Stickler Family Origins
That the Stickler family were survivors there can be little doubt, that they were adventurous is evident from the way in which they migrated initially through the West of England and then throughout the World, seeking environments that gave them opportunities to employ both their manual skills and entrepreneurial acumen in order to secure a living for themselves.
The family, like most other families in the 18th and 19th centuries had its share of tragedies and setbacks. Some of the children died in infancy or teenage and, as was common practice in those days, many subsequent children were named after those who had died. Stickler wives often had children almost every year and sometimes died at an early age, possibly as a result of this. However, this was “par for the course” in the 18th Century.
Stickler family names were proudly handed down from one generation to the next, with names such as Thomas, Charles, Amos, Richard, Jesse, Hannah, Ruth and Sarah being used time after time from one generation to the next and by all branches of the family. Close ties with other families often resulted in members from a number of generations marrying into the family and often the maiden names of Stickler wives were used as forenames for the children.
The great swings in the economic stability of English agriculture in the 1800’s meant that the family had to change and adapt in order to meet the vagaries in their financial income, not always successfully, as was evident when poor Ruth Stickler died, aged only 25years, in Pucklechurch Poorhouse, in the year 1865.
Research has established that in the late1600’s a Robert Stickler was born in Wiltshire, the family possibly originating from Devizes, and after marrying Susannah and raising a family, he died in Nettleton, Wiltshire and was buried on 19th April 1767. However, by that time Susannah, his wife had already been dead for 24 years.
Robert and Susannah had four children, George, christened in 1716, William, christened in 1718, Mary, christened in1721 [married to John Kent in 1753] and Robert [jnr] who was christened in 1725.
On 24th January 1741, William, the second son of Robert and Susannah, married Jane Holder in Colerne, Wiltshire and then went to live in that most English of English villages, Castle Combe. William and Jane had eight children. However, sadly at least three of them died before the age of three and Jane herself must have died within a short time of having her last child, in 1756.
William remarried on 4th December1759, to Catherine Gardner, who was born in Castle Combe in 1730. Williams second marriage provided him with a further ten children over the following sixteen years, all of them being born in Castle Combe. Catherine died in September 1793 and William in July 1798.
It is likely that most of Williams large family remained in Castle Combe, or at least in the immediate vicinity. However, it appears likely that Thomas Stickler, born in 1760 and the eldest son of Williams’s second marriage followed the drover’s road westward, towards Bristol. On his marriage to Jane Mealing of Pucklechurch, Thomas states that he was from the Parish of Yate, a few miles north of Bristol. By this date members of the Stickler family had settled in a number of villages in the area of Castle Combe, but for Thomas and Jane and their descendents, Pucklechurch was to be their home for many years to come.