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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)
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)
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)
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)