Wickhambrook is another close village to both Chevington and Hargrave. We find some movement of the Nunns, mainly from Hargrave.
In my direct male line, David Nunn from Chevington married a third cousin, Rachel Nunn from Wickhambrook. Rachel's father Francis Nunn was from Hargrave, but his father was from Chevington.

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Hargrave; sister village to Chevington

By Warren Nunn

Hargrave is a sister village to Chevington and is within easy walking distance.

The road leading into Hargrave Church.

The Nunn name is prolific in both villages in the 19th century and for a time, Hargrave residents had to go to Chevington for baptisms and marriages.

The Nunn line in Hargrave traces back to John Nunn who married Sarah Holden while the Chevington branch goes back to his presumed brother Thomas Nunn who married Anne Steed.

While there is a known Chevington baptism entry for Thomas Nunn son of Thomas Nunn and Elizabeth Clarke, there is doubt that John Nunn is also their son.

However, I have unsubstantiated research that says they are siblings and have recorded it as such.

Be aware that it HAS NOT been confirmed.

However, descendants of both 17th century Nunns married, which gives a connection anyway.

Should anyone unearth further information to the contrary, I will adjust my findings. Until then,  Thomas Nunn and Elizabeth Clarke are the presumed FIRST family of both the Hargrave and Chevington Nunns.



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Chevington All Saints
Chevington All Saints church in which many of our Nunn ancestors spent time
for some reason either to be baptised (note the font inset image), married or
for a funeral service. Photos: Warren Nunn 2004.

Suffolk forms part of the East Anglian plain and consists almost wholly of an undulating region which rarely attains an elevation of 400ft. The highest ground, between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds, reaches 417ft at Rede. In the 11th century, the term "freeman" applied widely. Some were large landholders, others were mere peasant occupiers. Suffolk was mainly an agricultural county, and the peasants, free and unfree, were chiefly occupied in the cultivation of the arable. The manorial estates were usually divided into the lord's demesne and the land of the tenants to which corresponded the demesne ploughs and the men's ploughs, though this distinction is not always apparent. The centre of the manor, the outward visible sign of the lord's authority, was the hall or man-house, the aula, halla, mansio, or, as it is once called, the caput manerii. The stock on the manorial farms is recorded: the ploughs, and plough-oxen (boves), the "beasts" (animalia) and animalia otiosa, or cattle used for other purposes than ploughing, the rounceys (runcini) and horses (equi), the sheep and goats, the pigs and the bees" Sheep were widely farmed. The type of crops farmed included wheat, barley, oats, peas, beans, rye, hops, flax, potatoes and sugar beet.*

*Details from the Victoria History of the Counties of England

We first meet in the Nunns in the late 1600s through Thomas Nunn and we are assuming that his forebears probably also lived in the region near Bury St Edmunds.
Thomas probably came from peasant stock and it is likely he worked on a manor. Life in those days centred on working on the land and also on religion. It would been an influence on the lives of the workers, even though they may not have been believers.
Bury St Edmunds was home to Franciscan monks from 1238. The monks were in dispute with the friars of the parish church at St Mary. The monks took their dispute to the Pope and, later, to Henry 111. The friars initially won the right to establish buildings in the area. But the story did not end there. After the death of Alexander IV, the monks laid their case before his successor, Urban IV, with the result that the new Pope ordered the friars to pull down their buildings and abandon the ground. The friars obeyed and reconciliation was effected between them and the monks on November 19, 1262. They continued there until the dissolution of the church, but not without incident.
During riots in 1327, six friars sought to re-establish themselves in the town. The whole convent of the Franciscans, together with the town chaplains, made at this time solemn procession through Bury, a thing they had never done before, as though to encourage the populace. Assuming that our forebears were in this area at the time, the event would have been the talk of the town.

NOTE: I'm happy for anyone to reproduce this information. It is my own work and I would appreciate a credit thus - Original work of Warren Nunn, oznunns.com

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I have completed a survey of the 1851 census for Suffolk, England, concentrating on the Nunn surname.

The information is posted in two ways on a separate website, suffolknunns.com:

  1. In a searchable database which can be accessed HERE
  2. There is a full index that links to html pages HERE

I have also posted the research on ancestry.co.uk as a public tree. Go HERE



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How the village of Chevington was established

By Warren Nunn

Inside Chevington All Saints church.

It's useful to look at how a settlement was established to get an understanding of how our forebears lived in a far different world to ours.

In 1984, Frank Cooper published the book Chevington which gives an in-depth account of life in the village where his and our Nunn families lived for generations.

The book starts with an explanation of how Chevington was so named:


THE NAME CHEVINGTON was drawn from Cifongas, the name of a very early tribe; the __ing place names are usually the place, farm, or clearing, belonging to a man of a certain name. Chevington, a hamlet two miles from Pershore, Worcestershire, owes its origin to ‘Cifa’s farm’, or ‘tun’.

Chevington in Suffolk and Chevington in Northumberland both owe their patronymic name, Anglian in origin, to Ceofan, the leader of that tribe. Chevington, the place, clearing, farm, or ‘tun’ of Ceofan appears as Ceuentuna in the Domesday Book in 1086. About 200 years later the name is written ‘Chevintun’, ‘Cheventun’, or ‘Cheveton’. 

It was not until the 14th century that the ‘g’ appeared in the name of the parish and the spellings of ‘Cheuingtone’ and ‘Chevyngton’ are both common from the beginning of the following century.
By 1450 the variant of ‘Chevyngton’ was in frequent use and it remained so until the late 1500s, when the spelling was stabilised as Chevington. The parish and village of Chevington in Suffolk is situated about seven miles south-west of Bury St Edmunds in the administrative district of St Edmundsbury.

Before the reorganisation of local government in 1974, Chevington was one of 18 parishes in the Thingoe Rural District which formed part of the County of West Suffolk and which was coterminous with the ancient Thingoe Hundred.

This relatively large and rambling village is accessible from Bury St Edmunds on the A143 to Haverhill via Horringer and past the National Trust property of Ickworth, or from the minor road to the west of Bury St Edmunds leading to Little Saxham Church with its round Norman tower and to Hargrave, a friendly neighbour, with which Chevington has been closely associated for centuries.


The Nunn name is mentioned many times as one of the village's "old" families. The following excerpt mentions a "Nimbly" Nunn as well as George Nunn.

(Can't be sure who this George Nunn's parentage but read here for more details).

There is a photo of Nimbly and his wagon. Both Nimbly and George descend from John Nunn and Sarah Holden.

Farmers’ horizons were extended in some measure by their visits to Bury and the Corn Exchange where they would meet fellow farmers from other villages on Wednesday market days and, from time to time, dealers and agents with a more sophisticated business acumen and vigour of approach. 

High horse-drawn carts, later pony would convey the farmer and his wife to Bury Market, but Solomon Milk rarely had the chance of leaving Chevington Way for the bustle of Bury. In 1844 Robert Savage was the village carrier. His horse-driven wagon travelled to Bury on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, returning from the Three Goats’ Heads with the passenger's goods in the afternoon. 

At the end of the century, and certainly until 1911, “Nimbly” Nunn of Hole Farm conveyed passengers to market on Wednesdays and Saxham travelling via Saxham where, on other days, he would meet trains at the station take travellers to their destinations. 

Later, ‘Billy’ Rawlings and George Nunn provided carrier facilities until competition from the Eastern Counties Omnibus Company proved prohibitive for small rural services

The name Napoleon Nunn is mentioned on page 42, obviously because the boy was named for the French revolutionary Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon Nunn had a short life marked by tragedy. In 1843 when aged 12, he was holding a gun that exploded and wounded and killed a distant cousin named Alfred Nunn, Young Napoleon was cleared of being responsible for the accident. 

Napoleon was involved in another incident in 1852 when he was convicted of assaulting Margaret Boreham at Whepstead.
He had fathered a child with Margaret and was under an order of affiliation. Napoleon had not met his responsibilities in seems and Margaret Boreham confronted him, he reacted violently.

Napoleon married Mahala Rutter in 1854 but passed away the following year aged only 24.

The parish record shows that Napoleon was the base child of Naomi Nunn whose family can be traced back to William Nunn, son of William Nunn and Ann Fenn.

This William Nunn died in Chevington in 1805, and there a couple of candidates for his father, also named William. Given the Chevington connnection, he's likely to be the son (or grandson) of this William Nunn.

The next named Nunn (on page 57), is Aaron Nunn to whom I have two relationships as shown here. We are third half cousins, twice removed as well as fifth cousins, twice removed.

One of the more celebrated Nunns associated with Chevington was the celebrated educator Professor Percy Nunn. However, as far as I can tell, he had no close connection to the Suffolk Nunns given he was born in Bristol.

Chevington All Saints Church.

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1851 census

I have completed a survey of the 1851 census for…


How the village of Chevington was established By…

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