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

Wordless Wednesday - 22 September 1962

The Turner Sisters

Taken at a wedding in Northampton, England: Jean (Turner) Barker to the left; Gladys (Turner) Lee to the right; their Mum, Lorrie Esther (Baker) Turner at center.

(Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt sponsered by Geneabloggers) You might also like:In the beginningRediscovered PhotosWedding Wednesday: Leonard Turner & Lorrie Esther Baker

Early British Military Research From My Desk in Northwest Pennsylvania: Can It Be Done?


And will it help my Denchfield problem?

Having exhausted parish registers and probate records, and followed the land records as far as they could take me, I’ve got a much better sense of who was who among the many Denchfields of North Marston and surrounding villages; however, there are still some holes. As active in the community as this family was, with lives quite well documented, there are still a couple of elusive characters who seem to have mysteriously fallen from the face of the earth, or at least Buckinghamshire’s corner of it:

Richard Denchfield, baptized in North Marston on 13 February 1637, eldest son of Mathew. Richard was alive in 1660, when Mathew wrote his will, by which Richard stood to inherit half of the family’s homestead. He is mentioned again at the probate of brother John’s estate in 1689, having been asked by his brother to help (…more)

Surname Saturday: TURNER of Reading and Caversham

Henry Turner

Henry Turner

Harry Turner was my 3rd Great Grandfather. He was a master baker in Caversham, Oxfordshire – at one point employed by Huntley & Palmer Biscuits across the bridge in Reading. In the early years of his marriage to Louisa Smith, he was victualler of the Tudor Arms Pub on Greyfriar’s Road in Reading St. Lawrence.

1. Henry “Harry” TURNER: born 1 Jun 1848 in Reading St Giles, Berkshire; died of tuberculosis on 7 Nov 1903 in Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

2. Charles TURNER: baptized 4 Jul 1819 in Caversham, Oxfordshire; married 6 Sep 1845 in Thatcham, Berkshire; died 31 Aug 1901 in Caversham. Charles was a baker, with his own shop on Prospect Street. In the early days he was also a fly proprietor.

3. Ellen BROWN: baptized 20 Jul 1823 in Reading St Mary, Berkshire; died 22 Aug 1905 in Kidmore, Henley, Oxfordshire.

Children of Charles (…more)

Following the Land, a Working Example Using the Denchfields

land chart example

Recently I wrote about using land records to help sort out a confusing family here, and this week I’ve been applying that approach to try to sort out, once and for all, the kinships between the various Richard and John Denchfields of 17th and 18th century North Marston, Bucks.

Here’s what I did:

  • Created a combined timeline of all the players in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Extracted all the references to land found in the Denchfield wills.
  • Created a Word chart showing all the Denchfield landowners and dates of any land related activity
  • Here’s a printscreen snapshot of that chart: I love color-coding!

    Laying the land transactions out chronologically made everything much more cohesive and confirmed a lot of what I believed to be true based on parish records and wills.

    The biggest problem I have with the Denchfield kinships has to do with John Denchfield, iremonger, and his wife Parnell, whose union produced  two (…more)

    Following the Land, When Parish Records Aren't Enough

    map title

    The Church of England began requiring the recording of baptisms, marriages, and burials in 1538 although most parishes did not begin adhering to the rules until around 1600. Still, for a family like the Denchfields of North Marston, who stayed put for the next couple hundred years or so and were important members of their community, those early parish registers are a treasure trove of genealogical gold.

    The registers for St. Mary’s, the established church in North Marston, date back to the late 1580s, but they are in bad shape. Before the FHL had a chance to film them, the books sustained water damage, molding the paper and smearing the ink. If that weren’t bad enough, for reasons known only to the culprit, enormous chunks were torn from each of the books, leaving one to wonder what on earth someone was trying to hide. What remained was filmed and (…more)

    Amanuensis Monday: 1814 Will of John Denchfield of Burston House

    dencchfield 1814 cropped

    When John Denchfield, dairyman of North Marston, died in 1799, he left property in North Marston to his sons John and Richard. John inherited the enclosure land which had been allotted to the senior John’s father, John Denchfield, some years before. The fields were situated between the property of Mr. Lewis and Mr. Eaton. Richard, upon reaching full age, was to inherit the John’s messuage near the church, currently occupied by William Buckingham, and the messuage and close John had recently purchased from James Burnham of Winslow. The bulk of John’s estate including, presumably, the house he and his wife Mary lived in, was left jointly to Mary and son John.

    Sometime during the next 10 years, this Denchfield family rather inexplicitly relocated to Aston Abbotts. John’s widow Mary, in her 1809 will transcribed here, left small financial bequests to each of her children and grandchildren, with the bulk of her (…more)

    Update on the Mystery of Awdry (Knowles) Denchfield

    "Denchfield Family of Whitchurch Pedigree," ref D58/23, Pedigress of Whitcurch families compiled 1895-1909, photographed by Michael Dewey August 2011, copy held by C. Butler; Antiquarian Notes and Papers of G.W. Wilson Relating To Whitchurch, Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, Aylesbury.

    A while back, I transcribed the will of Awdry Denchfield, widow of John Denchfield. From the bequests in Awdry’s will, it appears she had been the widow of a Mr. Knowles at the time of her marriage to John Denchfield, and that she was the mother of at least three daughters and one son:

  • George Knowles, under age
  • Elizabeth Collins
  • deceased daughter, wife of William French
  • deceased daughter, wife of John Chandler
  • From other records, I was able to infer that John and Awdry’s marriage must have taken place after 1677, but the marriage is not recorded in the parish registers for North Marston, where the couple lived until John’s death in 1689, nor did it turn up in a search on FamilySearch. The Buckinghamshire Family History Society ran a search on Denchfield, and its many variants, in their database of marriages from all extant parishes in Buckinghamshire, with no success. (…more)

    April 2, 2012: Where Will YOU Be?

    4 kids sepia

    Awaking this morning to the first snowfall of the season and the accompanying groans of my children getting ready for the windy walk up the hill to the bus stop, it occurred to me that a trip to somewhere warm this Spring Break might be a nice idea; however, while others in my house are day dreaming of being somewhere tropical on April 2, 2012, I’m thinking only about the need to choose a hotel with free Wi-Fi. April 2nd, the day the 1940 census is officially unveiled to the public on Archives.com , is not a day I plan to spend anywhere else but in front of my laptop. Needless to say, I am holding off mentioning this to the rest of the family—the ones who get that glaze-of-the-eyes look at the mere mention of the word census.

    Still, it’s never too early to make a plan!

    UPDATE: The (…more)

    Another List: My NIGS American Studies Course Plan

    book of knowledge

    My newest list has to do with my plan of attack for earning a Certificate in American Studies at the NIGS. Forty courses seems overwhelming, but laying a project out on paper always helps me feel more centered and prepared for action-one step at a time.  The courses in blue are those I’ve already completed or I am enrolled in now. With so many electives from which to choose, I’ve put together a preliminary list of what looks most appealing, given my personal family research and areas of interest.

    Compulsory (need all 28) American Studies

    Basic (B)

  •   Electronic Resources: Using the Internet
  •   Methodology – Part 1: Getting Started
  •   Methodology – Part 2: Organizing and Skill Building
  •   Research from Family History Centers to New FamilySearch
  •   US: Census Records
  •   US: Land Records
  •   US: Religious Records – Part 1
  •   US: Vital Records, Understanding 7 Using the Records
  •   Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program (…more)
  • A Genealogy Life-List (Meme)


    I love lists :-) Got this meme from Bill West over a month ago (I’m so behind……)

    Here’s how it works: The list should be annotated in the following manner: Things you have already done or found: bold face type Things you would like to do or find: italicize (color optional) Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type      1. Belong to a genealogical society.    2. Researched records onsite at a court house.    3. Transcribed records.    4. Uploaded tombstone pictures to Find-A-Grave.    5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents).    6. Have a paid subscription to a genealogy database.    7. Helped to clean up a run-down cemetery.    8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook.    9. Attended a genealogy conference.   10. Lectured at a genealogy conference. (it’s good to have dreams)   11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society.   12. Been the editor of a genealogy (…more)