WILLIAM OKEY was my 4x Great Grandfather, in my Grandmother’s MOYSES branch of the family. I’ve always had something of a soft spot for William. He didn’t live a long life, and I think what life he did live was difficult. He was born at the hamlet of March, Cambridgeshire, on 31 May 1819, and was the son of CLEMENT OKEY and ELIZABETH RUST. 
March is part of the Isle of Ely, which was once an island set amid marshy fens. Before the draining of the Fens, March was essentially an island in its own right, and, thanks to its proximity to the River Nene, operated as a successful 16th century port and market town. It’s known around the world as the home of St Wendreda, a gothic style church with a hammer beam roof carved with 120 wooden angels. It’s the only church in the world dedicated (…more)
The back of this photo says “Mrs. Harry Turner.” The question is this: Is she Louisa Smith, Harry’s first wife, whom he married in 1870; or is she Roseanna McGuinness, whom he married in 1884, following Louisa’s death?
Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogger prompt sponsered by Geneabloggers
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A reader posed this question earlier in the week. Joseph James Collcutt is not in my direct line, and although I have researched many of the collateral lines in the Collcutt family, I had not followed this particular branch forward. Still, I love a mystery! Here’s what my initial research has turned up:
Joseph James Collcutt was the son of William Collcutt and Anne Hemmins, who were married by license at the church of St Peter in the East, Oxford, on 9 July 1844. The entry in the parish register describes bachelor William as a college servant of that parish, son of William, yeoman; and spinster Anne, of St Clements parish, daughter of Thomas, yeoman. Witnesses were Catharine Collcutt, Julia Churchill Price, and John Lucas. The couple baptized daughter Emily Ann at St Peter  while living on Long Wall Street, but then settled on High Street.
William and Ann baptized (…more)
It’s always nice to get an email from a previously unknown, distantly related, fellow family history researcher. I got one yesterday, about the Howkins/Hawkins family of Willoughby, Warwickshire. They’re one of my more obscure lines, tying into my Collins and Collcutts of Oxford in the 19th century, and I haven’t done much research on them. (I was in Warwickshire this summer, visiting the castle with my family, but it didn’t occur to me at the time that I had ancestors who’d lived nearby….sigh)
Mary Ann Howkins married boatman Charles Curtis at St Peter le Bailey Church in Oxford City on Valentine’s Day 1842 (Oxfordshire, England, marriage certificate, Charles Curtis & Mary Ann Howkins; 1842, Jan-Feb-Mar, Oxford, Vol. 16:129; General Records Office, Kew, copy held by author). They would eventually move to Taplow, Bucks, where Charles ran the Clivedon Ferry across the Thames for many years. But before that, the couple lived in (…more)
Collcutts have lived in and around Oxford for hundreds of years and are among the first names recorded in parish registers throughout the city in the early 1600s, when it became common practice for established churches to keep a written record of ecclesiastical events.
Among the Collcuts from whom I’m descended, were gentlemen farmers, glovers, carriage makers, and innkeepers.They were a family filled with interesting characters and lots of mysteries; some of the most puzzling of any I’ve come across in my personal research. To begin my series on the Collcutts, here is a genealogical sketch of the family based on my research to date.
1. Samuel COLLCUTT  came from Berkshire county and was probably born around 1660. Samuel lived in Berkshire in 1704. He died on 11 Jun 1729 in St Aldates.
There are hints in the parish register that suggest Samuel’s wife was named Mary, (…more)
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) Share:
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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
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)
The very kind Mike Dewey of the Buckinghamshire Family History Society, BFHS, made a visit (several actually) to the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, CBS, on my behalf and sent me images of several Denchfield wills today, including this one made by Henry Denchfield of Quainton in 1662. Thank you Mike Dewey!!!! Although the Internet is a wonderful thing, making available all sorts of records from around the world, there is so much more to be had. Over the next several months, Mike will be scanning manorial records, court rolls, court books, terriers, and village surveys dating back to the 1600s, in search of references to my Denchfields and any clues which may help sort out the jumble of Johns, Richards, Marys and Elizabeths which have haunted me for years. I have nearly exhausted sources available online for my Denchfields, including census records, parish register transcripts, some probate records and land conveyances, (…more)
It never ends….any given decade in the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s finds two, if not more, men named John Denchfield strolling the streets of North Marston, marrying women named Ann, Mary, or Elizabeth, raising sons named John and Richard, involving themselves in church business, land conveyances, marrying daughters named Ann, Elizabeth, and Mary to fellow gentleman farmers,and in the process leaving a paper trail that has confounded Denchfield family historians for hundreds of years. or NOT. Maybe I’m the only one confounded. Maybe to everyone else it’s clear. But the more Denchfield facts I discover, the more confused I become.
In the 1730s, one such John Denchfield made a living making malt brandy, on propreties he owned in North Marston and Quainton, Bucks. Among family historians, he is thought to be the son of John Denchfield, ironmonger, whose 1688 will, transcribed here, left property in Quainton to underage son Richard, (…more)
Aside from the fact that using an ancient, hand-crank style, microfilm reader at my local FHL to scroll through pages and pages of 17th century parish registers makes me motion sick (and what kind of genealogist does that make me??), it’s heart wrenching to discover the explanation for the gaps in the North Marston church records is that HUGE chunks have been ripped out of them…grrrr
I’m beginning to think that the mystery of the John Denchfields of North Marston, Bucks has no hope of ever being solved….. Share:
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