Pawseys of Shimplingthorne

David Meldrum 23 Feb 2015


This web site is intended as an active record of how far 2 groups of Pawseys have got in researching their common ancestors.

The trees are too big to put up here but  a few generations of James Pawsey and Sarah How and John and Mary Pawsey of Hawkendon the two trees we are interested in, show what we are talking about.

There is a problem that in the early 1500s the name was not stable and several examples exist of the same family being spelt in different ways.

In the parish records of Shimpling for example the same family is spelt Pawsey and Pausey. Shimpling record 1559-1561

The earliest Pawseys we have found are from a tax return for Suffolk, called subsidy return

The 1524 Subsidy return shows:-

p36   Stanstede John Palsey £5             2s 6 p

Hartest    Thomas Palsey                4s 8p

p346  Lakford    John Palsey   Labourer    3s 4p


The 1568 Subsidy return shows:-

Shempling  William Pawseye £3 in goods Tax 2s 6P


There must have been a family of Pawseys in the late 1400s which were dispersing by 1524


John Palsey in 1524 and William Pawseye in 1568 had goods of value £5 and £3 respectively


We are tracing Thomas Palsey of Hartest and John Palsey labourer of Lackford.


Parish registers did not start till 1538, and sadly not all the relevant ones start then or are complete.


The fact that the only Pawsey in the subsidy returns by 1564 is William Pawseye in Shempling we feel is very likely to be related to John Palsey of Stansted a village only a mile away.


At that time the first appearance of a Pawsey occurs in a Parish record that of William Pawsey whose daughters died in the record above.


How did the Pawseys come to be in this area?


Very close to Stanstead, Shimpling and Shimplingthorne are the wool towns of Lavenham and Long Melford.


They were very rich trading towns dealing with the Flemish weavers and traders.


There are common Flemish names of that period which are homophones for Palsey, Pausey and Pawsey indeed even today those spellings are sometimes interchanged.


It has been suggested that the Pawseys could have been Huguenots fleeing the French. Calvin started his writings in 1530  and it was not until 1560 that the Huguenots came into being.


Flemish were fleeing the French in the 1400s but mainly due to the 100 years war and its aftermath.


We have traced our two Families back to Shimplingthorne in the 1710s


It was at Shimplingthorne  that William  Pawsey’s   family settled . It is not known whether they were weavers or traders. The family prospered and were still in Shimplingthorne 150 years later .


Bizarrely, John Pawsey now owns Shimplingthorne wood !!! 500 years later.


We have now traced Bob, Geoff and Jim’s ancestors to the early 1500s  John Palsey’s descendants  this is only 10 generations, The whole tree as ancestors follows here Bob’s  Ancestors


It does look as if we have the skeleton tree for All the Palseys, Pauseys and Pauseys.


We are trying  to examine all the relevant Parish records in the 1500s    Link here


It is very likely that we will bring Cilla, Anne John & Rodney into the same tree. Current interest James Pawsey possibly born 1692



Roger Pawsey (father of Frederick who had the Ancient House)

married Sarah Taylor, the marriage certificate calls him Richard Pawsey. We are trying to sort that out.  link here.







Links to Parishes we (Bob Pawsey, Jim Pawsey and David) are working on:-


Alpheton       (Bishops transcripts only)


Boxted  ( 2 Marriages 1762, 1795)


Bradfield Combust


Great Barton (Later ancestors of Bob)


Hartest    (Where Thomas Palsey was in 1524)


Hawkedon (Bob ancestors 1720s)


Ipswich St Matthew  (Looking for early Pawsey marriage)


Rede   (Both branches were in this area in the mid 1700s)


Shimpling    (the Main trunk needs editing and reconcilliation )



Somerleyton (Looking for early Pawsey marriage)


Somerton (Pawsey Parsey Parsley interchanged)


Stanningfield  (Looking for ancestors of James)


Stanstead  (early marriage)


If you are interested or have anything to add please let us know at


DSM  23rd Feb  2015