The family of Chilwell can be traced back to the hamlet of Wilnecote, part of the parish of Tamworth. Tracing the family is hampered by the fact that the surname is represented in a variety of ways, many of which are not phonetic and indicate that the surname was genuinely fluid in the early days. The variants include CHISELL, CHISNELL, CHELWELL, CHILNER and others.
The trail starts with two Chilwells in Wilnecote in the late 17th century. Edward and William CHILWELL appear in the town together at the same time and I infer that they were brothers. Edward may have come into the parish by virtue of his marriage, but how William CHILWELL came to be there is not yet known.
ENSOR/CHILWELL Lineage A
John ENSOR of Wilnecote, Tamworth (~1580-1625) married 3 Apr 1611 to Mary HUNTER at Tamworth. Died 1625 and had administration at the Consistory Court of Lichfield. They had children as follows:
- Grace ENSOR (1615-1691) of whom following:
- Dorothy ENSOR (1618/9-?) baptised at Tamworth, alive and unmarried in 1652 when she was identified as the heir of her uncle Goodyear O’NEILL.
Grace ENSOR (1615-1691) baptised at Tamworth 1615, married Edward CHILWELL alias CHILNER (~1615-1686) 10 Oct 1647 at Tamworth. In 1652 she became the heiress of property in Wilnecote at the death of her uncle Goodyear O’NEILL (?-1652) and Dorothy POYSER his wife. Her husband Edward was a yeoman in Wilnecote, and both her will and that of her husband were proved Consistory Court of Lichfield. By Edward she had issue:
- Samuel CHILWELL (?-1649) buried at Tamworth.
- George CHILWELL (?-?) mentioned in the wills of Edward and Grace.
- Grace (1655-?) baptised in Tamworth. Married John WRIGHT 3 Apr 1685 at Baxterley by licence of the Court of Lichfield, and had a daughter Grace.
- Dorothy (~1656-?) married MADELIN (?Magdelene?).
- Elizabeth (?-1657) buried at Tamworth.
- Mary (?-1658) buried at Tamworth.
CHILWELL Lineage B
William CHILWELL (?-1660) of Tamworth, birth unknown, married around 1636 to Sarah (?-1680, marriage untraced). They had children baptised at Tamworth. A gap in the Tamworth register between 1640 and 1643 may include some children unrecorded. Died 1660 as “Mr William CHISWELL of Tameworth”. Sarah married 23 Apr 1667 to Richard PRATT and moved to Whittington, Staffordshire. She was buried there with her second husband in 1680. William and Sarah had issue:
- John CHILWELL (1638-?) baptised 22 Jul 1638 at Tamworth.
- Mary (1640-?) baptised at Tamworth.
- ?Child or children unrecorded?
- Samuel CHILWELL alias CHISSEL (1645-?) baptised at Tamworth. Married first Mary DOBSON who dsp, then married second Elizabeth and had a daughter Elizabeth baptised 1685.
- William CHILWELL (1647-?) baptised at Tamworth.
- Job CHILWELL (1650-?) baptised at Tamworth.
- George CHILWELL (1653-1727) of whom following.
George CHILWELL alias CHISELL (1653-1727) of Wilnecote, born at Wilnecote, baptised at Tamworth 28 May 1653. He married 29 Dec 1691 at Tamworth to Mary SPENCER (1675-1732) by licence. Mary was born in Appleby Magna in Leicestershire. They had children baptised at Tamworth. Died 1727 at Stoneleigh. George and Mary had issue:
- Grace (1695-1695) baptised and buried at Tamworth.
- Jane (1696-?) baptised at Tamworth.
- George CHILWELL (1697-1764) baptised at Tamworth, married 1720 Sarah WHITEHOUSE (?-1764) and had issue four daughters and a son Edward CHISWELL who survived to adulthood and had issue.
- Susannah (1699/1700-?) baptised at Tamworth as CHISWELL.
- Elizabeth (1702-?) baptised 15 Oct 1702 at Tamworth as CHISWELL.
- Mary (1704-?) baptised at Tamworth.
- William CHISWELL alias CHILWELL (1709-1763) of whom following.
William CHILWELL (1709-1763) of Wilnecote, baptised at Tamworth as CHISWELL, married 4 Feb 1729 at Lichfield to Martha WALLHOUSE alias WALLIS (1703-1770) daughter of John and Mary of Tamworth. They had children baptised at Tamworth. Died 1763 at Wilnecote. William and Martha had issue:
- George CHILWELL (1733-1798) of whom following:
- Susannah (1733-?) baptised at Tamworth. Married William SMITH.
- John CHILWELL (?-1759)
- William CHILWELL (1736-1780) baptised at Tamworth.
- Thomas CHILWELL (1737-1811) baptised at Tamworth, married Alice HERVIL (1740-1829).
- Richard CHILWELL (1742-1742) baptised and buried at Tamworth.
- Martha (?-1770).
George CHILWELL (1733-1798) of Wilnecote, born in Wilnecote, baptised at Tamworth. Married around 1758 to Elizabeth BOLESWORTH (1739-1818). They had children baptised at Sheldon. Died 1798 at Sheldon. William and Sarah had issue:
- William CHILWELL (1761-?) baptised at Sheldon. Married Anna NORTH.
- Joseph CHILWELL (1763-1843) of whom following.
- Elizabeth (1765-1766) baptised and buried at Sheldon as CHILLNELL.
- George CHILWELL (1768-1849) baptised at Sheldon. Married first Sarah STANDLEY who dsp, then married second his niece Mary CHILWELL (1790-1842) and had five children.
- Thomas CHILWELL (1771-1855) baptised at Sheldon. Married Martha HURST and had children four daughters and a son.
- Martha (1773-?) baptised at Sheldon. Married William HAWKESFORD.
- John CHILWELL (1775-1854) baptised at Sheldon. Married Ann BUSH.
- Susannah (1778-?) baptised at Sheldon. Married William PARKER.
- Elizabeth (1781-1781) baptised and buried at Sheldon.
Joseph CHILWELL (1763-1843) of Sheldon, then Exhall, then Fillongley, born in Sheldon, baptised 18 Jun 1763 and married 2 Sep 1781 at Coleshill Sarah HURST (1761-1837) daughter of John HURST and and had children baptised at Sheldon and then Exhall. He retired as a farmer on March 1826, auctioning off his estate in an advertisement in the Coventry Herald and Weekly Advertiser; after selling his estate, he moved to Fillongley. He helped establish the ‘Vicar Lane Building Society’ with his son in law William EAVES on 31 Jul 1828, presumably using some of the equity released from his retirement auction. Sarah died first 20 Feb 1837 and was buried at Exhall. Joseph died 30 May 1843 at Fillongley; gravestone present in Exhall churchyard. Had a will at the Consistory Court of Lichfield, proved 6 Oct 1843. Joseph and Sarah had issue:
- Ann (1782-1822) baptised at Sheldon 16 Jun 1782. Married John PARKER 18 Jan 1804 at Exhall by licence and had issue. Moved to Corley. Buried at Exhall.
- John CHILWELL (1784-?) baptised at Sheldon 20 Jun 1784. married Mary.
- George CHILWELL (1786-1786) baptised and buried at Sheldon.
- Sarah (1786-1786) baptised and buried at Sheldon.
- Elizabeth (1788-?) born in Wilnecote, baptised at Tamworth, married 24 May 1809 Thomas Anthony SMITH at Exhall by licence.
- Frances (1789-1873) baptised at St Editha Tamworth as CHISWELL, married John CARPENTER 1815 in St Philip, Birmingham and had issue. Died in Coventry.
- Mary (1790-1842) born at Wilnecote, baptised at Tamworth, married her uncle George CHILWELL (qv) and had issue. Died in May 1842 at Sheldon.
- Martha (1792-?) baptised 25 Nov 1792 at Exhall. Married 23 Nov 1813 George BENTLEY at Exhall by licence and had issue born at Exhall.
- Harriet (1794-1874) baptised 2 Nov 1794 at Exhall, married 1824 William EAVES and had issue (see EAVES family tree).
- Abbia alias Abigail (1796-?) baptised 29 Jun 1796 at Exhall, married Thomas MOON.
- Jane (1798-?) baptised 27 Dec 1798 at Exhall. Married 1 Jul 1823 James TURNER at Exhall by banns.
- Penelope (1800-?) baptised 3 May 1800 at Exhall, married 5 Feb 1828 cousin James CHILWELL at Exhall and had issue.
- Emily (1801-1801?) baptised 5 Apr 1801 at Exhall, reuse of the name indicates she died in infancy.
- Emily (1802/3-<1843) baptised 5 Jan 1803 at Exhall as CHISWELL, married John CRANER.
- Sarah (1807-1807) baptised 18 Feb 1807 at Exhall and buried 19 May 1807 there.