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The Parents of George Burgess

JOHN WILLIS - Grandfather of George Burgess

The Willis family, having resided in Bristol for centuries are a well established Bristolian family. George Burgess descended from a John Willis who was a farmer at `The Batch', Hanham, who would have been born about 1760. The only John Willis found who was born around 1760 in that area is a John Willis born to John & Sarah Willis, and christened in the Mangotsfield parish on 12th April 1761.

But looking for the father of this John Willis, two parish records were found.

  • A John Willis born to John Willis and Anne Bright (both from and married in the Mangotsfield parish on 10th April 1721, and
  • A John Willis christened on 9th March 1725, in the same parish.

JOHN BURGESS - father of George Burgess

John Burgess is believed to have been christened on 22nd March 1789 in the Mangotsfield parish. He was married to Jane Willis of the same parish, and they had three children. His occupation was a collier, and in later life records show him as a labourer. He died in 1844 and was buried in the parish on 15th September.


  • Ann Burgess - born about 1821
  • Samuel Willis Burgess - christened 1828, and
  • George Burgess - born 1829

ANN BURGESS was born about 1821, and christened in the Downend/Mangotsfield parish on 13th December 1824. She married George Sperring about 1841, and on the 16th February 1844 they buried their second daughter, Sarah Jane Willis Sperring, who died aged 16 months. In 1846 they had a fourth daughter, Emily Sperring - at that time George Sperring was in America with his brother-in-law (George Burgess) finishing their apprenticeship in stone cutting. He may never have seen his last born as he died while in America, and was buried in Baltimore Cemetery, in the State of Maryland. Their two other children were Evan born 1841 and Sarah born 1845.

SAMUEL WILLIS BURGESS was christened on 20th January 1828 in the Downend/Mangotsfield parish. He was a carpenter for his short life - Being buried on 22nd July 1851, in the parish of his birth.