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News from the Churchyard

Home / About Ramsgate / News / News from the Churchyard

11 October 2021

St. Lawrence 24.01.2018
We had an interesting visitor in May. This time a member of the Curling family. There are 63 named Curlings in various tombs in St. Laurence Churchyard. Four of them are amongst the oldest graves (18th century before 1723) and four are listed (also from the 18th century). I find it rather incredible to stand by these graves with a descendent from the family 300 years later. The oldest graves are those closest to the Church.

Our visitor told us that she was descended from John Curling and Mercy Long (who married January 17, 1694). John Curling built Chilton Farm House in 1713. This is still standing and is at the corner of Chalk Hill and Chilton Lane. “It is a fine example of the Queen Anne period and ranks among the best of Ramsgate’s many houses of historical and architectural merit.” *

John and Mercy had 11 children and our visitor told us that their son John was baptised at St. Lawrence. He moved away from Chilton farm, marrying at St. Peter’s in 1716, then moving into Kent with subsequent generations going on to London, Australia and New Zealand from where our visitor originated.

It was incredible to hear that when our visitor met and fell in love with someone she wanted to marry, he also researched his family tree and discovered he too was descended from a Curling! A “God Instance” as a former vicar of St. Laurence would have said. However, DNA testing proved that their relationship was far too removed for it to be of concern.

The visit took place on a beautiful day and the photo was sent to us by our visitor of one of the listed graves of her ancestors, that of Esther Curling. Although illegible now the Church Inscription Book tells us that “Here lieth the body of Esther. The wife of John Curling who departed this life the 12th day of September 1735 aged 68 years. Here also lies the body of Thomas, son of the above said John and Esther Curling. He departed this life the 3rd day of March 1733 aged 32 years.

*Quoted from “Chilton Farmhouse” by Mrs. Fay R. Brown in Pegwell A Patchwork for the Millennium.
Written by:
Barbara Byne,
St. Laurence Churchyard Volunteer