The Goldsworthy Family of Devon
Goldsworthy and Clyst St George
John the baker of Sidbury and London was born in 1797. His family was from Clyst St George in Devon. The family tree, from his great-grandfather forward is:
The Goldsworthy Graves at Clyst St George
The village of Clyst St George lies a few miles southeast of Exeter, in Devon. A number of GOLDSWORTHY family are recorded in the births, deaths and marriages for this parish, so on a trip to England in 2003 we decided to find the village and see if the church and graveyard still existed.
We travelled down the A376 from Exeter and turned off onto a narrow side road to the village. The village seemed to consist of a pub close to the A376, a few houses and a school attached to what would once have been a reasonably modern church. The churchyard was now full of flowers and children's play equipment, and across the lane was the village green. No sign of graves or headstones. We concluded that the church that we had been seeking had long been converted into a school. Then I spied a small hand-painted sign nailed high up on a power pole "Parish Church 1/2 mile". A quick drive in the car and we arrived at the old brick church complete with bell tower, wrought iron fence and plenty of headstones. We had found the parish church of Clyst St George, and it did not take long to discover several headstones bearing the Goldsworthy name.
The original church is several hundred years old, and the oldest headstones are late 18th century. The church was partly destroyed by fire from a rogue incendiary bomb during the Second World War and subsequently rebuilt using the same bricks. The graveyard was undamaged.
The Goldsworthy family was obviously a staunch supporter of the church, as there is a vault, the only one in the church yard, positioned just to the right of the main door so that the occupants have a close view of all who enter the church. There is another Goldsworthy headstone adjacent and almost leaning on the church wall for mutual support .
There are seven Goldsworthys interred at Clyst St George:
It would appear that Thomas Goldsworthy was a local landowner. He is recorded as the owner of Kenniford Farm and Ashmore Mills, between 1780 and 1789. (see here for more information).
Last updated: 21 May 2021