|Thomas Gillett aka Russell 
Thomas Gillett aka Russell 
- Christened: 15 Apr 1688, Ticehurst, Kent
- Marriage (1): Anne Wesson  on 30 Oct 1701 in Ticehurst, Kent
- Died: 1725 aged 37
- Buried: 24 Sep 1725, Brightling
Alternative christening date of 26 June 1670 also found.??
I believe another who dropped the Russell part of the surname was the Thomas Gillett or Russell who was baptized in 1688 and who I believe probably went on to marry Ann Wesson in 1701. I am well aware that this makes him just 13 years of age at the time and this needs to be further researched, but there is nobody else in the surrounding parishes and he is there, on the spot as it were.
It may be that John Gillett or Russell had a brother who had an older son called Thomas, but I have found only this representative line.
The grandfather of Thomas Gillett alias Russell born in 1688 was called Peter Gillett alias Russell. This brings us back to Thomas Gillett and the problem of his age at marriage.
The age of consent at the time was 14 years of age for a boy and 12 years for a girl and theoretically marriage could take place after this with the consent of parents. In practice marriage at such an early age was probably confined to upper classes who wed heirs and heiresses to maintain their fortune and marriages in remote areas amongst the rural poor. Usually a marriage licence would be required to indemnity the priest against making an illegal union. In this case it would be useful to see if such a licence exists and to find out if Thomas was baptised as an infant or when much older. It is important to remember that a baptismal date is not a date of birth.
Nevertheless, even if this Thomas is not in the direct line the probability remains that a Thomas Gillett is descended from Giletus or Gilketus Russell who was known simply by his shortened forename Gillett but who had been born Russell or Roselle in France. Probably known by either name he ended up using both.
More importantly the other Roselle/ Russell family members who came from France gave rise to their own Russell lines in the area but it seems likely that most if not all the Gilletts in this part of the Kent/Sussex Weald descend from Guillaumus Russell, known as Gillett and this of course includes your own line stretching back to the Bray region of Normandy.
Noted events in his life were:
• Buried: 24 Sep 1725, Brightling.
Thomas married Anne Wesson  [MRIN: 540] on 30 Oct 1701 in Ticehurst, Kent. (Anne Wesson  was christened in 1682 in Brightling and was buried on 22 Mar 1721 in Brightling.)