There was only one Harry Potter in Wiltshire in the 1881 census. So says the article I came across by chance when sorting old magazines recently, and he had connections with Chitterne. Intrigued, and given that we have Potters in the village today, I asked my intrepid friends Holmes and Watson if they would be so good as to find the connection. And the results are amazing! My simple question led to the unearthing of the entire Potter story as far as Chitterne is concerned.
It looks like this could be a long saga so instalments may be necessary. The first Potters to arrive here came from Imber. Jesse Potter born 1818, brothers Leonard and Michael baptised 1825 and 1842, George baptised 1832, and brothers Alfred & James, baptised 1830 and 1832 respectively in Norton Bavant, were all first cousins. Their fathers were brothers, and their grandparents were James Potter and Sarah Earley of Imber. The six cousins worked on the land, four of them married Chitterne women and they all lived in Chitterne by the 1850s, several at the outlying Field Barn settlements such as Down Barn or Bush Barn. Later members of the Chitterne Potter family are all descended from these six.
We shall find out the connection to Harry Potter soon!