, John and Jacob - emigrated to Massachusetts in September 1631.  I don't know what happened to Lydia or Francis.

There doesn't appear to be a community named Nazing in today's England, but there is an area called The Naze on the North Sea coast of Essex.  I'm guessing that the family is from this area.  Based on a couple of quick searches for information about this area, the amount of beach erosion that has occurred, even since World War II, means that it is quite possible that the family's original home location may have washed to sea by now.  There is a town today nearby called Walton-on-the-Naze, which has become a popular location for a seaside holiday; Google Maps shows it as a two-hour drive from central London.  Although Shakespeare's plays were being performed as early as 1592, the 80-mile trip would have been quite arduous for Bennett and Lettese to see any of them.

So what is the next step to research this line?  First, I'll need to find out a bit more about the types of records that are available for this area in the late 1500s.  Then I'll do a bit of research into the history of The Naze to learn more about the overall population.  Since Bennett, Lettese and at least one child all died in England, there is a possibility of finding death and burial records for each of them in the area (since I have two burial dates, they may have been buried in a church cemetery).  Next, I might try to find more information on the children's emigration to Massachusetts.  Since Massachusetts Colony was established in 1628, the amount of records to search through for the four Eliot children is a small enough set to be doable.  Now to get to it.

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