on the genealogy front that is…but no worries – the noise and chaos in the rest of my life has been more than making up for the silence of the dead.
The here and there moments when I have been able to steal away to my new genealogy desk, tucked into a tiny alcove upstairs, have opened some doors but resolved nothing, leaving me with the mostly unsettling feeling of being more than slightly fragmented.
As if the general merriment of the season, the wild and wintry weather outside, and the joyful bedlam which ensues whenever my kids are on school holiday weren’t enough, come Thursday morning, painters will descend on our household because of a what-the-heck-was-I-thinking, lost-in-a-moment-of-whimsy kind of decision to re-paint the basement media/play room before the impromtpu New Year’s Eve party we decided at the last minute to host this Saturday (the color is Great Barrington Green in case you’re wondering). OMG. (…more)
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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)
Following the Land records last month helped with my understanding of the kinships of the Denchfields, in what seems to be turning into a one-name study of this family in Buckinghamshire for the period of 1550–1850.
Inspired by an email from a fellow Bucks/Oxford researcher, I’ve decided to take a fresh look at another one of the more complex families in my tree: the Collcutts of Oxford City. Stay tuned for the start of that series later this week!
ProGen13 is going well. We just finished chapters of essential libraries and copyright issues. I love my study group!!!! Learning lots.
I attended the North Hills Genealogy Conference in nearby Pittsburgh. Elissa Powell was the host and Doctor Tom Jones was the featured speaker: his talks on inferential genealogy and locating lost ancestors were entertaining and informative. It was great to meet up with some fellow BU (…more)
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I had a chance to visit St Aldates Church in Oxford City this summer, but was disappointed to discover few grave markers remain, and those that do are too worn by weather and time to read. So, I suppose, this might be the grave of one of my Collcutt or Collins ancestors who lived in the neighborhood near the church for a few hundred years, as far back as the early 1600s. You never know.
As with the many other churches tucked into the city, St Aldate’s churchyard is now a popular hangout for college students and other locals. Although I suspect the dead themselves are still at rest underground, their grave markers are mostly gone now; in St Aldate’s case, a token five have been moved closer to the church wall and arranged in an artful, arching way. They too are completely illegible and unfortunately St Aldates is not one (…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.
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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)
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)
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)