THE BEST FAMILY OF DURWESTON, DORSET
1736 – 1900
Earliest RecordsThe earliest Best in the Durweston parish registers is William who was married in 1760. William's birth is estimated as 1736 from his age (80) when buried in 1816. Although the Durweston records go back to 1735, there is no baptism recorded for him there, but Bishop's Transcripts record his baptism at Durweston and identify his parents as George and Ann. However records do show that a George Best received a sum of money in compensatioh for the great fire of Blandford in 1731.
Alternatively, a William Best was born at Milton Abbas in 1737, sixth child of Henry and Sarah. Milton Abbas is only four or five miles away from Durweston. No marriage or burial record has been found for that William, either at Milton Abbas or any nearby parish, and his brother, Robert, born 1742, was married at Durweston in 1764.
William Best married Betty Clark (baptised Durweston 1736) in 1760. On her death he married Martha Coffen (baptised Durweston 1735) in December 1763.
William and Betty had three children
William and Martha had six children
- William. William married Elizabeth Style in Bryanston in 1784
- Dinah and Elizabeth – twin daughters who died in infancy, followed by their mother two weeks later.
- Sarah – born 1764; died 1764
- Ann – born 1765; died 1765.
- Christopher James – born 1767, married Peggy Roberts in 1789. Peggy (Margaret Best) died in September 1789 and Christopher James Best, widower, married Ann Howse in April 1794. Christopher James was buried at Durweston in 1836.
- Samuel – born 1768, married Mary and had six children.
- Dinah – born 1775; died 1775.
- Benjamin – born 1776, married Christian Dewland in 1802. They had four children and lived at Durweston. Benjamin died at 39 years of age, when their youngest child was only three.