Is Alice Heaton's maiden name Rycroft?

+7 votes

There is a pending merge for the two profiles of Alice Heaton.

Both profiles are married to Robert Heaton (1637 - 1727) of Clapham, Yorkshire, England.  Robert and his wife Alice and their children migrated to Pennsylvania on board the "Lamb," one of the ships of the William Penn Fleet.

One profile of the Alice profiles has the name: Alice Agnes Gemelli Rycroft (abt. 1645 - 1727). No source to support the names Agnes, Gemelli, or Rycroft.  On this profile, Alice married James in Settle, Yorkshire, in 1665 but no source offered for the marriage. The profile has only one source, the record of her passage to Pennsylvania with her huband and children under the name Alice Heaton.

The other is named Alice (Alis) Heaton (1645 - 1727). This profile is completely unsourced. This Alice shows married to James Heaton in Settle, Yorkshire in 1665. This marriage clearly indicates that Alice Alis and Alice Rycroft are intended to be the same woman. In the Pennsylvania Quaker records, Alice's name in some records is spelled "Alis Heaton."  It seems that someone transposed the differently spelled given name as a surname.

The Quaker records in Pennsylvnia all record the couple as James and Alice Heaton.  Alice's maiden name is not listed in any record found to date.  To date, there is no source that can support an LNAB for her other than "Unknown."

Many online trees show her maiden name as Rycroft but they are all unsourced or link to other unsourced trees.

Find a Grave had two memorials, one for Alice Heaton and one for Alice Rycroft Heaton.  They were merged and the LNAB Rycroft was dropped; perhaps the researcher at Find a Grave did this same research and came to the same conclusions.

Find a Grave Alice Heaton

Find a Grave Alice Ricroft Heaton

A search for Alice Rycroft reveals that an Alice Rycroft married a Robert (no last name given) in Childs Ercall, Shropshire, England. Shropshire and Yorkshire are almost 140 miles (200 km) apart.  It is very doubtful that Alice Rycroft of Shropshire is the same as Alice who married Robert Heaton in Yorkshire. While it is possible that the two are the same they are most likely different people; the distances are too great for the mid-17th century.

This record is likely what was used to add the maiden name Rycroft/Ricroft and if it is inaccurate, Alice Heaton or Alice Rycroft Heaton should be Alice (Unknown) Heaton.

I invite everyone who can to find any sources to see if we can establish a maiden name for Alice.  If not, the original merge request dates from 2015 - it is time to merge the two.  I propose that if after some time, perhaps a month, if no sources are presented I intend to change Alice Heaton's LNAB to Unknown and merge the two profiles.

I invite all assistance and comments and thanks in advance for your attention.

WikiTree profile: Alice Heaton
in Genealogy Help by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
I found the record (on Ancestry) for the marriage of Alice Rycroft in Childs Ercall, Shropshire, England.  The date is 1678, which is after the date of birth for their son Robert, so I have discounted this record.
The marriage certificate on ancestry shows the actual image, and the date of December 3, 1671 is clear.  I can't seem to copy the link here. Although the location given for the marriage is Yorkshire, the marriage date is after the birth of two of their children- Grace and Robert, Grace being born in 1667 and Robert in 1671.

I question this as their marriage record because of this. This would mean the last name of Alice being Rycroft is in question also.  The children's births are also recorded by the Middletown Monthly Meeting.
Thanks for that info Jean!  When I get to a bigger computer I'll have a look at this.  Any chance you can post a link to the doc?  Also, do you see a "share" button at Ancestry, if not, click on the utility button (hammer and some other tool on the icon) and then get a share link and post that.

2 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

From Free Reg... These seem to fit...


County Yorkshire, West Riding

Place Carleton in Craven

Church name St Mary

Register type Parish Register

Baptism date 04 Aug 1650

Person forename Alice

Person sex F

Father forename Henry

Father surname RICROFT

Carleton in Craven : St Mary : Parish Register : "Parish Register" database, FreeREG ( : viewed 27 Aug 2019) baptism Alice Ricroft 04 Aug 1650


County Yorkshire, West Riding

Place Carleton in Craven

Church name St Mary

Register type Parish Register

Marriage date 03 Dec 1671

Groom forename Robert

Groom surname HEATON

Bride forename Allice

Bride surname RICROFT

Carleton in Craven : St Mary : Parish Register : "Parish Register" database, FreeREG ( : viewed 27 Aug 2019) marriage Robert Heaton to Allice Ricroft 03 Dec 1671

by Dave Welburn G2G6 Pilot (126k points)
selected by Michael Cayley
Dave that is super!  This is why I love G2G, someone is always looking at the other side of the rock that you've been starring at for 3 days!  I'm just walking out the door, I'll review these when I get back. Thanks!

Excelent find Dave.  The William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project sends all our thanks.

I've been on the map search page and it sure looks like these are the right records.  Husband Robert is reported born in Clapham and Alice (on the profile) is reported born in Settle.  The record you have shows a Christening and marriage in Carleton in Craven.  Settle and Carleton are in close enough proximity that Carleton may have been in the parish of Settle in the 17th century.

Carleton is nearby only about 30km (22 miles) away from Clapham.  The village seems to be just Careleton now but there are a lot of businesses in town, the pharmacy for example that still carry the name Carleton in Craven.  Walking distance in a day, could be done by horse or cart in 4 hours.  

That they are in such proximity gives a good indication that these records match the WT profile of Robert and Alice.

+4 votes
Gemelli just means “twins”. So if that is a birth entry I would read it as Alice and Agnes Rycroft.
by Lynn Drasdo G2G6 Mach 1 (14.2k points)

I think I found the origin of the gemelli entry on Find My Past, Yorkshire baptisms, Clapham, 2 August 1649:

"Alice et Agnes gemelli fa [filiae] Robert Heaton de Wharfe". Wharfe is a small hamlet in the parish of Clapham.

So this Alice had maiden name of Heaton and cannot be the one who married Robert at Carleton. Robert Heaton the elder of Wharfe also had a son James Heaton. His will is transcribed here, with some family relationships:

Good find Lynn.  Give me your opinion on this.  In looking at Dave's entry, it looks like our Robert and Alice fit the record he found and the record you found more or less disproves the Alice Agnes Gemelli entry in the second Alice profile.

Also, our Robert shows born in Clapham - as this is not sourced, we don't know if he came from Clapham or if an earlier researcher conflated the records ot the two Roberts.  That Robert, husband of Alice is not in Robert the Elder's will, he would likely be a nephew or cousin if related at all.

Yes, the Alice Heaton in the baptism entry died a few months later in November 1649. Robert mentions an Agnes Gregson in his will who may be her twin. He does mention a son Robert - "all that shall remain of the last third part I give and bequeath unto my said son and daughter James Heaton and Ellen Heaton they paying unto my son Robert Heaton each of them ten shillings". This Robert was baptised 25 March 1642 at Clapham.

"England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018, Robertus Heaton, 25 Mar 1642); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 844,557.

 The date of 2 June 1637 which is given for Robert's birth on here probably comes from a baptism on that date in Wath on Dearne which is shown on some family trees. This is nearly 90 miles away from Clapham and it's unlikely there was any connection between the two families. There is also a Robert Heaton family at Kildwick in Craven which is quite close to Carleton so I should check on them. Also one at Haworth, it was a common name! But I think it is the Clapham one, as they are said to attend the Settle meeting - not sure how big an area it covered though. However, there's one thing that doesn't fit - children Grace and Robert were born before the marriage at Carleton - Ancestry has this from the Settle meeting records, all children of Robert -

Grace Heaton 14 Mar 1669 Birth 14 Mar 1669 Settle, Yorkshire, England
Agness Heaton 18 Nov 1677 Birth 18 Nov 1677 Settle, Yorkshire, England
James Heaton 25 Feb 1674 Birth 25 Feb 1674 Settle, Yorkshire, England

Robert Heaton

3 Aug 1671 Birth 3 Aug 1671 Settle, Yorkshire, England

These are the ones who went to America I think? Haven't had chance to look any further yet, it obviously needs quite a bit more work. I have subscriptions to Ancestry and Find my Past so let me know if you want any look ups.

Thanks Lynn, very helpful. I agree, the 1637 birth is probably another Robert. The 1671 marriage fits well for a young couple, marriage and a new baby every 3 years like clockwork.

The marriage 4 months after the birth is most likely an index transcription error. The marriage record we are relying on is a volunteer transcription; it is possible they were married in 1670. And we can't rule out a shotgun wedding. For the Settle meeting records, again we are relying on an Ancestry transcription. Another possible error could have been made on the dates. So far as

I'd like to see the source docs, I may inquire about them.

The Clapham Robert if 1642 is a good fit: Alice was born in 1650 and would have been 20/21 at the time of marriage and birth of first child. This Robert would be about 29 years old.

Just to verify, you don't have access to the Robert & Alice marriage source doc or the children's birth records originals right?  I would be interested to see both and compare.

Yes, this is the family that went to Pennsylvania on one of the William Penn Fleet ships.

I can access the source docs, but I have never been able to work out how to attach photos here - I must have spent hours on it over the past year! Try these direct Ancestry links, and if that doesn't work I'll PM you with my email to do it that way.

the transcriptions appear to be correct except that I think Grace is born 1667 not 1669, either way well before the marriage. Might Alice have been a second wife? It looks like all the children were entered at the same time, perhaps when Robert joined the meeting, but he would presumably know their dates.

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