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Samuel Vidger (Somerset)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:41 pm
by MoVidger
I am trying to trace any UK details regarding Samuel Vidger born in Bath circa 1808. He later emigrated to upstate New York in the 1830s, where he died in 1888. He married Ellen P McLaughlin prior to 1840 in upstate New York. She was of Canadian-American heritage.

Thanks, in advance, to anyone who has any UK information relating to my 3 x great-grandfather particularly before he emigrated to America.


Re: Samuel Vidger (Somerset)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:00 pm
by callbrian
I found this info on which you may already know and not to do with the UK information you were asking for.
Samuel Vidger 70, Farmer b England, Helen wife, 66 b NY housekeeper, Josephine dau. b NY age 22 housekeeper, Hannibal gr.son b NY age15 farm labourer and Etta gr.dau.b NY 6 scholar.
Fort Covington, Franklin NY, this was in the 1880 NY census.

Re: Samuel Vidger (Somerset)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:21 pm
by callbrian
Hi again,
Have you tried to 'Google' Samuel Vidger, if not you will find some interesting facts relating to him in Franklin County.
callbrian :!:

Re: Samuel Vidger (Somerset)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:22 am
by MoVidger
Callbrian - Thanks for the info. Actually I'm after UK-only info prior to Samuel emigrating to America. I've already finished a basic family tree relating to the family he raised in Franklin County, NY, which also extends as far down as my father.

Thanks again though

Re: Samuel Vidger (Somerset)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:22 pm
by subo4557
I am a member of the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society and I know we have quite a lot of parish records for Bath at the Society's research centre in Sherborne Dorset UK. For a small fee, around £2, volunteers will undertake the research for you. Email address is

Re: Samuel Vidger (Somerset)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:34 pm
by MoVidger
Hello again to WDYTYR forum folk. After a very busy summer, I'm hoping to revisit a family puzzle that's an "oldie but goodie". Having said that, I don't want this brick wall to send anyone down rabbit holes.

Samuel Vidger is my 3 x great-grandfather. Apparently he was born in Bath circa 1807, but had settled in upstate New York by 1840. Samuel indicated his birthplace as "Somersetshire" in the US 1850 census. Also, the Franklin County Historical Society have a brief "bio sketch" for Samuel that states he was "from Bath".

In 1887, Samuel passed away in Fort Covington, Franklin County, NY. I have a very good account of his life in New York state, so I'm back to researching his Somerset origins, and hopefully any existing passenger records from the UK to New York or Canada.

My ongoing frustration is the lack of any Somerset birth/baptism record for Samuel.
There are several late 18th-century parish records for the surname "Vidgen" in Bath, but no "Vidger".
Vidgen seems to be the closest I can get. (I tend to ignore surnames "Vigar" and "Viger", which were prevalent in Somerset. Even if Samuel's surname was misheard as "Viger/Vigar" why is there no baptism record?).

There are a handful of Vidger's found in London and Kent during the 19th-century, but none in Somerset.
I recall there's an 18th-century "Vidger" in Birmingham, but I doubt there's any connection to my Samuel.

As per the 2010 reply to this thread, I contacted the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society, but their records didn't turn up anything for the surname "Vidger".

If anyone has any thoughts or advice, I'd be very pleased to hear them! Thanks, as always!

Re: Samuel Vidger (Somerset)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:51 pm
by MoVidger
UPDATE: I just found an intriguing 1836 military record on FMP, which I've never seen before!

Samuel Viger
Age 25
Birth year - 1811
Birth town - Wellow
Birth County - Somerset
Corps - 32nd Foot
Year - 1836 (17 Sept)
Record Set - Army Deserters 1828-1840 :o

I'm going to cautiously presume this is my Samuel, due to the approx age and birth town, Wellow, being about 5 miles south of Bath. Gosh, what a find! I wonder if he quickly sailed for North America after he deserted?

I'm going to focus on finding a baptism for Samuel in Wellow now. I've been hoping for a breakthrough such as this for nearly a decade. What a birthday gift! :D

Re: Samuel Vidger (Somerset)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:30 pm
by MoVidger
UPDATE 2: I'll need to firm up these latest finds a bit more, but I have two likely couples for Samuel's parents:

Joseph Vigor (born c1782 Bedminster, Somerset, died 1857 Hemington, Somerset)
Ann Cole/Coles (born c1786, "not known", died 1855 Hemington, Somerset).

This couple married in 1808 in Bristol, and had 6 children, all with Wellow baptisms from 1812 to 1828. Joseph and Ann appear in the 1841 and 1851 census reports.

Then there's this couple (although they could be Samuel's aunt and uncle):

John Vigor and Ruth Cole/Coles married in 1805, Walcot St. Swithin, Bath, Somerset. They had four children, all baptised in Wellow from 1806 to c1816.

John Vigor lived on Hassage Farm, a/k/a Hassage Manor circa 1815. He died in 1818. His wife Ruth (nee Cole) died in 1837.

I understand Hassage Manor had some sort of connection to the Cole(s) family since the 1600's. One of Joseph and Ann's daughters, Sarah, is living at "Hassage" in the 1881 census with her husband Walter Beacham/Beauchamp.

So it appears that John and Joseph are possibly brothers? And are Ann and Ruth sisters? :?

Interestingly, Joseph Vigor (b 1818 - Wellow) is living in Lisson Grove (Marylebone) just two blocks from my Mum's grandfather in the mid-19th century! :shock: Joseph is quite possibly Samuel's younger brother, if the research above pans out.

Re: Samuel Vidger (Somerset)

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:23 am
by MayHam
Vital Records registration in New York State, outside of New York City, began in 1881. The names of Samuel's parents *should* be listed = Samuel Vidger of Fort Covington: Death Certificate #2904 ... &ml_rpos=1

Also, noticed in the 1860 NYS census, he is called "James."
Don't know if the following might be of interest or not?

New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957
Name: James Vigor
Arrival date: 10 Apr 1832
Birth Date: abt 1820
Age: 12
Gender: Male
Port of Departure: Liverpool, England
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: Northumberland ... &ml_rpos=3

1832- Fort Covington, NY ... 04%2C3525/

c1845- settled in Fort Covington, NY ... pe2=phrase

His wife was apparently Wesleyan Methodist so presume he was, too. ... pe2=phrase

You may also find their marriage record by writing to the town or village clerk, whose records sometimes go back to the late 1700's-early 1800's.

Re: Samuel Vidger (Somerset)

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:57 am
by JMcK
In the 1850 census he gives his age as 33 so a birth of 1817

In Freereg is this Bruton Baptism (just a bit further south of Bath than Wellow) ... e21feaed4e
Another set of parents - Daniel and Jane

Regarding Samuel & James - I have been told before that they were considered the same name and somewhat interchangeable. Not precisely sure about the veracity of that statement but certainly it seems he did that in 1860 at least. So it is possible you could be looking for a James baptism too!