Stocks of Stoke Lane

There’s a little village in Somerset about half way between Wells and Frome called Stoke St Michael. It used to be called Stoke Lanewilliam-%caroline and this where the Stock  ancestors come from – four generations of Israel Stock. I don’t know when the first was born but he married Sarah Hussell in 1723.

His son married Sarah Gullick in 1760 and their son, Israel was baptised
10 August 1777. He had several older brothers and sisters.

This, third, Israel Stock married Leah Wilcox in 1805 and they had four children, Abraham, Israel, Elizabeth Wilcox and William before she died in January 1815. William and his wife, Caroline, are commemorated on a brass plaque inside the church.

Elizabeth Wilcox Stock  is an intriguing woman, not only does she stand out as unusual for having a middle name at that time, she witnessed William and Caroline’s marriage in 1837 and in 1835 there is a baptism entry for Elizabeth Stock daughter of Elizabeth Wilcox, single woman.  Normally, in this register, any child born out of wedlock had ‘bastard’ written in the margin but this entry lists ‘single woman’ where you’d expect to find the father’s occupation.

We know from the 1871 census that Abraham was a sexton and hedgemaker and 1851 census lists Israel as a papermaker but by this time he had moved to Wells.

The marriage register for the years 1759 to 1764  records nine men of the name Stock marrying and the baptisms of 1784 to 1811 list seven Stock families. Seeing as there were so many people in the village all called Stock and various names dictionaries cite alternative spellings from the thirteenth and fourteenth century of Stokke and Stocke, I’m led to wonder whether there was a connection between the name of the family and the name of the village.


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