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Turnastone Farm and the Proberts

By Cynthia Comyn

The tenants of Turnastone Farm from 1818 to 1903 were all named Probert. Cynthia Comyn explores in this article the possible relatedness of these successive tenants, by studying the wills of James Probert who died in 1829, and Ann Probert who died 1851 but for whom final probate was not granted till 1857, being the last will proved in the Hereford Diocesan Court.
 
Ann was born c.1798 at Cwmyoy, Monmouthshire, and was married to William Probert, one of the sons of the above-mentioned James. Further evidence from parish registers and the census returns enabled the author to work out a family tree for the tenants of Turnastone Farm starting with James Probert (1818 – 1926) then Thomas Probert (c 1826 – c 1829), Richard Probert (1829 – 1836), John Probert (1836 – 1862), Selina Probert (widow of John) jointly with her son John jnr (1862 – c1882) and finally John junior (c 1882 – c 1902) which covered a period of about 84 years.  Of these people, the only one so far unconnected is Thomas Probert who may have been a brother of James and perhaps occupied the farm until his nephews had gained more experience and/or put together the funds to take on the tenancy.  However, we can now be almost certain that James Probert, tenant of Turnastone, was the father of two succeeding tenants (Richard and John) and that another of his sons farmed at Wellbrook in Peterchurch.