We are very grateful to Mavis Gibberd (nee Staines) for the following information
this page resulted in a further email relating to another Stanes which we have added below

Staines is a small town just north of Paris. In 1066 Baron de Staines sailed with William The Conqueror to invade England. They landed on the south coast between Hastings and Pevensey and fought their way northwards. Baron de Staines seems to have stopped at the River Thames and founded the town now known as Staines and which appears in 1086 as Stanes in The Domesday Book.

As the population increased (probably in the Thirteenth Century) people started to take on second names. John, Albert, or William obviously wasn’t enough. Many took on their occupation eg Butcher, Smith, or Fletcher. Alternatively they would use their father’s name and add ’son’ eg Johnson, Morrison or Robinson. Serfs or farm workers had to take their names from their ‘Lord of the Manor’.

I assume that my ancestors were either serfs on the land of Baron de Staines or his descendants. At some time over the next four hundred years or so , someone in the family branched out, travelled northeast and settled at Henham in Essex. In 1541 it became law that all babies born in the country should be baptised or registered in church.

I have never met another Staines (apart from direct family) and I became interested in researching my ‘roots’. I knew that my grandfather grew up in Henham so a few years back i decided to visit. A search of the graveyard revealed no evidence at all and nor, initially, did Henham church itself. However, after a second and more detailed search, i finally did discover a William Staines’s stone (died June 1830) in the floor of the church.

I also discovered that the church records are now on microfilm at Chelmsford Records Office. So I travelled to Chelmsford.

At Chelmsford, on the very first page of the church records, I found the names of twin boys Nicholas and Thomas Staines. I myself have twin brothers and I subsequently found the names of several sets of twin boys but no twin girls. I have discovered that the name ‘Thomas’ meant ‘twin’ so the names of the children did not surprise me.

I have recorded the list of names as I found them. From 1542 to 1590 only the babies’ names was registered. From 1590 the father’s name was shown and. from 1756, both parents were shown.

child father mother dob child father mother dob
Nicholas not given not given twins1542 Henry Henry not given 1684
Thomas Jeremy Henry not given 1686
John not given not given 1547 Joseph Henry not given twins1691
Lawrence not given not given 1550 Thomas
William not given not given 1551 possibly a page is missing as there is a 50
year gap. Mother’s name now included
Jhone not given not given 1558
Elizabeth not given not given 1576 James Thomas Sarah 1756
John John not given 1590 Sarah Thomas Sarah 1758
William John not given 1592 James James Susan 1755
Birgard John not given 1607 Elizabeth James Susan 1757
Margaret John not given 1608 John James Susan 1758
Beatrice Birgard not given 1607 Susan James Susan 1760
Mary Birgard not given 1610 Joseph James Susan 1768
John Birgard not given 1611 Jane James Mary 1758
(one twin died ?)
Birgard not given 1614 Thomas Thomas Sarah 1760
Nicholas Birgard not given 1616 Steven Thomas Sarah 1768
Edward Birgard not given 1619 Another 50 year gap. My great, great, great grandfather
Joseph was born at this point, somewhere around 1774
Mary William not given 1626 Charlotte Joseph Lucy 1814
Anne Nicholas not given 1634 Charles James Catherine 1817
Mary John not given 1638 John James Catherine 1813
John John not given 1639 Joseph James Anne 1813
Thomas John not given 1642 Frances James Anne 1815
Louine John not given 1648 Henry James Anne 1817
Martha John not given 1651 Jane James Anne 1820
Thomas Thomas not given 1661 JAMES * James Eliza 1843
Mary Thomas not given 1663 Sarah Thomas Harriet 1850
Anne Thomas not given 1668 Betsy Thomas Harriet 1852
Rebecca John not given 1676 Mary Thomas Harriet 1855
Mary John not given 1678 Charles Thomas Harriet 1857
Ann John not given 1680 Lucy Thomas Harriet 1860
William Henry not given 1682 James Thomas Harriet 1860

was my great, great, grandfather

Additional Information from David Turner

James Staines was born in Henham  according to the 1891 census when he had moved to Camberwell in London.

He is my Great Great Grandfather so Mavis Gibberd is my somethingth cousin something removed.
His daughter (another Eliza) married William Thomas James who was a bricklayer at ‘the gas light and coke company’ in the Old Kent Road. Their family included my Grandad William James,  James along with Horace and Alice (his siblings). My Grandad also worked for the gas company except for a 4 year holiday in Flanders!

© Henham History