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Family History
Arms of East Suffolk (Coastal)

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church of st. mary the virgin, parham

Family History

The graveyard of the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Parham, near Framlingham in the County of Suffolk, contains nine headstones and the remains of eleven members of the Precious Family. The small village of Parham (population of around 500 in 1844), situated in the vale of the River Ore, obviously played an important role in the family history. But the story does not start there and two further generations of Preciouses have been traced to other villages in the eastern part of Suffolk. All were farmers, wheelwrights or blacksmiths and directly, or indirectly, earned their living from the land.

The Parham part of the story starts in about 1835 and lasts until the early 1900's and is dominated by John Precious (my GG Grandfather born in 1809) and his wife Sarah (nee Teager, born 1814), and his elder brother Allen Precious (born 1796) and wife Harriet (nee Clutton, born 1806), and their descendants. The farms they occupied as tenants are still in existence, although one farmhouse has subsequently been converted into a private house. Home Farm in North Green, Parham, the home of John Precious and later his son Jesse, was sold in the early 1900's but the original farmhouse is still occupied and probably looks much the same as it did in the mid-1800's.

The two brothers were part of a large family (9 in all) born to James Precious (my GGG Grandfather born in 1761) and his wife Mary (nee Cockerill, born 1773) in the village of Tunstall, near Woodbridge, East Suffolk. Both James and Mary are buried in the churchyard of St. Michael's and All Angels, Tunstall, where the headstone is still visible. Another brother, William Precious (born 1799) and his wife Susannah (nee Nolloth, born 1806) are buried in the churchyard at St Andrew's, Wingfield in North-Central Suffolk, near Diss in Norfolk. Their descendants lived around Wingfield and Fressingfield.

James Precious was the only son of James Precious (my GGGG Grandfather born about 1732) and his wife Elizabeth (nee Allen) in the village of Eyke, near Woodbridge, East Suffolk. Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to trace the birthplace and parentage of this latter James and the trail has temporarily gone cold.

Moving towards the present-day, John and Sarah Precious, had four children, of which the youngest son, Jesse Precious( my G Grandfather born in 1841), married Rosa Wenden Barker in 1869 and had nine children (4 boys and 5 girls). The youngest son, Jesse Teager Precious (my Grandfather born in 1877), married Agnes Elder Somerville in 1900 and had seven sons. They farmed in several places in Suffolk before moving to West Yorkshire around 1909. This is the family who appear in the photograph on the homepage taken about 1936, by which time several of the sons had married and had children of their own.



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precious graves at parham church

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