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Elizabeth Cornish was born April 3, 1594 in Bristol England.  she was christened the same day at St. Stephens Church by her parents Thomas Cornish or Kornishe and Elizabeth Pullen (writing difficult to read.  It could have been Fuller or Pullish).  St. Stephen's Parish Records

St. Stephen's church was originally built in the 13th century.  The current building dates from 1470, so this is the building where Elizabeth was baptized.  It is now on the Historic Registry of buildings.  It is still an active church.

Elizabeth Cornish was wed in this same church on Feb. 24, 1612/13 to Christopher Birckhead.  Her husband was a Mariner and became a follower of George Fox.  As a mariner he would have been away from home often.  He was not the rough neck sail hand, but a ship owner and Captain  So Elizabeth was most likely a highly organized capable woman to keep the household running in his absence.   The name also seems to have been changed during his time.  Early on it was Burcott to variations of Birekhead, Birckhead, Birkhead, & Burkhead.

Elizabeth and Christopher Birckhead were said to have had 13 children.  11 are listed re the St. Stephens Parish Records.  Perhaps the remaining 2 did not survive infancy. They were:

1.   Ann Birkhead, born Nov 16, 1614
2.   Maria Birkhead, born Jan 27, 1615/16
3.   Alice Birkhead, born Nov 18, 1619
4.   Christopher Birckhead, born Sept 20, 1620
5.   Richard Birkhead, born Aug.5 1622
6.   Sarah Birkhead, born march 14, 1622/23
7.   Elizabeth Birkhead, born April 27, 1625
8.   Susanna Birkhead, born Jan 20, 1629/30
9.   Giles Birkhead, born Oct. 3, 1632
10. Abraham Birkhead, born Aug 2, 1635
11. Margaret Birckhead, born April 3, 1638, may have wed Mr. Smith

At least 2 or the 3 sons became sea captains also, Christopher II and Abraham Birkhead.

George Fox began his public ministry in 1647, traveling around England and preaching his very new version of Jesus' Biblical teachings.  He was often arrested as were his followers.  Christopher moved at least some of his family to Holland.  Christopher made a number of voyages carrying emigrants to the new colonies.  Then his sons emigrated to Maryland about 1652.  Each obtained an Indian Trading license which cost 1000 pounds each.  They also received large tracks of land from Lord Baltimore.  A testament to the family wealth.  It is highly likely that the daughters also emigrated.

Christopher Birckhead did not emigrate.  He died September 1669 and is buried in a cave in Bristol.  It served as a Quaker burial ground.  We do not know when Elizabeth Birkhead died, or where she is buried.


If you know the answer please CONTACT US.

    1.  Get a copy of the Parish records
    2.  Could/or did Quakers make wills?
What happened to the other 2 suspected children?
    4.  When did Elizabeth die?  That would help locate her burial place.


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