Note - The surname Portler may be a variant of Porter although its independent existence for a considerable time in the western part of Norfolk argues otherwise. However, by the 1800s it had virtually disappeared from England and might be considered extinct there. It is likely that some Portlers adopted the surname Porter. There is some hint of the surname appearing or originating in the Netherlands.

Associated Names - Garner (see elsewhere), Fisher (see elsewhere), Parlett and Winterton

Clackclose Hundred, Norfolk

PORTLERS of Stradsett and Shouldham Thorpe aka Garboisthorpe

Portlers were in Stradsett [Clk] since at least 1538 when the will of Ingge Rowse, widow of Thomas Rowse and formerly widow of ___ Portler, left to her two sons John and Thomas and two daughters. and the Portlers they appear to have, at least initially, thrived in that Parish where they became connected with the Parletts when William Portler married Marion Parlett in 1580 and Thomas Portler married Alice Parlett in 1584. John Portler and Lawrence Portler of Stradsett were also there in the 1570s and 80s when they witnessed the wills of various Parletts . Thomas Portler, junior, Francis Portler, Francis Parlett, gent, and John Partlett, junior were all enumerated in Stradsett in the 1623 Lay Subsidy.

____ Portler 1 married Ingge ____ and had at least the following children:

1. John born about 1503 (see below); and

2. Thomas born about 1505 who resided in Shingham 2 in 1537 and had by then a son John and although he may have been the Thomas Portler who was buried in Stradsett 8 March 1561/2, he was more likely the Thomas Portler of Barton Bendish and Eastmore who died there in 1557 (see below);

3. Margaret who married Richard Harpeley of [Shouldham] Thorpe 3; and

4. Elizabeth who married John Muste 4 of [Shouldham] Thorpe and had at least sons Thomas and John and daughter Ingge.

After the death of her husband ___ Portler, Ingge married Thomas Rowse who died sometime between 1525 and 1537. Ingge Rowse of Stradsett died between April 1537 and October of 1538 and her will 5 provided for her two sons and two daughters and various grandchildren.

A Thomas Portler appeared in both the 1572 and 1577 Muster Rolls in Shouldham.

John Portler, the elder, of Stradsett who was likely the son of ___ and Ingge Portler, married Elizabeth _____ [B134] in about 1529 and had at least the following children who were alive in 1547/8:

1. John born about 1530 (see below);

2. William; and

3. Margaret who may have married Thomas Wilkinson.

John died in about 1550 and his will 6 left his estate to his wife, two sons and one daughter and to Margery Hodges of Cockley Cley 7.

Elizabeth was likely the Elizabeth Portler of Fincham, widow, who left a will in 1569 8 which left her estate to her son John and son-in-law Thomas Wilkinson.

John Portler of Stradsett (born about 1530 likely the son of ___ and Elizabeth above) married Alice _____[B161] in about 1554 and had at least the following children:

1. William born about 1555 (see below);

2. Thomas born about 1556 (see below);

3. John born after 1551 - probably 1558 9 - and died, as a single man, in Stradsett and was buried there 10 April 1603 10;

4. Elizabeth born after 1556 - probably 1558 and married Richard Collin 7 June 1579 in Stradsett;

5. Lawrence baptised in Stradsett 16 Oct. 1563 and still alive in 1603 and was likely the Lawrence Portler who was buried in Stradsett 8 November 1622; and

6. Richard baptised in Stradsett 18 Feb. 1565/6 (see below).

Alice, the wife of John Portler, was buried in Stradsett 25 June 1567.

John Portler of Stradsett married, secondly, Alice Fenton widow 11 December 1568 in Stradsett. [B136] and they had

7. Inge baptised in Stradsett 6 June 1570 and married Nicholas Mase 19 July 1590 in Stradsett 11.

John was likely the John Portler of Stradsett who was listed as an alehouse keeper in the 1577 Muster Returns for Norfolk.

John Portler died and was buried in Stradsett 15 November 1577 and his will 12 left his estate to his wife Alice, sons Thomas, John, Lawrence and Richard, daughters Elizabeth and Inge and to four Fentons, likely the children of Alice his second wife. Alice Portler, the widow of John, married 31 July 1578 in Stradsett to Edmund Capon 13.

William Portler was born about 1555, married Marian/Mary Parlett (see below) [B158] in Stradsett 20 May1580 and had at least the following children:

1. Thomas baptised in Stradsett 20 Nov. 1580;

2. John baptised in Stradsett 28 August 1582;

3. Lawrence baptised in Stradsett 18 Sept. 1584 but buried there 27 Sept. 1584 and

3. Helen born between 1583 and 1588 14.

William and Mary/Marian appear to have moved from Stradsett because they longer appear in the registers after 1584. However, he may have been the William Portler who married Agnes Jackson in Fordham in 1585 [B50] (see below) and resided there until 1609.

Thomas Portler was born about 1556, married Alice Parlett (see below) [B79], the sister of his brother’s wife, 14 May 1584 in Stradsett and had at least the following children:

1. Mary/Marian baptised in Stradsett 20 Oct. 1584;

2. Frances, a daughter, baptised in Stradsett 1 Oct. 1586 and married Thomas Hylburton in Feb. 1609/10;

3. Mary baptised in Stradsett 2 May 1589 and married ____ Comber in 1611 in Stradsett;

4. Thomas baptised in Stradsett 14 March 1590/1 and married Mary Frankling 20 Sept. 1612 in Stradsett [B43] (see below);

5. John baptised in Stradsett 21 June 1593 but buried there 2 Aug. 1593;

6. Elizabeth baptised in Stradsett 7 August 1596 and married Nicholas Astyn in 1617 in Stradsett;

7. Jane baptised in Stradsett 8 May 1597 and married William Mirnes in 1618 in Stradsett; and

8. Francis baptised in Stradsett 10 Feb. 1599/1600 (see below); and

9. Alice baptised in Stradsett 5 March 1601/2.

Thomas Portler appeared in the Manor Court Rolls for Shouldham and Members from at least 1588 until at least 1592.

Thomas Portler, the elder, was buried in Stradsett 23 July 1638 15 and Alice Portler, widow, was buried at Stradsett 9 Dec. 1640 16.

Richard Portler, baptised 18 Feb. 1565/6 in Stradsett married Joanne Smithe [B159] 26 October 1595 in Stradsett and had the following children baptised there:

1. Agnes 4 April 1596 and still alive in 1603 17; and

2. Margaret 12 April 1598 and still alive in 1603.

Joanne, the wife of Richard Portler was buried in Stradsett 22 Oct. 1599.

Richard Portler married, likely secondly, Anne Maye [B160] 22 Oct. 1611 in Stradsett and had the following children baptised there:

1. Mary baptised 7 May 1612 but was buried in Stradsett 28 March 1612 18;

2. Richard baptised in Stradsett 18 November 1613 but buried there 8 December 1613.

Richard Portler of Stradsett “the husband of Anne Portler” died and was buried there 20 April 1613 and administration of his estate was grant 22 April to Anne his widow. Anne Portler married James Helket in Stradsett in 1613.

Thomas Portler, baptised 14 March 1590/1 in Stradsett, married Mary Frankling 19 20 Sept. 1612 in Stradsett [B43] and had the following children baptised there:

1. Thomas 23 Feb. 1612/3 but buried there 10 March 1612/3;

2. Thomas 18 August 1614 but buried there4 23 June 1620;

3. Mary 3 Dec. 1615 but buried there 23 Dec. 1615;

4. Mary 28 August 1617 but buried there 4 May 1618;

5. Rebecca 10 January 1618/9;

6. John 17 Dec. 1620 but buried there 19 Oct. 1639;

7. Sara 10 March 1621/2 but buried there 11 May 1622;

8. Mary 19 June 1623 and likely married John Wright 7 Sept. 1642 in Stradsett; and

9. Thomas 7 June 1627 but buried there 13 Feb. 1628/9.

Mary the wife of Thomas Portler died, likely as a consequence of her last birth, and was buried in Stradsett 26 June 1627.

Thomas Portler was likely the Thomas Portler buried in Stradsett 20 Feb. 1653/4 20.

Francis Portler married Anne Gawdron in Scoulton 21 21 February 1622/3 [C21] by way of a marriage settlement in January 1622/3 between Thomas Portler the elder of Stradsett, yeoman, and Thomas Gawdron of Carbrooke [Wayland], yeoman, the fathers of the couple 22, and had the following children baptised in Stradsett:

1. Alice 30 July 1625;

2. Thomas 12 Sept. 1627 but buried there 7 Nov. 1650;

3. Frances, a girl, 1 October 1629 who may have died before 1656 as she is not mentioned in the will of her father;

4. John 18 April 1633 who likely married Mary ___ (see below);

5. Edward 1635 who likely married Elizabeth ___ and moved to Norwich where he was a barber (see below);

6. Robert 1637 but buried there 5 Sept. 1638;

7. Richard 7 March 1639/40 but buried there 8 October 1640;

8. Mary 26 January 1640/1;

9. Francis 1642/3 and may have been the Francis Portler who was buried in Stradsett 8 Feb. 1691/2;

10. Anne 9 Feb. 1644/5; and

11. Isabell 23 March 1647/8 but buried there 8 Sept. 1648.

Francis Portler features in a variety of purchases and sales in the Stradsett Manor Court records from 1645 to 1653 23.

Anne Portler the wife of Francis was buried in Stradsett 5 June 1656.

Francis Portler, yeoman, died in about 1658 and was possibly buried in Stradsett 24 and his will 25 referred to his sons John, Edward and Francis and daughters Mary, Anne and Alice.

John Portler (baptised 1633 son of Francis and Anne) married Mary ____ [ ] and appear to have had no issue.

John was likely the John Portler who purchased land in Stradsett in 1661 from William Browne and Anne Salter which was later mortgaged out by Thomas Portler, late of Tivetshall 26 and sold by Thomas Portler to Thomas Goddard in 1709 27. John was a fairly wealthy resident of Stradsett and signed as one of the 8 “inhabitants of the town” in 1674 and his property, together with 5 others including Paradise [Manor] and Mr. Parlett’s Chief House, were charged with maintaining the “Hern gate and gate posts and what belong” 28.In 1683 John Portler, gent. of Stradsett, was a bondsman for Mary Parlet to administer the estate of John her husband 29.

John Portler, yeoman, was buried in Stradsett 15 June 1703 and his will 30 referred to, amongst others, his kin Thomas Portler the son of Edward Portler, barber of Norwich and Elizabeth Hodgkins the wife of Charles Hodgkins, barber of Norwich.

Mary Portler was buried in Stradsett 8 March 1708/9 and her will 31 referred to, amongst many others, her kin Elizabeth Hodgkins, wife of Charles Hodgkins barber of Norwich, and Elizabeth Fothergill of Yarmouth.

Edward Portler (baptised 1635 son of Francis and Anne) married Elizabeth _______ in about 1662 [A4] and had the following children baptised in Norwich St. Peter Mancroft:

1. Robert baptised 9 August 1663 but buried there 29 September 1663;

2. John 18 September 1664 but was buried there 27 April 1675;

3. Edward 1 April 1667 but was buried there 3 May 1675;

4. Elizabeth 15 August 1669 who married Charles Hodgekins, barber, 1 January 1696 in Norwich St. Gregory; and

5. Thomas 18 March 1676 who married Susanna _____ [A82] and had issue in Tivetshall including Susanna baptised on 22 Sept. 1705.

Edward, a barber, died in about 1701 and his will 32 provided for his son Thomas, daughter Elizabeth Hodgkyn, grandchild Elizabeth Fothergill and brother John Portler.


Richard Parlett married Alice ____ in about 1555 and had at least the following children:

1. Thomas born about 1556 and alive in 1588;

2. James born about 1558 and alive in 1588 with a daughter Alice;

3. Marian born about 1560 and married William Portler 20 May1580 in Stradsett;

4. Alice born about 1563 and married Thomas Portler 14 May 1584 in Stradsett (see above); and

5. John alive in 1588.

Richard Parlett of Stradsett died in about November of 1583 33 and Alice Parlett of Stradsett died in the period 1588-1600 34.


PORTLERS of Barton Bendish and Eastmore

Thomas Portler, who was born about 1503 and very likely the son of ___ and Inges, married Agnes ____ in about 1523 [B165] (see Stradsett above) and had the following children who were alive in 1557 and likely living in Barton Bendish 35:

1. John who may have been the John Porter [sic] who married 8 Sept. 1567 in Oxborough to Anne Deny [B18];

2. Robert but, with his brother Thomas, died in Oxborough 36 July of 1559 and administration of his estate was granted to his brother Peter 37;

3. Thomas but, with his brother Robert, appeared to have died in Oxborough in July of 1559 and administration of his estate was granted to his brother Peter, but see below re the will of his mother;

4. Peter;

5. Agnes who was likely the Agnes Portler, single and servant, of Garveston who left a will in 1573 38;

6. Inges;

7. Isabel; and

8. Marion who married Thomas Bushopp.

Thomas Portler of Barton Bendish died sometime in October 1557 and his will 39 provided for his wife and eight children and his sister Margery 40.

Anna Portler was buried in Oxborough 28 Feb.1560/1 and the will of Agnes Portler, widow of Oxborough 41 provided for her sons Thomas [sic] and Peter (but not John) and daughters Agnes, Inges, Isabel and Marion and her godchildren Agnes Waid and Agnes Bushipp.

Thomas was the Thomas Porteler who appeared in the 1557 Agricultural “Census” of Clackclose in Eastmore ( ).

PORTLERS of Wormegay 42, Tottenhill 43 & Westbriggs

Richard Portler married Matilda (Maude) ____ in about 1510 and had at least the following children:

1. William born about 1512; and

2. Robert.born about 1514.

Richard Portler his wife Matilda and son Robert all appear to have died at approximately the same time in 1541 in Wormegay, and Richard’s will 44 left to his wife, two sons and two grandchildren, while Matilda’s will 45 left to her two sons and to her son Robert’s wife and daughter.

Robert Portler married Joanne _____ in about 1537 and had at least the following children:

1. Joanne born about 1538; and

2. William born about 1540.

Robert also died in 1541, although after his parents, and his will 46 left to his un-named wife and children.

John Porteler of Wormegay married Agnes ______ and according to the 1587 will of Margaret Portler, widow, by that date he had two daughters:

1.Priscilla; and

2.Mary baptised in Wormegay 10 November 1581;

and, according to the 1584 will of William Portler,

3. Thomas.

John appeared in the 1572 Muster Rolls as an “able man” in Wormegaye and in the 1577 Muster Rolls in Totnell.

John Portler of Wormegay died in about January 1582/3 and administration of estate was granted 20 Feb. 1582/3 to Agnes Portler, his widow and relict 47. Agnes may have been the Agnes Portler who married Humphrey Pigott in Hilgay in 1584.

Another John Portler had the following:

1. James baptised in Wormegay 17 October 1587.

William Portler married ______ and had at least the following children probably baptised in Tottenhill:

1. Edmund born about 1565 (see below);

2. Thomas the older (see below); and

3. William under 21 in 1584.

The wife of William died in about 1570.

William Portler married, secondly, Margaret Newcome, widow (who brought her son William Newcome into the family) and had at least the following children:

4. Matilda/Maude who married Robert Beddon/Biden and had at least a daughter Jude by 1587;

5. Thomas, the younger under 21 in 1584;

6. Robert;

7. Priscilla; and

8. Elle.

A William Porter [sic] of Wormegay appears in the 1552 Inventory of Norfolk Church Goods and in a 1574 report concerning concealed lands in Westbriggs, referred to in _______ and he is very likely the same person as this William Portler. William Portler of Wormegay was appointed executor of the 1573 will of Richard Lawes of Wormegay, which also gave a bequest to each of William’s children.

William Portler of Westbriggs (Tottenhill) died in 1584 and his will 48 left a considerable estate there and provided for his wife Margaret and children Edmund, Thomas the elder, William, Thomas the younger, Robert, Priscilla, Maude and Elle. He also provided for Thomas Portler the son of John Portler, late of Wormegay, deceased.

Margaret Portler, widow of Wormegaye, left a will in 1592 49 which gave bequests to two of her children (William Newcome and Maude Biden), to Priscilla Portler and Mary Portler the daughters of John Portler, and to Margaret Portler, the latter three females being under 18 in 1587. She also directed her burial to be in the Westbrigge churchyard.

Edmund Portler of Westbriggs/Wormegay and likely born about 1565 the son of William, above, married Margaret _______in about 1590 and had at least the following child:

1. Margerie born about 1591 and married _____ Rawlins in about 1612 and had at least a son Thomas and, secondly, Valentine Moulton 50 18 March 1615/6 in Little Bytham, Lincolnshire and by 1638 had at least six children - Edmund, Elizabeth, Anne, Margaret (bapt. 19 July 1618 in Little Bytham), Alice and Mary (bapt. 15 April 1627 in S. Stoke Lincolnshire).

Edward Portler (likely an error for Edmund) of Tottenhill is mentioned in the 1597 Visitation of Bishop Redman as having defiled the churchyard there with his cattle.

Edmund Portler, yeoman of Westbriggs, died in 1637/8 in _____ and his will 51 gave his lands in Westbriggs, Wormgay and Tottenhill to his wife Margaret, then his daughter Margerie and her husband Valentine Moulton and then to their son Edmund Moulton.

Thomas Portler married ______ Catherine Gathers (?) but, at the time of his death, they had had no children.

Thomas Portler died and was buried in Wormegay 23 November 1587 and his will 52 left his estate in Wormegay to his wife Catherine and then to his brother Robert Portler and also provided for his brother Edmund Portler and his brother-in-law Richard Gathers. Catherine Portler, widow, married Richard Andrew in Wormegay 28 April 1588.

Thomas Portler and Edward Portler were jurors in the Wormegay Manor Court from at least 1620 (when that run of the court minutes began) until 1626 when Thomas died and the minutes reflect that some of his property was to be sold for the benefit of his 5 daughters while his son Edmund Portler succeeded to the balance.

Thomas Portler married 1. Elizabeth ______ in 1597 and had at least the following children:

1. Mary baptised in Wormegay 6 November 1597 and was likely the Mary Portler who married William Perry 21 September 1626 in Wormegay;

2. Henry baptised in Wormegay 4 February 1598/9 but died and was buried there 16 February 1598/9;

3. Edmund baptised in Wormegay 24 February 1600/1 and may have been the Edmund Portler who married 1. Mary ________ and 2. Ellen Sherring (see below); and

4. Agnes born about 1605.

Elizabeth Portler died in about 1605 although her burial cannot be found in the registers.

Thomas Portler married 2. Mathew (Mathie or Martha) Bourges 2 December 1605 in Wormegay and had at least the following children:

4. Margery 26 August 1608 but likely died as an infant;

5. Mathie baptised in Wormegay 8 July 1610;

6. Elizabeth baptised in Wormegay 26 July 1612; and

7. Margaret baptised in Wormegay26 December 1618.

Mathie Portler the wife of Thomas was buried in Wormegay 13 November 1622.

Thomas died in 1626.

Edmund Portler married 1. Mary ____ and had at least the following children baptised in Wormegay:

1. Thomas 23 March 1633/4;

2. Francis 9 July 1637; and

3. Steven 26 December 1638.

Mary Portler the wife of Edmund likely died in about 1641.

Edmund Portler married 2. Ellen Shering 53 27 June 1642 in Wormegay and had at least the following child baptised in Wormegay:

1. Edmund 13 August 1643.

PORTLERS of Fordham, Hilgay and Southery

William Portler of Hilgay died without a will in about 1567 and administration of his estate 54 was granted 17 April 1567 to his widow Brigitte. They were very likely the parents of the William who follows.

Agnes Portler married Humphrey Pigott in Hilgay in 1584 (Boyds).

William Portler (b.c. 1560) married Agnes Jaxson 55 20 May 1585 in Fordham and had the following children baptised there:

1. *Christopher 24 July 1586 (see below);

2. Bridget 20 July 1588 but buried in Fordham 27 April 1594;

3. Henry 27 May1591 (see below);

4. Edmund 4 March 1592/3 (see below);

5. *William 5 May 1596 (see below);

6. Agnes 1 September 1599; and

7. Robert 20 March 1602/3.

In the 1596 Census William Portler was resident in ____ and there were a total of 8 persons in the house.

Agnes Portler “the wife of William” was buried in Fordham 21 October 1609. William Portler the elder was buried there 8 days later on 29 October 1609 and his will 56 left his lands to his son Christopher and money and sheep to his other children Henry, Edmund, William, Robert and Anne/Agnes. As he described himself as "sick in body" and did not refer to his wife Agnes, who was buried three days after he made his will, it is likely that both died of the same disease.

Christopher Portler (b.1586, above) married Margerie ____ in about 1614 and had the following children baptised in Hilgay:

1. Thomas 22 March 1617/8;

2. Agnes 19 March 1619/20; and

3. William 8 September 1622.

Margerie Portler “the wife of Christopher” was buried in Hilgay 20 Dec. 1622.

Christopher Portler married, secondly, 27 October 1623 (?) to Elizabeth Riches in Hilgay. Elizabeth Portler “the wife of Christopher” was buried in Hilgay 7 April 1627.

Henry Portler, the second son of William and Agnes, settled in Downham Market to the north of Fordham where in 1615 he married Ann Butler in 1615 and had at least 10 children there but seven died in infancy. He died in 1632 with a will 57 which left his assets to his wife Anne and his children John, Henry and Mary and appointed his brother William Portler and brother-in-law Robert Butler as executors. He was a tanner.

Edmund Portler 58 married in Hilgay in 1614 to Cicely Palmer and had at least 2 sons and 2 daughters [? to verify].

William Portler (b.1596, above) married Agnes Mersham/Marsham (b.11 April 1601 in Hilgay to Christopher and Ursula) 5 July 1625 in Hilgay and had at least the following children who were not baptised in Hilgay but were left significant bequests in the 1638/9 will 59 of their uncle Christopher Mersham of Hilgay who was buried in Hilgay 27 Feb. 1638/9 and left his “mansion house” in Hilgay to William and Robert after the death of his wife Jane:

1. William b.c.1627;

2. Robert b.c.1630; and

3. Ursula b.c.1635.

William Portler was buried in Hilgay 23 June 1636.

PORTLERS of Stow Bardolph & Wimbotsham 60

John Portelour was admitted to certain lands held of the Manor of Stow Bardolph 61 16 March 1482/3 and on 10 August 1484 or 1485 62 and he is the earlier Portler 63 found to date in Norfolk.

Joan Portler of Wimbotsham left a will in 1484-1493 64, which unfortunately has not survived.


William Jackson married Margaret Portler? 65 in about 1500 and had at least the following:

1. John.

William died in April or May of 1519 and his will 66 left his estate in Wimbotsham to his wife Margaret and then to his son John Portler Jackson [sic] and money to Margaret Malster the daughter of Nicholas Malster on the day of her marriage.

John Jackson alias Portler married Margaret ____ but did no appear to have had any surviving issue.

John Jakson was admitted to 31 acres of land and meadow in Wimbotsham on the “surrender in extremis” (death?) of his father William Jakson alias Porteler on 1 October 1515 according to a document at the Norfolk Record Office 67, but possibly the date is in error for 1519. John Porteler had previously been admitted to other premises in Wimbotsham at the Manor Court held 17 August 1509.

John Jaksone “otherwise named John Portler of Wymbotsham” died in October 1524 and by his will 68 left all his land and the residue of his estate to his wife Margaret, with identical bequests of money to his mother Margaret Jackson alias Portler and to Margaret Malster the daughter of Nicolas Malster to be paid her at the day of her marriage.

Mathew Jakson purchased land in Wimbotsham from Robert Malster 3 October 1521 and, as Mathew Jakson alias Portlour sold part of it 9 September 1524 to 3 others 69. He was also likely the Mathew Jackson of Shingham whose 1549 will 70 provided for all of the children of Thomas Portler who was to be his executor.

The Stow Bardolph Parish Registers 71 contain the following records of Portler baptisms and burials but as the parents’ names were not given they are of limited value:

Alice baptised 16 January 1586/7

John baptised 7 January 1589/90

George buried 11 Feb. 1565/6

John buried 18 June 1588

John buried 17 July 1590

William Porter [sic] buried 29 June 1591

Thomas buried 27 Oct. 1593

William buried 31 Jan. 1594/5

Ellinor buried 23 April 1600.

In 1603 and 1605 Thomas Portler of Stradsett [B43] bought and sold land in Wimbotsham with William Parfrey of that parish and John Portler of Stradsett, his grandson, occupied land in Wimbotsham in 1663.

On 9 June 1681 John Portler took the “view of frankpledge” at the Stow Bardolph Manor Court and was admitted to certain lands there. He was likely the John Portler of Stradsett.

On 30 Sept. 1694 in Stow Bardolph Mary Portler, widow of Stow Bardolph, married Robert Hastings, widower.


Richard Portler was born in about 1708 but probably not in Stow Bardolph 72, Clackclose 100, in an area of west Norfolk where the Portlers had lived for at least 200 years prior, and certainly was not baptised in the parish church of Stradsett. However, he appears to have spent his whole life in Stow Bardolph and when he died there in 1754 he and his son John were the last of the Portlers in the village 73.

Richard married firstly to Mary ______? about January 1733 but not in Stow Bardolph and had the following children:

1. *John, baptised 8 Oct.1733, their first recorded child, in Stow Bardolph and married Mary Winterton (see below); and

2. Mary baptised in 1738 [or 39] in Wiggenhall St. Mary Magdalene 74 but died and was buried 23 September 1741 in Stow Bardolph.

Mary, the wife of Richard Portler, died and was buried 29 December 1738 in Stow Bardolph.

Richard married secondly to Alice Walker 75 15 April 1740 in Walpole St. Peter and had the following children:

3. Elizabeth baptised 3 April 1741 in Stow Bardolph but died and was buried 19 September 1746;

4. Crispen baptised 27 Oct. 1742 in Stow Bardolph;

5. Mary baptised 5 Nov. 1743 in Stow Bardolph; and

6. Elizabeth baptised 19 Sept. 1746 in Stow Bardolph but died in Stow Bardolph.

Alice Portler the wife of Richard died and was buried 16 September 1747 in Stow Bardolph.

Richard married thirdly to Elizabeth Portwood 762 May 1749 in Stow Bardolph and they had the following children:

7. Solomon baptised 6 Oct. 1749 in Stow Bardolph but died and was buried there 25 Feb. 1751/2;

8. Solomon 1752 but died and was buried there 7 Feb. 1754; and

9. Elizabeth baptised 23 June 1754 in Stow Bardolph and married 6 April 1778 in Upwell, Marshland 100 to William Hooton 77.

Richard Portler died and was buried 24 January 1754 in Stow Bardolph.[will not yet located]. Elizabeth Portler, widow [of Richard] married Thomas Likely in Stow Bardolph 2 October 1755 78.

Of his 9 children from 3 wives, only 2 - John the first and Elizabeth the last - appear to have survived although 2 others - Crispen and Mary - do not yet have confirmed deaths.

JOHN PORTLER - Stow Bardolph, Hilgay & Upwell

John Portler born in Stow Bardolph and baptised there 8 October 1733 the son of Richard and Mary Portler. He was still living there at the time of his marriage.

On 5 November 1754 79 in Wiggenhall St. Mary Magdalene 80 to Mary Winterton 81 who, although she signed as Mary and is recorded in the Banns Register as Mary, was wrongly recorded in the Marriage Register as Ann. John and Mary lived in Stow 82 until the birth of their 7th child, John, in 1770. Their 8th child, Sarah, was born in 1773 in Upwell, Marshland 100 83 and their daughter Mary may have been born there or in Hilgay. By at least 1787 John and Mary Portler and their family were well established in Hilgay where John was a farmer and, in that year, one of the Church Wardens 84. He is shown in the 1791 Land Tax Assessment Records as occupying land in Hilgay, (as is a W. John Portler?) and he remained there until at least 1799 85 when he was the Parish Overseer of the Poor. During this period two of his daughters - Alice and Mary - were married in Hilgay. Sometime after 1800 John returned back west to the furthest western point of Norfolk to the village of Upwell (straddling the Nene River, partly in Norfolk and partly in Cambridge) although he probably farmed far out on the Fens near Nordelph.

John and Mary Portler had at least the following children:

1. Richard baptised 1 May 1757 in Stow Bardolph;

2. John baptised 1759 in Stow Bardolph d. and buried there 28 June 1763;

3. Alice baptised 1762 in Stow Bardolph d. and buried there 28 April 1764;

4. John baptised 4 April 1764 in Stow Bardolph d. and buried there 15 July 1764;

5. Alice baptised 14 Sept.1766 in Stow Bardolph, married 15 Nov. 1787 in Hilgay to Luke Skippon 86 of Crimplesham, and moved to Crimplesham where they had 13 children. She died there 8 Nov. 1860 87;

6. Elizabeth baptised 23 Oct.1768 in Stow Bardolph;

7. *John baptised 23 March 1770 in Stow Bardolph, m. in 1797 in Terrington St. Clement to Mary Fisher (see below);

8. Sarah baptised 6 Jan. 1773 in Upwell, Marshland 100 88 and m. about 1799 in ___? to John Parkinson and had at 9 children in about 7 years, 6 of whom were twins, in Downham Market and Marham, before Sarah died and was buried in Marham 30 September 1806 after childbirth with triplets [sic 89]. John Parkinson remarried 11 Nov. 1814 to Elizabeth Harper in Marham. At least 3 of the children of John and Sarah, including the last 2 twin boys, died in infancy 90l; and

9. Mary born in Upwell or Hilgay and married 14 Oct. 1788 in Hilgay to William Elmer (he was from Downham Market) and was still alive in Upwell when he died in 1829. They had at least 4 surviving children and lived in Nordelph and Upwell. His will, made 29 June and 26 August 1829 and proved 7 September 1829, left his property to his 3 sons, 2 daughters (both married a Luck) and his wife Mary.

Mary Portler, the wife of John, died and was buried in Hilgay 25 March 1795.

John married, secondly, in Upwell on 4 June 1801 to Mrs. Elizabeth Mays, a widow. They do not appear to have had any children before Elizabeth died on 16 March 1812 91.

John Portler died and was buried 11 February 1814 in Upwell 92.

JOHN PORTLER - Terrington St. Clement

John Portler, was born and baptised 24 March 1770 in Stow Bardolph, the youngest son of John Portler and Mary Winterton and married Mary Fisher in Terrington St. Clement on 24 February 1797. At his marriage he was described as living in Hilgay although by the time of the birth of his son William in 1802 he was in Denver 93. He and Mary then moved back to her home parish of Terrington St. Clement 94 where their next child was born in 1804. Although only the baptism in 1802 for William and the baptism and burial in 1804 for Rebecca have so far been located, it is possible that other children were born and died in the period 1797 to 1802 95.

John and Mary had the following children:

1. *William born 18 July 1802 in Denver (see below); and

2. Rebecca baptised 6 March 1804 in Terrington St. Clement but died and was buried 19 Nov. 1804 there.

John Portler died sometime after the death of his daughter Rebecca 19 November 1804 96 and before the marriage of his widow to Thomas Fisher 97on October 17, 1805 in Terrington St. Clement 98. Mary Fisher died and was buried in Terrington SC 20 February 1836 99.

WILLIAM PORTLER - South Lynn, Terrington & Tilney

William Portler was born18 July 1802 in Denver to John and Mary Portler. He married Charlotte Garner 100 in South Lynn All Saints on 14 Feb. 1822 101. As his father had died when he was only 3, he was probably raised by his mother and step-father Thomas Fisher or, until he was 7, by his grandfather William Fisher. He seems to have been brought up in Terrington St. Clement 102 and at the time of his marriage in Lynn South 1822 he was a butcher. Later he also operated a beer house on his property in Perkin Field.

1841 - Terrington St. Clement - Perkin Field - farm

1845 - Terrington St. Clement - Beer House [William White's History, Gaziteer & Directory of Norfolk]

1851 - Terrington St. Clement - High Green - farm of 43 acres next to Hammond Lodge

1854 (White Norfolk Gazetteer) - Terrington St. Clement - Charlotte listed as an owner/farmer

William died, probably in Tilney St. Laurence (see his will), and was buried 7 February 1849 103 in Terrington St. Clement 104. Charlotte Portler was buried 11 April 1857 in Terrington St. Clement.

They had the following children:


1.         JOHN b. South Lynn All Saints (Church Street) - 16 June, bapt. 17 June 1822 105


Although unlikely, John may have emigrated to Canada in about 1847 and married Margaret Callahan. There are however no indications that this was the case although no record of his death or any further evidence of his existence has yet been found.


2.         MARY b. West Winch - 21 Nov., bapt. 12 Dec. 1824


Mary married in Terrington St. Clement on 19 April 1855 (she was 30) to William Ketteringham, a wheelwright who had been living with the Portlers at the time of the 1851 census. She died (possibly in childbirth) and was buried there on 27 January 1856. William probably remarried - likely in the last quarter of 1870 in Freebridge Lynn RD to Elizabeth Humble - and in 1871 and 1881 was a carpenter in Tilney St. Laurence.


3.         WILLIAM b. West Winch - 21 Aug., bapt. 18 Sept. 1826

William was working on the family farm in 1851 and appears to still be in Terrington St. Clement in June 1857 at the time of the marriage of his sister Elizabeth. He is possibly the William who with his wife “Maria Ann Portler formerly Harrison” (they m. ? - no record in FreeBMD or index) had a son John William born on 21 July 1859 in Rotherhithe, London but who died there in the third quarter of 1859. At the time of birth William was a dock labourer and lived at 45 Albion Street (2 blocks behind the Rotherhithe Church). 106 He was very likely the William Portley, labourer, who died of Phthisis while living in the Pancras Workhouse (Camden Town, London) 15 January 1866 aged 40 (Civil - Pancras RD 1/4 1866 Vol. 1b P. 89). A William Portler born 1865 London was in the Portland Prison in the 1891 Census and he could have been another son of William.

1861 - William is not found on the 1861 census index

1871 - William is not found on the 1871 census index.

1881 - William is not found on the 1881, 1891 or the 1901 census index.


4.         ROBERT b. West Winch - 1 Feb., bapt. 3 Feb. 1828

Robert died in West Winch on 20 July 1836, aged 8 years old.


5.         FRANCIS b. West Winch - bapt. 5 Apr. 1829

Francis was a wheelwright living with his widowed mother and brothers and sisters in High Green, Terrington St. Clement in 1851. He was married on _____[2nd quarter] 1853 in West Thurrock, Essex [Orsett Reg. Dist - probably Aveley, Essex] to Elizabeth Newman of ____ 107. Francis was 24 years old at the time of his marriage.

Their first child Charlotte was born in Terrington St. Clement on January 3, 1854.

Their second child Elizabeth Mary was born in West Thurrock (Purfleet) on _______[3rd quarter] 1856.

Elizabeth Portler, nee Newman, died on 28 December 1860 in West Thurrock 108.

Francis married (oddly supplying his father’s name as Philip Portler) for the second time 3 February 1866 at the Parish Church of Stepney (St. Dunstans and All Saints) in London to Mary Hannah Poulton 109 the widow of Robert Chandler 110. They had one son William John born in Mile End, Bromley [Stepney District] on August 30, 1866. Francis was then listed as a journeyman carpenter living at 3 Regent Street South in Mile End Old Town, Middlesex [London].

Francis died on ________ [3rd quarter] 1874 at Mile End, Old Town (Bromley) aged 45.

1861 - Francis is enumerated in W. Thurrock (Purfleet) Essex in ED 8 at the Post Office [as Francis Potter], a carpenter and a widower aged 33. His two daughters are enumerated (as “Portley”) in the same ED but at 11 Butcher Row “lodging” with George Newman, a carpenter, and his wife Jane, both born in Avely, Essex 111. Mary Chandler is enumerated in Mile End at 68 Regent Road 112 as a widow with her two daughters Louisa E 113, aged 12, and Emily, aged 6, and son Robert 114, aged 3. Also at this residence and from Purfleet is her sister-in-law Martha E. Byford and the family of William Poulton.

1871 - Francis and Mary, his daughter Elizabeth, her son Robert Chandler and their son William are living at 3 Carter Street in the East Ward of Tower Hamlet, Mile End Old Town, Trinity Parish. Francis is listed as a carpenter.

1881 - Mary and her son William John, 14, (together with Robert, her son from her first marriage, and his wife Grace Ada) are living at 42 Rounton Rd. in Mile End, Bromley, St. Leonards Parish (All Hallows, Bow). Mary is described as a laundress and William John as a lawyer’s clerk.

1891 - Mary H. Porter [sic], 68, widow and her widowed daughter Louisa Goddard, laundresses, were living at 19 Swaton Rd., Bromley, St. Leonards Parish (All Hallows Bow).

1901 - Mary H Porter [sic], 79, widow, living on her own means, is enumerated at 10 Henderson Rd. in East Ham, Essex.

William John Portler died of Phthisis [tuberculosis] 25 April 1887at 9 Chilton Road (Bromley) in the Poplar District of London, aged 20 115, and his death effectively ended the Portler line in England!

Mary Hanna Portler, nee Poulton, also Chandler, died in April of 1904, aged 82, and was buried 6 April 1904 from St. Michael’s Church in Aveley, Essex 116.

a) Charlotte

In 1881 Charlotte Portler, aged 26, was living at 3 Clarence Lawn in Dover (St. James), Kent where she was a servant with Maria Burgess. Shortly thereafter on 21 June 1881 at Holy Trinity in Dover she married Walter Jones McKeen, a mariner/sea pilot who in 1881, aged 23, was living with his parents and siblings in Dover (St.Mary Virgin), Kent. They had 4 children (Maude, Walter, Henry F. and John) before Charlotte died in Dover on _______ [3rd or 4th quarter] 1893 aged 39. By 1901 the children were being cared for by their paternal grandmother Sarah McKeen, a widow, in Dover.


b) Elizabeth

Elizabeth Mary Portler also moved to Dover Kent presumably at the same time as her sister Charlotte. She married there on _________[4th quarter] 1878 to Frank Olive Sneller 117 and in the 1881 census is enumerated in Charlton Kent, just outside Dover, with their second child Arthur aged 1 (baptised 14 Nov. 1880 at St. Mary the Virgin, Dover). They had 3 more children (Emily in 1879, Percy William born 7 December 1881 at Charleton & Eveline) before Elizabeth died in Dover on _____ [1/4] 1890 aged 32. Frank Sneller died 10 years later in Dover and the 4 children continued to live together as a family 118.


6.         THOMAS b. West Winch, bapt. 27 Oct., 1830

Thomas died in Terrington St. Clement and was buried on 24 February 1837 aged 6 years.


7.         REBECCA b. West Winch, bapt. 19 May 1833

Rebecca married in Terrington St. Clement on 24 September 1857 to William Gent. They had at least 2 boys and 2 girls. She died in Terrington St. Clement on 39 January 1879.

1861 - Terrington St. Clement - next to the Foresters' Arms

1871 - Terrington St. Clement - Common March


8.         SARAH b. West Winch, bapt. 7 Dec., 1834

Sarah died in Terrington St. Clement 2 weeks after her brother Thomas and was buried on 24 February 1837. She was 2 years old.


9.         ELIZABETH b. South Lynn 28 July 1836 (South-Gate Street) and baptised Kings Lynn St. Margaret 22 August 1836

Elizabeth married in Terrington St. Clement on 25 June 1857 to Robert John Southwell 119, a miller of Upwell.

They had at least 6 children, 5 girls and 1 boy.

1861 - Terrington St. Clement - Perkin Field

1871 - W. Walton - #30 in Schedule, next door to Johnson Porter!

1881 - West Walton St. Marys - East of Common

1891 - West Walton St. Marys - East of Common - 2 doors away from Peregrin and George Porter

1901 - West Walton

She probably died 1/4 1907 (v. 3b, p. 401) aged 73 in the Wisbech RD.


10.       ANNE - b. 24 May 1838 Terrington St. Clement

Anne (but called Jane at the time of her baptism) married on 1 September 1859 in Terrington St. Clement to Charles Abbot, a green grocer from Newton in Cambridgeshire.

They had at least 6 children, 5 boys and 1 girl.

1861 - Newton

1871 - Wisbech St. Peters (North Ward) - Leverington Road

1881 - Wisbech, St. Peters (North Ward) - 19 North End, by the Village Cemetery

1891 - Wisbech, St. Peters (North Ward) - 19 North End, by the Village Cemetery

1901 - Wisbech, St. Peters


The index to the 1861 Census (1837 OnLine) lists 11 Portlers (though NOT appearing on the version at Ancestry.com), but an examination of the actual returns shows that all but one are either Poulton, Parkin or Purfleet. Although the 1871 Census Index provides listings for __ Portlers, a check of the original pages shows all to be mis-transcriptions except for the family of Francis and Mary. In the index to the 1881 Census there are only 3 PORTLERS: Mary, widow and son John in Mile End Old Town and Charlotte in Kent. The 1901 Census Index yields 11 Portlers, but, again, most if not all are incorrect transcriptions.

Daniel Porter (base born [1755?] to Hannah Porter) and his wife Mary Connoby had issue 1770-1791 in Terrington.

Portler was often spelled, and perhaps pronounced, Portley particularly in the period 1768 to 1812.


The Winterton surname is extremely rare and almost non-existent in western Norfolk 120, although Winterton is a parish on the eastern coast of Norfolk. There are no Winterton entries as a surname at the NRO except a John de Winterton in 1380. Possibly, it is an extended version of Winter, a surname found often in Stow Bardolph and the surrounding area.

Mary Winterton was born about 1730 and married 7 November 1754 in Wiggenhall St. Mary Magdalene to John Portler. Although she signed the marriage register as Mary and is recorded in the Banns Register as Mary, she was wrongly recorded in the Marriage Register as Ann.

From 1703 William Winterton and his wife Sarah Gammon had children baptised in Terrington St. Clement and from 1706 to 1720 Thomas, John and Daniel in Tilney. A Mary Winterton was buried in Terrington St. Clement 16 Jan. 1736 121. An Anne Winterton was married in 1741 in Wisbech St. Peter to Samuel Shaw. A Mary Winterton was baptised in Terrington St. Clement 15 Nov. 1762 to Daniel and Mary Winterton. An Ann Winterton was baptised 22 April 1768 in Lynn St. Nicholas to William and Catherine Winterton.

In 1696 Rachel Winterton married Roger Pennington in Tilney St. Lawrence, in 1705 Elizabeth the wife of William Winterton was buried in Terrington St. Clement, and in 1752 Thomas and Mary Winterton had a son baptised in Walsoken (Bts).

John and Catherine Wonterton had a daughter Judith baptised in Cringleford in 1684.

C:\Users\bjpor\Documents\WP Docs\EnglishFamilyWriteups\Portler.wpd December 1, 2022