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The earliest references to the Read or Reed  family were as recipients of poor relief in the 17th and early 18th century. One record dated 1670 (Somerset archive Q/SR/120/16)  was when Elizabeth Read gave evidence against her husband, Richard Read who was a leadminer. The accusation was that he had run off with Judith Wornell, a single woman, leaving Elizabeth and their child.
The 18th century churchwarden accounts and poor-law records show the family in a better light. Mary Reed (Roade?), a widow, was paying rates for an estate in Widcombe. A Widow Reed was listed as paying rates from 1704 untill the records end in 1769 but it is believed there were at least two of  them. James and John Reed appear in the records of the time paying rates and listed as being suitable to serve on juries but it is not clear if they were the same men or if there were two or more generations involved.
Various members of the R family lived in Chew Hill in the Victorian era and attended Chewton Mendip school.
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