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Westlake Family of Somerset, England - scrapbook

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On this website, I've put together a genealogy type scrapbook for my Westlake family of Somerset, England.  You can read a brief family history below and click to view the family tree chart, using the link above, or you can click on the bold names in the history below to take you to pages with more information on that individual and their family.  The highlighted clickable name links will take you through the generations that include the family line, photos, documents and a few notes that I've put together.
I've added a sketch of the possible path of immigration and a written overview of the known Westlake family with their locations. 
If you have any comments or would like to send additions or corrections, please visit the contact page to contact me via email. Happy Hunting!

copyright Feb 2013
For non-profit use only.



 County Somerset, England to Redford Twp., Wayne Co., MI

Our branch of the Westlake family’s first record of existence is found in Compton Dundon with the 1742 baptism of Amos Westlake to parents, William and Mary. 

Compton Dundon is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated on the river Carey and beside King’s Sedgemoor and the Polden Hills, 5 miles south of Glastonbury and 4 miles north of Somerton in the South Somerset district.  This parish includes the hamlet of Littleton.  The parish church of St Andrew is a simple aisle two cell church with a chancel of the late 13th or early 14th century and a nave and west tower of the 15th century.  In the 18th century, the land was evenly divided between tillage and pasture.  Among the stock were found Welsh pigs.  The main crops were wheat, beans, barley, oats, peas and vetches. 

William Westlake and his wife Mary had at least four confirmed children baptized at the St Andrew Parish, Compton Dundon, Somerset County, England.  Their daughter Mary (bap 1755) married Thomas Dunster in 1781 in St Andrew Parish.  Mary, her husband and her parents were all buried in Compton Dundon:  William Westlake in 1787, Mary Westlake in 1801, Thomas Dunster in 1806 and Mary Dunster in 1831.  William and Mary’s son Adam (born abt 1755) left his native home in 1777 to travel a distance of about three miles south to marry Elizabeth “Betty” Masters in Somerton, Somerset County, England.

Somerton is a small town and civil parish in the South Somerset district of the English county of Somerset.  Somerton gave its name to the county of Somerset.  It has held a weekly market since the Middle-Ages in the center of Somerton.  The market’s octagonal roofed market cross is surrounded by old houses, while close by is the 13th century Church of St Michael and All Angels.  The cloth industry dominated the town’s market from the 17th century until the 20th century, when agriculture took over as the leading industry.  Somerton is situated on the River Cary, approximately 8.8 miles northwest of Yeovil.  The civil parish includes the hamlets of Etsome and Hurcot. 

Adam (born abt 1755) and Betty Westlake had seven confirmed children baptized at the St Michael & All Angels Parish in Somerton of which four were known to have married there:  Elizabeth to John Pope in 1808, Adam to Harriet, George to Mary Cox in 1817 and John to Hester Squire in 1823.  Both parents died in Long Sutton; Adam in 1841 and his wife Betty sometime before the 1841 census.  Adam and Betty Westlake’s son George was the only known child to leave Somerton. 

George (born 1795 in Hurcot), traveled a distance of about three miles south from Somerton to Long Sutton to marry Mary Cox in 1817.  George’s occupation was given on the 1841 and 1851 census records as agricultural laborer.  The known children to have married at Holy Trinity Parish, Long Sutton were:   George W to Jane Burt in 1846, Jane to Henry Scriven in 1842, Joseph to Margaret Pope in 1848, Mary to Ellis Cox in 1854, Thomas to Ann Pope in 1856, William to Ann abt 1860 and John to Elizabeth Walter.  Two of the children of Adam and Betty Westlake, namely George and William, struck out on an adventure to move their family to Redford Twp, Wayne Co., MI while the rest of the family remained in Long Sutton.  George W (born 1819) and his wife Jane (nee Burt) in 1849 were the first to leave Somerset on the voyage to America.  Several years later, sometime about 1872, William (born 1836) and his wife Ann, sailed across the Atlantic to join his brother’s family in Redford Twp. 

George W Westlake’s wife Jane’s family; her father Solomon Burt, her mother Elizabeth and her sister Charlotte along with Charlotte’s husband Edward Gare, left England for America in 1848.  The Burt family settled first in Greenfield Twp., Wayne Co., MI and then moved north to Redford Twp sometime before the 1850 census.  See the last paragraph for more information on the Burt family immigration.

History tells us that the first train ran on the Great Western Railway in 1838, thus enabling an easier and faster means of travel between London with the south-west and west areas of England.  It is not known the exact means of transportation or route that the Westlake’s took, but they made their way northwards from Somerset at a distance of at least 220 miles to the docks at the harbor at Liverpool, England and boarded the ship, Constellation to begin their approximately three week voyage to America.  They traveled over 3,300 miles, as the crow flies, across the Atlantic Ocean to arrive at the immigration port of Castle Garden, Manhattan, New York shortly before September 5, 1849 when the ships passenger list was recorded and signed by the Captain.  Again, the route is unknown for certain, but the family may have traveled by water or taken a train after their disembarkment, quarantine inspection and passing through customs.  If by boat, the Westlake’s possibly may have traveled out of the harbor and up the Hudson River by boat to Albany, NY.  There they may have taken the route that entered the Erie Canal to continue onto Buffalo, NY to board a steam boat and cross Lake Erie to Detroit, Wayne Co., MI.  They would then work their way northwest over rough rails and plank roads to complete their journey to Redford Wayne Co., MI where the family settled. 

Redford Township is a charter township in Wayne Co., Michigan.  The name Redford was chosen supposedly because the Indians forded the River Rouge where the river runs through Redford.  Thus “Redford”, since “rouge’ is red in French.

From the time of arrival, the Westlake’s are recorded as farmers on the census records.  The Westlake’s bought and settled on an 80 acre plot in the NE quadrant of Section 11 of Redford Township in the year 1849. Present day, this area is located on West Seven Mile Road between Evergreen and Southfield Roads.    The Westlake family bought more land in sections 3, 5, 11 and 12 over the years.  At one point, on the 1904 plat map, it shows the Westlake name on at least 254 acres and in 1915 the Westlake name on at least 230 acres.  The lands were divided and passed down through the children over the years to follow.  George Westlake’s wife’s Burt and Gare families settled first in Greenfield Twp, but eventually came to Redford and owned land in sections 10, 14 and 15.  In 1904 there were at least 200 acres in the Burt name and in 1915 there were at least 130 acres in their name.  The Gare family (Charlotte Burt married Edward Gare) owned land nearby the Burt’s in section 15 in as much as 100 acres in 1915.  Several other relatives surrounded the Burt, Gare and Westlake parcels of land due to the splitting, transferring to family and buying of additional land over the years.

From Helen Stobbe’s notes:  George W and Jane Westlake purchased land from the original land grant owner on West Seven Mile Road between Evergreen and Southfield.  They lived there in the original log cabin where their first four children were born.  Following the birth of Edward in 1864, Jane died and the baby was allowed to be raised by Jane’s sister, Charlotte and husband, Edward Gare.  Eventually, George remarried to a friend and neighbor, Sarah Curran and they had two children.  George and Sarah Westlake built a large white farmhouse on the site of where Sunderland Street runs today.  George’s widow, Sarah later married William Lewis.  The two children of George and Sarah, being Burt Westlake and Mary Jane Westlake Busha, remained on the Westlake homestead until it was sold in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s.”  Helen (nee Trueman) Stobbe was the great granddaughter of George W and Jane Westlake.  Helen worked tirelessly for many years gathering information on the Westlake family history until her health would no longer permit her to do so.

George W Westlake died in Redford Twp. in 1888, his brother William died there in 1898.  They are buried, along with several of the family members in the Bell Branch Cemetery, Redford Twp., Wayne Co., MI off of the east side of Telegraph Road.  Many of the Burt family are also buried there at Bell Branch Cemetery.  To this day, there are still related Westlake families that live in Redford.  Some of the children of George W Westlake moved to Southfield and Utica in Oakland County, MI.  Some of the children remained in the Detroit (Redford), Wayne Co., MI area.

George W Westlake’s son, Thomas WESTLAKE, married on Jan 12 1876 in Redford Township to Mary BUTTON, daughter of William M and Polly B [nee KINNE] BUTTON of Royal Oak, Oakland Co., MI.  Thomas and Mary had a son, Clarence Edmund WESTLAKE, born in Redford Township in 1877.  The family moved soon to Royal Oak, Oakland Co. MI were Thomas’ wife, Mary died of Consumption (modern day TB) shortly after the birth of their 2nd child, Frank in 1880.  Frank would then die soon after his mother.  Broken hearted, Thomas left his son, (Clarence), to be raised by his father, George W Westlake and his wife Sarah Curren in Redford Township.  Thomas moved on to find work in the nearby township of Livonia, Wayne Co., MI while Clarence remained in Redford Township until Thomas married Cora Langley, Jan 4 1888 in Ingleside, Greenfield, Wayne Co., MI.  Thomas and Cora took Clarence into their home and then added to the family with children, William Thomas, Raymond Elsmere and Ellen “Nellie”, all born in Greenfield, Wayne Co., MI and Cora Marian Beatrice “Bea”, born in Oakland Co., MI.  Cora died in 1908 and by the 1910 Census the family was in Detroit, Wayne Co., MI.  Redford was annexed to Detroit, so this is likely the same Redford location.  Thomas lived out the rest his life residing with his two youngest sons in Utica, Shelby Twp., Macomb Co., MI.  George W WESTLAKE’s son, Anthony lived in Redford Twp. until at least after the 1920 US Census.  George W WESTLAKE’s son, Edward Gare lived in Redford Twp. until at least after the 1920 US Census.  

George W WESTLAKE’s brother, William WESTLAKE was married to Ann B. about 1860.  They had no children.  William lived in Redford Township until his death in 1898.  They are buried in Bell Branch – Redford Cemetery. 

The Solomon BURT (son of Thomas and Mary BURT) family of Pitney, Somerset County, England, boarded the ship Ivanhoe in Liverpool, England to begin their venture to the new land of America in 1848.  The BURT family of Solomon, Eliza, George and Thomas, along with Solomon’s daughter and son in law, Charlotte and Edward GARE arrived in the port of New York shortly before May 12, 1848.  Thomas BURT and Edward GARE came to own several tracts of land in Redford Township, the first of which are shown in Sections 14 & 15 on the 1876 township plat map. Solomon BURT’s daughter, Jane BURT married George W WESTLAKE on March 30, 1846 in Long Sutton, Somerset County, England.