Thomas Langley of Over Whitacre 1736 – 1803

I have finished my ICAPGen Level One study group which helped me write the third generation report for my “Level 1” – four generation report. I have now started working on generation four. This four generation report starts with my 2x great grandmother, Ada Jane (Jones) Booth and her family and steps back through her mother Jane Langley (Jones), Jane’s father, Edward Langley and concludes with Edward’s father, Thomas Langley.

My first generation had been holding me up for a long time. The parents of Ada Jane Jones were reluctant in providing me with any documentation. I knew of Jane Langley through my grandmothers stories, but her husband was somewhat of a mystery. Once I finally found them having immigrated to America some things became a little easier to find. But I have yet to find where and when George Jones and his wife Jane Langley Jones died.

Jane Langley was born in Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, in 1811, the last child for Edward and Mary (Jones) Langley. Her grandfather, I believe, was a Thomas Langley of Over Whitacre, Warwickshire, England. Thomas Langley of Over Whitacre was married to Mary Passand or Passard the 5th of January 1760 The couple had 5 children born and then baptized in Over Whitacre. The children of Thomas and Mary that were baptized in Over Whitacre were:

  • Susannah 1762
  • Edward 1763
  • Peggy 1770
  • Isaac 1772
  • Nelly 1775

There is a gap of 2 years and 8 months between January 1760 when Thomas and Mary were married and 1762 and when Susannah was baptized on 25 September 1762. There is also a 6 year and 1 month gap between Edward and Peggy. This could indicate possibly one or two missing children. I decided to check the neighboring parishes for children baptized whose parents were listed as Thomas and Mary Langley. Two were found in Shustoke parish, about two and a half miles from Over Whitacre.

Here we see Ann Langley in the Shustoke parish baptized 27 December 1760, daughter of Thomas Langley and Mary his wife of Over Whitacre. Six years later Thomas and Mary are again in the Shustoke parish registry.

This is Mary daughter of Thomas Langley of Over Whitacre by Mary his wife 18 September 1766.

I am fairly confident that these two children fit right into Thomas and Mary (Passand/Passard) Langley’s family.

That makes for seven children born in a 15 year span. Five girls and only two boys. It is always of interest for me to follow the children to see where they may lead.

Ann the eldest daughter of Thomas and Mary Langley appears to have had an illegitimate child, Edward that she had baptized in Shustoke 20 May 1781.

Later in 1784 Ann Langley marries Edward Birch in Shustoke and one month later she has her second son John baptized..

Edward and Ann Birch had two more children(William baptized 1786 and Thomas baptized 1788 before Edward Birch died in 1789.

Thirteen months after burying Edward, Ann married John Howcroft in Curdsworth.

John Howcraft and Ann Langley Birch went on to have five children:

  • Peter James Baptized 17 Oct. 1790
  • James 1793
  • Charles 1795
  • Hannah 1797
  • Richard 1800

Now I am completely confused. There appears to be two Ann Langley’s hanging around Over Whitacre. The second Ann marries a John Sheffield.

That’s what happens when you look at others trees on Ancestry. I hate when that happens. Now I have to go and prove this persons information wrong. The most logical error is that the Ann Langley married to John Sheffield is not the daughter of Thomas Langley and Mary Passand of Over Whitacre. Actually the question should probably be for my next research , “who did Ann Langley, baptized in 1760, the daughter of Thomas and Mary (Passand) Langley marry?”

In my last post I had to sort out two Edward Langley’s in the generation of Ann’s brothers children. When we are charged with making a through and exhaustive search I guess that is what happens. Looking at all possibles and finding the evidence that directly answers the question or has enough circumstantial evidence to draw a reasonable conclusion.

Thomas and Mary Langley’s other children have proven no less adventuresome. but what transpires with Thomas and Mary from the birth of Nelly in 1775 until Thomas’s death in 1802? There were census schedules and individual returns in England for 1801, 1811, 1821, and 1831 censuses. Because the household and individual schedules were never submitted to a central government entity, the original returns remain in dozens of local archives across the UK. BYU has a transcription project underway that can be searched at It is an ongoing project. When the database is complete it will likely contain information about approximately 500,000 households. I have already found Thomas’s son Edward in the 1811, 1821, and 1831 returns. Either the 1801 returns are not done for Warwickshire or possibly they are missing. I will keep checking back to see if any 1801 Warwickshire Langley’s appear.

Going back to find early records for Thomas Langley I did check for apprenticeship records. Many trades had guilds and the only association that showed a member for a Thomas Langley was in London, most likely not mine.

Another angle I tried was reaching out to the Local family History society in Kingsbury, the parish where Thomas and Mary were married. I received several lovely emails in reguard to my inquiries. Apparently the local bridge leading to the Kingsbury church in 1760 was repaired and I. or J. Passand’s name was on the bridge. It was also noted that Isaac Passand was a warden of the Kingsbury Church at that time. Since the Langley’s of Whitacre and Coleshill were masons and bricklayers it could have been that Isaac had some contact with the Langley’s in regards to the stone bridge and its repairs that were concluded in the same year that Thomas Langley of “upper” Whitacre married Mary Passand of Kingsbury.

Thomas Langley is found in the Over Whitacre burial records for 1803. The transcribed monument for Thomas Langley shows his death occurring on 31 December 1802 at the age of 65.

Warwickshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-1812, Warwickshire County Record Office; Warwick, England; 0ver Whitacre, Roll: PG 2983,DR(B) 12/2 Thomas Langley, 1803, online data base: Ancestry (…), image 19,  last accessed 08 March 2021.

Warwickshire Monumental Inscriptions Over Whitacre St. Leonard, 1802, online database: Find My Past (, for transcription download ($) see Birmingham Midlands Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, Over Whitacre St. Leonard Monumental Inscriptions, transcribed 1989, pg 13, item 33, Thomas Langley (1802) and his wife Mary (1808). last accessed 08 March 2021

I have looked in the online databases for a will or probate foe Thomas Langley of Over Whitacre or any Thomas Langley during the 5 years following his burial. Searching the Staffordshire, Dioceses of Lichfield and Coventry Wills and Probate 1521-1860 I came up empty handed. I tried all the different online sources and every conceivable spelling of Langley and even looked for any Langley/Longley to have died during the appropriate time period. It would be nice to have another source especially a will if it mentioned his wife by name and any of the children by name. I still have a 27 year span where there are no records for Thomas or Mary tying them to Over Whitacre or any of their known children.