I’d like to introduce…

Edward George "Ted" Turner

Edward George Turner, known affectionately to his family and friends as Ted, was a kind hearted, gregarious, right jolly English gent, loved by all who knew him. He was born on the 27th of June 1911 at Blake Cottage, Horn Street in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, where his father was employed as head groom to Mr Gosling of Blake House.

And His Lovely Wife…


Miss Phyllis Mary Collins, daughter of William Collins, publican of the George Inn in Winslow, which is where Ted met her one fateful day in the 1930s

Sentimental Sunday - Miss Phyllis Mary Collins

Miss Phyllis Mary Collins (1915-2002)

Miss Phyllis Mary Collins (1915-2002)

Phyllis Mary COLLINS, my maternal grandmother was born in Northampton, Northants, England on 23 Mar 1915. She was the only child of William Collins and Violet Mabel Moyses and as such was doted on by parents who provided her with everything she could want that was within their means. William and Violet ran The George Hotel, a pub situated in Market Square in Winslow, Bucks, and that is where Phyllis grew up. Bell’s Garage was just across the way, and Phyllis caught the eye of Ted Turner, a charming chap employed there as a mechanic. Ted quickly fell under the spell of the vivacious, red-headed, daughter of the George’s publican, and the two were married at the parish church in Winslow on the 26th of January, 1938. Ted by that time had left his job at Bell’s and taken a position as chauffeur (…more)

Wedding Wednesday: Leonard Turner & Lorrie Esther Baker

turner baker wedding

Private collection of the author © Claire Butler 2011

The Wedding of Leonard “Frederick” Turner & Lorrie Esther Baker 6 September 1909 St. Mary’s Parish Church Hoggeston, Bucks, England

Leonard was the son of Henry Turner and Louisa Smith, and Lorrie was the daughter of Henry Thomas Baker (the older man sitting) and Annie Imogen Emily Meadows (seated on the very left). Lorrie was one of seven daughters born to the couple, and it is said that when Annie finally gave birth to a son the bells were rung at the church to mark the momentous occasion

Click on the image to enlarge

By 1909, Leonard’s mother and brother Frederick were dead, but his father had remarried and Leonard had two half-brothers. It’s possible they are amongst the men in the photo. Lorrie’s brother George and her youngest sister Rose were children at the (…more)

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Technology and my Droid


I was born in the 1960s, and just about everything I knew of technology came from watching Star Trek. The coolest thing for me had nothing to do with transporters and warp speed. For me it was all about the little communicators Kirk and the others wore on their shirts. Keep in mind those were the days before cordless phones. I’m not even sure we’d discovered touch tones yet.

In college, there were a couple kids with enormous clunky computers set up in their dorm rooms. We thought they were freaks. Around that same time my family got an Atari game console, which we plugged into our television and played Asteroids on for hours. My first experience with computers, not counting the FORTRAN class I took my senior year (why I did that is beyond me now) was the DOS computer I used at my first job. It (…more)

Mathew Denchfield, yeoman of North Marston (4th part in a series)

mathew denchfield pic

The will made by an ailing and aging yeoman Mathew DENCHFIELD is transcribed here and helps to shed light on the structure of his family in the early part of 17th Century North Marston. It was written in his 56th year, when his health was declining and he was no doubt contemplating his own mortality. The fact that it was nun cupative, or giving orally, would seem to indicate that his health was so poor he was unable to write.

Mathew was the son of Richard DENCHFIELD and Margaret INGRAM, who were married in North Marston on 7 March 1601. As his baptism took place at St. Mary’s Church on 7 March 1601, just nine months after the wedding, it’s reasonable to say that Mathew was their firstborn child. No other Denchfield baptisms in the parish register are attributed to this couple, however as there were many gaps in (…more)

Follow Friday - Edmond et Jeanne

blank postcard

Of all the wonderful genealogy posts I had a chance to read this week, the one that touched me the most was A Hoyt Genealogy’s lovely Sentimental Sunday story about her discovery of an 1918 postcard sent from a French WWI soldier named Edmond to his beloved Jeanne. It’s a touching story that is beautifully written. A lovely reminder that while genealogy is built upon a framework of names and dates, its beauty lies in the telling of the stories.

Cicero wrote, “the life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.”  Thank you MarDi for recognizing the magic of that old postcard and keeping Edmond and Jeanne’s memory alive!

(Follow Friday is a blog series hosted by geneabloggers)

Amanuensis Monday: Matthew Denchfield Will 1658

matthew denchfill will 3

amanuensis noun \ə-,man-yə-’wen(t)-səs\ one employed to write from dictation or to copy manuscript

from the Latin (servus) a manu slave with secretarial duties first known use 1619


Mathew Denchfill [Denchfield] (1601-1660)

Mathew was the son of Richard Denchfield of North Marston, and grandson of Gefferie Deanchfield whose will is transcribed here.

We know from the St. Mary’s register that Mathew was baptized on 7 March 1601. (His name in the register is spelled “Matthie.”) His first wife, Joan Stream of Oving, Bucks, died in October 1632, less than two years after they were married in Oving on 30 June 1631.

Matthew’s second marriage, to Mary Spencer, took place in North Marston on 25 January 1633, and it was this marriage that produced four children:

Prudence DENCHFIELD (10 Nov 1633 – 17 Jun 1680)

Richard DENCHFIELD (13 Feb 1637 – after (…more)

Thankful Thursday: The True Heroine of My Family

mum highschool

(This post was part of the 103rd Carnival of Genealogy, hosted by Jasia at CreativeGene)

This blog is all about looking to the past. Lately I’ve been consumed by it: Chasing faint trails across a sea of distance and an ocean of lost memories. I’m thankful that I have the time and resources to pursue this passion, and I’m thankful that technology has bounded forward in immeasurably large steps during my lifetime, giving us unprecedented access to original records and making possible the kind of research that could once be done only at a snail’s pace with pen and paper.

Today though, I’ve been hanging around in the present where, more than just about anything, I’m thankful for the presence of my Mother, who isn’t as close in distance as I’d like her to be, but close in spirit and always just a phone call away.


Mid-Winter Review of 2011 Genealogy Goals


Life is filled with all sorts of responsibilities and it is difficult sometimes to maintain a balance between commitments and a pastime as time consuming and complex as genealogy. I spent the last three days writing a research paper whose allotted time was three hours (yikes). It is done and I am really pleased with it, but before I move on to the next assignment, I thought it would be a good idea to step back and look at the 2011 genealogy goals I set for myself in this post.

Education & Advancement in Genealogy:

  • Successfully complete the Boston University Genealogical Research Program
  • This one is going quite well, although I dramatically underestimated the time I would have to commit to it in order to achieve maximum, type A personality, perfection. (why do I do that to myself??) The effort is worth it though, because I’m learning so much, (…more)

    Gefferie Denchfield, part 2

    Detail of 1858 Bucks map, showing North Marston

    Yesterday, I presented my transcription of Gefferie Denchfield’s will, proved on 8 September 1603, in North Marston, Bucks. This next article in the Denchfield Series discusses my interpretation of the will, and the conclusions I’ve drawn from it.

    Gefferie’s will suggests his family was prominent and relatively affluent given the times as he first makes a gift of ‘too dozen of white bread‘ to be divided equally among the poor of North Marston on the day of his burial. This is noteworthy because at that point in British history white bread was considered the preferred bread of the rich while the poor had to make do with dark bread.

    It is from the next part of the will, dealing with specific monetary bequests to his sons, that we learn much about Gefferie’s immediate family. Son John was to receive 40 shillings within six month of his father’s death. Interestingly, (…more)

    Amanuensis Monday: Gefferie Denchfield of North Marston, 1602 Will

    gefferie denchfield will

    My English Denchfields were a fixture in North Marston, Buckinghamshire in the 17th & 18th centuries. They were landowners, overseers of the poor, and occasionally members of the clergy. They also (sigh) had a penchant for naming their sons John and Richard. Although the Denchfield name appears in every generation of the extant St Mary’s registers, enormous chunks have been ripped out of the books creating large gaps, some as long of twenty years. Because the damage occurred before there was time to copy the entries into the Bishop’s transcripts, we can’t rely on the church records to prove certain events. Needless to say, tracking the North Marston Denchfields through the years can give a family historian a big headache. But fortunately for my family history, the wills made by several of the early Denchfields have provided the documentary evidence needed to map out the familial relationships in (…more)