Salthouse History

The Pigott, Witton and Gotts Families  


 Thomas Gotts (b circa 1746 d 1837) and wife Sarah Wegg (b1752 d 1810) married in Gresham Norfolk 10/10/1774. They had five children. Their eldest daughter Mary Gotts (b 1775 d1 1853) had an illegitimate son who was baptised as John. John was born on 20/06/1799 in Cromer and was baptized on 21/06/1799 also at Cromer, under the name of John Gotts.

Tracing the John Gotts (b 21/06/1799) decendants it is clear that he used the name Witton as an alias. On the 1841 & 51 census he was shown as a Witton, and on the 1861 & 71 census, he is shown as Gotts. His death certificate states he died as a Gotts.

Following discussions with the archivists at the Norfolk Records Office in Norwich, I have been advised that ‘alias’ names usually relate to the fathers’ surnames of illegitimate children. Also, it is commonplace during these times, for the first male child born, takes the father’s first name and the first female child takes that of the mother.

This being the case, further research of local parish records has established that a John Witting was born in Edgefield (b 09/03/1772). In 1802 he married Elizabeth Wright in Cromer.

Using the logic of the father’s name of Witting (spelling varies Witton, Whitting, Witting) being used as an ‘alias’ the only John Witting/Witton that can be located in the vicinity is that of John Witting born in Edgefield. I have therefore concluded that John Witting born in Edgefield in 1772 is the father of Mary’s child John.

Mary Gotts, went on to marry a John Catton (widower) in 1820, she had no other children.


 John Gotts (Alias Witton) b 20/06/1799 married Mary Anne Louger 12/04/1821 at Gresham All Saints Church. They had 6 children, Susanna b 1822, Mary Ann b 1823, Sarah Ann b 1826, Martha b 1827, John b 1831 & Isaac b 1837. These births/baptisms have been located in the Gresham Parish Records and they are recorded as Gotts (alias Witton).

John’s daughter Sarah Ann, gave birth to an illegitimate child, who is recorded as being baptised at West Beckham on 07/05/1851 as Robert Piggot Gotts. Again, using the logic that the name ‘Pigott’ related to the father, research of parish records in the locality picks up ‘Pigott’ families in Salthouse and Sheringham. Sheringham being the closest to West Beckham.

Detailed review of the Sheringham Parish Records reveals that two records exist for Robert Pigott. The first was born 1795, the second was born in 1825. Robert Pigott b 1795 is the father of Robert Pigott b 1825. Robert b 1825 was the first son of Robert b 1795. Again, using the same logic relating to Alias and the fathers Christian name, it is clear that either Robert b 1795 was the father of Sarah Ann’s child, or it was his son Robert b 1825. Given the fact that Robert senior would have been 56 at the time of the birth of Robert Pigott Gotts it is more likely that Robert junior who was 26 at the time of the birth, is the father of Sarah’s child.

Sarah Gotts married Daniel Pyke in 1855 and Robert Pigott Gotts is recorded in census records as his stepson.

Robert Pigott b 1825 married Maria Bunting Colman in 1855 and records suggest that they had no children.

Robert Pigott Gotts b 1851 married Anna Maria Pells who was born at Binham in 1850. They married March 1872 and had ten children:-

Minna Elizabeth b 1873
Rose Anna b 1874
Sarah Ann b1876
Robert Barnabus b 1877 d 1961 ****
Ernest Daniel b 1879 d 1953
Herbert Samuel b1882 d 1967
Samuel b 1882 d 1950
Obadiah Pells b 1883 d 1968
Charles William b 1885
Mabel Amelia b1889 d1889

Anna Maria died in 1889 and Robert Pigott Gotts re-married. His new wife, Emily Austin was born on Forncett St Peter in 1861, they married in 1893 and they went on to have five children:-

William b 1886
Bertie Reginald b 1894 d 1991 in Canada
Edward James b 1898 d 1988
Edith Florence b 1901 d 1892
Clifford Henry b 1904 d 1977

Robert Pigott Gotts died in 1931 a widower in Woodbridge.

The Gotts, Witton and Pigott familes still have a significant presence in Norfolk & Suffolk, although towards the end of the 19 th century several of the Pigott family moved north to Yorkshire & Durham

**** Robert Barnabus is my Grandfather


Cynthia Nisbet (nee Gotts)