THE BOOK IS BACK
See http://www.tearle.org/ for information about the new updated second edition.
Yahoo group/mailing list exists at http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/tearle
The mailing list discuss the history of the Tearle family from England to scattered aroudn the globe. Post and see how you relate :)
From the defunct www.tearle.net website archived at:
(Note: I'd much prefer to link to the site itself, but this will have to do in the meantime)
This website comes to you courtesy of John Tearle, author of TEARLE: a Bedfordshire Surname, who has traced the name as far back as a document dated 1476, when a John Tearle was a yeoman farmer in the village of Stanbridge. His forebears must have been manorial tenants for generations before him, perhaps even before surnames were invented, and his descendants were to occupy them until the Enclosures Acts brought communal farming to an end and they sold out to larger landowners.
Only one or two males survived to carry on the name until the beginning of the nineteenth century, but by then agriculture could not support these larger families and some began to migrate beyond the villages of south Bedfordshire. Many stayed close to their roots, however, and even today there are more Tearles in those few square miles than in any other part of England.
John has compiled an extensive database of early Tearles and believes that many who visit this site should be able to trace their own ancestry to one 18th century couple, and all of them can share the heritage that he reveals in the book. It was sold out some time ago and a second impression is being prepared. To reserve your copy please join our mailing list.
The Tearle's were yeoman farmers in the village of Stanbridge in Bedfordshire from medieval times, and in a number of wills, conveyances, and other legal documents left evidence of their continued occupation of land there until the late 18th century. The name has always been uncommon, and there were times when it was in danger of dying out; this book traces the fortunes of the handful of families who kept it precariously alive until its survival was assured in the early 19th century.
By then the Enclosure Acts brought communal farming to an end, and yeomen sold out to larger landowners. At the same time the population was expanding, and agriculture could not support them all, but strawplaiting remained a local cottage industry, and was the foundation of the Luton hat trade, in which one Tearle family was a major player. Others began to migrate beyond the villages of south Bedfordshire, but many stayed close to their roots, and even today there are more Tearle's in those few square miles than in any other part of England. The most celebrated emigrants were the Victorian actor-managers, Osmond and Edmund Tearle, and their 20th century successors, Conway and Godfrey who kept the name in the public eye. The author has compiled an extensive database of early Tearle's and believes that most of their present day namesakes can trace their own ancestry to one 18th century couple, and all of them can share the heritage that he describes.
Cataloguing details of this book from the British Library are:
Title: Tearle. a Bedfordshire surname. John L. Tearle Author: Tearle. John. 1917- Subject: Tearle. John. 1917-. Family Subject: Tearle. Family Subject: Bedfordshire (England). Genealogy Subject: Great Britain. Genealogy Subject: Surnames. History Subject: Bedfordshire (England) Publication details: Sherborne St John. Lillydown House. c1996 Description: 137p. ill. facsims,geneal.tables,maps,ports. 21cm. pbk ISBN: 0952813106. m Shelfmark: YK.1996.a.22477 Notes: Includes index