The Virtual Museum is not aware of extensive research locally into the Rosier family, but the following may be of some help to future family historians.
Mr Chris Watkins from Rutland approached the Virtual Museum (Mar 2011) seeking information regarding his ancestors, the Rosier family in the 18th century. He had found:
Thomas Rosier (b c1760, Hungerford), who married (28 Nov 1785, Hungerford) Elizabeth Fox
- Joseph Rosier (b 23 Apr 1789, Hungerford)
The Rosiers were a huge family in Hungerford during the 18th century - and there are still Rosiers in Hungerford now (I don't know if they are descendants).
The Parish Registers Baptisms 1700-1799 included the following Rosier entries:
Robert & Ann Rosier
- 19 Feb 1722: William
Joseph & Letitia Rosier
- 25 Aug 1723: Mary
- 4 Jun 1725: Joseph
- 30 May 1727: Elizabeth
- 16 May 1729: Joseph (s/o Joseph Rosier)
- 13 Apr 1731: Elizabeth (s/o Joseph Rosier)
Thomas & Joan Rosier
- 13 Dec 1728: John
- 13 Feb 1731/2: Joseph (s/o Tho Rosier)
- 25 Aug 1736: Mary (s/o Thomas Rosier)
- 18 Apr 1730: Jane (s/o John Rosier)
John & Susanna Rosier (Junior)
- 16 Jan 1739/40: John (s/o John Rosier Junior)
- 17 Apr 1741: Mary
- 2 May 1742: Susanna
John & Susan Rosier
- 11 May 1744: Ann
- 22 Jan 1745: Elizabeth
- 1 Apr 1748: James
- 2 Feb 1752: Thomas
Thomas & Margaret Rosier
- 29 Mar 1749: Thomas
- 19 Oct 1759: Ann
- 2 Feb 1752: Sarah
- 14 Mar 1760: Timothy
William & Mary Rosier
- 15 Aug 1751: William
- 8 Apr 1757: Mary
- 23 Apr 1760: Stephen
- 30 Apr 1762: Charles
- 13 Nov 1767: David
John & Elizabeth Rosier
- 16 Sep 1754: Mary (posthumous)
Thomas & Sarah Rosier Junior
- 20 Feb 1755: John
- 25 Aug 1756: Sarah
John & Sarah Rosier
- 8 Jun 1759: Abraham
- 15 Nov 1761: Martha
- 16 Dec 1764: Isaac
Thomas & Mary Rosier
- 25 Dec 1760: Joseph
- 21 Aug 1774: John
- 13 Aug 1777: Thomas
Timothy & Sarah Rosier
- 27 Feb 1761: Thomas
- 24 Nov 1765: Robert
- 19 Oct 1768: Sarah
- 19 Oct 1770: Robert
- 2 Nov 1774: John
James & Mary Porter (nee Rosier)
- 24 Jul 1774: John
Thomas & Susanna Rosier (nee Inge, m 30 Sep 1773)
- 6 Aug 1775: Sarah
- 9 Mar 1781: Mary
- 25 Mar 1792: James
- 9 Jun 1794: Nanny
William & Mary Rosier (nee Aldbury, m 7 Jul 1776)
- 16 Mar 1777: Alexander
Thomas & Elizabeth Rosier
- 16 Jul 1786: James
- 23 Apr 1789: Joseph
Joseph & Ann Rosier
- 10 May 1789: William
- 12 Jun 1791: Joseph
- 2 Jan 1793: Sarah
- 25 May 1794: Mary
- 3 Apr 1796: Joseph
- 30 Jul 1797: Thomas
- 21 Apr 1799: Ann
William & Jane Rosier:
- 1 Apr 1798: William
Thomas & Charlotte Rosier
- 2 Sep 1798: Thomas
After doing much further research, Leo Macham kindly sent (Sep 2017) his notes on The Rosier Family of Hungerford:
The name Rosier is always listed as being of French origin. In French the word means a rose bush and the surname in France would have referred to rose growers (for oil in perfumes and medicines.) The surname distribution of Rosier shows two areas where the name is most common: Berkshire and Suffolk. Most people with this surname are thought to have arrived in England as Huguenot protestant refugees.
Thousands of protestants were murdered by their catholic neighbours in France in 1572, and coincidentally one of the survivors of this who wrote about it was named Du Rosier. But few Huguenots came to England as a result. The majority migrated after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 which took away their religious freedom. However the Rosiers of Hungerford were established there by 1610 and as such are unlikely to have Huguenot origins. The earliest Rosier record in the parish register is the 1610 marriage of Roberte Rosyer to Jone Pofflye, recorded on 23 April.
It seems that the first Hungerford Rosiers arrived in the town about 1600. I have failed to find any other records to suggest where they might have come from. There is no mention of anyone with the surname Rosier in the early online lists and surveys of the townsfolk until the Hearth Tax records of the 1660s. Possibly Rosiers were present earlier but didn’t feature perhaps because they were too poor. (None of the manorial records for Hungerford have been searched at this time.) However the family grew substantially so that by the time of the 1851 census, over 50 of the 350 or so people bearing the Rosier surname nationally were in Hungerford with about 40 more located in the towns and villages nearby. The Hungerford Virtual Museum includes many references to Rosiers, including some which identify the houses they occupied as far back as the seventeenth century.
Unfortunately although the parish registers record the Rosier family as living in Hungerford for at least three hundred years, they don’t appear in many other easily accessible sources. Only a few members of the family made wills, likewise there are only a small number of Rosier monumental inscriptions in the churchyard. The picture which emerges is of a family of modest circumstances, usually making their living through unskilled labouring work. So regrettably much of what follows will be confined to names without being able to provide further information of interest. In constructing a Rosier family tree the limitations on the kinds of record available prevent corroboration from different sources and increase the possibility of mistakes. The interpretation below, which is largely based on parish register entries, represents for me the most probable family tree, given the evidence available. Individuals are specified by their baptism dates, ie the John baptised in 1642 becomes John-1642.
The first group of parish register entries suggests two adult Rosiers, Robert and John, brothers perhaps. After the 1610 marriage of Roberte and Jone there were five baptism entries where the father was either listed as John or Robert. From these fragmentary early records the next Rosier family to emerge was that of John. He was one of the five baptisms, born in either 1614 or 1615, married Sarah Clark in 1640 and had at least eight children. He appeared in the Hungerford Hearth tax records of the 1660s as John Rosser but was exempt from paying the tax by being too poor. There was another Rosier listed: Robert Rosear did pay the tax but only had a small property with one hearth. This record corresponds to Robert born in 1617 who had married Isabel. There is no record of them having any children and they both died in 1670.
The parish register for Hungerford for the next one hundred and fifty years seem to be reasonably complete and I have attempted to follow all branches of the Rosier family up to 1750. My interpretation of the records is that John-1614/15 married again, to Mary Lowigge in 1665. Meanwhile his son John-1642 married Ann Steele in 1664. John-1642 also married a second time to Elizabeth Franks in 1675. During this period several children were baptised to a John but it is not always clear which John - father or son - was the parent.
Of these children the males in addition to John-1642 who reached adulthood and had families themselves were William-1648, Timothy-1650, Robert-1653 (sons of John-1614/15) and Joseph-1683 (a son of John-1642). Only one of these went on to produce the offspring that would give rise to the majority of the Rosiers of Hungerford down the generations: Robert-1653.
The records we have for the others are as follows. William-1648 married Sarah Jaffery and they had two sons who reached adulthood, William-1687 and Jeffery-1681. However although Jeffery married Elizabeth Rosier, probably a cousin, the only record of children for them is for a daughter Sarah. The other son William married Elizabeth Huskins but their marriage was probably childless. The Williams - father and son - feature in other parish records of the time eg. being paid for working “about the towne pond.” Also a William Rosier appeared in the 1715 bastardy papers having to pay a bond to stay away from Jane Nalder who had born him an illegitimate child but this might have been another William, born in 1675.
Timothy-1650 married Elizabeth and had at least four children. However there are no records for them in the Hungerford register beyond 1684. They moved to Salisbury, about thirty miles south. Their son William married twice: to Alice Stovey then Christian Lips. Four children were baptised in Salisbury.
Joseph-1683 married Elizabeth Blundy in 1703 and had three children. Of them John-1706 was the only one to marry - to Jane Elloways in 1727 and to have a family, probably of six. Members of this family appeared in other parish records in 1703 and 1740 linking them with the nearby village of Great Bedwyn. Joseph was subject to a removal order, then many years later his son and family were also ordered to leave Hungerford. At the time, parishes had an obligation to provide for their poor inhabitants so it was important to prevent outsiders who couldn’t look after themselves from remaining in the parish too long by issuing a removal order.
Although it was from Robert-1653 that most, if not all, of the subsequent Hungerford Rosier family came, it shouldn’t be assumed that these were the only surviving members of the family. Certainly mortality rates, especially for children, were high. But it is quite possible that like Timothy-1650, some Rosiers moved away and that a wider search would uncover branches of the family elsewhere.
Robert-1653 married Mary Nalder in 1674 and they had seven sons and two daughters that we know of. He was the only Hungerford Rosier eligible to vote in 1727. A further indication of his relative status is that he left a will, although it described him as a labourer. The will is interesting because it lists all his major possessions - which didn’t amount to very much in today’s terms. The oldest son William-1675 died young so the second son Robert-1678 received the property - a “dwelling house together with a backside garden and close adjoining and the common” and the will ensured that this should stay, undivided, in the family. All the other goods were divided up among Robert senior’s other children.
What happened to Robert-1653’s sons? The oldest William-1675 died young after marrying Mary Cox and fathering three daughters and a son (who also died young). The second son and main beneficiary of the will, Robert-1678, had a large family, dealt with below. John-1682 married Jane Stepher (probably Stephen) and they had three daughters.
Joseph-1700 married Letitia Hopegood. They lived at modern day 97-99 High Street; there were five children but Joseph born in 1729 was the only male to survive childhood. I haven’t found any further records for him in the parish. Thomas-born about 1690 married Jane Clydesdale Hidden and afterwards Jane Stanton. There were two boys who survived childhood among their six children: Thomas-1725 (see below) and John-1728.
Note: Robin Hill from Adelaide, Australia, emailed May 2021 to say "I believe there is an error on Joseph-1700. You have him married to Letitia Hopegood. I believe he married Sarah Ross in Hungerford in 1721. Letitia Hopegood married John Huntmeal in Speen in 1723.
Finally the second son Robert-1678: he married Ann Culleron in 1709 and there were nine children. He produced a will from which it is clear that he had two properties: “the tenement I now live in” which was bequeathed to the oldest surviving son Thomas-1716 together with “Cow Common upon Portdown” and “half the garden”. Another son Timothy-1732 was left “my other tenement which Susanna Rosier now dwells in”.
Several of the sons stayed in Hungerford, married and had families: Robert-1711 married Esther Hellior but died young after fathering one son; Thomas-1716 married Margaret Pearce and had at least nine children; John-1718 married Susanna, producing at least seven children; William-1723 married Elizabeth and possibly a second time but the only records for their children are two burials; James-1725 also married an Elizabeth but their two children died; and Timothy-1732 who had seven children by his wife Sarah Pope. Robert-1678 and Ann also had a daughter Mary who reached adulthood. She married Richard Maddox in 1745.
From this time - about 1750 - the numbers of Rosier entries in the Hungerford register make it much more difficult to construct a family tree with confidence. The remainder of this summary is concerned with the writer’s own branch of the family only. This comes from Thomas-1725, the son of Thomas and Jane Clydesdale Hidden. Thomas has been identified as the ancestor of this branch of the family on the balance of probability but it could have been his cousin born in 1716. Thomas was married twice: first to Sarah Wren in 1750 resulting in three children and then, following Sarah’s death in 1758, to Mary Cocken. The second marriage which occurred in 1759 resulted in the birth of Joseph in 1760 and possibly other children a few years later.
Joseph-1760 married Ann Young in 1789. He was described as a labourer but could sign his name when he married. There were nine children. The oldest, William-1789 married Sophia Daish who came from the nearby village of Wootton Rivers. William and Sophia’s lives continued into the nineteenth century and the first censuses. Although when he married in 1812, William’s address was given as Cow Lane and his occupation as sawer ie sawyer, later census entries have them living in High Street, Hungerford and his occupation as a farm labourer. Sophia was a straw bonnet maker. (Hungerford was for a time a noted centre for straw bonnet production.) William's brother Thomas, a painter, lived next door in modern day numbers 43-44 High Street. He had married Ann Baker in 1824; they had at least seven children.
Four children’s baptisms were recorded in the register to William and Sophia. Rhoda was a bonnet maker like her mother. She had an illegitimate daughter Louisa when in her mid-teens but married Francis Hasell a few years later. He kept a beer house for a time, then the family emigrated to America and settled in Alpena, Michigan where their descendants were still living by the 1930s. Rhoda’s brother Francis was a plumber who moved to Swindon and married there. Her sister Marianne, also a bonnet maker, married Henry Spratt, a cooper from Basingstoke. I haven’t been able to trace either Francis or Marianne; perhaps they emigrated like their sister.
The oldest son of William and Sophia was Joseph. He married Priscilla Hawkins at nearby Newbury and they were living in Hungerford in 1841. However Priscilla died in 1842 and Joseph married again in 1845. His second wife Ann Rogers was a servant who had been born in Ashbury, about ten miles away from Hungerford. The wedding took place in the Hungerford Congregational Chapel. Originally a labourer, Joseph established himself as a pork butcher. He lived in High Street Hungerford. There were two sons: Francis and Heber. The choice of Heber, a rare biblical name, may indicate that his family was quite religious. Joseph and Ann died in the 1890s.
Francis Rosier became a bricklayer. He married a milliner, Sarah Dodson in 1874 in a Methodist Chapel in Oxford. She was the daughter of Charles Dodson who had worked for the Great Western Railway, ultimately becoming an inspector. The Dodsons had spent a few years in the Hungerford area (when Francis and Sarah may have met) then settled in Oxford and went on to run a Temperance Hotel. Presumably because of his work, Francis moved frequently. At the time of the wedding he was living in Kingston on Thames and the couple stayed there at first where a son, Arthur Edwin, was born. But they moved to Sandhurst in Berkshire where Francis Charles was born, then to Hampstead Norreys where Annie Louise arrived before returning to the High Street in Hungerford. Three more children were born there: Herbert George, Florence Ada and Alice Emma. Francis the father became in time a builders’ foreman and the family moved to Newbury where they remained until their deaths in 1915 (Francis) and 1930 (Sarah). None of the children had any further connection with Hungerford.
Heber moved away and became a Congregational minister, living in London, Nottingham and Reading but never returning to Hungerford.