Welcome please feel free to browse around ,its only a informal site with some casual info and a smuttering of History about Dorset as there are many websites allready covering the History of Dorsetshire so it would be pointless to make another one I feel.

This site is mainly focused around my Dorset Ancestors with a few from neighbouring Counties such as Somerset / Wiltshire and Hampshire  and a few other Counties here and there.

In the main my folks have all been good old fashioned Ag Labourers no one really exciting or famous but their mine and I Love them and respect them! so this is a tribute to those that have passed on and to those that are present if you see someone you know or are related please email me thanks for looking!































One such snippet of information I aquired from the Manorial records at Dorset Record office was details about my oldest

 Cole ancestor john Cole b abt 1772 see below:-


 PITT-RIVERS :-   date: 1820

 Information and depositions against John Cole, labourer, of Tarrant Gunville, for deer stealing, with his appeal and opinion.

 He must won his case as in those days you could be hung or transported for such a crime!



Tarrant Gunville lies at the head of the Tarrant valley. It is a quiet village stretching for just over half a mile along a single lane with many appealing thatched cottages and an attractive church dedicated to St Mary. The church was rebuilt in the

19 th century although the tower is 15 th c. and there are traces of a Norman arch.  

The population of Tarrant Gunville fluctuated during the nineteenth century from 408 in 1801 to a peak of 518 in 1841 and then dropped back to 303 by the end of the century. A survey in 1812 revealed that the parish contained 250 acres of Ash and Oak woodland.


Early in the 18 th c. George Doddington commissioned Vanbrugh to design a country house for him and the house he produced ranked 3 rd in size behind Blenheim and Castle Howard. Unfortunately following a fall in family fortunes, the main house was demolished in 1795 and all that remains today is the original kitchen block converted to residential use. The house was the home of Thomas Wedgewood, son of Josiah the famous potter, for 3 years from 1800 to 1803. Thomas died in the village and is buried in the church.


As well as the Tarrant's ,my Cuff Family were originally I think, from Somerset and then seem to have ended up in Shapwick

All in all nearly all the Villages in dorset are part of my familys history not surprising when they are all near to one another

and with transport limited the inevitable village people marrying people from the next nearby village was common pratice.


Eventually and funny enough all my Ancestors seem to have ended up in Kinson ,maybe as they followed the work route as Kinson at the end of the 18th century was starting expanding with Brick and Pottery works so of course with the advent of the threshing machine which robbed them of their farm work ,it must have seemed an atractive choice as wageswere good at the Brick Kilns Kinson of course is well known for one rather famouse Isaac Gulliver king of the Smuggler's and the residents of old Kinso were only too happy to help him in return for a bit of "booty"



Dorset is well known for its smuggling activities, being just across the water from Europe and the village of Kinson also played its part in this notorious criminal activity which has been romaticised throughout history. But it seems nobody wanted to preserve anything about this pastime for posterity.

Here though the house of Isaac Gulliver who was said to be a gentle smuggler who never killed anyone, was built especially for escaping from the Revenue and when it was demolished in the 1930s Gulliver moved from the White Hart Inn in Longham to the lodge here in 1780.


A secret room had a door set abut ten feet up inside the chimney and there were several tunnels going in every direction and one of these was said to go as far as Parkstone and it Folklore says that the whole of the village has tunnels built by the smugglers.


Gulliver had a gang and they had 15 luggers that carried the contraband which consisted mainly of gin, and silk   to Poole and they all wore the smocks that the farmhands wore. They had several paths from the beaches of Bournemouth and Poole on which to transport their goods and these were mostly open spaces and they had hidey holes ready to conceal their ungodly gains from the Revenue men.

It is said that Gulliver once eluded capture by pretending to be dead and was laid out in an open coffin with his face whitened and even a funeral was arranged and his "body" was changed over by a pile of stone when the coffin was sealed.  He became a local hero and he died at the age of 77 and was buried in Wimborne Minster in 1822.

His only son, Isaac Gulliver [1774-98] died unmarried, but the daughters married into the Fryer family whose interest and abundant monies ranged from the Newfoundland fisheries to banking . Pictured below is old Millhams Splash and Kinson Church Tower where contriband was hidden from the preventive officers can be seen,which still has the rope marks etched into the old walls from the pulling up by rope of the brandy barrels.

EMAIL Save 20091

Uriah Cole b1828

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My oldest Cole Ancestor was John Cole b 1772 ?                                                                                                 he married Elizabeth Whitmarsh in Tarrant Gunville                                                                                                 Dorset,Elizabeth being of the parish but where did

John come from? I would love to know as I am stuck

on this line and if someone out there holds the key

It would be fantastic!. Their son Joseph b 1797

Tarrant Gunville was the father of Uriah Cole pictured

on the left,this is just a short intro further info is on the

relevant family page. As well as the Tarrant Villages

Fontmell Magna and Iwern Courtney (Shroton) and all

Villages around and near Blandford are places of birth for

my family,and of course they have married into the various                                                                                                              Dorset Village folk I guess they dident go out of the villages                                                                                                          much in those days !!

The other main area for my family was  Cranborne Chase                                                                                                         which encompasses many Villages ,and of course through

the years, all areas have seen many "Lords of the Manor "

Another good source for information can be the Manorial

Documents which can hold records of your Ancestors such

as rent on a tied cottage and even their marriage as at one                                                                                                      time you had to get permission from your Lord of the Manor to marry,also he could also hand out your punishment when

required for any misdemenors or bad behaviour!

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