Brightling family history research

This website has attracted several visits from family history researchers, who have communicated by leaving comments here on the website.

Patricia Forse wrote: ” I have been looking for any information about two ladies I knew quite well in my childhood. In my research I found they were born in Scrag Oak, Brightling. I believe Scrag Oak was a farm which was sold to the water board in the1930s, I think it was situated next to the Pub. The family name was Hallett and the two children were part of a large family, their mother Harriett died when she was young and then their father died in 1901. I believe the two little girls were then sent to an orphanage in Broadstairs and later to a workhouse in Battle. Their names were Hetty May born 8 July 1893 and Florence born 26 September 1894, their father was Thomas.  Has anyone any idea whether Thomas and Harriett were buried at St Thomas a Beckett church or maybe any history of Scrag Oak farm. I hope to be able to visit Brightling later this year but would appreciate any information.”  In response to this I looked at some old maps which showed that the property that is marked “Scragoak” on the map of 1878 is today known as “Swallowfield Farm” (the building that until recently was known as Scrag Oak is a modern building).  And I was able to put Patricia Forse in touch with a current Brightllng resident who wrote “Thomas Hallett was my great, great, great grandfather, who had 13 children.  His second wife was Harriett Honeyset.  I believe they had 4 children together, Mabel, Gertrude, Ettie and Florence. ”

Angela Keats wrote from Australia: “Hi, I am an Australian researching my Relf family history which goes back as far as the early 1800’s in Brightling. According to the census, my ancestors lived in Stonesdown Cottage (1851), Battle Road (1861), Grants Cottage (1871). I am confident these are the same place but just named differently. Are those places still standing? ”  I wrote back to Angela to clarify this.  I am sure that she would be interested if anyone knows anything about the Relf family.

Michael Cates commented “I’ve just discovered that an ancestor, John Atkins, lived in Brightling in the 17th/18th centuries.  He appears in the Poll Book for the 1705 election, so presumably held some sort of property in the village.  Are there any locally held records that might tell me more about him or where he lived please?”  I referred him to the East Sussex Records office as the most likely place, but maybe someone in Brightling knows something.