Richard W. Masters

Of Misterton-Walcote, Leicestershire, England

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Masters Family Genealogy Charts

Created on Monday, 11 August 2008 00:42 Published on Tuesday, 10 October 2006 06:00 Hits: 6820

The genealogy of William Richard Marsters of Palmerston Island, Cook Islands  (alias Richard Masters of Walcote, Leicestershire, England) is an interesting one.

The Marsters family have always stated that his mother's name was Ann Armstrong. Her family name was actually Armston, and they came from Twyford, just north east of Leicester. Ann's parents were William and Elizabeth (nee Smith) who had married in 1796 at South Croxton in Leicestershire. Ann had three younger brothers, William, Thomas and Richard. It could be that young Richard (William) heard the name Armstrong in relation to Ann's brother Richard who had  changed his name to Armstrong by 1851. He had been a regular visitor to the Walcote home.

Richard's father, John, was born in Arnesby, just south of Leicester. His parents were Joseph and Ann (nee Brown) who were married in Mowsley in 1806. John and his wife Ann, met at the Leicester markets and were married in Leicester on market day, November 6 1827. John was 16 years old, Ann was 25. They raised 4 children in Arnesby, James, John, Elizabeth and Mary: and after arriving in Walcote in about 1819, they added Thomas, William and Joseph to the Masters family.

Ann and John had three children. Elizabeth, Richard and Joel. Elizabeth married a blacksmith, Thomas Archer; Richard married Charlotte Farmer and they had a son called John. He later had a daughter to Sarah whose name was Ann Elizabeth Joel. She was named after Elizabeth and Richard's younger brother, Joel died at the age of 12 of rheumatic fever. After Richard left England, Ann Elizabeth Joel was brought up by her grandparents (Ann & John Masters) in Walcote.

The Wives and Children of Richard Masters of Walcote, Misterton, Leicestershire England
(from p 39 of Masters of Walcote, Leicestershire, Hilyard, 2008)

Families of Richard Masters of Walcote

A very special photograph (below) was provided by Stephen Hughes of Coventry. Stephen is the great-great-grandson of Richard's daughter, Ann Elizabeth who is pictured here with her grandmother Ann who was Richard's mother. This photo appears to have been taken after she married John Granger. Her grandmother Ann died the following year. 

Ann Elizabeth Joel Granger with her grandmother Ann Masters

Richard's parents were John Masters of Arnesby and Ann Armston of Twyford. They were married at St Mary de Castro in Leicester, on Market Day - 26 November 1827, and moved to Walcote where their daughter, Elizabeth was born. This information is found on p60 of Masters of Walcote, Leicestershire, Hilyard, 2008)

The family of John and Ann Masters of Walcote

Ann was the second daughter of William and Elizabeth Armston of Twyford, east of Leicester. Richard appears to have been named after her two brothers. 

The family of William and Elizabeth Armston of Twyford


John was the third son of Joseph and Ann Masters, originally from Arnesby, just south of Leicester.  Their second son called John had died in 1809, and when their next child was born, and a male, he was named John in his memory. John was followed by 3 sisters before they moved to Walcote where three more boys were born. 

The family of Joseph and Ann Masters, originally from Arnesby.


Since the publication of "Masters of Walcote, Leicestershire", several family members have identified themselves as being connected to the family tree.

* Steven Hughes of Coventry is a direct descendant of Ann Elizabeth through her daughter, Harriet Emma who was born in 1879.  Steven has a wooden box that contains what looks like the jet necklace that Ann is wearing in the photograph above. It has passed on to the eldest girl in each generation, and is currently in the possession of Steven's daughter. 

Ann Elizabeths box and Maureen with Jackie and Steven Hughes

* Des Masters was very helpful when I was researching around Walcote. He died just before I published the book which is why I dedicated it to him for his assistance. He was related to the family tree through two branches. Des's mother was a Masters descendant of Richard's uncle William, and his father was a descendant of Richard's youngest uncle Joseph.  I recently made contact with Ed Kingston who is Des's grandson. He lives in Bristol and turned out to watch the Cook Islands Rugby League team play in the World Cup. They played in Bristol against the United States and lost. :(

Des and Mary Masters of Lutterworth

* One special person who helped me get my information together was family history researcher Bev Digger from Coventry. Since my visit in 2007 I have maintained contact with Val Howard who also assisted with making contacts for me. Val is a descendant of Mary Ann who was the eldest daughter of Joseph Masters - Richard's youngest uncle. One of these was Kath Green who took me for a tour of old photographs of Walcote which contained some family members. These are currently displayed on the walls of the Tavern Inn, in Walcote. 

Val Howard, Bev Digger and Kath Green

* Another family member who has maintained some contact is Hazel Maton who is also related through Mary Ann, Masters' 

So it appears that John Masters' youngest brother Joseph has four descendants who are very keen to maintain contact with their relatives in the Cook Islands, especially those on Palmerston Island to whom they are related.  
* Val Howard and Hazel Maton, through Mary Ann, his eldest daughter (born in 1850)
* Des and his grandson Ed through Joseph Oliver (born in 1861).