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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John Denchfield made the following will on 4 December 1766 and, 11 years later on 4 January 1777, he added a clause regarding his wife Mary. The evidence from this document provides an important clue to solving the John Denchfield/Mary Gurney mystery I wrote about previously here. The will was proved on 6 December 1788.
In The name of God Amen I John Denchfield Elder
of Northmarston in the County of Bucks being in perfect
Mind and Memory do make and Ordain this my Last Will
and Testament. First of all I Give and reccomend my Soul
into the hands of Almighty God hopeing to be Saved by
his Mercy and the Merits of our Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ
And my Body to the Earth to be Buried in a Christian like and
Decent manner at the discretion of my Executor hereinafter
named: And as Touching that Little worldly (…more)
When John Denchfield, maltster of North Marston, made his will in 1689, he instructed that his beloved wife Audrey was to receive food and lodging for three months following his death as, he rather cryptically noted, she was otherwise well provided for.
Audrey’s own will, written 4 August 1704, a few months before her death, offers an explanation of how she was cared for after John’s death, and hints at who Audrey Denchfield was.
The Last Will & Testament of Awdry Denchfield made ye 4th day of Agust 1704
In the Name of God Amen I Awdry Denchfield of Thornborough in the County of
Bucks Willow being in sound & pfect mind & Memory though weak in Body——
praise be given to Almightly God do make & Ordaine this my present Last Will and —
Testament in manner & forme following (…more)
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)
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)