six miles east of Ickleton. By the time the parish registers open, at least ten generations of Casbolts had been born and died in the small area, less than fifty square miles, centered on Ickleton. However by then there is indication of some travel to and from London.
The villages of Fowlmere, Thriplow and Melbourn all date from at least Anglo-Saxon times and are a bit north of a prehistoric track called Ashwell Street. By the thirteenth century these parishes were all open fields with barley the principal crop and large flocks of sheep grazing. Melbourn was on the Royston-Cambridge road and Thriplow and Fowlmere were on the main London-Kings Lynn Road with Fowlmere long having been a place of inns serving that road (13 beds and stabling for 20 horses as early as 1686).1
Linton was probably settled before Roman times and was a thriving market town with two fairs dating from the thirteenth century. In 1676 it had 457 adults in some 180 houses,2 at least five of which were Casbolt households and at least two more of which were wifed by Casebolt women (see charts in Appendix A).
In Melbourn in the period 1560-77, Catherine, Alice and William Casbolt married. They likely were born in the 1540's and were likely siblings or cousins. William's father probably was born about 1510, most likely was named Thomas (William named his first and third sons Thomas), and would have been a member of the tenth generation. This could have been the Thomas who died in London in 1544.3 His family evidently died out in Melbourn in the 1660's but continued down the road in Royston, Hertfordshire where in the early 1680's a Thomas and a William were born. Either might have been grandfather to the American Casebolt progenitor.
In Fowlmere, also during 1560-77, Macute, Cecile, Joan, Ellen, Agnes, John, and William were married. They likely were born in the 1530's and 40's and were likely siblings or cousins. Macute,
1 Wright, Viii:l-3,152,155-56.
2 Wright, Vi:2, 81.
3 See Appendix A.
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