Bridger Family of Yapton


Martin Bateman kindly sent us his research into the family history of the Bridger family of Yapton.

Having spent my childhood in Littlehampton, my family moved into the village when my dad bought the Maypole Inn back in 1988. At the time I had very little knowledge of my family roots except that my dad’s father (Archibald Bateman) was from the Chichester area and my dad’s mother (Georgina Kate Bateman nee Bridger) was from Lavant.

Curiosity got the better of me, so a few years back I started to trace my family tree and was surprised to find that my family history is very local indeed. Dating back to the 1700’s, local records show that the Batemans lived in the villages of Slindon / Eartham with family members eventually moving to the surrounding villages such as Walberton and Yapton. In fact, it was Henry Bateman, a local grocer, who paid for the Chapel (flint building opposite the former Olive Branch pub) to be built for the poorer local children.

As for the Bridgers, they moved into the village when Joseph Bridger uprooted his family from Barnham in the mid 1790’s. Joseph was an Agricultural Labourer and the move was, in my opinion, due to his work. The Bridger family remained in the village for almost one hundred years and, as listed below, were very much part of Yapton life.

Below is my specific ‘Bridger’ timeline, up to the point when my Great Grand Father left the village around 1880.


Joseph Bridger (my 4x Great Grandfather)

Born 1761 Barnham / Died 1814 Yapton.
Buried in Yapton Church.
Married Mary Diaper from Pagham in Barnham Church.
Joseph / Mary had nine children between them:

  1. Charles Bridger – Born 1792 (Barnham) / Baptised Barnham Church. No other information known since then
  2. George Bridger – Born & Baptised 1795 (Yapton). Married Elizabeth Jeffries in Yapton. Occupation: The village Shoemaker in Church Lane. Died in 1870 aged 75 and buried in Yapton Church.
  3. James Bridger – Born 1797 (Yapton) / Baptised Yapton Church. Married Emma (surname unknown). Occupation: Agricultural Labourer. Died same year as brother George 1870 aged 73.
  4. Mary Bridger – Born & Baptised in 1800 (Yapton). Died and Buried in Yapton in 1804 aged only 4 years.
  5. Joseph Bridger – Born and Baptised in 1802 (Yapton). Married a local girl, Ann Farr, in Yapton in 1832 but died in 1838 aged 36. No children recorded.
  6. Sarah Bridger – Born and Baptised in 1805 (Yapton). Never married. Moved to Walberton to work as a Servant, where she died in 1870 (same year as her brothers!) aged 65. Buried in Walberton Church.
  7. William Bridger – Born & Baptised in 1807 (Yapton). Married Ann Ransom in 1839 (Yapton) and had two children. Occupation: Agricultural Labourer. Died in 1864 aged 57, buried in Yapton.
  8. Edmund Bridger – Born 1810 (Yapton). Died 1897, buried in Yapton. My 3x Great Grandfather. See details below.
  9. Emily Bridger – Born and Baptised in 1813 (Yapton). Never married and died in 1838 aged 25.

Edmund Bridger (my 3x Great Grandfather)

Born 1810 Yapton / Died 1897 Westhampnet Union Workhouse.
Buried in Yapton Church.
Married twice, to Mary Alben 1834 and Jane Squires 1857, both occasions in Yapton Church. He was a widower when he married Jane. Jane was 20 years his junior.

An Agricultural Labourer all his life and apart from the time spent in the Union Workhouse, lived in Yapton / Bilsham.

Edmund had 7 children with Mary and 2 children with Jane:

With Mary:

  1. Charles Bridger – Born 1834 Yapton. Died 1921. My 2x Great Grandfather. See details below.
  2. Edmund Bridger - Born & Baptised 1836 (Yapton). Died 1837 aged 242 days.
  3. Ann Bridger – Born & Baptised 1838 (Yapton). 1851 Census shows Ann working in Littlehampton as a Servant. Died in 1854, aged 16 years. Buried in Yapton Church.
  4. Joseph Bridger – Born and Baptised 1841 (Yapton). Married twice, first to Jane Challen 1866 and  then to Harriet French 1870 following Jane’s death. Joseph had 16 children in total all born in Yapton, four with Jane and 12 with Harriet. Joseph eventually moved to Boxgrove and then Barnham but majority of family stayed in Yapton. Died in 1909 aged 68 years.
  5. George Bridger – Born and Baptised 1844 (Yapton). Married Eliza Squires 1867. After Eliza’s death in 1899, lived in Bosham / Lewes / Binterton as a Farm Carter. Died in 1932 aged 83 years. Burial details unknown.
  6. Eliza Bridger - Born & Baptised 1847 (Yapton). Died 1853 aged 7 years. Buried in Yapton church.
  7. James Bridger – Born & Baptised 1850 (Yapton). Died 1854 aged 4 years. Buried in Yapton church.

With Jane:

  1. Edmund Bridger – Born & Baptised 1856 (Yapton).  Married Ellen Hills in 1881 Aldingbourne. No record of Edmund since 1881 Census but 1891 Census shows Ellen living with her mother in Aldingbourne. No mention of Edmund!
  2. William Bridger – Born & Baptised 1857 (Yapton). Moved to East Grinstead in 1880’s to work as a Cattle Driver. Never married nor had children. Date of death unknown.

Charles Bridger (my 2x Great Grandfather)

Born 1834 Yapton / Died 1921 - not known where he is buried.
Married Mary Westbrook in 1865 in Yapton Church.
Mary had a child, Ellen, from a previous relationship. Adopted by Charles.

An Agricultural Labourer all his life but moved from the Yapton to Oving around 1880.

In total, Charles / Mary had 11 children between them, in addition to Ellen:

  1. George Bridger – Born & Baptised 1866 (Yapton). My Great Grandfather. See details below.
  2. Mary Bridger – Born & Baptised 1867 (Yapton). Moved to Goodwood to marry George Tilbury. Died 1911 aged 43 years.
  3. Ann Bridger – Born & Baptised 1869 (Yapton). Moved to London (Hanover Square) to become a House Maid and married Fred Parsons in 1898. Date of death and location unknown.
  4. Emily Bridger – Born & Baptised 1870 (Yapton). Moved to Patcham Brighton to marry Arthur Chatfield. Had seven children with Arthur. Died in 1942 aged 72 and is buried in Brighton.
  5. Charles Bridger – Born & Baptised 1872 (Yapton). Married Alice Banfield in 1903 Arundel. Moved to Arundel to become a Railway Porter. Died and buried in Arundel in 1934, aged 62.  
  6. Jesse Bridger – Born & Baptised 1874 (Yapton). Married Florence Jenman in 1901 Yapton. Joined the Navy and returned to become a farm labourer. Date of death / location unknown.
  7. Rosa Bridger – Born & Baptised 1876 (Yapton). Went to London with Sister Ann to become a Servant. No records since 1891.
  8. Fanny Bridger – Born & Baptised 1877 (Yapton). Married James Barrett in 1897 Boxgrove. Died in 1931 Boxgrove aged 54.

This is where the association with Yapton ends as Ralph (b.1880), Edith (1882), and Margaret (1884) were all born in Oving.


George Bridger (my Great Grandfather)

b. 1866 (Yapton, Sussex)
bap. 08/07/1866 (Yapton)
m. 12/08/1899 (Boxgrove) to Mary Jane Luff  (Boxgrove)
m. 05/03/1903 (Southbourne) to Elizabeth Richardson (Lavant)
d. 1914

George only had one child, my Grandmother (Georgina Kate), with second wife Elizabeth in 1904 in Lavant.

Army Career – Fought in Boer War. Served with the 19th Hussars and fought alongside Winston Churchill.

1871 Census: Lived @ Yapton / Scholar
1881 Census: Lived @ Colworth, Oving / Agricultural Labourer
1891 Census: Lived at Aldershot Barracks / Army (Cavalry)
1901 Census: On duty in South Africa / Boar War
1911 Census: Lived at 34 East Lavant, Lavant / Domestic Gardener


Martin Bateman
June 2017


© Martin Bateman, 2017.

No part of this information may be used for any purpose including but not limited to inclusion within name databases without the express consent of the author.


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