Technology. Always a favorite topic of mine! Much of it mystifies me, at least the nuts and bolts of the inner workings which make the magic of it all possible. But I’m definitely a happy “end-user.” Technology plays a huge part in creating the abundance of genealogically rich information I’ve been able to use in my research this last decade. I use it every day in my research, especially for records in England.
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a website that provides statistics on surname concentrations by county in England in the 1880s. To test the waters, I typed in Denchfield, and was surprised to learn that toward the end of the 19th century there were more Denchfields living in Oxfordshire than in Buckinghamshire. I had no idea. But it provided a new avenue for research that hadn’t occurred to me before. Perhaps some of my mysteriously absent North Marston Denchfields had migrated to Oxford.
Shortly after making my new discovery (about 20 minutes later actually), I was able to request a search of the surname Denchfield in the Oxfordshire Family History Society’s online parish register database. A day later, the results of that search were emailed to me. It is a small list of names, with a few bearing similarities to my North Marston clan, especially those from Sonning, Oxfordshire. The analysis will take time, but thanks to the technology of computer databases, the internet, and email, locating the information and getting a copy of it took almost no time at all.
One expecially promising item for my search:
The marriage in Upper Heyford on 22 October 1793 of Richard Denchfield, of North Marston, to Mary Roads.
Could this be the Reverand Richard, son of Purchas and Rebecca Denchfield? The Reverand had matriculated at Magdellan College at Oxford in 1763. His whereabouts for a time were unknown, but he wrote a will in North Marston in 1797, in which he mentions his wife Mary, whose identity has eluded me.
Time and, of course, more exhaustive research will tell, but abundant technology allowed me to take a giant step forward in my Denchfield research this week!
Abundant Genealogy is a weekly blog prompt sponsored by Geneabloggers.