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Francis Sabey

Fact: he was born 1760-66

Fact: he lived in Bolnhurst, at least from 1790

Fact: he attended Lt Staughton Baptist Church from at least 1791

Fact: there were two Sabey families in Bolnhurst in the 1760s

- John who was non-conformist and possibly attended Keysoe Brook End Baptist Church. His 1777 will named three children, but not a Francis, so he can be ruled out as being Francis' father

 - Joseph who married three times, and baptised one child from each. His first marriage ran from 1751 to 1769, with just the one child baptised in 1752. So there's plenty of space for Francis in the early 1760s. But I can't see that Joseph was non conformist, nor why he would have missed baptising Francis.

Speculation: he named his first child Dinah. There are those who think Francis might have been an unbaptised son of Peter from Gt Stukeley, Hunts, who might have been the son of Peter and Dinah of Roxton. I don't buy this as Dinah the grandmother died 30 years before Francis was born, and there are too many "might have beens". I think it's more likely that she was named Dinah after her maternal grandfather's first wife. His first son  was named Samuel, the only such named Sabey that I have in my database, so if he was named after his grandfather it doesn't appear to have been in Beds. Again, I think it's more likely that Samuel comes from his mother's brother

But Hemmum at has found at BLARS:

a bastardy bond dated 14 May 1767   Francis Elms of Bolnhurst, blacksmith is firmly bound to Soloman Safford - church warden & Thomas Russel - overseer to poor, for the amount of £80 regarding obligation toward Mary Saby of Bolnhurst, single woman who declared on oath that she is with child, & child is likely to be born bastard & that Francis Elms is father of child. In presence of French ? Flanders & Thomas Claridge

There's no baptism of a Mary Sabey at the right time anywhere in north Beds. But there is a note in Bolnhurst parish register of the birth in 1742 of a child of John Sabey. Could this have been Mary? I think it was. I also think that the child was named Francis, after his father, Francis Elms, and the Sabeys, being baptists, didn't baptise him.

Mary was buried in Thurleigh in 1774 so didn't appear in John's 1777 will. There are only four Sabey burials in Thurleigh - John of Bolnhurst, his wife Elizabeth, their son William, and Mary daughter of J of Bolnhurst. I think it reasonable to assume that these are all one family - the non-conformists from Bolnhurst. As such despite the lack of a baptism linking Mary to John and Elizabeth, the burial evidence provides it. I first thought that "daughter of J of Bolnhurst" indicated that Mary was a child, but I now think it indicated merely that she was a daughter, albeit an unmarried adult. 

Is there any mention in Keysoe Brook St Baptist Church book about this - Mary would have been guilty of fornication so if she were a member of the church would have been censured if not kicked out.

Whilst there's no hard evidence there's enough circumstantial evidence for me to think that on the balance of probabilities Francis was the illegitimate son of Mary, who was an unbaptised daughter of John and Elizabeth.

Francis Sabey, who were his parents?

Owner/SourceCourtesy of David11000, many thanks
File nameFrancis Sabey Who were his parents?
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