Starting the new parish of Whittington has presented us with a challenge; how can we find out the names of the overseers when no accounts survive to accompany the vouchers?
Overseers and churchwardens are reliably named on some other forms of parish ephemera, such as apprenticeship indentures, but these may also survive patchily. We can see that at some point in the 1820s the tailor John Beard was appointed as the (salaried) assistant overseer of Whittington, and that he shared the task with at least one other man per year, probably a rate-payer who was taking his ‘turn’ in office. So far the list of men in addition to Beard looks like this:
1827-8 = Thomas Dennitts overseer (Hugh Nevill and John Coleman churchwardens)
1828-9 = John Stanley overseer (Hugh Nevill and John Coleman churchwardens)
1829-30 = [no indentures found so far]
1830-31 = James Whitaker overseer (Hugh Nevill and John Coleman churchwardens)
1831-32 = William Smith overseer (Hugh Nevill and William Wootton Shucker churchwardens)
It is useful to know the names of the overseers, churchwardens, and if possible the constables working in the parish each year, because their names might crop up repeatedly on vouchers. Also they might, like Michael Clewley in Uttoxeter, be acting as parish officials at the same time that they received work from the parish, which was strictly speaking not allowed.
The search for names continues….