Stow-on-the-Wold, Glos

Stow-on-the-Wold is a small market town in north-east Gloucestershire, standing at an altitude of around 750 feet (230 metres) in the Cotswold Hills.

The Pitman presence in Stow dates back to the second half of the sixteenth century, at least. The parish registers record the burial of a Pittman (first name illegible) in January 1563/4 and the baptism of ‘Ambrosse Pittman’ in 1577, and Pitmans seem to have been a continous presence in Stow for the next three hundred years, but had died out or moved away by the twentieth century. The last Pitman birth registered there was Kate, in 1869, and the last marriage in 1872. In 1911 the only Pitman living in Stow-on-the-Wold was William, aged 34, who was born in Reading, Berkshire (and, to the best of our knowledge, not related to the earlier family).

The Stow Pitmans seem to have been artisans and tradesmen, rather than labourers, enabling us to find records of them through wills, legal documents, newspaper articles, and so on. Even so, because of the repetition of the names, it is not easy to distinguish the branches: the names Thomas, Philip, Richard, John and Ambrose seem to predominate, the latter echoing the first baptism we have found.

The centre of Stow in the mid-19th century (courtesy

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