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Gaffs in Cawston, Norfolk

Gaffs in Cawston, Norfolk

Diane Carruthers (View posts)
Posted: 1019445716000
Classification: Query
I am looking for cemetery records from Cawston, Norfolk to try and prove some family connections. Are the cemeteries transcribed and does anyone have access to the records?

The family I am looking for is Henry Gaff (1829 - 1907) and Maria Barber (1829 - 1916). Their children are Mary Ann who married Henry Hudson, Emma Jane who died in 1869, Sarah who married Richard Ortt, Martha Rachel, Thomas who married Anna Maria Daniels, Anna Maria who married William Harmer and Alfred Robert who married Fanny Greenman.

Henry's parents were Thomas Gaff (1783 - 1831) and Sarah Mack (1794 - 1872). His mother married a second time to Joseph Long. Thomas and Sarah's children were John Mack who married Elizabeth Wells, Mary (1817-1832), Joseph (1823), Thomas (1826 - 1832) and Henry. I am hoping cemetery records will prove that Thomas Sr., Mary and Thomas Jr. are family as the parish burial records didn't list relationships.

Thomas' parents were John Gaff and Honoria Outley (1752-1843). Their children were Thomas, Hannah, Ann, Mary, Sarah and Elizabeth.

I have been trying to sort out the different Gaff families in Cawston which has been difficult as they all use the same names.

Does anyone know when the Gaffs first came to Cawston?

Looking forward to any help,
Victoria, BC Canada

Re: Gaffs in Cawston, Norfolk

Posted: 1023701389000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1073501691000
Hi Diana

My name is Sue Pinkney. I am a descendant of the GAFF's from Cawston. There is a group of us researching these GAFF's and it's great to hear of another one. You are the first of John and Honoria's family to make contact.

I have a complete set of indexes to the Cawston Parish Registers and the lovely lady who did them is happy to do lookups. She has also send me the complete GAFF entries from the registers. Though it does seem like you have most of the information.

My belief is that there were two brothers - Jonathon and John, which is most confusing. I have not followed down John's line but have just tried to keep to Jonathon's as that is my line and not really knowing the relationship between the two. The first mention in the Cawston registers is Jonathon's marriage to Mary GROOM in 1776.

This was followed by the marriage of John GAFF and Honoria OUTLEY in 1783.

The fact that Jonathon named two children - brothers who both survived and married and had children of their own - John and Jonathon, makes me think that it was not unusual and both names were independent of each other. Now we would probably consider them the same name.

Where Jonathon and John came from I don't know. I think it is fairly certain that they were not locals as the cleric took a stab at the spelling of the name GARPH and maybe they had an accent. There is a fairly big grouping of GAFF's in Guildford in Surrey and there seems to be a large GAFF clan in the Stirling area of Scotland.

As to the question of memorial stone inscriptions. I was in Cawston in August last year and there are no stones for any GAFF's. The GAFF's were Ag Labs and were poor. They were most likely buried in the pauper's graves around the edges of the graveyard. We also spoke to the vicar of St Agnes and he said that there was a mass grave to one side of the church where the poor of the parish were buried. So unfortunately if you are unable to unravel what you want from the parish records, I don't think you will find the info anywhere else.

You can find the Cawston Parish indexes online at
You can search by surname or by parish. If you want something in full you can ask the source or I can help with the GAFF entries.

I would love to hear from you and can be contacted at


Re: Gaffs in Cawston, Norfolk

Posted: 1049706115000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1049708322000
Surnames: Gaff
Can you please help me find out the orgin of the last name Gaff. I have a friend who is a Gaff and he has come up with Scotch, Irish and Welsh,
Thank You
George S Ellington-Kapoi

Re: Gaffs in Cawston, Norfolk

Posted: 1231557308000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Baxter Gaff
I am not a direct descendant of the Gaffs but Jonathan Gaff's son, Thomas 1785 of Cawston married Ann Baxter b1789. Thomas was brother of John, Jonathan, and Elizabeth.
Ann Baxter was sister to my third great grandmother, Mary Baxter.
I have done some research forward on Thomas's line and am quite happy to share and compare. I have got stuck on one or two of the children of Thomas and Ann.
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