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:
You might also like:Ammanuensis Monday: 1766 Will of John Denchfield (part of a series)Following the Land, When Parish Records Aren’t Enough(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Mrs. Harry Turner, of Great Marlow, Bucks
At a minimum, there were four Denchfield men living in North Marston in the mid 17th century – Mathew Denchfield (1601-ca1660) and his three sons: Richard, John, and Matthew. (see NOTE 1) Other than his baptism in 1637, there is no mention of Richard in the North Marston parish registers. Matthew, born in 1641, married a woman from Stone in 1673 and settled in Wing. John, the middle son, remained in North Marston, married at least twice, and was affluent enough to leave an estate with property in three villages when he died at the fairly young age of 50. Yesterday I posted a transcription of John’s will, HERE. It’s wordy and a bit confusing to follow, but by taking it piece by piece, a picture of John’s family and life in North Marston begins to form:
In the Name of God Amen, I John Denchfield of (…more)
John Denchfield was the son of Mathew Denchfield, whose own will is transcribed HERE…. John was born 30 November 1639, and at the age of 19 was, as we know from his father’s will, engaged in an apprenticeship, which most likely involved the iron trade, as John made his living as an iremonger.*
Although there is no record of a marriage in any of the existing Buckinghamshire parish registers, it appears John was married at least twice: first to Parnell, with whom he had seven children, and then to Audrey who is named in his will.
Eli was an enormous help with the transcription
Here is the transcription of John’s (rather long-winded) will, made 18 June 1689. It was proved in November of the same year. It’s a lot to digest….I’ll be back later in the week with an abstract and some thoughts on what this document (…more)
The Denchfields were an old Buckinghamshire family who entered my paternal British line with the marriage of Ann Denchfield to William Baker on the 1st of May, 1784. The couple married in St. Mary’s Church in North Marston, where Denchfields had been baptized, married, and buried for hundreds of years; certainly before official parish record keeping began in 1600, but unfortunately nothing earlier has survived. The Denchfields’ lives are fairly well documented in North Marston, however their propensity for naming sons John and Richard, leads to an early 18th century brick wall.
Ann Denchfield was 21 when she married William Baker. She had lived all her life in North Marston and was the sixth child produced from the union of John Denchfield and Mary Gurney.
Here is the Denchfield portion of Ann’s Ahnentafal, which runs into its brick wall three generations back [unless otherwise noted, all events took place (…more)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)