Descendants of John Burgar (1742-1797)


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First Generation


John Burgar (1742-1797) was of Shetland descent.  It is unclear whether he was born in Shetland or was an English descendant of a Shetland immigrant.

See tree showing children of John and Catherine Fitkin

 John Burgar is the oldest known Burgar ancestor of Bill Burgar, author of this work.   He was was born in 1742.51 4

He died in 1796 at Bishopsgate, London.2,51 He was buried on 5 Dec 1796 in St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.51 The entry in the St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, Burial Register states:

John Burgar, aged 55 years, was buried on 5th December 1796 by the Rev Wm Coneybeare

The Searchers Report /Burials register states

John Burgar, aged 55 years, died of consumption on 21st December 1796.  He was buried on the 25th December 1796, at half past 2 o'clock in the GG.  From Dog White Gate Street.  Cost of Burial 0-9s-2d.

Many of the burials were for poor people and there was no charge for the burial.   

He was living between 1776 and 1780 in Shoreditch, London.70
He was living between 1780 and 1797 in St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.71

John Burgar married Catherine Fitkin in 1776 . They then had their first 3 children in less than 3 years while living at Holywell St, Shorditch, London and each was baptised at St Leonards, Shoreditch (see below for details).

However, the first records of John Burgar in London are in the Poor Rate Assessments of St Leonards Shoreditch. Each Parish collected money from the people living in the Parish in order to support the old, the infirm and the unemployed. This parish was divided into the following Liberties (areas) - Moorfields, Holywell St, Church End and Hoxton. At this time he was living in Holywell Row (near Worship St). John is recorded in the Poor Rate Assessment book as follows:

1775 Holywell Row, John Burgar, Property rated at £9.0.0. Rate paid £0-13-6
1776 Holywell Row, John Burger, Property rated at £9.0.0. Rate paid £0-19-6
1777 Holywell Row, John Burges Property rated at £9.0.0. Rate paid £0-18-0.

We think that the above are one person, since they appear in the same sequence of names.

In the following year, 1778, John Burgar seems to have gone up in the world since he has moved to more prestigious premises at Holywell St, near Bowl Court and Stocking Frame Alley.

1778 Holywell Street, John Burgar, Property rated at £36.0.0. Rate paid £2.14.0
1779 Holywell Street, John Burgar, Property rated at £36.0.0. Rate paid £2.14.0

The rateable value of £36 was very high for the area suggesting that he was wealthier than those around him. He appears in the same premises until 1779 but was absent in the following years. No doubt he would, like 20th Century man, have complained about the level of taxation.

Sometime after 1779, John and Catherine Burgar moved less than half a mile into the parish of St Botolphs, Bishopsgate.

The Land Tax Assessment books show that Bishopsgate was divided into Bishopsgate Within and Bishopsgate Without. This refers to the fact that the original St Botolphs was within the City Walls of London and later it spilled over to be outside the City Walls. Being inside the City Walls gave the inhabitants, especially the various trades, privileges over those outside the Walls. The area inside the walls was divided into 5 assessment units and the area outside the Walls was divided into 4 Divisions.

The Assessment Books for Division 4, Bishopsgate Without the Walls, show John Burgar as being present at 12 Sandys and Windsor Street in 1783

1783 12 Sandys and Windsor St. John Burgar by Woodyer £2.8.0

Similar entries continued until 1790, but in 1791 the wording changed to

1791 12 Sandys and Windsor St. In Tents Woodyer £2.8.0

We believe that this means that Mr Woodyer was the owner of the premises and paid the Tax but collected it from John Burgar who was the tenant. This procedure is common in the Books for this period, but changes in the 1790s when it is usual to just put down the name of the Landlord, not the name of the Tenants.

It seems that John was still paying a high rent (similar in amount to when the rateable Value was £36) so he must have been quite prosperous at this time. Sandys and Windsor St is within about 100 yards of the City Wall and is probably now the northern end of Petticoat Lane. The 3 addresses that he has been living at are within half a mile of each other..

John and Catherine's remaining 8 children were all baptised at St Botolphs, Bishopsgate.

Their first 5 children died in infancy. The next child, Margaret lived to beyond 12 years, but her subsequent fate is unclear. The last 5 children all survived childhood and married. It is possible that the closeness of the births might have contributed to the deaths. It is possible that there were more pregnancies between 1779 and 1782 but they resulted in miscarriages or stillbirths.

As mentioned previously John Burgar died in Bishopsgate in 1797. We know something about the manner of John Burgar's death because his son, John (“the Methodist”see below), wrote a description in his diary.

See Description of John's death


Details about Catherine Fitkin and her marriage to John Burgar

John Burgar and Catherine Fitkin were married on 12 Dec 1776 in St Giles, Cripplegate, London.61

The following is a summary of entry in the marriage Register:

John Burgar, bachelor of this Parish and Catherine Fitkin, spinster of this Parish were married on the 12th December 1776 at St Giles, Cripplegate, by Banns. John signed his name "Jhon Burgar" and she signed with an "X". The witnesses were Robert Fitkin and Matt Spragg.

The misspelling of John suggests that he might not have been very literate, although his handwriting was well formed. Since John was living in St Leonards, Shoreditch, at the time of his marriage, it is likely that Katherine actually lived in the Parish of St Giles and John pretended to live there for a few weeks to satisfy the rules. In subsequent records Katherine appears as Catherine so we have adopted this more common spelling in later mentions of her. The witness Robert Fitkin was probably her brother. At the time of his marriage John was 34 years old which might have accounted for his relative wealth.

Catherine Fitkin (daughter of Robert Fitkin and Catherine Pentlow) was born about 1752.7 She died about 1800 at London.2

According to the diary of John (the Methodist),

My mother was now left in care of six small children, of whom I was the oldest but one.

This means that his elder sister Margaret was still alive at this time, although we have no indication as to what happened to her later.

The family seemed to have had a terrible struggle. There is an entry in the Poor Rate Defaulters Book for the Holywell St Liberty.

22.Sep.1797 Burger to pay and to consider her appt. distress - excused.
22.Dec.1797 Ditto

We think that this means that Mrs Burger was excused from paying Poor rates because she was in financial difficulty. Obviously, she must have not been on the poverty line or else she would have been receiving benefit from the Parish. We think that this Mrs Burger might have been Catherine Burgar who had moved back to St Leonards, although we haven't found any records to this effect.

One reason for thinking that the family may have moved back to Shoreditch following John's death is that her son, Joseph (born 1794), was eventually living in the Shoreditch Workhouse which means that he must have been destitute following the death of his mother.

In the diary of John (the Methodist) is a description of his mother.

At about this time my mother died, and doubtless was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom. I have seldom known a person more humble, patient, laborious, and uniformly resigned under the frowns of Providence than she was. She was a kind, affectionate wife, and an excellent mother, sparing no pains to promote the welfare of her offspring.

John was about 13 years old when his mother, Catherine, died. This means that she died in about 1800. It might have been at this time that some of the younger children went into the workhouse, or possibly to live with relatives.

John Burgar and Catherine Fitkin had the following children:

 

i.

John Burgar was born in 1777 in St Leonards, Shoreditch, London.69 He was baptized on 25 Nov 1777 in St Leonards, Shoreditch, London.69
The following is a summary of the entry in the Baptism Register:

John, born 21st November 1777, son of John and Catherine Burgar, of Holywell St was baptised on 25th November 1777.

He died in 1778 at Shoreditch, London.69 He was buried on 26 Apr 1778 in St Leonards, Shoreditch, London.69
The following is a summary of the entry in the Burial Register:

John Burger, aged 5 Months, buried 26th April 1778 Holywell Street St Leonards, Shoreditch.

 

ii.

Walter Burgar was born on 24 Sep 1778 in Holywell St, Shoreditch.69 He was baptized on 18 Oct 1778 in St Leonards, Shoreditch, London.69
The following is a summary of the entry in the Baptism Register:

Walter, born 24th Septemeber 1778, son of John and Catherine Burger, of Holywell St was baptised on 18th October 1778. (Note the Burger spelling).

He died in 1783 at Bishopsgate, London.51 He was buried on 22 Jul 1783 in St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.51
The following is a summary of the entry in the Burial Register:

Walter Burgar, aged 5 years, buried on 22nd July 1783 at St Botolphs, Bishopsgate.

 

iii.

Andrew Burgar was born in 1782 in St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.51 He was baptized on 24 Mar 1782 in St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.51
The following is a summary of the entry in the Baptism Register:

Andrew, born ? , son of John and Catherine Burgar, was baptised on 24th March 1782

(Actually, the father was named as Thomas but this was subsequently crossed out, and John was inserted).

He died in 1783 at St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.51 He was buried on 9 Sep 1783 in St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.51
The following is a summary of the entry in the Burial Register:

Andrew Buger, Infant aged 2 year, was buried 9th September 1783.

 

iv.

Catherine Burgar was born in 1784 in Holywell St, Shoreditch.69 She was baptized on 22 Feb 1784 in St Leonards, Shoreditch, London.69
The following is a summary of the entry in the Baptism Register:

Catherine, born 10th October 1779, daughter of John and Catherine Burgar, of Holywell St was baptised on 7th November 1779.

She died in 1787 at St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.51 She was buried on 11 Jun 1787 in St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.51
The following is a summary of the entry in the Burial Register:

Catherine Burjar, Infant, buried 11th June 1787 at St Botolphs, Bishopsgate.

 

v.

Margaret Burgar was born in 1785 in St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.51 She was baptized on 10 Apr 1785 in St Botolphs, Bishopsgate, London.51
The following is a summary of the entry in the Baptism Register:

Margaret, born 3rd March 1785, daughter of John and Catherine Burgar, was baptised on 10th April 1785

She died after 1797.2

 

vi.

John Burgar.

 

vii.

Walter Burgar.

 

viii.

William Burgar.

 

ix.

Joseph Burgar.

 

x.

Elizabeth Burgar.

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