This section will document my research into my male line, the Nurse ancestors of my great-grandfather Robert Francis Nurse. In addition to researching my male line, which I have managed to trace back to late 17th century North Somerset, I have done research into the origin of the family name Nurse.
As I do my research I will be creating biographies of many of my ancestors. My Nurse ancestors can be found here.
William Nurse of Chew Stoke (born ~1675)
In an article on the Origin of the Surname Nurse - I discuss that I have traced the family back high with a high degree of certainty to William Nurse of Chew Stoke. William was living in Chew Stoke at the end of the 17th century - In 1694 he married Rebecca Cox (in the neighbouring parish of Norton Malreward).
We do not know where William was born, but one theory is that he was the William, son of William and Margaret Nurse who was baptised in Wells on 19 Feb 1667. (Figure 1) William and Margaret were married in Wells 10 April 1665. Wells is about 18km from Chew Stoke, so it would not have been a huge undertaking to move from Wells from Chew Stoke.
However, an alternative that does not require much movement could be that he was born in Chew Magna and baptised on 14 Nov 1672, the son of William Mourse. (Figure 2) In the baptism records of the 17th and 18th century it is not unusual to find mutliple variations of names used, as most common people were illiterate and the priest who entered the information often misheard, misspelt or just miswrote names.
Origin of the Surname
Can we be sure that the family originated in Somerset? In a section on the origin of the Nurse surname, I discuss two approaches to determining the possible ultimate origin of the surname.