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Out of 1,587 records featuring Truitt in all its variations in the whole of England the name Anthony appears precisely seven times, five of them outside our time period but all connected to one family in Kippax.

The first name is so unique I feel safe with the assumption it runs in just one family. With just one big break, I can trace an Anthony Truitt for the next six generations; all sons of the sons of Antony…

The name is first recorded at the wedding of Anthony to Liz Gillson…


Anthone Truwit & Elezabeth Gillson maried the vi of Jullye.

and look, courtesy CHRIS SUPERSTAR TRIFFITT, here’s the original marriage record! Ant is seven lines down.

It’s no wonder, given this handwriting, that names got confused.


It was the summer of 1619. Another world.

Shakespeare was just three years dead; in Plymouth some Puritans were preparing The Mayfair for an adventure; James I’s reign was winding to a close – not that one jot of this reached the tender ears of Alpha ANT and his new bride. They had more important matters at hand.

The records show no sign of a single Truwit before this magic moment in Kippax – Alpha ANT was from outta town. Whatever drew him there – young Liz Gillson ended up the star attraction. I can’t find her christening but there are a great many Gilson/Gillson’s in town

A week short of nine months later their first child ROBART appeared. Obviously they were a fertile combination – this shows us that their romance was a chaste one without the usual root and run of most of the marriages in this account. – which gives us a hint as to the kind of people they were – or had to be.

Once the vows were made and the rut begun there was no stopping them –

ROBART TRUIT: 30 March 1620

ANTHONY TRUIT: 15 Apr 1621


Elezabeth Truit the doughter of Anthonye buried the xxv day of June 1624

ALLES TRUYT: 23 Dec 1625

Alleas the doughter of Anthony Truighyt buried the xxvth day of Noueber.1632

PETER TRUYT: 23 Dec 1627


George Truight the son of Anthonye Truight buried the xxvii day of Nouember 1628


Francis Truyt the sonn of Anthonye Truyt burid the xiith day of Febriwary. 1631




It seems like an awful lot of dead babies, doesn’t it ? Kinda shocking. Don’t be – dead babies were par for the course – what is actually shocking is just how little anybody cared.

We can’t impose our emotional responses on the past – our ancestors led internal lives that differed dramatically from ours. We have the time for feelings – the luxury of pride; our ancestors lived farmer’s lives with farmer’s wives; fucked and farmed, farmed and fucked – then died.

Let’s stop the clock in 1642: we have Robert, Anthony, Peter, Jennyt and Jaine surviving. Jennyt and Jane are just a couple of little girls – they don’t count just yet. Dad is about forty – Robert is twenty-two and unmarried; Anthony is twenty-one; unmarried – Peter is fifteen; he’s still not sure what his dick is for. That’s a hell of a lot of testosterone in one place…

and there’s something very boy-ish happening in the back garden…


Probably, like me, you have only the faintest idea what the English Civil War was all about. I’m not going to waste our time with a potted history; just click on the link above for a very readable account. It must have been quite some time for a hot-blooded lad in Kippax – war was happening all around. There are records of locals being willingly co-opted into the fighting – but I’m not going to conjure with that. It doesn’t take a scientist to deduce that the war was easily the most exciting thing in their lives.

As far as we’re concerned, all the Civil War means is that the records simply come to a halt. They don’t exist. Nada.

In a normal scenario the men would be getting married around 1642 – 45, having their first kids not long after. What do we have? Nuttin’. Just a lot of fighting.

So, looking for a Anthony Truit wedding – or even a Robert/Peter/George one after 1642 and a family any time after with an ANT in it is really just wishful thinking. I don’t think we’ll ever know. The Civil War destroyed everything, just when I need the records to be precise. Frankly, your guess is as good as mine.


Here’s the LEAP of FAITH

there’s really nothing any of us can do about 1642 – 53 in Kippax and large chunks of Yorkshire. Read the history – no wonder. Fergeddaboudit.

We can assume our next ANT was born between 1650 and 1665 – not too late for the 1621 Anthony’s parentage – but I think it highly unlikely.  Turn-over was much more rapid in those days. I can’t prove it but I’m pretty certain there’s a missing generation in between – that our ANT is the grandson of 1621 Ant. [1621 Ant marries in 1642, his first son Invisible Ant is born in 1643, marries 1664 and produced our ANT in 1665.]

If our ANT was born around 1665 there should be a birth record somewhere. I can’t find it.

But we know he existed – look, here he is in Bramham – just ten miles up the road.

ANTONY TRUET Marriage: 06 MAY 1686 Bramham


Bramham stands right at the crossroads of two ancient Roman roads; a perfect place for a destiny. One road flows east-west from York through Tadcaster across to Ilkley – home of the unofficial Yorkshire National Anthem: ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at’.

Only a Yorkshireman would adopt an anthem about walking through a swamp without a hat.

The other road cuts a swathe from north to south; the Great North Road, now the A1, the main route between London and Edinburgh.

Stop for minute – delve into that dull photo above – be young and innocent, with all the world ahead of you, setting off to the great unknown. I’ve done it. Have you? That dusty cross in the dirt is suddenly full of meaning.

A visit to Bramham was a trip to the very edge of the world. Left, right, straight ahead: the possibilities were almost too much to cope with.


The Great North Road was a coaching route used by mail coaches between London, York and Edinburgh. In the first era of stage coaches York was the terminus of the Great North Road but was later superseded by the route Doncaster–Ferrybridge–Wetherby–Boroughbridge–Northallerton–Darlington, the more direct way to Edinburgh, the ultimate destination. The first recorded stage coach operation running to York was in 1658. This took four days to reach its destination. Coaches travelled across Bramham Moor, occupants no doubt glad to reach the safety of Bramham’s coaching Inns as the Moor was a desolate place and a haunt of highwaymen. Cattle have been herded to market through the village and over the Moor through the old Drove routes.

Of course, the town was just one of many such pit-stops. Where the road went, so did people. Where the people went so did their wallets.

Bramham certainly acquired more than its fair share of beer-houses, gambling dens, cock-fights, bawds and brothels as it serviced the wayward needs of wayward travelers. Then, as now, the hospitality industry relied on the four basic needs of the tourist; a bed, a meal, a drink and a shag. Men on the road are predictable things. There were horses to be fed and housed and scrubbed, posh ladies to be served and admired; food to be cooked and cleared, beds to be made, even laundry done on rare occasion. In between these requirements a host of supporting players hovered, ready to shmooze, fleece and fandangle anybody stupid enough to let them.

Many of the village’s older buildings bear testimony to this passing trade of bucks, businessmen, traders and thieves. Bramham is famous for the number of grand houses that grew up around this time. There was big money to be made out of travel, some of it legal, quite a lot not. More than a dozen such gentlemanly residences remain, silent witness to enthusiastic avarice. Thunderbirds were Go, Go, Go in Bramham in the 1680’s; a perfect place for all the detritus of the travel trade.

Enter ANT, stage left.

So far, ANT is invisible till his marriage to MARY ATKINSON in Bramham in May 1686.

ANTONY TRUET Marriage: 06 MAY 1686 Bramham

She was a local lass, John Atkinson’s youngest daughter; just seventeen when ANT swept her off her feet. That’s all we really know.

Actually, we have several Mary’s to choose from. Three Atkinson brothers all fathered girls called Mary in a very short spece of time. They all lived in Bramham. Nothing but intuition leads me to John’s youngest daughter.

Just one extra detail is certain – our man was in town for a while before his wedding…

At the very latest, he arrived in town in the first months of 1685. Young ANT was likely twenty or so – younger, maybe – we’ll probably never know. I don’t think it matters. I like to think he just appeared, wandered down that road, stood at those crossroads, a smile on his face and an ache in his loins.

Which way? Left? Right? Straight ahead?

ANT didn’t know it, but he’d already arrived.

As there were only three hundred inhabitants; it can’t have been long before he and Mary clapped eyes on each other. She was christened on November 1st 1668 which would make her all of sixteen when ANT arrived panting at her door. Somehow I don’t think there was long romance.

Perhaps the sixth of May has a special significance for the couple.

On or about that date in 1685 they were most certainly intertwined in an all-too familiar manner. Pretty soon Mary found herself in a Truet situation – or a Trivett situation – or a Truwit one – or…

By early Summer their romance was exposed. With not much shock and horror, scarcely a wave of a shotgun, a child was born on 18th Feb 1686. Little Willy TRUET lay cradled in an aunty’s arms when Mum and Dad walked down the aisle of All Saint’s on their anniversary 6th May, three months later.


I wonder if Mary ever felt confused.

In the course of fifteen years, between 1686 and 1708 her husband’s name changed seven times: I’ll bet he was christened Antony Trewit but by the time they married he was  Antony Truet; his children’s christenings record him as Anthony Trivett, Anthony Truit, Anthony Truitt, Anth Truitt and Ant Truitt.

Remember to turn the ‘W’ and ‘U’ into a ‘V’. Records here: C03995-1

Of course, Mary wasn’t confused at all. She had no idea.

She couldn’t read, neither could ANT. The blessed couple just trooped up to the church with their latest sprog, tugged their forelock and whispered ‘Trr-v-it’ to the only man who could write.

They were blissfully unaware that their surname was being mangled.

Nobody knew. Nobody cared.

The only man who made the rules was the man with the pen.

He didn’t care either.



Wm Truet : 18 Feb 1686

Eliz Trivett : 18 May 1689

Anne Truit : 30 Aug 1691

Mary Truitt : 04 Feb 1693

Reproduction seems to have been halted here for a cycle. Maybe the death of little Willy on September 1st 1693 had something to do with it. He was seven. By the end of the ’95 winter things were back to normal. Sometime around the Ides of March the deed was done again.

Frances Truitt : 24 Jan 1696

Anthony Truitt : 09 Jun 1700

Thos Truitt : 26 Dec 1703

Everybody needs a replacement Willy, and here he is: ALPHA WILLIAM – the last of their brood and the first of ours.

Wm Truitt : 08 Aug 1708


So, the elusive Alpha Willy has crawled out of the records. Well, maybe. He’s really only on probation. He has to meet a woman called Hannah and have five children – otherwise he ain’t. All bets are off.



Suddenly those five virgin Triffitt births in Yorkshire are starting to make a lot more sense. See THE BIG CLUE. What were the names of those fathers? Anthony, Thomas and Henry. Well, we’ve just found two of them.

What’s the bet that our third and last son had a bit to do with our remaining miracle – the elusive WILLIAM ‘of’ WHIXLEY?

Our original ANT has delivered the goods; the man who will father the father of the father of us all.


ANT Junior stayed in Bramham and fathered at least two children: Mary Truitt. 02 May 1730 and Anth Truitt 28 Apr 1733. Those mysterious twins who fell to earth? Isabel and Frances Triffit were born to Anthony in Spofforth in 1736 then John Trewitt in 1739 and young William Trewitt back in Bramham in 1743. I’d hazard a guess that the twins were born away from home precisely because they were twins. Mum needed a support system. Why Spofforth? Thomas and his wife are there. The ANT family remained in Bramham.


Courtesy the miraculous CHRIS TRIFFITT, supersleuth, here’s the original record of the Christening of Isabel and Frances, the twins who fell to earth – daughters of Anthony Triffit, brother of Alpha William and son of Ant, on the 4th May 1736. Their Dad is shown as Anthony of Linton.,_West_Yorkshire
Yup, I can barely read it too. Here’s a better copy.

CHRIS TRIFFITT adds this comment:

I think this is the earliest written version of the name Triffit that I’ve seen so maybe we have the vicar of Wetherby to thank for kicking off the existing version of the family name.


THOMAS [now] Trifit goes to FELTON where he marries ANNE WARDEL on 18th January 1721. Together they set up home in SPOFFORTH. One of their children was  MARY TRIFIT : 08 JUN 1735, the third of our five virgin births. A brother Thomas Truit, was born in 1746. I haven’t found the rest.

The mysterious HENRY TRIFFET, father of THOMAS of Stillingfleet remains elusive – but only because I haven’t looked very hard. Almost certainly, the Stillingfleet tribe is a different branch of the family.


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