The Forsdyke Family Line: This is an overview of some of the main family members.
Earlier generations of the family appear to have spelt the family name as Forsdike, however for simplicity, I have only used the Forsdyke spelling here. During my research using the 'Ancestry' Web-site I found several instances where the name had in fact been mis-transcribed as Forsdick, Fosdike etc. which caused some confusion.
The earliest member of the family that I have found is Joseph Forsdyke (born 1730) who married Martha Briggs on 15th October 1750 in Falkenham, Suffolk. Joseph was born 1725 in Falkenham and Martha 1729 in Falkenham. (See the end of this text for an update on my findings). No record has been found for the Death of Joseph however Martha passed away on 27th October 1774 in Falkenham. They had 8 children; Joseph 1749, Martha 1754, Mary 1756, Elizabeth 1759, Thomas 1761, Sarah 1766, James 1762 and Deborah 1769.
James (born 1762) married Sarah Brown (born 5th October 1766 in Shimpling, Suffolk) on 21st January 1787 in Falkenham and they had 5 children; James 1787, Sarah 1789, Mary 1791, William 1793 and Amy 1796. James died 11th August 1833 and Sarah on 9th February 1798, both in Falkenham.
James (born 1787) was the next in the Family Tree and married Mary Rivett on 8th May 1809 in Falkenham. Mary Rivett had also been born in Falkenham on 23rd September 1787. They had 4 children; James 1810, Mary 1812, Thomas 1816 and Emily 1816. James passed away on 10th February 1861 in Nacton, Suffolk and his Wife, Mary, in 1846 in Woodbridge, Suffolk.
Thomas Forsdike (born 1816) married Ann Rivett on 15th November 1840 in Falkenham, Suffolk. Ann Rivett having been born in 1815 in Falkenham. According to the 1841 Census, Thomas was an Agricultural Labourer. They had 7 children, Charles in 1839, Rebecca in 1842 (my Paternal Great Grand Mother), James in 1847, Sarah in 1848, Harriet in 1851, William in 1854 and Mark in 1857 all of which were born in Falkenham. The 1851 Census recorded that Thomas was then employed as a Shepherd.
The 1851 Census was the first on which my Great Grand Mother Rebecca is recorded, along with her parents and brothers Charles and James and sister Sarah. It appears that the Enumerator probably suffered from writers cramp as he managed to record Rebecca as Rebec, James as Jas and Sarah as Sar, this, as it happens made it a little difficult to locate the correct Census Return. The 1861 Census records Rebecca employed as a Housemaid to the Bone Family in East Greenwich. How and where she came to meet my Great Grand Father, Edward Hector MacKay is only speculation, but as you can see from the 'MacKay Family Overview', it may well have been near her family home in Falkenham whilst Edward Hector was stationed close by at Landguard Fort. See the 'MacKay Family Overview' for details of their 10 children. Rebecca passed away on 27th January 1888 in Tendring, Essex.
In addition, I have carried out some research into Rebecca's siblings some of which is recorded in 'The Full Story', the BMD Registration Charts and the Forsdyke Family Tree. The MacKay Family is not the only family to have had some of their members emigrate to make a new life for themselves. Two of Mark Forsdyke's daughters went east to Canada, both having settled and married in Virden, Manitoba.
Subsequent research has extended the family tree back much further. I was contacted by another researcher related to the Forsdyke family who was able to provide me with a lot of information on earlier generations. Coupled with this and searches through Parish Records and the I.G.I., the Family Tree is now extended back to an Andrew Forsdike born circa 1550 in Great Bealings, Suffolk and his Wife Margaret Gildersleeve. I will not attempt to record all these additional family Members here as they can be seen on the Family Tree chart on this web-site, rather, I just record the direct lineage here.
Starting with Andrew and Margaret who married in 1570, their son Thomas born 1578, married Mary or Maris Larke in 1605. One of their sons was also a Thomas born circa 1615 and married Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) circa 1646. In turn, one of their sons, again a Thomas born 1654 married Martha Candler in 1678. Finally, one of their sons, this time a Joseph born 1699 and married to Mary (maiden name unknown) in 1730, were the parents of the Joseph referred to at the start of this text.
It is worth mentioning here that during the course of the research into these earlier generations, some records were hard to find in the i.G.I. as some quite unusual spellings of the family name had been used. In the end I had to resort to 'Wild-card' searches in order to find records and it is for this reason that some may have been overlooked.